The automatic transmission can develop problems like erratic shifting, rough shifting, or delayed gear engagement. Repairs for many of these problems are outlined in service bulletins.
Problems for specific Dodge Avenger years:
Car problem reports
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Most reported 1996 Dodge Avenger problems
A defective vehicle speed sensor can cause problems with the cruise control and speedometer operation, as well as erratic shifting. The connectors on the sensors are also susceptible to corrosion, which will create similar symptoms. Any of these problems can cause Check Engine Light illumination.
Sensor failure inside the distributor can cause intermittent stalling or a failure to start. In addition, the wires to the distributor are susceptible to internal damage, which can cause the same symptoms.
There have been reports of premature head gasket failure; an updated gasket design is available to correct this problem.
Failure to use the correct automatic transmission fluid and follow the maintenance schedule can result in shifting problems.
Software updates are available to address transmission issues. However, due to the age of these vehicles, mechanical failures are more likely to be causing transmission problems. If a mechanical failure is repaired or the transmission is replaced, it is important to make sure any software updates have been taken care of. Failure to do so could result in continuing transmission issues.
A defective EGR valve can cause a popping or knocking noise from the engine compartment. It is usually heard when the engine is warm (between 1600 and 1800 RPM).
Clogged drains can cause many problems with the sun roof. To prevent water damage related problems, the sun roof and its drains should be clear of leaves and dirt. The sun roof may also stick or bind for other reasons. There are service bulletins that address many of these concerns.