Chrysler 3.8L V6 Engine Problems, Reliability & Specs

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Choosing engines can be a real problem in life if you’re unaware of what you should and shouldn’t look out for.

Since many people around are new to the mechanical world and aren’t properly made aware of things, the confusion can be high.

The company of Chrysler is known for the products they make, and almost all of their products have been claimed to be extremely useful, especially for the customers looking for better ways to have their car running.

But some common Chrysler 3.8 engine problems need to be talked about. With good, you can get some bad so let’s look into what problems you might face.

Here are some of the most common problems:

  1. Excessive Oil Consumption Is A Large Part Of The Issues You May Face
  2. Having An Intake Manifold Leak Causes Excessive Engine Damage
  3. Your Timing Cover Can Begin To Fail Suddenly
  4. Going Through Oil Leaks Might Be One Of The Worst Things For A Driver
  5. Hearing A Sudden Knocking Sound From The Engine Is Never A Good Thing

So now that you know, the names of the problems, let’s start by discussing them at length!

The 5 Most Common Chrysler 3.8 Liter V6 Engine Problems

Is the 3.8L V6 engine used by both Chrysler and Jeep? If so, this engine must be good then

1. Excessive Oil Consumption Is A Large Part Of The Issues You May Face

You might have some serious issues in terms of the oil consumption in your 3.8 engine.

They aren’t unsolvable issues, but they are issues that you need to be aware of. Oil consumption is known to become extremely high suddenly.

Oil Consumption Defined

Oil consumption is one of the biggest problems that can happen in any car. Oil consumption becoming excessive means exactly what it sounds like.

The 3.8 engine begins to use more oil than needed and begins to lose oil in extremes.

The amount of oil already used in the motor is lessened, and you always need to add more amounts to make the meter full.

What Kind Of Issues Happens?

When the oil consumption is high, you can find your car experiencing many symptoms that show something is wrong.

One of the most common signs is that the engine has low oil, showing in the tank meter.

A lesser obvious sign is that you can smell a certain burning oil smell coming from your engine, which is bad.

Excessive oil use can cause:

  • You to spend more money on oil.
  • A lot of wastage of the oil beforehand.
  • Bigger problems happening within the engine.

How To Solve The Problem

You can easily solve such a problem by ensuring your tank is filled up with heavier and denser oils, and this prevents leaking and helps the customer save money from spending the most on oil.

2. Having An Intake Manifold Leak Causes Excessive Engine Damage

Having problems with the intake manifold is slightly less common, but many customers have complained about having certain issues.

The problems need to be sorted out correctly before any person can use the engine.

What Is The Intake Manifold?

By definition, the intake manifold means the part of the 3.8 engine meant to give air to the cylinders also present in the motor.

This part ensures that air is distributed properly between the cylinders so that no extra problem arises and ensures that the motor is working smoothly.

Since the air can be an important part of how your engine gets the proper fuel, you need to ensure your intake manifold is working correctly.

But leaking the device causes you some real bad damage that you might have to worry about.

Your intake manifold helps you to:

  • Ensure air is spread evenly in cylinders.
  • Help your engine gain more power.
  • Keep your engine running in a fresh way.

Defining The damage

So many ways can define the damage your car can face, but some of the main ones include a visible coolant leak.

Coolant also helps to keep your car at a normal temperature, so this is something you should worry about.

Other than that, you might also face some wet transmission bell housing which causes more trouble for your engine. And lastly, you may notice steam rising from the engine bay.

Why Is It Important To Fix It?

You can fix the problem by replacing all the gaskets on your motor.

Fixing the issue can be important because otherwise, your engine could be in a lot of danger and might not recover from the arising issues.

3. Your Timing Cover Can Begin To Fail Suddenly

Having a failure in your timing cover may seem like a problem you’ll never face, but it is an issue to remember.

Timing covers hold their significant importance, so you know you’ll need to be careful.

Understanding The Timing Cover

The timing cover is essentially the cover that comes on top of the timing belt or chain and ensures that your motor’s valves are opening and closing at the right time.

So you can imagine how important your timing cover is for the betterment of your car.

You need to understand various parts of your car to work better, and the timing cover is surely one of these parts.

Reasons For Failure

The timing cover can break or have a certain leak become prominent in it. The timing cover is very delicate, so a part needs to be taken care of the right way.

You need to check on the part to make sure that nothing too bad is happening to the motor. You might also need to replace the part if the damage gets too bad.

Timing covers can lead to:

  • Your timing chain working correctly.
  • All the valves working at the right time.
  • Having a better run of your car.

Impact On The Engine

With the problem, you might find that your Chrysler 3.8 engine isn’t working as well as before. You might find new problems with your engine that you never even noticed before.

4. Going Through Oil Leaks Might Be One Of The Worst Things For A Driver

Oil leaks are again something that can be a big problem if not checked out. Losing oil is never a fun part of owning a motor, but such a problem arises when you do not take care.

Learning More About Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are when certain parts of your motor start to leak oil suddenly without explanation at first.

Oil leaks can happen randomly without any real explanation, which can cause quite a bit of an issue.

Oil leaks usually are a bigger problem than you would, but because the issue is so common, no one considers the problem as being that big anymore.

Your oil leaks could be a serious indicator of how dangerous it is for you to drive the car you are in.

What Happens In Reality?

In reality, there are so many ways that you can find out about oil leaks. The first would be the visible sign of oil in your Chrysler 3.8 engine.

But a lesser-known sign would be of the burning oil smells coming from your car because the oil isn’t where it is supposed to be.

During oil leaks, you should:

  • Get your car checked out often.
  • Stop using your car for a while.
  • Understand what cues show the oil leak problem.

How Can I Further Avoid This Happening?

Preventing oil leaks can only be done through proper maintenance. You need to constantly maintain your car to make sure issues don’t arise.

5. Hearing A Sudden Knocking Sound From The Engine Is Never A Good Thing

Knocking sounds are also one of the most common indicators of failure. Engines tend to work quietly, so there is probably a big problem if there is a knocking sound.

Knocking Sounds Emphasis

Knocking sounds are known to come from the engine. While regular engines wouldn’t create the sounds, the affected engines would have a different knocking sound prominent in them.

These knocking sounds are often paid no heed to, but they still need to be considered extremely important to note because normal engines do not sound like that.

Understanding More About The Problem

The issue has been seen in more cars that were known to have 60,000 miles.

So it won’t happen as soon as you get the car; rather, it will happen when the car is a little more used than normal.

Having such an issue can be solved, but only if you are willing to effort.

Fixing The Issues

One of the best ways to solve the problem is to change the oil filter you use.

Changing the oil filter might help make sure the knocking sound completely fades, and you can be sure to have no further issues with the motor.

The knocking sound is often found:

  • In cars that have been used a little more than normal.
  • When you don’t get your car maintained.
  • When you’re careless about how your car should be kept.

What Is The Chrysler/Jeep 3.8 Engine?

The Chrysler 3.8 is one of the few engines known as the first Chrysler engine. The build of the engine is designed specifically to be larger and better than previous models.

Made from a special kind of cast iron, the motor is meant to last you many years. The durability of the motor has been made very high.

The motor was first made in 1991, making it one of the oldest motors compared to others.

The 3.8 engine is most seen in the Jeep Wrangler JK, which is an important ride to have if you like an adventure.

The motor itself offers around 150-215 horsepower, which essentially is considered an extremely low horsepower for such a large engine to give.

The motor is not one of the highest performers in the market but essentially does help customers when they need something a little more solid.

Is The 3.8 Engine Reliable?

Compared to other kinds of engines, the 3.8 engine truly has made its name in terms of reliability.

The motor itself is extremely popular throughout the world because of the reliability guarantee it gives.

Even knowing all of the problems above has not stopped many customers from recommending the motor.

The 3.8 engine is meant to last you a very long time, and it is something that you can use for most parts of your life.

The motor’s maintenance is consistent, so you know that the engine can be a little difficult to work with if it is not maintained often.

The problems in the motor are as common as those in any other motor, so they shouldn’t be worried about too much.

Overall, you might consider the 3.8 engine something worth the purchase if you want something that has been used for a considerable amount by many different kinds of customers.

What Cars Use The Chrysler 3.8 Engine?

Not many different kinds of cars are known to use the Chrysler 3.8.

Many of the same kind do, though, and some of the most common cars known to use the 3.8 engine include the Chrysler New Yorker, the Chrysler Imperial, the Chrysler Minivans, the Volkswagen Routan, and the Jeep Wrangler JK.

While not many cars are known to use the 3.8 engine regularly, the motor is extremely popular wherever you might look for an engine that lasts a long time.

These cars are known to completely enjoy the 3.8 engine because of how much it helps their cars perform much better and how often they can enjoy a smooth ride because of the installation of said engine.

So you can be assured if you’re using the 3.8 engine and have any of these cars, you will surely have a good time, and you will never actually regret your decision.

Chrysler 3.8 Engine Specs

Engine name Chrysler 3.8
Production 1991-2011
Displacement 3778cc
Configuration 60° V6
Block material Cast iron
Compression 9.6: 1
Horsepower 150-215 hp
Fuel Regular
Fuel injection Multi-port, Electronic
Oil capacity 5.7 L
Bore 96 mm
Stroke 86 mm

The Benefits Of Choosing The Chrysler 3.8 Engine

Even with all of the issues, there are still some strong points about the 3.8 engine, which include:

  • Compared to other motors, the motor is generally more affordable.
  • Noise is never a problem with this motor.
  • Smooth drives are a common thing with the motor.
  • Reliability is relatively higher in the motor guarantee.
  • You can completely depend on the motor without any issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Who Is The Manufacturer Of The Chrysler 3.8 Engine?

The name of the company is quite obviously Chrysler, as you can tell. The company is one of the most known in the mechanical world due to how many amazing products it has put out.

With so many options, the Chrysler 3.8 is one engine that has always been the most talked about and for a good reason too. You can trust the company and the product completely.

Q2. What Are The General Concerns About The Chrysler 3.8 Engine?

Some people have raised certain kinds of concerns about the Chrysler 3.8 engine.

Some of the main concerns that you might hear are about horsepower, and another includes the engine’s functionality in terms of longevity.

These are some of the most common concerns raised about the engine in general, but they are surely nothing to be too concerned about for the common person.

Q3. How Long Will The Chrysler 3.8 Engine Last?

Having your Chrysler 3.8 engine last you a long time is something that you will observe.

Being between 150,000 to 200,000 miles, the motor is meant to last you a very long time without actually having some trouble arising within the use of the 3.8 engine.

So the 3.8 engine will be your best choice if you want a motor that lasts you a long time.

Q4. Is The Horsepower A Real Issue In The Chrysler 3.8 Engine?

The horsepower problem is actually with a big impact on the buyer. Depending on what kind of horsepower you want in your car, the 3.8 engine might be slightly lacking.

With only 150-215 horsepower, the engine can be considered on the lacking side of the best kind of horsepower; however, such power might suffice if you don’t want a lot of power from your motor.

Q5. How Can I Get More Power From My Chrysler 3.8 Engine?

Considering the horsepower issue is already known, how can you increase the power from your 3.8 engine?

The best way is to increase the fuel level going through your engine, and the amount of air passing through the engine is also a way to increase horsepower.

These are little ways to ensure that you might be able to get more power out of your engine, although there is no guarantee that they will always work.


And there you have it!

All you need to know about the Chrysler 3.8 engine. It might seem like a little too much information, but you can never be too sure about what you’re getting.

And you can be sure if you get this engine, you will not regret your decision even one bit.

So even with all these Chrysler 3.8 engine problems mentioned, the benefits truly outweigh the bad.

So even if you keep in mind all of the ways that the motor is lacking, you can truly see all the ways the motor is thriving.

So choosing the 3.8 engine will never bring you any problems. Try the engine out if it seems like something you would enjoy!