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Dodge-Plymouth Neon Overheating

badralbadral Posts: 7
Hello!

I have 95 neon sports. 114k miles. (I know it's crap!) It's overheating after 10 mins of driving. The shop I took it to said the problem was thermostat housing, which I replaced. Coolant is usually full, though sometimes it is gone (I don't know why). Even with coolant, it heats. If I turn on the heat at max to my foot, heat marker gradually normalizes. If I turn off the heat, it goes up again. I don't think I should be driving like this. It makes me hot.

I don't wanna go back to that shop. Anyone have an idea what is the problem? Thank you!
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Comments

  • 71charger71charger MDPosts: 116
    Could be a lot of things. Do you have bubbles in the coolant? If so, I'd say headgasket. If not, possibly a clogged radiator, stuck thermostat, collapsing radiator hose are a few possibilities.
  • badralbadral Posts: 7
    that sucks. well you gave me something to start with. thanx.

    its good clean car. I just replaced timing belt and waterpump. I'd like to at least reach 150k, before dumping it.
  • I have a 97 Dodge Neon Highline (DOHC) and my car is overheating. The car does fine while I am driving (because of airflow) but when it sits idle the temperature gage increases to HOT in minutes.

    I can see the the radiator fan is not kicking on when this happens. I also turn on the AC and the radiator fan is not starting (I believe turning on the AC, turns on the radiator fan.)

    To try and troubleshoot this, I put +12V to the radiator fan motor and it worked fine, so I am guessing it is one of the relays and/or switches. I checked the connection to the engine coolant temperature senser and it was good. Also, I replace the engine coolant temperature senser. I am now stuck. I checked the Haynes manual and it explains that this problem could be in the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) and should be serviced by a dealer.

    Does anyone have any recommendation before I go to a dealer? Would it be better, easier, cheaper to just replace the PCM.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  • There is a rely that controls the radiator fan. Have you cheked that?
  • I did not check the relay. I am not sure where it is at? I could not find it in the fuse box and it seemed that all wires lead to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

    Do you know where the relay is?
  • Should be with the other relays. There should be 3 or 4. If you can't find let me know I will get a book.
  • I have a Haynes book and I am only aware of relays on the fuse box (power distribution center) and my 1997 Dodge Neon does not have the radiator fan relay there.
  • Hi:

