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Old 08-18-2005, 03:44 AM   #1
Herring
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Angry Wow, 97 Dodge Avenger needs a really good expert

I'll try to keep this as brief as possible, however there are several important details I must include in the history of this car. I hope someone out there has seen this problem or is a really good Dodge person. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Here we go, I have a 97 Dodge Avenger, 2.5L v6, with auto trans. The problem started a few months ago with starting problems. Most of the time it would start right up, other times it would take 3 or 4 mins. or longer up to 30 mins. to a hour to start. I originally thought it was the fuel pump or filter, but that seems less likely now. It turns over find, but just doesn't start sometimes. And now the check engine light stays on.
I took it to a mechanic and he put it on his computer. The codes showed several bad sensors. After changing both o2 sensors, the crank case sensor, and other sensers, I got the car back. After drining about 10 miles, the check engine light came on again, and the starting problems came back. So, I took the car back to him. Again his computer showed bad o2 sensors, but he checked the sensors and they were not bad. Got the car back, after about 10 miles,, here comes the check engine light and starting problems. Starting problem seemed to be worse. So, back to the shop and another crankcase sensor.
Got the car back, after about 20 miles same problem. Checked the wiring connections everything seems good. The real confussing thing is that, as long as the check engine light is on car cranks fine, but sometimes the light goes out and that is when the car doesn't want to start. Car always runs great when it is cranked.
While it doesn't seem like I hear the fuel pump everytime, probably 8 out of 10 I do, I hear it when it won't start. Could this be the computer or so relay, When we ask the Dodge mechanics about it they seem to clam right up with no answers. Any help would be greatly appreciated, herring44@netzero.com.
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Old 08-18-2005, 04:04 AM   #2
dodger65
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dealers don't like to answer questions unless your car is currently in their shop. i would look toward the computer and connections. btw, if it comes up w/ an o2 sensor code, it doesn't necessarily mean that the sensor is bad, it is indication that it is getting a reading that is inconsistant with other operating parameters currently being input. back to the computer, do a "wiggle test" have someone try to start it while you wiggle the various connectors, and if it starts, wiggle stuff 'til it dies... (now i know, i need to put it in layman's terms... ) had a friend's 95 dakota act up like that, except his just randomly died.
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Old 08-18-2005, 04:33 AM   #3
Macc
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Since the codes are showing multiple sensor problems (o2, crank etc.) don't look at the individual sensors as the problem. It is something that they all are related to. On many engines a single fuse may be for several different sensors (such as the o2, IAC etc.). If that fuse (or its power source) is bad or corroded then the sensors will not work properly and the ecm will read it as one or more bad sensors and cause engine problems. For example, if there is a fuse on the o2 sensor circuit and it acts up, then the ecm might read the o2 sensor as inoperable. Under this scenario the default for the ecm is to give more gas to the engine when it really doesn't need it thereby flooding it. Therefore, look for such a fuse and check all connections, terminals etc.. .
On electronic fire ignition engines there is often an ecm (computer) relay. If the relay is going bad (or its power source) it can shut down various parts such as the injectors, fuel pump, ecm, air flow sensor etc. and cause the engine to stall or not start. So, check to see if your vehicle has such a relay and check its condition, connections, power source etc..


Gool luck!
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Old 08-19-2005, 01:58 AM   #4
Herring
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Lightbulb Thanks

Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely try all the suggestions until I find something that works. The advice sounds pretty good, just today someone
mentioned the relay, and the mechanic mentioned the computer and the relay. I'll post the results when I find the problem, in this situtation all advice is greately appreciated, so thanks again.
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:22 AM   #5
BanffAutoSpa_ap
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even bad fuel pumps can throw o2 sensor codes, have the fuel pressure tested and check pump rpm, and or the waveform it produces.
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Old 08-19-2005, 04:12 AM   #6
97Talonchik
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I have a 97 Talon which uses a lot of the same parts as the Avenger. Had a similar problem about 2 years ago with it starting periodically and sometimes it wouldn't start at all. If you check everything else that was suggested and still can't find the solution, check into the fuel pump. Typically though, you would (or should) notice other driveability issues such as stalling out in the middle of driving. Hope you find the solution! Good luck!
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Old 09-17-2005, 04:44 AM   #7
Herring
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Thanks

Thanks everyone for all the advice. I changed the fuel pump, and the starting problems have gone away for 2 weeks now. Don't really understand how the fuel pump caused it to show bad o2 sensors. But then again, I don't understand alot of things. Thanks again.
Also, my check engine light is still on. Someone please tell me how to re-set the computer to see if the light stays out. I was told I would probably have to do this, since the light keeps staying on but there are no other problems now. Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:52 PM   #8
97Talonchik
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You can take it to Autozone and they can clear it for you.
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Old 09-18-2005, 03:54 PM   #9
Erdrickk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herring
Thanks everyone for all the advice. I changed the fuel pump, and the starting problems have gone away for 2 weeks now. Don't really understand how the fuel pump caused it to show bad o2 sensors. But then again, I don't understand alot of things. Thanks again.
Also, my check engine light is still on. Someone please tell me how to re-set the computer to see if the light stays out. I was told I would probably have to do this, since the light keeps staying on but there are no other problems now. Thanks!


I am not sure on your car, but on mine a 99 Grand Am GT 3.4L V6...I have a fuse box on the driverside and if you open that up, there is a Red button in the center. Turn the key to the on position and hold the red button in till it chimes. Then press it a few times quickly untill the check engine light is flashing, then hold it down till it chimes. You can use that to reset any of your lights like oil etc...
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