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Chrysler Pacifica Suspension Problems



  • rodutrodut Posts: 343

    I know you post here since longtime ago, so I am amazed at your lack of knowledge ! Who cares when maxmom reported the clunking the 1st time ?! I reported my clunking when my Pacifica had 200 miles ! Who cares about the warranty ? Definitely not Chrysler ! Warranty or not, the Pacificas will continue to clunk for the rest of their lives ! You advise her to "call corporate" ?!?! She can call Chrysler till blue in the face, that won't change anything. I posted sometime ago the "f...k you" answer I got when I contacted Chrysler.

    Dr. Z said yesterday in a commercial that they invented the automobile ! Well ... I would say that the previous generation invented the automobile. This generation can't make a silent suspension ! I stopped bugging my dealer service department. They are not guilty.


    I agree with you, because I never found somebody who was able to get rid of the clunking. The people who state that they have no clunking, actually don't have the right combination of: street bumps/potholes, low speed, and hearing accuracy. Like my wife for instance, who wouldn't hear if a wheel would be missing.

    If the steering rack is faulty, you definitely should replace it, doesn't matter what. Steering is definitely something to be afraid of. I suspect that after replacing it, your Pacifica will go back to the initial "ignorable" level of clunking. Please confirm that, after you replace it.

    Me, I have a love/ignore relationship, not a love/hate relationship. Except the clunking, it's the nicest car on the planet. If it would be available without the clunking as a standard feature, I would buy a 2nd Pacifica for myself. But unfortunately:
    "CLUNKING COMES STANDARD" at Chrysler. When they say "Inspiration Comes Standard", they actually mean "Clunking" !
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,962
    Who cares when maxmom reported the clunking the 1st time

    let's see... Chrysler, the dealer, the law. If you complain about something while under warranty, then its fixed under warranty (even if you are out of warranty by that time). If this was NOT the case, then dealerships could simply deny of any problems until the car goes out of warranty and then say, "oh, yeah, now we see all the problems. That'll be $3,000 please!"

    You advise her to "call corporate" ?!?!

    Yup. If you read around a bit, you'll find a great many people who have had problems fixed for free out of their warranty period by calling corporate. Car companies don't WANT disatisfied customers.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Well ... tristan1 you are definitely member of the "clunking club" ! I completely agree with every word in your post (#2020). It's very interesting you hear it more from the right side than from the left side, because both me and my Chrysler Service Manager had the same opinion.

    gbrozen, you say: "... Chrysler, the dealer, the law ...".
    Well, historically Chrysler didn't exactly care about customer satisfaction. Actually they sell "deals", not cars, so our satisfaction doesn't really matter.
    About the dealer, yes, he cares, but they are unable to fix it. If a certain part is not perfect by design, there is nothing the dealer can do. Even if they would find it, they would replace a defective part with another defective part. Not effective, right ?
    There is no lemon law in Canada. Here even if the Service Manager writes on the order that the 200 miles car clunks, nobody will care about it. Warranty ? What's that ???

    Me, I think Chrysler knows what the problem is, but doesn't want to spend the money to fix it. If, as tristan1 says, 1 in 9 people can hear his Pacifica clunking, why Chrysler would bother fixing it ? Anyway 8 in 9, so 88% can't hear an obvious clunking, so 88% of the customers will be happy anyway, clunking or not !
  • my3rdrxmy3rdrx Posts: 167
    I'm truly sorry to read about these "clunking" noise problems ~ but, just to be fair, I don't believe this is a "design problem" as some of you have alleged.

    I got an 04 PAC for my wife two years ago, and she/we loved it so much that we traded it in for a fully-loaded 06 PAC Limited back in February. We have NOT experienced any of the problems on either vehicle that many have complained here and I'm not hard of hearing (I'm a trained classical musician).

    I believe this is more of a production problem than a design flaw ~ just my two cents!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,962
    Well, historically Chrysler didn't exactly care about customer satisfaction. Actually they sell "deals", not cars, so our satisfaction doesn't really matter.

    Well of course your satisfation matters. If they did not have satisfied customers, they would be out of business. And I am not familiar with the history you refer to. If its your personal history ... well, that's your personal history. If they do happen to ignore you, it doesn't mean that's what they do for everyone.

    I'm sorry to hear your countries laws do not require a manufacturer to stand behind their product. Makes shopping for anything there very difficult, I would think. Anyway, maxmom lives in the US, so my reply to her still stands.

    Anyway, all of this talk has reminded me that we had a clunking noise for a little while. It went away on its own, though.

