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'05 Dodge Neon Engine Dying Randomly

My '05 Dodge Neon’s engine just quit when I was stopped at an intersection. All the lights, etc worked. When I turned the key the engine would sound like it started for a brief moment, but it always died a second later and didn’t respond to pressure on the gas pedal. I took it to a shop that replaced the alternator, throttle sensor, and “idle air control mtr”. A few days later, the car died the exact same way when I was driving down the road. I took it to a second mechanic who looked it over the next day, and it was running. He couldn’t find the issue, and it didn’t die when he drove it. I don’t know if these symptoms are related, but a few minutes before it broke down the first time it jerked and the gauges went crazy. I had a check engine light for “not reading fuel level” or something like that after the first repair but before the second break down, which my first mechanic dismissed as not really important when I asked him about it. My lights also flicker a lot. Battery was replaced last year.

This just happened to me with my GTi… It was my fuel pump…she was dying and it would run for a while and then quit. In fact I just replace the pump this Saturday.

Try driving locally…stay near home or your tools… If and when she dies…go under the hood and look for the Schrader valve for the fuel rail…press the needle inside…fuel should squirt out…if it does not…your fuel pump is not running.

A very common failure mode for fuel pumps is that they run for a while and then stop…or cannot keep up the flow and pressure adequately and the engine dies…it tries to start and will start up again…then die…start then die… Then it may run for a whole day…then it dies again.

It sounds like your pump is dying a slow death… You can easily test and weed this part out however.

Failing ignition components can also be a source of trouble…each has its own failure mode and method to test but at first glance…I would look at your fuel pump and fuel pressure.

Your flickering dash has me concerned also…need to check your electrical connections at the battery…everything needs to be clean and tight. Look at your fuel pump relay as well…you should have identical relays in the fuse box under the hood which you can swap with and see if that helps…Just remember what you swapped it with.


I would check the condition of both battery cables and connections especially the ground connections.

Yes… @“oldtimer 11” a ground connection can do these things as well… Good call.


I have found several of these with loose crimps on the battery cable ends. This can cause stalling, no cranking and erratic gauges. Examine the battery cable ends for a loose fit or discoloration. For some reason some factory battery cable ends on Neons were soldered and others were only crimped.