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Chrysler Pacifica Suspension Problems



  • 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: 28,981
    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?

    ‘21 Camaro LT1, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 54-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: 28,981
    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!

    ‘21 Camaro LT1, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 54-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: 28,981
    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. :)

    ‘21 Camaro LT1, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 54-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.
  • maxmommaxmom Posts: 62
    This must have been my mission. :)
  • I'm new to this -- but I just read your message about the "clunking". When we were doing research to buy a Pacifica and test drove many - we discovered online that the 2004 have a flaw that causes a clunking in the front end. When we asked (all) the dealers we visited they all said it was in the 2004 year and was corrected in the 2005. It apparently cannot be fixed but they assure it is not a safety concern. Just to make sure we are speaking of the same clunking - it sounds like the axle is loose and the wheel is about to fall off. Hope this helps.
  • Yep, that was the sound, but now it's gone. Maybe it was a fluke and mine happened to have a simple solution. I just know that it clunked forever and now it doesn't. Also understand that it is not because my service department is full of super sleuths or magicians. They have had mine in the shop numerous times for the pinging/chattering in the engine and it's still not fixed.

    My husband says they are not mechanics, but rather part exchangers. They find the general problem area and just start changing out parts until something works.I think they just got lucky with the clunk. Sort of like winning the lottery.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Ha Ha Ha atlantac, your description of the noise is really funny ! Actually it's not that bad. Mine is a 2005 (manufactured in January 2005).

    Me too I suspect it cannot be fixed, but how they know it's not dangerous ? So they know what the problem is, but don't want to say ?

    I really wouldn't care about the clunking, if I would know what the "safe" clunking cause is. So what is the flaw ???


    captneumo, replacing an engine is not big deal. About 20 years ago I did it once in my backyard with the help of 2 friends. Muscles are needed, not brain. Chrysler has good muscles ... the brain is the problem. I think your Pacifica will be as good as new. You worry too much because obviously you had bad luck. Relax.
  • jdsajdsa Posts: 1
    I have an 04 AWD with 19,000 miles. Started clunking at 17,000 mi. when backing out of garage, shifting from R to D and turning wheels. Told dealer I thought it was CV joints or something. He replaced the AWD transfer case, then also discovered two broken/loose rt front wheel studs ( i have never hit any curb). After all the repairs under warranty no clunking at all for last 3 mo.

    Have had car 2 yr. and this was first time to dealer with anything so pretty happer with them and the car.
  • at 46,000 miles my '04 FWD Pacifica developed a clunk. The clunk can be created on demand by driving at 35mph and lightly decrease then increase speed. I tried wiggling the half-shafts to see if the cv-joints were tight. They appeared tight.

    Any clues to what it could be?
  • axr6axr6 Posts: 42
    Today my clunk was finally fixed. This time I told them that it was a drive-axle slop that would clunk when going between D and R, as well as when going ON and OFF the gas pedal.

    Prepared to be just blown off again, I was surprises when he said: "You're right, it is the front halfshaft. It has a sideways slop in it and we now have a service bulletin for it."

    So, he ordered the parts, which are basically shims to eliminate the sideways slop in the drive shafts. I picked it up today and, for the first time in a long time my Pac is totally clunk free. Here is the info off my work order:

    1 4809863AC Gasket-Front Halfshaft/HU

    Drives like on butter now...

  • I have no idea what the spline bolts are but once the dealer tightened them the Pacifica was as good as new. Mine is out of warranty so they charged $100 to fix it.

