My stepson’s 2005 Dodge Neon sometimes won’t start. Turn the key, the dash lights and radio and electric stuff respond, but other than a click there is nothing of an engine start up going on. He’ll turn the key a few times, he pumps the gas pedal, does what he thinks might help wake it up. Usually it will start after a few tries. He thinks it gets worse in the cold weather, but not much worse. He also notes that if he does a lot of short trips, like running errands, this problem comes up more often. The car may run fine for weeks, and then the problem hits. Of course, it never does this when the mechanic has it. The mechanic has no idea what to do, since the car works when they test it. I was wondering if I used a voltmeter could I check some key nodes when the problem comes up. Also, if it really does get worse at cold, can I spray some suspicious locations with freeze spray to try and instigate the problem? Or any other suggestions?
That click you hear is most likely the starter going bad.
It could be a bad starter but it sounds more like a neutral safety switch problem. If the Neon has an automatic transmission…just shift to neutral and see if it starts. If it does then it’s a bad neutral safety switch. If the Neon has a manual shift transmission it may be the clutch interlock switch.
+1 to missileman. Check the starter, and then try his suggestion. As for the starter - if it just clicks and fails to start, you can try tapping on the starter with a hammer or something of the sort. Don’t BANG on it, just tap it.
If you actually hear a click, it’s not likely the neutral safety switch, but the starter instead. As a side note, pumping the gas pedal is not affecting anything and is pointless whether or not the engine is cranking normally.