Distributor for a 2003 Dodge Neon SE

Where can I purchase a distributor for a 2003 Dodge Neon SE?

The engine is running rough, the gas mileage has degraded, and the Check-Engine light is ON.
We went to an AutoParts Store to have them read the car’s computer output to tell us why the Check-Engine light is ON.
The results said that the No. 4 Cylinder was not firing consistently.
We replaced all four spark plugs and the spark plug wires.
It ran a little better but the Check-Engine light is still ON and the engine still runs rough.
I think we should replace the distributor or maybe just the distributor cap (if possible?).
But I can’t seem to find ANYONE in town or on the Internet that sells a distributor or even parts of a distributor for a 2003 Dodge Neon SE.
Any recommendations?

Really? Not to be flippant here, but you say you replaced the spark plugs and the plug wires and now you’re asking about a distributor? Did you not notice that your car does not have, is not equipped with, a distributor?

If you’re looking for the next/easiest/fastest part to replace in hopes of fixing this you could try a coil assembly.

That thing you want to replace is not called a distributor, it’s called a coil pack or coil assembly. Your car does not have a distributor, which is why you cannot find one for it. In fact, they refer to your ignition system as being “distributorless”, as it is.

You’d also want to know that misfire codes do not tell you about spark. Your spark might be perfectly fine.

The misfire code just means that combustion didn’t take place. Spark is only one thing you need for combustion. You also need compression. So pull the plugs back out and check the compression. You also need the correct fuel/air mix. So you’ll want to check out the #4 fuel injector. You can inspect the wiring & harness. You can use a “noid” light to have a look at the power supply to the injector. You can use an ohmeter to check the injectors resistance. You can also swap the #4 injector with another and find out if the misfire moves with the injector.

"“Spark is only one thing you need for combustion. You also need compression. So pull the plugs back out and check the compression.”"
The OP said # 4 was not firing consistantly. Does that sound like a lack of compression??

I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking Elly. The “results” from the code reading was almost certainly the code P0304 which is a cylinder 4 misfire. This can be caused by a lack of compression - yes. Maybe for many people the code was just misnamed - mis"fire" does not mean no spark, though I guess it implies that to many people.

The OP said "The results said that the No. 4 Cylinder was not firing consistently."
I was asking if this sounds like a problem with the compression. I don’t think so.

Elly - there is no aspect of the car’s computer system that will directly tell you whether or not the spark is consistent. So there were no “results” that pointed to a spark problem.

If the spark is a problem on a cylinder it WILL set a misfire code.

If compression or fuel or air are a problem on a cylinder that can ALSO result in the same misfire code. The codes come from having combustion not take place in the cylinder. In most cars the actual report usually comes from a glitch in the crank sensor signal. Nothing monitors the actual spark.

Well if the problem was compression, wouldn’t it miss, or seem to miss all the time?? OP said it was intermittant. (Or inconsistant). I just don’t think it could be “compression”.

Did the OP mean that #4 was consistantly not firing, or not firing consistantly. I didn’t realize he meant consistantly not firing. That COULD be low compression.

Just what do you suppose the basis for his “inconsistent spark” statement is? The OP doesn’t really know what he is talking about - or maybe you didn’t notice that he was looking for a distributor for a car that doesn’t have one? Or maybe you didn’t notice that he had his OBDII codes read but didn’t actually report the codes?

Aside from that - as I already said - there is no code reading procedure that’s going to tell you that you have an inconsistent spark. Or maybe you think that the lackey behind the counter at the auto parts store whipped out his pocket oscilloscope and checked out the actual ignition signal traces? Or used his extra-special x-ray glasses to watch the spark plug through the cylinder head while the car ran?

. I hope we find out what the problem is because I doubt very much that is caused by low compression. I asked you a specific question but you didn’t answer it. here it is again
Did the OP mean that #4 was consistantly not firing, or not firing consistantly There is a difference!!

Lowered compression can cause a spark plug misfire that may come and go, all depending. The lowered compression is not randomly fixing itself now and then; it’s a matter of the plug fouling and then cleaning itself off now and then based on a number of things.

Details about a problem always help but compression is something that I would have checked first thing. The spark plugs are out so kill that bird right then and there.

