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I am an expediter that drives 10,000 miles per month. I use only full synthetic oil that meets the Chrysler oil spec, and I stick to the 10k miles oil change interval, because I needed maximum life out of the Promaster drive train. The van threw a check engine light that two dealers confirmed was a "number 5 cylinder misfire. "

After a fuel system clean, throttle plate clean, tuneup, new spark plug coil, new fuel injector, new fuel injector coil, numerous tests by the Promaster technician and two Pentastar engine technicians, escalation and tests suggested by Chrysler technical support, and three more hours of detailed inspection and testing, the conclusion is that the #5 cylinder has failed. So I either pay for an engine rebuild or a new engine.

I found out online that this Pentastar engine has a history of this type of failure on the #2 & #4 cylinders, and that Chrysler agreed to fix them at no charge and extend the warranty on that side of the engine to 150k miles.

I opened a case with Chrysler corporate, and have now been offered the repair of the #5 cylinder for $1,500 plus the $1,000 the dealer has already charged. Or I can get a new assembly line engine for a discounted price of $3,700.

My truck is my business. After this mess, and my lack of confidence in the reliability of this van, I have to admit to myself that this purchase was a mistake, and I should have bought the more expensive Sprinter.
 

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Let me add that I have always been concerned about the constant downshiftsof the Promaster ddrive train. I've driven four different Promasters and they all downshift. The problem is that at 60 mph, the downshifting increases engine speed by about 1000 rpms, and tow haul mode doesn't make it better.

Driving the van through hill country, or just on a highway with several slopes for bridges will cause the drive train to downshift several times per hour. Do the math on an 8+ hour drive. I have never seen any engine do this in my 1.2 million miles of driving cargo vans and minivans.

Last winter, after driving through the midwest on an interstate highway with hills at night in below 25 degree weather, the engine was hot at the gas station, and the electronic fan was running
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation especially since your van is your livelihood. I understand the downshifts, all my driving is hilly interstate with a 3,000 lbs trailer.
I traded my gas PM van for the diesel a few weeks ago. I go on my first interstate 1800 mile trip tomorrow on Friday with the trailer connected. Locally driving the diesel on the interstate with the trailer the van does not downshift at all at highway speeds. It holds 6th in Drive, hills or headwind never downshifts and feels very solid accelerating with a trailer in headwind. On the scales with trailer total weight, 8,800 lbs.
 

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Things that can happen. Also with a Sprinter. A bit more expensive on a Sprinter...
An engine failure may cost double...
 

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About the diesel, if you write in Google "Sprinter engine failure" you can find a lot of discussions and pictures. If you write Ducato engine failure or Ducato motore fuso, you can find almost nothing.
The Ftp diesel engines are simple and strong.
The 3.0 diesel is also used on generators and in marine applications.
 

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This is disheartening. Did they say exactly what failed? Cracked ring, broken piston? The Pentastar is Chryslers workhorse engine. They put it in almost every vehicle they make. I hope they know what is causing these failures and have a salution.

Just curious what oil you run.
 

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Man, that sucks! One of my biggest reasons for purchasing this van was the reliability/efficiency of the pentastar engine, I hope this isn't a regular reoccurring event.
 

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This proves that all vehicles,need to be bought with a long as possible warrenty,when I nought my sprinter I nought the warrenty and good thing,after a year it's still not fixed,they have already spent over 9000$costs me 100$ per visit and that's bullshit as they never fix it,also hot Chrysler corporate on it,took a month to talk to some one who could do anything and after a couple of minutes of talking,mentioned the lawyer word and he hung up on me,GREAT. SERVICE,
 

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Go over to the Sprinter forum and read about the Sprinters that throw their crankshaft pulleys, blow holes in #5 Pistons, suffer from Black Death, EGR valve failures, ECU failures, the list goes on and on and it usually starts at about 75k miles on Sprinters and double what a Chrysler part costs, not to mention the MBZ stealership hourly rates!
 

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Man, that sucks! One of my biggest reasons for purchasing this van was the reliability/efficiency of the pentastar engine, I hope this isn't a regular reoccurring event.
While it sucks to hear about this happening, you have to look at the total volume of Pentastar engines built. The Pentastar is their workhorse motor, and is installed in over 14 different Chrysler and Jeep models, as well as the Volkswagen Routan mini-van and a few Lancia and Fiats in Europe. Considering how many are out there, reading about the occasional failure is acceptable, to everyone but the person it happens to.

Another way to look at the numbers….if your wife/husband/pelvic affiliate tells you that you are "one in a million", you would feel special. But if you lived in New York city it would mean there are 8 other people just as special as you!
 

