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Looking to buy a wrangler, or cherokee trailhawk , 3.6 pentastar or 3.6 pentastar engine. Honest opinion are they good engines? can they be trusted? Will they last 200K miles? I don't care about anything else, but I don't want blown engines at 40K miles. Been in different forums, and some , like tesla are fanatics. I am seeking honest opinion about buying a wrangler or cherokee or grand cherokee. Year 2019 -2021
 

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Looking to buy a wrangler, or cherokee trailhawk , 3.6 pentastar or 3.6 pentastar engine. Honest opinion are they good engines? can they be trusted? Will they last 200K miles? I don't care about anything else, but I don't want blown engines at 40K miles. Been in different forums, and some , like tesla are fanatics. I am seeking honest opinion about buying a wrangler or cherokee or grand cherokee. Year 2019 -2021
Hi there.

I have the 3.2 in mine, 70+K miles. It's not a perfect engine. There are known issues with the valvetrain, more specifically rocker roller bearing failures and some valve seat issues as well. Such problems are not 'common', but we see them on the forums. If out of warranty, they can be costly repairs ($2-$3K).
There are oil cooler problems too, they are flimsy and prone to cracking/leaking. Haven't had the problem on mine, we see that usually at 70+K miles, though some see it early (especially when oil filter housing cover is overtightened).

Other than that, it's a decent engine, I think.
 

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The Cherokee is a 3.2L, minor typo.
The main complaint I have noticed in 7 years on this forum is that both engines are prone to cam follower failure.
Probably not prevalent enough to be a major concern.
The engine is the least of your worries, lots of other things can fail before the engine does.
The oil cooler housing can crack, lots of other things can go wrong.
I haven't figured out what the cam follower "deal" is but I use Amsoil Signature oil, change it often and my 2014 Cherokee TH at almost 100k miles is doing fine engine wise.
You need to figure out which vehicle fits your lifestyle and requirements, this is really a personal choice.
If you don't go off road you don't need a Wrangler even though they look "bad" at the Mall.
I do prefer the Cherokee TH suspension even around town, it takes speed bumps and pot holes more gracefully.
Unfortunately it seems to be a crap shoot, some of us are doing great, some of us have lemons.
I wiped the engine on my 1996 Oldsmobile on the skid pad in 100,040 miles, I have 180,000 miles on the new Crate engine, so anything is possible.
I have an unproved theory that doing a factory order results in a better ownership experience.
Don't buy anything off the lot, by my definition it is a used vehicle from just sitting around in the weather.
The most important thing is to find a competent, honest repair shop, for whatever you decide to buy.
These days some things can only be repaired by an authorized dealer, it seems to be a conspiracy.
Ok, that's my story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Cherokee is a 3.2L, minor typo.
The main complaint I have noticed in 7 years on this forum is that both engines are prone to cam follower failure.
Probably not prevalent enough to be a major concern.
The engine is the least of your worries, lots of other things can fail before the engine does.
The oil cooler housing can crack, lots of other things can go wrong.
I haven't figured out what the cam follower "deal" is but I use Amsoil Signature oil, change it often and my 2014 Cherokee TH at almost 100k miles is doing fine engine wise.
You need to figure out which vehicle fits your lifestyle and requirements, this is really a personal choice.
If you don't go off road you don't need a Wrangler even though they look "bad" at the Mall.
I do prefer the Cherokee TH suspension even around town, it takes speed bumps and pot holes more gracefully.
Unfortunately it seems to be a crap shoot, some of us are doing great, some of us have lemons.
I wiped the engine on my 1996 Oldsmobile on the skid pad in 100,040 miles, I have 180,000 miles on the new Crate engine, so anything is possible.
I have an unproved theory that doing a factory order results in a better ownership experience.
Don't buy anything off the lot, by my definition it is a used vehicle from just sitting around in the weather.
The most important thing is to find a competent, honest repair shop, for whatever you decide to buy.
These days some things can only be repaired by an authorized dealer, it seems to be a conspiracy.
Ok, that's my story.
great insight.
owner couple of cars in my past life..
where to repair a jeep? I don't like to take it to dealer, heck a local mechanic is wayyyyyy better...
 

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Personally I would not own another pentastar 3.2. 3.6 is built the same way and both have all too common and expensive if out of warranty roller rocker failures causing annoying misfires and camshaft damage. And very common are oil cooler failures as well. I have had 2 oil coolers fail (not due to overtighting) in 100k miles and also had both sides of my 3.2 all roller rockers replaced and 4 camshafts as well around 80k miles. If the roller rockers were not within warranty I would have been out thousands. Any engine that doesn't last 200k without major top end or other major internal work is junk in my opinion. Not to mention the 3.2 has a terrible design of you must drain all the engine coolant just to change the belt since a coolant hose runs through the belt. And the oil cooler is buried within the V of the engine and both intakes upper and lower must be fully removed to access for replacement. Just a over complex design that is hard and expensive to work on.

