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  1. #1
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    soooooooo stumped, need help with my car automoive friends.

    ok so ive been fighting with my 97 dodge neon 2.0L SOHC for while now. and it's been winning so far.

    The Symtoms: Its starts right up and runs perfect. after a few minutes it just suddenly dies and then loses spark. now after it cools off for awhile it will start right back up again and do it all over. but it just cranks until then. at first it would run until it was almost completely warm before doing this now it will only run for about 4 minutes before dying. and now it also has to sit way longer as well.

    What i've tried: It has a new ignition coil, new cam sensor, new crank sensor, new connector on the crank sensor. It has perfect fuel pressure even after it dies and yes the fuel pump is still working after it dies as well. now after i put the new connector on it wouldnt start at all. I found a thread on a forum saying that one guy pulled the automatic shut down relay and put a jumper wire across and it fixed his problem. so i tried this and it started right up again but died after 4 minutes. i then left the jumper wire in there which in turn killed my battery apperently.

    im so stumped on what to even try. it shows symtoms of a bad crank sensor but i already replaced that and it did nothing. and when i replaced the motor with one from a 96 i looked over all the wiring and none of it is damaged. i think my next step will be to try a new computer but i was wondering if you guys had any other ideas i can try.

    i miss my gas mileage. my truck only gets 20mpg tops and the neon gets 37 1/2 lol
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  2. #2
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    ECM went out of my wife's old car and would do just that. Usually after it warmed up (and got the EMC warm as well) it would die. Sometimes would refire, other times it would have to sit for a while before it would hit again.

    Have you put a scanner on it to see what codes it returns? That is step 1 (rather than throwing parts at it).

  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    well i tried the crank sensor first because i had a misfire as well. turns out the misfires was my brand new msd coil going out on me so i just left it in. then i got a new ignition coil for that reason as well. then i had a code for the crank sensor which is why i replaced it. the crank sensor code is gone last i checked. but i dont have a scanner to just put on it is the problem and since it wont run i cant get it to a scanner either really.

    my buddy said he thought it might be the pcm to. and as long as the junkyard has one i can get it for only $25 plus a $5 core charge.
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  4. #4
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    have you checked the ICM (ignition control module) they are susceptible (sp?) to heat soak. Depending on the style most auto parts stores (autozone, o'reilys) can check them for you like an alternator or a starter.

  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    on neons the ignition control module is built into the ignition coil as far as i know. i found a parts location for all the sensors and everything and ignition control module is not listed on there at all.
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  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. harry697's Avatar
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    I'm gonna guess it's the PCM also. I used to work at a Chrysler dealer and have seen stranger things happen due to a bad PCM.

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    i worked at one for a year myself as well. but i was still in high school so i was just the lube and easy maintenance guy more or less. if i had one of there vehicle manuals i could follow the pcm testing chart to verify it but i dont. so i gotta go get one from a junk yard or something. i should have kept the other neons pcm that i scrapped recently. i didnt think it would work though because mines an auto, and it was a manual. wouldnt shift at all probably but might have atleast started up........ dang......... lol
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  8. #8
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    another vote for the ECM

    if the computer system on them works any way like my old fuel injected 91 Toyota pickup, they run in two modes, a "closed loop" meaning it takes no readings from any sensors when the motor is cool and just runs off certain perimeters until the engine gets to operating temp, and then once things warm up it goes into "open loop" and begins taking readings from all the sensors on the motor to get the most power and fuel mileage out of it. there could certainly be a fault in the ECM itself and it's simply not accepting a certain (or any at all) reading that it's needing to keep the engine running once it warms up
    fix, run, break, repeat

  9. #9
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    not its not even warming up first. i think thats going to be what i try next though. just need to get me like $30 plus a little extra for tax.
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    Got a smartphone? Pick up Torque app and a $25 bluetooth ODB2 dongle (ebay) and you can scan codes with your phone.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgredjeep View Post
    Got a smartphone? Pick up Torque app and a $25 bluetooth ODB2 dongle (ebay) and you can scan codes with your phone.
    best app ever! that was one of the first apps I bought when I got my first Android phone

    sent from my BAMFed Thunderbolt
    fix, run, break, repeat

  12. #12
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    E c t could cause those issues

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  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    man, i need a job. i would so buy that if i could lol
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  14. #14
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    as a matter of fact, here's a preview I did of it about a week after having it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w37I...ebAUAAAAAAAHAA
    fix, run, break, repeat

  15. #15
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    man, i just watched the first like 12 minutes. i was sold after like 5 minutes though lol. wish i had some money because i would order one right this second lol
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  16. #16
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    If you can get to the ECM easily. I would check if it is getting hot or over heating. Might be one chip getting to hot so it might be just a small part or the ECM overheating. The engine can run without some of the sensors, The ECM just goes into that open loop mode and runs on some pre set peramitors. The only sensors that are crutical that would keep an engine from running are, air mass, Throtle pos., cam and crank sensors, oil pressure. Those are the ones I can think of right off. I have meter manual that tells me how to test the sensors. Send me a PM if you want me to look something up. Your luck I would forget to check this thread and never answer you.
    Oh another cheap thing you can do is use a test light tool or the special litlle light thing that plugs into the fuel injector plug. At least that would tell you the injectors stop by the light stop flashing before it dies. If the light is still blinking as the engine is dieing that would mean it is a ignition problem not fuel.
    Then this step you can destroy the ecm if done wrong. Checking or watching the spark. If the voltage goes to high to make the spark it can create a backfead voltage going back the ECM. That is why they even make a special tool to see the spark or electricity. But you should be able to use a spare spark plug and ground it by clamping it to a good ground on the engine. So then the electricity will just have to jump across the plug gap. And again if the spark quits before the engine dies or still making spark as the engine is quiting. That would tell you whats going on with the ignition side.

