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9.2

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,183.00
Average Mileage:
76,064 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced radiator with multiple trans fluid flushes (8 reports)
  2. replace transmission (5 reports)
  3. not sure (4 reports)
2004 Dodge Neon cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2004 Dodge Neon Owner Comments

problem #17

Oct 192013

Neon SXT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

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

This problem happened to us exactly the same as complaint #1 describes. Sudden steam out the back, then transmission stops working and motor overheats at the same time. Fortunately we were able to get a tow and the local service shop was competent and honest and got the car back on the road (for now) without replacing the transmission.

- , Irvington, NY, USA

problem #16

Jun 142013

Neon SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

My 2004 Neon had little problem until 100k and then disaster struck. Going down the interstate and a minute from home the alarm went off and on but no trouble light and everything looked normal. Took a chance and kept driving as was very close to home at that point, suddenly the tranny started slipping and I coasted into my driveway. A very loud rapid boil sound was heard in the cabin when I turned off the car. Turns out the transmission cooler busted in the radiator and the coolant and transmission fluid had mixed through out the tranny and cooling system. Expensive fix ... new radiator and tranny rebuild. Seems is a known problem with this car and will eventually always happen. Live and Learn.

- , Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #15

Oct 022012

Neon SXT 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

Upon seeing and learning of other complaints about this vehicle... Chrysler needs to do a recall on the matter due to the multiple complaints.

I am currently considering doing all the replacements myself as well as flushing both the cooling system and transmission system in order to fix this BIG problem.

What I have found out so far is the aftermarket radiator will cost around 120 US Dollars and whatever else is found in the process to come which I may be out roughly 500+ dollars before it's all said and done, provided that I don't need another transmission.

Shame on the makers and creators of this design flaw on the Dodge Neon, this issue should have been addressed way before now. Unlike most individuals with this same problem, we're fortunate that our vehicle lasted this long before the failure happened.

- , Hollansburg, OH, USA

problem #14

Aug 162012

Neon

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

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

Here comes another one of the dodge neons to add to the problem, The same thing happened to me, i was going to work and my transmission just started slipping and i barely made it, i pulled into work and noticed a little smoke coming from my engine and i thought maybe i was out of transmission fluid, then i called a tow truck to take it to the garage and they said the same thing that everyone else on here is, the radiator was leaking into the transmission and ruined both. I don't know how long it was doing that because i never saw anything liquid on the ground and the mechanic said i wouldn't have because it was leaking inside and just going into the transmission. I had to borrow money off my boyfriend to pay for the damage. 1700 dollars for a rebuilt transmission and a new radiator. Now i am a person that is very gentle on cars and takes really good care of them and i only have to drive two miles to work a day so i never really went a lot in this car.This really sounds like a recall that dodge should have fixed with all these common coolant problems. Shame on you dodge, one problem with the coolant that turns out to ruin two expensive parts. People be warned don't buy any newer dodge neons they look nice and they are suppose to be dependable but there are too many expensive problems with them.

- , Clearfield, PA, USA

problem #13

Aug 172011

Neon SXT 75,000

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I'm adding this now only because we just had our radiator replaced in August 2011 because of the same issue that involves the radiator cracking and leaking into the transmission lines. After talking to the mechanic, he said it's a common issue with Neon SXT. Given the whole "common" problem, I see that as being of recall material. Needless to say, the radiator wasn't covered and therefore they wouldn't cover the transmission issue under the warranty. A little over $300 later for the new radiator and repeated flushing of the transmission line and the car was fine again.

Fast forward to today. My husband was driving home, and once again the transmission is acting up. This time, the check engine light came on and he immediately shut the car off and called a tow truck. We're waiting to see what's happened this time. The mechanic says it sounds like the transmission line has sprung a leak. However, he called a coworker to check the parking lot and I checked the garage and there are no puddles in either place, so if it's leaking, it went very, very suddenly.

