2017 Chrysler Pacifica transmission problems: hard shifting

Hard Shifting

2017 Chrysler Pacifica (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Chrysler dealer.

7.7

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,350
Average Mileage:
23,800 miles
Total Complaints:
33 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (29 reports)
  2. i took my pacifica to a local chrysler dealer and they said (1 reports)
  3. replace transmission (1 reports)
  4. replace valve body (1 reports)
  5. reset adaptive transmission (1 reports)
2017 Chrysler Pacifica transmission problems

transmission problem

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #33

Oct 012017

Pacifica LX 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles

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

We bought a brand new 2017 Pacifica with like 25 miles on it. After driving the van for about a month, I noticed it would shift extremely hard. I just sort of toss it aside as if my foot slipped off the pedal. The next time it happened, my children and I were all in the van going from a stopped position, I gave it a little gas and once it reached 17MPH, the van jerked so hard I thought we were rear-ended. My daughter yelled out of fear because the bang was so loud and my other 2 kids were pretty shaken up. We pulled in to a parking lot only to learn we were NOT rear-ended. After our nerves settled down, I drove again. To only have it happen 3 more times. At the time, I had an infant. Imagine what this could have done to her neck/spine. Not knowing the actual cause until recently, just infuriates me. And infuriates me even more because one of us could have been hurt.

I called and had the dealership take a look at it. Of course, it was a reprogramming issue. That the vans transmission needs to adapt to the way I drive. After taking it in, a few days later, BANG, it did it again. Called the dealership, told me it takes 30-60 days before the transmission will adapt to how I drive. If after 60 days, there are still issues, call them back. So guess what? Yup, you guessed it. Called them back - wasted yet 5 more trips to be told every thing is fine with the van and no errors coming up. Well, finally after having a constant headache for a week, I wonder if this isn't whiplash related to the transmission issues. When the transmission jerks so hard, you literally are thrown forward.

The vehicle also seems like it studders some after it shifts hard and doesnt want to move when the gas pedel is pushed. A VERY dangerous vehicle to own!

Does not matter who is driving the vehicle, it happens. I am not genius, but I never heard of a transmission adapting to the way a person drives. The transmission should work properly whoever is behind the wheel

We called Chrysler only to be told there was nothing they could do. Its on the dealership to provide them with transmission issues and if they don't, they are not made aware of any issues existing. I call BS on that lie too. I think Chrysler has gotten A LOT of phone calls regarding this issue. They just dont want to admit their faults.

So here we are 18 months in, several trips to the dealership, same issue not resolved and the hard shifting has happened around 100+ times. I decided to finally do some of my own research. After getting NO WHERE with the dealership and Chrysler, I contacted the Highway Safety for Vehicles and they referred us to the National Center for Dispute Settlement. Within 4 days, we had a date and paperwork for an arbitration hearing against the dealership and Chrysler which happens to be July 22 2019.

So if you are having issues, PLEASE contact the NCDS and file a complaint. The more we all gather together and complain, the more likely Chrysler will finally handle this issue BEFORE any deaths or serious injuries occur.

- Charles F., Spencerville, OH, US

problem #32

Jun 062019

Pacifica Limited 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Try this: 1) turn the start switch to on, but do not start the car. All trouble lights are on and the fans in the heating and cooling systems are on if that was the position they were left in. 2) push the gas pedal right to the floor and hold it there for 10 seconds. 3) turn the start switch to off with your foot still on the gas pedal. 4) release the gas pedal, but do not put your foot on the brake pedal 5) wait for 2 minutes before starting your car. Apparently the electronics are being reset.

Start your van and go for a drive. Do not accelerate too quickly, you just want the van to shift through a few gears to learn the basic shift points. You may want to put it in reverse a few times also. Afterwards just drive normally. It works every time for me. My transmission shifts smoothly and downshifts quickly. I learned this from a Mercedes forum. BMW also has the same problem. Google how to reset transmission adaptations and many sites come up.

