There’s one engine that unites most of the Fiat Chrysler line-up: the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine. This engine can be found in vehicles of all shapes and sizes, like the Ram 1500, the Jeep Wrangler, and the Dodge Challenger. Surprisingly, this versatile engine can handle each of these applications with ease.
Let’s take a look at this engine and the details that make it the workhorse of Fiat Chrysler’s vehicles.
There have been two versions of the 3.6L Pentastar engine. Since it’s release in 2010, it has been repeatedly used in several Fiat Chrysler vehicles. In 2016, there were a series of tweaks to the engine.
Although there are other variants of the Pentastar V6,the 3.6L version is by far the most common, at least in North America. There are 3.2L and 3.0L versions of the Pentastar engine, with the latter mostly being used outside of North America (and primarily in China at that).
As evident from the variety of vehicles that the Pentastar is used in, it can perform plenty of tasks. It’s a great engine for an off-roader, a tow rig, or just as a reliable point A to B transport engine. Let’s take a closer look at the technology that this engine uses.
Pentastar V6 Specs
The Pentastar is a 60-degree V6 engine, with a cast aluminum cylinder block and heads. It has dual overhead cams with four valves per cylinder (24 valves in total). This motor uses a timing chain as opposed to a belt.
Additionally, the Pentastar has also switched over to a canister style oil filter in lieu of the former cartridge type system. It uses SAE 5W-20 to 5W-30 weight oil and has an oil change interval of every year or every 9,000 miles.
It uses an electronic multi-port fuel injection system, even as many competitors have switched to direct injection.PENTASTAR V6 ENGINE INFORMATION
|Oil Capacity||6 Quarts|
|Coolant Capacity||14 quarts|
|Bore x Stroke||96 mm x 83 mm|
|Power Figures (JL Wrangler)||285 hp @ 6,400 rpm and 260 lb-ft @ 4,800rpm|
|Power Figures (Ram 1500)||305 hp @ 6,400 rpm 269 lb-ft @ 4,175 rpm|
|Power Figures (Dodge Challenger)||305 hp @ 6,400 rpm 269 lb-ft @ 4,175 rpm|
Below is a list of the various current vehicles that the 3.6L Pentastar engine is used on.
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Chrysler Voyager
- JL Wrangler Unlimited
- Jeep Gladiator
Tweaks to the post 2016 Pentastar Engine
Here are the various upgrades and changes made during the 2016 Pentastar engine refresh. These ultimately resulted in improving the engine’s reliability, while both lowering its fuel consumption and emissions output and raising its horsepower and torque figures.
One of the big ways these adjustments were made was through the implementation of two-stage variable lift. This allows for a more exact amount of fuel to be used at the appropriate RPM. Along with this, the Pentastar V6’s VVT was recalibrated.
The compression ratio was raised from 10.2:1 to 11.3:1. This was made possible by a few knock reduction measures taken in the design of the engine,one of which is the liquid-cooled exhaust gas recirculation system.
There are a variety of other changes like the newly plastic intake manifold runner, new valve springs, low tension piston rings, and eight-hole fuel injectors.
Because it bumps shoulders with the Hemi engines on both the Ram 1500 and the Challenger/Charger platforms, some consumers make the mental leap that the Pentastar is a Hemi engine. That is most definitely untrue: There is no V6 Hemi. The only six-cylinder Hemi is an inline-six.
3.6L Pentastar V6 Problems
The Pentastar has been constantly evolving since its premiere, and for that reason, there aren’t too many routine problems with the present version of the engine. That being said, there are some earlier issues with the engine that have been patched out.
On early Pentastar engines around 2011-2013, there were a number of problems pertaining to the left-side cylinder head. These could either manifest as a ticking sound, a check engine light, or simply poor performance.
This problem affected around 0.5% of Pentastar engines at the time. That being said, there is an extended warranty for the left cylinder head on engines produced between 2011 and 2013.
Some owners have reported issues with clogged pumps and radiators. There are some engines that contain remnants of sand from the sand casting process that can, over time, continuously damage pumps.
While this doesn’t seem to affect owners with the same regularity as the left cylinder head issues, it does appear to be a persistent problem rather than a one-off fix.
The newer iterations of the Pentastar engine all come with the auto stop-start feature which has proven to be somewhat controversial. While many drivers worry that the frequent restarting of their engine may wear it out, it is designed with this function in mind.
The starters and alternators in cars and trucks equipped with auto-start stop technology are equipped to deal with the many off and on cycles it would be subjected to. This isn’t a problem in the traditional sense; rather, many drivers complain about it.
There are ways to eliminate this system with either a little under-the-hood prodding or a tuning chip.
If you drive any Pentastar-equipped Ram 1500, Jeep Gladiator, or Wrangler, then we’ve got the parts you need here. If you want to make a repair or push your engine to its performance limits, there are products for you.
There are cold air intakes, throttle body spacers, and tuning chips that can squeeze more power out of your vehicle’s engine.
Sources: cjponyparts.com, Motorreviewer, Pentastars.com, FCA Image Credit: FCA Media
3.6L Pentastar V6 Information
The Pentastar engine can be found on Jeep Wranglers, Ram 1500s, and even Dodge Chargers. See how this engine can work in so many different vehicles and how it’s engineered.