    If the spark and fuel injector stops at the same time. I would look towards the ECM. And if the ECM is hot or hot spot. Well hope you get your neon going.
    Broken parts=New better parts

  17. #17
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    the ecm is easy to get to. might have to move one little thing to reach one bolt but thats about it. didnt use a test light but did use a continuety tester on my meter and it has an audible tone when theres a connection. and it was going crazy. plus like i said its just losing spark, nothing else. it uses a map sensor not a maf, the crank and cam sensors are both brand new, along with the oil pressure sending unit. the plugs, wires, and coil are all new to so about the only thing left is the map sensor itself or the pcm.
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  18. #18
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    dude, on your neon, turn your key on,off,on,off,on..and I dont mean start,just the on position..watch your odometer display...it will show you any p-codes the computer has stored, no need for a scanner on a Dodge anything.

  19. #19
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    really? i didnt know that. i gotta charge the battery again first lol, but i will try it for sure.
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  20. #20
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    Just realized it. But there's nothing digital on mine. The 2nd gen neons were digital not the first
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  21. #21
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    wait what? what years yours again?

  22. #22
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    its a 1997
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  23. #23
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    if it does have self diagnostics usually the check engine light will flash

  24. #24
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    well 97 is OBD2 so I dunno if the Check Engine will flash...you may actually need a scan tool

  25. #25
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    yeah, you need a scan tool of some type. obd1 does the certain number of flashes.
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  26. #26
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    There are some OBD1 systems that need to be scanned. Its just very hard to find a place that can do it.
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  27. #27
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    obd 2 does too flash codes, at least on my 1997 nissan 200sx se-r. I have done it numerous times to check my codes. But there is a certain way to toggle the keys to get it to do that.

  28. #28
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    yeah some obd2 will flash codes. idk about the neon but its worth a shot

  29. #29
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    Yep,my wife's '97 Jeep Cherokee flashes code so the Neon should too.
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  30. #30
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    a neon is not a jeep cherokee though. its like there lowest end car. and in working at a chrysler dodge and jeep dealership i never once seen anyone flash a code on a first gen neon.
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  31. #31
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    ok well went to the dodge dealership in person the other day and they said 3 of the most common problems which all describe what my car does are the cam sensor, crank sensor, and pcm. that being said the cam and crank sensors are both brand new so its probably a bad pcm. but im still working at getting a code reader to verify that it has some sort of pcm code letting me know its bad before i throw anymore parts at it.
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  32. #32
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    did you try the key on off deal? i looked it up and alldata gave low number codes like it had self diagnostics

  33. #33
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    ill go try right now man, but theres litterly nothing digital to flash on and off.
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  34. #34
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    went and tried it. like i said, nothing digital to read a code on my car at all. they didnt come digital until 2000. i tried on to see what the lights on dash did first. couple came on to do the system check then went off.

    i tried:

    on, off, on
    on, off, on, off, on
    on, off, on, off, on, off, on
    on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on
    on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on
    on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on
    on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on

    all with the same results.......... nothing digital to flash or throw codes. the lights that are there did the same thing as the very first time. turned on to do a self scan and then shut off. nothing new.

    if i remember right though if there is a check engine light it should stay lit up with the key turned forward and since the battery died and was disconnected it probably cleared my codes and i didnt have it running again today. so i need to hook up jumper cables to keep it from completely killing my battery while i get it to run. and then maybe the check engine light will come back on. at that point i can hook up a scan tool to check the codes. if theres pretty much any at all to do with a pcm then its toast.
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  35. #35
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    if its been disconnected for an extended time then yes its possible the codes cleared but normally an OBD 2 system has to be erase via scan tool.

  36. #36
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    the early obd2 systems wont hold codes sadly. and i didn't think mine did either. but it had a dead battery for a couple days. and i mean like 2.9V dead lol. and then i removed it to charge it and didnt put it back in until today. so it was completely out for about 30 hours as well.

    i just convinced my buddy to let me borrow his code reader by leaving my $350 snap-on impact with him. and right now there are zero codes but the car has not ran since i put the battery back in yet. so tomorrow im going to put jumper cables on it to make sure it wont crank forever and kill the battery again. then once it starts and dies i will read for codes again.
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  37. #37
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    ok, i got a code reader on it and go figure the car wont start at all now. but after a bunch of cranking i checked the codes and i got one.

    P0118: engine coolant temperature sensor circuit high voltage.
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  38. #38
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    Generally a bad ect will read -40 not all but some. If the scanner is capable to either show live data or snap shots of when the code was set look to see what the ect was reading

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  39. #39
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    Coolant temp sensor wont make your car not start. It just a brass sensor that read the coolant temp. Autozone reads codes for free. Having work there for a couple years I can tell you, just because the sensor is new doesn't mean its not bad. I would try bring back the crank postion sensor for a new one. That or the pcm should be your problem.

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  40. #40
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    just put the scanner back on to see if it would give me coolant temp, and luckily it did. the coolant temp is jumping all around from 70 degrees F up to 260 degrees F. so i called the dealership i used to work at for dodge. and the service manager said that its probably a grounding issue. somewhere. he said to check all my grounds and make sure theres no coroded wires or anything. so thats my next step i guess. found pics someone posted for all the grounds on a neon up in engine compartment on the dodge forum so next nice day im free im going hunting lol.
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