Dodge 3.6 vvt Engine Problems (Discussed Causes and Solution)

Dodge 3.6 variable valve timing (vvt) engine is a 3.6l six-cylinder engine that was introduced to the 2011 Dodge model. To be in the market for a decade means that the engine delivers excellent service.

But this also depends on how well you take care of it. Unfortunately, even with its reliability and high performance, Dodge 3.6 vvt engine faces a few challenges.

“Over the years, the most common Dodge 3.6 vvt engine problems that were reported included cylinder head problems, radiator clogging, and advanced exhaust cam phasing.”

Keep on reading to find out the commonissues with Dodge 3.6 vvt engine, their solutions, specs, lifespan, and so much more.

Dodge 3.6 vvt Engine Overview

With high speed and performance, the Dodge 3.6 vvt engine knows how to elevate your driving to the next level.

The engine includes an eight-transmission and allows you to speed up from 0 to 60mph in just 6.5 seconds.

When it comes to design, the engine features a robust aluminum cylinder block, which is lighter and can handle heat quickly.

Also, the engine features a 60-degree V-angle design, which increases the space and creates more room for other car parts. Besides, the engine block system contains oil cooler jets.

Each of these three jets cools two cylinders uniformly, hence, preventing the engine from overheating.

Additionally, this engine also features an iron crankshaft, steel connecting rods, and cast aluminum pistons.

The latter is installed with low-friction rings to reduce wear and tear that may result from friction.

At the top of the engine are an alternator, compressor, belt tensioner, and air conditioner compressor, which are all operated by a single bet.

These components are properly arranged to reduce noise and vibration from the engine.

What are Common Dodge 3.6 Engine Problems?

With proper maintenance, Dodge 3.6 can provide years of reliable service. But no engine is perfect and this one is no exception.

Below, we will look at some of the common Dodge 3.6 engine problems and their solutions.

However, note that some problems can be difficult to diagnose, but getting advice from a professional is the right way to go.

01. Cylinder Head Problems

When your car misfires, the check engine light will also go on. Such a problem is caused by cylinder head failure, which is caused by valve seats on cylinder number two overheating.

Most owners noticed this issue from a ticking sound from the cylinder.

Other symptoms of cylinder head failure that were noted from this problem included the vehicle stalling, engine ticking, engine misfire, and loss of power.

If you notice any of these problems, then do not go on assuming them. Continuing to drive your vehicle with these issues would cause more problems.

Usually, these cylinder head issues are covered under your warranty, so make sure to check on that before going to the mechanic. If not covered, then the solution would be replacing the cylinder head.

02. Cooling System Failure

When the coolant does not flow through the engine due to radiator and water pump problems, it causes issues to the cooling system.

As a result, some owners reported that they experienced heating problems, A/C failure, and coolant leaks due to cooling system failure.

Sometimes, this issue could prompt a default code or the check engine light.

Overheating is the most common symptom of this issue. So if you notice it, then it is probably due to an issue with the cooling system.

Usually, the cooling system failure might be caused during the manufacturing process.

During production, some grains of sand may be left behind in the crannies and hooks of the engine.

Bear in mind that sand casting is the primary manufacturing process for this engine type.

The engine usually goes through serious inspections whereby it is cleaned thoroughly before being released.

However, residual sand from the casting process still finds its way through the car’s cooling system.

Over time, this sand would clog up the system leading to cooling system failure.

Fixing this problem may be a little bit difficult to do on your own. Therefore, the best solution is to take it to a repair shop or call a professional.

03. Oil Pump Failure

Oil pump failure is not that common of a problem, but it is worth mentioning.

The issue will hardly occur provided that you maintain your engine properly. But still, it can be an issue especially if your engine is old.

Some owners noted that there was a massive drop in oil levels as a result of oil pump failure.

Oil pump failure can cause other problems to the engine if not diagnosed sooner. For this reason, make sure to address this situation quickly.

Oil pump failure can be caused by issues with faulty bearing or oil passage problems. You could notice such symptoms as higher engine temperature and unusual noise coming from the engine.

So, what is the solution? Well, most often, you won’t notice an oil pump failure, thanks to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU).

The latter is simply a defense mechanism in your vehicle, that could solve the problem automatically, even before you find out. But if this issue gets worse, then consider replacing the oil pump.

Is The Dodge 3.6 Reliable?

Now you might be wondering, with such problems, is the Dodge 3.6 engine any good?

The answer is yes. Even though the Dodge 3.6 engine has a few flaws here and there, it is still a reliable engine.

For starters, this engine is regarded as the most high-performance engine around.

These engines are so good that they are not only used in Dodge cars, but also in other vehicles such as Jeep and Chrysler.

Being used by these popular brands is proof enough that this engine is reliable.

In terms of towing capacity, this engine is very powerful and can tow up to 6,200, which makes it the perfect companion for your next adventure.

Besides, the engine is perfect for off-roading and can handle almost any terrain.

And if maintained properly, the engine can give you a great service of up to or over 300,000 miles.

Moreover, the engine features environmentally friendly technology. So, you can go on driving without worrying about pollution.

