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Questions and Answers

Dodge Neon Expansion/Freeze Plug

Q. I just got my 2000 Dodge Neon back from an auto center. The fuel pump had to be replaced and a leaking rear main seal had to be replaced. $1700.00 later they tell me I still need freeze plugs as there is a leak for another $775.00. Could you tell me what these are and how urgent is it that I get them fixed?

Dodge Neon Expansion/Freeze Plug

Thank you for your help, I've no idea about cars.

A. Freeze Plugs, or sometimes referred to as Expansion Plugs, are installed around the engine block and cylinder head. The theory is if the coolant in the engine should freeze, the freezing coolant will push out the freeze plugs instead of damaging the engine. The plug is pressed fit into the block tight enough to create a leak proof seal and to withstand the normal operating pressure of the cooling system.

The freeze plugs are made from steel, and over time they start to rust to the point where they start to leak. When this happens they, naturally, have to be replaced. Now some of the freeze plugs are easy to get to and easy to replace, others require the removal of certain parts, a starter or cylinder head for example, to gain access to the plug. If the freeze plugs in the back of the block are leaking, the transmission has to be removed to replace them.

The cost of replacing them depends on how many are leaking and where they are. Easy ones to get to cost less to replace than the harder ones to get to.

To replace the freeze plug the old one is knocked out and a new one pressed in with special tools. The area of the block the plug is pressed into should be carefully checked for any gouges or excessive deterioration that would prevent a perfect seal.

Dodge Neon Expansion/Freeze Plug
Freeze plugs (silver parts)

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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