2002 Dodge Neon Overheating


Asked by Ben0259 Aug 12, 2014 at 11:44 PM about the 2002 Dodge Neon ES Sedan FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have been trying to assist my aunt in fixing her 2002 Dodge Neon that has been
overheating. Work that I have done so far in the order in which I have done it.
Flushed Coolant System
Changed Thermostat and replaced thermostat gasket
Burped the system
Inspected Rad Cap for any damage none noted
Engine light was on turned out to be faulty Cam Shaft Position Sensor which I replaced

The engine is still overheating however it takes about 45-60 mins to do so.
I decided to try an engine compression test here are the results.
Cylinder 1 90 Psi  - Also I noted it appears to be seated lower than the other plugs,
also there was a moderate amount of oil on the plug and in the hole along with small
black dots.
Cylinder 2 N/A  - This plug appeared to have either dirt or very old oil also the plug was
in so tight I decided not to try to pull it out due to fear of stripping the bolt.
Cylinder 3 120 Psi - This plug had large amounts of oil on the spark plug and inside the
Cylinder 4 160 Psi - This plug also had large amounts of oil on the spark plug and
inside the hole.

If anyone could assist me in help either with other diagnostics I can perform or of what
the possible problem could be.  Thank you for your time don't hesitate to ask any


18 Answers


It's time for a replacement car for your aunt the motor is on its last legs. The Neon is a disposable car. Find her a Honda or Toyota. Or a Ford. That's my humble opinion.

1 people found this helpful.

90 is def low, typically they are 120+, i wouldnt be surprised if it was a head gasket that blew

Best Answer Mark helpful

Justin thank you for your response do you have any idea as to if the oil in the spark plug holes could have anything to do with overheating or is that most likely a completely different issue?


The engine is on it's last legs. Your wasting your time and money on less you rebuild the engine. Then what is next?


mark seriously go away you arent helping anyone. the oil in the spark plug tubes is common. it'll cause a missfire but not much else, it comes from either the valve cover gasket, or the sealant at the bottom of the tube.

2 people found this helpful.

Justin, what do you think 90 PSI in the #1 hole indacates?

1 people found this helpful.

Justin when you refer to the sealant at the bottom of the tube are you talking about the valve seal guides? Or are you talking about the spark plug tubes.


mark, it has to be the head gasket or a bent valve. seeing as the timing belt didnt break i doubt its a bent valve. i doubt its the rings as the other 3 have great compression, you can verify this by adding a tiny bit of oil to the cyl and checking the compression again. if the #s go up its rings, if it stays the same its a gasket or valve. Ben, i am talking about the spark plug tubes

1 people found this helpful.

Justin. Iam still of the opinion that a 12 year old Neon with compression problems is a money pit. What's it worth? What happens when the transmission gos south?


its not really a matter of worth, when does anyone ever get a return on their cars? hardly ever unless we are talking about classic muscle cars. the fact of the matter is its almost always cheaper to fix a car thats paid off than to have a car payment every month. so long as you're doing your own work anyway, which if your asking on here is most likely the case, otherwise you would be dropping it off at a shop and have them deal with it.

1 people found this helpful.

You can make $250.00 car payments per month and get to work. Get to the Dr. And be reasonably assured that you will get home every night. Or you can be late for work. Miss Dr's appointment and risk the change of sleeping in your car on the side of the road all while making your mechanics bass boat payments.


Justin Thank you for your help, I changed the valve gasket as well as the gaskets on the bolts for the cover and put in new spark plugs as the old where pretty worn out. So far the overheating issues have been resolved the total cost of parts were $57.45 so as long as the car runs for 7 days its more cost effective then getting a new car.

4 people found this helpful.

^my point exactly, thank you ben mark consumerism has you by the balls, good luck with that

3 people found this helpful.

Justin. Keep your AAA membership current. As a matter of fact, get the gold card.


Bohomark just cant fix things himself. thats his reasoning behind a new car, as he stated paying a mechanic. I am also having this problem with my g/f neon what did you do to fix it?

1 people found this helpful.

94Z28 I changed the valve gasket. A few months later I replaced the radiator it had a clog in the lower part which was part of the problem. It was hard to me to diagnose the radiator clog I needed to use a temperature gun as there was no easy way to touch the radiator in different spots. Look for cool spots on the radiator with a temperature gun.

2 people found this helpful.

I'm having the same problem Ben did it fix the problem?

Boholmark the only way your replacement car makes sence is if you have the money to cober the car paymemt. Most dont so if they own the car and can fix it when it does mess up then that car will last longer than any that you will ever own because as soon as they break you replace them. We get put moneys worth and fix it and keep using it. What once is broken can solve more than something new

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