Chrysler Pacifica: Problems & Solutions

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited March 2014 in Chrysler
What problems have you encountered with your Pacifica? Please share any solutions!


  • patty64patty64 Member Posts: 22
    Has anyone else experienced any of these problems?

    1) FM reception is poor - I will have the service department determine if there is a problem with the radio, antenna, or neither - in which case it's just bad design and I have to live with it. I have 2 other Chryslers (T&C, Gr. Voyager) which never had this problem.

    2) On some cd's I notice static in one of the tweeters, other times it looks like the center channel is out-of-phase. Again, this is only on a few cd's. I think this is going to be a tough one to figure out since most mechanics are probably not audio enthusiasts and couldn't hear the difference even if it was pointed out.

    3) I noticed right from the start that the steering wheel has to be slightly off center for the car to drive straight. I'm not sure if there is supposed to be a certain tolerance or whether the alignment is off.

    4) There is a distinctive knock/bang sound when I change gears from park-neutral-reverse.

    I'd appreciate any feedback from anyone experiencing similar problems.

    Otherwise, I love this car!!!
  • socalpacificansocalpacifican Member Posts: 2
    Problems 1 & 2 I can't speak to, but I am far from an audiophile.

    #3 we (this is my wife's car) have the same issue. Steering wheel is mis-aligned slightly to the left. Wheels do not appear our of alignment however (there is no "pull" needed to keep the car tracking straight). What results though is if a quick course correction is needed, she tends to over-correct which can be dangerous. I was waiting for the 3K miles service to have this looked at.

    #4 I will check on this weekend as this is the second or third time I have seen comment on the "bang".

    2,000 miles on the car and loving it so far.
  • par72manpar72man Member Posts: 2
    picked up from dealer yesterday, drove 15 miles when transmission made a hard down shift and would not release from 1st gear. Called dealer and he picked up. Got back today, problem stems from the solenoid pack per page 98 step 5 of pacifica transmission powertrain manual. Seems to have corrected problem.
  • pietraspietras Member Posts: 4
    Bought one 3 weeks ago. Everything was fine until I opened rear side door window while driving. Incoming air resonates with the interior creating drum like noise. One can see headliner and tailgate shaking, ears get plugged like in an airplane. Went to service and service advisor couldn't stand the noise. Tried another Pacifica from dealer's lot and it had the same problem. Dealer placed a call to Chrysler a week ago but no answer yet. Anyone had the same experience?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    This may not be a specific problem for the Pacifica only. This issue has been discussed in several other makes/models boards. Did you have one/both of the front windows closed? Some have said that having a front window open slightly alleviates the noise.

    The message below is from the Honda Pilot Owners board. Perhaps it will be helpful.

    marklud "Pilot Owners: Problems & Solutions" Jun 9, 2003 8:08pm
  • pietraspietras Member Posts: 4
    This is not ordinary noise. I've driven lot's of vehicles and never have encountered something like that. Frequency of air disturbance when rear window is open is the same as natural frequency of Pacifica's interior. This creates a standing accoustical wave with large amplitude inside the vehicle - big changes of air pressure. So big that it physically hurts ears - like when you dive or take off in an airplane. Yes, simple solution is not to open a window, but this is supposed to be a near luxury vehicle with over $30k price.
    So my question is - has anyone have the same problem with Pacifica or it's just the two I drove?
    Ford had a noise problem with 1996 Taurus - there was loud whistle from windshield at 70mph. Ford quietly fixed it under warranty but only for people who complained. So - if we don't complained - they won't fix it.
  • avery1avery1 Member Posts: 373
    I have the exact same noise from my Lexus RX 300 when you open only one window.
  • rever2rever2 Member Posts: 15
    The Pacifica's owner's manual on page 119 explains this condition as a "normal occurrence", and tells how to minimize it.