    I then had a squeaking/grinding kinda noise. Turned out to be the driver's seat. That also went away on its own, though.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • grugergruger Posts: 15
    :sick: We have a Pacifica 2005 AWD which rides nice but after 35000 miles some problems are starting to be apparent.

    DO NOT KEEP THIS CAR FOR MORE THAT 45000 MILES - You will thank me later. AWD system is still new and need to be proven in a 100,000 miles hard driven research!!!!!

    :lemon: The clunking sound comes from the "CV joint" under the car. They have to take off all four wheels to tighten the "CV Joint". A $175 Quoted first and then $300 after the job, we paid the $175 but I never heard a CV joint getting loose in 2 years of having a car. Never heard the CV bar joint (Old school: Universal Joint) under a car getting loose period.

    But apparently, Its that bar that connects the engine to the rear wheels. The problem is obvious in the AWD of ALL PACIFICA's. And FWD too. This problem will not go away, it will continue to be a problem for the long life of the Pacifica. Clear indication AWD is new and not proven for long-life duration.

    The problem happens when the car hits a lot of BUMPS AND POT HOLES wherever you live. And even you don't have bumps, you will have a problem with the CV Joint.

    I spent $500 in changing the two front brakes already and I know the two rear brakes will be soon to go too.

    :lemon: Now here comes another problem, the stalling of the Pacifica at inopportune moments especially slowing at a "stop" light. The "gas gauge" does not read correctly.
    Problem: When the gas gauge is half reading, it will suddenly drop to "E" for empty and you get the stalling again.

    :sick: But the wierd thing though is when you fill it with gas to a Full tank. The car do not take the amount of gas you think it should take, it takes less and it is filled to the cover. At the station here in MA, gas is about $3.00 a gallon and you know in the mind to full a empty Pacifica it's around $56.00 but it actually will full for only $44.00, THE WIERDEST THING IN A CAR I ever encountered.
    Its in the shop for a third time with this problem as I type.

    Now I have heard people have a problem with the "Gas Tank" that when debris hit the gas tank it leaves holes in the tank that the naked eye can't see. But yet to be seen.

    My wife loves the Pacifica but I will never hold this one after the LEASE is up in 2007.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,962
    removing all 4 wheels to replace a CV joint makes no sense.

    Anyway, we leased ours because I don't trust the resale value or chrylser transmissions, but so far ours has been a pleasure. We've had it for 11 months now. 25 more to go. I'm hoping for a diesel Pac by the time we need to turn this one back in.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • b25nutb25nut Templeton, CAPosts: 202
    My 2004 AWD has 54,000 miles with brakes that are good as new, never a gas gauge problem and no clunks or sounds. But I also avoid all pot holes and 99% of the time I have a period of coasting between letting off the accelerator and applying the brakes. Downshifting with Auto Stick helps a lot with this. Driving habits help determine the longevity of a vehicle. I'm fortunate to live in a benign environment.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Me too I think your post makes no sense. That bar you are talking about (connecting the engine to the rear wheels) with its CV joint, doesn't exist in FWD Pacificas. Simply because the rear wheels are not powered in FWD cars.

    How can it clunk, if it's not there ?!

    I don't want to offend anybody, but I think that people without ELEMENTARY car knowledge should only post about color preferences, or stuff like that. It lowers the credibility of the Edmunds site, if readers read such ... opinions.
  • grugergruger Posts: 15
    :confuse: I have a Pacifica AWD so I can refer to the CV Joint that was told to me by the specialist who tightened it. What you don't think I was questioning myself on the same answer he told me. Like I said I NEVER HEARD OF A CV JOINT BEFORE IN MY LIFE and I have changed some bad "UNIVERSAL JOINTS" MYSELF for trucks over 100,000 miles. Well, whatever it took that clunking sound is GONE!!!

    :P I don't hear it no more when shifting from park to drive. And guess what all other readers in here have had similiar problems. And FWD do have a bar but it is only smaller if you LOOK UNDER THE CAR YOURSELF, it might connect differently but others are having the same noise.

    :sick: Now excuse me, I have a gas pump or tank problem now!!!!
  • itsmejsitsmejs Posts: 4
    We have a 2004 Pacifica AWD with about 43,000 miles on it.

    Also living with the CV joint problem and the gas gauge issue. My latest problem is with the auto headlights. They will at times go on and off like a strobe light while I'm driving in the daytime. I also noticed it one time at dusk when I was outside of the car watering the lawn and the car was not running.

    Others issues that have been repaired are top rubber windshield molding came off, front brake rotors warped, steering wheel went off center, a few different front end items having to be replace due to noise, and wind noise from the rear door(they made it better but never completely fixed). I'm sure I've left out some things.

