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Dodge-Plymouth Neon Electrical/Lighting

I am having a battery drain problem in my 96 neon battery is new starter and alternator test as good cleaned all the conections anyone have any ideas??????


  • My wife drives a 1997 Dodge Neon.There seems to obviously be an Electrical short somewhere in the system.
    Walking up to the car and slightly touching the outside of the vehicle starts an Electrical current and the Interior light starts to flash.
    You can also do this while driving.
    It just can hear an electrical surge somewhere but cannot pin-point it.
    This is starting to effect other Electrical components such as the Radio.It actually disconnects the Battery at some point in the nite then reconnects coz the clock needs resetting in the morning.
    Really need a starting point to figure this out.
    I have no Manual so I'm not sure what all is connected the Interior or the Door switch wiring so not sure where to begin.
    Any help or Ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Canadian Cactus
  • neo10neo10 Posts: 1
    i have a 96 neon as well as a 2001. my 96 did that and i tested the alternator and it said it was good. however it wasnt. the test said yes its fine. but when operateing the car it turns out,that the alternator was slowly going out. 4 days later after the test. i retested and it was bad. try replaceing that. grab one from a junkyard. its cheaper and if its not the problem then at least u didnt pay alot
  • So your saying the alternaters internal voltage regulator is bad? I will check that out thanks.
  • transducertransducer Posts: 7
    So just where is the voltage regulator on a 96 neon
    is it in the PCM my battery goes dead if the car sits overnight everything eles checks good starter alternator and the battery is new????
  • transducertransducer Posts: 7
    I found that if I pull the fuel pump fuse under the hood of my 96 neon my battery stays charged.I also read that this fuse cuts the power to the computer,now is there a relay somewhere in between my ignition switch and the computer? Or is my computer bad? this is very frustraiting!Anyone have any ideas? Anyone eles have the same or simillar problems???
  • greymalkyngreymalkyn Posts: 2
    My left turn signal works great until I hit the brakes. Once I put the brakes on, it stops flashing and just stays lit. Could there be a short somewhere?
  • transducertransducer Posts: 7
    It could be one of your light bulbs is burned out.
  • larissa1larissa1 Posts: 1
    I have a 97 neon, was having the exact same prob. battery goes dead whenever i leave it overnite. battery was new,etc. what was draining my battery was the headlights. if i take out the headlight fuse, this does not happen and my car never dies. so every nite i just take out the h.l. fuse and its good to go
  • ya but the only thing is my battery doesnt die i have a power car and i have 13.72 volts of power

    for some reason my car either isnt firing or its not getting gas
  • monkey7312monkey7312 Posts: 26
    Does anyone know what might cause an airbag light to come on at random? My airbag light comes on sometimes and stays on for about 15-20 seconds. Nothing else is acting weird with the car so I don't know if it's a big deal. I have seen recall notices for neons regarding the airbags, but my year (99) isn't listed. The 97 or 98 neons can have a problem where the airbags go off when you turn the car off. The 2000 neons can have airbags that don't inflate all the way. This worries me because is it the same model of car with all these airbag defects. Has anyone else had this problem with their neon and figured out what is causing it? :lemon:
  • dave110dave110 Posts: 2
    96 Neon dash cluster is dead. No gas gauge,temp gauge, or speedo. Only seems to work when it hot outside or the temp in the car is really hot.What's up? Thanks Dave
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    monkey7312: Well I can tell you what it took place in our 1996 Neon. The airbag light eventually stayed on. The main sensor for the air bags had to be replaced. New this sensor is more than $450. Yep, that's I thought too! My Dodge Service writer said he could get one out for a used salvage yard for $150. and $50. installation. It came with a warranty for 90 days. That was 2 years ago this coming Sept. I am glad for a a reliable service writer.
    Hope this helps.

  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    Dave110: I am glad I happened to check this forum today. Our 1996 Dodge Neon had this problem, and proberly every problem known to the Neon. In fact, we bought the extended warranty from Chrysler for $1231. when we bought it on Nov. 11, 1995 for $16,851.00> Glad we did because Dodge spent more on the warranty work over 5 years than we paid for the car! If we did not have the extended Warranty Dodge would have eaten the Neon. It now has 186,000 miles and still purrs like a tiger. I guess it took all the repairs to get a good car.
    Now for the cluster there is good and bad news. Bad is you have to replave the cluster. Good is there are a lot of 96 Neons in salvage yards and parts are reasonable. the biggest problem is getting the correct mileage recorded so the DMV is ok with it. Check your state to find out.

  • dave110dave110 Posts: 2
    Thanks so very much...I think.
  • monkey7312monkey7312 Posts: 26
    Thanks for the help. Is this something that I need to get replaced really soon? I'm just afraid of the airbags going off for no reason or having them not go off when needed.
  • jayhh3jayhh3 Posts: 1
    Did you replace your cluster yet? I'm having a cluster problem on a 98 neon. The guages will go dead and come back on while your driving. Also the battery light and seat belt light comes on sometimes.
  • lawyer53lawyer53 Posts: 4
    Yesterday, on my 1998 Neon, my "Door Ajar" indicator came on and stayed on while I was driving. No doors were open. When I stopped the car, and opened a door, the dome light did not go on. I can make the dome light go on and stay on by rotating the rheostat to the "on" position.