    This is for a '04 FWD version with 47k miles
  • Albert,
    I also have a 2004 Pacifica and have been having an issue with "suspension" noise over the last year or so ... it doesn't seem to be associated with shifting or the gas but it does come and go, so it could be the same issue you had. I will use the info and see if it solves my issue. Thanks
  • Hello all,
    I recently purchased an 05 PAC Touring, built in 04, from a wholesaler, it had 72,000+ miles and rides like a dream. Wife loves the thing but I'm now hearing clunking and sweaking from the suspension/tranny area. I jacked the front end off the ground and put it on jack stands, started the engine and shifted it back and forth from drive to reverse, it looked and sounded like the entire drive train was trying to jump out of the car!!! I mean the engine, tranny and all jumps big time each time I shifted. Scared me and I didn't have a clue where to start. I thought it had been in an accident that carfax hadn't reported until I read through the forums today, and saw that these issues seem to be inherant to these cars. I did a TSB check and found 43 TSB's covering just about every thing you all talked about. Plus, we just returned from a 400 mile trip and also found out that the passenger floorboard gets soaking wet after about an hour on the road, I suspect a AC drain pan leak or clog in the drain line. This is also reported in a TSB. I was wondering why I saw so many PAC's on the used car market, guess folks are tired of the noises. Anyway, I'll probably see my local dealer, complain and fuss but with no warranty, it'll be my dime. My wife loves the thing, doesn't care about the noises but when the tranny falls out or half shaft dumps, she'll care. I pray it doesn't leave us on the roadside in the middle of no where. Thanks for keeping up the info and please keep busting on Chrysler, maybe there will be enough noise for them to make things right.
    For me, what seemed likea good wholesale deal wil probably cost big time for the time I own the thing.
    Thanks and God Bless.
  • ask the dealer about the spline bolts. It may just need some bolts retorqued.
  • Hello, so I'll try and explain the noise as best I can thru text, easier if you could hear. Anyways, I slid on some ice about 2 weeks ago and hit a curb going around 10-15mph; well it was hard enough to break the wheel. I got a new wheel, had it mounted and balanced. Well I started to notice a vibration that I could feel in the steering wheel at freeway speeds. The vibration is not consistent; it speeds up and slows down with the speed kind of a wrrr____wrrr_____wrrrr____wrrr etc. (_____ is quite sound. thinking, hoping, that it was the alignment I went in today to have it checked and they said I had a loose ball joint. I'm a do it yourselfer, especially after replacing a wheel and am planning on replacing/repairing the ball joint. Just need some guidance. Have done my fair share of front end work except for tie-rods and ball joints. Anyone know much about them? I can't seem to locate them online, are they a dealer only item? Also say something about bushings. Is this something that can be replaced? I'm open to any ideas or suggestions. Working on 04 fwd Pac Please help. Thanks
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,981
    sounds like a busted motor mount to me. Another way to check is to pop the hood and rev the engine. If a motor mount is busted, you'll typically see one side of the engine kinda heave up.

    ‘21 Camaro LT1, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 54-car history and counting!

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,981
    i haven't worked on the Pac, but typically control arm bushings can be replaced. Its a matter of pressing them in that can be troublesome, however. You may have to remove the arm and take it to a shop to have the new bushings pressed in.

    The other possibility is to see how much it would cost to get a whole new control arm with a new ball joint and bushings preinstalled.

    ‘21 Camaro LT1, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 54-car history and counting!

  • Hi,

    I need some help with 2005 Chryslet Pacifica awd power transfer unit fluid change. Can anyone tell me what capacity is the awd power transfer unit and the awd rear carrier. And also where are they located?

    Do I need any special tools to change these fluids?

    Thanks in advance.
  • Chrysler says the neither the bushings nor the ball joint are replaceable and the entire lower control arm with ball joint must be replaced. Chrysler charges about $750 to do the job, the parts are abour $600. If you try doing it yourself email me cause I want to replace mine - the bushings squeak terribly and one ball joint is a bit loose.

    I have also had 4 bad transfer cases in 100k miles!!!

    Pat ([email protected])
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,981
    Oh, I'll never do it on this vehicle. Ours is going bye-bye before the warranty is up.

    Man, $600 is pretty outrageous for a control arm. Before I sold my volvo, I was considering replacing the control arms with an aftermarket setup with firmer bushings (delrin? i think?) at about $300 total for both left and right wheels.

    ‘21 Camaro LT1, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 54-car history and counting!

  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Were any of you able to get rid of the low speed clunking when driving over closely spaced bumps/potholes ?

    Please answer ONLY if you had the clunking since your 2005/2006 Pacifica was BRAND NEW. I am not talking about noises who appeared as a result of normal wear.

  • I've had similar experiences with my Suburban; changed the shocks all the way around and the thumps, clunking went away. The sound was from the shock bottoming out against the mounts. Could be they used a shock that was too weak for the weight of the Pac. I’ve noticed that my Pac will do it periodically.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,981
    If mine had it when it was brand new, I wouldn't have bought it.

    It did, however, develop it after maybe 7k miles ... but then it just disappeared after about 12k. I have no idea what it was.

    ‘21 Camaro LT1, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 54-car history and counting!

  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    Hey 04pacman,

    You said you hit a curb hard enough to break the wheel! This was not a small impact.

    The vibration you feel at high speed now after the incident could be a sign of damaged wheel bearing. Ball bearings, if over loaded with impact especially when wheel is not turning, quite easily get damage in the bearing races. The bearing balls just put a little dent in the race surfaces that make vibration when bearing turns.

    After impact in a wheel like yours I would really look at the bearings and have them replaced. They should be quite easy to change and bearings normally are very low coast items to buy (other than from the dealer).

  • After buying new tires my Pacifica developed a vibration. When I took it back to the tire shop to check the balancing, they found two cracked wheels. These were the $500/wheel shiny factory mags.

    Odds are the tire place broke them when changing the tires but I was behind the 8 ball at that point. Instead of forking out $1,000 for a couple of new factory wheels I spend $600 an an attractive set of after market mags. I sold the two good wheels on ebay.

    My Pacifica drives like silk again with the new mags.

    btw, I really like the way Yokohama HK560s perform on the Pacifica.
  • This is my first post here, and i would like to say thank you for all this info. :) I just bought an 04 pacifica with about 39 k on it. It is currently under 3000 mile warrenty. Guess what I found--clanks over small bumbs at low speds. I took it in today and they replaced 2 control arms. I then drive home and hear the same clanks. With the info I have been armed with here I will go in tomorrow and inform them of the possible problem IE: PTU, CV joint, Link assembly, and spline bolts. Mind you I have no idea what these parts are, but at least I wil feel armed with some info.
  • Glad you found information to take with you. An informed consumer, ahhhh. ;):D
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    The most important info you are missing is that you won't get completely rid of them.

    CLUNKING COMES STANDARD is Chrysler's logo !
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,981
    or it will go away on its own, as it did in mine.

    ‘21 Camaro LT1, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 54-car history and counting!

  • Well the saga continues. I finally took my pac in so they could tell me what was wrong so I could fix it without guessing. Well needless to say I filed a claim today with my insurance. I only have a $500.00 deductible and the parts estimate alone is over $2000.00 before labor. I post the details when I have the work completed. man oh man what a pricey little vehicle to repair.

    Thanks for the help.

  • Had my '04 in for noises in the front and engine compartment and the dealer replaced the front rack and a rear motor mount (I had the front mount replaced a year or so ago, as well). Noises still persist. Now the engine noise comes and goes. The dealer Service Mgr. took a ride with me didn't hear it but did hear a "clunk" from the right front. He says it is probably due to a bushing on the strut but says it's not an issue. I am not in agreement... any comments?
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Well ... yeah ... comments ...

    Your car is identical with mine. It had engine noises which partially went away by themselves. Something is still there, but I take it as a Pacifica "feature". The dealer gave up.

    It clunks from the front end (especially from the right side). The dealer also said it was no issue. I agree it should be caused by a bushing on the strut, probably shocks related.

    You have 2 choices:
    1) Fight with them to have your car tortured (keep replacing parts forever) and still have the noise.
    2) Drop it. That's healthier.

    Note: Honda Pilot owners have similar problems with highway vibration. That one is a feature too ! Honda also doesn't give a damn about it. Cars became "high tech" these days. Money go into unreliable electronics, not in bushings ...
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