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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 9
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,372 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Dodge Neon electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Dodge Neon Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Nov 152013

Neon

  • 120,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Smelled hot wiring and headlights stopped working properly. After disassembling the wiring connector from the headlight switch, I discovered the connector had overheated to the point it was charred and crumbling to pieces. This is not a misuse by operator, but a safety failure uf the electrical system. This could have resulted in a fire as the fuse protecting this circuit did not fail when the circuit obviously overheated and melted and charred the plastic connector. I have pictures of the part if you would like them.

- Barre, VT, USA

problem #38

Aug 032013

Neon

  • 103,261 miles
Hi, I have a Dodge Neon 03, and it cuts off while I am driving. There are no warning signs that is about to happen, everything in the car shuts off and the car comes to an instant stop on the road. I took it to the dealership on two occasions within the last three months for this issue. They thought that they knew what it was the first time and they just switched out a car part, but they didn't fix the problem because two months later my car stoped again on July 4th. I took it back to the shop, they kept it for two days to run test and they gave me my car back and said that they couldn't find anything wrong with it. About a month goes by and my car comes to a sudden stop on a highway this time, on August 3rd. There has not been any accidents at this point due to this problem, but you can see how one could easily occur and how it could possibly be fatal for the driver and others. I did some reasearch and discovered online that there were several others that were having the same problem with their Dodge Neons, and it's not just the 03's but also the 96-98, and 2000's. I just thought that it was a major safety issue and that someone should investigate this problem. Thanks

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #37

Feb 142013

Neon 4-cyl

  • miles
My wire harness/ multifunction switch has melted causing my headlight and fog lights not to work.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #36

Dec 282012

Neon 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Neon. The contact stated that the instrumental panel lights, brake lights, tail lights and directional lights failed while driving. In addition, a burning odor was emitted from the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed. The contact replaced the multi-functional switch and multi-functional switch wiring harness. The vehicle was repaired at a cost of $130. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 160,000.... updated 02/28/13 updated 03/11/13

- Oakville , WA, USA

problem #35

Feb 122012

Neon

  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Neon. The contact stated that smoke was emitted from the steering wheel and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the main ground wiring to the engine was melted and caused the vehicle to stall. In addition, the wiring harness and multi-function switch was also melted. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 125,000.

- Maimi, FL, USA

problem #34

May 272011

Neon

  • 122,567 miles
First the fog lights would turn on and off randomly when the headlights were on. Upon inspection of the multi-function switch, I noticed a portion of the plug had melted from extreme heat. Most likely due to a poor design in the wiring, the circuits or the multi-function switch. Had this been left unnoticed it could easily result in extensive damages, fire or personal harm.

- South Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #33

May 092011

Neon 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have had nothing but problems with my 2003 Dodge Neon. The electrical problems have ranged from losing power completely while driving to dimming dashboard lights to corroded wires going into the power control module and fuses shorting out. This latest incident involves the seatbelt and brake lights flashing while the rest of the dashboard lights went dim. I'm tired of spending money on this car - but I can't sell it in good conscience to someone else. Dodge should be forced to recall these vehicles for new electrical wiring harnesses and power control modules as corrosion of wires and subsequent shorts in wiring appear to be common place, costing thousands of dollars to consumers and potential fatal accidents.

- North Royalton, OH, USA

problem #32

Mar 282011

Neon 4-cyl

  • miles
I have been having problem with my car for about 6 months. One of the problems were my high beams will operate but my low beams wouldn't. now my high beams will operate but I am unable to switch to my low beams. The second problem is with my battery dying several times which resulted in getting a jump from another car. I end up having a battery and alternator replaced on my car last year between Nov/Dec 2010. Just recently I noticed smoke coming from my steering column located near the steering wheel and the smell of something burning. This happen while I was driving. My car didn't start Monday 3-28-11 morning so I had it towed to the dealership where I bought the car from. The mechanic had to replace the battery. They ran a diagnostic on the car but no readings regarding electrical problems. The important question pertains to what is draining the battery.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #31

Sep 142009

Neon

  • 40,000 miles
The problems first started when the fog lights on my 2003 Dodge Neon had started to come on even when the switch was off. They would do this any time I turned the wheel, or went over a bump. This had been going on for almost 6 months. Then about a week ago, my lights would not turn off. The lever wouldn't click when I hit it to turn them off. They continued to stay on, and then would turn off when they wanted to. After about a day I was driving home at night, and all of a sudden my lights turned off, and would not go back on. If there were no street lights, I could have gotten into a severe accident.

