Most Common Chrysler Pentastar Oil Leaks

Some of the most common areas for oil leaks on the 3.0L, 3.2L, and 3.6L Pentastar are:

  • Oil filter housing/oil cooler assembly
  • Valve cover gaskets
  • Rear main seal
  • Oil pan

Chrysler did update the filter housing design in 2014 by removing the bypass valve, changing the housing shape, and the bolt pattern of the oil cooler. It did help reduce the number of oil filter housing problems on newer models. However, it’s still one of the most common issues on the Pentastar engines. Cracks are still possible with the updated part, but it seems the oil filter housing o-rings are the main issue on newer models.

2. Chrysler Valve Cover Gasket Oil Leaks

The combination of the plastic material and location makes the oil filter housing and oil cooler assembly prone to cracking. When this occurs, it results in a pretty significant oil leak. Oil may make its way back near the rear main seal, so if you notice oil there, don’t assume it’s the rear seal. It’s very likely the Pentastar oil filter housing is the culprit.

Rear main seals are one of the less common oil leaks on the Chrysler Pentastar engines. There are still a number of reports about rear main seal oil leaks. However, that’s to be expected on an engine that’s been in production for so long and with 12+ million units produced.

Next up are valve cover gasket (VCG) oil leaks on the 3.0, 3.2, and 3.6 Pentastar engines. Valve cover gaskets sit between the engine and the valve cover to help keep oil sealed inside. These gaskets are typically made of rubber (as is the case on the Pentastar) and are subject to extreme heat and heat cycles.

Over time, valve cover gaskets become brittle and begin cracking and leaking oil from the valve cover areas. VCG oil leaks are a common issue on many different engines, so the Chrysler Pentastar isn’t alone here. There aren’t any design flaws or major issues with the design of the Pentastar valve cover gasket. Instead, the VCG is simply subject to lots of wear and tear over the years.

Again, the Pentastar oil filter housing leak is one of the most common issues and oil leaks on the engine. The oil filter housing also contains the oil cooler, so you may also see this leak referred to as coming from the oil cooler. Typically, oil coolers are made from metals like aluminum. However, Chrysler opted to use plastic and also mounted the housing between the left and right cylinder banks – right in the center of the engine where there is excess heat.

Another possible oil leak on the Chrysler Pentastar engine is the oil pan and oil pan gasket. As with the rear main seal, this is also one of the less common areas for oil leaks on the 3.0, 3.2, and 3.6L engines. The oil pan gasket seals the oil pan (where oil is stored) to the bottom of the engine block.


The valve cover gasket, rear main seal, and oil pan leaks are a few other possible oil leaks on the Pentastar. These oil leaks are much less common of an issue than the oil filter housing. Unlike the housing design flaw, none of these oil leaks are due to any serious faults or design flaws. However, engines take a lot of abuse over the years and these oil leaks are more common as the Pentastar continues aging.

This list isn’t in any particular order, but the oil filter housing leak is first for a good reason. Not only is it one of the most common Pentastar oil leaks, but it’s also one of the most common engine problems in general.

Other areas to look for oil leaks include the valve cover gaskets, oil pan, and rear main seal. Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll expand on each of these common Chrysler Pentastar oil leaks.

1. Pentastar Oil Filter Housing Leak

Again, Pentastar rear main seal leaks are one of the least common oil leaks on this list. It’s worth the mention due to the intensive labor and cost to replace, though. It’s also worth mentioning since the rear main seal can often be confused with an oil filter housing leak. When the filter housing leaks, it can often drip down near the rear main seal, so double-check before assuming it’s the seal.

4. Oil Pan Gasket Oil Leaks

The Pentastar engine family is incredibly popular, given its 14 years in production and the dozens of vehicles it’s used in. The popularity of the Pentastar engine is largely due to it offering a good balance of reliability, longevity, performance, and economy. However, with so many of these engines on the road, it makes sense there are a number of problems and oil leaks.

However, with so many Pentastar engines produced, it’s natural to expect a number of well-documented engine problems. Of those issues, oil leaks are among the most common – especially the dreaded oil filter housing leaks. In this guide, we discuss some of the most common Chrysler Pentastar oil leaks.

Common Pentastar Oil Leaks

The Chrysler Pentastar engine family began production in 2010 and is still in production to this day. It’s a popular engine that’s in dozens of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles. Some 12,000,000+ Chrysler Pentastar engines have been manufactured to date. There’s a reason the 3.0, 3.2, and 3.6L Pentastar powers so many models; it offers a good balance of reliability, performance, and economy.

The Pentastar uses a two-piece oil pan design with an upper and lower oil pan. An oil leak from the gasket between these two pieces is the most common area for an oil pan leak. Fortunately, the lower oil pan is very easy to remove and the gasket is only about $25. This isn’t a very common leak on the Pentastar, but at least it’s a cheap and easy fix if you do run into issues.

Chrysler Pentastar Oil Leak Summary

Anyway, the rear main seal is responsible for sealing the gap at the rear of the engine where the crankshaft connects to the transmission. Rear main seal leaks can be expensive due to the location and complexity of labor. The seal itself is inexpensive but replacement will likely result in 7-12 hours of labor.

A valve cover gasket oil leak can occur at any point, but it’s most common after 8+ years and 80,000+ miles. V6 engines like the Pentastar use two valve cover gaskets – one on each engine bank. If one begins leaking, it’s best to replace both gaskets at the same time.

3. Pentastar Rear Main Seal Leak

An oil leak from the oil filter housing & oil cooler assembly is undoubtedly one of the most common problems on the Chrysler Pentastar engine. The plastic housing is subject to lots of heat and is prone to cracking or leaking from the o-ring.