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Dodge/Plymouth Neon

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  • caesarslegioncaesarslegion Posts: 109
    Any one know how the new neons are as far as reliability? I have heard the new neons have a new 4 speed auto transmission and have fixed the head gasket problem. Any good or bad stories? Any repeat buyers?
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    We have 3 Neons, A 99 Plymouth Espresso, a 99 Dodge R/T and a 2002 Dodge R/T. The 99s are 2 door models. All 3 have 5 speeds and the 150 HP motors. The plymouth had a oil leak that was the head gasket - replaced under warranty. The 99 R/T has had both power window motors replaced for being very noisy. Both 99s have had sunroof motors replaced. Everything was corrected 1st time under warranty. The 2002 is a totally different car. It is quieter and much more roomy inside. We ordered the 2002 so we could get leather and NO sunroof. There is no wind noise on the 2002 however the engine is still noisy over 4000 rpm. The 99s are more fun to drive but the 2002 is still as fast, just "different". The 2002 was also a really good bargain with the rebates and dealer discounts. It came with the 7 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty and we got the Chrysler wrap around warranty which gives us basically the same warranty as the 3/36 out to 7 years/100,000 miles for $1040. (Maximum Care $100 deductable). I enjoy driving all 3 but my personal favorite is the 2002. Rick
  • caesarslegioncaesarslegion Posts: 109
    Do you know if this new 7/100 powertrain warranty costs extra or is the wrap around extra? Does this cover pretty much every thing? Like engine/gaskets/trans? I have to be able to get at least 100,000 miles out of my cars ,my poor trcaer is giving up the ghost at 144,000 miles.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    The powertrain warranty is no charge. The wraparound warranty was what cost $1040. If you look at the chrysler web site at extended warranties the retail price of the 7 year 100,000 warranty with $100 deductable is $2900.00. The powertrain warranty just covers the motor and transaxle. Doesn't cover high buck electronic components.
  • caesarslegioncaesarslegion Posts: 109
    Ok thanks for the info.
  • I owned 3 Hondas, 2 Nissan, and currently own 1 BMW M5, Porsche boxster (wife's) and a 2002 Neon SE (mainly used for Long D). I do not know how you guys compare Dodge Neon to those quality imports, but to me, Dodge is the worst American made brand. I do agree that the new Neons do look nice and that was the only reason I bought it, but its quality is just too far from Honda Civic and its performance is no where near Nissan Sentra SE-R. Sorry to say that people, who thinks Neon is a fun to drive car, is probably never own a decent car before. I totally agree with Edmund's small sedans comparision http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/comparison/articles/61394/article.html. This car has a rough engine with excessive vibration and loud engine noise. The sound of engine ignition is terribly loud and embarrassing. The car really worth nothing, it is nothing but a junk. I really think Edmund's is being too nice to Dodge to give Neon higher scores than it deserves. There is no reliability on this car at all. My Neon has only 11k miles on it and it is problematic: problem with the manual transy, some electrical problems, and power steering problem. Neon is cheap when compared to other import cars, but its engine, transy, almost everything is cheap too.. Strongly not recommended. Furthermore, my friend who is an auto mechanic for 10+ years suggested me to sell my Neon asap since I still can get a good resale value within the first year, he said that Dodge cars have a lot of problems and not worth buying at all.


    Neon good??? I DO NOT THINK SO.

  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I had a 98 sport 150 HP 5-speed that cost all of $11,500 brand new, custom ordered with everything like power sunroof, aluminum, wheels, and windows, locks, etc. It got over 40 MPG on the highway (personal, and EPA rated), and I'm qutie sure it would beat a nissan of equal year in both handling, and acceleration. I had it 3 years and 37,000 miles and didn't have any problems. Then I traded it in on a minivan for $8500. Not bad resale either. I've owned Honda and Nissans as well, and when comparing the years the neon was a much, much better car. Look back to when the neon first came out in 95. Compare that to a 95 sentra and the nissan is very lacking. Now the neon does need some more improvements IMO as it's gotten heavier without increasing power, and it's suspension has gotten to "civic" like. All that ends with the neon SRT, which will surely beat the boxster in the 1/4 mile and probably handling as well, plus you can have 2 for the price of one boxster! Tough to compare a new M5 to a Neon, personally I'd rather retire at age 49 and still pay for my daughters college then drive a pretty quick for stock sedan, but if your giving them away I'll take 2!
  • Who is going to want to pay $20,000 for a Neon? Yeah, Dodge is claiming a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds, but who's to say it'll turn out being 5.9? The new Mercury Marauder was claimed to have a 0-60 time in the mid 6s. Then when Speedvision tested it, it was getting times like 7.5 seconds. So, it's not like 5.9 is anything set in stone. And how loud is THIS neon going to be? WIth the bigger engine and a turbo AND the exhaust...it seems like it'd be unbearable.