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #30

Jan 012010

Neon

  • 96,453 miles
2003 Dodge Neon srt4. Mfs in steering column burnt to crisp. No modifications to electrical system or lights on car have been made. Caused 2000 dollars worth of damage and research shows similar problem across Neon models.

- Fort Lewis, WA, USA

problem #29

Dec 162009

Neon

  • 88,380 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The fog light switch stopped working, therefore the fog lights were always on. After stopping at a friends house and the lights worked fine, the headlights and fog lights would not turn on, and the bright lights could only be turned on by pulling and holding the arm back. There was an odd smell, but I thought a fuse must have blown. Changing the fuse did not allow the lights to work. I drove the car home behind our other vehicle, and was stopped by the police with no headlights. I explained the situation and they gave me a warning to have the lights fixed. So I made an appointment the next day to have the lights checked. They found the multi function switch was melted and the wiring harness had to be replaced. I am concerned that this could have happened to my wife with children in the car. No headlights driving at night.

- Shakopee, MN, USA

problem #28

Dec 142009

Neon

  • 93,000 miles
I was getting ready to drive to work. I turned on my headlights to find that they were not functioning. Later I removed the multi-function switch and located a burned electrical connector. The current repair will be to replace the multi-switch and burned connector.

- Willow Creek, CA, USA

problem #27

Nov 232009

Neon

  • 82,000 miles
2003 Dodge Neon. Problem, no headlights. Smoke and a burning smell from the steering column. Once it happened the headlights went out and will not come back on. The part is not available through auto parts stores or the dealer. The dealer told me the parts were out of stock and could take weeks to get in. He did a search of dealers around the county and no one had the part (headlight switch) he told me they get a lot of complaints about this issue. I had to buy a used one from a wrecked car at a junkyard to be able to use my car at night. I researched on the internet and tons of people seem to have the same complaint. The connections are melted in the steering column.

- South Park, PA, USA

problem #26

Oct 272009

Neon

  • 48,000 miles
I own a 2003 Dodge Neon srt4 there was a fire/smoking coming from my dash/steering wheel column. The problem is from a bad multi function switch in the 2nd generation Dodge Neons. This switch is related to the headlights, so potentially this can be deadly. For example you headlights cut off on the highway, car shutting down, fire inside the cabin of the car. I still need this fix, I work nearly 9 hour days with little money to fix these malfunctioning electrical problems. Please tell Dodge to call a recall this.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #25

Sep 202009

Neon

  • 63,342 miles
I own a 2003 Dodge Neon that just shuts off while driving on a few occasions. I have read numerous blogs and such of others having the same problems. Without warning the car shuts down with a complete loss of power. Nothing electrical will work. I have had the car checked out and no problems can be found, no codes on the computer. When it does shut down it will not restart until I move the wires at the battery. Upon inspecting the battery wires they show no signs of wear, corrosion, being loose or anything of that sort. Upon testing the wires for a short found none to exist. The mechanics and dealerships claim there is no problem. Diagnostic computers find no problems. On three occasion thus far we have been in near accident situations, driving along and the car shuts down, and comes to an unexpected quick stop and with a loss of all power that may result in a fatal accident in the future. Cars driving behind me have no warning that I'm coming to a complete stop in the middle of the road sometimes unable to pull off the road to a safe area to come to a stop. As mentioned it seems to be a common problem with this car not only of this year but others as well. There should be a recall of some sort before someone dies if that already has not happened.

