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Chrysler Pacifica Suspension Problems



  • My 2004 Pacifica had a clunk but it was in need of new motor mounts. The clunk went away after the motor mounts were installed. The vehicle had over 100k miles. It had been rear ended in a wreck. A new Nissan Sentra ran into the stopped Pacifica. The Nissan was totaled. The Pacifica needed new bumper covers, a couple of dents fixed in addition to the motor mounts.
  • 2004pac2004pac Posts: 4
    Finally took the Pac into the dealer today as I heard the loud single clunk twice within a mile. They checked all of the suspension components, CV joints and axles were good. They determined it was most likely the Power Transfer Unit. Will cost almost $2000 to replace with labor. Was told didn't have to be done now, likely if this is the problem it will gradually get worse. Hoping I can squeak out another 10 thousand miles before I have to replace. My question is does anybody know what happens if the PTU completely fails? Will I be left stranded or will the car just no longer be an AWD?
  • I'd get a second opinion
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    I can't fully answer this one since my 2004 Pac is FWD, hence no PTU. I will say with authority that there are many origins of "the clunk" in Pacificas, and 99% of those origins are common to both FWD and AWD Pacificas.........

    In my opinion, don't be surprised if you spend $2000 on the PTU and find out you still have the clunk. Mine turned out to be the right front strut mount bolts and rattling front brake pads......after I had replaced inner,outer tie rod ends (linkages) and sway bar links. Things are much better now, but I am suspicious of your dealers PTU claim.....I bet they won't guarantee that the clunk will be gone with the new PTU..........

    I would do some more diagnostics/second opinions before I shelled out $2000 on a prayer...
  • I agree with steelydan (exellent band btw). I had a clunk in a FWD Pacifica that was just a motor mount. A fairly inexpensive problem and common on many vehicles.
  • cyberekcyberek Posts: 2
    Hi jackal4, I also have 2004 Pacifica in Canada and have significant front end subframe rust that was rusted through. This is a major safety issue and my mechanic told me it was pretty dangerous and it could crack anytime. The car was just off warranty 3 months ago but I hope the Chrysler will replace the subframe. I guess my next course of action would be to file a complaint with Transport Canada. If you can provide any additional info on your experience, that would be great.
  • If I were you I would take it up with Transport Canada ASAP!! I have the exact same problem with my 2004 Pacifica which now has 103,000 miles on it and all Chrysler has said is that it is out of the 5 year/100,000 mile corrosion warranty. I've had many cars before this with nearly double the mileage and have had half the problems! ...and I've never had a vehicle's subframe fall apart at only 100,000 miles!! I will be contacting the Better Business Bureau here but if it's anything like any other government agency I won't get anywhere. It's nice to know (jackal4) has had luck getting this resolved! If you could, please give me any additional info. you have so I can present my case a little more thoroughly. God Bless the USA (HA!)
  • schnauzer1schnauzer1 Posts: 4
    I also have a 2004 with a subframe that had completely rusted through and deemed terribly unsafe because it could fall apart at any moment. I only drove it a few miles away from the shop, where it is now sitting because I can't drive it until it is repaired, which will take a couple thousand dollars.

    My car has 92,000 miles. Contacted NHSC, and Chrysler. Waiting to hear back from them. I am over the 5 year warranty, but under the 100,000 miles. This is completely unacceptable though. Perhaps I will also contact the Better Business Bureau. If people could keep posting about what they come up with, that would be great. Appears as though this is NOT an isolated incident!
  • steveo686steveo686 Posts: 4
    Who is NHSC? I know when I contacted Chrysler they gave me the BS that even if I was under 100k it was still over 5 years old. I recently pulled the Carfax and it looks like the first owner of my Pacifica lived in North Carolina so it has only actually been exposed to the snow and salt of PA for 4 years and about 80k miles. This is a serious problem and how many other Pacifica owners are going through this now that aren't in this forum?! I've still had no luck but let me know if anything comes up! :lemon:
  • schnauzer1schnauzer1 Posts: 4
    edited May 2010
    Hi there. Sorry, its NHTSA-- National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. They have yet to follow up on the case, but I did file the complaint. You should too! I also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

    Yes, Chrysler told me that it was over 5 years old, case closed. I informed them that I would not stop there. They didn't ask me to take it to a dealer, or for pictures, anything, so I'm not sure how they can say that they've addressed this issue in any substantive manner-- they don't have an assessment of the situation! She did say that it was not their problem due the type of corrosion, which again, I'm not sure how they could know that without assessing it further. It would appear then that they have seen this before, and are perfectly aware of the subframe issue.

