Engine Mechanical problem
2004 Dodge Neon 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 80k + miles
Overall, my car has been driving fine. I've never really had any major issues with it, certainly nothing that did not allow me to drive it. I drove to a friends house from the grocery store right down the street, parked and turned off my car to help her inside with her things. When I returned to my car, I went to start it and nothing. My head lights, dash lights, radio came on with no problem, but when I turned the key all the way to start the car, nothing happens. The car does not even make a sound. It doesn't attempt to crank whatsoever. No clicking, nothing.
It's important to mention three things that have been weird about my car lately. First, practically since I bought the car, I have had a weird problem where all the lights in my car would periodically flicker violently. This problem was always alleviated when I installed a brand new battery in the car. I have always simply attributed this issue to me needing a new battery.
Second, recently (in the past year or so) my engine has been seeming to run " rougher" than usual. The car's idle is much louder than I remember, in fact, so loud that I can barely hear my radio unless I'm on a high volume. The engine's " sound" while running gets even louder when I accelerate. The entire car vibrates very loudly.
Thirdly, I noticed 2 summers ago that my car's temp has been much higher than I remember it. The temperature gauge needle used to sit just under the first line and now it sits on the line or slightly above it. I also have had overheating problems (only during the summer and I do live in Las Vegas). The car would overheat if I was idling too long with the air conditioner running (like waiting at a red light or in stop and go traffic). Sometimes, the car's temp would be just fine until I turned it off, ran into a store real quick and came back and started the car minutes later at which point the needle would be in the danger zone for a moment and gradually go down returning to its usual place on or slightly above the first line.
I don't know if these issues have ANY thing to do with why my car suddenly does not start after running seemingly fine all this time but I wanted to mention it just in case there is a connection somehow.
Please let me know what you think the issue may be and how I can go about fixing it myself if possible. My husband is not a savvy mechanic but he can do quite a bit especially if properly instructed. If need be, I have a mechanic I can take it to, I'm just trying to find the least expensive way to fix this problem in light of my husband's recent unemployment.
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 AT 3:32 PM