Chrysler Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Chrysler as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The transfer case in the Chrysler Aspen has multiple gear ratios, which can be selected by moving the switch in the cabin to 2Hi, 4Hi, or 4Lo. It has been known to shift to 4Lo without warning, at any speed, and whether the vehicle is on or off. If this occurs at highway speeds, the result can be catastrophic failure of the transfer case.

This is caused by a faulty four wheel drive shift motor, selector switch (in the cab) or the wiring between the two. The most common cause is the transfer case switch, which is an electric motor mounted on the transfer case. 

To correct the issue, inspect the wiring to the transfer case switch motor for damage, and replace the shift motor if needed. Disconnecting power to the shift motor will lock the transfer case in its current setting.  

Triggered by a short in the rear wiper motor/circuit (which causes a fuse to blow), the airbag warning light can illuminate erroneously.

Shifting harshness and shuddering issues related to the operation of the automatic transmission have been addressed by factory service bulletins. The shuddering can feel like the vehicle is being driven over rumble strips.

If you experience rough shift and/or shuddering during gear shifting, software updates to the powertrain control and transmission control modules (PCM and TCM) are available which may address these problems. On higher mileage vehicles, a mechanical failure may exhibit similar symptoms. Proper diagnoses should be performed before any repairs or software upgrades are attempted.

A damaged cam position sensor (or its wires and connector) can cause intermittent stalling, stumbles, or hard starting.

Sensor failure inside the distributor can cause intermittent stalling or a failure to start. In addition, the wires to the distributor are susceptible to internal damage, which can cause the same symptoms.

Misalignment of the accessory pulleys or a faulty drive belt tensioner may cause a chirping or squeaking sound while the engine is running. In If the replacing the belt tensioner does not correct the noise, the alternator pulley may require replacement.

When a no start condition is caused by a faulty camshaft or crankshaft sensor, related fault codes stored in the powertrain control module (PCM) should not be trusted. Our technicians tell us that under certain conditions a fault code can be stored for the "good" sensor. Care should be taken to properly diagnose this condition.

A defective vehicle speed sensor can cause problems with the cruise control and speedometer operation, as well as erratic shifting. The connectors on the sensors are also susceptible to corrosion, which will create similar symptoms. Any of these problems can cause Check Engine Light illumination.

The engine may develop a ticking noise, often caused by a broken retaining pin on the rocker arm shaft. When the pin breaks, the shaft can spin blocking the oil passage the rocker arms (which causes the ticking noise). The rocker arm shafts, rocker arms, and pedestals (sold as a kit) are commonly replaced in order to correct this condition.

Carbon buildup on the valves may illuminate the Check Engine Light, indicating "Multiple Cylinder Misfires." The combustion chamber must be cleaned of carbon. There are updated valve spring retainers that will help prevent a recurrence.

A defective turn signal lever (multifunction switch) can cause erratic operation of the turn signals and other exterior lights. Depending on the fault, a dead battery could result. Our technicians recommend replacing the failed switch.

There have been reports of premature head gasket failure; an updated gasket design is available to correct this problem.