CarComplaints.com Notes: Engine cradle rot is a serious problem in the 2004-05 Chrysler Pacifica. Chrysler admits they didn't apply enough coating to the vehicle's sub-frame during assembly, but only offered to cover a very small portion of the vehicles they messed up.

So what happens when your engine cradle rots? Well, the engine could fall out for starters. It could also cause problems with the suspension and other components but did I mention THE ENGINE CAN FALL OUT? The worst part is you might not know because there's no way to see the problem without getting under the car.

If you have a 2004-05 Pacifica, make sure to have your mechanic inspect your sub-frame for rust and corrosion.

9.5

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,190
Average Mileage:
133,350 miles
Total Complaints:
31 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. repair subframe (4 reports)
  3. replace engine carriage (4 reports)
  4. replace frame (4 reports)
  5. replace subframe or spray with chemical (3 reports)
  6. replace subframe (2 reports)
2004 Chrysler Pacifica body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Chrysler Pacifica Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Dec 042017

Pacifica Touring 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I bought a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica new in late 2003 and have owned it ever since. It has been a good car but developed some motor mount problems, they were cracking, a couple of years ago such that one had to be replaced last year. In a recent oil change I was told I had a "hole in my subframe". When I asked the solution I was told replacement, which is pretty expensive. I was told by the shop owner that he had a customer with a similar problem and Chrysler fixed it. I have called Chrysler and was told to contact the dealer where the work was needed to be done. So far I have not found one that admits that Chrysler has fixed this in the past. I live in northern Virginia and we use salt on our roads in the winter but the car has been garaged since I bought it.

- jdbenson, Fairfax Station, US

problem #30

Jun 132017

Pacifica 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Well here the rust in the bottom is a failure for state annual inspection. And the repairs go to thousands of dollars. But this is not the only problem with this car. The electronic that controls the air conditioning keeps the blower on at the level four and could not be turned off. The technicians in the shop have taken a look at it several times and have no solution for it. Now with the rust in the bottom, some components like the tire rod went out despite it was just repaired a year before, so that was another $400.00 for this year for this car to pass inspection. I just read the recall on the rust that it could actually weaken the supporting frame for the engine which could lead to a major disaster on the road. So we are not driving the car for now.

- Totoy S., Portland, ME, US

problem #29

Jun 172015

Pacifica

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,593 miles

click to see larger images

rusting frame and subframe

I will NEVER buy another Chrysler vehicle. This has been a nightmare. I made numerous calls to Chrysler Corp. and was basically told 'too bad, so sad' and that they would not accept responsibility and would not cover the cost of the repair. It didn't matter to them that the engine could fall out while the car was being driven, possibly resulting in injury or death. Took it to the Chrysler dealership where I bought the car for the repair, since Chrysler Corp. was charging non-Chrysler mechanics an extremely inflated price to get the needed sub frame, resulting in a much higher estimated total cost. Total cost at Chrysler dealership: Approx. $2900. Three months later, my regular mechanic informed me of extreme tire wear. (Michelin Primacy MXV4 P235/65R17, all 4 tires were 7/32" tread depth when sub frame was replaced and 3 months later all 4 tires were at 4/32" tread depth.) Went back to the paperwork from the replaced sub frame to look at the results of the alignment. No printout of any alignment. Asked the service dept. at the dealership for a copy of the alignment. They had no copy. (Said maybe the printer wasn't working that day.) Checked the service detail, which said "perform front wheel only alignment; front end alignment completed." So...who replaces an entire sub frame of a vehicle and then doesn't align all four wheels?!! The dealership's service manager tried to come up with a reason why my driving was probably at fault for the tire wear. Yeah, right. (Sarcasm here.)

He finally offered to provide me with 2 new tires at no charge but I had to purchase the other two. I could go on and on in much more detail but it still makes me angry to think about this whole ordeal. I should have taken the dealership and service manager to small claims court.

