i have a 2000 Dodge Neon with 128,000 miles. While driving on the high way, my rpm gage started going up and down , then my engine light came on. The car started to sputter really bad and then it died. I sat for a few min. and it started back up for about a mile and did the same thing.I tried one more time and got about another mile before it did the same thing. Then I just had it towed to my house where it sits now in my garage.
If you were able to start it several times, the most likely cause is a fuel problem; dirty fuel filter, dying fuel pump, etc. Also a very dirty air filter.
Anaothe cause could be a suddenly plugged catalytic converter, but not as likley.
Have the AAA tow it into a good independent garagre and you will sonn be told what the problem is.
My Neon has been sitting in my garage since I posted my question. I tryed it the last weekend and drove it up and down my street a few times. The cheak engine light turned off and the car was fine. Very weird! I drove it again this weekend and it was fine again. I got brave and drove it about ten miles and it was fine. What could have beeen wrong that is not wrong now?
I believe that you can probably read out a simplified version of the DTC code causing the Check Engine light to be on. Turn the ignition on then off then on then off then on without starting the car. The dash lights will then blink. You count the blinks and write down the numbers. They will be in groups of two. If memory serves me correctly, the first group will be 12 and the last 55. Any codes between 12 and 55 will be trouble codes. You’ll need to look up the codes on the internet or in a manual.
That procedure worked on our 1995 Neon and I’m told that it works on many (not all) Chrysler vehicles.
Both the fuel pressure system and the ignition system can have heat related problems. Either of them may run fine until things get hot and then quit. Trouble shooting this is going to be difficult unless the mechanic can see the problem. A fuel pump pressure check would narrow down the diagnosis of the fuel system. If the tach needle was jumping all over the place but the engine was holding fairly constant speed, I would suspect an ignition problem. Now the fault may be with the igniter, the crank position sensor, cam position sensor, or coil. If you pull the DTC, you might be able to narrow it down. But if you get a ‘misfire’ or ‘multiple misfire’ code you are still at step one.
Hope that helps.