Ecodiesel Reliability?

DanW

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I've been hearing concerns over the reliability of the Ecodiesel. TFL Truck reports that 1/2 of owners posting on their forums say they've had major issues with the Ecodiesels in the Ram, and about 1/2 say they've had no issues.

I'm contemplating waiting for the diesel, for one reason: Power. However, I already know the 3.6 to be very reliable and durable. I've got a number of friends with the 3.6 in their JK's, and none of them have had a single issue.

All things considered, as much as I love the idea of the power and fuel economy the Ecodiesel would deliver, I'd trade it for reliability and durability. I'm also very used to my 3.8 JKUR, in which that old engine has been perfect for 116k miles. I don't want a Jeep that might strand me in the middle of nowhere with an engine issue.

Anyone have any experiences with the Ecodiesel? Any good sources of reliability info? One thing I'm going to do is talk to the service manager at my Jeep/Ram dealership. I'm not sure how many Ecodiesels they've sold, but I'll ask him which engine he'd order if he was getting a JLU.





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The Great Grape Ape

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You'll need to link to the TFL clip that mentions this, because I haven't seen them address this.

There's been a lot of opportunity for them to mention this recently especially since when testing the Ford F-250 updated gas V8, it broke down before even really starting on the IKE, so you would've expected a shout out then or in part2, or in the recent EcoDiesel videos like the one about Aerodynamics.


There's a lot of flotsam and jetsam on the boards not all of it credible, similar to Toyoter fanbois spamming every Jeep or Land Rover video on YouTube, so you'd need to be specific about the concern.

The EcoDiesel will add some maintenance concerns associated with stuff like DEF, particulate Regeneration, etc. but that would be similar to some of the EcoBust issue with carbon and oil in the intakes, etc.

Seems like everything has had an issue at one time, until they get around to fixing it.

Additionally, unlike your statement, the Pentastar DID have lots of issues initially, and yes specifically in the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee wth early models having problem with the cylinder heads, etc. My old Rubicon like every other 2012 got an extended 10yr 250,000 KM upgraded Pentastar warranty due to those issues, as did our 2011 Grand Cherokee. Now I never experienced any problems with either of those early Pentastars other than the cold weather 'clacking' starts which is more an NVH issue than a true 'problem'.

http://www.motortrend.com/news/chrysler-extends-pentastar-v-6-warranties/

Remember that for the JL BOTH the EcoDiesel and the Pentastar will be NEW variants, unlike the previous ones people will be commenting on in the forums. The EdoDiesel adds ESS and is the refresh to go against the new Ford diesel, and the Pentastar adds a few other tweaks seen in the recent Grand Cherokee update, and perhaps more than that.

Also, by the time the EcoDiesel is available for the JL, there will also be an even newer refresh to the Pentastar with the includion of the Belt Start Generator, and that's the one I'm looking forward to getting.
 
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DanW

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Yeah, I know about the internet. That's why I'm going to speak to the service manager at my Jeep dealer. I was just wondering if anyone here has experience with the Ecodiesel. As for the Pentastar, several of my buddies have the 2012, and they got that extended warranty, too, but none have seen an issue. The rest are post-2012. There is always risk in something new, but there IS data out there that will show which is more reliable. I just have to discover it. Right now, based on what I know, the current 3.6 is very reliable. I also know my old 3.8 is, too, boring as it may be. Of course, the rest of the Jeep more than makes up for that boring old engine! :)
 

The Great Grape Ape

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The 'current 3.6' you think of is NOT the Pentastar that will be in the JL, it gets the NEW one in the Grand Cherokee which has only had 1+ year in one model history, and very limited Challenger/Charger use... similar to what happened in the Wrangler with the previous generation... yet there were still problems.

Both engines are newer than the data you will likely be looking at about them, so not sure how much the history you will find will be relevant to either application in the JL. The 3.6 has at least the Grand Cherokee to test on first, but like I mentioned, that's no guarantee.
 
