2010 Dodge Avenger RT 2.4 from North America

Summary:

Looks good but it's thirsty, flimsy and the electronics are a ticking timebomb

Faults:

Since I've had it (bought Feb 2018):

Ignition switch failure.

Horn failure.

Water pump power failure.

As I bought it:

Passenger window doesn't work.

Clock resets at each power cycle.

Driver's door window switches broken.

Oil leak.

Inner fenders, outer fenders, front clip.

Washer nozzles missing.

Washer pump failure.

Key fob remote functions.

Battery terminals.

Cracked windshield.

Note, this was a $500 CAD car so I expected to do work on it.

General Comments:

Looks good, but it's thirsty, flimsy and the electronics are a ticking timebomb.

When I got it, the fenders and inner fenders were crumpled, but they were fairly easy for me to fix. Mechanically it looks easy enough to work on. I've changed the wheels, adjusted the parking brake etc. The engine despite the mileage runs pretty good, but I had to use 5W30 rather than the specified 5W20 to quieten the high mileage engine.

The big problems are electrical. There are computers EVERYWHERE and although you can probe the OBD2 codes with a cheap ELM327 dongle, anything else requires a tow and expensive CANBUS scan at the dealer. Finding online wiring diagrams is also really hard.

Case in point: I got a no-crank condition one day. After lots of hair pulling I figured out that the ignition switch was broken. The problem was the symptoms were very similar to TIPM, WIN, SKIM, ECU and any other number of computer failures, none of which are easy to diagnose, much less fix. I was considering scrapping the car until I fixed it. Details memorialised below.

No crank condition 2010 Dodge Avenger:

Symptoms:

The car started but stopped again 3 times in succession.

Eventually refused to restart.

Key goes from position 0 to 1 to 2 (accessory) OK.

On key to "start": Nothing. Nada.

All other systems working.

No DTC codes. Security light not illuminated.

Battery fully charged with clean terminals etc.

Suspected reason for failure:

Ignition switch or at some point between the ignition switch and the starter (signal gets routed through various electronic modules)

Interim fix:

I was able to "jump start" the car by jumping 12V+ from the terminal on the strut tower to the yellow/violet wire in the bundle you'll find behind the air filter housing and just above the ECU at the rear right of the engine bay as you look from the radiator end.

Semi-permanent fix:

Ran wires from the 12V+ post to the yellow/violet wire via a momentary switch located in the cabin. Note that the start apparently contains a relay(!).

Permanent fix:

Unknown. If it was an older car I'd say a new ignition switch, but with this I'm not sure.

Conclusion:

I got lucky with this fix, but the fact that there are problems with the horn, washer, radio clock etc suggests there is a common fault. Maybe a bad earth if I'm lucky and a failing TIPM/ECU if I'm not.

I'll probably run it like this until it gets to inspection and then see what I'm going to do. It's going to need 1000$ in work and I have to decide whether the car is worth that investment. Mechanically it's good, but I don't need to spend $$$$$ chasing electronics gremlins.

I miss my 2006 Hyundai Accent. Such a simple reliable car. This one by comparison is just horrible. As a side note my wife's 2010 Hyundai Sonata uses the same engine as the Avenger and is the same class of vehicle. But the Hyundai uses about 25% less fuel and generally feels like a more solid, higher quality car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st August, 2018

2010 Dodge Avenger RT 3.5 from North America

Summary:

Love our Avenger

Faults:

No problems yet to date. The visor clip on the passenger side broke off shortly after I bought it. Not a huge deal, I remember that both of them broke in my Durango, too. It was a $7 part...

General Comments:

I finally got to the point where my 2000 Durango was needing replacement. After 12 years, just about 300K and being driven by 3 teenagers, it had seen its better days. Was a fantastic car for the time we had it, but with all kids off to college/out of the house, and nothing left to pull, I decided it was time for something more efficient.

I have the RT. The 3.5 V6 is awesome. Runs dead quiet, and gets about 28 MPG on my morning commute. The 6 speed transmission is very smooth. Looks really sharp with the silver paint and dual exhaust. People mistake it for a Charger all the time.

I really like the interior; the two tone dash and leather look really nice, and it is easy to keep clean. I also really like the touchscreen stereo. It is really easy to use, and the controls on the back of the steering wheel really aid in use as well.

It drives really nice and smooth. The only issue is, and I've seen this on other Avenger reviews, is the back pillars make visibility a little tough sometimes, but you get used to it. Handles well in inclement weather too.

Got it for a really nice price. Looked at a Fusion and Malibu.

We didn't care for the Malibu as much, it just felt like a big car, and really didn't have any flair. Not like that is all we were looking for, but finally being at the point where we can live without a family vehicle, we wanted something a little more sporty.

The Fusion was a nice car, but the Ford guys refused to deal. And they wanted more for less.

We also drove a new 2011 Avenger. It was a really nice car, but for the price of the base model, we got ours fully loaded for about $1000 less than the stripped 2011, with only 4k miles and a 100k warranty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th February, 2012

15th Sep 2012, 09:45

"...but the Ford guys refuse to deal."

I purchased my last 3 Fords at invoice! Plus they are practically giving away Fusions now due to the redesign.

23rd Feb 2017, 04:41

A clear example of the only method Chrysler could use to move Avengers / Sebrings off the lots: incentives.

2010 Dodge Avenger SXT from North America

Summary:

Great

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

What an awesome car - quiet, comfortable and sips gas -- this car handles really good. and for a 4 cylinder, is responsive enough.

Only fuel efficient car I could find that didn't look like a munchkin car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th August, 2010

19th Aug 2010, 19:11

I'm glad you like the car, and the styling is very distinctive. My experience with Chrysler products has been very good. Absolutely no problems at all, including one that was sold at just under a quarter million miles. Mine have been virtually indestructible.

28th Dec 2010, 22:43

Your experience with Chrysler is very rare. They have been producing the worst cars in North America for the last thirty years. That's probably why they're a dead, bankrupt company, with no new product until until Fiat tries to breath new life into them.