    But there is probably an upside here. After Dodge realizes they're not going to sell a Neon for $20,000....they'll probably be massive rebates and incentives...so you'll be able to pick one up for maybe $16,000 after a few months. But still, it is still a neon.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    Goodness gracious, comparing a lowly Neon with BMW M5s and Porsche Boxsters. Of course the Neon wont look as good. It is a compact ECONOMY car! Our family currently has 3 Neons. A 99 2 dr Plymouth Expresso 150 HP DOHC 5 speed with 34,000 miles (problems - sunroof motor replaced and headgasket replaced for an oil leak - warranty). A 99 Neon R/T with 26,000 miles (problems- sunroof motor replaced and both power window motors replaced - warranty). A 2002 Neon R/T Leather and side airbags (NO SUNROOF) with 1,000 miles. The cars handle well and get decent fuel mileage. The 2002 was special ordered and had a list price of just over $18,000. With discounts and rebates it cost about $14,500 and we purchased an additional warranty that gives maximum coverage with a $100 deductable covering the car out to 7 years or 100,000 miles (this cost $1040). How many Neon R/Ts can you buy for the purchase price of an M5 or a boxster? I agree the motors are noisy over 4,000 rpm, and there are Japanese vehicles that are more refined (and expensive) however the Neon fit our needs. We need reliable and economical transportation. The Neons fill the requirements. They start every time, go good in the snow, and give MPG in the high 20s to low 30s. They are cheap to insure. They are cheap to service (whats an oil change cost for a Beemer or Porsche, or better yet a tune up?). They are also fun to drive if your EGO doesn't require assistance from your vehicle. Don't care for Neons, don't buy them but keep things in perspective. They are economy cars first and foremost, reasonably well made for the price range they compete in. You can buy a well equiped 2002 SXT 5 speed for $10,588 based on ads in todays newspaper. Certainly not BMW or Porsce prices, so don't expect BMW or Porsche refinement. Rick
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    The SRT neon will have a MSRP of under $20,000. It will actually sell for closer to $18,500, and I bet many will end up in owners hands for about $18,000. They may apply the regular neon rebates to the car if sales don't take off which would mean they may go as low as $16,500. Now the SRT neon is just as powerful as a WRX but the neon is lighter. Even though it will have a traction deficit compared to the WRX it will be more then made up for by the end of the 1/4 mile. The AWD only helps briefly on the launch, and then it's all just extra rotating weight, which any drag racers knows is 10 times more damaging then static weight (like a fender). So if the WRX can run a 14.2 sec 1/4 mile (what Car&Driver, and Grass root Motor sports both got in tests) then it will be possible the new neon will break into the high 13's. Not to many cars running 13's stock, even fewer sedans, and none for around $19,000. Add to this a full suspension tweaking with serious rubber and it looks like a bargain.
  • Sorry, I probably did not make myself clear that I was not comparing Neon to M5 and Boxster. I was comparing Neon to Honda Civic EX and Nissan Sentra. The new Neon with turbo probably louder than Boeing 747 =), neightbors will probably wonder how you park a 747 in your garage.

    I just don't like the feel and the noise of Neon, and it gives you a feeling that the car was built around 4:45pm, assuming workers gets off at 5pm. You know most of us(American) start to stare at the clock at 4:45pm and our hearts already outside enjoying the sunshine. I live in Silicon Valley and we have really nice sunshine here =). Honda and Nissan cars are smooth, quiet, and comfortable, people, who owned Honda or Nissan before, should notice these easily. Yeah, Neon SE is about 1k lower than Honda Civic LX, but Civic has much higher resale value and more pleasant to drive with. I regret i bought the Neon without test drive it first, but I am thinking to trade it in for an 2003 Accord for long D. I love travel by driving.