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DanW

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This suggests the 2.0t should beat the current pentastar in hp and torque: https://www.allpar.com/mopar/fours/hurricane.html. . Not sure if it'll be better than the upgraded pentastar
Yep, I'm aware it is an updated engine. I'm not buying the FiatChrysler line that it is all new, though. There are a number of GC's out there with the updated 3.6, and there are some, along with some Rams with the Ecodiesel. There should be a feel by now of how reliable they are, and with each month that goes by, that database grows. A knowledgeable service manager should have an idea, if he/she keeps up on TSB's and technical news within the corporation. I would love to hear that both are exceptionally reliable. I would not be shocked by that. However, there is a lot of stuff being done to that diesel to make it run clean. That makes me nervous, as someone with no diesel experience and not having read much about them. The 3.6, it seems to me, doesn't present as much technical challenge. If it did, they could just jump right to direct injection. I actually like that it is not DI, at this point, as there are some issues such as carbon build up on valves, and higher levels of fuel in the oil. That said, my 3.5 Ecoboost in my Ford Transit hasn't experienced any issues. I know people who have, though.

It's all speculation at this point, but I won't trade reliability and durability for power, if both are known entities. I've enjoyed my JK out in the middle of nowhere without a worry. I like that and want to keep it that way with the JL.
 

The Great Grape Ape

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Yep, I'm aware it is an updated engine. I'm not buying the FiatChrysler line that it is all new, though. There are a number of GC's out there with the updated 3.6, and there are some, along with some Rams with the Ecodiesel.
The PSU/PUG is not all new, but significantly new, especially around the heads, lobes, valves, injectors, timing, etc. Things that are important and finicky. You discount those changes as not technical challenges compared to DI, but how 'technical' was the Cylinder head failure?
The updated EcoDiesel isn't out yet on any platform.

There should be a feel by now of how reliable they are, and with each month that goes by, that database grows.
RiIight... It took 3 Years in the GC (and Avenger, Charger, Challenger, Durango, Caravan) and 1.5 years in the Wrangler (which sells way more Pentastars than the sports cars) to fix the cylinder head issue on the original Pentastar. We're not there yet for historical data by a long shot.

A knowledgeable service manager should have an idea, if he/she keeps up on TSB's and technical news within the corporation.
When was the first TSB on the Pentastar? 2013 ? For oil. The cylinder head TSB was 2014? Despite the redesign in starting in late 2012 to address the heads.
You may find a technician who might share their knowledge, but a Service manager that admits there is a problem before an official TSB goes out is leaving his dealership open to added liability not covered by FCA.

That said, my 3.5 Ecoboost in my Ford Transit hasn't experienced any issues. I know people who have, though.
As have I , one @ 80KM, though not here to slag Ford other than to say they are all equal in the eyes of the failure Gods.

It's all speculation at this point, but I won't trade reliability and durability for power, if both are known entities. I've enjoyed my JK out in the middle of nowhere without a worry. I like that and want to keep it that way with the JL.
I have enjoyed all 5 of my Pentastars (including one 3.2L in our Cherokee) without issue *knock on wood*, and diesel doesn't meet my needs; however those are not the same as the one going into the JL so they offer no guarantee that the 3.6 in the JL will be like any other application, especially since few vehicles stress the engine like a slow crawling, water-fording Wrangler does.

I'm not going to make it sound like one is better or worse than the other or that either should be deemed as of particular concern or lack thereof; but at this point little is known, and like financial caveats, past performance does not guarantee future results/success.
 

The Great Grape Ape

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BTW, I would still like to see the TFL episode that initiated your concern, as I have not encountered it in my casual viewing of TFL / TFL Truck.

If it's not an actual episode but just a forum post, then it's likely the same debunked one from 2015 being spread to provide FUD for non-traditional buyers.
 
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DanW

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It was a comment made by Roman about posts on their forum or blog.

 
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Ape, I'm simply saying I'm concerned but would like to know what others have experienced with the Ecodiesel. I'm not defending a dissertation.

I think it is a legitimate concern. Until I see evidence of the Ecodiesel earning a reputation for reliability, I'm going to wonder about it. A service manager of a large volume dealership may have an idea of what's coming in the door for what kind of repairs, even before TSB's come out. That said, the updated Pentastar will have been out for a little while in the GC before I place an order. If I have no more info than I have right now, to me, the conservative play is to go for the Pentastar. As I've stated before, I have no personal experience with diesels.
 

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Also, by the time the EcoDiesel is available for the JL, there will also be an even newer refresh to the Pentastar with the includion of the Belt Start Generator, and that's the one I'm looking forward to getting.
What is the benefit to the Belt Start Generator that would make you wait for it?

