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Dodge-Plymouth Neon Overheating



  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,692
    You can't always spot head gasket defects visually and unless the "other head" was a new one, you still don't know if you have head gasket problems or a cracked head without testing.

    Once you've eliminated head gasket as the issue by a pressure test and combustion gas test then you can confidently throw money at cheaper repairs.

    One reason I'm pushing on this is that the Dodge Neon is notorious for head gasket issues. It's one of the "usual suspects".
  • I have a 1995 Dodge Neon and I bought it used. I started hearing bubbling in the overflow tank about 6 month ago, so I replace the thermostat, then the waterpump and timing belt. The bubbling stopped. I just had a coolant system flush about a month ago, and 2 days ago my radiator cracked, so I just got that replaced today and the guy who fixed it said my overflow tank is cracked. Is it safe to drive like that? Where can I get a new/used overflow tank?
  • It's been overheating then going back down to normal temp. When it did this about 2 months ago we replaced the upper hose,the engine gasket and the thermastat. Coolent has been checked and is fine along with the oil. The radiator was flushed not even a week ago. We can see that the oil pan gasket needs to be replaced, it leaks oil about 1quart per 2 weeks. Otherwise we think the radiator could be clogged or need to be replaced. We are having a hard time determining which.
  • both of you need to test for a bad head gasket. Neons of this vintage are known for this problem.
  • I'm currently trying to replace the fan relay switch on my '97 neon. But I'm having a hard time removing the plastic electrical piece from the old relay. I would think there would be some kind of release, but i don't see one. Has anyone else had a problem with this? did you just muscle it off with pliers?
  • jenschisjenschis Posts: 1
    Not sure if this was discussed but here is what happened to me yesterday.

    I took my girls on a little trip in the hills and on the way there my neon started getting hot. It has never done this, actually, I just purchased this car less then 3000 miles ago and it has ran great. Anyhow, There was no where to pull over so we turned the heater on and it cooled down long enough to get to where we were going which we was only 5 miles away when this happened. I checked and the overflow was completely empty. We let the car cool down and before leaving put in antifreeze and headed home. About 10 miles outside of where we was the car started over heating again. We switched the heat on and all it blew was extremely cold air. at this point the steam bellowed out of the hood and the car shut its self off. We rolled to a stop and popped the hood the overflow was still full! we let the car cool down and put fluid in the radiator which had cracked right at the top about 4 inches long. After the car completely cooled, we tried to start it if for any reason but to get it off the freeway and it only turns over, nice strong battery but won't start. Is there some sort of fuel ignition switch or something keeping it from starting? I pulled the spark plugs to see if there was any fluids in there and they are clean, I did remove the intake to get to the last spark plug cable and maybe I didn't put that on right? is there anything else I can check? Thanks
  • mrush336mrush336 Posts: 1
    i had a simular problem with a ford thunderbird. It turned out to be the radiator was clogged. i replaced it after bieng told all kinda things from blown head gasket to thermostat stuck open. worth looking into maybe flushing it would help, i chose to replace mine cause the cost wasnt that much and i did the labor myself.
  • After overheating, my neon turned itself off, and now has no spark? original problem was leaking thermostat housing, which is now repaired. However, The spark has dissapeared? I checked the fuses, and they are ok.

    The speedometer is also erratic. Sometimes it doesn't work at all, then it will come to life and work erratically?

    Also the dash gauges will suddenly go off. Slapping the dash hard on top will bring them back? Anyone got an idea what is causing these various problems?
  • teresa14teresa14 Posts: 3
    I dont want to scare you but it sounds like it could be your headgasket or if not the pistons. My 95 Dodge Neon did the same thing and I had the same problem with the gages and speedometer. The mechanic wanted $400 to fix the cluster of gauges under the dash, he said that would fix it from coming in and out. I didnt have it fixed as it wasnt that big of a deal. But mine started overheating after about 10 minutes driving too, it would bubble in the overflow tank. I replaced the waterpump and timing belt, and it worked fine for a while, then started overheating again. Eventually craked the radiator, replaced that, then it ran fine for a few days and then started overheating again. I parked it and then it would not start after. I sold it.
  • Wow you know I just replaced my water pump, thermostat, and fan relay and no change. I had 4 different men work on the car and nothing. It took my 17 year old daughter and I to figure out it was a simple $3.00 fuse. Ridiculous huh! Try that it is a bigger green 30A fuse that fits into the box under the hood it even says radiator air conditioner. Try it you never know. I was sick when I figured it out mainly cause everyone said head gasket. Simple great now
  • My 2001 Neon is overheating. Just replaced thermostat and water pump with timing belt. Its not leaking anymore but I cant drive more than 5 miles without it overheating. I also flushed the radiator.. What next?
  • pressure test for a bad head gasket.
  • Same thing happened to my 1995 Dodge Neon. I changed the thermostat, then the water pump and timing belt, then the radiator. I ended up selling it because I thought it had a bad head gasket, however, it ended up being something to do with cracked pistons or something. The guy I sold it to fixed it and is still driving it today, so I would have a mechanic look at the pistons.
  • I have a 95 Neon SOHC, bought new, now with 126K miles, and I have just begun to experience this problem. When I start the engine, it runs smoothly until reaching normal temperature and then the engine starts to missfire, surge, sputter, and eventually shuts down. It took me 6 tries to get my car home as I had to let the engine cool between each run. I just replaced the Mopar HP PCM that I installed a few years ago, with a new one. I replaced the waterpump a few years ago and it seems fine. I ran my analizer on the engine and it gave me cam sensor, crank sensor and coil failure codes, but the coil is an MSD that I installed less than a year ago, and the engine runs smoothly until the temp reaches normal. I would think that a bad cam/crank sensor would cause problems from inital startup and not just after warmup. I have not pressure tested the cooling system lately, but I smell no coolant and see no leaks. No indication of a bad head gasket (original) but I have not pulled the plugs yet. Could the O2 sensor cause this problem after heating up? I also replaced the thermostat 2 years ago, but if stuck, would this be a possible cause? I would appreciate any help!
  • I had been having problems with my 2004 Dodge Neon with just under 70,000 miles on it. Of course I've taken it in several times with the "everything's fine" response. It idles funny when stopped at lights, and sometimes the "engine jumps" (the best way I can describe it). when I'm driving, the engine randomly "jumps", and when i pull in and out of parking spots, it's almost like the engine hesitates. About a month ago it started overheating... I took it in and was told that it was the headgasket. They replaced my headgaskets, timing belt, and crank shaft ring. It ran smoothly for about 2 weeks. The new timing belt noise didn't go away, so they told me that I need new "bearings" for the timing belt. Was told it wouldnt hurt the car to wait (until they found it used instead of $300 for new). But the car started doing all the same things again! Then yesterday, it overheated again. The mechanic "can't find anything wrong" - any thoughts??
  • I'm having the same problem. How did you fix yours?
  • Was your a/c still working when this fuse was blown?
  • junk yard. for like 5$
  • the speedometer is a typical thing that goes wrong with these cars. you gotta pull the gauges out and re-sotter the pings. it will fix the gauge problem. also, your car isnt gonna have spark after the car overheats, its the pcm doing it to save the engine from further damaging itself. it should start after it cools down a bit.
  • hmw1hmw1 Posts: 1
    usually its down behind the fans on the passenger side. you can go get a manual from the parts place for about 11.00.
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