Question about 1999 Dodge Neon

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96 Dodge Neon, not you average overheating issue

I own a 1996 Dodge Neon, it has 176,000 miles on it and it runs like a top. A month ago the water pump went out, I changed it and the timing belt. 700 miles latter it began overheating. I changed the thermostat, the radiator cap, and made sure it was topped off with fluid. I checked the oil, and there is no water in it, or "milkshake" as I have heard it referred too. The cooling fan kicks on when it gets to operating temp, and the cooling fan turns on and stays on when the AC is on. No check engine light either. I am stumped. Any suggestions??

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  • ryanhornick May 19, 2009

    I change my oil every 3000 miles I have owned the car for the last 4 years. I have changed the temp sensor out approx. 3 years ago I had a issue with the cooling fan staying on all the time. I latter realized it was the most likely the relay. The check engine has come on in the past, but that was a faulty O2 sensor. So I know the light does function. I did not flush my system prior to changing the water pump. My friend says it may be my head gasket?? I hope not. Any suggestions?

  • ryanhornick May 19, 2009

    The car heats up to temp at idle and the cooling fan kicks on and it does not overheat at idle. 1-3 Miles down the road the temperature gauge goes from normal range to pegged out max.

  • teahou May 11, 2010

    Does it over heat while driving or while sitting at an idle?



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Hold throttle open to a normal highway RPM in the driveway and observe rad hoses for collapsing. Do your run up the road & see what rpm your at when gauge starts to move toward hot, then use that rpm, in driveway . You did run that engine for quite a while with rad cap off when you refilled coolant, with heater on correct?

Posted on May 20, 2009

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If the car runs good, and as long as you're keeping up with your regular oil changes, using the correct fluids (coolant, oil, fuel, etc), all coolant hoses are fresh, no leaks or excessive corrosion/contamination, and you followed all procedures correctly, then I suppose it could be the coolant temp sensor or related wiring/ connections. Normally this would trigger the cel (check engine light)...does it come on periodically when you turn the key on? Unfortunately, there are some dirty dealers out there who will tamper with this light (ex:remove the bulb) b4 selling. Have it scanned anyhow. If the check engine light works at startup/no codes, double check the thermostat. Did you flush the system b4 installing the water pump? Otherwise there may be some kind of blockage (or air) in the coolant passages. Don't get frustrated, and diagnose the ****** one step at a time. Good luck, hope this helps!

Posted on May 19, 2009


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