- , Milton, VT, USA

problem #12

Dec 012011

Neon SXT 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,119 miles

this is the 2nd time in 3 years that this has happened and this time my transmission needs a rebuild or a new one or refurbished , i wont pay to have a junkyard one put into it. i just don't wanna deal with possible unseen problems with a junkyard transmission. I have paperwork from both jobs. I'm so sick of this, that's 2 radiators that's 2 pumps and that's 2 labor charge to flush and fill it also so roughly its cost close to 2 grand geez i was impressed with the car prior to all of this. Now there is a rattle inside the back rib from car holding the ceiling up on passenger side.

- , Corning, NY, USA

problem #11

Sep 152010

Neon SXT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

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

One day, after stopping at a red light, my neon (in drive) revved but didn't move. I was able - through shifting to park and back to get the gears to engage and drive off the road (instead of sitting in a dangerous spot with high speed traffic). I thought my Neon was gone for good: I was told the transmission was shot. After looking around I found that it was caused by the rupture of the radiator. Being a previous Dodge owner, and coming from a family who buys Dodge vehicles, Dodge agreed to help me with the repair costs, which is why the costs were so low, but instead of replacing the transmission, they flushed the tran and replaced the radiator. I was pleased that they helped me with my problem, but also dismayed that - especially after reading other articles on this sight it became clear to me that 2004 was a year of design flaws for the neon. Aslo I worried that the flushing might not fix my problems for long.

- , Point Marion, PA, USA

problem #10

Dec 082011

Neon SXT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Having thought my neon had recovered from the same problem one year ago, after the purchase of a new radiator, I was surprised when the transmission began slipping again. I was less surprised to find the radiator had leaked again. It seems the replacement radiator lasted just over 12 months. I am currently speaking with Dodge to see if they will help me with this persistent problem. Hopefully the outcome will be good.

- , Point Marion, PA, USA

problem #9

Oct 012011

Neon SXT 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My daughter bought this car used to get her back and forth to college and work.She's had the car for about 2 yrs. been ok but this year its been repair after repair. first had to replace tires then plugs and wires and then alternator. Final straw was Saturday when we had to be on time to a wedding and she calls me up and tells me car overheated. when I got there I opened radiator cap and seen pink foamy stuff in it and I knew something was wrong and over flow form radiator jug was all over car ran but would not move. I've never seen anything like it in my 25yrs driving.WHATS UP WITH THIS RADIATOR PROBLEM AND TRANI FLUID MIXING,PARTS STORES SAY ITS COMMON AND HAVE PARTS ON HAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now my daughter is using my car till hers is fixed what a pain in the ass.oh ya my car is a chevy.and my truck is a gmc no problems with them. DODGE SHOULD MAN UP AND MAKE THIS PROBLEM A RECALL

- , Fort Plain, NY, USA

problem #8

Jan 012011

Neon

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I bought the car used about 8 months ago. It has been nothing but problems. This is definitely the worst of it . When I looked into getting it fixed I went to 3 different place and was told crazy prices but the last guy told me $2700 AND he said more than likely it will break again cause this problem is consistent with this year neon. I must say I do believe him cause with in the 8 months of owning it I already went through 2 radiators and its broken again. So that leaves me no choice but to buy a new car hop fully this one will last a lot longer than 8 months!!!

- , Woonsocket, RI, USA

problem #7

Aug 082010

Neon SXT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

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

I have had a ton of problems with my Neon. My boyfriend has said it is a great LOOKING car but wow, its junk! This summer, on my birthday, I was headed to work and getting on the highway which has a HUGE hill to get up on before you enter. I made it up the hill but shortly afterwards my car started shifting between 2 and 3 on its own. Back and forth, back and forth causing my car to speed up and slow down on its own never reaching above 40. People were nice enough to let me off the highway and I landed the car about 200 feet from a mechanic. That is when he told me that the radiator had cracked and had leaked coolant all through my transmission and the two fluids had mixed. He was hoping that the mixing had not caused damage to my transmission.

He replaced the radiator and flushed both systems. The car has not been the same since.

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #6

Aug 122010

Neon SXT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

My mechanic said that the problem with the radiator failed the transmission in this 2004 Dodge Neon. Apparently the radiator runs into the tranny on this car!! Well he fixed that and now it doesn't run into the transmission. Now come on....there have been so many problems with this on these 2004 Neons and something needs to be done!! He said he is not that busy of a transmission shop but of all the Dodge Neons that he has had are 2004...WTF Dodge...get with it already. I have always had a Chevy, this is my first....and last Dodge.

