Jeep 3.7L V6 PowerTech was manufactured by Chrysler from 2002-2012 and had wide applications from Jeep Liberty to Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Nitro. It’s been part of many SUVs, mid-sized vehicles, and Dodge Ram Truck as the base engine from 2022 to 2012. Chrysler 3.7 V6 is the same engine as Chrysler 3.4 V8 with two fewer cylinders. The horsepower rating for the engine is 210 hp, and the torque rating is 235 lb-ft.
The subpar fuel economy and low power, as early as 75000, led to its replacement, and by the end of 2012, it was replaced by Chrysler V6 Pentastar. If you are going for an engine replacement or buying a vehicle with PowerTech 3.7 L V6, you must know its everyday problems. In this post, I’ll discuss the familiar jeep 3.7 engine problems. In addition to general problems, I will share some pro tips and solutions to manage these problems.
The 3.7L V6 engine (2002-2012) was used in many Chrysler vehicles, including
- Jeep Cherokee
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Jeep Liberty
Before we discuss the Chrysler 3.7 problems, it’s crucial to discuss the engine’s reliability.
Dodge 3.7 V6 Reliability
Dodge 3.7 V6 engine is a 6-cylinder engine known for producing tremendous torque in off-roading and towing applications. The engine doesn’t enjoy an excellent reputation due to its built-in flaws and catastrophic failure reports. Overheating is the most common issue that occurs due to bad piston landings.
With scheduled maintenance, the engine can run as long as 200,000 miles. Plenty of reports say the 3.7l dodge engine lasted 200,000+ miles without any significant issues. However, frequent reports on the catastrophic failure of this engine as early as 80000 miles have made its reliability questionable.
The engine’s fuel economy is good when all its parts function correctly. However, bad lash adjusters and damaged valve seats can lead to higher fuel consumption. The engine got mixed reviews in the early years of its manufacturing. But later on, this engine was entirely replaced by the Chrysler V6 Pentastar due to more frequent sporadic issues. So let’s begin with jeep 3.7 engine problems.
Jeep 3.7 Engine Problems
1. 3.7 PowerTech Valve Seat Failure
One of the most commonly reported problems with the Jeep 3.7 PowerTech engine is valve seat failure or defective valve seats. The purpose of the valve seat is to keep the valve and exhaust intakes fully sealed when the engine is not working. The proper functioning of the valve seats is crucial for smooth and enough engine compression throughout its life.
The valve head rests against the valve seat to keep the valve closed. The valve seats are made of powdered material, highly prone to damage over time. It may not lead to a sudden failure, but the chances of valve seat collapse are higher over time. When a valve set is collapsed, it restricts the valve from being fully closed.
It leads to poor compression in the engine, and the air will start leaking out. Each cylinder on the engine has its own set of valve seats. One cylinder’s valve seat fails without affecting the other. Once this problem is found on multiple cylinders, it affects the whole engine. The engine’s inability to maintain the compression will make the whole engine ineffective. The valve seat failure usually leads to an engine rebuild.
Common Symptoms Of The Valve Seat Failure
This problem is hard to detect in the early stages. The failure of the valve set on one cylinder may mildly impact overall performance and may go unnoticeable. However, if you are facing standard low power and poor compression issues, it’s highly recommended to consider this issue.
A cylinder misfire is another common symptom that can make you wonder if the valve seats are working fine or not. Loss of power and cylinder misfire can be due to many other reasons like spark plug failure or ignition coil defect, but in the case of the jeep 3.7 engine, it is mainly associated with valve seat failure. Overall poor performance, loss of power, and acceleration are other symptoms of this problem.
Collapsed Valve Seat-What To Do?
Valve seat failure leads to significant damage to the valve head. The repairing or rebuilding cost is very high. The process is complex, and only a well-trained mechanic can do the job. You should choose replacement over repair if you must choose between the two. A few extra bucks for a fully upgraded system is a good deal. The average valve seat replacement/rebuild cost on Dodge 3.7 engine is around $1200.
