Dodge-Plymouth Neon Electrical/Lighting

transducertransducer Member Posts: 7
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??????


  • canadiancactuscanadiancactus Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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
  • transducertransducer Member Posts: 7
    So your saying the alternaters internal voltage regulator is bad? I will check that out thanks.
  • transducertransducer Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 7
    It could be one of your light bulbs is burned out.
  • larissa1larissa1 Member 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
  • dragonneondragonneon Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks so very much...I think.
  • monkey7312monkey7312 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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
  • missasuemissasue Member Posts: 2
    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:
  • arcadefreak36arcadefreak36 Member Posts: 49
    Start off small. Check the battery first. Check your plugs and wires. You could also have a sensor out.
  • missasuemissasue Member Posts: 2
    Hey everyone,

    It was only the battery. WHEW!!!!!! Thanks for the advice!
  • camtrcamtr Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • mat420mat420 Member Posts: 2
    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?
  • camtrcamtr Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • btkronbtkron Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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.

  • tcartwrighttcartwright Member Posts: 2
    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, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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)
  • tcartwrighttcartwright Member Posts: 2
    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
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well batteries do get tired after 3 to 5 years. That's true, you can't charge a defective battery.
  • 01neonproblem01neonproblem Member Posts: 2
    Hello, I have a 2001 Plymouth Neon and on Friday night my right turn signal and brake light went out. The following day my left turn signal and brake light also went out. When I went to change the bulb I noticed that nothing was wrong with either one but went ahead and changed them anyway and neither worked. I then checked my fuses and once again none were broken or blown out but I changed them anyways and still no turn signals or brake lights. The dealership says it may be the Multi-Function switch. Does anyone know where this is located on my car or if that is an accurate estimate? Has anyone else had this sort of problem or does anyone know of any information that could be of use to me? I appreciate any feedback anyone has. Thank you in advance!! Matthew
  • pnoussiaspnoussias Member Posts: 1
    My 1995 plymouth neon 2Lt SOHC engine wont start. I've had the battery and relay checked out and they were fine. I've tried jumping and nothing. just makes electrical noises under the hood and sometimes a clicking noise when I turn the ignition key.

    Friends say starter is bad and to change it out, but it is practically unreachable sandwiched between the radiator/ fan housing area and tucked under the intake manifold!

    I've been told I would need to remove the intake manifold , fuel rail, throttle body, air inlet duct, pretty much everything up front to change the starter!
    One other person said i could remove the front mount bolt from the front cross member bracket and the engine could be tilted down to facilitate removal of the starter/Solenoid. Boy there doesn't seam to be enough clearance for this to me.
    I'm presently strapped for cash and was hoping to do this myself. I'm mechanically inclined, but afraid I might ruin more than the current problem I have!

    HELP Any suggestions I need the car for work to support my 3 children living with me
  • 315315 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 1995 neon that is dieing at start, the car starts adn then dies if you turn on the lights. If i warm the car up it runs fine wiht or without the lights. Once the car dies it will npot restart and the dash lights are not on. It will start if it ileft sitting for atime.
  • rholbrookrholbrook Member Posts: 1
    My son hit manhole cover and activated his air bags, we have bought new airbags and module thru local salvage yard, but cant seem to find the sensor(activator) under the hood, I want to make sure the pin popped backou before I install the airbags, can any help me, [email protected]
  • rhouse2rhouse2 Member Posts: 2
    My Dodge Neon had a problem that I originally thought was a bad gas issue, it started after I got gas at a station other than our regular place... the car ran fine, then started stalling - more like a hiccup, it would stop running then catch again, without a full stop... this happened several times just after I got gas. I used dry gas and the problem seemed to get a bit better but continued intermittenly. For a couple of days, I thought it would resolve with the next full tank of "good" gas. It didn't, and now, it won't run at all. The Starter engages, motor won't run, I can hear the fuel pump cycle... we have checked all the fuses and relays, we have replaced the coil, and computer module, and still get no start....
    Any suggestions on what to check next would be appreciated, I love my neon, but at this point the hubby is almost ready to give up......
    Thanks RJ :sick:
  • xneonxxneonx Member Posts: 1
    check the crank and cam sensor i had the same problem. i replaced the sensors and the problems stopped
  • rhouse2rhouse2 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply... Yes we replaced the sensor was the next thing we tried, and nope that wasn't the problem... We were able to get it fixed finally when we traced every wire in the wiring harness to find that the original owner (idiot)had pin prick tested several of them when he self installed his security system and that several of the wires were disintegrated and needed replacing.... explaining the occasional bad gas chug when they got damp or warm... the problem has been repaired for the moment we think... thanks again for the reply... R
  • okvolokvol Member Posts: 2
    While driving, the CD player skips occasionally with known good CDs, never in the same place.

