Question about 1998 Plymouth Neon

2 Answers

Wont start I own a 98 Plymouth Neon, I was driving along at 120 and boom the car shuts off. I am getting the codes 12,25,54. I looked the codes up and found a mechanic that took at a look at it for free. He didnt remove the timing belt cover, just stuck his finger inside and told me to try and start it. DIDNT START, Than he said when the timing belts goes, the valves drop and the piston crushes them. Is this true? He told me I need a new engine, is there any other way I can fix the problem myself? Ive never fixed a car in my life and Im afraid to get taken for my money, What should I do?

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  • Nathan B
    Nathan B Jan 04, 2009

    Ok, if I check the belt and there is no belt there, is it advisable to take the head off and check for damage, and if I do that what am I looking for besides the bent valves, how easily can I just take it off and put back on and put the head back on?

  • Nathan B
    Nathan B Jan 04, 2009

    Im sorry to bother you again, I found this website on how to replace your head gasket, are the basic steps to find out what Im looking for in here? Thank you for your time.

    http://www.allpar.com/fix/headgasket-2.h...


  • Nathan B
    Nathan B Jan 06, 2009

    Hey, I talk to a mechanic and he told me he would replace the engine for 1340 Canadian Funds, The engine has 105k. Do you think its a good idea, I was told someone had this done before, and now it wont pass e-test. What do you think? Thank you for your time.

  • Nathan B
    Nathan B Jan 11, 2009

    I thought I inform you everyone of what is going on, incase this could solve someone Else's problem. My Car went in wednesday, He said it should be done by next weekend, Considering he has two jobs. I think me hearing that he was going to take his time, made me feel at ease, I also told him to drive it for a day to get the kinks out of it. I will keep you informed with another update when I recieve my car back. Thank you again for everyone's help. If you have any computer problems, that is my expertise :)

  • Nathan B
    Nathan B Feb 05, 2009

    I got my car back, Everything came back perfect, I couldnt be happier, and ya, the engine still has pep left in it! only 105k Motor.

    Thank you for everyones help.


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Yes unfortunately when the timing belt goes on your make and model car the valves will contact the pistons however there is likely only damage to your valves and not the pistons....so you will want the mechanic to preform a compression test to confirm valve damage and then go from there if there is no compression, the valves are damaged and the head will need to be rebuilt or replaced (when the head is off you can determine if there is piston damage) in your case with an 11 year old car you may want to put a used head on it to save money. the timing belt needs to be replaced every 105,000miles or 48 months whichever comes first (info received from Haynes repair manual #30034 for 1995-1999 dodge and plymouth neon)
hope this helps........thanks for choosing FIX YA!

Posted on Jan 04, 2009

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  • s60six Jan 04, 2009

    if you are not well versed in the steps involved in removing a head from an engine you are best to seek professional help(as there are way too many steps to outline them here), if you are handy and want to attempt this get the manual i noted earlier or a similar manual to aid you. Also if you have a friend or two who have even a little experience in this kinda stuff invite them over to help cause two heads are better than one 3 better than two ect.........Just save the beer drinking till after you've completed the job (lol)
    here's the link for the manuals i usehttp://www.haynes.com/
    Good Luck! any more questions or if you get stuck with something removing the head let me know!


  • s60six Jan 04, 2009

    yes! absolutely that is a good step by step explanation.........I've even bookmarked that site! This is a big job but if you have the time and patience (and a big hammer lol) you will do fine, keep me posted on how it goes.Any more questions don't hesitate to ask (i'm not around the computer much during the week but when i get a chance i check my e-mail so i may take a little longer to reply) and by the way its not time wasted if i can help! GOOD LUCK !

  • s60six Jan 07, 2009

    That sounds like a reasonable price I am assuming that's for a used engine, but as nascar2fever said you should make sure the timing belt is replaced before it gets installed. As for the drive clean test you shouldn't have a problem if the new engine has all the emissions system installed and working
    Good luck!


  • s60six Jan 11, 2009

    hope it works out for you..........always glad to help!

  • s60six Feb 06, 2009

    glad to know it worked out for you! Good luck with your neon in the future and thanks for choosing FIX YA!

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If you dont trust the mechanic here is a way you can check it for yourelf...look through the hole as a friend tries to start the vehicle for you. if those gears you see dont move when it is cranking over he is right the timing belt broke. he was also right about the possibility it bent the valves which if it did at the very least means a valve job

Posted on Jan 04, 2009

  • Russell Bailey Jan 06, 2009

    if my math is correct that figures to be about 65-66000 miles on it.im not real sure on the price comparison but it sounds like a good deal to me. you might have a new belt put on it before he installs it. i can not figure why it wouldnt pass e check as long as it has the same equipment on it as it does now

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yes unfortunately when the timing belt goes on your make and model car the valves will contact the pistons however there is likely only damage to your valves and not the pistons....so you will want the mechanic to preform a compression test to confirm valve damage and then go from there if there is no compression, the valves are damaged and the head will need to be rebuilt or replaced (when the head is off you can determine if there is piston damage) in your case with an 11 year old car you may want to put a used head on it to save money. the timing belt needs to be replaced every 105,000miles or 48 months whichever comes first (info received from Haynes repair manual #30034 for 1995-1999 dodge and plymouth neon)
hope this helps........thanks for choosing FIX YA!

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