The Water pump on the 1998 Dodge Neon circulates engine coolant from the radiator into the engine block. It plays a vital role in keeping the engine working at the proper temperatures. If the water pump stops working, the engine does not get adequate coolant and starts to overheat. Dodge used aluminum heads on the Neon. This increases the likelihood of engine failure if the engine overheats.
Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery with an adjustable wrench.2
Place a drain pan under the petcock located on the bottom of the radiator. Drain the coolant into the drain pan.3
Pull up on the idler pulley and remove the serpentine belt.4
Remove the nut that secures the water pump pulley to the water pump with a socket.5
Remove the coolant hoses from the water pump by squeezing the tabs on the hose clamps together with a pair of pliers. then pulling the hoses off the pump.6
Remove the water pump mounting bolts. Tap the top of the pump with a rubber mallet to break the gasket seal between the engine block and the pump.7
Scrape the old gasket material off the engine with a metal scraper, wire brush and towel. Make sure the surface is clean.8
Place the new gasket against the engine and bolt the new water pump into place.9
Reattach the radiator hoses to the pump. Secure them with the clamps.10
Reattach the water pump pulley to the face of the pump.11
Reinstall the serpentine belt. If you cannot remember how to route the belt, there is a pictorial on the underside of the hood.12
Drain the coolant back into the radiator and check for coolant leaks.