The Troubleshooting Guide for Chrysler 3.2 and 3.6 Pentastar Oil Filter Housing. The oil filter housing is one of the most noticeable problems with the 3.2 and 3.6 Chrysler Pentastar V6 engines. Since its introduction in 2011, numerous drivers have complained about it cracking and leaking, which can lead to catastrophic engine failure. The problem stems from the use of a brittle plastic material in the construction of the housing, and Chrysler has never adequately replaced the part. Even today, new Dodges, Jeeps, and Chryslers have oil filter housing issues.
This post will go over the 3.2 and 3.6 Pentastar oil filter housing issue in great detail. We’ll go through oil filter housings and why the Pentastar’s is such a shambles. Then, we’ll show you how to repair a leaky housing and the best replacement on the market today. Finally, if you just need some fast answers, we offer a FAQ section at the bottom.
* Unless otherwise specified, everything in this article applies to both the 3.2 and 3.6 Pentastar engines.
Overview of the Chrysler 3.2/3.6 Pentastar
The 3.6 Pentastar was introduced by Chrysler for the 2011 model year and has been in production since then. From 2014 through 2022, the somewhat smaller 3.2 Pentastar was in production. It is projected that more than 10 million Pentastars would have been sold by 2023, making it an extremely popular and widely used engine. It has received Ward Auto’s 10-Best Engines of the Year award several times, demonstrating its quality. Depending on the model, the 3.6 produces 283-305 horsepower and 251-269 lb-ft of torque.
The Pentastar 3.2/3.6 is a naturally aspirated V6 with port injection rather than direct injection. They are 24 valve engines with dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) on each cylinder bank. The 3.6 Pentastar was modified in 2016 with a slightly higher compression ratio, a new intake manifold, and a new variable valve timing (VVT) system. The oil filter housing, on the other hand, was not modified or updated.
Affected Chrysler 3.2/3.6 Pentastar Oil Filter Housing Vehicles
The Chrysler 3.6 Pentastar engine has been used in the following cars in the United States:
- Chrysler 200 from 2011 to 2017
- From 2011 to the present, Chrysler 300
- Chrysler Town & Country 2011-2016
- Dodge Avenger 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014
- Dodge Challenger from 2011 to the present
- Dodge Charger from 2011 to the present
- Dodge Durango from 2011 till the present.
- Dodge Grand Caravan 2011-Present
- Dodge Journey from 2011 to the present
- Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011-Present
- Ram Cargo Van from 2011 to 2015.
- Volkswagen Routan (2011-2014)
- Jeep Wrangler 2012 and later
- Ram 1500 (2012-Present)
- Ram ProMaster 2013-Present
- From 2016 to the present, Chrysler Pacifica
- Chrysler Voyager (from 2020 to present)
- Jeep Gladiator (models from 2020 to present)
The Chrysler 3.2 Pentastar engine has been used in the following cars in the United States:
- 2014–2022, Jeep Cherokee
What exactly is an Oil Filter Housing?
An oil filter housing is exactly what it sounds like: the module that houses your engine’s oil filter. All engines require filters to assist collect particles and contaminants from the oil supply in order for oil to last as long as feasible without degradation. They are present in every commercial manufacturing engine, without exception. The oil filter housing of the 3.2/3.6 Pentastar also houses the oil cooler.
The Pentastar oil filter housing is located in the heart of the engine, directly between the left and right cylinder banks. This is significant for several reasons. One, it means that the upper and lower intake manifolds must be removed to gain access to the oil filter housing. It also implies that the housing is susceptible to high heat from virtually every angle.
However, the positioning was most likely done to make oil changes more convenient. The filter is easily accessible, making oil changes on Pentastar engines much easier than on other engines.
Chrysler did change the oil filter housing in 2014 to remove the bypass valve inside the tower. They also altered the oil cooler’s housing design and bolt arrangement somewhat. Chrysler, on the other hand, continued to employ the same plastic material.
What exactly is the problem with the 3.6 Pentastar Oil Filter Housing?
The weak plastic material in the 3.2 and 3.6 Pentastar oil filter housing is the source of the problem. Most oil filter housings are constructed of steel, such as iron or aluminum. Chrysler’s decision to use plastic was almost definitely motivated by a desire to save money, and it has unhappily backfired on consumers.
The continual heating and cooling of the housing might cause it to deform or crack over time. Furthermore, with heavy use, such as 4×4 off-roading or rock crawling, portions of it can begin to fall off or chip away. This warping, cracking, and chipping can cause the housing to leak oil, coolant, or both. The biggest issue with the 3.6 Pentastar oil filter housing is leakage.
If your engine loses too much oil, it will be unable to lubricate itself correctly and will fail catastrophically. If your engine does not have enough coolant, the radiator will be unable to keep excessive temperatures under control, potentially leading to catastrophic engine failure. As you can expect, having a leak-free and properly functional oil filter housing is critical.