    Looking in my Neon 2k manual from Haynes, the relay is shown on the electrical schmatic for the AC and physically located inside the fuse/relay box.
  • Okay I am back :)
    Once again with bad news thanks to whoever said my overheating problem was my head gasket :) You were right however I wish it was a lot simpler for the dealership to find out the problem. The termostate we replaced I'm sure was a good idea to do however, the car kept overheating even afterwards and losing power. The engine light would come on and then turn it self off so there was no proof there was a problem with it losing power. Then by some miracle the light stayed on the other day, so back to the shop it went. So we had them retest why it was overheating and a losing power. The chrysler dealer said it was a fan module, and there was oil in our spark plugs. They wanted 550.00 for the fan and 800.00 for the spark plug replacement. I did not have them do the work because well it was a lot of money that I could not afford since this car breaks down all the time, it does not allow me to save for the next breaking down lolol. My friend looked at the car, and checked the spark plugs they were dry as a bone, and surprise no oil at all. Then he told me to take it to a friends shop were they have the machine that tests it to see what is wrong. Then my friend would do the work since he works on dodges.Well it is my head gasket not the other things the dealer told us. I was wondering for months where my antifreeze has been going since I had to fill it up all the time. I just don't understand why the dealer could not tell me the real problem instead of making one up ? It just seems weird for my head gasket to be blown, a cam sensor go out, a speed sensor go out, power steering pump to go, 2 windows go out, a door, having to replace all my freeze plugs already, my motor mounts go, and I just had my spark plug done lol 15,000 miles ago and they are saying it is my spark plugs again lolol is this normal for it to be in the shop every 3 months when my car just turned 3 years old with only 90,000 mikes on it. I just cannot keep up. It has truly been a nightmare between the car breaking down and the poooooooooor customer service I recieve at these dodge and chryser dealers. I am sure I might have missed other things that have gone out that I cannot remember because it is to painful to remember lololol. Oh yes to the person who told me not judge dodge/ chrysler on my neon well I don't have to too, I can base my expereince on their customer service too it stinks. I will not do business with this company again. However my new car is great and it is not a dodge lolol
    Shyleen ;)
  • I have a 1997 Neon. When I got it the fans would not work either. There is a small Mopar relay mounted (oddly) underneath the battery tray. For some reason, this fails reliably. It costs around $80 from Dodge, but I found it on Ebay for $32. Search on Ebay for "dodge fan relay" and it is the only thing that comes up. The relay is used on many Dodge models. Plug it in and the problem will be fixed.
    :)
  • Alright, where to start. I just recently bought a 95 Dodge Neon with overheating problems and seriously underpowered. I buy cars a fix them, that's why I got it. Anyways I tracked down my problem to replacing the Headgasket and cleaning the head. When for a first test drive after finishing up. Everything seems fine except the engine is a bit noiser than I expected and makes an odd hard to describe noise. Is this normal for a Neon? I also got a Check battery light. I couldn't find anything wrong though. Today I do a longer test drive. I start having problems. The Engine overheats and I find the radiator fans aren't running like they should, also my temperature gauge is stuck on overheat. Sounds like an electrical problem to me somewhere. Any ideas on where to look?
  • Doing a diag on an engine noise over the internet is very hard to do. Some Neons have a piston slap noise that will go away when the enine warms up. When you did the head gasket,did you have the battery tray removed? If so,you may have forgot to plug in the battery temp sensor on the bottom of the tray. This will turn on the charge/battery light. What do you mean by "the rad fans are not running like they should.? Are they running at all? Are you sure you have a enough coolant and do not have an air lock. Can you jump the rad fan relay to make sure the fans turn on?
  • The noise seems to stay even when I get it warmed up. The battery Tray stayed in place the whole time. The radiator fans where not working at all when the car overheated, but once it cooled they worked again. Fan Relay works fine, one of the first things I checked. I'm sure that's there's plenty of coolant and no air lock. I may have foudn the problem. I exaimed the wiring harness and found along it that the wires where fused to together from some intense heat. I dissected the area and so far have not seen and insulation away from the wire, so I have to keep looking.
  • I always swore nobody could give me a Chrysler product. Well, it just so happened that a 2000 Neon came my way for a good price. Same year as my Elantra with a fraction of the miles (42,000). Don't you know a couple of days after I brought it home I noticed a good sized spot of coolant underneath it. Dodge dealer where the car originally came from replaces the radiator cap. Still leaked. The second time they say nothing is wrong and charge us 60 bucks to put dye in the system. So now my spot is neon green. Took it to a private garage and he tells me it's the HEAD GASKET. I researched before I bought this thing and thought Dodge had this resolved. Any action I can take here? Should have listened to myself I guess.
  • I bought my 98 Neon Expresso Sedan new in 97, consider me a very happy owner. Have only suffered a few problems, the first was the head gasket when the vehicle was less than 5 months old - dealer replaced the head and have not had any problems since. :mad: I do believe that this should have been a recall issue though, fortunately my vehicle was garage parked so I noticed the drips of oil early on. The second, has to do with the power moon roof. It had been replaced twice while on warranty because of the rails and recently has gotten stuck again ( :confuse: I have been told that to replace it now, they won't repair it, will cost me just under $1000), it cost me $100 to have them close the moonroof and I am not planning on having it replaced. The only other issue I have had in the 8 years and 140,000 miles of owning my vehicle is the problem of draining the battery. :confuse: With no warning the battery will be drained. This began right after the warranty expired (approx. 4+ yrs, 60K miles), now I find I have to replace the battery about every 9 months. I always have the diagnostic run and everything is fine. So, I don't know what causes this. Due to this I always buy the warranty on the battery and keep my roadside assistance current. Though recently, :surprise: a disquieting incident occurred which I am inclined to believe had something to do with the battery issue. One rainy afternoon about a month ago (early November), on my commute home from work, my rear windshield imploded unexpectedly. I didn't know what had happened and called 911. The police after responding believed that having my rear window defrost on had over heated the back window and caused the implosion. When I had the window replaced the installer, with my only telling him of the implosion, had agreed with the Police that he believed it was a power surge and that he sees it fairly often. Didn't think at the time to ask if it was specific to Neons. Anyway, now I use the rear window defrost sparingly and am just glad that it occurred after I was off the highway and driving slowly in a residential area. Other than these problems have only had to replace tires and windshield wipers and brakes once, everything else is original.
  • I have a 1996 plymouth neon highline it is leaking motor oil very badly, I am gessing its the head gasket thing? How much does it cost to get it replaced/fixed etc.