    I found by opening my sunroof to the vent position helps. For most of my driving I rely on the climate control system to do its job, and keep the windows closed.
  • gvlnggvlng Member Posts: 14
    I have had the "helicopter" buffeting noise in every one of my SUVs when only one of the back windows is open. Those were: Isuzu Trooper, Toyota RAV4, and Jeep Liberty and now the Pacifica. Apparently it is a normal occurrence.
  • pcs15394pcs15394 Member Posts: 27
    I have had the same noise in Buick Rendezvous, Nissan Pathfinder, and Mitsubishi Outlander. I always accepted it as a normal occurrence and cracked open another window to help alleviate the air pressure.
  • rever2rever2 Member Posts: 15
    I want to put some thing on the top of my dash to protect it from the sun. I can't decide if the material is leather or vinyl, and what to use to protect it.
  • jregen7243jregen7243 Member Posts: 91
    I hope you're right in that it never happens again. Someone from NHTSA did contact me regarding this. I've put on about 1000 miles since it stalled and it's been fine. However, I'm a little cautious when making left turns now, especially when the family is in the car. The only other problem I've had is when I was using the front window washer. All of a sudden, fluid was only coming out of the passenger side. I opened the hood, and sure enough, the little hose popped off and was spraying washer fluid all over the plastic engine cover.
  • mikeymike1mikeymike1 Member Posts: 3
    Hi, Just purchased a 2004 Pacifica in Northern Ca. I have about 1100 miles on it and here is a list of problems that I have encountered and still encountering:

    1)- First time in the shop at 500 miles-Hard to start and when it did start, chugged and puked when I drove over 30 miles per hr.
    ~Service tech said that the computer was sending a "bad code" They essentially "re-booted the computer" problem kind of solved, still has trouble starting from time to time.

    2)This seems to be a reoccurring problem with a lot of Pacifica owners, but my FM reception is terrible!!! I live near San Francisco and the radio stations are pretty powerful here (wattage wise) There is no excuse for the poor reception!
    ~Service department said that there is nothing that they can do "It depends on where you are in relationship to the radio tower" Duh!!!...Funny, every other car I own has no problems

    2)Rear passenger speaker has an annoying buzz
    ~Fixed, new speaker

    2)Rear passenger cup holder was broken. (Didn’t find out about it until passengers sat back there.
    ~Fixed, new cup holder

    3)Fluttering noise from left front wheel well at freeway speeds.
    ~Still in shop, service mgr said that there is a loose something?? Solution; some kind of permanent tape that will hold down what ever is flapping!! Tape???? Give me a brake!!

    4)Knocking sound when shifting from park to reverse and from reverse to drive.
    ~Still in the shop. First they said that they have to "re-torque" the front axels and change the gaskets. They did that and it didn't fix the noise. Their next step was to bring in a "master technician" from Los Angeles. He used electronic ears to determine that it was a power take off unit (sounds made up to me!) This "PTU" Is not a standard part so they said that they have to take the part off of the assembly line and the part should be here by Thursday or Friday. Well, as I write this, it is 3:30 on Friday after noon June 20th. The part is still not here, and I do not have my car. It has been in "the shop" Since June fifth! I've requested a new car and they said that they "reported" my concern to the regional manager and he would contact me. Still nothing!!!

    Anyone else have experience with this type of situation? What should I do?? I would appreciate any input.

  • mikeymike1mikeymike1 Member Posts: 3
    yea, here's a solution... Chrysler needs to buy back your $35K piece of crap!!!!!

    wife of mikeymike1
  • patty64patty64 Member Posts: 22
    I have the same problems with FM reception, fuzzy speakers (but only on certain recordings), knocking sound when switching from drive to reverese, etc.
    I'm waiting for my first service appointment to get these resolved. Was your speaker buzzing all the time?
  • mikeymike1mikeymike1 Member Posts: 3
    Hi Patty,

    The speaker was bad no matter what I was playing from the start. A suggestion...don't wait until the service appointment to have the knocking sound looked into. It took my dealership three weeks and multiple missed promises and huge headaches to finalize the repair. If your service center has problems fixing it, ask them to call Stoneridge Chrysler Plymouth in Dublin Ca.