    Sorry I may offended some Neon lovers in my previous post. In my opinion, a decent car is a car with refined engine/transy and Neon does not have that.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The Town Hall is about to take on a new look in an effort to make content more easily searchable and accessible.

    Have you seen the Letter from the Town Hall Manager on the Town Hall Welcome page? If not, you might want to follow that link to have a look.

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    Pat
    Sedans Host
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I think a SE Neon will be much less then $1000 less then the least expensive Honda civic sedan. The Neon can be bought all day close to invoice, and with $2000 in rebates. I agree the MSRP of the two cars may be within $1000 of each other but the actual price most people pay is probably closer to $3000 difference. Honda's resale will never make up for the $3000 more in initial purchase. My neon didn't even lose $3000 in the first 3 years. If you count the added amount you lose in intrest with that $3000 difference then the Neon is an even better value. Herein is the main reason that the Neon appears to have a bad resale, they go by MSRP to figure the depreciation when no Neons actuall sell for MSRP. My 98 had a MSRP of over $14,000 but it was only $11,500 out the door. Personally the older Neon was more of a sports car then a family econobox, it was acceptible to have a little motor growl as it was making 150 HP from a naturally aspirated 2.0 liter (pretty good compared to other 95 models). Now that they have made the Noen more like a civic they have ruined a good thing IMO.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    Well, maybe. According to the latest J.D. Power rankings Dodge did finish last of the American car nameplates but managed to beat out GMC and Jeep. But look who they also beat: Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Suzuki, Subaru, Isuzu, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia (last again, why do people buy these things?), Daewoo. Dodge is only three points from jumping ahead of Saab, Mercury, Ford and Jaguar. So MIDNIGHTRACER, you're correct (at least according to J.D. Power) Dodge is the worst American brand. Imagine how much you'd hate your Neon if it was as "good" as a Nissan. Overall the American (and German/American) makers finished third, fourth and fifth. GM, Daimler/Chrysler and Ford. The Chrysler brand finished only five points behind Mercedes and ahead of Audi. And comparing your Neon to a Sentra SE-R is just silly. Compare it to a Sentra without the R to make it a little more apples to apples and get the oranges out of the equation.
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    hat is the definitive answer to the head gasket situation on these cars. We bought a new '95 Neon and sold it to an elderly couple when the car was about 3 years old and may be 40K miles. A month later they had to replace the head gasket. They said the would try to go thru Chrystler for a refund but apparently never did. Recently they had an AC problem and I found out they never even tried for a refund on the gasket. Do they have a chance at this point. Was there ever a Neon built that did'nt need one replaced early on? Should I even pursue this for them. As I recal we rather liked the car except for the poor gas mileage and horrible backseat ride. We got rid of it for my sister-in-law's Rav.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I'm sure the vast majority of them have no problem with the headgasket. But 1 in 10 would be considered a horrible repair rate in the automotive world. I don't think they would have much luck getting money from Chrysler on a fix done 3 years ago, but they could always ask nicely and who knows. There has been no problem with it since right? How much did it cost, it's usually under $500 so that doesn't seem too bad for 7 years of service on a $8000 (new) car! Funny you got bad gas mileage, our manual would get well into the 40's on the highway if you drove 55-65. Once in my Navy days we rented a Neon in Hawaii and put 6 180-220 pound sailors in a Neon for a trip 1/2 way around the island. I was driving so it seemed roomy enough for me! The next time we got upgraded for free to a Lincoln Towncar which was much better, and we only had 4 people that time!
