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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I am glad I had the Neon at work yesterday. One of my co-workers told me the alarm (ES model) was going off, so I went to check it out. It was in tamper mode too, and going crazy. After I turned it off, I was wondering what made it go crazy. I thought it just flipped like the rest of the car. (Sorry had to say it.) :) But, turns out someone had pryed the hood open I think. It was popped, so apparently someone tried to take the car, in bright daylight in the middle of the parking lot! Anyway, thank god the Neon has an alarm on it and it works. I will be the first to admit, if whomever would have done the same to my Mazda, they would have gotten in and I would have been carless come 5pm!

    So go ahead and rub it in now. :)
  • Hello,
    I posted here some time ago about my Neon 2000 I purchased last summer. It's been a year and 8,000 miles so I thought I might give an impression of my Neon to those who are seriously here to obtain info for a purchase/evaluation.

    I have the auto trans with air and no other options. Initially, I had the power steering problem noise, but thanks to the advice of Mr. Copperhead here, I used my knowledge and the dealer replaced the pump and I've had not one problem with it since.

    I will say that my car does have a little wind noise like so many other cars on the road, but definitely no large volume of engine noise.

    I had the oil changed at 1000, 4,000 and 7500 miles. Around town, I get 28 mpg. On a recent trip to the beach 400 miles away, I ran the AC, cruised at 70-75mph and my mileage was 32 mpg. The ride for that distance was quite comfortable - smooth and the seats comfortable.

    I think the standard features that come with it are more than acceptable to me. I paid 12,499 cash so did not simply buy it for the low loan rate.

    My last car was a 91 Subaru stationwagon. I miss the stationwagon aspects, but with both seats laid down, there has been little that I could not stuff in the Neon that I put into the Subaru. I am pleasantly surprised that I've really been mostly happy with this car. I take care of it with all the checkups and I have it detailed every 4 months (have to - it's the cranberry color and I fear it will lose the shine if not waxed up all the time).

    In conclusion, for someone who is looking to get a new Neon, it ain't a luxury car. But for a smaller car, it's very good in my book.

    Hey, thanks again for the advice, Copperhead.
  • msk178msk178 Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2000 Plymouth Neon 3 months ago and I have already had it in the shop twice. It had to be towed in about 2 1/2 weeks ago. It took them 2 full weeks to figure out what the problem was and to fix it. They said that I had a bad computer. Has anyone else had this problem? I am just wondering if it's is common in the Neons or if I just happened to get a bad one. The second time it went in was this morning (I just got it back from the first time 4 days ago) This time I don't know what is wrong with it yet. It started accelerating without my permission on my way to work this morning. I let off the gas and it actually sped up! Then when I put it into park, it kept revving up and dropping back down again. I don't know much about cars at all, does anyone know what would cause something like that? I am afraid that it may be another week or two before I hear from the incompetent mechanics at the dealer. My car only has 3200 miles on it...did I buy a lemon???
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    In a word, yes. And ALL Dodge dealerships' customer service sucks butt too.
  • It does seem like you have a serious issue with the throttle surge. When I have a problem with my car I talk directly to the service manager-the one who can get things done quickly if he gives a damn about customer satisfaction. Please get this situation fixed asap, dont want to see you get hurt. I have not heard of computer problems until yours so I wish I could give you a diagnosis but I cant. The service manager should give you a rental until they can replace the computer on your neon, if they don't- strongly suggest it. Is there another chrysler dealer in your area?If so try them as soon as you can and good luck. Keep us posted.
  • Hi don´t worry,your car has an easy to fix problem.

    1.-You HAVE to go to ANY other dealer.
    2.- The problem seems to be a faulty sensor,but it´s really easy to diagnose.
    a) A competent dealer must to plug in the DRBIII.
    b) That tool will immediately show a faulty code,(that means it will tell them what is wrong!).
    c) I´m just courious,how did the diagnose you have a bad engine module?(computer).
    d) If the engine module fails,your engine WON´T start.
    Those mechanics should go and take some lessons,don´t waste your time try another dealer,I´m sure they find and fix the problem for you,any connector,or a sensor could be wet or a faulty circuit.

