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Chrysler Pacifica Suspension Problems



  • The Chrysler dealer doesn't really know what the problem is, We took our 2004 Pacifica in on Monday to have all the cradle bushings replaced. This is after control arm bushings, front & rear motor mounts and a complete trans overhaul and the TSB for the axle shims. It's now Sunday and after all this they are still looking for the noise. Chrysler is not willing to pay for anything because the car has passed it's mechanical limits of 36k. I will never buy another Chrysler product again nor recommend one. This is like the Tom Hanks movie the "Money Pit"
    I believe Chrysler knows about this defect and that is why they dropped the Pacifica
    this year. Because this isn't really a safety issue they will just sweep it under the rug.
  • tildatilda Posts: 4
  • juleszeejuleszee Posts: 16
    So far Ive had Engine mounts replaced 3 times, both struts replaced, tierods,and the noise is still there. Ive had so many problems with this. But the dealership says its normal and nothing is wrong. ugh.. :mad: :lemon:

    To many times in the shop. but no one will help get this car fixed!!!
  • My 04 Pacifica is still clunking and now is rumbling when I stop a little hard.
    It's not a brake noise just another mystery noise that Chrysler says is normal..
  • juleszeejuleszee Posts: 16
    I know.. every noise is normal, even if you know its not.. UGH :mad:
  • I want to lower my Pacifica, have 2.0 inches front/rear in mind. Has anybody done it yet? Springs will be progressive (20% more than OEM).
    I have found only one source so far who will make the springs for me.
    Please comment on the lowering amount (too much? Rubbing?).
    Lower front more (-2.0) inches than rear (-1.7 inches)?

    The camber should change by around -2 degree (which I feel is just fine).

    Also, new wheels and tires: 20x8.5 rims, tires either 275/45x20 (+1.9%), 275/40x20 (-1.8%) or 265/45x20 (+0.7% in diameter compared to OEM 235/55x19).
  • It's a sway bar kit, $27.99, need 2, left/right. the ball joints wear, and rumble.
  • Anyone having problems with the front end when you turn in to the driveway it makes a squeeking/whooomping noise?? I took it in and they said its just the suspension being extended.. which i think is a load of crap since it just started happening.
  • I have 2004 Pacifica. LOVE it except for the "Chrysler Creak" as I call it. When braking hard, or turning and braking (example: going into parking spaces) I hear a creaking/popping noise from the front end. Also when going over speed bumps, potholes, driveway ends, etc hear a clunk from the front end.

    I had a 2003 Sebring that had that same exact problems. It was still under warranty at the time and basically the whole front suspension was replaced and it still made the creaking/clunking noise. They even performed an obscure TSB that involved drilling out some rivets and replacing them to no avail.

    One thing to note, and this was true with the Sebring, the noise seems to be more pronounced the warmer it is outside.

    My main concern here is safety as I have a little one. I can live with the noise. Before I even bother spending any money (since it is out of warranty) to try all the different things I've seen on this forum (possibly to no effect anyway!) does anybody know if the different possible causes of this are safety issues or just annoyances? It almost sounds like from what I am reading that it is just an inherent issue with Chryslers but wanted to see if anybody had some new info about it.
  • My 2004 Pacifica began making the grunching/creaking/squawking noise at low speeds in a turn and during slower braking. I took it to the dealership under warranty, and the mechanic just removed the plugs in the ball joints and pumped some grease in them "because the ball joints were dry." The front end still squeaked and groaned and grunched on the way home, and I pulled the shop manual (only a fanatic would shell out the $100+ for the shop manual set) and in the shop manual, it specifically prohibits the removal of those ball joint plugs and greasing of the ball joints.
    I copied the pages and went back to the dealership the next day, and explained that I had a lot more confidence in the engineers in Detroit who wrote the maintenance procedures than their "mechanic" who had access to the same manual. They decided the bushings in the lower control arm were bad. Since the bushings and the ball joints are integral to the control arm, and only sold as a "unit," the entire control arm on both sides have to be replaced. That was done and since then, no more noises from the front end. That was 10,000 miles ago.
    (There was a question somewhere in this section asking, if there is a lower control arm, isn't there an upper control arm? That is a holdover from the Olden days when front suspensions were parallel control arm set up and not MacPherson strut. The MacPherson strut uses only a single control arm which is in the same location as the lower control arm in the "olden days.")
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    If you own a Pacifica go to have a suspension safety check YEARLY !!! The quality of the ball joints is unbelievably low, and the failure of any of them means that a front wheel will fly off !
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    Not sure about that one rodut, the ball joint does not directly attach the wheel to anything, I believe that would be the job of the axle serving as the attachment to the wheel assembly....I would assume the ball joint just serves as a steering component , not actually holding the wheel on.........

