Question about 2005 Dodge Neon

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2003 Dodge Neon SE the car acted like it was in neutal

The transmission cooler blew up and put the transmission fluid in the engine cooling system and engine coolant in the transmission fluid. This is a Dodge Neon 2003 SE. What happen was the car started to smoke then I turned a corner and the car acted like it was in neutal. Now the dealership is quoting me some ungodly amount. They want to change to cooler and completely rebuild the transmission. Does this sound right?

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  • Mark Clay
    Mark Clay Oct 10, 2014

    The Same Thing Happen'd To Me Costed Big $

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As detrimental as coolant is in the engine oil, it has a much worse affect in the transmission fluid as its a thinner fluid and does not have the additive package that a motor oil does.

Here's how I would approach this:

To replace the cooler (its probably in the radiator) means they will likely have to replace the radiator and then the rebuild of the transmission is going to be up there as well. So all this is going to be considerably expensive.

You could go that route if you wish, but you could also take a chance and have an after market transmission cooler installed (by-pass the one in the radiator completely so you dont have the risk of coolant in your transmission again) and then have a thorough transmission flush done with a new filter installed.

Now, you are likely looking at a few hundred dollars minimum if you have the dealership do this but Im thinking that the reason the car acted like it was in neutral was due to the lack of transmission fluid because of the cooler line busting.

If you can do this work yourself you could probably do it all for less than $200 and if everything works out and the transmission is not damaged and works properly, you've saved yourself a good chunk of change. If it doesnt work and continues to have problems, then you can decide if the repair bill will be worth it to rebuild the transmission.

The key think here will be doing a very thorough transmission flush to get any traces of coolant out of the system and a new filter. Hope this helps.

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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