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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • I am thinking about buying a used Neon ('95-'97).
    I thought that the best people to ask about this would be previous owners. Would you recommend this car and what should I watch out for?? I would love to hear from everyone.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Get an extended powertrain warranty - you will replace the head gasket, if the original owner hasn't - or if the original owner didn't get the corrected version. The brakes are a weak point, as is weather sealing, and the car is prone to electrical malfunctions, like most other Chrysler Group products.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    My wife's 2000 Neon just passed 2k with no problems. I am an accord owner but I really like that Neon.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My roommate still has his 2000 Neon ES. It's been in the shop like 10 times for various things including trunk and door latches and the radio. Now, the alarm just goes off when it wants. The engine makes the entire car vibrate when idling. It doesn't make any sense, especially in a brand new car. Chrysler has some nice cars, but their quality assurance and customer service SUCK!
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Why do you feel obligated to post bashing comments about Neon whenever you see something good about them?
    You have been repeating yourself like broken LP. I recommend you to stay in Mazda Protege Problems topic to read what type of junk Ford manufactures.
    I am a former Mazda owner (87-323, 97-626) and Chrysler owner (91 Plym. Sundance- bought it 94K crashed it at 128K). Both Mazdas had many problems. 323 was visiting the shop every month like I was making car payment. 97 was in the warranty, tranny, valve cover, AT locks are changed along with many small parts and car never run properly (you can read the detailes in 626 problems topic). But my sundance was never in the shop except oil changes.
    These are real owner experiences unlike what you post.You are reflecting someone else's problems here.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I would NOT reccomend a power train warranty. Why? because it will cost you more then it would cost just to go ahead and fix a head gasket. Then it will not need it again. The power train warranty will not cover any other potential problems you may face on a 95-97 neon. Even the automatic tranny being the sucky 3 speed variety just means it's more reliable then the 4 speed. The manual is about impossible to break, the only thing would be the clutch will wear out (as in any car) but this would not be covered by any warranty either. I disagree that the brakes are poor in a neon, especially if it has 4 wheel disc. My neon did not have them and it still never showed any brake problems even with hard driving. The early neons are SCCA club racing champions, they have few shortcomings when it comes to performance (starting, turning, and stopping). Personally they did improve on vibrations and reducing rattles on the 98's and 99's. I just traded in my low mileage loaded 98 sport for $7000 (it was $10,500 new exactly 3 years ago so a little over $1000 a year ain't bad) The dealer now wants $9700 for it but of course they would go less. I bet you would have to pay almost $5000 for a pretty basic 95. I'd be willing to spend $3,000 more to get power everything and sunroof with only 24,000 miles. Also do get a manual, the automatic really does suck unless you care nothing about performance.
  • My 2000 ES came with the aluminum wheels and the 185/60-15 Eagle LS. The only tires I see in that size are the Eagle LS and one other Goodyear. I saw another Neon just like mine in a parking lot and it had 195/60-15 B.F. Goodrich (don't remember the model). Did these cars come with both. It would be nice to have a wider selection than two models when new tire time comes along. I've even considered the 195/50 that are on my Shelby Charger, even they are more common than 185/60.

    At 15,000 miles and the car has only had oil changes and a tire rotation. Everything works as it should, zero defects. What a difference from my 82 Camaro and 83 Charger.
  • My friend is selling his neon with 71k on it, and replaced HGs. He's the second owner and has only driven it for about 5k miles, and he was the one who had to replace the gasket. It has a little bit of paint peeling, but a bra covered that up, and no other peeling has occured. He has had no other problems with it.
    My question is how much longer will it last, and could there be any more possible problems i may have to worry about?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Not to poo-poo your idea or anything, but why is he getting rid of the car after only 5000 miles? Wouldn't that be a flag to you? Just curious...
  • As an owner of a 95 Neon, all I can say is DON'T BUY IT!
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Mr. Meatloaf, I have been a huge fan of yours since the "Bat Out of Hell" recording! How are you doing? Do you plan to release any new material on your new label? I saw your special on VH1, "Where are They Now?". You really lost a lot of weight! If you get any thinner they might start calling you Meatball! Good Luck!

  • Today I took my 96 Neon into Village Chrysler (Ajax Not), and asked for an oil change and also to look into why I had no heat from my heater. They found oily sludge inside my radiator and told me that I had a oil leak coming from my cylinder head. I have no knowledge on the mechanics of vehicles so I ask anyone to help me with this question. Could this problem be related to a head gasket which I had replaced last summer? If in fact my oil is leaking into my anti-freeze somewhere ,wouldn't my oil have some trace of anti-freeze mixed with it? I was a little pee'd off at the fact I had to pay $40.00 + tax for a mechanic to open my radiator cap,look inside then close it again. I watched as this was the extent of the diagnostic check for the lack of heat in my car. I don't want to be taken for a ride again by these people like they did with my head gasket.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    it is possible you have another blown gasket. Most likely it did not get fixed right in the first place. If the gasket was bad long enough there mave have been damage to the engine block or head as well as the gasket. If the shop did not resurface the head and check for cracks, and just through a new gasket on it, you didn't get it fixed last summer. Oil can pass to the antifreeze but not always vice versa because the oil pressure is higher then the water pressure. Water can enter the cylinder on an intake stroke but the leak can be from an oil passage to a water passage and stay well away from the cylinder. That $40 charge is pretty mean consedering the effort it took, and that you were getting other service there as well. I'd make a trip back to were you had it 'fixed' last summer and [non-permissible content removed]. If they seem unresponsive (and are a dodge dealer) then try calling Chrysler's customer support. If it still has less then 100,000 miles they will fix headgasket problems for $100.
  • for 7,000 it has 63k and is in great shape really looks brand new, besides the head gasket , is there anything else the '98's are crapp for? can this car do 200k.? without any major probs? and i can get a 40K warranty for bout $850 is it worth it? i think it would cover almost anything for 40k and 850 is wprth it to me if it blows an engine or tranny,,,,thanks, soon to be preowned neon owner i hope>>>>>
  • I have a 1995 Dodge neon. It all started out fine drove nice (but I wasn't fond of the suspension) after about 40,000 miles the AC crapped out. Not just one part but the whole thing froze up. That was $700. 20,000 miles later my head gasket decided it wanted to go, luckily I noticed the warning signs and was able to catch the problem before the antifreeze got into the motor and screwed that up too. That was $700. Now at 90,000 my transmission is on it's way out. just hoping it will last for another month or so untill I buy a new car. My brakes make a grinding noise had them checked several times but nothing wrong. The fuel fill line that runs between the fill door and the tank rotted out and fell off. The wiper motor crapped out too.

