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Chrysler Pacifica Suspension Problems



  • abuckleyabuckley Posts: 5
    After contactng the Attorney General's office and filing a complaint, Chrysler contacted me and agreed to pay for the repair. I contacted the dealer where the car was at for a time frame and they proceeded to inform me that not only did the car need the engine cradle repaired but they had found another $2900 in repairs all in the front suspension that need replaced. I had the car inspected by the lot I purchased it at before it went to the dealer. I have only had this car since Feb 17. The lot I purchased it at checked the entire vehicle before they sent it to the dealer. I have pictures from them of the damage to the cradle. They did not find anything wrong with any other parts. The dealer even stated that the tires needed replaced as they said all four of mine were leaking. The tires on that car are brand new! So first Chrysler didnt want to honor their own warranty, it took the Attorney General to get involved to make them, and now they are trying to inflate the repair bill to get their money back! Good thing I didnt buy the car from them! The lot I purchased the car at agreed to inspect it again when it comes back to them and repair anything that needs it at no cost to me, Chrysler just seems to want money.
    I read on another forum that Chrysler did the same thing to a gentleman who lives in Illinois, they told him his VIN number wasnt covered.
  • I am glad you found a way to get Chrysler to take action. Today it is all to often when companies attempt to move away from promises to repair vehicles while maintaining the image of trying to resolve design issues left with their customers. This is a shameful and greed based approach to customer care and vehicle safety.

    What did you have to do (anything other than explaining the problem) to get the Attorney General to contact them so quickly? Knowing this may help us and many others who have similar issues with Chrysler and other automakers in the future.

    Knowing how serious this engine carriage issue is it clearly can cause other suspensions related deterioration because of the engine misalignment. You noted Chrysler also mentioned another group of repairs that were needed. Did Chrysler agree to also pay for the cost (time and materials) to make those repairs or was this left for you to pay? Seeing how this developed I assume they wanted you to pay those charges.

    If I were you I think it would be wise to have the dealer provide a list of other repairs the vehicle requires (according to them). Then I would take the car to 3 different mechanics to inspect those areas and any other area which may have been affected by the misalligned engine in the cradle. If 2 or more of these mechanics agree damage was likely caused by the engine cradle problem you may then have the proof to persuade Chrysler to fix anything else damaged as a result the initial problem. Certainly a statement from mechanics detailing areas that could be affected by engine alignment, even if it is not detectable now, may help you recoup any future cost for repairs should they develop.

    I wish you well, the pacifica is a nice vehicle and would be highly desireable if Chrysler had not taken the cheap road by under designing the car and its components. We love our pacifica but knowing all of the design flaws keeps me awake at night wondering if tomorrow is the day our pacifica will literally fall apart on the road. Any company that takes chances with the lives of those occupying vehicles they make simply to reduce manufacturing cost by a few dollars is totally unacceptable and criminal in my books.
  • abuckleyabuckley Posts: 5
    I had originally purchased the Pacifica from a used car lot on Feb 17. I originally took the vehicle back to them for the repair because I had not even had it 30 days. When I had googled the symptoms I came across the warranty, so I took it to them as well. When they put the car up they inspected everything and photographed the rust in the engine cradle. They provided copies of the photos to me. They took the car to the Chrysler dealer that they always work with. When Chrysler started to say my car had gone to Washington state, the used dealer I had purchased the car from got involved too. They sent me the Carfax report showing the car had been originally sold in West Virginia. When I contacted the Attorney General's office, I attached copies of the warranty letter, the photos, and the Carfax report with it. That was all I sent. It seemed to do the trick. The district manager got involved and they agreed to the repairs.
    As far as the other repairs, they did not agree to fix any of them. They gave me a list including the tire rods, bearings, etc. The original lot where I purchased the car said when they get it back they are going to go back over it and if anything else needs repaired they will fix it for free. They have amazing customer service and have been super easy to work with, unlike Chrysler. They even offered me a car to drive while this was all going on. They also contacted all of the customers that they have sold Pacifica's to in the past and offered a free inspection for the engine cradle, so Chrysler may have a few more to repair. But that is what makes the difference. They aren't trying to rip me off.
    I will take your advice though about the other repairs, I might have a case to get the other stuff covered and paid for espacially since my engine cradle is rusted clear through.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Please keep us updated
  • n9zn_extran9zn_extra Posts: 11
    edited March 2012
    You are a very fortunate person!