- John-Michael B., Concord, NC, US

problem #31

Jun 012018

Pacifica Touring 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles

We bought our Chrysler Pacifica in April 2017 new. We love the vehicle. We've been on 2 long summer road trips. Last year it we noticed it started to shift very hard starting from a stop or at lower speeds. The first few times it happened we thought we got rear ended. It's very sporadic. My wife is starting to feel unsafe while driving it.

We took it into the dealer and they give the standard, "we can't duplicate the problem." It's like with mechanics now, if they can't get a specific code they are clueless what to do.

We will be out of our 36K warranty here before the end of the year. I'm worried the transmission will go out after the warranty has expired. Has anyone else been able to find out what the problem is?

I'm going to try taking it again when I take it in for another recall issue. We love this vehicle. It's a shame Chrysler has so many recalls. This has been the only issue we've had with this vehicle. I'm thinking of contacting Chrysler. I'll be beyond upset if this issue causes an accident or worse injury or loss of life to my family or others.

- Martin G., Fort Worth, US

problem #30

Jun 132019

Pacifica

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles

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

The van has a shifting problem. The first time it happened, I parked and looked for another vehicle because I was so sure someone had hit me from behind. I had taken my vehicle at least three times to Chrysler. Like everyone else no one knows what is really the problem. It seems to be better for a little while after I take it but then again and again the problem persist. It's getting so annoying that I am getting rid of my almost brand new car.

- Norma R., Buffalo, NY, US

problem #29

Jan 082019

Pacifica

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

On 1/8/19, my car stalled while turning left at an intersection. Thankfully, it started up quickly, but that was the start of the nightmare of this car. Since then, it has continued to hard shift (at least a few times a week) and sometimes nearly stalls while driving.

I have taken it to the dealership 6 times now and they claim they can't replicate the issue. They finally installed a data recorder and it is back there now so they can see if they can find the issue. I have a case open with Chrysler as well, but am not sure if that is making any difference.

This is not the only issue I've had with the car and it has been in the shop 3 months of the 24 months I've owned it. It is a safety hazard and I am just bracing myself for an accident and praying that my child is not in the car when it does inevitably happen.

I am at a loss on what to do. This has become a part time job trying to get this resolved.

- Kristin C., Greensboro, NC, US

problem #28

Mar 022018

Pacifica Limited 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,500 miles

Only can say we are very unhappy with the car and the fact Chrysler is aware of problem yet offers no solution. Everything else about the car we enjoy. The car was not a cheap car. A lot of money spent for something that they can't fix or won't fix.

- ribbe, Georgetown,, US

problem #27

Jan 022018

Pacifica

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,091 miles

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

I bought a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Sept. 2016. Went across country and came back to a CLUNKING in the transmission when I am traveling at a slow speed. Took it to Chrysler they said it's a computer issue. Said they cannot replicate the problem.

Took it to ANOTHER Chrysler dealer with same complaint again was told they cannot replicate the issue and to just ACCEPT that's how the van runs. REALLY a BRAND NEW $36,000 car and I'm just supposed to ACCEPT IT.

I've almost been hit 3 different times when making a turn at a slow speed and the van stops then JERKS and takes off.

I DON'T recommend this vehicle and I am looking for a lemon law attorney to see if there is still time for me to sue Chrysler. My van now has 39,000 and the problem is worse than ever!!!

Since I took it in several different times before the 36,000 warranty is it still covered since it was fixed correctly?

- Lynn J., Morongo Valley, US

problem #26

Apr 272019

Pacifica Touring L-Plus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles

My Pacifica -- still under warranty -- has a severe shifting problem that probably is causing more damage. At low speeds, the transmission suddenly balks, then slams into gear as though I have been rear-ended. I have been to the dealership twice and their mechanics have personally experienced the issue, but say they cannot fix it because the computer does not yield a code telling them what to do. Their basic message is, "Sorry, good customer, you are out of luck." This post required me to pick a single date but this problem has been going on for a year now.

