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Discussion Starter #1
My sons 2008 Avenger is having some strange issues. The ETC light is blinking and the car runs terrible and barely goes over 20mph. I assume that this is the limp-mode. The weird thing is that the check engine light is off. I hooked it up to my somewhat sophisticated AutoTap scan tool, and it said there are no codes. I tried the key-on, etc trick, and it came back with "done" which also indicates no codes. I just disconnected the battery and I'll see what happens.

Assuming it is still in limp mode, what can I do. I really don't want to bring it to a dealer

Thanks,
Bruce
 

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Disconnecting the battery for a few hours did not help. Today I will try cleaning the throttle body. It looks like you have to remove it to clean it. It seems like it is in a pretty vulnerable spot down low on the engine. Any tips on cleaning it?
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Bruce
 

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Use copious sprays of Throttle Body cleaner (NOT carb cleaner, it'll gum it up) and pay particular attention to the circumference of the blade and the ends of the shaft. I'm not certain if the cover for the electronics comes off, but if so you can use electrical contact cleaner in there if you wish. Radio shack should have that. Let it dry thoroughly and see if it helps any.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Use copious sprays of Throttle Body cleaner (NOT carb cleaner, it'll gum it up) and pay particular attention to the circumference of the blade and the ends of the shaft. I'm not certain if the cover for the electronics comes off, but if so you can use electrical contact cleaner in there if you wish. Radio shack should have that. Let it dry thoroughly and see if it helps any.
Thanks for the help. I took the throttle body off and cleaned it to with throttle body cleaner. It was pretty dirty, but I spent a lot of time getting it pristine. You can't get to the electroics as it is a sealed unit. I hooked the battery back up, and reset the the throttle as shown in another thread. When I started it, it would keep going back & forth from about 500 to 2500 rpm. The ETC warning light would come on and off sporadically. After a few miutes, it started to blink and run rough, just like it did before the TB cleaning.

I'm pretty sure that it is the Electronic Throttle Control or the TB. I'm basing that on the fact that it never turned on the Check Engine Light, and when I just pulled the plugs, they are clean and light tan in color.

I would just replace the ETC if that would fix it. My Auto Tap scanning tool can measure Throttle poition, so I think I'll try that and see what I get.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Bruce
 

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I worked on it a little more. I hooked it up to my AutoTap scanner. Without the engine running, I noticed that the "Accelerator Pedal Position D" was at 18%, and the "Accelerator Pedal Position E" was at 9%. As I pressed the accelerator, they both went up in unison. At WOT, D was at 72% and E was at 36%. The "Absolute Throttle Position B" (Throttle Body Position) stayed at 18% the entire time. This is leading me to believe that it is the Throttle Body, unless the App-D and APP-E have to have the exact same reading (%) to allow the Throttle Body to operate. Or, maybe the TB will only open if the engine is running. If anyone knows, please let me know.

I started the engine and logged about 45 seconds of run time. The engine ran rough, and the ETC light was blinking (no MIL light). The pedal position readings were as above. The Throttle Body Position varied erratically from 18 to 23%. I'm assuming that the engine vacuum is what is making it move at all.

Right now I'm going to pull the connector off and see if the TB is getting any voltage feed at all. I am not sure what it should be, but it should vary as you press the accelerator.

Hopefully I'll get to the bottom of this soon. I'll keep you posted.
Bruce
 

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Lets start with the easy stuff first, not too long ago had someone on here in an 08 with the limp mode issue and the ETC light was blinking. Ended up being the battery. Charge it or boost it first, see if it plays nice then.
 

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Lets start with the easy stuff first, not too long ago had someone on here in an 08 with the limp mode issue and the ETC light was blinking. Ended up being the battery. Charge it or boost it first, see if it plays nice then.
The battery is too hard to get at, so I hooked up my Jump Pack along with the battery. Still no luck. I measured the voltage at the Throttle Body Connector. With the key on I got 4.9volts at two of the pins. Pressing the accelerator had no change at all....4.9 on two of the pins and nothing on the others.

I hooked everything back up and restarted it. It idles fine, although at 1500 rpm. It ran rough when I backed it out of the garage to let it run. The strange thing is that now the ETC light is off, but the Check Engine Light is on. Even stranger is that when I hook it up to my scanner, it doesn't detect a code. Doing the "key dance" doesn't reveal any codes either.

It looks like the Avenger has won the battle. I may just have to take it to the dealer.

Thanks,
Bruce
 

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its not the volts as much as it is the amps. If the battery hasn't been changed, there is a good possibility that that's what it is. Low power makes the computers go haywire in our cars. I have no idea what the power should measure at the connectors, so I can't help you there.

The fact that it did turn off the ETC light and on the CEL makes me think it would still be power related. Tho the ETC has failed in some of the cars, from what I have read on here, and it is expensive...

Best of luck to you, lets us know what it was, please.
 

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its not the volts as much as it is the amps. If the battery hasn't been changed, there is a good possibility that that's what it is. Low power makes the computers go haywire in our cars. I have no idea what the power should measure at the connectors, so I can't help you there.