“I asked you a specific question but you didn’t answer it. here it is again
Did the OP mean that #4 was consistantly not firing, or not firing consistantly”

How would I know what the OP meant? All I can tell you is what the OP meant in this regard is irrelevant.

Could poor compression be an issue either way? YES!

Elly, I have no idea why you occasionally get in these long, drawn out go 'rounds with people about absolutely nothing. But its not worthwhile and I am through responding to your posts. It won’t help the OP and I have said everything there is to say about it. If you still don’t understand what causes a “misfire” code then I really don’t care.

Well, Ill quit too but how could you answer the OP if you didn’t know what he meant?? ""How would I know what the OP meant? “”

I actually think that you are being deliberately obtuse and argumentative, and you do that because you enjoy getting a rise out of people. But in the event that I am wrong and you are just obtuse by nature and are literally asking questions I will tell you.

We have a report of a rough running car and a check engine light. We have a report of a trip to an auto parts store for code reading. The interpretation of the code reading given by the OP had to do with cylinder 4 and “firing.” I will lay 100 to 1 odds that the actual “results” found at the AP store was trouble code P0304. This code indicates that a misfire was detected on the #4 cylinder. Its pretty much the only code that would have someone come away with the interpretation given in the post. There are no codes for “not firing consistently,” there are no systems that monitor the actual spark, and there are no procedures in place at auto parts stores that would allow one to determine this.

As to what a misfire code indicates, I have already explained that. It is not in any way based on any actual detection of an issue with spark. It does not tell you that spark is lacking. It does not tell you that spark is consistent or inconsistent. It simply tells you that combustion didn’t happen in a cylinder. That is all. The report is generated when the crank position sensor picks up a glitch in the rotation of the crank shaft. Period. Unless the OP clarifies there is no way to know. But I’m still on 100 to 1 odds that neither the auto parts store people nor the OP have any actual knowledge whatsoever of the spark that may or may not be occurring consistently or inconsistently in any of the cylinders. All there is here is a half-baked interpretation of a misfire code.

The only argument I have had here is this, if #4 cylinder is missing at times and firing at times, then I don’t think it has anything to do with the compression. I don’t know if it was firing at times, i just assumed that it was by the term “not firing consistently.” I do not dispute anything else you have said.
I am sorry that we haven’t been able to communicate accuratly.

Ok, how’s this: Q: Can a compression problem cause inconsistent misfires where combustion is sometimes fine and sometimes not? A: Yes.

Its doesn’t matter though because the “not firing consistently” is not something I take to be accurate. It might be true. It might not be true. But whether it is true or not does not change the possible causes.

forgive me, I am just obtuse, I have barely been able to drive a car, not to mention fixing one. I have been able to keep my own cars running for 60 years tho.

I have a 2001 neon. Once I hit a parking curb too hard. When I left the parking lot the car ran ROUGH and the engine light came on. I made it to town and checked underneath and I could see where the frame or whateve,r around the radiator was pushed in towards the brain. when I hooked a chain to it and gently pulled it out the car ran fine again. Recently I hit a speed bump and the exact same thing happened. Of course after I replaced the plugs and wires, with no change in performance did I hook up the chain and gently pull outward. Don’t know why, but it worked. probably something to do with the brain getting too hot and not having enough air circulating??

Thank you “asemaster”, “mark9207”, “Cigroller” and “EllyEllis” for your replys. I learned that the “black box” on top of the engine with the spark plug wires attached to it (that looks like a “distributor” to a 20th Century guy) is actually the coil assembly, as you say. But I don’t feel bad about my ignorance because I called five autoparts stores and none of them suggested that what I needed was a coil assembly or coil pack. They all just said, “We don’t have any distributors for a 2003 Dodge Neon”. None of them knew enough to tell me that a 2003 Dodge Neon has NO “distributor” (as you guys did). And this is there job … selling parts for cars.

“Cigroller” and “EllyEllis” were right. The problem was ultimately found to be poor compression in the Number 1 Cylinder. When the new coil assembly failed to correct the problem, I took the car to a good mechanic (with lots of positive reviews in the Internet) and that’s what he determined. He thinks the compression problem could be due a problem with the valves, piston rings, or possibly something worse with the cylinder head (?). In any event, it’s going to be big bucks to get if fixed. :frowning: