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96 Neon starts chugging then dies


flyinfool
01-02-2009, 10:36 PM
I've got this 96 neon. I can drive it to work and almost exactly 10 miles into the trip everyday I notice a sudtle chug. Then it gets worst and within a couple of miles it chugs progressively worse until it dies. I pull over to the side of the road for 5-10 minutes. Then I can start it back up and run down the road another 3-5 miles before it happens again. I've changed the computer, coil, cam positioning sensor, O2 sensor, gutted the cat, changed plugs and wires. I'm to the end of my rope with this car. The codes that its throwing are no help. Any suggustions ?:uhoh:

mechanicles
01-05-2009, 08:39 PM
I've got this 96 neon. I can drive it to work and almost exactly 10 miles into the trip everyday I notice a sudtle chug. Then it gets worst and within a couple of miles it chugs progressively worse until it dies. I pull over to the side of the road for 5-10 minutes. Then I can start it back up and run down the road another 3-5 miles before it happens again. I've changed the computer, coil, cam positioning sensor, O2 sensor, gutted the cat, changed plugs and wires. I'm to the end of my rope with this car. The codes that its throwing are no help. Any suggustions ?:uhoh:


When you gutted the Cat did you knock a flap in the front. What error codes are you getting during/after this period. Which O2 did you replace?:banghead:

mechhound
01-09-2009, 08:56 PM
When it chugs and dies is there a period of time when it absolutely won't start? If YES, you need to somehow check to see if you have spark through the spark plug wires during that time. Have you changed the fuel filter? I am guessing that a plugged fuel filter may be your problem.

rustycraig
03-14-2009, 04:58 PM
Hey fly, I'm having the same exact problem with my 95 neon, changed coil, O2 sensors, purge canister, fuel pump, computer... I'm about to pull my hair out or drive this car in the river. Have you by chance figured out what was wrong with yours? Any info would help, you can email me at rusty_craig@sbcglobal.net

thanks,
Rusty

lanakila7eo
05-23-2010, 08:47 PM
If anybody has found a solution to this problem PLEASE let me know! I have a 95 neon that is experiencing the same thing. Post here or lanakila7eo@gmail.com, thanks!

denisond3
05-25-2010, 10:10 PM
I am wondering what is meant by 'chugging'. Our 97 SOHC w automatic tranny & 170,000 miles will begin to do what I call 'hiccuping' when its fully warmed and we want to go faster than 40 or 50 mph. Its as if all the cylinders were misfiring -very briefly-, but it recurrs randomly every few seconds. And the CEL light comes on. It keeps running though(okay, it keeps hiccuping), and will stop doing it if you let the car cool down. Its been running this way for over a year. I get the following codes when I do the ignition switch on-off-on-off-on check:
12,11,43,72,21,17,55. I know about the 12 and 55, and the 11 likely means there is a 'problem' with the signal for the cam position sensor or crank position sensor (both of which have been replaced since this began happening). The 43 is telling me it is misfiring - as if I didnt know that, and the 21 is an "oxygen sensor problem" (both of them are fairly new also, so I dont think its actually the O2 sensor itself), and the cat. converter was replaced at 144,000 miles; so I dont think the cat. is already bad enough to really generate the 72 code. The engine temp gauge is indicating normal temp, and the top radiator hose shows about 190 degrees when I check it with an i.r. thermometer, so I dont know why its showing a code 17.
I suspect the Engine Wiring Harness is part of the problem, maybe all of it. I had the motor out 4 years ago, and had to replace 12 of the wires in the section where it runs behind the motor. The wires that were melted together included those for the O2 sensors, crank position sensor, cam position sensor, alternator and oil pressure sensor. I tried to get another engine wiring harness from a junkyard, but under the hoods of nine Neons that still had their motors - none of them still had that engine wiring harness. When I called the local Dodge dealer, the counterman knew the part, knew they had it in stock, and knew the price (well over $600) without looking it up on his computer. (And that is NOT a good sign!).
So I spent a long afternoon soldering in new lengths of wire, not always to the same AWG as the original. It ran fine for a year before the first 'hiccup' and doesnt seem to be getting worse.
I have a used PCM that I swapped in, and it still did it just the same. I cant leave that PCM in the car, since it has a fault; it wont ever turn the radiator fans on.
I like the car, and would be glad to get another one or two to fix up for some needy in-laws, IF I could solve that hiccuping problem.

lanakila7eo
05-25-2010, 10:36 PM
As you said with chugging, the word "hiccuping" doesn't describe a whole lot either. My problem is that the engine acts as if it is hitting injector cuttoff starting at higher RPMs (5000 and above) and as the problem gets worse, around 4000. It sometimes gets so bad that it goes into the lower RPMs to the point where the engine won't even run until it cools down.

Nevertheless, I think my problem may exist where yours did in the wiring harness. I will have to investigate that since replacing parts hasn't seemed to work so far.

denisond3
05-26-2010, 06:05 AM
I havent ever experienced high rpm 'injector cutoff', but the hiccuping/chugging is definitely different from a typical misfire - where one or two cylinders will misfire, while the others are still producing power. The closest I can come is describing it as if the ignition key were twitched, so all 4 cylinders stop firing for a fraction of a second.
I would like to start with a stock wiring harness to use for working up a re-wired one (I would be using the original connectors to the PCM), since the locations of several of the splices may be important; like those that provide power to the two heaters on the O2 sensors, or bring the return signal from the crank or cam position sensor. Individual shielding might help too.
I also have a replacement target magnet to go into the end of the camshaft.
According to a career mechanic I know, another shortcoming with the Neon engine is that the cam shaft can float back and forth, not having a thrust bearing to control sideways movement, like the crankshaft does. And if/when the camshaft pulls away from the 'pickup' face of the cam position sensor, the PCM may lose the signal.
I may be taking the engine out again (for rings and valve stem seals this time), and if it looks like I can re-do the wiring harness, I might try making up some sort of way to keep the camshaft from moving sideways.
If I could solve this annoyance, I could probably buy at very low cost, as many Neons as I wanted; to fix up. If I cant solve it, the car may not pass the emissions test for tag renewal in Virginia next time.

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