Check Out How Surprisingly Durable This Chrysler Pentastar V6 Is After 626,000 Miles
See how important maintenance really is.
When you think of reliable engines, something with small displacement, four cylinders, and produced by a foreign automaker probably comes to mind. Hell, just about anything would ring a bell for me before a V6 Chrysler engine. But, as one mechanic who tore down a 626,000-mile Pentastar 3.6-liter will show you, it's (almost) always the ones you least expect.
It all starts with the once-beating heart of a 2014 Ram Promaster. The cargo van—which has enough miles on the odometer to account for at least one round trip to Earth's moon and back—finally bit the dust after a long six years on the road. During that time, the Promaster accumulated roughly 285 miles per day of travels until the six-cylinder powerplant finally experienced a failure that warranted an engine-out service.
According to the owner's YouTube video, the van began running rough and throwing codes related to engine timing. When he pulled the engine, he decided to dig a bit deeper into the failure and determine how the motor held up during its long life. The result is nothing short of surprising.
After a bit of investigation, the owner discovered that the failure was indeed related to the Pentastar's timing. The plastic chain guides broke down over time and the tensioners had outlived their service life. As a result, the motor appeared to have jumped timing.
But that appears to have been the only large failure that occurred. The oil pump was still in excellent condition, the cylinder walls still showed the factory crosshatching and even the rod bearings appeared to have some life left before wearing though the outer-most layer of alloy. Still, the owner claimed that the Pentastar didn't burn oil and ran smooth until the day it, well, didn't.
So what's the owner's secret? As you may have guessed: maintenance. He changed the vehicle's oil every 8,000 miles (though he did admit going over on some rare circumstances) using only Valvoline or Mobil1 lubricants.
But perhaps even more important, the longevity speaks to the reliability of some modern engines, especially one which Chrysler says has the "hallmarks of an enduring icon"—meaning it probably won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
As controversial as the platform may be, the Pentastar is immensely popular within Chrysler's lineup. With more than 10 million units built since the motor's introduction in 2011 between Fiat Chrysler's Trenton South, Saltillo South and Mack Engine plants, the Pentastar has found life in 22 different vehicles—whether it be in 3.0-liter, 3.2-liter, or 3.6-liter configurations (the last being the most widely used). Even today, you can buy a brand new Chrysler 300, Chrysler Pacifica, Jeep Gladiator, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500, or many other FCA vehicles with one of these bad boys under the hood.
If you paid for the whole car, you might as well use the whole car—especially if it's going to last long enough to take you around the entire globe 25 times.
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