    Rodut, I thought you replaced you Pacifica with a Honda Pilot sometime ago....why do you still stalk this site? Get a new hobby, dude......
  • Your problem sounds like a worn cv joint on n axel.
  • Ok... so from behind, my 05 Pacifica leans to the left (drivers side)
    Any ideas? My wife was hit on the passenger side going about 25 and their insurance replaced the front passenger strut... I am planning on replacing the other front strut. do I need new springs all around or will the rear shocks make a difference ?
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    There is nothing to do on the Honda Pilot discussion group ! Nobody is complaining about anything ...
    But it wasn't my intention to stalk you.

    About the front wheel, crawl under the car and take a look. The wheel is hold in place by the McPherson strut (at the high end), and by the lower control arm ball joint (low end). If the lower control arm ball joint fails the wheel will fly away (obviously it will take other suspension components with it).

    There is a 2nd ball joint for steering. If that one fails the wheel will disconnect from your steering wheel (steering wise). So even if the wheel will stay in place (for a couple of seconds till you hit the ditch), probably it will fly away during the rollover ! This steering ball joint was worn out on my Pacifica (at 46,000 Kms = 29,000 miles), and this was the point when I decided that I had enough.

    Don't worry, I won't come here soon. I had posted that post with good intentions. "Clunking comes standard" on Pacificas, and because of that clunking noise not even an expert can detect the noise made by a worn ball joint (while driving). So the only way to know is to raise the car and check the play in the ball joints. My advice was to check it yearly, but obviously you may neglect it.
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    I would have thought they would have replaced both front struts, since that combination (one old, one new) , just doesn't make sense from a driveability standpoint.....of course it makes sense to the cheap*ss insurance company, but I think both struts should have been replaced at the same time. I don't know about everything else, I would just have to trust a god mechanic on that one.
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    Rodut, glad to hear there is nothing to do on the Honda Pilot discussion group, but you obviously miss your old Pacifica terribly, or you wouldn't keep visiting your old haunts.....

    I'm sure there is some sort of Pilot accessory that your wife/girlfriend can put under the Xmas tree for you, maybe that will work for a few weeks.....
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Do I miss the damn thing ??? As I write this I cannot figure it out. Even if it was by far the worst quality car I owned on this continent ... still there is something I miss. Perhaps it's not the car. Perhaps I miss those passionate love or hate posts on this web site. People loving it were passionate about it. People hating it were also passionate in their hate. It was really funny to follow those discussions in the 2004-2005 years. I enjoyed both reading and writing lots of posts here !

    On the other side Hondas are like refrigerators. They work forever trouble free, but as it's difficult to be passionate about your kitchen refrigerator it's also difficult to be passionate about Hondas. Perhaps my 4 cyl 2001 manual transmission Accord doesn't have enough power to inspire passion, and the 2008 Pilot is also too boxy for that. That doesn't mean that I don't love them. I love my Hondas enormously ! But there is not really much to talk about them !

    That Xmas tree accessory you are talking about could be a great idea ... I will go right now on Honda's website to see what I could get ... perhaps some very sexy floor mats ...

    I think I miss the passion (either love or hate) people felt about Pacifica. I definitely don't miss that car in my garage !
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    Rodut, well written post.........your were truly an MVP (most valuable poster) candidate in the Pacifica's 2004-2005 heyday.

    Hey, I have found aftermarket suppliers can bring a greater variety of accessories to many vehicles, many of them offer custom-fit options specific to your vehicle.

    I have had good experiences with, they send me catalogues all the time, and rodut, I know they have just the sexy, shag carpet, floor mats you are looking for to bring up the Passion in your Pilot.

    Post Disclaimer : The author of this post is not affiliated nor receives compensation from AutoSports,com for this spontaneous and unsolicited testimonial........ :)
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Thanks steelydan ... I am honored to be an MVP !!!

    Talking about passion, there is a mall a couple of miles from where I live where every summer Thursday lots of people bring shiny very nice looking old cars (50s, 60s till 90s). Incredible paint jobs, shiny engines, muscle cars. I even saw a grandmother's Volvo 240 with a custom V8 engine !!!