    The reason I said you are fortunate is not because of Chrysler agreeing to fix their problem engine cradle design but rather because you had the extremely good fortune to find a very reputable used car dealer with mechanics.

    I would sure go the extra mile with the used auto dealer and leave as much positive feedback on the Internet as I could Angie's list would be a good place to start and there are many other sites where you can do the same.

    Because of your reply to my last message I also will have pictures, copies of the letter from Chrysler, a car facts report, information off the Chrysler web site showing the dealer of origin, and a statement from our auto mechanic in hand prior to visiting Chrysler re: our Pacifica.

    In addition to the above I believe I will also have the car thoroughly inspected (cost about $100.00) by certified mechanics and have that report handy as well. It seems a good practice just in case Chrysler tries to pull the same thing on us as they did on you (assuming Chrysler is up to something not so good).

    After over 20+ years in the same metropolitan area of Florida (Tampa Bay) our family has yet to locate what we could reliably call an honest mechanic or used auto dealer. Our suspicion is this may be the result of faulty state ordinances governing how these people operate coupled with poor state and local enforcement standards.

    Although some appear honest to begin with, things turn questionable after having to visit them over and over to repair the same area of the car. In addition we normally do not get acknowledgement that we were there a month or 2 before for similar troubles and certainly no mention of any warranty ever takes place unless we raise it first.

    As things are I believe I could easily carve out a great living exposing questionable practices along with out right lies which are all too common in the service industry in my area. Maybe I should pursue this endevor, no doubt there would be plenty of happy consumers on our side. Unfortunately it is not just autos, instead it is everything and anything which requires service after the sale.
  • jft26jft26 Posts: 35
    Thank you for the response. True I don't back up that often. If I park the car in the driveway front end out it will not make noise braking forward out of the driveway. Braking during back up when the car is cold only presents the clunking ....... sounds almost like loose parking brake shoes. But if I try backing up after about a mile of driving after the car is warmed up, the sound goes away. I hope to find the reason ..... I'm not giving up.
  • xunderworldxxunderworldx Posts: 14
    edited April 2012
    Hi everyone,

    I really appreciate all the valuable information everyone has provided here. I actually had a rust hole as big as my fist on the right side of the subframe. I had gotten the letter about engine cradle being covered.. However with my lack of understanding I had no idea it covered it. Thanks to you google and reading your posts I was able to get this taken care of.

    Its funny with all the work I have get done on my car and all the service checks they do, no one told me I had a big hole. What alerted me on this was being told there was rust. After taking it to a mechanic I knew he showed me that it isn't just rust its a hole!

    I did have a question that someone here might be able to answer. Apparently in an attempt to remove the subframe or simply after removing the bolt. They claim that the engine mount needed to be replaced. They said the stud that the subframe rested upon just fell. Honestly felt to fishy to me. So they charged me to get the rear engine mount replaced and fixed.

