1997 Dodge Avenger ES 2.5L V6 from North America

Faults:

I bought my 97 Dodge Avenger ES about a year go... since then I have done massive amounts of work to it.

I have had the brakes done all the way around, EGR valve replaced, brand new tires, 2 serpentine belts, A/C belt, new harmonic balance pulley, new tensioner pulley, valve cover gaskets, new spark plug tubes, spark plugs and wires, 2 new lower passenger front ball joints and control arms, new lower passenger rear ball joint and control arm, upper passenger ball joint n control arm, exhaust repairs, and both CV half shafts replaced.

Well now, I have my check engine light doing crazy things. One day it will be on solid, and the next day when I start my car it will be off. This is really starting to bug me because I don't know what else is wrong... because like others that have posted, my car does the stalling out, and it never did that before, and to make things worse, I have an annoying squealing coming from somewhere under my hood, and when it's doing it long enough, it kicks my battery light on.

Someone help me!!! I can't take this crap anymore!!! I love my car; I just can't deal with the crazy things it's doing now!

General Comments:

I love my car. When she's running like a champ, I don't want to stop driving her, but when she's running like crap, I don't even want to touch her.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st December, 2010

1997 Dodge Avenger Sport not ES 2.5L V6 from North America

Summary:

I trust this car with my life, because it has proven itself worthy!

Faults:

Transmission was thought to be blown when first purchased. Discovered it had the OEM filter in it, and that was the reason for the slippage and failure to move. Changed the filter and fluid, and it ran for 14,000 miles before needing a new filter and fluid change. Pretty standard for aftermarket filters. New filter and fluid change, and the slippage went away.

Driver's door window wouldn't go down. Seemed off track. Upon further inspection, it was discovered to have broken the small metal connector between the mechanism and the glass. A simple reconstruction and reinforcing of that connector fixed the issue.

Common to this vehicle, as well as the Mitsubishi Galant that shares the exact same interior, the turn signal seems to stay on and won't turn off or in the other direction. This was erroneously attributed to a "short" in the turn signal switch on other reviews and blogs. Upon further inspection, I discovered that 2 plastic tabs had snapped off inside the turn signal stalk base housing. Supergluing the tabs in place fixed the problem until I was too heavy handed in traffic and snapped them again.

The small round tab actually controls the switch mechanism itself. The square pin is there to protect the smaller pin from snapping. Gluing the square pin worked fine. Using a small propane torch, I heated a small diameter finishing nail and plunged it into the spot where the round tab normally goes. After cooling, snip it so that it is the same height as the missing plastic round pin and you are good to go.

Some scaling and deposits on the headlight lenses that clouds them up pretty bad. To remedy, I used some Gojo pumice cleaner on the outside of the lens, and with gentle scrubbing, was able to remove the scaling without scratching the lens. To prevent further scaling, I applied a light coating of WD40. Marvel Mystery Oil or 3 in 1 Oil will work too. This makes the lenses look nearly crystal clear for a long time.

The windshield tends to frost or cloud up very easily during winter months. The condensation can freeze on the inside of the glass.

Lower control arms were replaced due to factory recall.

General Comments:

I bought this car from a friend of mine who took great care of it. Besides the transmission issue mentioned above, it ran like a top for him. After the fixes above and some general maintenance, it runs perfectly. I have had it since May 2009, and have put this car through a great deal of hardship.

I am a certified severe storm spotter for the National Weather Service. This car has been equipped with a laptop mount, CB and Radio gear, tools and equipment in case of emergency. This year it will be equipped with an Amber LED light bar and a full brush guard/push bumper to protect the front of the car. During chases in 2009, it handled well in wind, rain and hail. Even with the current curb weight of around 4500lbs (4125lbs stock), it has enough horsepower to get me where I am going fast and efficiently with power to spare. The gas mileage is great, even though it is carrying 325lbs of extra weight (200 of me and 175 equipment).

Replaced all spark plugs with E3 E3.64 Diamondfire Technology 5yr 100,000 mile plugs. Although I had to remove the intake manifold in order to access the back 3 plugs, I am happy that I will probably never have to change the plugs on this engine again. They were a little spendy (6.99 each), but the savings over time is well worth it.

With proper care and maintenance, this car will last me many more years.

Other future replacements and upgrades are as follows:

Alternator upgrade (current alternator is stock OEM 120 Amp).

Water pump.

Optima Red Top Gel Cell battery.

Fuel filter.

Overall, this car has been a great investment. It looks great, runs great and is comfortable to drive.

The pushbutton overdrive is a perfect compliment to an already awesome car.

Previous cars I have owned:

1987 Ford EXP Luxury Coupe (last year Gen 2 made)

1987 Mitsubishi Mirage (POS)

1987 Ford Escort 2dr Hatchback.

1988 Ford Escort 4dr sedan Hatchback.

1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with 455cu big block/Turbo 400 (Fun Fun Fun!)

1979 Pontiac Firebird 350 w/3 speed transmission.

1984 Buick Skylark.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2010