1997 Dodge Avenger Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1997 Dodge Avenger as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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17
Known Problems

The anti-theft system may cause a no start condition due to electrostatic discharge (ESD) affecting the wireless control module (WCM). There is an updated WCM to correct this issue.

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.

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.

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).

A damaged oil pump (possibly caused by interference with the AC compressor bracket) can also cause a knocking noise from the engine compartment; a modified bracket is available from Dodge.

Some vehicles may develop a musty odor coming from the HVAC system, Dodge has issued a cleaner/disinfectant and a coating for the evaporator designed to inhibit bacterial growth.

Spark plug tube seals fail, causing the tubes to fill with engine oil and the engine to misfire. As a result, the engine may run poorly and fuel economy can suffer.

Vehicles equipped with a V6 engine may develop a rough idle after cold start with the Check Engine Light illuminated and code P050D stored. Our technicians tell us a powertrain control module (PCM) software upgrade is available to correct this concern.

Delayed engagement and/or a bump or shudder between 30-40mph may be noted on vehicles with automatic transmissions. Our technicians tell us that updated Powertrain Control Module software is available to correct these concerns.

An engine Oil leak may develop at the cam sensor o-ring seal. Our technicians tell us this is often misdiagnosed as an external head gasket leak.

There have been reports of premature head gasket failure; an updated gasket design is available to correct this problem.

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.

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.

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.