- Gulfport, FL, USA

problem #24

May 042009

Neon

  • 83,936 miles
Entire electrical system failure while car was in operation + premature activation of airbag. Driver was forced to claw the airbag out of his way in order to maintain control of the vehicle, and steer it off the highway. There was no known tampering with the electrical system prior to this; car was used, but had only body work done to our knowledge. Heat damage to electrical system was so extensive that car was considered a total loss. Driver suffered some facial and neck injury--possibly others.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #23

Apr 102009

Neon

  • 90,000 miles
December 2008, headlights working fine during trip, stopped for gas, and headlights would not come back on. Used high beams for about 20 minutes and then switched to low beams were then working. Happened at least once a month for the next year. Early March, noticed a burning smell, thought it was outside, lights were working fine. While driving alone at night April 2009, tried to use high beams, but multifunction switch would not stay in place, had to hold the switch back for high beams to work. My hands became very warm sitting on the steering wheel, felt closer to the steering column and was incredibly hot. There was nowhere to stop, had to keep driving another hour or so. Stopped for 5 minutes and shut off vehicle, when vehicle turned back on, headlights wouldn't work. Had to drive with only parking lights at 2am, very unsafe! ever since, headlights no longer work. This has clearly been an issue, and it very easy to find information and other complaints about this same problem. This could have clearly become an even worse problem. Tried to replace the multifunction switch, but the plug was melted in place. Parts were burned black and brown and incredibly brittle from the intense heat that emanated from the wiring. This final problem happened at about 90,000 miles. I am still currently waiting to find the large sum of money to get this fixed. I am currently not able to drive at night, since I do not have proper lighting. Afraid to even use parking lights, as this supplies electrical juice to the switch and could possibly cause a fire, as I have read about other owner's problems.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #22

Sep 082008

Neon

  • 79,002 miles
My headlights and foglights would periodically shut off or not come on. Then only the brights would work and while driving would shut off altogether. Finally the headlights and foglights have stopped working. The marker lights and turn signals still work, but I have no illumination ahead of me. It required a switch and connector change. So far there are numerous other Neons that have had this happen to them and the dealer refuses to help us in any way, shape, or form. The old parts are still available for examination and the oem bulbs are still around as well.

- Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #21

Nov 152008

Neon

  • 60,000 miles
At 60,000 miles my 2003 Dodge Neon R/T started smoking from the steering column. At the time I thought it was dust caught by the sunlight and since nothing appeared to be wrong with my car, I forgot about it - one week later- I started by car and my headlights wouldn't work, concerned and remembering the "dust in the sunlight the week before, I called the Dodge dealership in the area and dropped off my car a little while later. Turns out the wiring harness on the steering column had overheated and melted together ( there was also a problem with the gas tank pressure but I could never get them to tell exactly what the problem was) luckily the harness was not completely destroyed so the wires could just be replaced. I asked them what caused the problem and if they were just replacing wires, well, wouldn't it happen again? once again all I got were vague non commitale answers, a 1,200 dollar bill, plus, I was refused a courtesy vehicle - yeah I had to foot the bill fr driving a rental car for a week. I research this problem and found that the 1996 Neon had been recalled for this same problem but the cause of the problem was never fixed, also, the PT CRUISER has the same defect. The dealership told me that it was not possible and basically what went wrong was my fault, some how. Again very vague and non-committal. I found out that unless a problem is a safety issue, meaning I guess that a few people have to die, a recall will not be issued.

- Blaine, WA, USA

problem #20

Sep 262008

Neon

  • 67,500 miles
My 2003 Dodge Neon srt-4 was making a funny smell at night then my lights went out and they would only work with my bright switch pulled back. I pulled apart and saw that my switch to my multifunction switch was burnt. I went to Dodge and they told me it was not covered under warranty. So I bought a new multifunction switch and plug. I do have all the old parts.

- Springfield, MO, USA

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