Question

04 Neon not starting

I have a 2004 Chrysler Neon. As it was broken into, it won't start with the key, only via remote starter. So my battery was dead,and after putting in a new one, my remote start doesn't work. It won't even unlock or lock the doors. I checked the fuses, played around for a bit. Even removed a ignition lock cylinder and tried to turn the ignition with a screwdriver. Car started and run for a couple seconds. I did it few more times but the car wouldn't stay running. Now it won't even start anymore when I turn ignition. Lights and sounds come on but it's not starting. Wonder what happened there? Thanks

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Answer
Neon

Hi, Vorda; This sounds like a security system problem. If your remote won't lock/unlock the system, try using the key to lock, then unlock the driver's door. Is there any damage visible to the wiring near the steering column? Also, look under the hood for any wiring tampering.
Good luck.
Loren

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Hello Loren

Thanks for your reply. Here's what happened. I went to start my car using remote start( no issues starting prior to that day).There was nothing, no lights on or any sound. The doors were locked. The key wouldn't unlock. So I assumed the battery was dead. So, somehow I managed to unlock the back door through the trunk and finally popped the hood and replaced the battery thinking that would solve the issue. But no luck. Still wouldn't lock or unlock the doors or start the vehicle. As I mentioned earlier, only way to start the vehicle was using remote starter due to previous damage on ignition lock(break in).
That's when I started playing around and was able to start it few times for a couple of seconds with a screwdriver after removing ignition lock

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Hello Loren

Looks like bottom part of my message is gone. Anyways, all the wires look ok, still hooked up. Under the steering wheel and under the hood. I even played with immobiliser part. Unhooked it, tried to start it. Nothing. I don't believe it's battery in remote. I tried 2 of them. It's not likely that both remotes have dead batteries all of the sudden.

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Key

Hi, Vorda; The ignition key would not unlock the driver's door??? Chrysler products don't have the 'chip' on the ignition key...hmmmm. Once inside the car, can you manually lock and unlock the driver's door? Do you have another key that you could try? It might be worth it to get at least one of the remote batteries replaced, just to eliminate that possibility? Check all of the fuses. There is a fuse panel on the very left side of the dash, accessible when the driver's door is open, and also the power box under the hood. If you have a test light, ignition in "on" position, check each side of every fuse. If one side of the fuse is good, the other side should be, also. Some fuses won't have any power to either side....those would be for lights, ect.
Good luck.
Loren

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Hello Loren

Thanks for your input. Yes, the ignition key will not lock or unlock the door. Once inside the vehicle I can manually lock or unlock. I have 2 keys, tried them both. I have checked the fuses in both locations. They seem ok but I will try with the test light. And try new battery for the remote. Out of ideas after that. Just puzzled with the situation

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Wiring diagram for security system
http://www2.prodemand.com/Main/Index#2004|Dodge|Neon|2.0L%20Eng%20VIN%20C|SE|Gas|Eng%20CD%20ECB|Sedan|FWD|Not%20Applicable%20T%2FCase%20Control||||mi/Search

The above is the website where I found the diagram. Not sure if it'll work for you.
Hi, Vorda; Being a dinosaur, I haven't been able to cut/paste data yet.
I'm seeing 3 fuses that directly affect the factory security system. In the fuse box at the left end of the dash, they are #14 (20A), #4 (15A), and #11 (10A). The system does run through the driver's door switch.
You may have to remove the driver's door lock cylinder, and if damaged, replace it after being rekeyed to match your OE key (hopefully you kept it). As far as the possibility of having an aftermarket system, also, I can't help you with that, sorry.
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Answer
Ah, a remote start system

I may know where the problem is. There's a mercury switch usually mounted on the underside of the hood that will shut off the entire ignition system, causing the engine to stop and not crank. It's a safety device so when a mechanic is working under the hood, nobody can remotely start the car and cause injury. It's possible that mercury switch has fallen off or shifted so that it's always "closed circuit". Check that.

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Hi James

Thanks for your input. Any idea how does it look or whete exactly is located

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at 1:09 on this video you can see it.

