1998 Dodge Neon water pump failure or worse?

Asked by Apr 14, 2013 at 09:59 PM about the 1998 Dodge Neon 4 Dr Highline Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello. I have a '98 Dodge Neon 2.0 SOHC with approx. 200K mi. on it. While driving it was making a very loud rattling/banging noise, then "POP" & the car stopped running. I won't start up sounds like it's trying to. I also noticed lots of coolant pouring out. I checked my Chilton's & it appears to be where the water pump & timing belt is. I also noticed a smelly "steam" coming from the timing belt cover. I can't afford another car & I'm wondering if anyone can tell if there is any major damage to the engine or not. Thank you.

3 Answers


Test the motor compression. That will tell you the condition of the cylinders. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovvXnd7AhiU


even without doing a compression test i can tell you the water pump def died, probably broke the timing belt, in which case it most likely bent valves. if you want to do a leakdown test, take the valve cover off and loosen the rocker shaft bolts all the way up. then perform the leakdown test.


you can't do any of those tests without the timing belt in place, the cam needs to turn in order to do a compression test or a bleed down test. First thing would be to replace the belt and water pump. the 2.4L is not an interference engine in that case you will be okay. The 2.0 L SOHC & DOHC are interference engines. Good luck but all the bulletins point to bent valves, good thin is there are no reports of pistons being damaged. Get a good head from the salvage yard or your local auto parts store along with the timing kit that includes the water pump. Then follow the manufacturers recommended replacement interval for the timing belt and water pump. It is allot cheaper than replacing or re working the head.

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