- , Tarentum, PA, USA

problem #5

Dec 302008

Neon ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

Well here is another complaint to add to the list! I am just livid! My car has done fairly well for me up until this point. Besides two controller arms having to be replaced in the first 50,000 miles costing me $1,000 and a sensor that cracked about a month ago that had to be replaced and cost roughly $50.00. The sensor caused my car to go bonkers! Actually it caused my car to behave quite similar to this latest major experience. I was driving and all of a sudden bogged down, my temp gauge went all the way down to cold and the trans slipped and I was not able to accelerate my car. I had to coast into a parking lot and it sputtered off. I then called my dad, he came and turned it back on, drove it around and it was fine. I was totally miffed! Then a few days later it did the same thing, took it to the mechanic and said it was a cracked sensor and the car was fine after the sensor was replaced. That is up until just under a week ago, At 97,000 miles, 20 degrees out side and the day before New years eve, I was driving to the store when I noticed my check oil light and a round red dot light was on. I decided to detour my way to a gas station to check the oil as my car became idle in the turn lane holding up traffic (so embarrassing!). I shifted from drive to park back to drive and nothing was grabbing, the trans had somehow slipped. So I turned off the car and turned her back on, the trans grabbed and I was able to pull into a drug store parking lot as the trans slipped again (stopped shifting gears) and I coasted into a parking space. I turned off the car, popped the hood and noticed some smelly smoke was coming up from the hood. I checked the oil and it was ok, I looked at the coolant reservoir and noticed there was nothing in it (which I thought was weird because I never noticed the temp gauge going high) I then decided to check the transmission fluid and it was at the add line. I thought this was very odd because just a little over a month ago a friend mechanic and I went through everything checked and topped off all the fluids in my car (at the time the cracked sensor was replaced). So I ran over to the gas station bought some oil, coolant and some transmission fluid and came back and filled the oil and transmission with trans oil. I started my car and the car sounded great, the temp was at its regular place just about half way, I then tried to reverse my car out of the spot and it would not move. I turned off the car and then moments later noticed a huge amount of transmission fluid all over the inside of the hood and on the ground. I paced the parking lot and then noticed a huge trail of transmission fluid from the intersection into the drug store. As of now, I had to pay $120.00 just to have the car towed to the mechanic shop and the car is still sitting in the shop and am waiting for the lovely bill, Oh, I can only imagine! Living in icy cold wintry Michigan, the mechanic first thought I might have hit some Ice and cracked a transmission line but he found no cracks. He then noticed coolant in the transmission. He was puzzled at first and decided to call local shops to find out what they knew and in the process I decided to search online and found this site. He is trying to see what is the most cost effective way to go knowing money is tight. We are going to try and just replace the radiator and flush the transmission as of right now. Has anyone else done this? Has this method worked for anyone else? I bought this car because it was within my budget about 4 yrs ago. My boyfriend has had a couple of Honda cars, and his most recent lasted over 200,000 miles (gave it to his brother and is still going strong!) with only 2 things that cost him little money, a water pump needed replaced and the radiator needed replaced but ONLY after 150,000 miles!!! Can you believe that? His brother was in need of a car and gave it to him. My bf went and just bought a certified used Honda for $12,000 and has 37,000 miles and also has a 7 yr 100,000 mile warranty! I am not trying to advertise here but I am just pissed and aggravated to think of all the money I have dished out into this domestic car of mine that I have only had for just under 4 yrs! I think I am going to go with that foreign brand after this experience. My family has been dependable and has fully supported the Big 3 domestic car makers since the start of the auto industry and my family has all worked for them since the start. But cars cost thousands of dollars to purchase. They should not be made disposable for that much money!!! And the whole family all has stories of major car repairs and car failure just after a few years of owning their vehicle. Yes I know Neon's are a cheap class of cars but they are not that cheap! They still cost thousands and should NOT be disposable. I have had mechanical things that cost a couple hundred of dollars that last me Years with out a problem (dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, foreign cars) How come a vehicle that costs 1,000s of dollars can not last years with out a problem?

