The Jeep Pentastar engine is renowned for its power, efficiency, and performance. However, one common concern that Jeep owners may encounter is oil leaks, particularly around the oil filter which is an assembly with an attached cooler and sensors. Due to its design wherein coolant and engine oil reside side by side, one of the telltale signs of a fault with the engine oil filter assembly is engine oil in the coolant reservoir.
The Jeep Pentastar 3.2L and 3.6L share the same oil filter assembly design and common causes of oil leaks around the filter are listed below.
Faulty Oil Filter Gasket: One primary culprit behind oil leaks from the oil filter in Jeep Pentastar engines is a defective or worn-out oil filter gasket. The gasket serves as a seal between the filter and the engine, preventing oil from escaping. Over time, the gasket can degrade due to exposure to heat, pressure, and the elements, leading to leaks. Also keep in mind that if your vehicle has begun to have an oil leak after a recent engine oil change the gasket may have been improperly installed.
Over-tightening or Under-tightening the Oil Filter: Proper installation of the oil filter is crucial for maintaining a secure seal. Over-tightening or under-tightening the oil filter during installation can compromise the integrity of the seal, resulting in oil leaks. Jeep owners and mechanics alike should adhere to the manufacturer's specifications for torque when installing the oil filter.
Damaged Oil Filter Housing: The oil filter housing is another potential source of leaks. Any cracks, warping, or damage to the housing can compromise its ability to maintain a proper seal, allowing oil to escape. Regular inspections of the oil filter housing can help identify issues before they escalate.
The main reason to address an engine oil leak is that it can lead to severe consequences for the Pentastar engine. Insufficient oil levels can result in increased friction and heat, potentially causing premature wear on engine components. The Pentastar uses engine oil in a hydraulic capacity for VVL as well as an engine lubricant and so a loss of engine oil will affect engine oil pressure and could in turn lead to engine failure specifically the rocker arms and/or lifters which is a common Pentastar engine concern.
At Green's Garage our first step in addressing an engine oil leak is to start by visually inspecting the area around the oil filter for signs of oil leakage. Look for oil stains, wet spots, or dripping oil. If visible, it's essential to trace the source of the leak to determine the appropriate course of action.
When the engine oil filter assembly has a leak there is engine oil pooling in the valley of the engine and coolant may be mixed in with the engine oil. In terms of repair we always recommend upgrading to a Dorman aluminum oil filter housing with a 2 year or 24,000 mile warranty. Installation of a new engine oil filter is a same day service and we will provide you with before and after photos of the installation.
While oil leaks from the oil filter in Jeep Pentastar engines can be a cause for concern, understanding the underlying causes and taking proactive measures can mitigate potential issues. Regular maintenance, careful installation, and prompt addressing of any leaks are essential steps in ensuring the longevity and reliability of the Jeep Pentastar engine. By staying vigilant and following best practices, Jeep owners can continue to enjoy the power and performance that the Pentastar engine is known for, without the worry of oil leaks.