The fact that it did turn off the ETC light and on the CEL makes me think it would still be power related. Tho the ETC has failed in some of the cars, from what I have read on here, and it is expensive...

Best of luck to you, lets us know what it was, please.
Seeing that the car has 95k on it, and it is the original battery, I'll probably just go out and pick one up tomorrow. Even if it doesn't solve the problem, at least I won't have to rescue him one day on the side of the interstate.
Thanks,
Bruce
 

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Before just changing the battery, have a parts place do a load test on the battery and check the charging system, most will do it for free. I also have a 2008 and had to replace my battery a couple weeks ago for not starting. Up until the morning the wife tried to start it, we had no problems. The battery under load test only had 128 cc amps. I replaced the 525 cca stock battery with a 640 cca battery which was the largest I could get at my supplier. Well worth the check and investment for peace of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had the battery checked and it came back as okay. I decided to replace it anyways. It was such a chore to get it out (I couldn't drive the car in its present codition), that I didn't want to chance a 5+ year old battery with 95k miles.

Unfortunately changing the battery did nothing. I let it run in the driveway for 90 minutes with a can of Seafoam and five gallons of fresh gas in case it was the gas that he purchased moments before this adventure started. I am willing to spend the $175 to purchase a new Throttle Body, but I will hate to still have the problem. I would feel much better if the Check Engine light was on or I at least had some codes to guide me. Wish me luck! If this doesn't work, I am left with only one couse of action.....:kap:

Bruce
 

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Well, I ordered a throttle body this morning. Hopefully that will do the trick. I vow to get to the bottom of this issue. I promise to let everyone know what it tookto resolve the problem.
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Bruce
 

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I had the battery checked and it came back as okay. I decided to replace it anyways. It was such a chore to get it out (I couldn't drive the car in its present codition), that I didn't want to chance a 5+ year old battery with 95k miles.

Unfortunately changing the battery did nothing. I let it run in the driveway for 90 minutes with a can of Seafoam and five gallons of fresh gas in case it was the gas that he purchased moments before this adventure started. I am willing to spend the $175 to purchase a new Throttle Body, but I will hate to still have the problem. I would feel much better if the Check Engine light was on or I at least had some codes to guide me. Wish me luck! If this doesn't work, I am left with only one couse of action.....:kap:

Bruce
I am sorry that it wasn't the battery. I hope the new TB will fix it. I'll keep my fingers crossed
 

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Well, I am about to throw in the towel and raise the white flag. The new throttle body arrived today. I eagerly installed it, but it is no better than the old one. I called the local dealer and will bring it in on Monday. Meanwhile I will try a few more things. As promised, I will post the results when all is said and done.
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Bruce
 

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Well, I can't believe it! To try and solve my son's "limp home mode" problem, I ended up repacing the following:
-Battery
-Throttle Body
-PCV valve
-Plugs
-Air Filter
-Can of Seafoam

All this to no avail. I drove it several times around the block for 15-20 miles, and could only hit a max of 35mph and it sounded and felt terrible. Although my AutoTap scanner was helpful at first, it now developed problems and could not recognize the car or the VIN. I tried reloading the software, to no avail. I took the tube off again that goes from the throttle body to the air filter box. I wanted to check the wires going to the starter (I was getting desparate). Of course they were tight. Even though the CEL was not illuminated, I decided to try the "key dance" trick since my scanner wasn't working. I mistakenly turned the key too far, and the car started and ran better than it had, despite the tube being disconnected. I ran it for about 30 seconds, shut it off and tried again. It ran a little rough, but a lot better. I shut it off, and reconnected the tube from the air box to the throttle body. It started up and ran great! That was yesterday morning. Since then I have put about 50 miles on it, and started it up a total of about 20 times. It continues to run fantastically! I tried wiggling sensor connectors to see if I could get it to repeat, but nothing happened.

The only downside is that I have no idea what, if anything fixed it. I told my son not to take it on any long trips. I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen again.

In an earlier post I vowed to tell you guys what the "Fix" was. Unfortunately, I have no idea. I will give you an update in a few weeks (sooner if any issues arrive).

Thank you to all who helped.

Bruce
 

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the fact that your scanner couldn't connect, I would say it might be the computer. I think they are covered to 100k miles. I would take it in and have them check it, because shelling out about a grand to replace it, is not cheap fun.
 

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the fact that your scanner couldn't connect, I would say it might be the computer. I think they are covered to 100k miles. I would take it in and have them check it, because shelling out about a grand to replace it, is not cheap fun.
That is good to know. I'll have to check to make sure they are covered to 100k. I had a problem with my wife's 2001 Chrysler 300M where the CEL came on and said the was no communications with the computer. I ended up purchasing a rebuilt computer for $189 w/ exchange. Too bad the Avenger's PCM isn't as inexpensive.
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Bruce
 

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Well, my info is from my 99 Durango that I had. Its PCM, I was quoted when it first went out in 2003, around 1500 plus reprogramming. When it went out again in 08 I found one for around 800 plus programming. If you have found a rebuilt PCM for 189 with the core, then I guess prices may have come down. I haven't really looked for it, also I am not sure if it would be the PCM or the TIPM (or are they one and the same) you would need.
 
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