- tmccain, Indianapolis, US

problem #25

Mar 102019

Pacifica Touring L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

I just bought a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L with 48K miles on it, 3 weeks ago. Three times now I have been either at a stop or creeping very slowly in traffic (between 0-around 5 MPH) when the transmission will jerk extremely hard and then I can't get the van to go anywhere!! Then within a few seconds it just takes off like nothing is wrong! The transmission jerks so hard it feels like it has just gotten stuck in linkage or something and then when I push the gas, nothing. I am afraid I will get stranded out in the middle of an intersection and get hit! It is scary. The first time it did it, it wasn't as pronounced but was very noticeable. I thought maybe I just pushed the gas too hard and caught the shifting between gears. (I have never had a 9-speed transmission). But the last 2 times have been a major jerk or "thud" like some other people have described. I have some of the factory drivetrain warranty left and thank goodness I also purchased an extended warranty.

Has anyone found out what this is and how to fix it?? Any input is appreciated. I haven't even made my first payment yet and am terrified that this is a very significant danger to myself and my kids.

Update from Apr 1, 2019: I took my Pacifica to a local Chrysler dealer and they said there were 2 updates for my van. They did both updates and said they "cleared the memory" on the transmission settings. Apparently the Pacifica (at least my 2017 model) has an adaptive transmission where it learns the primary driver's driving habits and adjusts accordingly. So the previous owners must have driven a LOT differently than I do because once they did the updates, so far (knock on wood), it hasn't had any more issues and has driven smoothly.

- Sabrina B., Lexington, US

problem #24

Dec 272018

Pacifica

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,850 miles

The transmission shifts so hard I often think we have been rear-ended from the back. I had the van at the dealer for 2.5 hours on 12/27 to "fix" the issue and was told it was a computer signal, which was reprogramed. The VERY next day.... the same issue occurred and has continued EVERY TIME I have been driving the van. This is a 2 year old van with 20,000 miles - which is still considered to be a "NEW" car. The dealer had me schedule an additional appointment, but wont give me a rental to take home, but rather insisting I spend another 2 hours sitting in their waiting room while they "fix" the problem. I have a job, I have 2 young kids and I have a life... I don't have time to spend HOURS sitting in the dealership's waiting room to be told that my vehicle has been repaired, when in reality it hasn't been fixed and it's still unsafe to drive. Do your homework and research before you buy a Chrysler - There are 100's of forums online with customers of 2017 Pacifica's stating the SAME EXACT issue and all Chrysler does it give the run around. I drive my family around in this vehicle and I fear for our safety. We are considering trading in this van to buy another brand that has less serious issues... Seriously disappointed that we purchased this vehicle. I've had it in your dealerships for recalls and a bubbling paint issue on the hood (in which my entire hood was replaced) at least 8 times in the 23 months that we've owned this van... what a shame to buy an "American Made" car and have such horrible experiences with the car and their customer service.

- Kyla R., Dundee, IL, US

problem #23

Nov 012017

Pacifica Touring L Plus 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

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

My Pacifica is having the same issues as most of what I have read on here. Between 2 and 3rd gear, shifting, it feels like it wants to shut off and then a loud knock, and hard shift (feeling like you were hit from behind) and all of a sudden its like it drops into gear and takes off! I have brought the van in 8 times in the past 12 months and have gotten different excuses as to why this is happening, first was they couldn't duplicate the problem so of course, they couldn't do anything and there were no codes displaying for them to check anything. FInally about a month ago, I had the mechanic in the van with me and was able to duplicate the problem. The mechanic even agreed with me that this is not supposed to be happening. Chrysler Care first told me that the van was designed to operate this way , then once the dealership drove a brand new 2019 Chrysler Pacifica that was on the lot to be sold, and it did the same thing, then they try to tell me it was the way I drove. So I proceeded to tell them it was the mechanic who was driving not me. They were able to duplicate the problem and still refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem with this transmission. There is only one other solution I see in my future, so we will see how this goes since Chrysler is doing nothing. SO for those of you who are looking for them to do something about it , I say Good Luck . Even if they replace the transmission with a new one, they are still giving you the same kind of transmission with the same issues, so that does not solve the problem.

- randa1980, Maurice, US

problem #22

Sep 012018

Pacifica Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles

About 3 months ago I started experiences a hard shift when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear ( between 10-25mph). Each time I have brought my car in to the service department of Chrysler they have told me that the diagnostic test came back with nothing and when they drive it, they are unable to duplicate the problem. This is dangerous and I feel with so many complaints they should not have to duplicate it, they should just repair the issue.