    Good luck!

  • navymikenavymike Member Posts: 2
    I am very strongly considering purchasing a Pacifica, but the problems about the sound when you shift gears has made me weary.

    As for the wind noise, I am familiar. I currently lease a Volkswagen Jetta and if the front windows are closed when opening the rear windows (one or both), the noise is horrible. The first time I heard it, I thought it was something going on with the car but I soon realized that it was not the car. I opened the sunroof tilt and that alleviated the problem (also, opening the front window(s) slightly alleviated the problem as well.

    I am not thinking about purchasing until around November (when I plan on starting talks) or December (when I hope to purchase). So, I hope these problems will be corrected, as far as the FM reception and the speaker(s). I may have to get the Satellite Radio if reception does not get better. I am also hoping to take advantage of end of the year incentives.
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    no problems other then the dealer installed tow hitch they scuffed the bumper cutting the opening required.

    played James Taylor DVD concert in 5.1 and no center speaker problems. No shifting sound problems at all. still breaking in so under 55 mphs all the time. a bit under powered on take off ... its geared pretty high so it hesitates on take off.

    OH FM receptions seems OK here in Pittsburgh (as good as my Highlander was)
  • pacificaoregonpacificaoregon Member Posts: 38
    I looked into getting the tow hitch and noticed the picture shows that the bumper has a cut out. Must be because the car has only 6 inches of clearance. I looked under the car and with the full size spare there isn't much room under there at all. I was surprised when inquiring with the parts department that they cut the bumper there on site for installation. I'd be interested to know how well the Chrysler part works for you Earl. Have you looked at all under the car to see if it looks like it will do the job based on how it is mounted? As one who has always done touch up paint on all my cars from any rock chips I'd be ticked off that they scuffed up the bumper in the installation process.

    Isn't the sound system awesome in this car? I love playing Sting's concert DVD even while I'm driving, who cares I can't watch the video screen, at least I can play the darn thing, most cars you can't even play DVD's just for the audio. Curious to know though if the video monitor displays even in the closed position. I don't seem to notice any latch or button that could trigger it to turn off when closed. Anyone know if the display is constantly on when a DVD is playing even with the screen up?
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    yep the DVD screen runs if its flipped up or down (it doesnt shut off!!!) its on when ever you use the 6 CD/DVD changer. even in CD mode the screen is blue with the track and running time showing.

    I tested it by playing the DVD in a dark location and I could see the movie showing even though the screen was flipped shut !!!
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    Yes, the tow package looks cut out ... Not factory looking like the explorers :-( I am going to complain later today as the trim around the hole they cut was NOT done well and on top of that they scuffed the bumper (not that noticable after cleaning with armour all type stuff - Vynol) ... with no factory installed Tow option the Pacifica is limited to what you can tow anyway. But better then no option at all or I have seen minivans with the tow bar under the bumper and it seems pretty low.

    the DVD I tried to see myself it seems to keep on no matter how far I close the screen up to the latching. hmmm wonder if it gets hot if you play dvds with it closed ? (see post above)

  • smulveysmulvey Member Posts: 139
    I have a cd player in my Kia Sedona Minivan , but it has not exhibited any of the problems descibed in the posts here.

    Do you think the Kia uses a better quality than the Pacifica?

    My Sedona has a very beautiful factory towing kit that I bought and installed at home. The kit was $ 400 and the hitch went on with not drilling in about 10 minutes. The wiring adapter took about 5 hours since you have to work slowly and carefully as you disassemble the various panels to gain access to the left and right side tail light connectors. The power travels under the car with a long fused and jacketed power wire. The instructinos were very well written.

    I wonder if the Pacifica will have this soon?