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    The car was 14K new and their A/c just went. I think the headgasket repair was over $700. I have read MANY articles on these problems gaskets and the fact that Chrystler eventually redesigned them. These folks are luck if they put 5K on the car a year but I am still concerned that they may have another head gasket bill on the horizon if the original was replaced with the 'old' design. We had a peppy automatic which did well on the highway gas mileage wise but poor in the city.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    My 98 4 door Sport was about as loaded as it could get and was only $11,500 new! It had power windows, locks, mirrors, sunroof, aluminum wheels, 150 HP motor, ABS, keyless, about the only thing it didn't have was the power robbing automatic which was only a $750 option. It never had a problem with the head gasket in the 38,000 miles we owned it (I drove it very hard), and it was pre-headgasket revision. I had a friend with a 95 sport that didn't have a headgasket problem and had 98,000 miles on it last time I heard. A lady at work has a 97 automatic neon and has not had a headgasket problem, another there has a 99 with no problem either. I don't personally know any other neon owners so in my experience it's neons 4, headgaskets 0.
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    Interesting...if you Yahoo and do a search you will find a slew of Headgasket articles, web sites and even a class action lawsuite. Did you buy your 98 new? We paid 14K in 95 for our loaded Highline...supposedly a good price based on Consumers Printout and several other sources.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Yes I bought my Neon new, I even factory ordered it in a specific color combination I couldn't find on the lots (dark amethyst with camel interior). I don't doubt that many neons had head gasket leaks. Most were the very benign leaks that just end up being an oil seepage problem down the side of the block. My GM quad 4 motor had a "real" headgasket failure at 45,000 miles. It let coolant fill the combustion chamber so when the compression stroke occurred it bent two rods and most of the valves in that cylinder (water doesn't compress well). That was a $4500 headgasket failure much more severe then the neon's oil leak. Even if many have problems, it still is no where near 50% of the neons sold that ever have a problem. Like I pointed out I know of 4 old style neons that never have had the problem and don't personally know anybody who has actually had the problem. Even when it happens it doesn't disable the car and is very inexpensive to repair. According to Carpoint, Honda accords from 90-93 have about the same rate of failure on their distributors as neon do head gaskets. Maybe a distributor doesn't sound as severe but it actually costs (on the Honda at least) just as much as a neon headgasket, and when it happens it strands the driver with no warning. Personally I'll take a neon and a slow oil leak over being 2 hours late for work and stuck on the side of the road.
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    Hate to think I got ripped off at 14K out the door...yet you say you paid 11.5K 3 years later for a 98...was their a trade involved or rebate and did that include taxes. Did the price go down? I know we had to order ours as well. I know 3 other people with Neons who paid 13K -14K after taxes in 95-96. (2 had head gaskets changed as well..but under warranty)
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    You may have paid too much! I bought a fully loaded w/leather 2002 R/T for around $14,500 with Rebates. SXT with air and 5speed have been advertised here in Omaha for $9999 after rebates. SXT with auto, air and sunroof for $11,599. Rick
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I was going through my older car price books the other night, and you may be shocked at the amount of cars that actually have lower prices now then they did several years ago. For the same equipment and all.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    I could have bought a 2001 for less than I paid for my 2000 and I believe I could get a 2002 even cheaper. Kinda sucks but then again I got the 0.9% so that cushions the blow a little. Even 0% isn't much of an improvement over that. I love this car, especially considering one of the other finalists on my short list was Focus. Ford must love those, they keep calling them back.
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    This is one reason I just switched to a Toyota. Neon aside, (we got rid of it for my sister-in-laws used Rav against my better judgement - it looks good but is underpowered and samll compared to the Neon), I was looking at a Taurus and a Camry...I know you guys are likely into a Cirrus or something but I no longer have a great service dealer in my area and to be honest I was not too impressed with the Breeze type cars.....