If you really want a FCA/Jeep product I personally would look at a Hemi if looking at a GC or the 2.0 turbo if looking at a Cherokee or Wrangler. I would AVOID the Pentastar V6's. Search other forums and you will see Wrangler and GC owners with similar issues. The hemi and 2.0 turbo do not have these common failures.
 

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I've had zero issues with my 2.0T equipped Trailhawk. That engine is also available in the Wrangler. Nothing but good reviews about it on the Wrangler forums as well as here. They have been around since 2018, and we have a lot of Cherokee owners around here with the 2.0T, and we have seen zero issues yet, and that's from owners closely approaching 70-80,000 miles which is where the Pentastar issues have already began, if they are going to. If I were buying a Jeep now for the first time, I would recommend the 2.0T or the Hemi, if you're considering a Grand Cherokee. Every modern vehicle from literally every manufacturer nowadays has their known issues, you're going to have that when you are driving "Rolling Computers". If you want mechanically almost perfect, you're going to have to buy a Mercedes nowadays. Everything else are just "Disposable Cars"...Just my $0.02...😎
 

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I've read about the Pentastar engines and the rockers, etc.. To be honest the
engine has been around since 2010 and are still being used in 2021 so they
must be doing something right. My money is on the PTU crapping out. I guess
I really don't care since I have Lifetime Maxcare on both Cherokees..



So, is the 3.6L Pentastar engine reliable? Summing up, we can say the Pentastar 3.6 reliability is way above average. It is time-tested well enough, and over 10 million Pentastar engines were produced to date. Despite that they had some issues early on, the 3.6L V6 Pentastar is great, durable, one of the most reliable engines available on the market right now. With proper maintenance, the 3.6 Pentastar engine longevity is around 250-300k miles (there are even a few cases of the Pentastar last up to impressive 500,000 miles).
3.0L
3.2L
3.6L
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Feb 16, 2019 The automaker has just announced it has built its 10-millionth Pentastar V6, which was first introduced in 2010 for the 2011 model year and has since undergone numerous updates. It will soon be available in 16 FCA models across five brands in a total of 10 vehicle segments.
They've been around... I wonder how many rocker failures they had in over 10 million
units to date? Oh well IF it does happen, $100 out of pocket...
 
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They've been around... I wonder how many rocker failures they had in over 10 million
units to date?
This. 👆

How many reports by different individuals on the internet forums are really posted with the rocker failure? 50? 100? 200? Does a couple hundred reports out of 10 million engines produced necessarily mean that the engine is prone to that problem? Yet people will see those posts and then confidently proclaim that it is a 'common' problem. In fact, it is those posts that will you will see many of, far, far more than posts from individuals who actually had the problem.

Forums like this can be very helpful, but trying to access a vehicles long term reliability or issue list by the forums alone will always skew heavily to the negative. It's not like 10s of thousands of people are going to show up on the forums to tell everyone how great their vehicle is treating them or how many miles they got on it before getting another one.

Would Jeep or any other manufacturer continue making millions of engines which have a common problem of rocker failures before the engine even hits 100k? Planned obsolescence? Not exactly a good strategy when many of those owners have long term warranties is it?

I too would really like to see an accurate percentage of how many of those 10 million engines had the rocker issues. Or more data on the engine years affected.

Having said all that, I don't think any engine should ever require top end work before the 150 or 200k mark, so it is disappointing to hear of any reports of it. But what I question is how prevalent the issue is...
 

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Would Jeep or any other manufacturer continue making millions of engines which have a common problem
That would be a yes!!! Reason??? People are still buying, and new engine design, and engineering costs money. There's quite a few manufacturers that are still using outdated designs on literally every system on the vehicle, but it is predominantly on the lower to mid price level vehicles, which our Cherokees, and pretty much all Jeeps fall into, even though I wouldn't consider a fully loaded JLU, or JT a mid price point vehicle when they are approaching the $80,000 range. It's just big business, you just can't upgrade everything, every year that the technologies improve, the costs of new vehicles would skyrocket even more than they already have...😎
 

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Are you sure its going to matter? Very few people who are in the financial position to even consider buying a new car actually keep one for more than 60-100k miles so what kind of car buyer are you? Have you personally put more than 200k on any car, ever? Not many can claim such a thing, few do it on purpose. If you have like a 10-year-old kid and you're thinking you are going to pass it on to them when they get their license... I think the landscape of cars is going to be a lot different in six years, as will the price of traditional gasoline, and likely incredible advancements in computer-based safety measures you would want your kids to have. Given Jeep's reputation the idea of "passing one on" to another family member when you've gotten the good miles out of it is... highly unlikely, at best.

The engine is the least of your worries, lots of other things can fail before the engine does.
Yep!