    The Sedona can tow a combined load of 3500 lbs for cargo and trailer.
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    the pacifica is the same rating at 3,500 with a load equalizing Hitch or 2,500 w/o. No offense but the KIA I wouldn't put in the same class as the Pacifica. I have heard horror stories about the KIA long-term reliability with their small SUVs and recalls from a guy I work with who ended up getting rid of it because of the headaches after 2 years. small things like window motors, etc.

    The Tow hitch is better quality then an after market solution, its just the installing dealer was not that good as its the first one they did (can U say guinea pig) ...
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    I have a pic of the tow hitch posted in the Pacifica Forum for Accessories
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    did anyone get a key that only opens the doors and starts the car but NOT allow access to the glove box ? ie. the key you give the person parking your car ..

    I got only 2 keys with my Pacifica
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    looks like Chrysler didnt provide a VALET Key so that you can give the parking attendant that key and he wont be able to get into the small and useless glovebox.

    I was hoping the dealer may have forgot to give me a third key
  • grbelotegrbelote Member Posts: 25
    The Pacifica comes with 2 keys. I bought a third key and it's over $100. I was given a key that will allow one to unlock car but will not start car, so this would help if keys were locked in vehicle. PUNK
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    well I want a key that will start the car but wont get into my glove box...
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    anyone notice a small rubber strip above the rear door opening (looks like it keeps water from running down off the roof onto you when open.

    mine is coming off (looks like double sided sticky tape is all they used to keep this thing on) :-(
  • jonshari1999jonshari1999 Member Posts: 6
    We've had our Pacifica for about 2 months now. We've put on around 2000 miles on it. We just love this car! Ofcourse the car is not perfect. We had the ATC display problem ... brought it in, and they replaced it, so far no problems with it. We do have that radio static problem, but not with any of our CDs have any issues. Sometimes however, the changer would refuse to change the CD. Will bring this up on our 3k check up. The engine is a little bit under-powered, but seems to be getting better as we drive it more. Maybe we're just getting used to it. Some weather stripping installation problems but we just fixed it on our own. All in all, we are very very happy with the car. We still get some gawks sometimes, and get asked "What is that?". My husband just wished they put a hemi in it.
  • rickstratrickstrat Member Posts: 25
    Ours was too. Dealership ordered a new one and stuck it on for free. If you have 3M double sticky tape, it will work fine also if you don't want to make another trip to the dealership. BTW, our trailer hitch looked really nice after it was installed (they are ordering a new lower bumper cover as they scratched it as well). We tried it out this weekend with a bike carier (Thule) and it performed really well.
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    you would think that they will learn from this and go the way of others and provide a bumper already cut out for the trailer hitch. which wiring harness did you get? do you have pics of the hitch with the wiring harness mounted?

    I ordered the 7 wire round as I can get a converter to 4 wire flat if needed but dont think you can go from 4 wire to 7 wire.
  • rickstratrickstrat Member Posts: 25
    I didn't get the wiring harness as this hitch (for now) will be used for a bike carrier. Looked like the wiring harness was almost $100 from the dealership. I remember when a few well placed splices would do the trick. I did like how the wiring harness mount is tucked up underneath the bumper to prevent damage though. As for the scuff, that was actually the short end of the story. Appearantly, a lot attendant locked our $100 key inside the vehicle. Instead of calling us to get the spare, he used a coat hanger to try to get in. He was successful, eventually, after scratching up most of the driver's and passenger's side interior door trim. Dealership was very apologetic and is fixing everything today and have waved the installation charges for the tow hitch. Cost them over $1,000 in parts (scratched driver's window) including a new interior door panel which cost $800 alone! Makes those $100 keys seem pretty cheep! Lesson to all - don't use a coat hanger to get into a locked car!
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    ouch just reading your story makes me cringe ... best wishes that it comes out as good as new. Well they should give you a loaner at least with the new coverage...

    what do you mean its tucked up under the bumper for the wiring harness. I have yet to see one installed.
  • mrus1mrus1 Member Posts: 5
    I bought my FWD Pacifica 2 weeks ago. This past week it started making a grinding noise at 35 - 40 mph that lets up after you have been driving for about an hour. I took it to the dealer Saturday, 35 minutes away and of course it wasn't doing it when I went there. They checked it over and couldn't find anything and thought the brakes were just wearing in. Has anyone else heard this noise???
  • pssimonpssimon Member Posts: 144
    If you look at page 12 of the documentation for the Navigation system, you will see a graphic that shows a split screen display. On the left side, it shows the "big picture" as to where you are along your path to your destination. On the right side, it shows the turn you should make as you get to it.