- SHARI D., Hollywood, FL, US

problem #21

Jan 192018

Pacifica ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,867 miles

I am having the same issue I see on all of the Pacifica transmission forums. I bought the used van with 15k miles on it. Within a few months the hard shifting started. I feel as if someone has rear-ended me. My kids and any guests in the car are frightened when it happens. Sometimes in traffic I am worried the person behind me will indeed rear-end me because my car is pausing and sitting for a moment and will not move forward. It typically happens from 1 - 2 gear. It will happen when it's cold, hot, whatever... it is intermittent.

The first time my complaint was documented (although I believe I complained before hand) was January 2018, I just brought it in for the 4th time January 2019. The first time they did a software update but it did not fix it. The service advisor tried to explain it is because there are sometimes 2 drivers and we "drive differently." Which sounds completely bogus. It happens to both my husband and myself - intermittently. My last visit to the dealer, Jan 2019 they stated as they have the last 3 times - we could not duplicate the issue and offer zero solutions... when I pulled out of their parking lot - it did it again! I have an appointment next week and advised them to keep the van until they can "duplicate the issue."

Today I called Chrysler to lodge a formal compliant directly. I am now at 50,000 miles and very concerned this is not getting fixed before my power train warranty is up at 60k.

- Jessie C., Jacksonville, US

problem #20

Dec 042018

Pacifica Limited 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,501 miles

Like others, my Pacifica shifted so hard I thought I got hit. Took to dealer last Saturday, they did an update. But today after stopping for a stop sign, I went to take off and trans slipped then caught. Got home, my driveway has a little incline. Van moving, took foot of gas, then on again trans slipped. Now in reverse. Only 6 months left on lease.

- Jeffrey Q., davenport, US

problem #19

Jan 092017

Pacifica Touringxl V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,005 miles

I have asked the dealership to fix the problem but they haven't. They are very poor at fixing problems. The problem is chronic and occurs at low speed under 20 mph.

- Susan C., TEMECULA, US

problem #18

Feb 012018

Pacifica V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

I have been having hard shifting issues intermittently. This happens when shifting from 1st or 2nd gear to a higher gear. It literally can cause personal health issues over time because it feels as if someone has rear ended my vehicle.

I have filed a complaint with FCA and under the Lemon Law as I made three attempts to have the transmission malfunction repaired. Software updates were done on the first attempt per the recall, which I was told should resolve the issue. However, issue occurred a few days later.

I took the vehicle back within about two weeks, and was told some type of transmission update was done because a stall in the shifting was noticed. I was told they weren't able to duplicate the hard shifting issue. The same day I got the vehicle back the hard shifting occurred again, but not as bad. I drove it out of town a few days later, and the very hard shifting occurred again several times.

I made a third appointment to take the vehicle back, and during the time my vehicle was kept to be driven, the hard shifting was duplicated. I was told the valve body was the issue. I was contacted to be told the part was on back order to be available a month later. My vehicle was already at the dealer 2 to 3 weeks by this time. When I opted not take the unrepaired vehicle back into my possession until the parts was received, they were magically able to get the part within one week's time. Maybe it was a used part to avoid any ongoing rental vehicle expense that FCA was responsible to pay.

I drove the vehicle a few days, and there was the hard shifting again, and the issue is worsening. I am highly concerned for my family and I safety and well-being as this is one of our everyday transportation source and traveling source for our family of 6. The FCA claim was filed after the second repair attempt, and Lemon Law complaint was filed after no resolution following the third repair attempt.

My Lemon Law claim was denied indicating I didn't make three repair attempts. Well, it was discovered that per lack of documentation on the dealer's behalf my hard shift concern that I made very clear on the first repair attempt was not noted. They only documented the vehicle was brought in for the software update recall. From the outcome of my ongoing issue of no one wanting to take responsibility for this issue and with it clearly being a known issue amongst other consumers with this very same make/model vehicle, I feel this safety concern deserves a class action lawsuit.

