Checking the fuel pump with a fuel pressure gauge on the 2000-2005 2.0L Dodge/Plymouth Neon is a pretty straightforward procedure. In this tutorial, I'll show you how.
From the results you get from your fuel pump pressure test, you'll be able to conclude whether it's operating correctly or if it needs to be replaced.
You'll also find detailed instructions on how to use starting fluid, to determine if the the engine's no-start problem is due to a lack of fuel.
NOTE: This tutorial only applies to the SOHC engine (Single Overhead Camshaft).
Contents of this tutorial:
You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar La Bomba De Combustible (2000-2005 2.0L SOHC Dodge/Plymouth Neon) (at: autotecnico-online.com).
APPLIES TO: This tutorial applies to the following vehicles:
- 2.0L Dodge Neon: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.
- 2.0L Plymouth Neon: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.
NOTE: You can find the fuel pump pressure test procedure for the 1994-1999 2.0L Dodge/Plymouth Neon here:
IMPORTANT: Gasoline is extremely flammable. Take appropriate safety precautions. Be careful when using the starting fluid, cause it ignites just as easily as gasoline. You can perform both tests without complications if you proceed carefully. Before beginning the tests, make sure the engine is cold, work in a well-ventilated space, and avoid open flames or sparks.
Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Pump
Fuel pumps usually fail in one of two ways:
- Complete failure: The engine cranks but does not start. In this type of failure, the fuel pump doesn't send any fuel to the injectors.
- Slow failure: The engine cranks and starts but suffers from performance issues, especially under load. This is due to the fact that the fuel pump works, but only sends enough fuel to start the engine. Once the engine is under load, this amount of fuel isn't sufficient to keep it running.
To go into more detail, these are some of the symptoms you'll see from a complete failure of the fuel pump:
- The engine cranks but does not start.
- No fuel pressure is detected.
- No noise from the fuel pump.
These are some of the symptoms of a slow failure of the fuel pump:
- Lack of power when accelerating the engine under load.
- Unexplained loss of power.
- Excessive fuel consumption.
- The engine suddenly shuts off.
Whether the fuel pump is just now starting to fail or has stopped working, you'll be able to find out with a pressure gauge. This tool will make diagnosing issues faster and easier, helping you pinpoint the actual problem instead of taking shots in the dark.
Where To Buy A Fuel Pressure Test Gauge
If you're serious about maintaining your car (and saving money in the process), a fuel pressure gauge is a must-have in your tool box. Fortunately, it can be purchased at almost any auto parts store or on online shopping platforms.
The following fuel pressure gauge kits are great deals and will connect to the vehicles covered in this tutorial:
For vehicles with a Schrader valve on the injector rail:
For vehicles without a Schrader valve on the injector rail:
Before you buy any of the above fuel pressure test gauge kits for your Dodge/Plymouth Neon, just make sure to check if your Neon has a Schrader valve or not.
Fuel Pressure Specifications
|2.0L SOHC Neon|
|2000||49 PSI||Not Given|
|2001-2005||53-63 PSI||Not Given|
- KOEO = Key On Engine Off).
- KOER = Key On Engine Running.
Fuel Pressure Test With A Gauge (With Schrader Valve)
NOTE: If the engine of your Dodge/Plymouth Neon comes equipped with a Schrader valve, you're in the right section. If your Neon doesn't have a Schrader valve, go to this section: Fuel Pressure Test With Gauge (Without Schrader Valve).
According to the factory repair manual, you need a professional level scan tool to activate the fuel pump and check its pressure output with the key on and the engine off, which is great if you have one.
But there's another alternative: if the engine starts, simply disconnect the electrical connectors from the fuel injectors and crank the engine. The following steps assume that you're not using a scan tool to activate the fuel pump and check the pressure.
OK, let's get started:
Disconnect the four fuel injectors from their electrical connectors.
NOTE: This step only applies if the engine cranks and starts.
Remove the dust cap from the Schrader valve on the fuel injector rail.
Place a towel under the area of the Schrader valve.
Connect the fuel pressure gauge to the Schrader valve.
With the towel, wipe off any fuel that may have been released during the gauge connection process.
When you're ready, ask your assistant to crank the engine while you observe the gauge.
The gauge should report the specified fuel pressure.
Let's take a look at what your results mean:
CASE 1: The fuel pump pressure is within specification. This tells you that the fuel pump is in good working condition and is supplying fuel to the injectors.
If your Neon's engine does not start, you can now eliminate the fuel pump as the cause of the 'cranks but does not start' problem.
CASE 2: The fuel pump pressure is NOT within specification. This result tells you that the fuel pump is not working. Since the fuel pump isn't working, you can now conclude that it's behind the 'cranks but does not start' issue with your Neon.