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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Wow, what a nice thoughtful post by somebody I used to think was just a Troll! Thank you for some constructive posts in this evil world of Edmunds, LOL. If I may offer a reason for 3 headgasket failures; perhaps when the first one failed the head or block was warped and thus causing the subsequent failures with the improved gasket design, just a thought. A good shop will check such things before just replacing ith gasket, if a dealer did the work they may have just been trying to save themselves some work. If a shoddy shop does the work they may claim you need a new head when you really just need the gasket. It's so nice to have a good chrysler shop that never gives you hassels, maybe thats why I love all the Dodges I've owned over the years.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    My next door neighbor owns a 2000 Dodge Neon. He likes it very very much, as most of the regulars here enjoy their own Neon's However, he does not currently have internet access. I lurk here once in a while, if I learn anything here, I share it with him. As I get older, I am trying to learn and understand other folks points-of view.

  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    Gotta love those 6 year-old Neons!

    1. Erich Heuschele 95 Dodge Neon 1:50.987
    2. Ralph Porter 95 Dodge Neon 1:52.267
    3. Gene Harrington 95 Dodge Neon 1:51.117
    4. Neal Sapp 99 Honda Civic Si 1:52.055
    5. Tom Start 95 Dodge Neon 1:51.038
    6. Juergen Baumann 99 Mazda Protégé 1:51.324
    7. Tom Sager 97 Plymouth Neon 1:53.670
    8. Tim O'Linn 98 Honda Civic 1:53.930
    9. John Rulin 99 Ford ZX2 1:54.374
    10. Dick Ruhl 99 Ford ZX2 1:55.188
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323

    Finally you can order the 2002 neon with a 4 speed automatic. Maybe this will be enough to get the rags to cut the neon a little slack, I doubt it.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The first generation Neon came out back in January of 1994? Dodge said it wouldn't matter to potential buyers how many speeds their auto. transmission had, as long as it shifted smoothly. Well, it does matter, and they should have added a fourth gear at least when they redesigned the car for 2000. They would also do better to up their workmanship levels too. But the Neon is a pretty good all around car.

    One more thing: Anyone have trouble with a battery in their 2000 Neon? My roommate's battery died one rainy night about two weeks ago. We limped it to the shop after jump starting it, and they replaced the battery, but only at 25,000 miles. Just thought it to be odd. Everyone makes a joke about cars being built on a Monday or Friday, but I sware, I think he got one. He still likes it though, and is going to keep it.
  • eeeleeel Posts: 57
    they should have done from day one !!! finally
  • audybabe1audybabe1 Posts: 1
    i am almost 16, and im going to be getting a car soon. I was considering a dodge or plymouth neon. If there is anything i need to know, please e-mail me at Thanks a bunch. :)
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    I clicked on hersbird's link to the 4-spd auto tranny article and happened to notice that almond will be a new color for 2002.

    Has anyone heard any other color news? I REALLY love the cinnamon color and fear almond-in means cinnamon-out.

    I would appreciate any updates on the color front. I may need to swing into car buying action a little bit earlier than I was intending...

    I only wish that candy apple red hue that's been available on the 300 and Caravan for ages (and I now see it on PT Cruisers) would be made available on the Neon. That and a nice set of 5 spoke factory chromes - not the aftermarket BBS ghetto cruisers - would be my dream.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    My favorite color that is available on a production car is the Crimson Pearl on the Caddy Seville wich costs and extra $650. It is close to the $200 extra Inferno Red you are talking about but just looks more vibrant and glossy. In 98 the neon came in 11 colors, one of them was called Strawberry and was about as close to candy apple as a neon got. I don't have any ideas what colors are out to make room for the new colors. The link was saying they got the info from the dealers ordering computer so I bet they could look it up, just beware, they will try and tell you whatever it takes to make you buy now rather then later. If you do want the automatic then no matter what wait and get the new 4 speed, if getting a manual then I bet a better deal could be made on a 2001 -vs- the 2002.
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    Now that's a color they should make available again, =)

  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I have been reading many posts from wide variety topics. I can not pass without mentioning some strange discussion happaned in Civic Problems Topic. After couple of postings, some readers post that Neon is a crap that I did not even go into discussion with them who are narrow minded some people think that entire world is turning their Hondas and Honda is the most superior car in the market just because they have purchased. And the funny thing that a short break after these exchanges, one civic owner came up and post that he is happy with his civic even though head gasget was replaced twice!!!
    If this was a neon, the same person was screaming all the way to space and telling how bad the Neon is, how low quality the Neon is, the inconveniences that he/she had taken for the repair process etc.
    I don't think that there are problematic cars but problematic owners or problematic sick minded potential buyers.
    I am former Accord owner, I never bashed someone elses car or desicion and I am truely having problem to understand how group of people can be this much anti-objective and ignorant to other makes/models even for their evaluating purposes. They don't even evaluate, they were born with the idea that Hondas are far superior than anything and if you drive one of them you will be blessed by the society. C'mon get a life, look around what you are missing. Not particularly Neon/Dodge but other manufacturers.
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Snowman, I think what you're getting at is a psychological phenomena known as cognitive dissonance. What I find curious is that it's not just the average Joe that seems to possess it, I've also noticed it reflected by automotive journalists, several of whom write for Edmunds (people who shouldn't actively demonstrate biases toward any manufacturer).

