Question about 2003 Dodge Neon

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2003 neon idles low

I have a 03 neon that idles low when in drive.I cant seem to find out what the problem is.

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  • 3 more comments 
  • Neonjjm Jan 15, 2009

    no there isnt really a change in fact i have to drive a little then stop and it idle really low... around 500 rpms and the whole car will start to shake bad.

  • Neonjjm Jan 15, 2009

    my rpm's rise some, but it rises when i put the ac on or turn my wheels as well.

  • Neonjjm Jan 15, 2009

    when i brought it down to autozone they didnt see anything wrong when it cam to the ecu... hmmm and i cleaned out the idle air valve.. this is no fun :(

  • Neonjjm Jan 16, 2009

    it didnt come up with anything. they put a code reader into it and scanned it.. but it came up with nothing.

  • grrbby4 Feb 01, 2009

    i also have that problem although i dont know weather my idle drops or not butthe only way it stops is if i put it in neutral or park

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  • Dodge Master
  • 5,568 Answers

If there is substantial change going from park or neutral to drive, then the transmission is maladjusted. I could see this also causing the tranny to get hot if creeping along in traffic with frequent stops.
I'd check with your local BBB to find a reputable transmission shop so you can somewhat believe their assessment.   

Posted on Jan 15, 2009

  • 3 more comments 
  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Jan 15, 2009


    It still sounds like the clutches in your auto transmission aren't letting go as much as they should when at an idle.
    If you stop, put the transmission in neutral or park, does or does not your RPMs rise? 

    Any shop will have a diagnostic code reader that would probably tell you what the cause is since most things in your car are monitored and then recorded if a device isn't as it should be.


    Another possibility is the Idle Air Control and if that is sick, it will have generated a code.

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Jan 15, 2009

    Just got a reminder from another message; if you have an Autozone or Advance Auto Parts near you, call them and ask if they do free scans of your code reader.


    I didn't remember that since I bought my own a year ago for our family of cars. 

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Jan 15, 2009

    but it rises when i put the ac on or turn my wheels as well.


    This kind of indicates that the Idle Air Control is working although when you load the engine (give it more work to do), the RPMs should dip very briefly then rise again to ~700-750 RPM, the common idle speed.
    Both things you mention make the engine work a little harder; the AC compressor uses ~1-1.5 HP and the steering pump is a load as well.


    I really think you should have your ECU memory scanned to learn what is malfunctioning.  

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Jan 16, 2009

    Did Auto Zone actually do a scan on your ECU or did they just stare at it??

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Jan 17, 2009

    The only thing I have left to suggest is to seek out a reputable transmission shop and jsut call them tell them of your problem and see if they think it can be transmission related.

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