Funny Dodge Neon Noises and What You Can Do to Fix Them
I have a '95 Neon that is making a noise while driving...its best to be described as a "thumping" noise that gets faster and louder the faster the car goes. When the wheel is turned slightly to the left the noise stops. I thought it was CV joints so I replaced both sides...I also rotated the tires...the noise is still there just like before. Any suggestions as to what the problem may be.
"Tech Man" - Is there any uneven wear on the tires.........i.e. cupping or feathering? This could give you a thumping noise.
Gary - How many miles on the struts? Sounds like a left front strut going bad. (...strut top, maybe not the strut itself)...it's often difficult to replicate on-the-road movements that cause noises. When the struts on my Horizon started to go at about 80k, they made noises. By moving the fender from side to side, I could make one of them "chuckle" like it did on the road. At 90k, you can be reasonably sure the struts are worn out.
Michelle - Several things factor into this. Have you ever had the struts replaced? If not, it's probably a good idea to do this about every 50K miles. You'll know if there's a problem...trust me on this one. How's the ride? Do you have an excessive amount of "bounce" after hitting a bump? Have you noticed an increase in braking distances? Not to mention the "thumping" noise you've described. These are all indications that the struts should be replaced. Hope this answers your question.
Wind noise is most likely due to either worn-out weatherstripping (1995-96 owners can buy an updated-design weatherstripping from an on-line parts seller such as Pomoco) or misadjusted windows. Owners can adjust the windows themselves using instructions from Chrysler or neons.org. In addition, one of the bolts which holds the window in may be loose - be careful when tightening these though! Don't go too far! Finally, a rattling noise may actually be caused by the door panel rather than the window itself; a small piece of foam insulation may help to stop these.
If the brake makes a slight noise when you first start driving the car, but not at any other time, it may be dirt or rust on the rotors. We experienced this starting when our 1994-production Neon was new - the rotors are still good at 70,000 miles (as are the brake pads).
Update! A service technician wrote: The TSB [service bulletin] says [if the brakes] are noisy and unless worn out, just clean them and give the customer the TSB. Well, I have fixed many Neon brake problems with aftermarket parts, not one problem, no come backs, and customers have reported their brakes have never been that good. So why can't the manufacturer supply us with the same quality or higher? Let's face it buying parts at the dealer are not cheap, so why the low quality in produc? I have on occasion requested for the customer to have aftermarket shoes and pads installed because they have complained about the noise being embarrasing.