One of, if not the most common issue we see at our three stores is a leaking oil filter housing on the 3.6L Pentastar engine from Chrysler. Why is this one of the most common issues we see in our store? Well, it’s a very popular engine. Production started in 2010 and now there are over 10 million vehicles on the road with this engine. The Fiat Chrysler 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine is versatile, allowing it to be in sedans, pickup trucks, minivans, and SUVs. Common vehicles with this engine are the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Chrysler Pacifica, Grand Caravan, Town and Country, Dodge Journey, Durango, and Ram 1500-ProMaster.
Diagnosing Oil Filter Housing Leaks
Our mechanics’ extensive experience with these engines means they can not only repair intricate engine problems but also diagnose them correctly. It takes a bit of time for the oil to accumulate enough to see the oil leaking onto the ground. Why is this? The oil filter housing sits in a valley towards the back passenger side of the engine. When the oil filter housing leaks there is plenty of room below the housing to collect the oil. So, it’s hard to determine if your oil filter housing is leaking by looking under the engine for oil. You will commonly see the oil pooling up visually with a flashlight.
Why Does the Oil Filter Housing Leak?
Well, the oil filter housing used on the engine is made of plastic. This plastic sees a good amount of heat while the engine is running. But when the engine is off the housing is exposed to the atmospheric temperature. Over the years, that is a lot of thermal cycling on a piece of plastic. The housing is mounted onto the engine block which is made from cast aluminum. During thermal cycling, the plastic of the oil filter housing and the aluminum of the engine block expand and contract at different rates. The gasket between the two is asked to do a lot of work because the gap between the two pieces is ever-changing.
What Can Prevent the Engine Oil Filter Housing from Leaking?
Unfortunately, it’s a design flaw that causes the oil filter housing to leak. So, nothing can be done to prevent the oil filter housing from leaking. However, when we replace your oil filter housing at Scott’s U-Save, we will not use the OE plastic housing but upgrade to an aluminum housing. The housing should have been aluminum from the start. Once the oil filter housing is replaced with an aluminum part we seldom see the housing leak again.
Regular Oil Changes
Since you can’t prevent the oil filter housing from leaking, you should regularly have your oil changed. This ensures a technician is consistently inspecting your vehicle. Or, you can regularly check your dipstick to make sure you’re not running the engine low on oil. The engine takes 0W20 oil. 0W20 oil only comes as synthetic oil. So, your common oil change interval is 5,000-6,000 miles.
Why is There so Much Labor to Replace an Oil Filter Housing on an Engine?
On the engine, the oil filter housing is located under the intake manifold. So, this manifold must be removed to reach the oil filter housing. This not only includes the labor to remove the housing, but you will also need an intake gasket to be replaced. These gaskets are for one-time use. At Scott’s U-Save, we highly suggest doing a tune-up at the same time you do the oil filter housing. The reason is, that the spark plugs are also located under the intake manifold. If you’re already paying to take off the intake manifold, replace the gasket, and re-stall you should replace all wearable parts. This would be your spark plugs, possibly your ignition coils, and your spark plug boots. Any time we do a tune-up we highly recommend a fuel service be done at the same time. This will clean up the fuel lines, injectors, and the back of your engine valves.
What is the Typical Cost of Replacing the Engine Oil Filter Housing?
We just discussed a few other parts that should be replaced at the same time. But, just replacing the oil filter housing with upgraded aluminum housing is around $800.
Get Your Oil Filter Housing Replaced at Scott’s U-Save!
The skilled and experienced technicians at Scott’s U-Save have replaced oil filter housings on countless 3.6L Pentastar engines. We have three locations in Steger IL, New Lenox IL, and Schererville IN. If your engine is leaking oil, give us a call or schedule an appointment today.