: Trouble with a 2000 Dodge Neon overheating


NickJA
03-07-2011, 02:29 PM
Not a Bronco, but FSB seems to have the smartest techs on the interwebs, so here goes:

2000 Dodge Neon is overheating and I'm not sure what my play is at this point. I know very little about this area, but it has coolant, it just doesn't seem to be making it to the engine. All hoses going to and from the radiator are good as far as I can tell. :whiteflag

Any ideas?

THOROUGHBRED
03-07-2011, 02:37 PM
i was told long time ago... always start with the thermostat. its the cheapest.

NickJA
03-07-2011, 02:39 PM
i was told long time ago... always start with the thermostat. its the cheapest.

Thanks for the response. It overheats and then eventually stalls/dies. It isn't a gauge issue.

THOROUGHBRED
03-07-2011, 02:45 PM
well im sure its the car turning itself off to keep from doing more damage to the block with the heat. if its not circulating hopefully its just the thermostat. but i wouldnt run it anymore til you have tried that. overheating can cause a lot more serious costly problems. but as i always state.... im no mechanic i just know what i have survived lol.

NickJA
03-07-2011, 02:48 PM
I know it isn't just the thermostat because I can smell the engine and hear a sort of coughing in the 30 seconds or so before it dies. But yeah I'm afraid to run it again cause I don't want to cause any bigger problems.

TheUnforgiven
03-07-2011, 03:06 PM
I know it isn't just the thermostat because I can smell the engine and hear a sort of coughing in the 30 seconds or so before it dies. But yeah I'm afraid to run it again cause I don't want to cause any bigger problems.

have you replaced the thermostat yet??? if you haven't do it. does the radiator get hot when the engine overheats?

STOP running it until you get the stat changed. the reason it's coughing and dieing is because it's so hot. i don't think that car is smart enough to have a protective shut down. you can and will, if you keep overheating it, warp the head/block, and blow the headgasket.

Daddytigger75
03-07-2011, 03:47 PM
:popc1: Gotta Love these Smart Techie Guys on FSB... Excellent job Gentlemen, keep up the Great Advice !!! :beer

Smok3y
03-07-2011, 03:48 PM
1. check to make sure the fans are coming on. Only 1 really. 2nd one is aux for your a/c.

1. Check the level of coolant. If its low top off.

3. While checking coolant, look for a brown/tan gunk. Usually if you see this its oil, meaning your headgasket is bad. Major cause of overheating

4. If D) none of the above, replace your thermostat & gasket. Its a 30 minute job, 2 bolts, and maybe a scraper if your gasket is stuck to the hose mount. $1.98 for the t-stat, and .99 cents for the gasket. Not a wallet breaker.

5. if problem is still not correct, the only options left would be your water pump, or a clogged radiator. If its the water pump you'll know right away because you won't be getting any heat either. The water pump pushes coolant throughout the whole motor.

6. and by process of elimination - clogged radiator.

Americandan
03-07-2011, 04:24 PM
Thanks for the response. It overheats and then eventually stalls/dies. It isn't a gauge issue.
the thermostat isn't that thing on the dash, it's that thing in the motor.

if it ain't the thermo, it's the pump.

$100T2
03-07-2011, 04:41 PM
Thanks for the response. It overheats and then eventually stalls/dies. It isn't a gauge issue.

Dude, the thermostat is the cause of 95% of overheating issues.

Read this:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question248.htm

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/cooling-system.htm

Shadofax
03-07-2011, 09:38 PM
yea, maybe thermostat, but why is everyone telling him to go buy and replace it? If the radiator has a motor input and return hose, then....just like our bronco or really any motor, once it starts warming up, the Tstat will eventually open. What happens? the intake hose to the motor (from the radiator) will stay fairly cool to the touch, and once that Tstat opens, the return hose (to the radiator) will be warm in winter, hot in summer. If you can't feel any warmth in the radiator return hose, then sure enough the Tstat is not opening and needs replacing. If that does happen, that's likely not the issue.

Other things you never really mentioned that help in diagnosing problems:

how many miles on the vehicle, and how long since the coolant has been flushed/replaced? How old are the hoses? no leaks I assume? is the radiator original, as well as Tstat? fans working properly, original fan shroud in place around the fan?

sbrodacz
03-15-2011, 09:46 PM
How is your coolant level? Maybe a blown head gasket?

John in AZ
03-15-2011, 10:03 PM
the thermostat isn't that thing on the dash, it's that thing in the motor.

if it ain't the thermo, it's the pump.

There is also a chance that you have an air bubble in the system. (cavatation) I am not familiar with the setup on a neon but if the top hose going back to the radiator does not get hot your problem is definatly a flow problem.

LarryP
03-16-2011, 09:14 AM
This thread need to be moved

magnumpi
03-16-2011, 10:01 AM
IIRC those neons were bad about blowing head gaskets, which would make them overheat.

Run the car, and see if the upper radiator hose(hose after the thermostat) gets warm like shadowfax said. if it does the thermostat is fine.

Check for a heat difference from one hose to the other. coolant returning to the engine should be cooler than coolant coming out of it.

pull a heater hose and have someone start the car momentarily. If coolant comes out of the hose, then the water pump is working correctly.

Borrow/buy/rent a coolant system pressure tester to pressurize the cooling system and check for leaks. If the system looses pressure with no visible or audible leaks it is likely pushing coolant into the combustion chamber thru a bad head gasket or cracked block/head.

Don't just go replacing parts, do some testing first.

Oh, and the coolant temperature guage gets it reading from the coolant temperature sensor, not the thermostat ;-)

clifton l
03-16-2011, 10:17 AM
My 2000 neon purrs like a kitten with 190k on it.
oh and BTW the OP :Last Activity: 03-07-2011 04:56 PM

NickJA
04-01-2011, 10:53 AM
Hey guys sorry for the extremely delayed response, been an interesting couple of weeks.

And of course it was the thermostat and now I feel silly. :brownbag

Thanks to everyone who responded, some nice folks here have saved me tremendous amounts of time and money over the years.