    Good luck.

    I´m glad to hear you are now happy with your car.

    Take care.

    BTW,a new 4-speed auto will be available as an option for 2001

    Stay tuned!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    There is a recall on the 2000 Neon. I took mine in for service today, and the service man told me. He said it JUST came out and Chrysler isn't notifying people about it yet, but they shall start soon. He didn't say exactly what it was, but said it involved the PVC valve. I don't know what cars are affected, but this particular had a build date of sometime before December of 1999.
  • There was a recall that just came out for the neon and I dont know if it's the same recall-possibly. It's for people who live in extremely low temperature areas (-20 or colder ambient temp), the throttle blade has a tendency to ice up in these temperatures (duh, what wouldnt?) Anyway, they will replace it and install a different setup. That is the only recall I heard of and it just came out, however I doubt it pertains to many people except maybe canada.I'm sure we'll hear more about it. Outta here...
  • msk178msk178 Posts: 2
    Well, my car is back and running well (so they tell me, I haven't driven it yet). When they installed the new computer, they weren't very nice putting my car back together again. The vacuum hose got cracked and was sucking in air causing the acceleration. Like I said, the mechanics at my dealer are not very competent! I don't think I will be taking my car back to that shop anymore. I am just happy to have my car back. Even though it has had trouble, I still love my pretty little car.
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45

    Glad you're up and running.And your last statement say's a lot about the appeal of the Neon.I would tell you to follow the advice of the others and get a new dealer. Seek out a 5-star dealer and ask around your area,as to whom people like.

    Mine (Herb Gordon Dodge) here in Silver SPring Md. is quite nice. Long term, I cannot say but I am impressed in how stringent Chrysler is to award a 5- star rating, and how hard it is to keep it.

    Seek and ye shall find.

    Good luck and I hope for your trouble-free miles.
  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    I was considering buying a Celica GT a few months ago but couldnt get the dealer to 'deal'. I posted a message in that forum and went back to check on it today.

    Guess what? Vocus is in there complaining about the alarm system he installed on his friends Celica GT.

    Now what gives? He has a 'friend' with a 2k Neon who he takes the car for servicing and another 'friend' with a 2000 GT who he did work on the car.

    Vocus, how many friends with new cars do you know and help service? How many message boards do you visit to discuss cars YOU DONT OWN!
  • Hey vocus does that Celica GT have a "peeling dash" and does it "vibrate" alot? I bet it does......=^P
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45
    Hi Guys,

    My, my, this gets better with each passing day. So now Vocus is discussing Celica Gt's.What next?

    You know something, it's becoming pretty obvious what is going on here.

    "Hocus Pocus", hey fella's there's a word starting with "V" that rhymes with them both.

    Only wish a disappearing act would happen for the
    "V" word that rhymes with those two words.

    How pathetic.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have a friend who used to have a Celica GT automatic (if you check the dates on the posts, they are now a couple months old). For some stupid reason, he traded the Celica GT for a 2001 Eclipse conv. (really dumb IMO). He didn't have problems with the Celica, he wanted the Eclipse more. Three people I know since October bought new cars, thank you. My one friend got the Celica in October, my other got a Neon in December, and a close friend of mine got an Echo in April. It's just like everyone bought new cars at the same time.

    I didn't realize, Mobay, you were in Md. too. The dealer I went to is in New Carrollton (near where 495 and 50 intersect). Maybe I need to go to another one in the area. Also, they replaced the dash yesterday when I took the car in, and it's good as new. They didn't hear the engine tap, but found the recall on the PVC valve.

    I know this is going to cause some controversy, but I had a Hyundai Accent for a rental while the Neon was in the shop. I was glad to get the Neon back after that experience, noisy engine and all! At least it has power with its noise.
  • I just traded my 2000 Neon in. And yea, I took a big hit on it but I feel it's something I had to do. You've all seen my previous posts. I've had many problems with this car over the past 16 months and 36K miles. My warranty had run out and the possibility of major repair bills scared me to death! I won't bash the Neon in general. I truly believe I got a "bad" one. I know all Neons aren't as bad as mine was.

