Neon cooling system leak

I have a 2003 Dodge Neon and recently had transmission work done on the car. When I got the car back the radiator cap was left loose, I didn’t know this until I took the car for a drive and it overheated. I let the car cool down, replaced the coolent, and made sure the cap was sealed down. The car now has a slow coolent leak, when I turn the car off I can see it drip underneath for about 2 minutes and then it stops. Also, after the car heats up to running temperature I get a burning rubber smell coming through the vents. What could this be? The car only has 70,000 miles on it and I would like to keep it going if I can.

What transmission work did you have?

The transmission is cooled by the bottom part of the radiator. So I’m wondering if the transmission forgot to put the cap back on.

If the engine over heated…then you could have a head gasket problem. These engines are noted for premature head gasket failure…so any disruption (like over heating)…it can be very damaging.


There is no need to remove the radiator cap to work on the transmission

Did you recently have any coolant work done?

Is this leak near the accessory end of the engine? Just wondering if a water pump or bypass hose is seeping and dripping onto a belt. That could cause a burned rubber smell.

I don’t know why the radiator cap would be removed for transmission work unless someone was checking for ATF contaminated engine coolant.

The one way I can see pulling the radiator cap…is if the person brought the transmission in for work and it was determined that the fluid was overheating and they had to replace the radiator. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t have a separate tranny cooler.

The ATF did contaminate the radiator due to a blown seal and I had the seal fixed and radiator replaced. The transmission was rebuilt (it had been slipping) and the overflow bottle for the radiator was cleaned. I’m thinking when they took the overflow bottle out they loosened the radiator cap to relieve the pressure and didn’t seal it back down.


Thanks for the update

It explains a lot

I would go back to those guys that replaced the radiator. Explain the situation.