Question about 2004 Dodge Neon

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I have a 2004 Dodge Neon SXT. It has about 65,000 miles on it. Four months ago I had to have a valve for the gasket replaced because they said there was a hole in it. The check engine light would keep coming on saying cylinder misfire, and one of the cylinders' oil pressure was significantly lower than the other 3. I had the spark plugs replaced a week or so prior to this. They also replaced the timing belt since it was 60,000 miles at that time. After this work was done, my car sounds AWFUL, like a diesel truck and it was very slow to speed up and felt almost like a crappy bike chain. Now, 4 months later, I am driving down the highway and it was as if someone threw my car into neutral. Everything remained on and running, but although I was pushing the gas it began slowing down. While trying to pull off the highway, I pressed the gas and the car began jerking forward and backward really bad. The car did not stall and I was able to make it a few miles home going under 40 mph. The mechanic said that the timing belt jumped a tooth but that the water pump and tensioner were fine. He fixed the belt and it began driving normal but still sounds like a diesel truck. A week later, the exact same thing happened (slowing down while pushing gas pedal). The mechanic said the check engine light was showing a code for a camshaft sensor problem. I sent it back to the people who fixed it originally because this shop was just one that happened to be right off the exit on the highway and I didn't know them. The old mechanic says it drives fine and there's no code showing. Clearly there's something wrong. Is it the transmission? Faulty camshaft sensor? The vehicle was purchased new in 2004. I think it's stupid that they act like nothing is wrong when I almost got in an accident twice on a 5 lane highway because my car decided it didn't feel like driving anymore, yet there's "nothing wrong with it."

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  • kortney0413 Nov 04, 2010

    They finally were able to recreate the problem and it was the camshaft sensor. They replaced it. I won't know if it still sounds awful until I pick it up tomorrow. I needed this car to last until 2012, but I have a feeling that's not going to happen. Do you think this car will last? Or should I start looking for a new one..

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  • Master
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This presents a very unique and interesting problem.......the work originally performed on the vehicle is suspect, as the first instance of the vehcile slowing down, is very very very similar to a catastrophic engine drama, like a timing belt breaking, or if it did "skip" a tooth, WHY.......a timing belt does not skip a tooth unless it was not properly tensioned in the first place, or there is a problem with the camshaft or cranshaft gears themselves which would cause this.......so I am extremely cautious on their diagnosis of nothing being wrong......

As well as this

The 2.0 Liter SOHC and DOHC engines used in the Neon are interference engines. if the timing belt broke while driving there is about a 6 in 10 chance a valve came in contact with the piston. The only way to know for sure is to replace the belt and perform a compression check to see if any valves are not sealing, so I would ask them whether this was performed or not.

Posted on Nov 05, 2010

  • Luke Bradford
    Luke Bradford Nov 10, 2010

    I hope everything has worked out for the better.......Hanging onto your older car for as long as you can makes solid economic sense. As long as your ride isn't costing more than your car is worth and is relatively reliable, you're in good shape. But if your car just won't cooperate, it may be time to upgrade.



    Good luck and happy motoring !!

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That is frustrating. Your camshaft sensor is more than likely bad. And it sounds like the timing is off from when they changed the timing belt. I would suggest taking the car to a more reputable shop. I can't really tell exactly what is wrong with the car without listening to it and driving it. But you can take the car to Autozone and they will check the codes for free. Then you can get back on here and tell me what codes you are getting and I will let you know what I think needs to be done.

Posted on Nov 04, 2010

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