PLEASE HELP! Car sputtering when idle, then revs up real fast... -

Go Back > Dodge Cars > Dodge Neon > 2nd Gen Neon
Reload this Page > PLEASE HELP! Car sputtering when idle, then revs up real fast...
2nd Gen Neon 2000 - 2005 2nd Gen Neon

PLEASE HELP! Car sputtering when idle, then revs up real fast...


Old 02-27-2012, 07:56 PM
kiikyo is offline
Registered User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1
Default PLEASE HELP! Car sputtering when idle, then revs up real fast...

2003 Dodge Neon SE - Automatic

My car has been having this issue for 7mo. I have taken it to two mechanics who still can not figure out the source of the problem.

The car drives normally about 70% of the time. However, some days, I will start the car and it will sputter as it is idling in park and sometimes stall. When it doesn't stall, I will put it in drive and it will drive VERY slow for about 10sec, even when I am pressing ALL the way down on the accelerator, then it will rev up suddenly very fast. After that, it will drive normally at high speeds. Occasionally, when idling at a red light it will start sputtering, shaking, and the lights will flicker on and off (headlights, radio lights, etc). Then it will rev up while I am stepping on the brakes and move forward slightly... it;s kind of scary, especially when there is a car in front of me. Very rarely it will stall instead of revving forward..

The check engine light is on.

The codes are:

I have changed the O2 sensor twice... to no avail. I have added cat cleaner to the gas tank...

My tags are about to expire and I really need help troubleshooting this issue.

Is it electrical? Is it fuel related? Is this a common Neon problem? Is it easy/inexpensive to fix?

ANY help is appreciated... thanks!!!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012, 03:22 AM
darthroush's Avatar
darthroush is offline
Section Moderator
Dodge Forum Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,576

P0132- O2 Oxygen Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank1, Sensor1)
You say you've changed the O2 sensor twice, but have you traced the sensor wiring back to make sure it's not damaged? It happens.

P0456- Evaporative Emissions System - Small leak detected
Could be a faulty gas cap, but it could also be a cracked EVAP hose. The most common one being one of the ones coming off of the carbon canister.

As for the weird performance, we'll have to work at a few things at a time and then move to another. Let's start with these:

1. When was the last time the spark plugs and wires were changed?

2. Since you are having electrical issues, is your battery good (load tested and passed)? Are the battery terminals and posts clean? Terminals are tight? Battery wires aren't corroded in the factory crimps? Any corrosion in the relay/fuse box in the engine bay?

3. The accordion tube that goes from the intake manifold to the throttle body is completely on both of those and the clamps are tight? There are no cracks in any of the little "valleys" on that tube?
A vacuum leak will cause erratic idle/performance behavior.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 01:36 AM
JET_Fusion is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Default Idle Air Controller & Vacuum Leak

The stall/sputter behavior sounds like problem with the idle air controller. I'm new to Neon's, but on my Dakota, there's a voltage test for it (google it). Typically, when the IAC is bad it'll not run at idle or lower rpms or during deceleration because the computer cannot correctly add the micro air adjustments needed to maintain idle.

The P0132 code may really be a vacuum leak masquerading as an O2 code. Vacuum leaks can be found around hoses or seals. A can of brake cleaner or carb cleaner and a little care while spraying and you can probably find it.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2012, 10:50 PM
ek2588 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 304

my neon was doing something similar years ago. sounds like you got a vacuum leak somewhere. mine would idle high and want to move forward, even with my foot on the break. i don't remember if it was breaking up tho. ended up being a small hole in the "accordion tube" that connects the intake manifold to the intake. hope that help's
Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2012, 02:11 AM
rogerthat94 is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 23

Your problem sounds somewhat similar to a problem I had with my Neon. They are fairly different problems, but I figure I'll share my solution anyway, just in case.

MY car shook a lot when idling in drive. The shaking would stop when I put the car in neutral. It turns out there was a technical service bulletin which called for updating the software on the TCM so the car would idle faster.

Perhaps this is part of your problem?
Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Dodge Stratus
06-15-2017 06:20 PM
3rd Gen Ram Tech
08-09-2015 06:41 PM
2nd Gen Ram Tech
08-03-2015 10:10 PM
1st Gen Dakota
07-29-2015 08:33 AM
4th Gen Ram Tech
07-24-2015 08:04 AM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Featured Sponsors

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:42 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: