Most Common Jeep 3.7 Engine Problems – Detailed Guide

Most Common Jeep 3.7 Engine Problems

Jeep 3.7L V6 PowerTech was manufactured by Chrysler from 2002-2012 and has wide applications from Jeep Liberty to Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Nitro. Chrysler 3.7 V6 is actually the same engine as Chrysler 3.4 V8 engine with two fewer cylinders.

It’s been part of many SUVs, mid-sized vehicles, and Dodge Ram Truck as the base engine from 2022 to 2012. The horsepower rating for the engine is 210 hp and the torque rating is 235 lb-ft.

The subpar fuel economy and low power as early as 75000, lead to its replacement, and by the end of 2012, it was replaced by Chrysler V6 Pentastar. If you are going for an engine replacement or buying vehicles having PowerTech 3.7 L V6, you must be aware of its common problems.

In this post, I’ll discuss the common jeep 3.7 engine problems. In addition to general problems, I will share some pro tips and solutions to manage these problems.

Major Problems of Jeep 3.7 Engine

Most Common Jeep 3.7 Engine Problems

The 3.7L V6 engine (2002-2012) was used in many Chrysler vehicles, including

  • Jeep Cherokee 
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Liberty
  • Commander

Before we discuss the Chrysler 3.7 problems it’s crucial to discuss the engine’s reliability.

Dodge 3.7 V6 Reliability

Dodge 3.7 V6 engine is a 6-cylinder engine known for its ability to produce tremendous torque in off-roading and towing applications. The engine doesn’t enjoy a very good reputation due to its built-in flaws and catastrophic failure reports. Overheating is the most common issue that occurs due to bad piston landings.

With scheduled maintenance, the engine can run as long as 200,000 miles. There are plenty of reports that say the 3.7l dodge engine lasted 200,000+ miles without any significant issues. However, frequent reports on the catastrophic failure of this engine as early as 80000 miles have made its reliability questionable.

The fuel economy of the engine is good when all its parts are functioning properly. However bad lash adjusters and damaged valve seats can lead to higher fuel consumption. The engine got mixed reviews in the early years of its manufacturing. But later on due to more frequent sporadic issues, this engine was completely replaced by the Chrysler V6 Pentastar. So let’s begin with jeep 3.7 engine problems. You can also have a look at the Jeep 3.8 Engine problems.

Jeep 3.7 Engine Problems

Jeep 3.7 Engine Problems

1. 3.7 PowerTech Valve Seat Failure

One of the most commonly reported problems with the Jeep 3.7 PowerTech engine, is valve seat failure or defective valve seats. The purpose of the valve seat is to keep the valve and exhaust intakes fully sealed when the engine is not working. The proper functioning of the valve seats is crucial for smooth and enough engine compression throughout its life.

To keep the valve closed the valve head rests against the valve seat. The valve seats are made of powdered material which is highly prone to damage over time. It may not lead to a sudden failure but over time the chances of valve seat collapse are higher. When a valve set is collapsed it restricts the valve from being fully closed.

It leads to poor compression in the engine and the air will start leaking out of the engine. Each cylinder on the engine has its own set of valve seats. The failure of the valve seat on one cylinder does not affect the other.

Once this problem is found on more than one cylinder it affects the whole engine. The engine’s inability to maintain the compression will make the whole engine ineffective. The valve seat failure usually leads to an engine rebuild. Check out, how long you should drive with bad pistons.

Common Symptoms Of The Valve Seat Failure

This problem is a little hard to detect in the early stages. The failure of the valve set on one cylinder may have a mild impact on overall performance and may go unnoticeable. However, if you are facing common low power and poor compression issues, it’s highly recommended to consider this issue.

A cylinder misfire is another common symptom that can make you think if the valve seats are working fine or not. Loss of power and cylinder misfire can be due to many other reasons like spark plug failure or ignition coil defect but in the case of the jeep 3.7 engine, it is mostly associated with the valve seat failure. Overall poor performance, loss of power, and acceleration are some other symptoms of this problem. You can also check the common issues in the Jeep 4.7 Engine.

Collapsed Valve Seat – What To Do?

Valve seat failure leads to significant damage to the valve head. The repairing or rebuilding cost is very high. The process is a little complex and only a well-trained mechanic can do the job.

