really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
72,492 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace radiator (6 reports)
2003 Dodge Neon cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2003 Dodge Neon Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 092014

Neon 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles


I bought this car at a used parts/used car place. I was told I was getting a good deal. They had taken it to a garage and had the radiator replaced because of transmission fluid in the radiator. It was fixed, so I thought. We had it about two weeks and it broke down coming home from a shopping trip. We got a hold of the place where we bought it and they sent out a rollback truck to pick it up. They fixed it, it was the same problem again, transmission fluid in the radiator. They replaced the radiator with a new radiator this time.

Now I am having a problem with it again. It was running hot one night on the way home from work. I had to pull off the road and let it cool off. I checked the fluids in the morning. The antifreeze/coolant reservoir was empty. I had to put some in of course. I took off the radiator cap and saw this chocolate milk like substance. We saw something like this before when the radiator had to be replaced. Anyone want to buy a Neon?

Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this thing? Thermostat? I have no idea. I would like to take it to a Dodge dealer and give them a piece of my mind. Thanks for letting me rant.

- , Troy, PA, USA

problem #5

Oct 192010

Neon 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,952 miles

hey seems like the car is falling apart whats next?????

- , Windsor, Ontario, Canada

problem #4

Nov 012010

Neon 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

My car was perfectly fine until I left school when I went over a small speed bump at slow speed. I hit the gas and the RPM went up, but the car wouldn't accelerate so I had to hit it harder to make it go. I turned at the stop sign and it was fine, then I got to the light and it wouldn't accelerate, so I hit the gas real hard to pull over. I left the car on for a short time and it kept vibrating and getting loud on and off. I turned the car off and had to wait for a tow truck to come get my car since I was about an hour from home. When they picked my car up, I saw fluid leaking. The mechanic opened the hood and told me it was transmission fluid and it was in an odd spot, so it couldn't tell me exactly what was going on with just a brief check. I get a call a few hours later, the some kind of cooler for the radiator broke and it was letting transmission fluid leak out and the radiator is broken too. They told me it is totally coincidental that I went over a speed bump when it happened.

I am not amused with my Neon right now, this car has not driven very much and has very low mileage, why the heck did this happen?!

- , Calumet City, IL, USA

problem #3

Jun 052009

Neon ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


Another Neon Radiator Failure, My 2002 went Last year at 69000 and now my 2003

at 67000 went, Transmission fluid on the driveway, milky looking trans fluid on the trans dipstick. How Chrysler gets away with this I'll never know. Why the internal trans cooler

consistantly fails is something I'd like to know.

- , Lyndhurst, OH, USA

problem #2

May 162007

Neon 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I was driving down a main street coming home from work when my transmission disengaged, and then came back, and it did it several more times before I came to a stop at the light. When the light turned green, I put my foot on the gas and nothing happened, I shifted to neutral and back to drive, nothing, three more times before the tranny engaged. It did this at EVERY stop I made until I got home. when I got home and opened the hood, I was very depressed to find the ENTIRE transmission Covered in tranny fluid. I called a few transmission places and got pricing for tranny replacement as when I described the problem and my findings under the hood, the consensus was that the pin that goes through the middle of the gears had been sheared and launched through the case thus destroying my transmission. Turns out that the guy couldn't find a hole. filled my tranny up and drove it, duplicating my problem. upon inspection again, he couldn't find where that pin could have come through the case... next they inspected the radiator to find that the Transmission cooler in the radiator has broken and leaked all my tranny fluid into the radiator, over to the overflow basin, and out on top of the tranny... a $500 fix instead of $1300-$2300 for a used or new tranny... still a massive pain in my ass.

- , Glens Falls, NY, USA

problem #1

Jul 082008

Neon SXT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

a month after I fixed the breaks, the damn radiator apparently broke. the neon was leaking really bad and I guess if i had driven it any further it would of cost problems in the transmission. It has been three days and I cannot go anywhere and its our only family car. I am starting to not trust this car.

- , Troy, OH, USA

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