I thinking the diesel won't work well for me since most of my driving is short trips around town with maybe two 35 minute highway trips per month. I do pull a boat over a mountain pass about 1 to 3 times a year where the ecodiesel power would be nice. I also might want a larger boat one day and was hoping the tow rating will increase.

I heard that the diesel particulate filter can clog up and cost lots of money to replace. Depending on how you are driving it.
 

The Great Grape Ape

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Until I see evidence of the Ecodiesel earning a reputation for reliability, I'm going to wonder about it.
Until TFL runs into issues, or another reputable source, and not their forum comments (again how many actually own an EcoDiesel vs comment on one?) I wouldn't say there's evidence either way. Look at actual long term tests from the usual,suspect like Truck Trend, etc. Even Andre's comments in that video were about a 2002 Duramax, not the recent VM based 2.8L.
The point is, get reliable sources, not the punters.

However, sticking with what you know and are comfortable with is usally a good play (again like investing), it doesn't offer great gains, but usually also doesn't offer many surprises you didn't consider either.
 
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DanW

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The point is, get reliable sources, not the punters..
Yeah, that's why I asked...to see if anyone here had experience with it. I do appreciate your help. You always have good info.
 

The Great Grape Ape

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What is the benefit to the Belt Start Generator that would make you wait for it?
I like a few benefits it might offer, first depending on how easy ESS is to disable, it should make that more invisible, versus currently ruining our Cherokee to me, second, it could add some efficiency which would be nice as the Wrangler is my daily driver, third it could help with fethering over obstacles off-road and add a small torque kicks to help as well.
I am worried a bit about cold weather belt performance and would prefer if they put the generator in the ZF8 speed, and a bit about water/snow exposure, but we'll see how that goes.

I thinking the diesel won't work well for me since most of my driving is short trips around town with maybe two 35 minute highway trips per month. I do pull a boat over a mountain pass about 1 to 3 times a year where the ecodiesel power would be nice. I also might want a larger boat one day and was hoping the tow rating will increase.
I have a feeling that the towing numbers will be limited by other Wrangler features like suspension and brakes, etc. But should be a significant bump over the US JK , as the export JK has a 5,000 lb rating already, and that's before the engine updates and the new transmission.

DPF + Regen is definitely an issue which is why I mention it in the first post, but that's true of all of them since 2007, not just the EcoDiesel, which is why we are seeing more mfrs adding the manual regen button prominently and increasing frequency to their recommended operations.
DEF and DPF both definitely increase maintenance costs, especially if you put off manual regen for a very long period of short operations where it doesn't happen automatically.
 

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I like a few benefits it might offer, first depending on how easy ESS is to disable, it should make that more invisible, versus currently ruining our Cherokee to me, second, it could add some efficiency which would be nice as the Wrangler is my daily driver, third it could help with fethering over obstacles off-road and add a small torque kicks to help as well.
I am worried a bit about cold weather belt performance and would prefer if they put the generator in the ZF8 speed, and a bit about water/snow exposure, but we'll see how that goes.



I have a feeling that the towing numbers will be limited by other Wrangler features like suspension and brakes, etc. But should be a significant bump over the US JK , as the export JK has a 5,000 lb rating already, and that's before the engine updates and the new transmission.

DPF + Regen is definitely an issue which is why I mention it in the first post, but that's true of all of them since 2007, not just the EcoDiesel, which is why we are seeing more mfrs adding the manual regen button prominently and increasing frequency to their recommended operations.
DEF and DPF both definitely increase maintenance costs, especially if you put off manual regen for a very long period of short operations where it doesn't happen automatically.
Interesting, I didn't know they could have manual regen buttons. It will be interesting to see how often a regen is needed but I guess that depends on how you drive it too. Once a month wouldn't be so bad for me. Any more and I'd rather have a pentastar. I'm sure the pentastar is way better than my current 2008 3.8 anyways.
 

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I have a feeling that the towing numbers will be limited by other Wrangler features like suspension and brakes, etc. But should be a significant bump over the US JK , as the export JK has a 5,000 lb rating already, and that's before the engine updates and the new transmission.
I'm wondering if the wider track might actually play a huge role in better towing numbers more than the updated powertrain. Just a few inches alone will definitely improve the handling.
 

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