Having a hard time starting engine and engine misses while accelerating, which ends up shutting off. But it doesn't loop


Asked by Jul 02, 2008 at 12:08 AM about the 1995 Dodge Neon 4 Dr STD Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Having problem with starting up engine, it takes a while to start running. But once it starts running, rpm goes way below 1000rpm, also when I press the gas it misses like a cylinder or more is out. Alternator is good. Battery and connections are good. Have new spark plugs and wires. All fluids are at correct levels. NO OTHER components or parts have any other problems but this one above. It also passed smog test recently. Could it be ignition coil going bad?

18 Answers


sounds like an ignition coil on its way out or already out. if you have access to a scan tool of any kind. Try and see what cylinders are missing. Let me know

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

also i am not sure how many miles are on the car but it might have a clogged fuel filter. but it sounds more electrical to me.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I would check two things; 1) Timing could possibly be a bit off, see if you can get a quick and cheap timing test. 2) Your catalytic converter could be congested with stuff. Try running some fuel cleaner, or do half a tank of premium to clean out what is inside there.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

exhaust..check your cat

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Have you checked compression and cooling system pressure to make sure you don't have a head gasket starting to take a dump? This was a known problem on the Neon.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I had this problem on my 96 Highline Coupe. Check your plugs, if thats not it run a thing of Sea-Foam to clean out the engine, lastly you may have to go whole hog and replace the head gasket.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Definitely sounds like a coil to me. The Neon has a waste spark system, like most newer cars, and has a tendency to go bad. I had to replace mine about a year ago, because it was starting to misfire, and had many similar symptoms as you are describing. As that one guy said, get a scanner and see what codes are being thrown. If there are no codes thrown, it may be a couple of things. I would check (again assuming there are no codes) the exhaust, see if A) there is white smoke coming out of the tailpipe (head gasket) or B) throw some intake/TB cleaner in it, just douse the TB, and see what all comes out the tailpipe. if there is any kind of clog or anything, you should see all kinds of crap come out the back of it. Also try holding a piece of paper just off the tail pipe, and see if the paper gets pulled back towards the muffler. If it does, then you could also have a burned exhause valve.


Check codes...hopefully that will help. A lot of the above suggestions are possible. I'd check all your plugs and wires before you start looking at other things. A fouled plug or bad wire could cause similar problems. Also a problem that always comes up missing on this forum for misfires is a possibly leaky valve cover gasket. Oil gets pushed into the plug boot and can cause bad spark... Easiest thing to check too. Just pull the plug boots if one is coated in oil that could be your problem. Not necessarily is, but it's more common problem then people seem to think.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

im just throwing it out there and i might be wrong but could it maybe be that the fuel injectors and/or the fuel rail is dirty or cloged, so just buy some fuel injector cleaner from wal-mart or somthing

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

do u mean that the antifreeze is getting into the cylinder and getting burnt up? if yes, a feul injected vehicle can still run reasonably well like that, it is just that ALOT of white smoke comes out the exhast.


If your car is anything like mine...get rid of it now! This will only start the rest of the problems, and no matter how many times you change parts they will slowly die out faster and faster! (I know from experience!) Unless you have money to waste just burning a hole in your pocket! People may not agree with me, but in my opinion, the Neon is one of the worst newer cars ever made, and they should be forced to recall everything on them. I haven't seen one that doesn't have at least some sort of problem, even driven right off the lot, and usually these sorts of things should only affect a few...not most! Like I said, people may not agree with me, but at least now you have another opinion and point of view to think about.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

try your engine ground straps CHRYSLER HAD MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH GROUNDS ON NEON MODELS and they are very cheap

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

my car had 120,000 miles on the head gasket and I had ABSOLUTELY no head gasket leaks on a 95 sohc engine took engine apart because of a bad set of main seals and figured while I had it out refurbish the engine (with some performance mods).

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You could have a clogged fuel filter or the fuel pump could be going out. Also check the fuel pump relay. Chrysler products are bad for fuel issues.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

if your check engine light is on and you have ckecked to see if it is gettin fuel it could poss be the power steering prssure sensor


pull the injector tops off if the car sounds no diff after doing that then you have a bad injector other then that it might be a bad coil

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

It may be your cam shaft position sensor. That would make it run bad and have little power.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Is the "Check Engine" light on?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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