2010 Dodge Avenger RT 2.4 from North America
Looks good but it's thirsty, flimsy and the electronics are a ticking timebomb
Since I've had it (bought Feb 2018):
Ignition switch 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.
Inner fenders, outer fenders, front clip.
Washer nozzles missing.
Washer pump failure.
Key fob remote functions.
Note, this was a $500 CAD car so I expected to do work on it.
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:
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)
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.
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(!).
Unknown. If it was an older car I'd say a new ignition switch, but with this I'm not sure.
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