    And if its not that what else could it be and how much would it cost to fix?

    Also my spedometer works on and off anyone else have this problem? How much is that to fix?
  • Don't assume it's the head gasket. That can cost more than the car is worth. Perhaps the front seal is blown? A few hundred for that. Your speedometer cable could be gone. Call the dealer for an estimate and then take it to a local shop. They should diagnose it for free. Just tell them it's leaking oil and you would like an estimate to fix. If you don't have the cash to fix the speedometer don't bother. The oil problem is your main concern.
  • My 1996 neon sohc has been overheating and i put a new radiator in and the head gasket was cracked i replaced both will that fix the Problem
  • My 97 was leaking 1 qt per 1000 miles. Smell the anti-freeze. Mine was brown and had an oil smell.

    It was the head gasket. My car had 66000 miles. I had the dealer also replace the timing belt, water pump, and alternator belt. By calling customer assistance I only had to pay $500. I think that is pretty good response by Chrysler for a 9 year car.
  • I have a 2-door manual transmission 1997 Dodge Neon with 66,000 miles. This is my work car. And up till now it has been great transportation. It gets good gas mileage, is quite quick, and has been reliable. Yes, it had a leaky trunk, which was easily fixed by taking the lights out and reinstalling with a silicone sealer. And yes, it has wind noise around the windows, which is improved by lowering the window an inch and then cranking it closed. I can't complain about the service it has given me.

    By 66,000 miles it was leaking 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles. So I brought it into a five-star dealer. It was diagnosed with a head gasket failure. They also want to replace the water pump. (I heard bearing noises when it was cold outside.) I told them to replace the timing belt and alternator belt while they are at it. I also asked if there is any assistance available due to the known design flaw in the head gasket. The dealer said no, that it was out of warranty, and that there was never a recall. So I said okay to about a $1000 repair.

    So, I called the Chrysler Customer Assistance (800-992-1997) to see if they could provide assistance. I told them how nice the dealer was. To make a long story short, they told me I had to pay the first $500 and they would pay the rest. I'm very happy with their offer. The car is 9 years old! It is long out of warranty. I think this is outstanding customer assistance on the part of Daimler Chrysler.

    From my view it's hats off to Chrysler!
  • rander1rander1 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 with about 55K on it and am going through the same thing. Mocha colored antifreeze and it overflows this brown sludge on to the street, so I pretty-much only drive it around town. I also have an oil leak on the drivers side of the engine, I'm curious to know if they are related. I also have problems with my speedometer working intermittingly as well as my gas gauge not working. Oh yeah and now the heater works only when it wants too. I was dreading taking it to Dodge for fear of what it would cost, so this is good news.
    I have owned a lot of cars and I have never had one this old with so many problems, time to go with an import!
  • I have wonderful news for you that every 96 Neon owner went through. Your "Head Gasket" is gone. Time to junk it. They corrected this problem with the later models. You don't want to know what it'll cost you. More than book value of your car. :lemon:
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    Rander1: As someone already told you it's your head gasket. These were a big problem for a couple of early model years. Before I did anything I would call a Dodge dealer, and if you have some kind of relationship with a service writer or shop manager, you just might luck out and get dome for free or a lower cost. If you do have it fixed have a new water pump put on and timing belt. These have the time ware rather than the milage ware. It was to be changed at 90,000 miles. I have 179,000 on my 96 Dodge Neon and the only thing done to the engine is head gasket and timing belt and water pump and thermo stat. These engine have gone well beyond 225,000 miles. Just good oil changes and spark plug changes are the key. TO RID YOURSEL OF GARBAGE JUNK IN THE RADITOR. put about 8 oz of Dawn dish soap and run it for a bout an hour and it will be rid of the junk. Good luck! Don't dump the Neon, its got lots of life yet to give,\.