If you have to choose between repair and replacement I recommend you to go for a replacement. Paying a few extra bucks for getting a fully upgraded system isn’t a bad deal. The average valve seat replacement/rebuild cost on Dodge 3.7 engine is around $1200.

2. Stuck Lash Lifter

Jeep 3.6 engine is a single overhead camshaft engine. SOHC is an engine in which the camshaft is located in the cylinder head above the combustion chambers. Most OHC engines lack lifters, but the Jeep 3.7 engine comes with hydraulic valve lash adjusters. Apart from efficiency, there is no significant difference between the lash adjusters and cam lifters.

Traditional lifters maintain good clearance between the valve and the cam follower but these hydraulic lash adjusters promise zero clearance taking the engine’s performance to a whole new level. A higher level of clearance is needed at the exhaust since it expands due to heat.

The problem occurs when the lash adjusters fall out of place or get stuck. This problem is mainly associated with poor oil performance. If the oil consistency is thicker than what is needed, the lifter becomes stuck.

Also, less frequent oil changes can trigger this issue. The collapse of the lifters can make the pushrod bend and fall out of space. It can lead to intermittent engine problems and serious performance issues. It not only prevents the valve from opening and closing but also leads to valve and rocker arm collapse. The problem in its later stages can lead to entire engine failure also.

Symptoms Of Stuck Lifters

Constant tapping sound is the most common symptom of this problem. It should not be confused with the occasional knocking. It’s a specific tapping noise that you hear more frequently when the lifters or lash adjusters are not working properly. At the most advanced stages, the tapping sound becomes more intense and occurs in rapid succession. Also, you may hear loud knocking and some terrible abounding sound.

Slaggy and thick oil is so far the most common reason for this issue. Low acceleration, rough idling, and lack of power are some other symptoms that warn you about the issue. The good news is that this issue is usually limited to a specific cylinder. Therefore it can be replaced and fixed easily within a limited budget.

Stuck Lifters – What To Do?

Stuck lash adjusters can be replaced if the problem is detected early. You need to figure out the cylinder on which the problem has occurred. The replacement cost of the lash adjusters depends upon the type of lifter you opt for. If you want to boost up the engine performance you may go for an upgrade.

Premium grade lash lifters designed for OHC engines like jeep 3.7 may cost you as high as $100 per lifter. However, you can find a wide range of aftermarket lash adjusters as low as $30.

If it is a sporadic problem you may go for a specific replacement. But if the problem is due to worn-out hydraulic lifters it’s a great idea to replace the whole set. It significantly enhances engine performance and improves fuel economy. The replacement process is a little costly since you have to pay a few extra bucks for the labor cost.

3. Piston Ring Landing

Piston ring landing is one of the most common 3.7 dodge engine problems. This is because the 3.7 Dodge engine has inherent piston design flaws. The problem is also reported for the 3.7l engine in the liberty jeep. The piston ring grooves are responsible for the air-tight seal of the cylinder. It keeps the cylinder wall from touching the piston. A minor contact between the cylinder wall and piston can lead to a major flaw since it results in overheating.

Overheating doesn’t limit itself to one component. Instead, it can damage the cooling system, shaft, and valves. Another biggest concern is that it affects the engine’s fuel economy. The overheating caused due to faulty piston landing makes the engine consume more oil and fuel. The damage to metallic components of the engine can make the whole structure fall and you may need to go for an engine replacement.

Since the problem is due to an inherent design flaw, you can not avoid it in the Chrysler 3.7l engine. The problem can occur as early as 75000 miles on the Chrysler 3.7 liter engine. All that you need to do is to check the landings and clearance seal regularly. Try to get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid irreparable damage to the engine.

Piston Ring Landing Symptoms

Severe overheating issues are the most common symptom of this problem. Poor fuel economy, low acceleration, lack of power, and rough idling are all associated with this problem. Damage to sensitive components like a spark plug, ignition wire, or switches is also related to this problem. Also, oil leaves sludges that cause the lash adjusters to stick and wrap around.

So far the most devastating overheat implications on the dodge 3.7 V6 engine is the damage to the cooling system. It can develop leaks in the coolant and can break the hoses and radiators. The collapse of the cooling system results in even more serious overheating issues.

Piston Landing Issues – What To Do?

