Chrysler 3.8L V6 Engine Problems: Is It A Good Engine?

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Is the Chrysler 3.8 V6 a good Engine? Yes. However, like all engines, it often develops its problems. The commonly associated problems are oil leaks, oil consumption, and intake manifold leak. 

The Chrysler 3.8 V6 Engine is known for its fantastic power, different piston placement, and useful performance. Now, what you don’t hear every day, is their associated problems.

So, let us look at the Chrysler 3.8 V6 Engine problems – is it a good engine? 

What Is The Chrysler 3.8L V6 Engine?  

The Chrysler 3.8 V6 Engine was originally designed as a powerful and larger option to the Mitsubishi 3.0 V6 and made its debut in early 1990. However, the engine ended its 22 years long run when the company decided to drop its production in 2011. Initially produced in two major variants -the 3.3 and 3.8, the 3.8 engine enjoyed a long run and increased power. 

Chrysler 3.8L V6 Specifications

  • Production: 1991-2011 
  • Configuration: 60-degree V6 
  • Displacement: 3778cc 
  • Block material: Cast iron 
  • Power: 150hp-215hp 
  • Torque: 180lb-245lb
  • Head material: Aluminum 
  • Compression: 8.9: 1 to 9.6:1
  • Valvetrain: OHV, 12 valve  
  • Cylinder bore and piston stroke: 3.78inches, 3.43inches
  • Cooling system: water-cooled 
  • Oil system: Wet sump

What Cars Have Chrysler 3.8 V6 Engine?

  • 1991-1993 Chrysler Imperial 
  • 1991-1993 Chrysler New Yorker 
  • 1994-2010 Chrysler Minivans 
  • 2009-2010 Volkswagen Routan
  • 2007-2011 Jeep Wrangler (JK)  

Chrysler 3.8L V6 Engine Life Expectancy

The typical life expectancy of a Chrysler 3.8 V6 Engine falls between 150,000 to 200,000 miles. However, the most important factor that determines the life expectancy of a Chrysler 3.8 V6 Engine is how you use your vehicle. In essence, how long or short your engine will last depends on how you use and maintain it.  

For example, if you use your vehicle every day and don’t maintain it well, it won’t last long. Conversely, if you use your vehicle every day and carry out routine maintenance, it will last longer.

Chrysler 3.8L V6 Engine Problems

Chrysler 3.8L V6 Engine Oil Leak

chrysler 3.8L v6 engine oil leak problem
This engine is not prone to oil leaks than any other engine out there because oil leaks affect most cars and even Chrysler models.

Symptom

  • Visible leak: the simplest and easiest to identify symptom is a visible oil leak. It usually occurs after parking your car. You can easily notice leaks on the floor as the oil drips onto the ground. 
  • Burning oil smell and smoke from the engine bay: While visible leaks are associated with large oil leaks, burning oil smells are associated with small oil leaks. Unlike large oil leaks, small oil leaks don’t make it to the ground. Instead, the oil burns in the air. If you notice smoke or a burning oil smell, it could Signify  oil leak. 

Cause 

Oil leaks in the Chrysler 3.8 V6 Engine are most associated with higher mileage and old age. Chrysler 3.8 V6 Engine oil leaks occur primarily at the valve cover gaskets, oil pan gasket, and main crankshaft seal. The O-rings, gasket, and seals wear down with time and use. However, when this happens, oil leaks from the cracks that form. 

Solution 

Oil leaks are inexpensive but are usually labour-intensive. Since one of the seals, O-rings, or gaskets causes oil leaks, you will stop the leak by fixing the culprit. Although inexpensive, some cases can take up to five hours to fix. 

Chrysler 3.8L V6 Engine Oil Consumption 

chrysler 3.8L v6 engine oil consumption
Any of the solutions above will fix your excess engine oil consumption problems. 

Symptom 

  • Low engine oil: the easiest way to know that your Chrysler 3.8 V6 engine is consuming oil is if it is always running low on engine oil. Inappropriate and unexplainable oil consumption is enough to signal excess oil consumption. 
  • Burning oil smells and smoke from exhaust: if the piston ring or valve guide seals wear out, the engine oil will leak into the combustion chamber. When this happens, the oil will burn. Hence, when you notice excess smoke from the exhaust system, you need to check it out. 

Cause 

Chrysler 3.8 V6 Engine oil consumption varies depending on the oil brand. However, high oil consumption can be a sign of an underlying problem. For example, engines can burn more oil when the bearings wear down, piston rings crack, or the clearances widen. Apart from this, new engines going through the breaking-in periods use more oil. Oil consumption also rises towards the end of an engine’s life. Other causes include: 

  • Worn gaskets or seals 
  • Bad quality oil 
  • Worn piston rings 
  • High oil pressure 

Solution 

  • Fix leaky gaskets or seals 
  • Change your engine oil for a quality one 
  • Replace piston rings 
  • Regulate oil pressure 
  • Replace your old engine 

Chrysler 3.8L V6 Engine Intake Manifold Leak

The intake manifold gasket seals the intake manifold against the cylinder heads. It also seals the engine coolant and air leaks. However, when there is an issue with the intake manifold gasket, it can cause serious problems for the engine. 

chrysler 3.8 v6 engine intake manifold leak problem
The intake manifold gasket problem can cause serious problems for the engine. 

Symptom 

  • Decreased in acceleration, power, fuel economy
  • Engine misfires 
  • Coolant leak 
  • Engine overheating 
  • The air-fuel mixture ratio is affected 

Cause 

Mileage and age are the two common causes of low intake manifold gasket. The manifold gasket will deteriorate due to the constant contraction and expansion from coolant and oil contamination, temperature changes, and constant airflow intake. This deterioration will continue to the point where leaks will occur. 

Solution 

You can replace the intake manifold gasket as you will any other parts of your car. However, its unique shape and durability requirements make it the most expensive gasket in a car. Nonetheless, the cost of replacement and labor will not have you breaking the banks. 

Sum up 

Engines are like other parts of a car. While there will always be great ones, there will also be some failures. That is how gadgets and equipment are. However, if you address these maintenance issues when they occur, your engine will be more reliable. More than buying a car, we hope our information proves helpful to help you make the best out of your Chrysler 3.8 V6 engine. 

Read more: 4.7 Dodge Engine Problems: Is It A Reliable Engine?

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