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Chrysler Pacifica Suspension Problems



  • Wow that seems like a lot to get done. Hope you have a good and reasonably priced mechanic. So far all I have had problems with is the tire rod having to be replaced. But the poppong sound is still there whenever I turn. Jennifer
  • I have a 2004 Pac AWD with 90k on it. Have had the typically noisy suspension since about 50k. Lately though whenever I have to brake hard or turn a corner on an upslope or downslope, I hear a single loud pop/clunk noise coming from the front end. Almost sounds like a spring snapping. Any ideas on what this could be before I bother going to the dealer with it ? (I resigned mysef about 20k miles ago to the fact that these cars have noisy suspensions that will never be completely fixed so now my only concern is safety - if it's not a safety threat then I deal with the noise and save my $$)
  • I have a 05 awd took to dealer for a belt squeal, they replaced belt, noise still there, they had it three days, determined it is wind hitting something causing squeak, they drove car up to 60 put in neutral, shut motor off noise still there. put on lift started car ran up to 60 no noise. it is coming from what sounds like right front. they told me to put masking tape on everything till noise is gone then work back. any help please noise starts at around 50, no noise in the rain
  • jackal4jackal4 Posts: 1
    edited February 2010
    Re: Suspension problems. I have a 2004 Pacifica. I recently brought it into the shop to get the front outside tie rod changed. To the mechanics horror, he had found that the front suspension sub-frame was almost completely rusted through and was too dangerous to drive. As I live here in Canada, I called Transport Canada to advise them of this issue. They sent out a vehicle defects inspector to look at the corrosion and I was told that there were two other similar cases (2004 & 2005)and that they were looking at the problem. It would have cost me $2500 to replace. I took the car over to the Dealer and told them that I had contacted and reported the problem to the Fed's. They quickly made an appointment to replace the subframe for free ( silent recall?). If you are having similar issues, contact Transport Canada and report the problem it will save you thousands!
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    I here you jackal4, I know I have read a similar post with front end subframe rust once or twice before. My theory on the rust situation is this: it has to do with living in cold climates where road salt is applied regularly.

    I live in Houston Texas, and while I have had clunking problems with my 04 front end , rust has not been noticed by my mechanic..............again, it never snows down here, so road salt is not a problem.

    It snowed about 4" on December 4th, 2009 in Houston, and we all stayed home that day to build a snowman in the front yard..........Houston was paralyzed.... :surprise:
  • chad1980chad1980 Posts: 1
    I am having these repairs done to the front end. I am having the tie rods and struts replaced by a local mechanic. My fee for parts and labor is about $700.00. Does this seem like a fair price to everyone out there?
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    That fee is in the ballpark, for sure. Make sure they go through and thoroughly check the strut mount bolts after the install to make sure "all is tight."

    Your mechanic probably already knows this, but you will need a front end alignment after these services..........

    Good luck, and may your clunk be exorcised from your '04 Pacifica........Mine is much, much quieter now, and I am loving it ( after two tries)......
  • I also have an 04 Pacifica, just turned over 100k miles and for the past month or so it has been making a clunking noise. Took it to the Chrysler dealer as they had just replaced the CV axles on both sides a few months prior. They claimed I needed new sway bar links and bushings for about $500. I'm cheap, so I took it to my personal mechanic who found nothing wrong with the sway bar links but DID notice my engine cradle had several alarming rust holes in it! I was surprised as prior to owning the Pacifica I had a 2000 Buick Regal that was prone to rust since it was 3 yrs old and with 185k miles on it, it still had a solid frame and engine cradle!! In addition, they found the clunking to be both front struts. There is no way I plan on sinking thousands of dollars into this car. I am surprised that a 6 year old vehicle with 100k miles is falling apart this rapidly! Has anyone else had this similar issue? I do live in a mountainous area of Northwestern PA but I make sure the undercarriage is cleaned regularly to remove dirt, mud & salt which could cause rust. I am extrememly surprised as there is no rust to be found anywhere on the body! This sounds like like it should be recalled like the Toyota pickups were about 2 yrs ago. I've always been a Chrysler man but I may need to find another brand where the engine won't drop out at 100k!!!
  • steelydanfansteelydanfan Houston Posts: 134
    I used to participate in a now-defunct Pacifica only owner's forum and I remember seeing similar posts once or twice before, always from a snow belt state. Despite your best efforts to remove road mud & salt, rust finally shows up , obviously the Pacifica has a problem in this regard.

    I second your mechanic on the I posted before, make sure the strut mount is tight after the strut is replaced.

    Sorry about the rust....
  • 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!
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