Dodge Neon Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Dodge Neon as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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30
Known Problems

An engine Oil leak may develop at the cam sensor o-ring seal. Our technicians tell us this is often misdiagnosed as an external head gasket leak.

If the needles for the instrument cluster are on the wrong side of the pointer stops, perform a "self test" on the instrument cluster. Press and hold the trip-reset button and then turn the ignition key on (do not crank the engine). Some indicators will light in the cluster and the needles should sweep to the proper side of the pointer stops.

If a Check Engine Light illuminates indicating leak detection pump (LDP) failure, the cause is often pinched or disconnected vacuum lines to the pump. Vacuum lines should be inspected before replacing the leak detection pump. Contamination (carbon or debris) in the pump can cause failure and any hoses should be cleared before a new pump is installed.

The radiator cooling fan may fail to turn on resulting in an engine overheating condition, or The fan may not turn off once it is on. Chrysler has released a service bulletin to address this issue. The repair involves install a jumper wire harness and new cooling fan relay.

The fuel level sensors can wear out causing erratic or inaccurate fuel gauge readings.

There was a recall to replace the vacuum hose for the brake booster. In the presence of oil, the original hose could swell and become disconnected. The brakes would function but power assist would be lost and the pedal would feel very hard.

Spark plug tube seals fail, causing the tubes to fill with engine oil and the engine to misfire. As a result, the engine may run poorly and fuel economy can suffer.

Cars without ABS suffer master cylinder failure. The brake pedal will be spongy in feel, the pedal travel will seem excessive, and overall braking performance will be poor.

When a no start condition is caused by a faulty camshaft or crankshaft sensor, related fault codes stored in the powertrain control module (PCM) should not be trusted. Our technicians tell us that under certain conditions a fault code can be stored for the "good" sensor. Care should be taken to properly diagnose this condition.

The interior lights may stay on or flicker intermittently if the door jamb switches are out of adjustment. The switches may require replacement because they are self-adjusting.
The ignition key may become difficult to remove on models with a tilt steering wheel. Make sure the gear shift lever is in "Park" and sometimes placing the steering wheel in the lowest position helps with key removal. The shift interlock cable, that connects the shifter to the steering column, may need adjustment.

If the screws holding the case of the powertrain control module (PCM) are not tight, the tachometer may fluctuate or bounce from 300 to 1000 RPM while driving at a steady speed.

Front brake pads can wear prematurely in city or commute type driving conditions. Heavy duty brake pads are recommended.

If there is a water leak into the passenger side of the interior, under the dash panel, it may be the HVAC housing drain is plugged or restricted.