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What should I be replacing/repairing with the 2000 Dodge Neon?

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New User

Jul 7, 2014, 2:22 AM

Post #1 of 8 (1272 views)
What should I be replacing/repairing with the 2000 Dodge Neon? Sign In

Year of vehicle: 2000
Make of vehicle: Dodge
Model of vehicle: Neon
Engine size: 2.0 L
Mileage/Kilometers: ~140,000

Hello, I have a 2000 Dodge Neon that I would like to repair. It has about 140,000 miles on it. The radiator recently went out. I've been online looking at videos, and I found some Youtube videos talking about how to work with a 2002 Dodge Neon. I've read that after about 100,000 miles that the water pump and timing belt should be changed. As the radiator recently went out, it developed a crack in it, it also needs to be replaced. Besides the water pump, timing belt, and radiator, should any other parts be replaced?

I believe that I've read that the serpentine belt should also be replaced. However, I don't know if that is necessary. Also, if anyone could tell me, about how much would it cost for a mechanic to replace the water pump, timing belt, and radiator in a 2000 Dodge Neon? I'm in Illinois, about 200 miles from Chicago.

As an aside, the air conditioner doesn't appear to be working in the 2000 Dodge Neon, so if I'm going to replace the water pump, timing belt, and radiator, would I save a lot of time by diagnosing the air conditioner while attempting to repair the vehicle?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 7, 2014, 4:55 AM

Post #2 of 8 (1257 views)
Re: What should I be replacing/repairing with the 2000 Dodge Neon? Sign In

Eeek! Just checked full parts for timing belt - big bucks for all of it.........Dayco WPK/Timing Belt
(0 reviews) <div class="videoKeywords"> You must have JavaScript enabled to see this Product Video.<br/> Video Name: Timing Belt Driven Water Pumps<br/> This video covers the following areas: and other related topics. </div> Part Number: WP245K5A Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Notes: Kit includes water pump, timing belt, camshaft belt tensioner, plastic cover, hydraulic timing belt actuator, hardware. Water pump driven by timing belt. Retrofit kit.

** Suggested to replace all that at 105K is what it said.


OK - That doesn't fix radiator or serp belt if needed. What concerns me if radiator really let go did it overheat bad enough (doesn't take much) to take out head gasket as well? No telling what A/C will need or just don't fix that but if obvious just check for basics (pro inspection) for what it might need as that can be cheap or nasty.

Outside Chi-Town by 200 miles you probably can get better labor rates if you go for this.

Maybe just spring for the radiator so you can better tell if more is needed than just a late but routine timing belt job and decide if you want to invest in this car or bail out while running - always your call but some bucks lurks at a glance if you want to keep it and be dependable,


New User

Jul 7, 2014, 6:19 AM

Post #3 of 8 (1253 views)
Re: What should I be replacing/repairing with the 2000 Dodge Neon? Sign In

105k? That doesn't sound right... If I remember correctly, someone through a price of about $1500 USD. I think the parts would be around $400 USD, so that doesn't seem like much of an issue. I have the time to do the repairs since I am currently unemployed. However, I didn't get much information on whether or not I should also replace the serpentine belt. I'll take some time and look into the other parts you have mentioned.

Hmm, that page you gave me seems to show the parts list price at about $469.00 USD: Zip code 61107. I could have sworn I saw a pump about $40 USD.

Does $1500 USD sound reasonable for an autoshop to replace the timing belt, water pump, and radiator? I'm thinking if it's about $700 in parts, then labor is about $800. Someone would be getting paid a handsome amount, so I think I'd argue down the labor cost. I've read it can take about 8 hours to do all that work.

(This post was edited by Benchmonkey on Jul 7, 2014, 6:29 AM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 7, 2014, 6:53 AM

Post #4 of 8 (1246 views)
Re: What should I be replacing/repairing with the 2000 Dodge Neon? Sign In

Parts prices will vary by brand and location. Not that zip BTW but was for a whole kit not just a belt and pump. Throw in new antifreeze and maybe an oil change suggested at the same time and you get up there. Didn't price out a radiator but not always that bad.