2. Stuck Lash Lifters
Engines with SOHCs have camshafts mounted above combustion chambers in their cylinder heads. The jeep 3.6 engine is a single overhead camshaft engine. Most OHC engines lack lifters, but the Jeep 3.7 engine has hydraulic valve lash adjusters. The lash adjusters and cam lifters do not differ significantly except for efficiency.
Traditional lifters maintain good clearance between the valve and the cam follower, but these hydraulic lash adjusters promise zero clearance taking the engine’s performance to a whole new level. A higher level of clearance is needed at the exhaust since it expands due to heat. The problem occurs when the lash adjusters fall out of place or get stuck. This problem is mainly associated with poor oil performance. If the oil consistency is thicker than needed, the lifter becomes stuck.
The collapse of the lifters can make the pushrod bend and fall out of space. It can lead to intermittent engine problems and severe performance issues. It prevents the valve from opening and closing and leads to valve and rocker arm collapse. The problem in its later stages can lead to complete engine failure also. Also, less frequent oil changes can trigger this issue.
Symptoms Of Stuck Lifters
Symptoms of this problem include constant tapping sounds. It should be distinct from the occasional knocking. You hear a specific tapping noise more frequently when the lifters or lash adjusters malfunction. At the most advanced stages, the tapping sound becomes more intense and occurs in rapid succession. Also, you may hear loud knocking and some terrible abounding sound.
Slaggy and thick oil is the most common reason for this issue. Low acceleration, rough idling, and lack of power are other symptoms that warn you about the issue. Fortunately, this only affects a specific cylinder in most cases. Therefore it can be replaced and fixed easily within a limited budget.
Stuck Lifters-What To Do?
Stuck lash adjusters can be replaced if the problem is detected early. In order to fix the problem, you need to identify the cylinder that was affected. The replacement cost of the lash adjusters depends upon the type of lifter you opt for. If you want to boost the engine performance, go for an upgrade.
Premium grade lash lifters designed for OHC engines like jeep 3.7 may cost you as high as $100 per lifter. Aftermarket lash adjusters range in price from $30 to $130. You may go for a specific replacement if it is a sporadic problem. But if the problem is due to worn-out hydraulic lifters, replacing the whole set is a great idea. It significantly enhances engine performance and improves fuel economy. The replacement process is costly since you must pay a few extra dollars for labour.
3. Piston Ring Landings
Piston ring landing is one of the most common 3.7 dodge engine problems. This is because the 3.7 Dodge engine has inherent piston design flaws. The problem is also reported for the 3.7l engine in the liberty jeep. The piston ring grooves are responsible for the air-tight seal of the cylinder. It keeps the cylinder wall from touching the piston. A little contact between the cylinder wall and piston can lead to a major flaw since it results in overheating.
Overheating doesn’t limit itself to one component. Instead, it can damage the cooling system, shaft, and valves. The damage to the metallic components of the engine can make the whole structure fall, and you may need to go for an engine replacement. Another biggest concern is that it affects the engine’s fuel economy. The overheating caused due to faulty piston landing makes the engine consume more oil and fuel..
Since the problem is due to an inherent design flaw, you can not avoid it in the Chrysler 3.7l engine. The problem can occur as early as 75000 miles on the Chrysler 3.7 litre engine. All you need to do is check the landings and clearance seal regularly. Avoid irreparable engine damage by getting it fixed as soon as possible.
Piston Ring Landing Symptoms
Severe overheating issues are the most common symptom of this problem. Poor fuel economy, low acceleration, lack of power, and rough idling are all associated with this problem. Damage to sensitive components like spark plugs, ignition wires, or switches is also related to this problem. Also, oil leaves sludges that cause the lash adjusters to stick and wrap around.
So far, the most devastating overheating implication on the dodge 3.7 V6 engine is the damage to the cooling system. It can develop leaks in the coolant and break the hoses and radiators. The collapse of the cooling system results in even more serious overheating issues..
Piston Landing Issues-What To Do?
Since it occurs due to inherent design flaws, it’s challenging to eliminate this issue. You need to replace the coolant as per scheduled requirements to keep your engine safe from the overheating effect. The overheating problem can be managed with regular maintenance and temperature monitoring. Also, keep the cooling system fully functional and upgraded.
Temperature monitoring enables you to detect the problem at the early stages. It helps you prevent irreparable damage. Also, a radiator upgrade will prevent irreparable damage or engine collapse due to overheating issues. The rebuilding and repairing cost can be as high as $500, depending upon the severity of the issue.
4. Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve
The engine produces a lot of exhaust gasses that are meant to leave the engine through the exhaust pipe. The majority of these gases, however, go into the crankcase instead of being expelled. The PCV valve is responsible for keeping the crankcase free of exhaust gasses.
A PCV valve is responsible for keeping them away from the crankcase. If it fails to do so, it may lead to overall poor engine performance. Oil is stored at the bottom of the crankcase, which is part of the engine. As a result of the reaction between the exhaust gasses and the oil, sludge is formed. This further leads to poor fuel and oil economy.
PCV valve failure happens when the valve becomes greasy and sticky. A gunked-up valve is no more capable of venting the gas out. The problem does not occur intermittently. It happens over time. The major cause of the problem is poor maintenance. The build-up on the valve happens when it needs to be correctly cleaned and maintained.
Symptoms Of The PCV Failure
The most prominent symptom of PVC failure is oil leakage. When it happens, the oil leaks from the gasket and valve cover. The thing that is most commonly associated with a bad PCV valve is the idle RPM. The uncontrolled airflow between the intake manifold and crankcase leads to rough idling or makes the idle RPM too high.
A white-grey smoke is another symptom of a broken or gunked-up PCV valve. The air-fuel mixture becomes lean, leading to an unusual smoke appearance, and also you feel the odd petrol smell. Increased oil consumption and engine misfires are some other symptoms of PCV valve failure.
PCV Valve Failure-Replacement Options?
PVC valve is a small and inexpensive component but since it has to play a significant role, you can only keep going with a suitable PCV valve. Luckily its replacement is simple and inexpensive. With a good set of tools and basic engine knowledge, you can replace the PV valve yourself.
PCV valves of the jeep 3.7 engine are available for under $20. A fully functional PCV valve and good oil can boost the engine’s performance. When you go for the replacement, changing the oil is also recommended. You can manage the whole process within a limited budget, even when you go for a professional service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Jeep 3.7 Engine A Good Engine?
The Jeep 3.7 engine is a good option for towing and off-roading since it produces plenty of torque. However, when it comes to acceleration, the engine fails to provide fast acceleration. Also, its inherent design flaws may lead to catastrophic engine failure as early as 75000 miles.
How Many Miles Will A Dodge 3.7 Engine Last?
The lifespan of the Dodge 3.7 engine depends on how well it is maintained. As per the reports, a Dodge 3.7 engine should last at least 200,000 miles if maintained properly. However, due to excessive overheating issues and some inherent design flaws, it may collapse as early as 80,000 miles.
What Is A 3.7 motor?
A 3.7 motor is the PowerTech 3.7-liter V6 engine by Chrysler. It is also known as Dodge 3.7 engine and 3.7 V6 Magnum. This engine is the same as the 4.7 V8 with two fewer cylinders. The engine was designed and manufactured by Chrysler from 2002 to 2012.
I’m hopeful that this post will enable you to understand the most common 3.7-liter jeep engine problems. Knowing the reason and symptoms of dodge 3.7 V6 engine problems helps you figure out issues in the early stages. The best part is that Dodge 3.7 engine problems are manageable and with regular maintenance, you can prolong the engine service life. More than 50% of engine problems are directly or indirectly related to overheating. Therefore it is highly recommended to install a temperature sitting system and keep the cooling system fully functional.
Hi! This is Marcus Adams, an adventurer who has a passion for jeeps. I have been exploring terrains for about 10 years and has trailed on a variety of jeeps. My passion for off-roading has allowed me to learn everything jeeps have to offer. Now, I have turned his passion into a professional project in form of this SMOOTHDRIVES website, where I plan to share my expertise about all kinds of off-roading accessories for jeeps, trucks and SUV’s and provide readers with high-quality content.