    I can't find how to make my display go into the split screen mode. Does anyone have a clue how to do this? When I give it a destination, I just get a display that shows the upcoming turn, even if that turn is 20 miles away! That isn't very valuable if you are trying to plot your progress.

    All help appreciated.
  • kalathiparambikalathiparambi Member Posts: 18
    I agree the split screen mode gives you a better picture of the destination. To switch to split screen go to System Settings/Guidance and choose Both (both Arrow & Map screens).
  • pssimonpssimon Member Posts: 144
    Thanks... that was exactly what I was looking for!
  • russklassrussklass Member Posts: 389
    A better solution is to set the display for "map".
    The map will be the normal display, but when you get close to the next turn, the split screen will display.
    This way you see the big picture until you need the split screen.
  • kalathiparambikalathiparambi Member Posts: 18
    When the dealer first showed me the power tailgate feature I could have sworn he gave a slight push downward on the tailgate to trigger it to close automatically. I can't find how to enable this feature (if it is a feature) in the manual. Any help?
  • ms_mayorms_mayor Member Posts: 113 salesman never mentioned that a slight push would trigger the automatic closing of the liftgate.

    The only way that I know of to operate the power is to push the button on the key or the button on the overhead.

    My salesman did say that I could open and close it manually or under power but just pushing closed or using the latch to open.
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    just always make sure you dont forget when you get to hotel and the bellman tries to slam your hatch closed ... not happened to me but could see it happening...
  • boiler1boiler1 Member Posts: 56
    Only sound I hear sometimes is a "click" sort of sound when I shift from drive to reverse or vice versa.
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    ditto on the click sound from drive to reverse (dont know if my wheel is turned or not when it occurs... wondering if that is why) anyways sometimes it does drop into revervse or drive loudly
  • boiler1boiler1 Member Posts: 56
    Somewhere on the Pacifica boards I read about a fix for the sound but can't remember where. I'll look this weekend and post a message #.
  • cluelesspacluelesspa Member Posts: 648
    did you find the solution ? anyone have a fix for the transmission dropping into drive or reverse loudly ?
  • aviateaviate Member Posts: 31
    We have a Pacifica with the CD/DVD changer but no screen. Has anyone tried using a DVD/A Audio disk in the changer. If so, how do you make it work? If not, does anyone have any ideas?

  • boiler1boiler1 Member Posts: 56
    I found a few mentions of the problem but no real solution. Look at post #13 on this board for one of them. I'll look some more but not until next week when we return from vacation (have to pay for internet access!). By the way, drove our Pacifica 700 miles yesterday with three kids, wife and 200+ lbs. of stuff!!! It was a delight and my Mopar cargo box on top looked pretty sharp too. We turned many heads on our way here to the beach. Averaged 18.5 MPG.
  • pssimonpssimon Member Posts: 144
    For the Mopar cargo box, was that the first one on the accessories list that goes for $430? Did you have to pay list or did the dealer give you a break?
  • boiler1boiler1 Member Posts: 56
    Yes, it's the first one. I wanted the extra width. As for the price, I can't help you much because I worked several accessories into my deal like the box, scuff plate, hitch receiver, bike carrier and extra head phones. I'm sure I wouldn't have paid full price though. Based on other posts I've read here, the dealers will probably discount. I know you can get after market cargo carriers cheaper but the Mopar box has a really slick attachment system as well as those cool Mopar stickers on the back and sides!
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