    Anyway, a 2002 Taurus was going for about $16.7K. Of course there was a $2K rebate this year. Think how this makes the poor slep who paid 18K + last year for his 2001 Taurus feel! Plus he's got the added benefit of even greater depreciation...I almost bought a 2001 Taurus w/10K miles for $14K! I thought it was gimmic but they started showing up on all the lots. Since the 2002s were so cheap it drove the price of the used 2001 down way low...actually a bargain...though the 2001 owners certainly do not feel that way or anyone who is unfortunate enough to total their car and get squat from their insurance. Personally, I am hoping these rebates are a gap towards an overall lower priced American fleet. However I am not convinced the US automakers are sized appropriately to handle the revenue loss these lower prices yeild. Thus the question of quality again rears it's ugly head. I have seen this happen with Ford. 5 years ago they introduced the Contour / Mystique. I loved this innovative car, way many conveniences, awesome interior, great handling etc but it was expensive and came with many mechanical issues. Still I would have bought a new Contour / Mystique had Ford been able to work the bugs out. Instead they dropped it. Also, the latest generation Ford Taurus has changed only in appearance. It appears they are starting to lag behind again. I still believe the American cars have come a long way but they do not have what it takes for the long haul. (I know I am going to hear from all you highway driving guys with 200K on your cars). To me the Fords / Chrystlers are great '3' year cars. Personally I am looking for something I can keep 5 + years with out the nagging trips to the dealer. I am hoping my Camry provides that. If not I'll gladly switch back to 1 year old depreciated American cars and get rid of them every few years...I can not deny they are a steal.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Neons almost always had $1,500-$2,500 rebates in effect. Maybe you bought yours when it was such a new model that they didn't offer any rebates. I had the big $2500 rebate that was in place all of 98 and 99 until the redesign came out in 2000 (which ruined the Neon IMO). I also paid about $400 over invoice and bought in Oregon where there is no sales tax. It was a straight car purchase only, with no trade in. The Value package that included the Sunroof and all those power options was a really good deal, and I think it started in 97. It was under $1000 for all those options. My parents bought a 78 Dodge Omni when they were a brand new model and I don't think the Omnis ever got more expensive then they were in 1978. they could have bought a collectible 78 Dodge Aspen Super Coupe with cop 360 powertrain and HD suspension for the same price as they paid for their "fuel efficient" Omni. Funny because my AWD Grand Caravan gets about as good of mileage as that Omni did (which did end up being a pretty trouble free car my mom drove for 10 years.) I don't think Taurus shoppers have been without a rebate for quite a while either, they definitely had them last year. Personally I never liked the mid size Dodge and Chrysler either but the new ones are much better, and very nice looking but getting expensive. Personally I don't understand why the Taurus and Intrepid were always compared to the Camary and Accord. Maybe the Camary is bigger now with the redesign but before those cars were more in size with the Stratus and the Contour. Price wise they are more like an intrepid, but and intrepid was always much larger and more powerful then an Accord or Camary.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    After my experience with a couple I always felt the Japanese cars were the great "3 year" cars and the American ones were the ones you could count on for the long haul. I used to think it was worth having a couple more small things to take back to the dealer when it was new and have a car that would easily go a couple hundred thousand miles. I still routinely put 100 miles a day on my 83 Charger and it hasn't been all highway driving either. I used to drag race it and my wife used it in city driving for nine years while I drove a Camaro in my commute. References to "precision engineering" in advertising are a farce, especially when they show you close ups of shiny pistons and connecting rods. All cars on the road have "precision engineered" drivelines. If they didn't they wouldn't last 50 miles. Every automotive engineer and machine shop operator in the country knows the expansion rate of aluminum pistons per inch of bore and hones the bores accordingly. There is no great "precision" secret that the Japanese or Germans know of which the Americans are clueless. It's all a matter of compression/rod length/bore to stroke ratio/balance and such that determine an engines performance. These things are all considered and the engineers produce what they think is going to be the best compromise for a given platform. As my father told me "you take care of it, it will take care of you."
  • bullwrk2bullwrk2 Posts: 1
    Hello! Started at 1200 mils,ran it for 6000.Brought it in for its first check up,Dodge said it was normal for neons to Ruff idle,RPM seems to go from 750 to 600.Feels like its going to stall! Dose any one have this problem or know how to fix it? Please Let Me Know.Thank You.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    Sounds like they have enough service work and don't want to take any low profit warranty work on. Did they run the diagnostics and see if it's throwing any codes? Unfortunately I don't know what the sensor array is on the Neons. But if it's like most cars it could be several things. A throttle position sensor that's on it's way out comes to mind. Possibly a bad MAP sensor. O2 sensor perhaps if the wire was misrouted and has shorted out on an exhaust pipe. Dealers have been handing out that "they all do it" line of crap since the wheel was invented. They don't all do it. It is, however, normal for it to idle high at first and come down. It shouldn't hunt up and down the rev band however.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    I have a Chevy Suburban that did that, the throttle body needed cleaning. Your miles seem low for that though. Suburban had about 16K miles when the problem developed.
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