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The Dodge Aries, launched in 1981, was a pioneering mid-sized car known for its K-car classification. It was available in two-door coupe, four-door sedan, and station wagon models, it came in three trims: base, custom, and SE. It is powered by a new SOHC I4 engine and an optional 2.6L "Silent Shaft" motor, the Dodge Aries also boasted semi-circular combustion chambers and the iconic HEMI emblem on 1981 models. It excelled in low-grip conditions, providing superior cornering dynamics. Almost a million units were sold before the vehicle underwent a redesign. Significant changes included a more rounded front end with an egg-shaped or rectangular grille, a new rear bonnet with five-piece taillights, and an added high-end LE trim level. The base model sported a 2.2L four-cylinder engine, while the SE models got a cosmetic makeover and improved driving sound through sound-absorbing materials. A new five-speed manual transmission was added, boosting speed and fuel efficiency by 8% on highways. The 2.2L carburetor was eventually replaced with an electronic fuel injection system, and a new 2.5L four-cylinder fuel-injected engine was offered. It was later discontinued due to reliability concerns. Only the base and LE versions remained by the end of its production.
The Dodge Aries, particularly models from the mid to late 1980s, has faced several common issues across various engine types. Some 2.5L engine models have encountered intermittent bucking and missing, especially at certain speeds, and this problem persisted despite replacement of spark plugs, wires, and other related components. Mechanics have suggested solutions such as cleaning throttle body plates and using injector cleaner but dismissed the likelihood of a faulty lock-up torque converter. Similarly, 4-cylinder 2.2L engine models have experienced issues with failing to accelerate or maintain speed, and even restarting. Checks revealed problems with timing or belt/chain, damaged vacuum lines, broken bolts, and a malfunctioning steering column that affected various components like the 'power loss' light, radio, and gear gauge. In some instances, the car was considered beyond repair. Additionally, there were challenges related to modifying the Dodge Aries for racing, such as a broken axle, though they were overcome in innovative ways. Shifting focus to stalling issues, some 2.5L and 2.2L 4-cylinder engine models exhibited problems with dying while idling or stalling while driving. Solutions explored included bypassing the EGR valve, cleaning injectors, adjusting the ignition timing, and specific driving patterns to retrain the Engine Computer's "minimum throttle" memory. These issues across Dodge Aries models highlight a range of complexities from engine misfires and car bucking to stalling, requiring various approaches to maintenance and repair.
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