Chrysler debuted its 3.6-Liter Pentastar engine in 2010 and started releasing it in their 2011 model year vehicles at the turn of the decade. It was designed to produce more power, run smoother, and be more fuel-efficient than its predecessors (the 3.8 pushrod V6 and the 4.0 SOHC V6).
If you want to make sure that your car and its engine last as long as possible and cause you as few problems as possible, then you need to make sure that it has the best oil. In today’s post, we’ll give you a quick overview of the most popular oils recommended for the 3.6 Pentastar. We’ll also explain why certain oils are better than others, depending on various driving factors.
List of The Best Oil Choices For Your 3.6 Pentastar
The most important factor when choosing your oil is to make sure that you get the right viscosity. This number is denoted in bold lettering on the side of the oil. It’s important to get the right weight for your vehicle and you should avoid mixing different oil weights at all costs. If you ever have to mix different weights during an emergency situation, make sure you get a full flush and oil change ASAP.
Chrysler’s 3.6 Pentastar engines take a 5W-20 motor oil. Thankfully, it’s a relatively popular oil that’s used and recommended by a number of different automakers. Below, we’ve ranked the best oil options for your Pentastar engine. Let’s take a look!
Our Top Pick: Pennzoil – Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil
Pennzoil’s Ultra Platinum line of synthetic motor oil is widely regarded as some of the best engine juice ever made. It utilizes a synthetic oil blended with natural gas to create a long-lasting oil that won’t burn up as fast as conventional oil. This is due to the fact that natural gas is naturally cleaner and purer than crude oil (which has more impurities that can find their way into your engine).
Another reason that we recommend Pennzoil’s Ultra Platinum line is that it’s a great all-around fuel designed to function in almost any type of weather condition. It performs just as well in sub-zero temperatures (as low as -40 Fahrenheit) as it does in the middle of the summer with 120-degree heat. As long as your engine doesn’t have any pre-existing problems, then this oil will work well with both new cars and high-mileage vehicles.
- Created using clean-burning natural gas.
- Full-synthetic blend for maximum engine protection.
- Helps improve fuel economy and boost engine output power.
- On the more expensive side.
Runner-Up: Castrol Edge Extended Performance 5W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil
While Pennzoil’s Ultra Platinum has the market beat in terms of everyday use, Castrol’s Extended Performance blend is an incredible synthetic option designed to help your engine go twice as long between oil changes. Although Chrystler recommends that you perform a complete oil change every 9,000 miles, Castrol claims that this oil can help your engine last up to 20,000 miles between oil changes. That’s a long time (or a cross-country road trip)!
What makes this oil so special is that it incorporates molecules of liquid titanium which do two things:
- Stabilize the oil.
- Provide better wear protection.
The biggest reason why oil needs to be changed is that it breaks down and oil molecules separate over time. The added titanium ensures that the synthetic blend remains homogenous for longer periods of time. It also results in a slightly more viscous oil that provides superior protection from the grinding metal-on-metal wear that breaks down engines over time.
- Go up to 20,000 between oil changes.
- Added titanium for superior wear protection.
- More viscous synthetic oil for long-lasting performance.
- Great for long trips.
- Not recommended for vehicles that tow frequently.
- Not recommended for vehicles that race (such as the Dodge muscle cars).
Good For Heavy Haulers: Shell Rotella Gas Truck Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil
While Castrol’s Extended Performance oil is not great for towing, Shell’s Rotella synthetic blend is a perfect choice. Generally speaking, towing tends to be harder on engines and result in shorter engine life. This is due to the fact that towing requires the engine to burn hotter at higher revs than normal driving. The more extreme nature of towing means that you’ll need an oil designed to withstand the extra wear and tear.
The same properties that make this oil good for towing also make it a great choice for drivers who find themselves in traffic for several hours a day. When your car is sitting in traffic, the airflow is limited, meaning your engine bay heats up to temperatures that are comparable to towing a heavy trailer. Shell’s Rotella truck oil is designed to be extra durable so that you’ll never have to worry about your engine overheating when you need it the most.
The good news is that it’s not just good for towing. It works great as a standard all-around synthetic fuel for everyday driving. This, in turn, makes it a great option for drivers who just like the idea of taking their boat out for the weekend or towing an RV for a family camping trip.
- Shell’s award-winning synthetic oil technology.
- Great for trucks that tow heavy loads, RVs, or trailers.
- Designed to stand up to high temperatures.
- Great for drivers who spend a lot of time with their engine on in traffic.
- Not as good in extremely cold temperatures.
Good for Newer Vehicles: Valvoline Daily Protection SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil
So far, the other options we’ve looked at are great choices for medium or high-mileage vehicles. They’re also a bit more expensive due to the fact that they’re full-synthetic. This type of oil is a great choice for higher-mileage engines that often fall victim to the increased wear and tear that comes with constant driving.
For those who are looking to save a couple of bucks and don’t need the added protection afforded by a full-synthetic, then Valvoline’s Daily Protection is a good choice. It’s a synthetic blend, which means that it’s part synthetic and part conventional. This means that you still get the lower price point afforded by conventional motor oil with added protection from the synthetic mixture blended into the oil.
