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2002 dodge neon randomly does not start - error code p0601

I have a 2002 dodge neon that at random times will not start. When this happens, I turn the key and a sort of whirring noise occurs. The digital odometor then flashes the code p0601. I checked on the internet and pretty much everything I found says that is has to do with the failure of the computer.

Each times this happens, I have to get it towed only to find out that the person I tow it to has no problem starting it. Once, I got it to start on the fourth try after it would not start. This problem has happened in hot and cold weather, as well as after sitting for long and short amounts of time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The official description of P0601 is “Internal Control Module Memory Checksum Error”. In short, this generally means that the computer (or PCM) is bad. It’s pretty likely you’ll need to get to a dealer because a new PCM would need to be reprogrammed. There’s also a slight chance that a dealer could reprogram your current PCM and get it working normally again.

One other possibility is that the wiring to the PCM is shorting somewhere, or even that the connector is a bit loose. Unhooking the PCM while the battery is connected can throw this code.

It’s possible that a faulty PCM is covered under the federally mandated emissions warranty, which if I remember correctly runs for 8 years/80K miles. The car isn’t 8 years old yet, hopefully it’s not over 80K miles.