    I work in a law firm and we are currently dealing with a case where a husband, wife, and her mother died due to what is believed to be an accelerator problem in a one of the recalled Toyotas. This is a serious safety issue and should be addressed! A simple "case closed" does not suffice in my book. I know that they will probably not do anything about replacing it, but I want them to address what could be a much larger safety issue before something terrible happens to an unaware driver.

    I have also now contacted a dealer, near where the car is currently located. He was nice and understanding, and I explained what had happened with Transport Canada. He said that he would contact some people and see what he could come up with. I pressed that I was most worried about this being a larger safety issue that Chrysler should address.

    PLEASE PLEASE ALSO FILE YOUR COMPLAINT WITH NHTSA AND CONTACT A DEALER. The more people that speak up and contact different channels, the better!
  • cyberekcyberek Posts: 2
    Just an update, I brought in the car to the dealer 2 weeks ago with the subframe issue in Canada. Dealer contacted Chrysler and they have agreed to fix the problem. The car is currently at the dealer and they are fixing it now. I don't know exactly what they need to fix the issue but I have taken some pictures of the rust before it went in. I was lucky I did not get any BS about warranty being over, the car is now over 5 years old.
  • schnauzer1schnauzer1 Posts: 4
    Thank you for the update! I hope that I can get somewhere dealing with people in the US... I very much appreciate hearing how you've been able to have the problem addressed.
  • schnauzer1schnauzer1 Posts: 4
    An update here in the US. Took my car to a dealer, and they were able to get Chrysler to agree to fix it. The dealership was very nice and helpful and I am happy to report that the work has been done (covered by Chrysler) and I have my car back.
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    Congratulations shnauzer1,

    Just my opinion, but I sense that Chrysler's new owners (FIAT) are making an effort to do the right thing. Their sales have stabilized, and new models are on their way.

    I just saw a preview of the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and it is a looker......very nice.

  • steveo686steveo686 Posts: 4
    CONGRATULATIONS!! If you could, please give me a call or send me some specifics via email so I can get my case moving quicker. I am not an attourney, just an advertising salesman so I need all the help I can get! My email is steveo686 at gmail. I need to get this fixed as I am worried about driving it but I haven't had too many other options. Thanks again and good work!
  • pacinazpacinaz Posts: 1
    I too have an 04 Pac that we purchased in May 2006 with about 33K miles on it. It has been making those "clunking" noises and "spring snapping" sounds almost since I bought the car. I've had the car looked at so many times, with each mechanic telling me everything from "it's nothing", "it's normal", "your brakes need to be replaced", and "some brakes make that sound." Finally, a family friend who is a mechanic looked at it 2 weeks ago and told me all 4 of the engine mounts were cracked. He also said that the last time I got new brake pads they never replaced all the parts and one of the springs were missing or loose behind the brake pad. It has 81K miles on it now, so I took the car to the dealership and had all 4 engine mounts replaced and an oil change( noticed that the car can't go longer than 1500 miles without a change or it starts to sound like a diesel- my Nissan's could go 3K mi between oil changes.) Cost me $636 and they also advised me of the following "problems":
    -front lower arm bushings have come apart and separated - wanted $1176.00 to replace (plus alignment afterward $130.00)
    -right front end sway bar needs to be replaced; wanted $135 to fix that
    - front axle seals are leaking; $261 to fix
    -inner tie rods have excessive play; $561 to replace
    -and lastly, my serpentine belt has small cracks in several places and should be replaced; $160 to replace
    - I am also noticing some large rust spots in the under carriage

    My question is:
    After reading through pages and pages of the same or similar issues - If there were TSB's for some of this why would these things NOT have been replaced prior to selling me the vehicle? If these are known issues, as the second owner do I have any recourse in getting some of this stuff taken care of by Chrysler?
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
  • Something isn't right. My '04 has 110,000 on it now and runs like new. Have the timing belts been replaced? Timing belts do wear out around 90,000 or maybe sooner in city traffic. I always go 3,000 miles on an oil change. The dealer does all the oil changes.

    The rest sounds like overkill. I've not replaced anything but a motor mount. And that was after a Nissan totaled itself on my back bumper.
  • I made the mistake of buying a 2004 Pacifica last week when I needed to purchase a car rather quickly since mine was totaled. It had everything I was looking for at a good price. I guess now I see why. I took it home and noticed within hours that there were noises when shifting, noises in the front right corner when turning, as well as the major rumbling when going over anything larger than a pebble. I was grateful that I had a 30 day/1000 mile warranty, which I thought would cover what sounded like transmission issues. Fat lot of good that did.