You can see the mercury switch in the video.

It will always be mounted to the hood so when it's raised it will cut off the engine. I don't remember Neon's coming with remote start, so you probably have an "after market" alarm/remote start kit someone put in it. In such system there is also what's called a "valet hidden switch" which allows you to keep your key with you and a valet to have a preset number of minutes to drive the car and park it. Often it's mounted under the dash or under the driver's seat. Problem there is something rolls under driver seat it can hit the toggle switch and put into valet mode, and if you don't know that happened, it can seem you have ignition problem.

Check glove compartment for manufacturer book, see if it came with remote start, and if not, see if there's anything there for an alarm system. If you determine it's after market part someone installed, you could try Best Buy's store for info on where they have their Viper and other such remotes start and car alarms installed, and have it checked out there to be sure everything is OK with it, no loose wires, etc.

I've had a Viper on my vehicle since 2004 and still had no problems with it, other than new batteries in fob, installed by Best Buy geeks.

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No factory remote start in those cars
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you may also see this instead.
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Hi James

Well, it is a push button. I started playing around and the daytime lights came on. As I was loosening the push button switch the lights were coming on and off, same as prior to starting the vehicle. I unhooked it,hooked it back up. Lights were still coming on and off but it would not start. First signs of life for now anyways. Not sure what the damage could be as there is no visible damage. Or can I buy the new switch. I think we might have pinpointed the problem. Or at least I hope so

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It's dangerous

but you could short across the switch and see if all works, just don't put hands near moving engine parts, and repair/replace it before you or anyone else does under hood work or maintenance.

If shorting the switch doesn't restore everything, then it's possible the alarm/remote start electronic box itself is gone bad and needs to be removed or replaced. Since you know it's related to the remote start unit added "after market", my strongest suggestion is to check with Best Buy or any other qualified place that puts such systems into cars. I'm pretty sure Best Buy installs always used a mercury switch.

If you know who owned the car before you, wouldn't hurt to give them a call. They may have the instruction booklet that came with the system. They could at least tell you the model used. Or maybe someone can locate it under the dash, and the name will be on the side of it.

The most popular in 2004 were Viper and Avital brands of remote start /alarm systems.

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Hopefully the installer

Used adapters to hook into the ignition system and didn't do the cut and splice method on the wires themselves. However, if he did, and one can find the splices, those can be checked for having come loose.

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Hi James

Thanks again for your time. I am gonna try new switch if I find one today and go from there. And I can see the alarm/remote start box under the dash. I was checking for lose connections the other day.

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Still nothing

So I put in a new safety switch. That didn't do anything. Gave up on the remote for now. I got the new ignition cylinder and the key recoded. Put it in and still nothing. Red dot is on the dashboard meaning security issue I suppose. Losing my mind over this

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you have a short somewhere

About all you can do now is take it to some place that installs these aftermarket remote start devices and have them go over it, find the short, or replace with a new device. The alternative is to abandon remote start and have it set back to original as came from manufacturer. It will cost a few hundred maybe if you need to have the device replaced, but may be cheaper since all the necessary wiring has already been done and all they have to do is just insert a new device.

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Still nothing

Yeah. I am abandoning command start for now. Just not sure why the new ignition cylinder and the key won't work. What do I have to do to go back to original manufacturer settings?

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and is that the time the problem started?

or soon thereafter?

"Just not sure why the new ignition cylinder and the key won't work. What do I have to do to go back to original manufacturer settings?"

If so, then you know where to look. It's possible whomever installed the new key cylinder messed up something with the wiring that's behind it.

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Security system

Hi, Vorda; I was referring to the factory security system. Does the new key work in the driver's door, now? I'm wondering if the driver's door lock actuator has been damaged (during the break-in)? It links with the factory system.

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Still nothing

The new key will not lock or unlock the doors

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Door lock

So I removed the door panel and sure enough, the wire was off the lock. I put it back on and the key locked the door. But it wouldn't unlock. Lol. And still wouldn't start.

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