    Sometimes the gauges on the dash "reset" at the same time. Example: speedometer goes to max, then steps down in about 1/4 of the gauge at a time. Other gauges do weird stuff too.

    Rare but very irritating more intense effect: car dies - nothing electrical works AT ALL. Then, after a random period of time, it will start and work normally.

    Battery has been replaced.

    Methinks it's time to replace the voltage regulator, that is, a new alternator. :(
  • jawsnpawsjawsnpaws Member Posts: 1
    We have a 1997 plymouth neon,bought it cause the truck is hard on gas,anyway we can barley see at night cause the lights are so dulldoes anyone know how to get them clean,it looks like a dirty film? :shades:
  • dmartinezdmartinez Member Posts: 3
    yea actually i know how to fix that, mine did that a while ago. I clean mine now about once a week and they really work. You got to remove the headlight itself. When you pull it out and pull the light out, if you take a cleaner such as greased lightning or simple green or even just normal dish detergent and a long thin toothbrush, you just scrub it out. the more frequently you do it, the better they look but i know you will see a difference after the first time u do it. i also do my blinkers too. those are easier to remove and clean but even thought the headlights are kinda a pain to take out, you'll be glad u did after they look better. If it still looks a little dull, try buying brand new headlights, maybe even investing in those halogen lights. i have those and my lights are so bright, they look fantastic! hope i helped!
  • myneon_a_posmyneon_a_pos Member Posts: 2
    I was driving into my work and I accidentally drove over one of those cement planters in the parking lot..I would estimate they are like 6 " high. The front end went up then *BAM* back down.
    After looking around to see how embarrassed I should be, I looked as good as I know how under and around the car everything looked fine.
    I drove home about 6 miles away when I got off work.
    The next day when I drove back to work, I went through a huge mud puddle.
    The car died.
    The next day we tried to jump it..nothing.
    Then when I had it towed home, when they were lowering it down my brother says oh here's your problem and had a quarter size piece of metal in his hand. He said it was from the oil pan.
    Ok..well the week before I was driving and without notice, it just shut down..everything died! All instruments not the engine. There was some sort of weird code "nobus?" was the only thing visible. I pulled over turned off the key.
    I sat for a few minutes and then it started but the MPH gauge wouldnt work after that but everything else did.
    Also it was a new battery.
    Also prior to this I was blowing fuses like every other day. I couldnt play a CD and run the heater or any 2 things together or they'd blow.
    I haven't had enough money to have it professionally looked at.
    Today though - out of curiosity, I checked the oil and it was on the add mark...visible oil on the stick.
    If it was the oil pan or engine block? wouldn't all of the oil have leaked out?
    So I put 1 quart of oil in it and a sheet of plywood under the engine..and no oil came out.
    I checked all the fuses AND took the positive cable off.

    I charged the battery after that for hours and some things worked.

    The anti theft alarm sound is weak.
    The radio wont work.
    The instrument panel and heater were operating.
    The car doesnt turn over but there is a distinct click click click sound.
    Then it died completely again.!!!
    The battery light illuminates and also a round red circle(DOT) in the upper right panel shines.
    Thank you so much for your time.
  • klopez12klopez12 Member Posts: 2
  • klopez12klopez12 Member Posts: 2
    Waz up .... I'm having a problem with my headlights....

    when i turn on the lights one side always is on high lights and the other side is low...

    so i don't know what i should do....

    maybe i should replace the fuses or the wire harness.... ?????
  • ne0nne0n Member Posts: 1
    Background: Bought my 1998 new. I've got 117,000 miles on it, and it's been a great car so far. This is my first brand new purchased car and I'm glad I've gotten almost 10 years out of it, I enjoy saving money not having car payments and the fuel efficiency is great!! (38 MPG!!!)

    Replacement parts: headgasket, motor mounts, oil pan gasket, spark plugs 3x, water pump, timing belt, PCV 3x, fuel filler neck, radiator 2x, brakes, battery, rear lamps, headlights, and some body parts --damn deer!

    Recent undiagnosed problems:
    » I'm driving down the road and my airbag light will come on, then go off.
    » Occasionally my radio presets will change without warning.
    » This past winter when letting the car warm up then returning to it, there's a heavy smell of burning electric something (happened a few times).
    » When the fuel filler neck was replaced we found a wire that was exposed near the gas tank.
    » When stopping at stop signs or lights the car will quit at low RPMs (this happens so infrequently it's hard to pinpoint ).
    » My factory CD player no longer plays burned mix cds.

    Considerations: It's been involved in front and rear collisions, and superbly patched up.

    If you've got any solutions or suggestions for any of the above recent problems, I'd love to hear from you. :)
  • dukereecedukereece Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 1997 Neon, and the gauges don't work. We knew this when we bought it, and the shop that we bought it from thought that they diagnosed the problem. They said that it was the Powertrain Control Module, but when we replaced the PCM, it didn't do anything different. Does anybody have a possible solution for this? The shop that we got it from didn't know what was wrong with it either, so if anybody can help me...I would greatly appreciate it.
  • dukereecedukereece Member Posts: 2
    ok...I might have an answer for a few...first...I know that on my 97 neon there was a recall on the airbag control module, saying that it could cause the light to go on, or it could even cause the airbag to go off upon ignition of the vehicle! I don't know if this is the case on the 98. I don't know exactly what the problem is with the car dying at low RPMs, but I had the same problem w/ my 89 buick regal...the problem can be just simply the fuel injector system getting old and coroding, and it can be helped simply by upping the idle on the car a little. Note that this will not "fix" the problem, but it will keep the car from dying at stop signs. As for the factory sound equipment. Those just go bad easily...theres just corroding on the inside of the head unit (the stereo itself). If you want to fix the problem I'd say you replace it. You will probably be experiencing problems with sound quality as well along with speakers going out one at a time or all at once.
  • neon_guy_97neon_guy_97 Member Posts: 2
    Hey im 16 years i have a 1997 plymouth neon i love working on the car but i have come to a dead stop im trying to get it inspected so i can have my own transportation but the backup lights will not work its a 5 speed and i have tested all the way back to the termonals and the test light will light up but the lights wont i have changed the bulbs sevral times just to see if the new bulb might have been faulty still nothing can anyone help me ?!?!?!?!
  • melissa8melissa8 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 PLymouth Neon with about 60,000 miles on it. Whee! What a loser. At any rate I have a problem. Last summer I dealt with the dreaded head gasket. I replaced the water pump and the timing belt. This summer I have another problem. About a month ago the car started running rough...stuttering when idling, having trouble accelerating (more so with the air con on) etc. Then the check engine light went on. My boyfriend checked the error code and got a 43. So we have chagned the spark plugs, air filter, ignition coil and the fuel filter. So far things get better for about a half a day and then start all over. Hard accelerating when cornering with the air con on seems to be the worst time. Any suggestions? Oh and we used the fuel cleaner stuff too.

  • tjoristjoris Member Posts: 1
    I'm trying to install indiglo face gauge on my instrument cluster. I need to know where the wire parking lights are so I can splice into it to get the gauge to light up when I switch on my parking lights.

    Can anyone help?
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