    Farout
  • srt497srt497 Posts: 1
    yes i have a 97 plymouth neon n jus couple weeks back it started overheating on me again. i have replace the radiator,waterpump,theramostat,fans r workin fine. but the thing is dat the coolant resiavor is acting up. after i put either coolant or water i hear bubbling from the resiavor n at times all da liquid is gone from the resiiavor after driving it, and also my carpet was getting full of water. so it had 2 be either the heater core or the head gasket . so i disconnected the heater core n also found out the head gasket was fine. so now im really stumped, wat can it be, help would be greatly appreciated thanks im new 2 the forums.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    I HAVE THE SAME EXACT PROBLEM AND I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I CONSTANTLY HEARING BUBBLING AFTER I TURN MY CAR OFF! :mad:
  • The bubbling noise is from shutting the car off to quickly after stopping. The water pump must be able to circulate water for the cooling system to work effectively. If your front floor board is getting wet it is almost without a doubt the heater coil. If you have eliminated the heater coil try this ... when the car is cold (perferably after sitting over night) remove your radiator cap. Start the car and add 80/20 mix of antiboil/water. Once the level stops dropping shut off car and replace cap. The overheating problem may be air in your cooling system. The wet floorboard may not even be related to the overheating. If this fixes the problem and it returns you have either a bad radiator cap or a leak somewhere. You can also try running a cooler temperture thermostat (they are available from howell automotive on the web) Also double check the fans...make sure your a/c is off so the a/c fan does not kick on. If you are driving when the car overheats try turning on the heater wide open at its hottest setting this will help the engine cool off quicker. hope this helps.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
  • Hey Woodstudio, could you please make your story from post #27 long again? I called Customer Assistance and they acted like I was making it up that the Neon's headgasket was a piece of crap and they said there was nothing they could do. How did you word it? I was really nice to them on the phone and told them that I'd read of similar cases on the Internet where there was some kind of assistance since the problem is very widespread. I would love to only pay $500 for the gasket, belts, and water pump. That would be ideal instead of paying around $800 for only the head gasket which was a ticking time bomb in itself.

    Thanks,
    Nick
  • steamedsteamed Posts: 1
    Recently purchased 2001 Plymouth Neon LX. Driving on surface streets it does fine, but when I get on the interstate after about 10 minutes the temperature starts to rise and within about 15 minutes it is at the top of the gauge. Pulling over and idling does not cool it off, neither does exiting the interstate and driving on surface streets. The cooling fan is functioning properly. Here is a list of repairs attempted to fix problem: cooling system power flush, new thermostat and radiator cap, new radiator, new water pump, new head gasket, cooling system flush again. What is causing this problem?
  • mcmanusmcmanus Posts: 121
    I've got the nearly the same problem with a 2001 Mazda 626 LX V6, but with my car it's associated with air conditioning. List of repairs: two thermostats, water pump, radiator flush, cleaned the outside of the radiator, recharged the A/C, replace coolant reservoir tank.

    It all started with me leaving the cap off the reservoir after checking levels and two days later overheated in stop and go freeway traffic on a warm summer day.

    I think it has to do with the computer, because the fan runs when the engine is cold, even on 30F degree days.

    BTW I'm here because we "inherited" a 2001 Plymouth Neon with nearly 120K miles from the stepson (eventually for the next stepson) and was wondering if anyone could advise how much to invest in maintenance.

    Thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
  • ocmikeocmike Posts: 1
    My 2004 Neon (45000m) overheats- as other posters have written- when slowed in traffic or idling for extended periods. My fans do not come on. I am in the process of replacing the relays- but how do I test the fans? "Jumping" fans is a bit outside my limited expertise here.

    The AC unit works well- but falters (as in warm air) as the temp fluctuates. When I "open it up" the temp returns to normal.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as car repair costs are not something I can absorb right now.

    Thanks!
  • the post says that the cooling fan relay location is underneath the battery box. Could it be possible that they changed the location of the fan relay in 98?
    Any information on this subject would be helpful.
    I re wired the fans to come on when the ignition switch is on so I know they work.
  • tomw6323tomw6323 Posts: 1
    I have a car with 61 k. When I shut my car off I can hear the water bubbleing back into the coolant bottle. It does not do it all the time. I check my oil everyday thinking maybe it may be a headgasket going. But, there is no signs of coolant in it. My car does not over heat and I recently changed my water pump. What could this be!?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    If there is actual PRESSURE in the coolant overflow tank, that is not a good sign.

    You can test the coolant for combustion gases and you can also pressurize the cooling system with a pump and then pull the spark plugs and look for coolant on them. Both these tests would reveal a bad head gasket issue.

    It isn't always the case that coolant enters the engine oil. It depends on where the head gasket fails within its pattern of various sealing surfaces, holes, openings, etc.

    You can get water in the oil, oil in the water, gases in the water, or none of the above and still have a bad head gasket.

    I'd certainly keep an eye on this since Neons are a bit notorious for bad head gaskets. But unless you are overheating, you don't have to worry just yet. But keep an eye on that temp. gauge.
  • I have the same problem, sans the water getting into the carpets. My 96 Neon is overheating when it is in "stop and go" traffic. I have replaced the thermostat, the rad hose, the waterpump, fans are working fine when tested in the mechanic shop.

    Mechanic2. told me I need a rebuilt engine, and that he thinks the Neon is burning oil inside of the engine, and this is causing the overheat. However, I am not noticing any leaks, and no "brown" antifreeze. The car is not burning oil. Can it be still an engine/head gasket problem? :sick:

    Now, I read at another Neon site, that this overheating might be related to the speedometer not working (another notorious Neon problem). Apparently, the speedometer data controls the time the fan comes on and off. Any advise how to check the vires for the spedometer?
  • odomodom Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Neon. Overheated after I got it back from staying at an ex-friends house. I found the fuel line had been cut and now am wondering what else they may have done. It overheated the first time after about 80 miles (during the mid-summer). We changed the thermostat and flushed the radiator. Now, I ran it for 30 minutes and no overheat until the rpm was raised over 2,000. The water started boiling and a minute later the fan finally kicked in. I'm NOT a mechanic. The dealer said it could be a 101 different things and to get it fixed would cost more than the car is worth. I'd still like to try to fix. Can someone offer a tip or advice. Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    If you have only low speed overheating and not high speed overheating then definitely you have an AIR circulation problem rather than a coolant circulation problem---so your suspicion about the fans is a good one in terms of diagnosis.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    If the dealer doesn't know what the cause is then how could they know that it costs more to fix than the car is worth?

    Get a proper diagnosis. Have the cooling system pressurized by someone who actually wants to fix your car and cares enough to diagnose it, and with the system pressurized, extract the spark plugs and look for the presence of coolant in the cylinders.

    You don't necessary have to have a water/oil mix with a bad head gasket.

    You can also test the coolant with a chemical for the presence of combustion gases in the radiator. If there are combustion gases, you are "boiling water" as you drive, like a tea kettle--either from a bad head gasket or a cracked cylinder head.

    If both these tests show up negative, then you have to check for radiator clogging, inoperative cooling fan motors,etc.
  • randy58randy58 Posts: 1
    I have change the head gasket with another head. I still have bubbling in the over flow tank. I did not see anything wrong with the head or gasket i just removed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    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.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    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 fix...works great now
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