Labor? I do not have a time chart on this work. Wait and see if another can post the listed time allowed for such work. Also consider the parts prices you see are walk in yourself prices. Shops will want to use their own source and a "list" price that is higher than you get for yourself as THEY are the parts store if doing the work. If they let or allow you to bring your own it causes problems if anything goes wrong.

What you don't know is until system is up and running if leaking radiator caused a leak from overheating, low coolant when it was leaking? Can't pressure it up now while leaking unless very, very slow and still not ideal.

I have no problem going for it with a car and some expensive work for a keeper with a known history you may have and condition in general of the rest of it.

Of course used something else has its risks as well.

BTW - the labor you estimated suggests about 8 hours of work or so. A Chi-Town car with some rusty nuts and bolts might spike up the time needed if they do that, some just go by the listed time allowed for a certain job,


New User

Jul 9, 2014, 1:17 AM

Post #5 of 8 (1213 views)
Re: What should I be replacing/repairing with the 2000 Dodge Neon? Sign In

Here is a question. How can I figure out why the radiator cracked?

I've been reviewing more videos on YouTube and learning automotive mechanics. However, from what I've learned, nothing seems to make sense as to why the radiator cracked. For what I understand, radiators are generally made out of aluminum, which does not rust. However, it can corrode. Furthermore, radiators deal with a fair amount of pressure and heat. As such, it appears that there are three variables that could have caused the cracks: Corrosion, pressure, and heat. The reason this is important to me is that I want to know if there is a more serious problem that exists in the cooling and engine. For what I understand at the moment, I'm going to want to replace the radiator to do a few tests, such as chemical and compression, and see if there is a head gasket leak. By the way, thank you Tom for all of your help so far and mentioning the head gasket leak possibility. Although there may be some head gasket issue, what's bothering me is whether or not there is rust throughout the cooling system and if the engine is being eaten away.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 9, 2014, 1:40 AM

Post #6 of 8 (1209 views)
Re: What should I be replacing/repairing with the 2000 Dodge Neon? Sign In

? Radiator cracked? If physically cracked like something hit it OR if the support metal is bent who knows how much one can take?

Aluminum -- think alloys all over not just aluminum. Dissimilar metals don't like each other and do corrode, rot but isn't called rust but same idea. Alloys are more subject to galvanic corrosion also which is an electrical thing that transfers metal. What goes thru a cooling system is whatever junk it gets.

Most or many radiator plain leak from crimped on end tanks, corrosion or trauma like something hit it. Corrosion and problems inside are mostly unseen unless you see junk in flushing. Changing out antifreeze matters and more with the alloys.

Doesn't matter if it leaks it needs fixing or replacing and fixing radiators is not always possible. The problems begin when coolant is low and can't cool properly then overheating makes its own problems and hard to find if you can't also use pressure testing with an open leak now. Leak also means it can't hold necessary pressure which raises the boiling point of the coolant mix which is close enough at normal operating temps to boil without being under pressure.

Trivia: You raise boiling point ~3F for each pound of pressure afforded by the pressure cap on cars. Double trouble as boiling is vapor and can't cool or transfer heat well at all so you get very hot areas perhaps near a cooler area and things don't expand at the same rates so things go wrong like head gaskets or cracks in major items so to be avoided when at all possible.

Unless you see coolant evidence now where it shouldn't be at items that carry it you'll need the radiator to be able to test more in several tests and observations to blame a certain item or part that failed if at all as that's unknown as of now,


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 9, 2014, 2:48 AM

Post #7 of 8 (1203 views)
Re: What should I be replacing/repairing with the 2000 Dodge Neon? Sign In

Plastic radiator tanks crack all the time. The constant heat and expansion and contraction deteriorates the plastic.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

GC profile image

Jul 9, 2014, 5:35 AM

Post #8 of 8 (1196 views)
Re: What should I be replacing/repairing with the 2000 Dodge Neon? Sign In

I would be around $1000 on water pump/belt/radiator. But I would also want to check out everything else before I recommend putting that much money into that car. As Tom mentioned, need to verify if there is head gasket problem/engine damage from everheating.

This one isnt too bad to do, just make sure you know what youre getting into beforehand.

Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob

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