    I took it in to an independent mechanic to have it looked at (and have brakes done) so that I would be armed when I brought it to the dealer. After the dealer had it for two days they gave me the same laundry list of repairs that you have listed, at about the same prices. And they refuse to consider that it may be the PTU. Pardon my stupidity when it comes to cars, but is this PTU considered part of the transmission? If so, it seems as though that should be covered by the warranty, and they just don't want to pay for it.

    And I saw this posted another time but didn't find an answer...has it been determined if any of this is a safety issue, or is it just an annoyance? (other than the rusting out, I mean.)

    I told the dealer that this is unacceptable, considering I just purchased the car, and have been instructed to call the sales manager in four days when he is back in. In the mean time my car sits at the shop, waiting for repairs that will empty my wallet and solve nothing. I wish I had found this board earlier...

    Anyway, as pacinez posted, do I have any recourse? My guess is I'm SOL.
  • ibthesndibthesnd Posts: 2
    I bought a CPO '07 Pacifica Touring FWD and knowing that the Pac had some reliability issues, I bought the service contract to make my warranty 8yr/80K bumper to bumper. It now has 54K miles on it.
    I recently noticed that my new tires (less than 15K miles) were wearing on the inside, so I took it to the tire shop to be aligned. They told me they couldn't, that I would have to bring it in to a Chrysler dealer.
    The dealer showed me the rear suspension, and told me that one of the strut rods was too long and the other was too short. He said he didn't know if he could get replacements the correct length, and even if he could, it wouldn't be covered by the warranty! He told me that the tires I put on it were the reason, Goodyear Assurance Triple Treads, and that if I had gotten a non-directional tire I wouldn't have noticed the issue.
    I called the warranty department and told them of the issue, and they confirmed the repair would not be covered by the warranty because alignments were not covered. I explained that it was out of alignment because the parts were the wrong size and non-adjustable, no luck.
    I'm now contacting a lawyer, but heads up, get an alignment check before you buy!
  • I know its been a while since you posted this, but did you ever get an answer about the problem? I own an 08 PAC and mine has been doing that since day 1 also. I have taken the vehicle to two dealerships, and no one can figure out what the problem is. Any help would be great!
  • mjsellersmjsellers Posts: 9
    I went to the dealership a few months ago, because my accelerator was sticking. It's not just Toyota's. But I had the mechanic ride with me and he said the popping sound was lug nuts or something like that, needed to be tightened. He said he would do it for me next time I was in, since he had already fixed the accelerator problem. I have not gone back yet. I just figured the Pacifica was a crapy car. But he told me that the Pacifica was the best car Chrysler had made in a long time. Made me wonder, since I have been reading all theses posts about the problems people are having.
  • marsha926marsha926 Posts: 2
    Thought my power steering pump had failed because the car was hard to steer. I was just told my '04 Pacifica with 105,000 miles needs a new subframe and that the engine could literally fall out! The car had the 100K service 2 weeks ago to get ready for a long road trip. Also purchased a new set of tires since the previous set had extensive wear after just 35,000 miles. Now I know why! How did my mechanic miss this subframe thing?

    Would appreciate your advice on how you came to a positive resolution with Chrysler (i.e. got them to fix it) since I need to keep this car a while longer. Did you contact a Chrysler dealer first or Chrysler corporate?

  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    mjsellers, the clunking sound you are experiencing is not lug nuts....There have to do with various assemblies in the front wheel drive axles.......there are some "prop nuts" that hold washer assemblies together.......the noise comes from these areas. I have lived with a little "pop" when I go from Park to Drive or Reverse for, oh about 55,000 miles now. My mechanic can "tighten" things up in the driveline, but it is usually temporary in nature. Actually, I just returned from a flawless 2,000 mile road trip with my son through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama on the way and back to Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama ( US Space & Rocket Center)..........My 2004 Pacifica averaged 22 MPG on the whole trip, with some low speed town driving in the mix.

    It ran like a champ, the original disc pads are on the rear wheels ( just replaced the front pads, not even worn through), this 3.5L/4spd auto combination is built like a brick sh##house............

    One more thing: the sticky accelerator you are talking about is not at all as serious as Toyota's was/is. The Pacifica is an easy application of a little WD 40 to the accelerator cable assembly under the air cleaner housing. I did that little job in 15 minutes with instructions by a Chrysler Pacifica owner on another ( better) Pacifica owner's website. Toyota's problem was a design problem with the accelerator pedal itself ( and interaction with floor mats)............Toyota deserved everything they got, and apparently we haven't heard the last of their quality issues swept under the carpet in Toyota Land.