    Mine listed for 16,300. I paid 14,400. Carmax offered 8,000 for it. The dealership gave me 7,200. (High mileage) I know I could have and should have just sold it outright, but I didn't want to deal with the hassle.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend tried to sell his at CarMax here in Maryland, and they offered $9300 for it. It was in great shape and all (14K), but the rebates and low financing rates on the new ones really kill the trade-in and resale values on the car. Also, tired to trade it in on a new Protege, but they only offered $8500 max and he owed $14,300 on it (paid $15,000 loaded, but with bad credit).

    I wouldn't say we got a bad one, because the only thing wrong was the rotors and the peeling dash. They cannot find anything wrong with the tapping engine, so I am not going to fight them. Also, you all might wanna know something. I called Chrysler and the basic warranty does NOT cover a service loaner when the car is in for overnight service. That sucks!
  • heckel2heckel2 Posts: 19
    Hi I was wondering if any former owners would recommend getting a neon. If they were very reliable or not. I currrently can get a 2000 es with auto for under 11 grand. I need a cheap new vehicle and don't know if I would be better off with this one or the hyundai elantra or the daewoo lanos. I've never been crazy about korean cars. I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks for your time.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The Neon has great power, braking, and handling for its price. BUT there are some quality problems with them, at least with my friend's, but it is an early-production model (made Nov. 1999). The newer ones might be better in that respect. They are not the most refined or roomy either, but about the cheapest (next to the Koreans) in price and good on gas too. I say you test drive the cars you are considering and then make a decision. Also, MAKE SURE the place you get your car from is a 5-star Certified dealer. You will be sorry when it comes time for service if they are not. Believe me, I know from experience.
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45

    The Elantra has a very long warranty and fully loaded is luxurious. It is a bit crude in engine, and handling but may be attractive because of the
    luxury and warranty. Parts will tend to be expensive if needed.It will not have anywhere the performance of the NEON

    The Neon can be a great buy.Your in the right direction by picking the ES as you will get a lot for the money. Definitely get the 21G package and try to get the alloy wheels. The lighting and PREMIUM SOUND options are also worth it.

    My last advice, and probably advice that no one in this country likes to hear is to get the 5spd. AND NOT THE AUTO.The 2K NEON has a lovely gearbox and good gear ratios for heartwarming acceleration. Most people make the mistake of strangling the performance of the engine , with an automatic transmission. Oh well, nobody listens!

    The 2001 models will be in showrooms next month and therefore 2000 models will have to gotten rid of. Try to bargain with the dealer.

    If you can get the car almost fully loaded for 11 grand or more go for it.

    The 2K has had certain defects reported.Power steering pump,rough idle(auto),surging at low speeds (auto) and others. These reports are not widespread (rough idle excluded) in their occurence,and are the minority. Compared to the 95-99 they seem well made,and I would compare the 2k to a Japanese car in terms of fit and finish.

    Vocus and justpurple have had problems, and that's regretful. Many others here however, have had very good reliabilty with their NEONS.

    The Elantra's reliability has been spotty and unknown for all areas.Throw the dice and hope for the best for this car.

    Good luck

    PS (Did I mention that I think you should get the 5spd.?)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Based on the luk my friend has had, I would not get the Neon UNTIL it proves more reliable. I think since it was redesigned for 2000, all the bugs should be worked out by now. It handles great, but has a jumpy ride. Even with auto., the acceleration is pretty good and the passing power scared the hell out of me the first time I floored it. For 2001, side air bags and leather seats will be available. There are 2001 models on lots now, at least at a Dodge dealer in New Carrollton, Maryland. They have a new color (I think it's new) called Slate Gray that I really like. I just wish they would add a 4-speed auto. as an option and put ABS/TRAC on more cars out there from the factory. I have yet to see one with ABS included. Fully loaded, it should be around $13,000 without TTL. It is possible too. Check out or for great prices.

    PS: If you are getting one BRAND NEW for $11K, GO FOR IT! BUT, you might wanna get an extended warranty (don't have to purchase it when the car is new) from someplace like or

    Good luck!
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