1999 Dodge Avenger Troubleshoot Starting Problems

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The Dodge Avenger, like many Chrysler products of the past forty years, has not proven to be the most reliable automobile on the road. Add in the age of a 1999 Dodge Avenger, and there could be a number of issues preventing it from starting. The most common cause is the battery, which is easily addressed. A mechanical problem, however, requires the attention of a professional mechanic or a dealership.

Tools Used[edit]

Tools
Car battery
Jumper cables
Flathead screwdriver

Troubleshoot Starting Problems[edit]

  • Attempt to start the Avenger. Listen for the engine to turn over, which will sound like chugging. If there is no chugging, look at the dashboard lights. If the lights do not turn on, or, if they are only flickering, then the battery is dead or dying.
  • Take the keys out of the ignition, and pop open the hood. Prop the hood with the rod on the side of the engine bay. Inspect the battery for foam. If there is foam present, the battery is leaking acid, and a tow truck is needed. A professional mechanic has to deal with the battery, due to the danger of acid burns. If there is no foam, strike the battery post clamps with a shoe, as the clamps may need to reconnect. Try starting the Dodge. If it does not start, the battery needs to be replaced, or it needs a jump.
  • Jumpstarting a Dodge Avenger is no different than with any other car. Make sure the Dodge is off, by taking the keys out of the ignition. Park a functioning car hood to hood with the Dodge. Open both hoods. Connect one end of the red jumper cable to the positive terminal on the Dodge and the other end to the positive terminal on the other car. Connect one end of the black cable to the negative terminal on the other car and the other end to a bare metal part of the Dodge. Start the functioning car, and let it idle for five minutes, and start the Avenger. Let the Avenger run for half an hour, to fully recharge the battery, or you can quickly burn out the alternator, by driving and charging. If, however, this does not work, your battery may be beyond revival and need to be replaced.
  • Replacing the battery in a Dodge Avenger is the same as with any other car. Turn off the car. Remove the battery post clamps, by unscrewing the O-ring clamps with a flathead screwdriver, and remove the retaining clamps with the flathead screwdriver. Pull the battery out by the handle, and slide in the new battery. Screw down the retaining claps and electrical clamps, being careful to not over-tighten the screws. Try to turn the Avenger. If the car lights come on, but the engine does not start, the engine may be flooded.
  • Clearing a flooded engine is the easiest part of fixing a non-starting Avenger, as the car has a "Clear Flood" mode that will clear a flooded engine. A flooded engine is when there is fuel on the spark plugs, which is stopping them from sparking. To enable the Clear Flood mode, you need to depress the accelerator, all the way to the floor, before repeatedly turning the ignition to the "On" position. This triggers the Clear Flood mode, which makes the engine pump air instead of fuel, thus drying the spark plugs. Do this for five minutes, and take your foot off the pedal, and turn the car off, taking the keys out of the ignition. After a minute, the car should start. If not, there may be mechanical problems necessitating a professional mechanic with diagnostic equipment to fix it.