If a leak was discovered in a 2011-2013 model equipped with the Gen 1 Pentastar, Chrysler recommended replacing the complete housing as well as the o-rings. However, Chrysler asserts that the oil filter housing is not the source of the problem in all 2014+ Pentastars. The o-rings on the bottom are said to be the source of the problem. Leaks are caused by malfunctioning o-rings, not warped or broken plastic, according to Chrysler.
3.6 Symptoms of Pentastar Oil Filter Housing Leak
The symptoms of an oil filter housing leak on the 3.6 Pentastar are very obvious (leaking oil and/or coolant), but they are not always as visible as you might assume. Because of the housing’s location – between the left and right cylinder banks on top of the V – leaked oil and coolant will frequently pool up on the engine instead of immediately flowing onto the ground. As a result, you may not detect coolant or oil stains on the ground indicating a leak until it is severe.
While it’s generally not required to pop the hood every few travels, inspecting the entire housing assembly everytime you change the oil is a good idea. With a bright spotlight, you should be able to investigate the area and see whether there are any leaks.
3.6 Replacement Instructions for the Pentastar Oil Filter Housing
The replacement of the 3.6 Pentastar oil filter housing assembly is simple. Keep in mind that not all Pentastar models are the identical, and some have different intake components and throttle bodies. This is a general guide intended to provide an overview of the replacement. There is also a YouTube video below that shows you how to replace the assembly on a 2015 Jeep Wrangler JK step by step.
Replacement of the Pentastar Oil Filter Housing
Installing an aluminum replacement is the best option for a leaking oil filter housing. Constant heat cycling and thermal damage are eliminated by using aluminum oil filter housings. The metal can withstand temperature changes without trouble, preventing leaks from forming.
Dorman manufactures the most popular types, which are the Dorman 926-876 Upgraded Aluminum Housing Unit and the Dorman 926-959 Upgraded Aluminum Housing Unit. They are both made of 100% high-pressure die-cast aluminum and are developed and manufactured in the United States.
Importantly, not all 3.6 Pentastar models are the same, and the Dormans will not fit the 2011-2013 Pentastars with the early oil filter housing with the bypass valve in the tower. Before making any purchases, double-check the fitting.
If you trust Chrysler, you can attempt replacing the o-rings on the unit instead of purchasing a new component. However, if you discover that there are still leaks coming from the region, you will most likely need to upgrade to get them to stop.
Assembly Replacement Instructions
- Disconnect the battery, remove the engine cover, and remove a portion of the air intake. Most models do not require the removal of the airbox; simply removing the tube from the throttle body to the airbox should suffice. Most intakes are secured with hose clamps and 10 mm bolts, and you may need to unplug a sensor.
- The upper intake manifold should be removed next. Disconnect everything, including any electrical connections, before removing the top intake manifold. The top manifold is held in place primarily by bolts and support brackets that must be removed before it can be removed.
- The lower intake manifold must then be removed. The fuel rails and injectors do not need to be removed, but they should be disconnected. The manifold is mostly kept in place by bolts and can easily be removed when detached.
- The next step is to remove the oil filter housing from the engine. Transfer the sensors and oil cooler to the new aluminum version after it has been removed. Use the new o-rings that have been provided. Then, remove any debris or fluid from the area to prepare it for a fresh installation.
- To finish, work your way backwards: Install the new lower intake manifold, upper intake manifold, air intake, and engine cover, as well as the new oil filter housing assembly. Then reconnect the battery, start the car, and check for any leaks.
What does the 3.6 Pentastar oil filter housing look like?
The oil filter housing on the 3.6 Pentastar houses the engine’s oil filter and oil coolers. The oil filter removes impurities and particles from the oil, while the cooler regulates engine oil temperature. On the 3.6 Pentastar, both are attached to the same housing assembly.
When should you change the 3.6 Pentastar oil filter housing?
When the OEM oil filter housing becomes deformed and/or fractured and begins to leak oil or coolant, it must be changed. Failure to replace it can lead to major difficulties, including potentially catastrophic engine damage.
Why is it necessary to change the 3.6 Pentastar oil filter housing?
Under prolonged heat cycling, the fragile plastic material Chrysler employed to construct the housing assembly is prone to warping and cracking. This leads it to leak oil and/or coolant, which can result in catastrophic engine failure.
What is the finest assembly substitute?
An all-aluminum unit is the best replacement since it will not suffer thermal damage from repeated heat cycling. Dorman manufactures the most popular types, which are the Dorman 926-876 Upgraded Aluminum Housing Unit and the Dorman 926-959 Upgraded Aluminum Housing Unit. They are both made of 100% high-pressure die-cast aluminum and are developed and manufactured in the United States. Check fitment on your vehicle before purchasing.
What does Chrysler have to say?
Chrysler believes the problem is with the o-rings on the bottom, not the assembly. If there is a problem, they recommend changing the o-rings. However, several customers have done this and still experienced leakage, prompting them to replace the entire unit with an aluminum one in order to solve the problem.