I have an unproved theory that doing a factory order results in a better ownership experience.
Don't buy anything off the lot, by my definition it is a used vehicle from just sitting around in the weather.
At our local dealership everything on the lot is the dealership staff's personal playthings until sold, too. Both of the "new" Jeep's we bought there had close to 1000 miles on them already when we were handed the keys, and both were dirty as could be inside and out. Bits of french fries in the cupholders, sunscreen smeared on the armrests, cobwebs around the mirrors... one of our two was a dealer trade and still came in the same condition so perhaps most Jeep lots operate that way. Not a fan of having to vacuum and wash my brand new cars the day I get them, never going to let that happen again no matter what brand we go with.
 

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Both of the "new" Jeep's we bought there had close to 1000 miles on them
That would be a "Demo" model. A new car with 1000 miles on it CANNOT be advertised as new!!! If I'm not mistaken, US federal law states 200 miles or less or something. Since the vehicle hasn't been sold at least once, it doesn't have to be advertised as preowned, but it must be either demo, or the old "Corporate Car" moniker, which you should have never had the pay full new car price for, and if you did, that's on you because you let them. Dealers will continue this practice until they get called out on it, which appears to be rare, or they wouldn't be doing it. My Trailhawk had 9 miles on it when I took delivery in 11/19, and the build date was 2/19, so it had been around a dealership or two for a while before I bought it...😎
 

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I frequently ride in Dodge Caravans as required by work, used by a transport company, you know how many miles those vehicles have on them? Anywhere from 400000-600000kms on them. Those are pentastar engines, yes they are original and they work just fine. I absolutely love how people think the pentastar is a "bad" engine because of a FEW engines having issues, just like every engine has some issues. I don't think there is anyone on this board that has owned a Cherokee as long as I have and my 2014 3.2 is humming along without a single issue, and all i've done is change the oil. its still on the original spark plugs
 

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you should have never had the pay full new car price for, and if you did, that's on you because you let them.
Oh, don't worry about that. We've never paid anywhere near full-price for a car, we assumed that's why we receive them from Jeep in such dirty condition (and also why we never said anything about the condition) On our Compass we worked them down to 17% under the sticker price over the course of several agonizing days and afterwards our salesman mysteriously got switched to working in the parts & service department 😁
 

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Are you sure its going to matter? Very few people who are in the financial position to even consider buying a new car actually keep one for more than 60-100k miles so what kind of car buyer are you?
Very few people??? Besides myself, I know plenty of people who can rack up 100k on a new car in just a few years. Hell, I've never even owned a car which didn't go over 100k. And they still looked new when I got rid of them.

Can my Jeep do it without top end work? I guess I will find out. ;)
 

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I'm very happy with the 3.2 in my 2019 plenty of power, smooth. Got 34k no issues. Mom now has over 100k on her 2014 3.6 Grand Cherokee no issues, just regular oil changes and maintenance ie now first time for spark plugs. One thing the 2.0 crowed won't mention is that spark plugs need to be changed on that one every 60k miles, as opposed to every 100k
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow.. seems this thing got people going.. test drove a Cherokee, and GC today. Liked both,
Cherokee says to give avg 21 mpg, GC will give 17 MPG (combined), so I might go with Cherokee.
Every car engine can fail..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This. 👆

How many reports by different individuals on the internet forums are really posted with the rocker failure? 50? 100? 200? Does a couple hundred reports out of 10 million engines produced necessarily mean that the engine is prone to that problem? Yet people will see those posts and then confidently proclaim that it is a 'common' problem. In fact, it is those posts that will you will see many of, far, far more than posts from individuals who actually had the problem.

Forums like this can be very helpful, but trying to access a vehicles long term reliability or issue list by the forums alone will always skew heavily to the negative. It's not like 10s of thousands of people are going to show up on the forums to tell everyone how great their vehicle is treating them or how many miles they got on it before getting another one.

Would Jeep or any other manufacturer continue making millions of engines which have a common problem of rocker failures before the engine even hits 100k? Planned obsolescence? Not exactly a good strategy when many of those owners have long term warranties is it?

I too would really like to see an accurate percentage of how many of those 10 million engines had the rocker issues. Or more data on the engine years affected.

Having said all that, I don't think any engine should ever require top end work before the 150 or 200k mark, so it is disappointing to hear of any reports of it. But what I question is how prevalent the issue is...
If I buy one, and it lasts 150K mile without work I am sold
 

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Wow.. seems this thing got people going.. test drove a Cherokee, and GC today. Liked both,
Cherokee says to give avg 21 mpg, GC will give 17 MPG (combined), so I might go with Cherokee.
Every car engine can fail..
Actually the Cherokee is the only vehicle I've owned that gets better MPG than the
sticker shows. I get 22 in town, and with remote starts. I can get up to 30 on the
highway if I'm taking it easy. I averaged over 25mpg on our last trip going up some
mountains, but then again you coast down the other side!
Then again you don't buy a Jeep for good mileage.... ;)
 
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