    Edmund's excels at one thing for Pacifica owners............bringing world class whiners together......they have that down pat..................other Pacifica owner sites actually engage in more problem solving and less whining...................and that's the truth......................
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    All Pacificas with a sticky throttle can be fixed by spraying throttle body cleaner into throttle body and brushing with a tooth brush do it every four months it will be like new. The plate or butterfly closes and sticks to the gummy residue that is sitting there.
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    charger 3, you said it better than I did..........it works, and as I said previously, this is not the same deal as the Toyota's sticky accelerator pedal.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    edited July 2010
    We have an 07 Pacifica Touring AWD. The TC gave us some problems but everthing was covered by the Life Time Powertrain Warranty. We have 74,477 miles on our PAC. Change oil somewhere between 4,500 to 5,000 miles. We got it 34 months ago. The gas mileage is great 22 to 25 depending on tempature and road conditions. Dealer service is everything you could expect a great dealer to be. We are on the second set of tires, and orignal orignal brakes. I think thats a darn good vehicle! We have the dealer do all the work and they inturn stand by and go the extra mile for us, that's a big help.

  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Chrysler is replacing my engine cradle tomorrow it's covered under the maximum care extended warranty 8year 80000 mile I had 76473 miles. :)
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    Welcome to the PAC forum! I have s life saving solution for you! If it's not too late get a Chrysler Max Care Service Contract. We have had over 16 Chrysler Vehciles and never once have I not had a warranty. It has usually more than been worth the cost and then some. We really like our 07 PAC.

  • I have an 04, that had that problem since new. I just found that my sub-frame also called engine cradle is rusted through on the right side, I believe that the two are related. HAVE THIS CHECKED IF IT IS RUSTED OR STRESSED CALL888-327-4236 and report this should be a recall, I think it may also be related to motor. mount failure
  • Check right side of engine cradle for flex or rust, many 04,and 05's have had to have this replaced, it is about $4000 Chrysler should take care of this but will not. Call 888-327-4236 to get DEPT. of transportation to look at it. They need lots of calls before they will get involved
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Make cards or papers up. Put them on all windshields of Chrysler Pacific's you see in parking lots. Describe problem and tell them to have a mechanic of their choice check the car and then report it to Chrysler and NHTSA and call 888-327-4236
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    edited August 2010
    Like I said Chrysler replaced my engine cradle and mounts. The car rides like a dream now. I called NHTSA and filed a complaint everyone needs to do this to get a recall. Posting things here does nothing call NHTSA file complaint by phone or on line.888-327-4236
  • remartinremartin Posts: 3
    edited October 2010
    I was having my tires changed yesterday and this was discovered on the passenger front, the same rusting through the subframe. I have had the car 6+ years with 103000 miles. I had the engine clean and a tie rod replaced last October but no mention of this rust issue. By the amount of corrosion this just didn't start happening. So I agree with you that this is a manufacturing defect and should be covered no matter age or mileage on the car. This kind of corrosion would be unusual for a car 30 years old. I have scheduled an appointment next week for them to inspect the car and I will see what kind of satisfaction I receive. I will keep you in the loop. I hope I get the same satisfaction from the dealer.
  • remartinremartin Posts: 3
    edited October 2010
    I hope I have the same good fortune as you. What year & how many miles did you have on it and what state are you located in. I am calling the NHTSA 888-327-4236 right now to let them know.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Mine is a 2004 and my wifes is a 2005 hers has no problem yet. I had 72000 when they replaced it
  • I just had my sub-frame replaced under an extended warranty that was just sent out to dealers. It is for this issue 10 year/150,000 miles. It included the needed hardware, bushings, etc and a front-end alignment. Initial I was told by the dealer that it would not be warrantied( very thankful to the Service Dept Manager for his followup, as he contacted me about this extended warranty and his followup me). I was going to purchaes the sub-frame and work with my nephew(a certified mechanic) to do the work for about $2000. Good Luck.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Just found out today 11/02/2010 Someone I talked to today said his car was being fixed by a new hidden Chrysler warranty that covers the engine cradle for 10 years or 150,000 miles on 04 and 05 Pacifica's
  • I have a 2007 FWD, and are starting to feel the front end coming loose, making noise.
    If the year is stated by the poster with this problem (most don't), I have the feeling it is more common (or only) on the pre model change years (before the 4.0 liter with 6 speed auto).

