My question is about a 2005 Dodge Neon SXT, with 2.0 SOHC, automatic
trans. Purchased December '05 with 27 miles on the clock. Currently it
has about 3,700 miles. Maintenance of course done on schedule at the
local 5-star dealer.
In particular, I'm wondering about the engine.
First, I've heard that piston slap on start-up is normal on the 2.0
SOHC's, and DCX's official line is that it doesn't affect engine life.
But is there a point where it's NOT so normal, i.e. when it seems to
have gotten a little louder over time? I've noticed the piston slap
since day one and tried to put it out of my head, but it has gotten
noticeably louder since the first oil change. It's not deafening, but
at the same time it's not a noise you expect to hear out of a relatively
Depending on the day, it can take anywhere from 30-60 seconds for the
noise to subside. Anyone know if this, or the mild increase in noise,
should be of concern?
Second is a behavior I noticed a little bit later than day one, say at
about 1,000 or so miles. I'm noticing that once the engine is warmed up
and running for a while, the engine will alternate regularly and
frequently between a smoother and slightly rougher idle, particularly
when in drive and at a full stop (i.e. waiting at intersections and
traffic lights). For about a half a second the engine will idle smooth,
then have a slightly rougher idle for another half-second, then
alternate back to smooth, and will keep going back and forth like this.
Passengers don't notice it unless I point it out to them, but *I*
feel it, having my foot on the brake and hands on the wheel where I'm
feeling the vibration level change back and forth. It's acting almost
like there's some kind of additional load being applied and then removed
The RPM indicator stays rock-steady however, at about 950RPM or so. As
soon as I apply the gas and get underway, performance is smooth and
uniform until the next time I have to come to a full stop.
Is this, like the piston slap, "normal?" I can put up with both if
there's a certainty that there's nothing wrong. I certainly have no
other complaints at all.
On the other hand, if there's a problem, I'd like to get it fixed now
rather than wait for the latter half of the 7/70 powertain warranty for
these issues to be more... obvious.
Thanks for any input!
E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.
Click to see the full signature.