Most importantly, the manufacturer keeps on improving the engine as the years go by.

This means that the product has gotten better over the years and even some of the problems have diminished.

Advantages of Dodge 3.6 Engine

Below are a few advantages, which will show why this engine is reliable.


the engine is equipped with variable valve lift (VVL) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which helps in enhancing fuel economy and improving combustion.

Reduces the release of harmful gas:

In addition, the EGR system directs some of the exhaust gases back into the cylinder.

As a result, this will help in combusting unburnt gases, thus, reducing the emission of such gases as NOx and CO.

Lighter in weight:

The 3.6l engine is 42lbs lighter as compared to the 3.5-liter engine, since the manufacturer used lighter but stronger and durable materials

No one likes a noisy engine. That’s why the Dodge 3.6 engine features a silent chain link design, which allows the engine to operate smoothly and noiselessly, as well as with minimal vibrations.

Dodge 3.6 vvt Engine Specs Chart

Fuel Type Gasoline
Configuration V
Number of Cylinders 6
Valves per Cylinder 4
Cylinder Block Material Aluminum
Cylinder Head Material Aluminum
Cooling system Water-cooled
Oil change interval (mile) 9000 miles or 15,000 km every 12 months
Engine oil capacity 5.7 l (6.0 qt)
Horsepower 305 HP
Torque 269 lb-ft
Maximum Towing Capacity 7,730 lbs.
Maximum Payload 2,300 lbs.
Mpg (city) 20
Mpg (highway) 25

How Many Miles Can A 3.6 L V6 Engine Last?

With proper maintenance, the 3.6l V6 engine could easily achieve 200 to 300,000 miles with no hassle. In some cases, the engine could last up to a whopping 500,000 miles.

But some parts of your vehicle tend to wear off faster causing more problems for your engine.

Keep in mind that for you to get this life expectancy, then it will depend on how well you treat your vehicle.

If you have no idea how to take proper care of your engine, worry not. Here are a few tips to help get the most out of your engine:

01. Regular Oil Changes

One thing you should never miss doing for your engine is regular oil changes.

As you know, engine oil is an integral part of your vehicle since it keeps the engine well lubricated and functioning properly. It can help prevent the engine from overheating or damage.

However, the oil does not last that long and might end up with debris or clogs, which may affect the performance of the engine.

And that’s why you need to keep changing the oil. Do not forget to install a new oil filter as well when changing the oil.

So, how long should you change the Dodge 3.6 engine oi? Well, it depends. For example, for standard motor oil, then consider changing it every three months or every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.

On the other hand, synthetic oil can last longer and can be changed after 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Make sure to check the recommended oil change intervals from your manual.

02. Keep the Engine Cool

Sometimes, your engine might overheat due to several reasons. Just make sure that you maintain the engine to a certain temperature, you have a fully functional radiator and an engine coolant.

When you notice the engine overheating, then take it into the repair shop to get the correct diagnosis of the problem.

03. Check on The Timing Belt or Chain

The timing belt or timing chain connects the crankshaft to the camshaft, hence, controlling the intakes and exhaust valves.

Note that the timing belt is a vital part of your engine and you should check it regularly or as recommended on the manual to ensure that it is not worn out.

If by any chance you drive with a defective timing belt, it will snap and will damage your engine.

When this happens, it will damage the most crucial and expensive parts of your engine, and repairing it will be costly.

So make sure to keep an eye on the timing chain to avoid any damage. Replace the timing chain whenever you see it has worn off.

How Much Horsepower Does A 3.6 VVT Motor Have?

You may now be left wondering how about the horsepower? Well, the 3.6 vvt engine has a horsepower of 305hp. So, you can expect a top-performing engine, a faster vehicle, and a better towing capacity.

Top Questions you should Know

Is 3.6 vvt a good engine?

With 305 horsepower, a towing capacity of 7,730 pounds, and a torque power of 269 lb-ft, it is fair to say the 3.6 vvt is a reliable engine.

And just like most engines, this one faces a few challenges, but with proper maintenance, the engine will give you a long service. You are certain to get the most of your engine only if you maintain it.

Which Dodge models have the 3.6l Pentastar V6 engine?

You can find the 3.6l engine in these Dodge models: 2011-2014 Dodge Avenger, 2011-2019 Dodge Journey, 2011-2020 Dodge Grand Caravan, 2011 to present Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango, and Dodge Charger.

How can I get more power out of the Dodge 3.6vvt engine?

There are several upgrades you can perform on your engine to get the most out of it.

These incude upgrading the cool air intake, replacing your OEM ignition coils with high-output ones, or replacing the whole exhaust system with top-notch aftermarket products.

Conclusion of Dodge 3.6 vvt Engine

So far, you are now familiar with the Dodge 3.6 vvt engine problems, solutions, and its reliability. Overall, the Dodge 3.6l engine is way over average.

Despite its issues, this engine is time-tested well enough, durable, and is amongst the most reliable engines in the market.

As long as you look after it, the engine lifespan could go up to 250 to 350,000 miles