1997 Dodge Avenger ES from North America - Comments

2nd Jul 2008, 04:08

Well, I have read these posts and I have to say I bought my 97 2.0 in 98 after the original owner traded it for a 4 door (she was pregnant). I have only done general maintenance and a few recalls; except for the stalling problems, yes, my car has had that for the last 5 years. Gets worse when it is hot but it was 2 sensors, camshaft and crankshaft that needed to be changed. I just never bothered until I finally had too. Didn't take that long for either. I spent about $100 on the 2 sensors and really only needed one but thought might as well get them both! My car has been great 150,000 plus miles and still great! I had it in for a tune up and the mechanic was freaking out over how smooth the engine sounded for a 4 cylinder with that many miles.

My mother has a 92 Toyota Tercel bought it new and it's had at least 3 engines and everything else replaced on it within the first 5 years. I guess every car maker has their lemons. Lucky for me it isn't my Avenger!

17th Sep 2008, 16:38

I bought my 97 Avenger with 12 miles on it. It now has over 190,000. I absolutely love my car. I really hate that you are having issues. It has been the most reliable, cheap car I have ever owned. I have put it over the road. I don't drive slow and I certainly have never babied it.

The only big cash repair was a head gasket. Chrysler knew about the faulty gaskets, but would not repair for free or recall it. That happened just after 75,000 miles. Otherwise, it has been a dream.

But, alas, all good things must come to an end. I live in WV where salt is the name of the game in the winter. It ate my frame, of which I had no idea until a strut broke.

I was actually searching for another Avenger when I came across this blog. I don't know if it is still active, though. After reading this, I believe I got the cherry of the bunch and maybe should look for a different make/model all together.

29th Sep 2008, 19:59

I have a 99 Avenger, bought it around April. When I got it, we knew it was going to need work done to it. Have had to replace all but one mount on the engine and transmission. Had some tubes replaced and wires replaced.

I don't have the stalling problem mentioned, though it does have a slow reaction time on the throttle. It takes a second or two for it to respond the first 10 minutes or so while driving.

The problem I have now that I just discovered is that I have no power at all to anything, not the door locks, lights etc. So I was wondering if anyone had a solution, or knows where to start first?

10th Nov 2008, 13:40

I own a 97 Avenger also, it is probably the biggest money pit that I have ever owned! I got the headlamp cover issues both of them are foggy, I got the bent rim issues, I got a flat tire coming to work this morning, have had to pu a new transmission in it, the whole front end tie rods and all replaced, didn't even know about the recall on this issue, engine light has been on for months, but no stalling issues, oil leaks all over, but the heater works like brand new, imagine that, HAHAHA.

13th Nov 2008, 18:48

I find all this info very interesting, since we are having a lot of issues with our Dodge 1997 Avenger. We replaced all the front end brakes and struts, timing belt etc.

A while ago it stalled and we towed it to the shop, where it started out of the blue, but they mentioned that the computer wires needed replacing.

Months later it stalled again and they replaced the fuel pump.

Months later my distributor fried and I replaced it.

Two days ago I replaced the crankshaft sensor (after reading it here); it helped a little, but I can still feel a little misfiring.

I took it three times to the shop, and got a computer analysis, and still cannot fix all these issues.

13th Nov 2008, 18:56

Don't get me wrong, it is a nice looking car. I have the Sport Ltd version all fully loaded, but at this rate it will be behind a case of glass just for people to look at it.

As I am writing this, I realized how much money I have put into this car so far.

28th Jan 2009, 21:47

I'm what you call a backyard mechanic, but this 1998 Avenger ES has been unreal, I've replaced the distributer, the ECM, and still can't get this car to throw a spark to the plugs.

Timing belt appears to be fine.

Does anyone think a bad crankshaft sensor could be the source?

30th Jan 2009, 16:48

After reading this blog I am happy to report that my problem was fixed. I went to my shop and told my mechanic what to do.

It sounds funny, but different garages could not find the problem (crankshaft issues) so I asked exactly what I wanted and its been 3 months since and the stalling problem is gone.

I am enjoying my Avenger like never before, so thanks to the people responsible for this blog and the people who are writing on it.

29th Mar 2009, 01:40

I posted a couple of years ago about the stalling issues with my Avenger. My father and husband are the ones that I noted were mechanics.

I wanted to update you all on a couple of things. The shop I took it to wound up calling in a foreign car specialist (who just happened to be my bff's brother... go figure.) It was the crank position sensor. Problem solved and it was a dream.

The transmission problem was apparently the speed input and output sensors on the transmission. However, before we had the chance to change them out the car began to overheat. The gages/light would not show that it was overheating, it would just happen. As I mentioned, I've grown up around cars, so I knew that bubbling sound and each time I pulled over and waited on hubby.

Then without rhyme or reason, it quit running hot until one day when I went shopping out of town. My bff and I had the windows down, and the stereo pumping so I never heard the sounds. I was going up a hill when the auto trans downshifted itself to crawl the hill and I felt a problem. The RPMs red lined for just a sec leading me to comment my transmission had just gone. My baby let out a huge puff of black smoke and that was it. When I pulled to the side of the interstate she was BOILING and smoking everywhere, she knew to smoke. She was towed home and we had no compression. That was 2 years ago and she's still sitting in my back yard.

So, fast forward 6 months from the engine blowup. My stepson is about to turn 16 and we see another avenger at an auction. It's got a salvage title, so we buy it thinking we can use it for the motor or a car for my son. This one stalls too (big surprise.) It's different stall. It's more like a fuel issue and after repeated attempts to crank it it does wreak of fuel. We changed out the CPS and we've still got issues. I was told it's the mass airflow sensor, so we'll see. It's a shame to have a car that looks that good (we have a custom paint job on it now) be such a piece of crap. SHAME ON YOU DODGE!