Neon randomly cutting off

  • 2003 DODGE NEON
  • 113,000 MILES
My Neon randomly cuts off while driving or parked. The car just cuts off while on the hwy or in the city then sometimes cuts on again, other time I have to sit and wait for around 5 to 10 min and then it will start. No codes come up in the system, I have replaced everything I know that might cause the problem. Sensors, TCM, alternator, wires, plugs, coil pack, fuel pump, fuses, checked wires for shorts and frays. I cannot figure it out.
I know this is a problem with the Dodge Neon from reading other post, but no solution has been found yet. I even email Dodge corporate but of course no help there. Go figure.

Any ideas?
Do you
have the same problem?
Monday, May 13th, 2013 AT 7:42 AM

1 Reply

Lots of misinformation here. First of all, this is not as common of a problem as you seem to think but it does have a procedure for finding it. Chrysler is the third highest-rated manufacturer in the world for having customer-friendly business practices, after Hyundai and Toyota, and if you didn't get a reply it's likely because they would just tell you the same things I will or because you didn't give them enough information to go on. If you expect them to diagnose the problem you have to give them lots of detailed test results.

First of all, you're replacing a lot of random parts. That is the most expensive and least effective way to diagnose a problem, and it puts a lot of new variables into the equation. You know all four spark plugs aren't going to fail at the same time and the alternator won't cause an engine to stall and start again. Chrysler fuel pumps almost always fail to start up when they fail. They rarely fail while driving. GM pumps are the opposite. They fail while you're driving leaving you sitting on the side of the road. Fuses are never intermittent unless they're simply loose in their sockets or have corroded terminals so there's no point in even thinking about them. The Transmission Control Module can fail completely and the car will still move and the engine will still run.

You didn't specify which sensors you replaced, but only the crankshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor can cause intermittent stalling. Intermittent stalling after the camshaft position sensor got warm was real common years ago and was a well-known and easy fix, but it doesn't exactly match the description for a car as new as yours. On most of the engines by around 2000 or 2001 the engine could continue running if the camshaft position sensor failed but it would not restart after it was stopped until that sensor cooled down.

Since no diagnostic fault codes have set, your mechanic will connect a scanner that displays live data, then watch what happens on a test drive. He can see which sensor signal cuts out or what is turning off. Most scanners also have a record function that lets him record the event, then play it back slowly later to see what happened.

How did you determine there were no fault codes? A lot of people think the Check Engine light has to turn on for there to be a code. In fact, over half the codes will not turn the light on. The Check Engine light only has to turn on when the problem detected could have an adverse effect on emissions. If a sensor fails and it sets a code, the emissions can't go too high if the engine doesn't run so the light would likely not turn on. If you actually checked for codes and there were none, that's the time to get the scanner involved so you actually know what's going on. Be aware too that fault codes never say to replace parts. They only indicate the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis. The sensor or part referenced in the code is only the cause of the problem about half of the time.
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Monday, May 13th, 2013 AT 11:01 AM

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