Question about 1998 Dodge Neon

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I have a 1997 Dodge Neon. My check engine light has been on for a while and I have a small oil leak. Last night I was driving the car and the temperature gauge went all the way to high and the bell sounded. I saw no water leaking but it started smoking. I am not sure what this could be but I noticed the fans are working.

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  • Anonymous Jan 02, 2009

    I have a 1998 dodge stratus and the check engine light blinks and it stalls



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The 1995-1999 Neons are notorious for having faulty head gaskets. This sounds like what you're experiencing. There is coolant leaking internally somewhere, and burning in the engine.

By any chance, is the smoke coming from the back or side of the driver's side of the engine? This seems to be the trouble spot.

If you've been driving with a bad head gasket seal for a while, there's a chance you could have warped or even cracked the head. I would recommend taking it in because this is a pretty major repair... unless you feel like taking the engine apart yourself.

Posted on Jan 06, 2009

  • J.T. Pickering Jan 06, 2009

    And one more point I forgot to mention. You can check what exactly your Check Engine Light is coming on for. Do the following:

    Put the key in and turn it on-off-on-off-on within 5 seconds. And by 'on,' I mean just to the point where the radio and accessories come on, you don't need to start the engine. When you do this, you should see your check engine light start blinking. Get a pen and paper ready beforehand and count the blinks. It uses 2-digit codes with pauses between numbers. So for example, if you see blink-blink-blink-pause-blink-blink-blink, it's a code 33.

    You can then check out what that code actually means by downloading this Word document:



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I am having trouble with my speedometer not working occasionally and now my seat belt light is coming on sometimes too. Is this the instrument panel cluster? Or something else? 1998 Dodge Neon. Backstory is as follows: -We take very good care of it and have one dedicated mechanic. -It has only had two owners; my parents and I. -We replaced the battery 2 months ago. -Mechanic checked to make sure the speedometer sensor was working. -We have had issues with the radio for years where it will randomly turn on and off, typically brought on by a stuffed trunk OR wet weather. -The speedometer works until we hit a bump and then the needle flies up and down or sometimes just stops working all together. -Mechanic has made mention of there being some Chrysler specific battery cable that is a smaller side cable and it is not in good condition. -Currently, my problem is that I can't find an old 1998 Dodge Neon in the salvage yard because yards are doing a lot of 2002 and newer vehicles and automatically crushing the others. The meat and potatoes of my question is what direction do I go in? And what of these symptoms ties to each other? And will adding new solder to the points on the panel fix it or is it something else? I'm trying to find least expensive to most expensive options and I'm rather handy but can't drop an engine or transmission or anything so keep this in mind. My handiness ends at resoldering the pins BUT I do have a mechanic I trust, but I fear that maybe I'm not combining symptoms properly. I have the money to repair an item I KNOW is wrong but not to chicken hunt around for problems.

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