2004 Neon Heater core problem

2004 Neon Heater core problem

Posted in the Dodge Neon Forum


Syracuse, NY

#1 Oct 28, 2009
The transmission cooler went on the radiator in Sept.So trans fluid went into the coolant and vis versa. The dealer fixed it and flushed everything. Now the heater core went and the car only has 55000 miles on it. Did the trans fluid have anything to do with it?

Gary, MN

#2 Oct 28, 2009
There is a chance that the trans fluid did damage the heater core but it's more likely that the water to rad fluid ratio was off and the water caused the core to corrode. Though it's hard to know for sure until you tell us if the core is leaking or just not throwing heat. If it's leaking, then yes it's rotted out. If it's just not heating, then it's a good bet that it's just plugged. In that case I'd recommend taking the heater core lines off of where they attach to the engine and flushing water through one end. If the water comes out clear then it's not plugged and the problem is somewhere else. If the water won't pass through then obviously it's plugged and if you can't clear it you'll need to replace it.

Syracuse, NY

#3 Oct 30, 2009
It was throwing heat and they said it was leaking and the cap was shot too. I just can't beleive it was it went bad already. I'm used to heater cores going bad after 90,000 miles or so not 55,000 and only 5 yaers old. Kind of turns my off of Dodge products. My wife's jeeps water pump went after 45,000 mile and it was only 4 1/2 years old. Not a bad car for being a Neon.

Gary, MN

#4 Oct 30, 2009
I've had 2 neons so far and never had a problem with the cooling system other then the manual radiator rotting because I live in Minnesota and the salt on the roads eats them fast. The best fix for that would be to use the radiator from an automatic neon. Other then that, the cooling system seems fine to me. I think that maybe the difference between the first and second gen neons is enough that there might be a problem.
One Thing After Another

Colchester, VT

#5 Feb 10, 2010
I have a 2004 Dodge Neon SXT with 50k miles on it and bought the extended warranty. Both rear struts went last fall, so we had those replaced and sure enough not covered under the warranty. Now the heater smells very sickly sweet when we turn on the heat, so I've been told that's the heater core and we're looking and hundreds that again are not covered by the warranty we bought.

Dodge - NEVER again.

Holbrook, AZ

#6 Feb 10, 2010
It could be the heater core yes, but there's also a chance that it could be the head gasket. If you can see a cloud of white smoke coming out the exhaust with that sweet smell to it then it's most likely a failed head gasket. If not then yeah you probably do have a leak. I'd suggest finding a fellow neon owner who knows how to work on them and will do it for cheaper then the dealership or repair shops want.
james houlihan

Holyoke, MA

#7 Apr 21, 2010
bough a 2004 dodge neon se one year ago for my daughter. The neon had fifty thousand miles on it spend two thousand dollars on repairs radiator leak and coolent went into the tranmission. computer failed, rear bushings, and now at sixty thousand miles the computer went again and the transmission was kaput cant wait to see this bill never buy a lemon neon never never never this is one piece of chit car.

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