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This is especially disheartening to me because I'm an expediter too and know the boat you are in; need to make the van payments, but can't make payments if the van isn't running, and can't make money to fix van because van isn't running. I LIVE IN FEAR of this happening to me, and it's way I bust my ass to keep a $3000 "van emergency bank" available at all times. In short; I feel your pain, brother.

But before we condemn the PM, we need to know EXACTLY what happened to those cylinders and why. Oil related, metallurgy related, build related, etc. And it's equally probable that something else CAUSED that barrel to fail. Bird hits grille, beak gets sucked into engine, engine fails is a different story.

Remember a while back where I was complaining that I can't find the fuel filter on the PM? Maybe that's a clue!

I am on the edge of my chair to get more details about this engine failure. Commit to documenting everything right on this thread!

A couple of things to keep in mind though; driving the way we do is the absolute BEST conditions for an engine to last forever. It's actually kinder to your engine to start it up and drive 20 hours than if it was just sitting in the driveway. You and I have both gotten 400,000 or 500,000 out of an engine with no problems. Engines like to run.

Second is that the loopy downshifting won't cause a cylinder to fail. The engine doesn't care if it's running unloaded at 2000rpm or unloaded at 3000rpm. And even if it did, that wouldn't cause it to blow up at 110k.

Third: was there any sort of warning. My big beef with the PM has to do with the dipstick, because you can't monitor oil consumption. ALL engines will consume oil at some point, and I want to know how much. Did you have any engine lights or other changes before this?

Fourth: You probably don't want to hear this, but you are committed to fixing this even if it means buying the crate engine. You can't keep making the payments, and you can't sell it with a blown engine. With a working engine, you should be able to get pretty good coin for it - somewhere between 15,000 and 25,000. As a fellow expediter, I would LEAP on a PM with a new engine for 20 grand, and 110k on the clock wouldn't scare me a bit. Just the other guys at your company who are stuck in GM and Ford vans will be all over it if they are smart.

Fifth: doing on an engine swap on this thing is easy. It's one of the reasons I chose the PM in the first place. Any semi-competent independent mechanic can buy the fixture that holds the engine, then drop the engine, transaxle, suspension out from the bottom all at once. It's actually easier to do an engine swap on the PM than on a Chevy van, or even a chevy truck for that matter. You do need a lift though. Do not even THINK of paying a dealer to do this; no reason to.

Keep us, and especially me, posted. Thanks.
 

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......cut.....

Second is that the loopy downshifting won't cause a cylinder to fail. The engine doesn't care if it's running unloaded at 2000rpm or unloaded at 3000rpm. And even if it did, that wouldn't cause it to blow up at 110k.

......cut......
I also hate to hear this kind of news.

Agree that downshifting doesn't make engine blow. Not directly anyway. Downshifting a lot "may" be hard on a transmission, but it unloads engine by reducing the torque at same power level. Downshifting should make engine last longer versus trying to hold a taller gear with engine at maximum throttle. Higher engine speed is easier than higher internal pressure.

My concern with smaller engines that are also run at lower RPM in order to improve fuel economy is that they may not last as long as we are accustomed to from large V8s.

Unfortunately this is a new trend. I'm driving a rented Mustang with V6 and 6 speed auto (similar to Transit vans) and it's geared so high that it will downshift one or two gears on a regular basis. At 65 MPH it's only doing 1500 RPM, so any significant throttle input forces a downshift. Sometimes at 50 MPH it barely holds 6th gear at around 1200 RPM but the slightest hill or acceleration will drop a couple of gears.

Having stated the above, gasoline engines can be designed to easily handle the higher Break Mean Effective Pressure required to improve fuel economy. Unfortunately engines may have to be built stronger like diesels if we expect them to last as long.
 

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Where did you find cylinder failures? I looked and looked at several forums and the only thing I could find was the left side head failures.
 

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Where did you find cylinder failures? I looked and looked at several forums and the only thing I could find was the left side head failures.
This is the Pentastar problem, the left head, not any engine block or related parts. And it's only on the first couple model years, 2011-12.
We got a letter a couple months ago from Chrysler giving our Jeep Pentastar's left head a 10yr, 150k mile parts and labor warranty.

The OP's issues was just one of those things that happens to random engines out there. It can and does happen to Sprinters also. Only thing, a new Sprinter engine is a $15,000. part. :eek:
 

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Is this correct no dip stick for oil,if so,will see if the ford has one,bad enough my sprinter has none for the auto trans,also a great day for mei hope,picking up my dodge sprinter today,finally fixed,I hope,in and out of dealers since this past June,both dodge and mb dealers,when they run they are a great van,but when they break best have a exstended warrenty,thTs why shopping for another van,don't want to make another mistake
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What happened with this? We haven't heard from pblue since his first 2 posts.
Agreed. I really want some details on this. So far as I can tell, him and the guy who kept cracking flywheels are the only 2 PM owners who had serious problems.
 
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