- Latoya W., Jacksonville, US

problem #17

Sep 092018

Pacifica Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,741 miles

I am really disappointed in this 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Ltd. I should've bought another Honda Odyssey which was excellent mechanically because it never once failed in 10 years. We wanted to try the new Pacifica since it was raved about in all the automobile media as something fresh and great. We bought it in November 2016 and experienced the first transmission problem in June 2018 at about 20,000 miles. We drive in city traffic and started noticing a jolting clunk when the transmission changed gears when decelerating at around 15-20 mph. It did not happen every time the transmission shifted gears but a few times per week.

Now in October 2018 with 25,000 miles it happens several times a day when driving in stop and go traffic. It is really embarrassing that such a nice and luxurious type of Minivan has a CLUNKING Transmission. I don't brag about my Pacifica anymore. Now I regret even buying it at all. A vehicle of this caliber should have the smoothest most reliable transmission of any of them.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Transmission is Junk because of this clunky hard shifting problem. I'm certain it will fail completely upon expiration of warranty. I would not recommend the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica or any other model with the same transmission. The transmission is defective and unsafe in our opinion.

- Jeff J., Louisville, KY, US

problem #16

Sep 082018

Pacifica LPlus 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles

My van has shifted so bad that I thought I got rear ended 3 times now. It is an intermittent problem, so I don’t know how to proceed until it gets worse.

- Tina D., Grand Rapids, MI, US

problem #15

Jun 072018

Pacifica LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I have a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica that I bought new. About 3 months or so after I bought this van, I was taking off from a street light and when the transmission shifted it sounded like the whole rear end had fallen out and it made a noise like a "Bang". Didn't think too much of it at the time just made a mental note of it. Now it has happened several other times since that initial first time. I called the dealer and made an appointment to have it looked at. they called me and told me my car was ready, I went to pick it up, and I asked what did they find wrong. Well guess what I was told. There's nothing wrong with the transmission, that being the type transmission it was that (it)was just shifting between gears. And there is nothing that be done with it! I guess every time I drive it and it sounds like rear end just fell out of it that's normal! I say BS, why would anyone build a car that operates that way!

- Dan H., Coshocton, US

problem #14

Aug 232018

Pacifica LX Zf 9spd Auto

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

I have a 2017 Pacifica LX that I purchased new in January 2017 to use as a contractor courier delivery driver delivering (of all things) transmission parts. At 100k miles (about ten months from purchase), I inquired about getting the trans fluid changed and was told by Chrysler that it was 'lifetime fluid.' After a few months, around 135k I noticed a whirring sound right before up shifting. The engine would rev to about 3k at around 45-50mph then whine just before and during the shift.

I got the trans fluid replaced at 140k by sucking it out the fill hole inside the drivers wheel well. DIYers, there is a $25 dip stick you can get. got 3.5 quarts out. Put new fluid in at $40 a quart!! Problem solved, no whining... for 20-25k miles at least. Got another fluid change at 170 and again the problem went away.

By 180k I started having extremely hard shifts only when accelerating slowly from a stop or very low speed. Shifting hard from 2nd to third at 5-10mph feeling, as others have described, like you got a 5mph bump to your rump from another vehicle. Reading the valve body solution from a previous comment, that sounds great if you're under warranty. I asked my shop to find one and the reported that they're about $350 but that Chrysler won't allow the sale of them to independent shops. Labor is five hours at $100 an hour plus about $240 in fluid plus tax will bring you to about $1200.

And that won't solve the whirring/whining issue which, my mechanic said, is likely something coming apart like the clutch. So they found a trans from a wrecked 2019 Pacifica with only 3k miles on it for $2100. With fluid, install and tax I'm out $3343. Might as well!

Okay, this is going to make some of you angry who have had this problem with a tenth the mileage but I know other courier route drivers who have made it much further. A co-driver with a 2012 Escape made it to 460k miles! I guess the trade off is saving $1300 per 100k miles in fuel with the 9spds over the old 6spds but spending $900 more per 100k in replacement costs (figuring $3400 every 190k instead of every 360k). So all told, I guess it's worth it. Hopefully my 2019 will have a couple glitches worked out and make 200k!

Cheers!

- David R., Pittsburgh, PA, US

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