2005 Dodge Neon: faulty cylinder 2 valve.

Tiny
TWHITING32
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 DODGE NEON
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 85,000 MILES
Hello:

First off, it's awesome that this site exists.I had no idea!
Okay, for a wihile now my car has been idling really rough, eating more gas than usual, seems to have lost some power and the check engine light has been on.
We finally were able to get it to the garage this week. It was diagnosed with misfire on cylinder 2 and a leak down (is that right?) Test showed low compression and leakage into the exhaust. In case it makes better sense, the receipt from the mechanic reads:
"scanned engine, got code P0302; low compression in cylinder #2. Leak down test found cylinder #2 valve open, leaking into exh; compression test found cylinders 1, 3, 4 has 125 PSI and cylinder #2 has 75 PSI. Misfire due to low compression."

They estimate it to cost between $500-$1K. Again, it has around 85,000 miles on it and it will be paid off in January. Do you think this is worth the investment, or should we start looking for a new car?

Thanks! :-)
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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 AT 6:46 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
Did they provide any leakdown %, for the #2 cylinder, and did they trywitting the #2 cylinder with oil and perform a second compression test. Fuel can wash the cylinder walls down if not being consumed, and the result can be low compression. That is just a suggestion. The choice to repair the vehicle, may lie in what you want to get out of it, either for service, or value. A trade in with a known malfunction is worth very little, and unless a person wants to buy a 'fixer-upper' your private party value may suffer. In my opinion, 500 to 1K sounds a bit cheap when the head is still on the vehicle, considering the labor time for just head R&R is 7.3 hours(courtesy of ALLDATA). If a shops labor rate is near 100 per hour, your are almost at 2/3rds the max quote. The best information I can offer you, is if you trust the person that cares for your vehicle, then you should have no guilt in having the vehicle fixed. It is so often, that the consumer is taken by people that are just low-balling to get a repair in the door, only to be hit with unforeseen expenses when the vehicle is torn down.
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Thursday, October 21st, 2010 AT 12:27 AM
Tiny
TWHITING32
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your reply. In my first post I said that the test showed cylinder 2 had 75 PSI. Is that what you mean by the compression %?
I definitely know what you mean about the surprise expenses. We aren't familiar with the guy we took it to, but called the mechanic we trust to let him know what was going on and what they said it would cost. He happened to agree, plus he said he'd want to another clylinder (2 total) so it's "done right, " and replace head gasket.
The decision to trade in or not depends on whether these expensive repairs would (or wouldn't) make the car run longer. I don't care about value, I care about service. I didn't know this when I bought the car, but it seems that a lot of people consider neons to be pretty low-quality.
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Thursday, October 21st, 2010 AT 6:52 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
I am not sure about the neon being low quality, it is what I would consider an entry level vehicle. Much in comparison to a Ford Focus, or a Chevy Cobalt. Something that is affordable, and economical, but doesn't house alot of technical advancements and features. What I meant by leakdown percentage was just that. If a leakdown tester was used to determine where, and how much, it would have had a gauge that was referenced. A large leakdown of a cylinder would be something in the neighborhood of 75-100%. The lower the leakdown, the less severe of the leak(or more restricted). As far as serviceability post-repair, I am somewhat surprised that you had a failure of this nature at the mileage your at, unless there is a known possible problem with the engine.
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Friday, October 22nd, 2010 AT 12:33 AM

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