    Is that the case?
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    Do you have the 5 seat PAC? Those came with a 3.8 L 4 spped auto trans. The Touring and the Limited had the 4.0 L 6 spped auto trans. We have a 07 PAC Touring AWD with 84,400 miles on it. Did you buy it new? How many miles are on your PAC?

    The front end noise might well be a Torshion link. motor mounts, or trans. mounts. We live on a very rough road and have all of the above replaced ubder the Chrysler Max care Service Contract.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    edited November 2010
    You still need to call the National Hwy Traffic Safety Administration and file a complaint so there will be a recall
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    The drivers lumbar seat adjustment stopped working last week. The seat is not covered by Chryslers Max Care Service Contract. I called Chrysler at 1 800 992 1997 and ask if Chrysler might consider helping me on this. I thought is might be about $ 200. 0r so. The cost is over $ 2,000. as they replave the back of the seat wit all the motors and seat back heater. I was amazed at the price! Chrysler said if I would agree to pay my regular Max Care deductable of $ 100. they would do the rest as a good will and to show they really do take pride in their vehicles. I was very pleased! This is one more reason why I stick with Chrysler made vehicles. This is my 17 Chrysler made vehicle, and i have been loyal to Chrysler becauce they have been great in standing behind their vehicles, as far as my experience goes.
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    farout, that is good for you. If Chrysler had not done that, I would have bought a seat cushion for $39 from AutoSport.com and away we go...

    I have said it before , Fiat is trying harder than DaimlerWhatever did. Fiat wants renewed access to North America , armed with world-wide small car prowess......what Fiat needed from Chrysler was a broad dealership/distribution network and a better understanding/appreciation of North American tastes/preferences.....I am interested to see what comes along in the next year, as I think the new Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Ram group will unleash a steady offering of new vehicles.............

    The Fiat 500 looks like a worthy Mini Cooper variant to me, and I like the new Jeep Cherokee very much...............There are larger variants coming, based on Lancia , Fiat, and Alfa Romeo platforms.........I have seen some of these cars in Europe, and they are definitely competitive without being too much "me too"..............
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Maximum Care is an exclusionary extended warranty, often referred to as a "Bumper-to-Bumper warranty" and as such if it's not excluded, it's covered. The only parts and labor not covered are:
    Maintenance services and items used in such services.
    Glass, plastic lenses.
    Body and paint items, including soft trim.
    Wear items such as manual clutch assembly, brake pads, shoes, rotors, drums and belts are not covered at any time.
    Snow plows, winches and trailer hitches
  • Thanks for posting this information. I was inspecting my mounts due to clunking come from the engine when I noticed the engine cradle was rusted through, and both front and rear mounts had failed. I have a 2004 AWD Pacifica with 115000. I went online last night and found this thread. I called the dealer this morning and they said they were unaware of any extended coverage on the cradle. After asking them to do additional searching they said they found the 10 year/150,000 coverage extension. They inspected the vehicle at no charge, and confirmed it is covered by this issue and there is no fee for parts or labor. The mounts will also be replaced for just the price of the parts. I did file a complaint with NHTSA, thank you for posting.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Great to hear. One down thousands to go
  • I did as you suggested and finally called and reported my problems. I reported the front end noises and my sticking accelerator. Not sure if it will make a difference, but it can't hurt.
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    the sticking accelerator fix is basically removing the air cleaner and spraying some WD-40 or similar degreaser solvent down the throttle air intake.

    This problem and fix have been posted numerous times on this and other forums for Chrysler Pacifica.

    It is a 10 minute procedure and NOT going to be a part of any sort of recall.............

    The front end noises, I'm with you on that one !
  • I can't believe how many people have had the same problems as I have. I have an 04 Pacifica AWD (only 48,500 mi) and also have had problems with the front end suspension. I've had to replace the swing bars, etc. the dealership even went as far to say I needed a whole new rack system. at the cost of $4000, and at the time the car was only 4 years old. I want to trade it in so bad, but can't afford a new car at this time. I was pleasantly surprised to get a letter in the mail about this recall. What I would like to know is if I bring the car in because it's making a knocking sound (and it sounds like it's coming from the front tire area's) I don't want them to lie to me and say it's something else. If I look under the car, where and what am I looking for to see if the engine cradle is damaged/rusted/broke? How have others faired with dealing with the dealerships? TY!
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    sticking accelerator. Block open your throttle body spray throttle body cleaner in and around butterfly brush with tooth brush respray put air cleaner on and start engine no more sticking accelerator
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