    Any suggestions?
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    monkey7312: I doubt that will happen. But a funny thing happened yesterday while our daughter was on her way to Wed. night Church. She got to use the air bags on our 2004 Dodge Neon. They hit her hard in the face and chest! Now mind ya these are the "New Generation" air bag. These come out softer and easier. The ones in 1995 to 2000 have to Old design which come out at 200 mpg+.
    Our car is likely to be totaled. One of these last Texans made a left turn form the traffic lane and not the center turn lane! Maybe that's how they do it in Texas! Any way with only 40,000 miles the front end folded to protect the driver as it is designed to do. Engine is tilted against the firewall, motor mounts torn out, I guess I would call it a pug-nose Neon now!
    But to expand your air bag question, you might find that if you needed the bags they would not work. That could really mess up a pretty girls smile, and ruin her evening too.

  • beachbrumbeachbrum Posts: 16
    My 2001 Neon RT has a small little bulb in the center console that illuminates the cupholder and change holder area. This bulb has burnt out and I was wondering if anyone knew what the replacement part # for it would be?

    Thanks in advance
  • I have a 2000 Dodge Neon and it has around 94,000 miles on it. I bought it, slightly used, as a program car with about 24000 miles on it. I noticed about a month ago that it didn't want to fire up and start right away. Well it seemed to get better and didn't have any problems until this morning. I got into my car and the dang thing barely started at all! It reminded me of how it would start after you had left your lights on for awhile. Well it did start and ran fine on my way to work. I had to run back out so I restarted it....and it made a god awful sound and wouldn't start. My lights and radio all worked fine this morning....I have heard it could be either the starter or maybe the altnerator...any ideas?

    Emma :confuse:
  • Start off small. Check the battery first. Check your plugs and wires. You could also have a sensor out.
  • Hey everyone,

    It was only the battery. WHEW!!!!!! Thanks for the advice!
  • I am not sure if you fixed this trouble yet or if it is the same cause as mine was, my 97 neon used to do some of the same and then it got worse and the car would die for no apparent reason and then would not start at times even though it would crank. I took mine to the dealer and they could not find the trouble, anyway this might be your answer. I found a wire that was shorting once in a while against a bolt head. The wire had worn off and the area was smaller than a pin head so you have to look close. Open the hood and find the power distribution center (main fuse block right behind the battery. look under the right side of the PDC (right side if you are standing in front of the car) and there are wires factory run right underneath it, right under that PDC there is a bolt head that one of those wires was rubbing on and shorting on. You will have to disconnect some connections to check this. In looking at my car it appears to me like this could fairly easy happen on other neons like mine. Let me know if this helps or even what you trouble was if it is already fixed. Good Luck.
  • thank u al so much its the wire, i went to start it and my moms bf saw it arch by the peice that connects to the battery (before i saw ur response which is weird) thank u all so much i hope the starter is ok, still a chance it can be dying huh?
  • Glad you found it, as far as the starter goes You will have to see if it acts up anymore after this fix. At times prior to me finding my short the starter seemed to have trouble, I ended up replacing my starter the day prior to finding the short because the short I had would at time cause the car to crank over without starting and this ruined my stater. My started when bad at times would just click, or crank over for a couple seconds and then just make a spinning sound, or not crank at all, then at times it seemed fine.
  • I've called round locally, and while cables are available at every Murray's (etc) for roughly $5 each...3 different shops tell me that I will need to order the battery cables from the dealership for $113!
    We bought this car used, about 3yrs ago. In recent months, connection is lost every time we hit a major crack in pavement or bump. (Go figure, we're in Detroit too.) We completely lose power, including hazards; brakes; etc.
    Looking at the wiring last night, we noticed that the previous owner must have electrical taped the cables in several areas...wire threads are rusted out, twisted, you name it.
    So...thought we'd just replace the cable and end our problems. Now I'm being told that 'special' cables are needed for our 1995 Neon.

    Can anyone back this up? Have experience with using universal cables? We don't even have the funds to get this car towed.

  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    bktron: We replaced the positive cable a good long time ago, we have 192,000 miles on our 1996. It seems to me we got them from NAPA. I can't remember that they were outrageous like what you said. As these Neons get older they do require more expensive R&R. We recently spent $320.00 on front end work, and $350.00 on the AC. Plus earlier ths summer both OX sensors went out at different times at $140.00. But 192,000 miles is double what some cars get.

  • Two weeks ago I repalced the alternator on my 95 neon. The other day I started smelling fumes. (rotten eggs). Then the battery fried. I replaced the battery but noticed this morning it was hot and bubbling. Someone suggested the voltage regulator. Anyone no where its located? Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It's probably built into the alternator itself but I'm not sure. At any rate you'd best be very careful and never create any kind of spark around a "bubbling" battery. (hydrogen gas == KABOOM)
  • A friend suggested that if it is an older battery with a new alternator installed that the older battery could not handle the load? Anyway I'm going to put a new battery in and see what happens. Thanks
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