Another really nice feature of this oil is the container. If you get the large 5-quart jug, you’ll notice Valvoline’s patented pour spout. Unlike most jugs (that typically require precision aiming or a really wide funnel), Valvoline’s spout is angled like the tip of a measuring cup. This allows for precision pouring and will serve you well if you ever find yourself without a proper funnel!
- Accurate-aim pour spout for easy pouring.
- Lower price point.
- Good for newer engines.
- Helps retain fuel efficiency and engine power by preventing gunk and build-up.
- Not a great choice for higher-mileage vehicles.
- Not great for towing or long road trips.
Good All-Around Synthetic: Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil
If you’re looking for a full-synthetic, but you don’t want to shell out the extra money for Pennzoil’s Ultra-Platinum motor oil, then this is a great second option. Like its sister product, the Platinum is crafted from synthetic additives and natural gas, meaning that it burns cleaner than most semi-synthetic and crude-based blends.
Overall, this is a great oil for any Pentastar vehicle. Its synthetic additives will ensure that your engine keeps on running, helps you go longer between oil changes (when compared to conventional oil), and stands up to occasional towing and high-speed runs when temperatures and engine revs are higher.
The main difference between the Pennzoil Platinum and the Pennzoil Ultra-Platinum that we discussed above is that the Ultra-Platinum contains extra additives designed to help clean engine pistons faster and more efficiently. As you can imagine, this makes it a great choice for cars that are driven harder and more often. However, if you’re just looking for a great all-around synthetic, then you can’t go wrong with Pennzoil’s standard Platinum motor oil.
- Extends engine life.
- Full-synthetic blend mixed with clean natural gas.
- Great for everyday driving.
- Provides superior engine protection.
- Doesn’t contain as many cleaning agents as Pennzoil Ultra-Platinum.
- Not recommended for heavy towing.
List Of Popular Cars That Contain A 3.6-Liter Pentastar Engine
The 3.6-Liter Pentastar is one of the most widely used and produced engines in Chrystler’s history. It’s had a solid decade-long run and is still being used today. Even though a couple of small improvements have been made here and there, the overall engine is still the same award-winning engine that was first released in 2010. Here are some of the most popular cars that contain this engine:
- Grand Cherokee
- 1500 (Classic and Promaster models)
How To Change The Oil In A 3.6-Liter Pentastar
Changing the oil in your Pentastar 3.6 is a relatively easy task thanks to Chrystler’s easy positioning of the oil filter. Depending on the make and model of your Chrysler vehicle, you may need to remove the belly pan under the engine. This is usually fairly simple and only requires you to loosen a couple of small bolts or pop a couple of body tabs out.
Once you remove the belly pan (if applicable), then you’ll see the oil filter pointing downwards or to the side. It’s best to change the oil while your motor oil is warm but not hot. Warm engine oil will flow out far quicker than cold oil. However, you don’t want it to be too hot; otherwise, you could really burn yourself.
Before removing the filter, make sure that your approved oil pan is sitting underneath. Then, slowly twist the filter off with a gloved hand. The oil should begin flowing slowly, increasing its rate until you completely remove the filter and everything pours out.
Then, you’ll want to turn your car on and let it run for about 20 seconds. This is not always necessary, but it will help to cycle out any old oil that remains in the engine. Make sure that you don’t leave your car on for any longer, though, as it could damage the engine.
Finally, you’ll pour a little bit of your fresh oil into a new oil filter to prime it and coat the rubber O-ring with a light coating of oil (to create an airtight seal). Then, slowly pour the oil into the engine. As you reach maximum capacity, check the dipstick every half-quart to make sure that you don’t overfill your oil.
What Is The Oil Capacity of 3.6-Liter Pentastar?
This is important to know so that you know how many liters of oil to buy. The 3.6 Pentastar requires six quarts (5.6-Liters) of 5W-20 motor oil. Typically, however, 5-liters should be good enough to refill the engine between changes. This is due to the fact that a little bit of oil will always remain inside of the engine.
How Often Should I Change My 3.6 Pentastar Oil?
Chrysler recommends that you change your oil every 9,000 miles or at least once a year (if you drive less than 9,000 miles). However, if you drive often, tow regularly, or sit in traffic for hours every day, then you may want to change your oil every 5,000 or 6,000 miles.
Top Factors When Choosing Oil For Your Pentastar 3.6
Here are some important factors to consider when deciding which oil is best for your Pentastar engine.
Synthetic Vs. Conventional
Synthetic oil is designed with extra fuel additives that are designed to help your engine last longer and prevent wear and tear. It’s a great choice for any engine, but it’s an especially good choice for everyday drivers who put their cars under more wear and tear.
High-Mileage or Low-Mileage?
If your car has over 100,000 miles, then you’ll definitely want to invest in an oil designed for high-mileage cars. These oils have extra protectants designed to retain horsepower, keep the pistons clean, and prevent leaks.