Since it occurs due to inherent design flaws it’s pretty challenging to get fully out of this issue. The overheating problem can be managed with regular maintenance and temperature monitoring. Also, I recommend keeping the cooling system fully functional and upgraded. You need to replace the coolant as per scheduled requirements to keep your engine safe from the overheating effect.

Also, a radiator upgrade will enable you to prevent irreparable damage or engine collapse due to overheating issues. Temperature monitoring enables you to detect the problem at the early stages. It helps you prevent irreparable damage. The rebuilding and repairing cost can be as high as $500 depending upon the severity of the issue.

4. Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve

The PCV valve is responsible for keeping the crankcase free of exhaust gasses. The engine produces a lot of exhaust gasses that are meant to leave the engine through the exhaust pipe. However, a significant portion of these gasses make their way to the crankcase instead of going to the exhaust.

A PCV valve is responsible for keeping them away from the crankcase. If it fails to do so, it may lead to overall poor engine performance. The crankcase is the part of the engine that holds the oil at the bottom. The exhaust gasses react with the oil and turn it into sludge. This further leads to poor fuel and oil economy.

PCV valve failure happens when the valve becomes greasy and sticky. A gunked-up valve is no more capable of venting the gas out. This is not an intermittent issue. It happens over time. The major cause of the problem is poor maintenance. The build-up on the valve happens when it is not properly cleaned and maintained.

Symptoms Of The PCV Failure

The biggest symptom of PVC failure is oil leakage. When it happens the oil leaks from the gasket and valve cover. The thing that is most commonly associated with a bad PCV valve is the idle RPM. The uncontrolled airflow between the intake manifold and crankcase leads to rough idling or makes the idle RPM too high.

A white-gray smoke is another symptom of the broken or gunked-up PCV valve. The air-fuel mixture becomes lean leading to an unusual smoke appearance and also you feel the odd petrol smell. Increased oil consumption and engine misfires are some other symptoms of PCV valve failure.

PCV Valve Failure – Replacement Options

PVC valve is a small and inexpensive component but since it has to play a major role you can’t keep going with a bad PCV valve. Luckily its replacement is simple and inexpensive. With a good set of tools and basic engine knowledge, you may be able to replace the PV valve yourself.

PCV valves of the jeep 3.7 engine are available for under $20. You can manage the whole process within a limited budget even when you go for a professional service. When you go for replacement it is recommended to change the oil as well. A fully functional PCV valve along with good oil can boost the engine’s performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Jeep 3.7 engine a good engine?

The Jeep 3.7 engine is a good option for towing and off-roading since it produces plenty of torque. However, when it comes to acceleration, the engine fails to provide fast acceleration. Also, its inherent design flaws may lead to catastrophic engine failure as early as 75000 miles.

How many miles will a Dodge 3.7 engine last?

The lifespan of the Dodge 3.7 engine depends on how well it is maintained. As per the reports, a Dodge 3.7 engine should last at least 200,000 miles if maintained properly. However, due to excessive overheating issues and some inherent design flaws, it may collapse as early as 80,000 miles.

What is a 3.7 motor?

A 3.7 motor is the PowerTech 3.7-liter V6 engine by Chrysler. It is also known as Dodge 3.7 engine and 3.7 V6 Magnum. This engine is the same engine as the 4.7 V8 with two fewer cylinders. The engine was designed and manufactured by Chrysler from 2002 to 2012.

Wrapping Up

I’m hopeful that this post will enable you to understand the most common 3.7-liter jeep engine problems. Knowing the reason and symptoms of dodge 3.7 V6 engine problems helps you figure out issues in the early stages.

The best part is that Dodge 3.7 engine problems are manageable and with regular maintenance, you can prolong the engine service life. More than 50% of engine problems are directly or indirectly related to overheating. Therefore it is highly recommended to install a temperature sitting system and keep the cooling system fully functional.

Hi! Roy Penny here, a passionate adventurer who has been driving jeeps all his life. My passion for the thrill of off-roading has allowed me to learn what modern-day jeeps have to offer. Exploring the popular trails and seeking thrills in the unexplored terrains allowed me to discover the true intimacy nature had to offer and become an avid learner of Off-roading with Jeeps. Hence, I decided to create this blog to share my experiences of jeep riding and off-roading with the world. My only goal is to provide the readers with quality reliable information about jeeps.