    I'm trying to talk my wife into letting us trade it in before something else happens. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • grugergruger Posts: 15
    :D The info. is in the site below. Its the only one recall so far. Go to your Dealer to fix it for free.

    The major problem is the "stalling when turning left" and the "gas gauge issue" which I think is connected as one which is one huge problem. NHTSA is investigating as we speak. Believe me Chrysler is preparing for the worse or kiss customers good-bye.

    :shades: Do you know that the same money your paying for a Pacifica you can get a BMW with less headache. But you may have to sacrifice space though. aaaaahhhh!

    Have faith!
  • erika2erika2 Posts: 1
    hi, I went to the dealer for the same problem, and dealer say
    that the noise is normal. :confuse:
  • Sorry, I have to disagree with your statement car companies don't want disatisfied customers.

    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: Our 2005 Pacifica started making cracking/popping type noises from everywhere there would be a cv joint. We've had it at the shop 5 times and they hear the noise, but don't know how to fix it --- said it's not the joints. Replaced several other things -- I called "corporate" and was told we had to take it up with service. I asked how that was supposed to fix anything since they keep saying they don't know how to fix it.....meanwhile, I'm supposed to drive my family around in a car that may have an axle fall off doing 70 down the freeway.........

    Chrysler is not willing to help in any way at all. Service can't fix it......can't sell it to someone else if it's dangerous....I now have a lawyer working on it for me. I'll NEVER buy a Chrysler product again. They are not there when you need them! I'm buying Toyota!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,962
    you're free to disagree.

    However, can you tell me why in the world any company would WANT dissatisfied customers?

    Just ending up with dissatisfied customers is not the same as wanting them.

    By the way, have you ever taken it to a different dealership?

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • maxmommaxmom Posts: 62
    Hey guys. Sorry to open a can of worms and then leave the room. Just too many things to think about. Okay, here's the deal. I called Chrysler the day of my diagnosis for a new steering rack to remedy the clunking. Well, guess what! They agreed to pick up the cost of the parts, if I would agree to $262.50 in labor. It was originally priced at $650. total. So, we have to score one for Dr. Z in that arena.

    Today was my appointment for the replacement. Am I happy, you ask? Not so much. After having my mom cart me back and forth to the dealership, I get in to drive the thing on for another 41K and discover that nothing is different! I wasn't even off the lot. I wasn't even completely out of the parking space until I knew it was a morning (and as it turned out $207.43 of my money)wasted.

    The manager who diagnosed the rack problem came out with a frown on his face. He was none too happy to find that the problem was still there $600, a tiresome round-robin with Chrysler, and two weeks later.

    Of course, I had to take it for a spin around the lot with the mechanic who's just worked on it. I guess to prove to him that the noise was still there. And now they have ordered yet another part.

    I need some retail information from someone. I failed to ask what part he ordered, but how much is the PTU, or the arms, or the bushings? I'm sure he's going to do everything he can to not put a PTU in it, since that's his dime, but I don't want to get "serviced" out of my $207.43 in the process.

    Any numbers will be appreciated.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    maxmom, so my prediction in message 2018 was right. Now I predict that after replacing the other stuff they want to replace (control arms and bushings) the clunking will still be there. After replacing them, please let us know if my prediction was correct.

    Observation: the bad PTUs generate a different noise. That one can be fixed by replacing the PTU. My Pac is a FWD, so it doesn't have a PTU.

    erika2 (message 2037) the dealer says the clunking noise is "normal" because it's a "feature" of the "Luxury Sports Tourer" !!! For Chrysler "luxury" means leather chairs, not a sound front suspension !

    CLUNKING (not Inspiration) COMES STANDARD !!!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,962
    well, they aren't keeping your $200, are they? I don't know of any mechanic, dealer or not, who would charge you for NOT fixing your car!

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • maxmommaxmom Posts: 62
    Ultimately, no, they are not keeping my $207.43. I don't have it back yet, but the day is young. I was out all day yesterday at my parent volunteer job and missed quite a few calls from the dealership. I'm expecting the phone to ring any minute.

    After I posted on Monday, I called the service manager to find out exactly what the other part was that he had ordered. He informed me that it was a little clip to go at the bottom of the steering column. Amazed, I asked when he wanted to swap my original rack back into the car. He asked why!!!

    I sometimes think these people don't hear well. The car is making exactly the same noise that it made before they put in the new rack, but I guess he assumed me naive enough to just let that stand. He said, "Well, I guess I'd better go back here and tell them not to get rid of that rack." I said, "Yes, I guess you'd better."

