1997 Dodge Avenger ES from North America - Comments

16th Apr 2009, 17:47

Just want to let people know their posts are helpful.

16th Apr 2009, 18:08

We bought our 1997 Avenger on March 14th, 2009 and drove it for 2 weeks before it started stalling. We just had that issue with our Kia Sportage, so we started with new plugs and wires!

Now it has new distributor cap, rotor button, valve gasket set, coolant sensor,3 bottles of injector cleaner, oil change (now it is leaking oil too somewhere) and the first new set of wires had a dead #6 wire, so we replaced them again.

It still stalls and there are no codes showing. Now what?

I need a tow truck to follow me around just in case it won't start again.

It works good when they test drive it and when I try to drive it home 1/4 km away from the garage it starts stalling. (also today there is a new ticking noise almost like a fan hitting something).

Tomorrow I am going to ask them about the crankshaft position sensor after reading it here so often.

19th Jul 2009, 19:20

The rules said don't write anything insulting... about the 97 Avenger? I am beginning work on some type of water leak on my 16yr old son's 97 Avenger that his mother just gave to him. A/C vents don't work right for A/C, though I feel some cold air under dash. Lower control arms need replacing. But so far it always ran good. I will keep you all posted on my repairs.

30th Oct 2009, 11:11

I do own a 97 Dodge Avenger. On this thing I change the oil and filter when there is extra money, which is not too often, he he he.

I have my problems too, you know, catalytic converter, new battery, bad spark plugs cables, oil leaks, and transmission problems, in addition to the front end misalignment.

I changed the thermostat not to long ago, about 3 months to be exact. I just noticed my temperature gauge going hot, and literally, yes the car is HOT. I don't know exactly was going on, but I will check the "check engine light" with Autozone, to see if I can find out what's the problem.

I cannot complain about the car, this thing has being so good to me, that it would be an insult to talk anything bad about it. Reading this forum, about the problems of this car, has being an eye opener. A co-worker has the same car, but I think his is a ES model, his has got the stalling problem. I suggest to look at the catalyst converter, unfortunately, I found out here, that the problem could be some sensors.

Oh by the way on my 97, my transmission goes blank when hit the brakes suddenly and when the car is cold. I wonder what the hell it is. Any idea, anybody? Thanks...

28th Jan 2010, 04:01

Wow! I googled to try to figure out my newly developed "engine cut out" problem, and it's like reading my archive of problems I've encountered.

The car has been tip top with the exception of the multiple CV axle replacements I've done for myself since owning it second hand in '01 (42k miles).

From day one, driving it home, I noticed the alignment was pulling right. Took it straight in to get aligned. Red flag number one. Multiple shops have been unsuccessful because of the awkward inability to adjust the ball joints. Poor design. My issues run a bit different and unique as there has always some sort of suspension damage (or wear) that causes the left and right tires to sit 1.5 to 2" opposing fore/aft (left tire sits further back than right always has) it has miffed all alignment shops. I've dealt with it, rotating watching my tires carefully.

Once I was able to get a successful alignment at Sears after replacing the right factory ball-joint with an adjustable one (the are nearly double the price.)

The suspension has always been the problem with me; alignment woes and at least two full CV axle replacements on both sides over the years. Again, poor design and what draws most people to the car its unique and long frame. I've had the lateral control arms replaced about the time of the recall by the dealer.

The driver's door handle popped off and flew 10 feet in the air immediately after purchasing and installing four brand new tires (talk about ridiculous). I found a junk yard in ABQ and pulled a green handle off a Sebring. Gutted the door and replaced my lock mechanism with the one on the Sebring. Not difficult, but not a job for the novice or timid.

My check engine light brought my O2 sensors to light. Problem was I replaced it onezee twozee over a period of a year, not realizing I had three (rookie tight-wad move all around). So moved overseas to England for almost the last four years. No real problems batteries, oil changes, the notorious fogged head lamps (used Maguires plastic polish and steel wool every six months to yearly inspection.)

Before x-mas I slid out in the snow and hit a curb on the driver's side. The beginning and maybe end of my Avenger ownership. Replaced the tire, balanced the bent rim. Again, no go with alignment attempt #1. Shop said all tie rod ends, right lower control arm, and right ball joint need replacing. O.K., that sucks, but English roads are HORRIBLE, and it's time to bring the TLC and get ready to head back to the states.

Then as when it rains, it pours, unknown to me... the infamous cut out/stall occurs (sounds like there are two types: the crank sensor cut out and the mystery distributor/sensor version.)

Meanwhile, what I assume the cut out is occurring is my tight wad corner cutting to the 02 sensors, which are on their last legs. I park the car and order the O2 sensors and all the for mentioned parts and install them.

Alignment #2, epic fail. Seems now the other alignment (earlier appt) can't get past the wheel spacing differential that I talked about earlier. Plus he thinks replacing the left lower control arm might help, even though I just replaced everything, but that... really? Plus it seems like my chassis is tweaked, really, you think my frame is bent? Why not.

Already I've dropped $500 in parts, and waited for them to arrive from the states (thank God I did the labor myself.) I'm nowhere closer to resolving this, at least the engine cut out is fixed... WRONG!

So I'm driving the car to the body to possibly get a frame jig or see WTF? The car stalls and it takes 10 minutes to get restarted. Computer resets, starts/dies, computer resets, starts/dies. Meanwhile, I'm angry as my boy is waiting next to me following me there... is this a sign? I can't win.

I start think about the car's 13 years old and 138k. But I've taken good care of it and money I've sunk into it on a normal basis to avoid these problems. The horror!

After reading this forum, I'm going to replace the crank sensor, and if that doesn't fix it, I'm driving it till the wheels fall off and getting something else in the states.