2000 Dodge Neon dies sporadically

03-10-2005, 10:25 PM
My daughter has a 2001 Dodge Neon. It sporadically just dies while driving. It doesn't ever seem to die if you just let it sit and idle. When it dies the speedometer goes to zero but the radio, lights, and other electrical continues to work. When you try starting it the engine cranks just fine but never catches. If you turn off the ignition and wait awhile it will start and seems to run just fine. When trying to start it sometimes it will start after 2 minutes and sometimes you just keep trying and it takes 15 minutes.

We have taken it to two mechanics and they have had the problem occur but only while driving, so they can't figure out what is going on. They said there were no codes being put out. They have determined that the fuel pressure when trying to start it after it dies is 48psi so it isn't a fuel problem.

It seems to happen when it shifts gears, it is an automatic, but it is real hard to tell if this is a symptom or related to the cause.

Does anyone have any ideas? The car is not reliable enough to use but two different mechanics have just told us "we can't find the problem".

03-15-2005, 04:11 PM
electrical, had a sunbird do this to me but had over 100k, but the 97 stratus started it at 56k, same problem, find a auto electrical shop and they'll fix it, or get your dirty clothes out and some elctrical tape and start tracing wires...


03-17-2005, 10:12 PM
Thankyou all for the help.

The problem has been resolved. It turns out that the main wiring hardness somehow got caught was rubbed such that 8 wires had become exposed to each other. They would "randomly" short - more often when going the engine was working hard causing the engine to stop. After sitting the harness would "settle" and the wires would separate enough to "un-short". The wiring harness was removed and the wires spliced and reinsulated. The labor was about $700. Bad but it could have been worse - a new wiring harness is over $2000 just for the harness.

03-18-2005, 09:49 PM
just glad it wasnt more expensive....

My first exerience with this was when the 89/90 sunbird we had shut off when i had to do an emergency right turn to keep from hitting the moron that had slammed on his breaks in front of me, problem was i went right, right into the problem, 2 cars on the side of the road and there kid ran in front of traffic, the car right when i turned, "shorted out" and everything except for the your keys in the ignition bell went out. darned thing started beeping at me before it even stopped rolin in the grass.


03-24-2005, 07:34 PM
hey athey...did they tell you exactly what they meant by "main wiring harness"? I'm tracking down the same (or similar) problem, and there's several large harnesses in the path....in the dash, under the hood, etc. Just hoping they might have let you know which one they found the shorted wire in. thanks

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