    I would bet that in 20 years Pacifica will be a queen of such old car meetings. It was made just 2004 to 2007, it was extremely sexy both inside and out, and nobody will care about past reliability. Now prices have to be very low, so it wouldn't surprise me if well kept specimens will appreciate better than the stock market !!!
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    You know, Rodut, I was thinking about your post as I was replacing my low beam headlights for what must be the 4th time since I have had this car. ( Whatever is up with that?).........Post least these bulbs are cheap, I lube the little clip that the headlight assembly snaps into, and I can replace both bulbs in the time it takes to check the air in all 4 tires........I am thinking I can pit for a Dodge stock car driver somewhere.............

    Anyway, as you have pointed out, the Pacifica has the looks inside and out, it is not your same old chassis going down the road, and that is what keeps me going with 64,300 miles, I have a few annoyances with the Pac, but it looks and runs very well, the brakes are excellent, and overall, things could be much worse than they are.....I no longer look up the resale value of my 2004 Pac, because when I trade her in after 120,00 miles (my goal), resale will not be an issue......

    Why Rodut, I just may keep her and one day in 20 years I may be the guy you see hanging out at the annual Tour de Pacifica road tour/swap meet.....(Post intermission #2 : held in Pacifica, Ca., of course).........I will probably be found at the booth selling replacement lo/hi beam bulbs. :shades:
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    No way ... in 20 years at the Pacifica booth you should offer bulb replacement too, not only the bulbs. Replacing them so fast is already an impressive skill, what about in 20 years ?!?! That's how you will make the big bucks !!!

    The 1st time when I replaced the bulbs I had to pull the headlight assembly so incredibly hard that it made me believe that the fender would come out too !

    After that I always went to the service department. So often that they were recognizing my voice only after "Good Morning". Probably that's why I miss the Pacifica. It was developing impressive social networks for me. Here on Edmunds, at the service department, with Chrysler customer service, even at gas stations I was talking with other Pacifica owners ! It was like a family !

    The only stronger "car family" I ever saw was in Eastern Europe around a car named "Trabant" made in Eastern Germany (during the communism). They had clubs, meetings, they were stopping on the side of the road to help each other (which happened pretty often because the car was remarkably unreliable). I think the engine had something like 25 horsepower, 0.6 liters, 2 cylinders, 2 stroke, no valves, and the body was made out of cotton with some resin, not metal ! Do a Google search on "Trabant". You will enjoy it !
  • I went in today for my oil change/23 point check and they noticed my sway bar links were bad. Had those replaced and the front end is SILENT! No more creaks, pops or clunks!
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    Hey 2004pac, thanks for that post. I will definitely have my mechanic check the sway bar links, as I have replaced many other links mentioned on this and other Pacifica owner forums.

    I was told one way to check for this ( sway bar problems), is to actually remove the sway bar, drive it at low speeds , and just listen. If the noise goes away, that is your part to replace.

    Someone should make some chassis "remote microphones" that you just attach to various parts underneath and drive away......the noisiest location is just that.....your could just wirelessly hook it up to a laptop and drive around........
  • rhollisrhollis Posts: 122
    There is a recall or TSB on the headlight harnesses.
  • rhollisrhollis Posts: 122
    They do. It is called a Chassis Ear and it works extremely well.
  • My pacifica had the same problem. I couldn't see it on the lift, and your mechanic probably won't either until they start replacing parts that you may or not need. Check the front sub frame bolts for tightness. The subfrome is kind of shaped like an H, and has four main bolts holding it onto the Unibody, or main frame. Its on the underside front of the car, with two 15/16 bolts not far behind the front bumper laying on your back, you'll have to have your head on the ground to see them. Once you find these two, you'll find the other two. Mine were so loose I had to put a jack under the subframe just to get the threads of the bolts to come in contact with the nut side in the main frame. My car handles much better and makes no noise. Total cost= $0. You can"t see the problem on the lift, but on the ground, the subframe will seperate from the unibody. I can send you pics of mine being loose if you want. Yes, I was that excited that I took pictures. -Let me know if that helps. -Luke. Feel free to email me at [email protected]
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    Thanks, Luke. I have already replaced suspension/steering parts according to all of the other forum replies I have received over the last year or so...

    A Chrysler dealer just wanted to replace the whole rack & pinion assembly, which did not surprise me. Why think/analyze when you can replace everything from the passenger side to the driver's side?

    I would like to see your pictures, I will just contact you off of this forum.


    Brooks Davis(aka SteelyDan)
  • gourdmangourdman Posts: 1
    Could you possibly email me the pictures of this if you still have them?


  • junglis74junglis74 Posts: 2
    Hey pacman, is it possible that you had your back windows open while the front windows were closed, because that has happened to me and I remedied the problem by just having one of the front windows down to at least half way down and the vibration stops. Please let me know if that post was helpful to you.............junglis74
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