    I will get my money back if it has to come out of his hide.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    You shouldn't ask to have your old rack back, because you have a brand new one now. They must reimburse your money anyway, because they didn't fix the clunking. I would keep the brand new rack (because it's new, and for free), and bug them with the clunking, not with useless work.

    Little clip at the bottom of the steering column ?! That new for me. Please keep us posted with anything clunking related.
  • maxmommaxmom Posts: 62
    Well, the service manager called me yesterday morning and wanted to know if I could bring it out and pick up a loan vehicle. They wanted to keep it for a few days and get to the bottom of it. My husband and I believe they've outsourced it to a bigger dealership with more Pacifica experience. Mine was the first sold at my dealership in June 2003 and they have since sold one other.

    Don't get me wrong. I still love my Pacifica (especially after driving a Taurus for two days), I am just not pleased about the clunk and the chattering and pinging noise from the engine which they've tried to fix several times.

    We really want to pass the Pac on to our son in two years. That was our plan all along because of the safety. I just don't know if it's going to hold together.
  • maxmommaxmom Posts: 62
    Well, in the continuing chronicle of the drama that is my life, I come to you with the news that my Pacifica no longer clunks!

    It took Chrysler being swindled out of an unneeded rack assembly and me being swindled out of $207.43 in labor to install said unneeded rack assembly, but two days in the shop and either a "clip" (i.e. bushing and spring) at the bottom of the steering column OR the L/F Link Assembly has fixed the clunking. I can only hope it lasts.

    I have reported the unnecessary parts and labor to Chrysler. I was going to let it go until the Service Manager tried to tell me this morning that the rack fixed most of the noise on Monday. The rack fixed none of the noise and he knows it! My husband drove it Monday evening and knows as well.

    When I went to pick it up a few minutes ago, he wouldn't give me a ticket on what was done over the last two days. When I pressed the issue, he just added to the ticket from Monday and reprinted it.

    I hope there are still people watching this forum and dealing with the clunking. Perhaps this will resolve your noise, too.
  • Yep, got it back Friday after a 3 day stay in shop. Still not fixed. Just wait until you have a problem with Chrysler and try getting them to make things right. I'm letting a lawyer do it from here on out. Have fun.
  • maxmommaxmom Posts: 62

    Just wanted to be sure that you had read my post #2054. My Pac no longer clunks. It took a lot of time, words, and even a few tears, but it can be fixed.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Dear Maxmom,

    I was in vacation with our Pacifica, that's why I didn't answer. It's a dream to play with the thing ...

    I understand they replaced the following:
    _ bushing and spring at the bottom of the steering column
    _ L/F Link Assembly

    Could you please post what is written on the work order, part numbers included ? I have no clue what "L/F" means.

    Then, are you 100% sure that the BIRTH clunking is gone ? I am not talking about some loud clunking your Pacifica developed recently, but about the "birth" clunking ! Some people reported in the past that the clunking was gone, but later (when driving on the right pavement at the right speed) changed their mind and stated that the clunking was still there. You sound very "clunking knowledgeable" to me, so did you really try the right pavement vs. speed, and found out that it didn't clunk ???

    A clunking free Pacifica sounds unbelievable to me, because I test drove 4 Pacificas about one year ago, and all of them were clunking.
  • maxmommaxmom Posts: 62
    Well, I can't give you part numbers because the Service Manager was extremely clandestine about the whole procedure. He knows Chrysler is going to come down on him about an unneeded rack, we think.

    As for L/F, I'm fairly sure that's left front. And, yes, we are very confident that the clunking is not occuring. It's been there since the beginning, but at just over warranty expiration, it got significantly worse.

    Hope this helps.
  • razor4razor4 Posts: 2
    Sorry to jump in on this issue, but I've had the same damn clunking sound on my pacifica they changed the steering colum the first time, then the control arm the second time, now it's in there again today for guess what yep the same problem , they just called me and said they are changing the ptu.I said I dont care what you change just fix the damn problem... why is everybody paying for this are your warranties up.. All I know is I will only pay for the oil change I am getting along with this...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,962
    did you see maxmom's post?

    how about asking them to replace "the 'clip' (i.e. bushing and spring) at the bottom of the steering column OR the L/F Link Assembly" that has fixed the clunking in hers? If one or both of those fixes it, all the owners with clunking may have reason to rejoice. :)

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • razor4razor4 Posts: 2
    I'm supposed to pick it up today, so I'll check it out, I'll bring that up to them for sure
  • maxmommaxmom Posts: 62
    Yes, I'm at 42,000+ miles.
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