    Any thoughts?
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    They told me some of mine were bad and that they replaced them free. I think it was because of the 8 year 80,000 mile warranty
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Not to bad one mount in 110,000 miles
  • So its normal for the stud holding the engine mount to brake from sub frame removal?
  • Can you send me a copy of the warranty letter please? I'm having the same issue. You can send it to
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    No not if it's done right
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    I looked it up in my Alldata repair manual and no it should brake. They have a bracket that goes across the two front fenders and holds the engine up. Then they remove all hose and wire brackets from the engine frame and set a dolly under the frame. Then they remove bolts holding frame up and lift car up off the frame. Doing it like it says it should not brake unless the engine slipped or the dolly was not used and the frame was taken down crooked and broke the bolt.
  • I was very interested in the letter you posted. Is there a reference number attached to the letter, or any header information that would identify who at Chrysler wrote it? If so, please post it. Thanks.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    edited April 2012
    That is the letter except for my name and address
  • Thanks for your feedback, I called the main Chrysler number & they opened up a case. They said a case manager will contact me tomorrow, so we will see what happens!
  • What number did you call to open up a case? I have an 04 and at 102,000 miles. I get loud noises when I turn and hit bumps in the road. We are about to make a long road trip and would like to get some answers. Thanks for the help.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    At 100,000 miles it sounds like you need to replace the stabaliser bar bushings and that is up to you. If there is a hole in the engine frame thats different. Look under the car and see if there is rust though in the frame if there is contact Chrysler. If the car was sold in the rust belt it will be covered. If it is normal wear and your bushings are bad don't blame Chrysler. Have you changed the timing belt it is due right? Don't blame Chrysler if you have not done the maintenance and the engine self destructs. This is all about the engine frame rusting.
  • I contacted Chrysler and they are going to fix the engine cradle issue. AS far as the stabaliser bar, I have no clue what that is to be honest. I can have them look at it though. Any idea of the cost? I do simple maintenance myself...oil changes and such.
  • The number I had called to open a case was 1-800-521-9922
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    The bar bushings are $8.60 each 0.8 hours to install. Links 47.20 each need two if bad 0.8 hours to do both. Oil change pull car up on ramps or 2 pieces of 2x12 or 2x10 x16 inches long. With engine hot unscrew bolt on back of oil pan and let oil drain into drain pan. Wear gloves if you have tender hands or you don't want to get dirty. Oil will be at about 190 degrees. Put bolt back in and and snug tight you don't want to put a hundred pounds on it. Get a cheap oil filter wrench that fits on the bottom of filter and use wrench to remove filter and drop in drain pan. Look up where the oil filter was and make sure the gasket came off or look at the top of the old filter. Now take the new filter and spread oil on the new gasket and screw filter on till the gasket touches . You can feel this. Tighten filter 3/4 turn more. Now you are done unless you want to get a cheap grease gun and grease the front end and if you grease everything you may never have to replace anything again except some bushings. Oil filters I use Purolator they are made better but you can use any one you want. I would tell you to add oil to the filter before you put it up but if any gets around the rim it will look like an oil leak dip for a week. These filters are 2.50 each at Farm &Fleet. Add oil under the hood right side by battery you will see a cap remove and add oil 10W30 5 1/2 quarts. I use Mobile 1 26.99 for 5 quarts you can buy other oil much cheaper. I run my car 6,000 miles between changes because I use good oil. At 300,000 miles my engine will be like new if you use regular oil your engine could be worn out in 100,000 miles and this is if you change it every 3,000 miles. I had a mini van with 225,000 miles and I had to change the head because the engine overheated I miced the engine parts when it was apart and it was as good as a new engine. Run engine and check for leaks 15 min is all it should take
  • xunderworldxxunderworldx Posts: 14
    edited May 2012
    While my subframe was being replaced by Chrysler due to to corrosion, I knew I had transmission leak. A mechanic I knew showed me the leaks and told me that one of them was going to require removing the sub frame. Now this was before the subframe replacement.

    When I told Chrysler about this they said the subframe would not interfere with anything that has to do with the transmission, also said transmission leaks usually happen from above. Now after they did the job I had a mechanic clean everything up and replace the oil pan and stuff.

    However now I'm still being told by that same mechanic that my subframe will have to be removed to get this fixed. Here is a picture of, hope someone has any thoughts on this.

    There is also another leak to the left but I couldn't get under the car far enough to take the picture my self. So I just pointed that it was to the left somewhere.

  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    I looked at the Chrysler repair book and it says. Hold engine up with support bracket. Remove engine cradle take out transmission
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    That looks like the rear cover can you take the cover off and just replace the gasket?
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Just thinking to myself if the rear cover is leaking it might need to be tightened up a little. Now i'm not a trans guy but if there is no pressure in that area maybe you could spray the area down with brake clean $2.99 and put silicone all around the cover or if it won't dry up drop the pan replace filter then silicone the cover it could last forever. It is hard to stop if it is leaking when you try to put the silicone on it.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Sorry when I've had a few my mind stars to run If that arrow is an axle seal they don't need to drop the trans. Pull the axle replace seal period
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