1998 Dodge Neon Car looses power, on hwy, then goes again

  • 1998 DODGE NEON
Engine Performance problem
1998 Dodge Neon 125000 miles

will be driving down HWY, and then when using gas pedal, it will sputter. Loudly, as if not getting any gas, then it will come out of it and continue. Once it stalled in traffic after idling in a parking lot for around 15 minutes. When it does this it pulls itself out of it.
Then a few days back it did this, in a snowstorm, while I was going around 40 Km's, and it started this, then car stalled, and would not restart. Had it towed to garage, and they said the timing belt had went, and I need a motor. But I found a torn belt under car when tow truck driver moved the car. Also, I had a rebuilt alterenaor installed by a friend a week ago, and a new battery and a used alternator installed on Dec. 20th, which only lasted until 2 weeks ago.
My suspicion was fuel pump had went, or I needed a major tune up, but garage told me motor was done. I am very worried cause I am a woman, and know not much, just how car is acting. I have replaced 2 alternators, so far, and the battery, and now am told a motor. So im curious as to what signs a broken timing belt for the engine would give me. Car is still in garage, and I told them not to do anything, cause of money, its my daughers and my only means of transportation at moment. Very concerned over garage not being truthful. Cause a friend looked at it today, and said the timing belt was there, but no alternator belt. HMMM, I will gladly donate in future, but money is a major issue at moment. And so far I have given the garage around 500 plus.
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 AT 4:46 PM

1 Reply

Let's tackle this as two separate problems.

1. 2 alternators and a battery in the past two months. Please explain a little bit more in details as to why you have to replace 2 alternators in the past two months.

2. Timing belt issue. You said that a friend had looked at the vehicle and told you that the timing belt is still there. Where did he or she look? Is he looking at here?


Your timing belt is located inside the timing cover. Everything in front of the timing cover will have to be removed in order to access it.


With your mileage, if the timing belt has never been replaced, there is a chance that it broke. I have seen many Neon/Stratus/Breeze that the timing belt has snapped at around 120K - 125K miles.

Sign of broken timing belt? Other than actually opening the timing cover, you can only crank but will not start.

What I would do if I were you is to go back to the garage and have them show you exactly what they mean by the timing belt. Play "dumb". You have the pictures of how it is supposed to look like behind the timing cover.


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Monday, February 23rd, 2009 AT 1:13 AM

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