- , Roseville, MI, USA

problem #4

Nov 062008

Neon XTS 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Add another Neon to the list of coolant in the trans - car just let loose and I got a call that they heard fluid rushing out of car - drive out there and could not tell if it was coolant or trans and find out it was both. Had our local garage pick it up on the wrecker and had them take a look at it - found out the internal trans cooler in the radiator cracked and flooded the trans and ended up forcing the overflow to dump. Car would not engage in gear that is when i decided to let shop handle the repair instead of trying it myself. Well they replaced radiator and flushed over 40 quarts of trans fluid through to try and get all the coolant out that they could - will have to go back ina week and have them flush again just to try and get as much out as possible. Really pissed off about this - any problem i have had on any Dodge they would not repair under warranty - had issues with drive shafts, front bearing hubs, stupid electrical issues and so on. Going to call dealer that we purchased this from and give them a earful - i know it wont get me anything except a chance to vent and inform them that this is the last Dodge that I will ever own - sad since a family member is employed by them but they are looking at a Ford for there next purchase. For the cost of the car and all the pain I should have gotten a much higher end car - live and learn i guess.

- , Berkey, OH, USA

problem #3

Oct 212008

Neon SXT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

When the car faulted on the highway, I had it towed to MY mechanic who tells me there is a crack in the case and it should be covered under warranty so then I have to tow it to the dealership so they can check it and they tell me it was that radiator that failed and it is NOT covered under warranty!!!! I am livid!!! I can't get the money to fix it, I still have 18 months left to pay on it, AND I used this months loan payment for all the towings!!! Now I am waiting for the dealership to call me as I have talked to Crysler, who, by the way, stands behind their technician 100%, and tell me "what kind of a deal they have worked out" for me to pay the repairs!!!

- , Adams, MA, USA

problem #2

Oct 022008

Neon SXT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

This post from 11/07 pretty much explains it all--the exact same thing happened to us last night (10/02/08--my car is at 55K):

I was driving down the road at night and the Transmission started slipping. It got worse as I kept driving. The temperature gauge shot way up. I pulled over and got out and the car was smoking and something was burning. I opened the hood and tried to see, but it was so dark I couldn't tell. I waited 10 minutes and started it back up and the temperature gauge was back to half, which is where it's normally at. I put the car in reverse and it was slipping really bad. It finally kicked and I put it in drive and went to the gas station just down the road, the car overheated again and I pulled it. I looked under the car to see that it was leaking Transmission fluid. The gas station also had a repair shop. I called the next morning and the guy checked it out. He said the radiator blew, and Anti-Freeze went into the Transmission. I got the car towed to another place, and they said the same thing. It ended up costing me $2700 replace. I took the car home today and the engine was running rough, and it was shifting rough. I checked the radiator fluid and there was Transmission fluid in it! I'm bringing the car back to the place and they are fixing it right. Transmission shot at 51,000 miles? a 2004? The guys said it wasn't the first Neon it's happened too either. Has anyone else had this problem?

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #1

Nov 112007

(reported on)

Neon SXT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,967 miles

I was driving down the road at night and the Transmission started slipping. It got worse as I kept driving. The temperature gauge shot way up. I pulled over and got out and the car was smoking and something was burning. I opened the hood and tried to see, but it was so dark I couldn't tell. I waited 10 minutes and started it back up and the temperature gauge was back to half, which is where it's normally at. I put the car in reverse and it was slipping really bad. It finally kicked and I put it in drive and went to the gas station just down the road, the car overheated again and I pulled it. I looked under the car to see that it was leaking Transmission fluid. The gas station also had a repair shop. I called the next morning and the guy checked it out. He said the radiator blew, and Anti-Freeze went into the Transmission. I got the car towed to another place, and they said the same thing. It ended up costing me $2700 replace. I took the car home today and the engine was running rough, and it was shifting rough. I checked the radiator fluid and there was Transmission fluid in it! I'm bringing the car back to the place and they are fixing it right. Transmission shot at 51,000 miles? a 2004? The guys said it wasn't the first Neon it's happened too either. Has anyone else had this problem?

- , Phoenix, NY, USA

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