How to Change a Timing Belt on a Dodge Neon


The timing belt should be changed on the Dodge Neon every 105,000 miles or 84 months, whichever comes first. The Dodge Neon has an interference motor. If the timing belt breaks or stretches beyond the tensioner’s capability to keep it taut, there's a good chance the valves will hit the pistons, causing extensive damage to the engine. Between 1995 and 2000, there were two different engine configurations: one with a hydraulic tensioner and one with a mechanical tensioner.

Things You'll Need

  • Set of 1/4-inch sockets
  • 1/4-inch ratchet
  • 1/4-inch air gun
  • Set of 3/8-inch sockets
  • 3/8-inch socket
  • Set of 1/2-inch sockets
  • 1/2-inch ratchet
  • 1/2-inch air gun
  • 3mm Allen wrench
  • 8mm Allen wrench
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Common screwdriver
  • Crankshaft pulley puller, #1026 (special tool)
  • Puller insert, #6827-A (special tool)
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable.

  • Raise the vehicle with the floor jack and support it with the jack stands.

  • Remove the right-inner splash guard, the accessory belts and the crankshaft pulley. Remove the bolt in the pulley with the puller and the puller insert.

  • Support the engine with the floor jack, then remove the right engine mount and the torque strut.

  • Remove the power-steering pump from the block, but leave the hoses attached to the pump. Set the power-steering pump out of the way.

  • Remove the right engine-mount bracket and the lower torque strut. Remove the timing belt cover.

  • Turn the crankshaft clockwise until the timing marks on the camshaft and the crankshaft are lined up. You may have to turn the crankshaft two complete turns to get both marks to line up. The timing marks are located on the camshaft pulley and the harmonic balancer. They look like a small line and will line up with similar marks on the block. The timing marks on the block are at the 12 o’clock position.

  • Push the 3mm Allen wrench into the tensioner pulley, then turn the tensioner clockwise with the 8mm Allen wrench. Turn the tensioner until you hear it click in the locked position. Remove the 8mm Allen wrench. Remove the timing belt.

  • Check the timing marks to make sure they are lined up. Move the crankshaft sprocket one-half tooth before (to the left) of the timing mark.

  • Put the timing belt on at the crankshaft pulley and work your way counterclockwise, over the water-pump pulley, then the camshaft pulley and behind the tensioner. Turn the crankshaft until the timing marks are realigned to take up any slack in the timing belt.

  • Remove the 3mm Allen wrench from the tensioner, allowing the tensioner to operate. Turn the crankshaft clockwise until the timing marks are lined up again (two times around).

  • Replace the rest of the parts in the opposite order they came off. Torque the crankshaft pulley bolt to 105 foot pounds of torque.

Tips & Warnings

  • These instructions are specific to a 1998 through 2000 Dodge Neon with a VIN code of "C.”
  • Do not turn the crankshaft or the camshaft once the timing belt has been removed.
  • Do not turn the crankshaft or the camshaft by the pulleys.

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  • Photo Credit car engine image by itsallgood from
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