- Amy G., Maple Grove, US

problem #28

Jul 292016

Pacifica Sport 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

click to see larger images

rusting frame and subframe

I was shocked when I was at Jiffy Rube to change engine oil and the guy showed me these two pictures. The mechanic say driving this vehicle is very dangerous and it will collapse any time. I took Pacifica to the body shop

and waiting for the estimate. What can i do? I was scare I drive Minnesota with this car to see my daughter often. and Oh my god/ I am thanks still alive...

- Tachea K., SCHAUMBURG, IL, USA

problem #27

Feb 012017

Pacifica

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

Just found out the Pacifica I bought used a couple of years ago has a corroded sub frame that could break anytime, leaving my engine and transmission to fall out. The dealership I bought the car from refused to repair it so I am about to be out of a lot of money to fix it. I just replaced the engine in the vehicle a year ago and also replaced the mounts. The mounts are going bad because of the rusty sub frame.

- Deneice J., Marion, IL, US

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problem #26

Jul 272016

Pacifica Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Can't believe I wasn't sent a update on this problem

The frame is rotten for states with a winter

- Lj M., Johnstown, USA

problem #25

Aug 012016

Pacifica 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I took my Pacifica to my mechanic because I was hearing some knocking coming from the front when I hit potholes. He told me I had some sway bar links that needed to be replaced but if they did so they would have to remove the subframe. Because the subframe is so rusted out if they tried to remove it it would completely break. So I would first need to replace the subframe before anything. The cost of the subframe is $1800 and the cost of labor will be $800! I searched this issue on the web and seen that many many people were having the same problem with the same vehicle. I am even more upset that my mechanic didn't mention this when he replaced all of my motor mounts early this year! Will the manufacture replace it?

- Shaqita C., Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #24

Oct 172016

Pacifica AWD 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

Discovered sub frame under engine was rotting when mechanic was trying to pass inspection. Can not pass inspection without replacing or repairing. Haven't got an estimate yet, but doubting if it's worth it even though the car is in good shape otherwise

- Ted D., Easton, PA, USA

problem #23

Oct 272016

Pacifica 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 178,546 miles

Because we maintain our cars very well, we have our trusted mechanic give his advice when we hear or see something not normal. Today, in for our regular oil change and to check on a squeek from the belt and some other things, he came back and simply said "I didn't change the belt as requested because you guys need to make a decision..." Well that's odd, I thought. He went on to say that the subframe a.k.a cradle was rotted out and could fail at any point. I thought wow, that sounds serious but took it with a grain of salt as he tends to exaggerate a bit. I got the car home and put it up and I was shocked! He was right (not sure why he didn't notice on the last service...) Anyways, the transverse bar welded between the two parallel beams of the subframe was totally rotted out along the bottom welds and on the right side (passenger) along the bottom and up the sides. For the first time in my life I'm actually afraid to let my wife drive the thing so now I've got to scramble to arrange a car for her.

The repair is clearly not worth it, but how maddening - a simple design flaw deems the car junk. We kept this car in such good mechanical condition (and believe me this car had so many parts changed to keep things in shape) that it's actually a pleasure to drive on road trips and it's actually pretty good on gas for its size. The engine and trans are great, it always starts and runs perfectly even in sub-zero weather. It doesn't use a drop of oil between changes even with the 178k on it. I really hope there is something Chrysler offers to do or forced to do out of any class action.

- Andrew H., Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #22

Oct 132016

Pacifica 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Car otherwise in great shape, however dealer indicated today that there is significant rust damage to th K member of the vehicle. Brought the vehicle to a local shop to get an estimate for a repair... $4900.00 not cool for a vehicle that is worth just slightly more.

- Robert B., Morris Plains, NJ, USA

problem #21

Aug 062016

Pacifica Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica that the engine cradle has rusted to a dangers situation. I only have 105000 miles car runs good and never had any problems. Took it into Chrysler and they didn't care a bit. Can't believe they admit to not correctly appling rust prevention but won't fix the problem.

- Garry S., Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #20

Jul 112016

Pacifica AWD 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

Took car in to a service shop to get the air conditioning looked at, but while the car was up on the rack, the tech discovered the sub frame rotting. After doing some research and also hearing from other service techs, this issue is widespread and could be fatal. Please help, as I don't feel we should be paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars for something that Chrysler knew all about it.