    Thats it. I can say I will never buy another Neon again.
  • I currently am 33 months into a 5 year lease on my 1998 Plymouth Neon Expresso. I'm pretty happy with it and had very little problems like the head gasket, but that was covered in the warranty.
    I have 29,000 miles so far and am in need of 2 new tires. Im looking to upgrade now so Im in the car market again.

    One thing I was wondering is if I am going to get penalized if I try to trade in my car a little over 2 years before my lease ends, and if so how much?

    I've been looking to get a 2001 Mercury Cougar with a v-6 for the longest time, but now I am going to go for a 2001 Neon R/T. After looking at it on the Dodge website, I am all giddy :) I figure I can get a fully loaded Neon for the price of a partially equipped Cougar. Im quite fond of the R/T design and really liked the new interior of the neons with the leather seats.

    Any comments would be appreciated!
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    but I really don't care for the look of the Cougar. This and the neon comes with more, costs less, and out performs the Cougar and I don't know why anybody buys them. (actually based on how many are out there, not many people are buying them). You will take a hit on ending a lease early, probably more so then if you were 3 years into a 5 year loan, but then your payments have been less the last 33 months. You still have to negociate a trade in value and then there is a payoff with the lease just as if it were a regular loan. It really depends on how much you put down, if you were upside down on your last trade, and how much you paid when you bought it. I bet you can call your leasing company and get a payoff, then check the trade in on KBB and edmunds. The dealer are going to try and use KBB as their numbers are really stacked in the dealer's favor (check trade-in to retail on the same car and you'll find over a 30% markup based on KBB numbers). A new R/T should be able to be found for 500 over invoice which is over $1000 under MSRP. Then there is a rebate currently, right? I just traded my 98 Neon Sport with 24,000 miles and got $7000. It was pretty much spotless and the dealer sold it within a week for over $9000. I only owed $5300 so I was in good shape, I wanted to get a R/T but my wife said no more stick shifts and I also wanted AWD. The new WRX would have been a good choice but we found a sweet 2000 AWD Grand Caravan sport that tows our camper ans is way more comfy then my car a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Now I may trade the Jeep in on a WRX or a Caddy STS, I have to see if the WRX is still peppy with the automatic, the STS sure is. If Dodge puts a four speed automatic and a turbo on the 2002 neon, I'd consider that as well but it would be tough to beat the 227 hp the WRX has in addition to lacking AWD.
  • Ok Im around 3 years into my 5 year lease on my 98 Neon, and I recently called the bank Im leasing the vehicle from for a payoff value. I was astonished to see the payoff value of something like $11,000! These 11,000 smacks though was the total of my payments left plus the value of the car after it's paid off. So Im going to guess this wouldn't pertain to me trading in my car for another lease ( I hope ). I have high payments of $250 of a month cause of negative equity, but the rest of the money I put down at the time I believe canceled the negative equity out.

    So if I try to end this lease early and start a new lease would anyone be able to give me an approximate amount of penalty I'd be facing, and how much in the hole I would be. I still owe roughly $6,700 in lease payments, and my research on my trade in value came to $5,700. If that puts me $1,000 in the hole I can live with it, but just curious if anyone can help before I start going to dealers and get caught off guard.

  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I'd post this question in the 'smart shopper' forum, you'll get a more accurate response. If they wanted you to pay all the remaning payments and the residual why would you give them the car? If I had to make all the remaining payments to give the car up two years early, I'd let it sit in the yard before letting a lease company resell it for a profit while pocketing all the money you are paying. Your current payoff should be somewhere a bit higher then what the residual is for the end of the lease. Then there would be milage penalities if you have gone over your yearly allotment. I really don't know much about leasing, I did lease a car once but just did the full term and turned it back in. I'd agree a grand or two might be OK but you never know what the dealer will try and pull with the numbers game. Next thing you know you're paying $23,000 for a new R/T. Good luck, it sounds like a nightmare to me :(
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Actually, there is a lot of excellent information about leasing on our Finance, Warranty, & Insurance Board - I suggest you take a look at the discussion list there. I think you'll find some conversations already underway that can help you out.

    hersbird is correct, there has been some leasing conversation in SS, but FWI is a better source for you I think.

    Good luck.

    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
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