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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
410,672 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Dodge Neon Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Apr 082015

Neon 4-cyl

  • 9,494,109 miles


Started vehicle during rainy, foggy, 40 degree weather. Headlamp indicator did not come on within gauge cluster. Upon checking outside the car, only parking lights were functioning despite headlights switch being in the "on" position. Burning smell occurred within 15 minutes of driving and multifunction harness connector is melted.

- Fort Wayne , IN, USA

problem #27

Oct 202004

Neon 4-cyl

  • 10,345 miles
Smoke started coming out of the vents & steering column. Took it to the dealer & they said it was spilled anti freeze from when they changed the oil. Car was ok for a little while. Now it's smoking again the front defroster doesn't work the fog lights are gone & recently my highlights went too. I took it to the shop they shown me the burnt wires in steeling column & said the heating coil is damaged making the smell & fogs the window from the fumes. Next to go will be the turning signals & wipers if not fixed.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #26

Oct 012014


  • 200,000 miles
Started to see smoke and then the 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 of 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.

- Tooele, UT, USA

problem #25

Nov 152013

Neon 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


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 #24

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 #23

Nov 162011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Neon. The contact stated that the high beam headlight switch failed, which affected the fog lights. After performing research, the contact deduced that the wiring harness was melted and needed to be replaced. The dealer was later contacted and advised that he would have to bring the vehicle in for inspection. The contact repaired the vehicle by replacing the high low beam mechanism, but did not replace the wiring harness. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000. The current mileage was approximately 185,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Roseburg, OR, USA

problem #22

Aug 152012

Neon 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


Headlights went out while driving at night then would only operate intermittently until finally they didn't work at all. Took off the multifunction switch and the electrical connector to the switch was melted. After some research I found out that the manufacturers made the wires too small to carry the electrical load.

- Oregonia, OH, USA

problem #21

May 272011


  • 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 #20

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 #19

Nov 202010

Neon 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Just driving one day evening, about 1.5 hours onto the trip I start to smell something wierd and a few minuets later my headlights start to flicker and then they shutoff. I pulled over and checked the fuses, they were all good. I had to stay in a nearby hotel that night. The next morning I looked at an online forum for a solution and found one that suggested that the harness melts. I pulled off the sterring colum and to find the connector into the multifunction switch has completly melted. I bought a new harness and switch and installed myself. The forum said that to keep the headlights off as much as possible to not let the wires get too hot.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #18

Jan 102011


  • 50,100 miles


While the headlights are on and signaling for a right turn the fog lights come on the entire time it was in that position. This happens every time now although the fog light switch is in the off position. While trying to find the source of the problem I noticed that movement of the turn signal stalk in a circular motion also turned on the fog lights briefly.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #17

Jan 062008


  • 35,000 miles
My 2003 Dodge Neon srt4 started smoking from the steering wheel column, and my head lights went out, also my brake lights and dash lights went out as well. When I took it to the mechanic after checking they saw that the connector from the multifunction switch was all melted and had caught on fire thank god it didn't spread at the time. I had to replace the whole harness and switch and from forums I have come to know that there is a lot this cars with same problem. This has to stop is really dangerous and is costing us a lot of money, it is really unsafe.

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #16

Sep 142009


  • 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 #15

Aug 202010


  • 112,000 miles
Multifunction headlight switch failure, smell of burning plastic followed by failure of low beam headlights, pulled on high beams and exited interstate. Found pin plug and switch were melted. Replace switch and wiring plug.

- Rural Retreat, VA, USA

problem #14

Dec 162009


  • 88,380 miles
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 #13

Dec 142009


  • 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 #12

Feb 192009


  • 120,000 miles
Driving at night, headlights wouldn't switch to low, then headlights ceased working at all, extremely hot, electrical smell, multifunction switch melted, needed to be replaced.

- Tekamah, NE, USA

problem #11

Apr 192009


  • 109,800 miles
About 6 months ago while driving to work, it started raining and I turned my headlights on. The headlights would not come on but the driving lights did, I flip the headlight switch up to high beams and the brights worked. I noticed in the process that smoke started coming from steering column and it smelled like wires burning. While driving on the interstate, after it had rained. I set my cruise control, the first time, used it since the smoke. I set the cruise at 75 mph. The car started accelerating to 80 the computer caught the increase and downshifted on it's own. About 10 minutes later, the car started accelerating again, this time it was up to 90 mph, and continuing to gain speed. I pressed the brakes and the cruise control button to release the cruise and neither worked. I was coming up on the exit that I was needing to take. I down shifted the automatic to 2nd and 1st the car slowed, but not enough. I shifted to neutral and still the car would not stop. At the bottom of the exit ramp there was a wide spot that I knew that I could use if a car was coming. At the bottom of the exit ramp I was finally down to 30 mph but still not able to stop. I finally pulled the emergency brake, still the car would not stop. Finally when the car was headed up a hill the car slowed to 10 mph and I shifted the car into park and turned it off. Finally, I stopped without any damage to the outside of the car, and with out leaving the road. The brakes have been replaced since the smoke and headlights have not worked on dim. The Dodge place, dalton, ga is says that the multi functional switch that control the headlight will fix the problem that caused the cruise control to lockup that is on a different control. How many lives have to be injured or lost before Chrysler issues a recall for their cars. I had my 8 & 10 yr olds with me earlier, and had just dropped them off. Is fixing your parts that are installed on cars by manufacturers worth more than 3+ lives.

- Rocky Face, GA, USA

problem #10

Apr 102009


  • 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 #9

Sep 082008


  • 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

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