- set4you120678wi, Menomonee Falls, WI, USA

problem #19

Jul 052016

Pacifica Sports Tourer 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,702 miles

Went in to get a hose looked at and new tires. Had person call to tell me to park car and not drive as engine cradle had significant rust and then informed me of Pacifica problems with engine cradles. I love my car but costing more than Blue Book to fix and no help from Chrysler is a big problem. I've had this car for almost 10 years and had never heard this before.

- Tracy M., Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #18

Jun 162016

Pacifica

  • Automatic transmission
  • 184,000 miles

This vehicle has been garaged most of it's life. I took it in for a required state inspection. It failed due to the extensive amount of rust holes in the engine cradle. I was under the car with the state inspector and saw holes in the cradle that were large enough to put my fist in. My mother has been driving this car for the last 4 years. The cradle holds the engine and various steering and suspension components. I got estimates ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for the repair of a $2,500 vehicle. This could have been prevented had Chrysler put about a dollars worth of undercoating on the part. Instead I will be forced to junk the vehicle. This is a disgrace and someone at Chrysler needs to be fired. I understand there is a lawsuit in Ohio over this issue. I cant wait months/years I need a resolution, leaving me with the only intelligent option of junking the car. I have been quoted $250. Chrysler I have owned three of your vehicles, NEVER AGAIN.

- rlrobian, Wheeling, WV, USA

problem #17

May 172016

Pacifica

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,326 miles

click to see larger images

rusting frame and subframe

We had the sub frame replaced on June 18th 2014 at 151178 miles now on May 17th 2016 at 168326 miles the subframe has separated from the body of the car. I am very lucky this happened on my street and not on the highway. I had the caw towed to the dealer how sold us the car and who has done all the work on it from new. I was advised the repair from 2014 is our of warranty. I am getting a quote.

- chipper1, timonium, MD, USA

problem #16

Apr 282016

Pacifica 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,283 miles

Engine cradle severely rusted and perforated, affecting steering alignment.

- smithduluth, Duluth, MN, USA

problem #15

Jul 102015

Pacifica Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

When getting oil change mechanic showed me frame under engine with major rust and a hole starting. Can turn into major issue if frame gives way and with many other of these vehicles with same issue Chrysler should recall it.

- Justin V., Cottage Grove, WI, USA

problem #14

Apr 092016

Pacifica

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

I took my 2004 Chevy Pacifica into my mechanic for a routine inspection. I thought it would be a quick in and out since the car drives good but was shocked when I discovered that the whole subframe was rotted and rusted.

I immediately started to look up the part online to see how much this would set me back and to my dismay I found lawsuits, complaint, and much more about this same issue with other Pacifica owners. Of course NO RECALL on this issue! I have had this vehicle for 3 years and never was notified about this issue. Since I wasn't aware, I'm driving my 3 little children in this vehicle and the engine could've dropped at anytime!!!

I guess Chrysler has no problem with children's blood on their hands, considering this is a family vehicle and children are inside! So now I might have to junk my vehicle since the cost of fixing is more than the worth! I'm so upset and I'm willing to join any lawsuit in this matter.

- Melissa S., Portland, ME, USA

problem #13

Oct 232015

Pacifica Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

Upon picking car up from mechanic who replaced power steering pump and scheduling motor mount replacement, mechanic showed me the rotted out engine cradle. He was amazed by the damage and concerned over safety. I have since researched and found Chrysler knows of the issue but is not posing a recall. I'm told repair will be quite expensive.

- Pamela B., Cumberland, RI, USA

problem #12

Jun 182015

Pacifica L 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,698 miles

Problem showing up on all model years, Chrysler will only cover a small window of build dates in April of 2004. This defect is a huge saftey issue. Saw a Class action lawsuit on this problem which was opened in Jan 2014, so far I have not seen anything further. If anyone has info please forward. This is outright negligence on Chryslers part.

- Josh I., Amherst, OH, US

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