    These people actually draw opinions first (which is easier to do and more comfortable), and THEN find as much information as possible which supports these predetermined opinions. If something doesn't fit with this reality (i.e., there is a problem with their "perfect" car), they will dismiss it as a fluke or conveniently forget about it entirely. However, if "someone they know" has a problem with a vehicle for which they possess an active bias against, they can recall with vivid clarity the most minor of problems that owner experienced.

    Though I believe there are many Honda and Toyota posters whose purchasing behavior is "driven" by their own cognitive dissonance, I've read a number of postings by GM, Ford and Chrysler owners who are equally dissonant.

    I do blame a number of consumer publications - particularly Consumer Reports - for creating armies of automotive idiot savants. I find it very frustrating to "talk cars" with these people because they truly believe that reading the April issue of this publication makes one an expert.

    Personally, I think the magazine is a useful tool. It's a good place to START one’s research.

    As a subscriber to the magazine for the last 13 years, however, I can say that it's certainly not the only resource one should be using to determine the right vehicle for him or herself. And I have two good reasons for this:

    First, the articles in Consumer Reports are written by engineers. While I have nothing against people in the engineering profession per se, I can tell you that they are no less susceptible to holding biases than those in any other profession. Furthermore, having lived with three engineering students my sophomore year of college (two of whom thought Toyotas were the best thing since sliced bread), I CAN say that what engineers find cool, interesting and desirable aren't necessarily the same things others find cool, interesting and desirable.

    Second, the reliability ratings in Consumer Reports (you know, those 8 pages of red and black circles that when perused by certain people make them believe that they've become auto quality experts) are not statistically significant. I.e., Consumer Reports doesn't use random sampling methods. Instead they send questionnaires out to their SUBSCRIBERS (like me) who, in all candor, do not represent the auto-buying public at large. you think the respondents to these surveys (remember, CR reliability ratings are determined ENTIRELY by CR subscribers) possess any biases? Well, I sure do. In fact, I have biased peers that read the automobile articles in Consumer Reports solely because they know what they read will help buoy their own personal biases. Can we say "cognitive dissonance?" What do you think that indicates about the validity of those ratings?

    J.D. Power and Associates also does quality and dependability ratings for the automotive industry. Their ratings, however, are statistically significant. This is due to the fact that they use random sampling methods. They send out surveys to verifiable owners of vehicles rated (i.e., the vehicle was actually purchased by, and is registered to, these individuals). I find it interesting that the valid auto quality studies done by Power tend to produce such drastically different results than those unofficial surveys done by Consumer Reports.

    Consumer Reports will never tell you this either, but their ratings – because of their unscientific nature - are also a great way for disgruntled buyers to have a voice.

    You say you're still upset at Chrysler for that unreliable 1995 Neon you got rid of back in 1997? How dare they sell you such a worthless piece of junk! Well, no worry. It's vengeance time. You can still say you own that (and maybe even a problematic 1999 model too) on the 2001 survey by indicating you had a number of mechanical problems with the vehicle over the last year (even though you sold it 4 years ago). And therein lies the worst problem with CR's "sampling" procedure. It doesn't even verify that the respondent owns the vehicle, making it an extremely easy survey to manipulate.

    J.D. Power's surveys (both 5-year dependability and 90 day initial quality) indicate the difference in reliability between most domestic and Japanese manufacturers isn't very large at all. In fact, Oldsmobile and Buick have ranked very high on their 5-year dependability studies - even higher than Honda. This comes as a surprise to a lot of Consumer Reports savants. Then again, most members in the CR club have nary a clue how unscientific the CR reliability ratings are.

    With that said, I think Toyota and Honda make a number of good cars - but so do GM and Chrysler. Unless you're comparing the very highest reliability autos (Toyota) with the very worst (Kia), the differences in reliability are far less than most imagine them to be.

    Unfortunately, there are a number of people out there who truly believe the difference between purchasing a Honda Civic and a Dodge Neon is the difference between never having a problem ("It'll go 2 million trouble-free miles - just oil and gas") and being in the shop all the time.

    It is THESE buyers for whom I feel sorry. Not just because they're so comfortable with their own ignorance, but also because those new Civics are kind of ugly (sorry, I can't back that one up with any evidence).
  • Hello all. I changed my name on the board here, it used to be theliz (although none of you probably remember).
    Well, I bought a Neon in Feb. 2000 and said I would keep you informed, so here we go:
    It currently has alittle over 35,000 miles on it (almost out of warranty--yikes!), it is an automatic ES, with all the luxuries and goodies added. I live in NC near Charlotte (hilly region before you get to the mountains).
    Pros and cons:
    There really is'nt a whole lot to say, but I'll point out some problems first.
    1) I had to take it to Dodge to fix the driver's window seal. The seal let air in and the noise was rather bothersome (especially on the highway). Dodge fixed the seal and now there's no problem there.
    2) The seats are okay for short trips but they get uncomfortable after about 4 hours of driving. Not "agonizingly uncomfortable" but you have to fidget with the seat alot.
    3) I really wish it had a 4-speed tranny--but i knew what i was buying so I can't really complain. My wife and I just drove from NC to New Mexico and back and the Neon had no problems making it over the Smokey Mountains, and we cruised at about 70-80mph the whole trip. but it would have been easier on the engine with a 4-speed tranny.
    4) Sometimes the truck will not open. I use the key-fob and I hear it click, the trunk-lid raises slightly but not all the way. I then push the lid down and use the key-fob again and it opens (sometimes it takes a couple of times). I have not taken it to Dodge for this problem yet but I'll get them to look at before the warranty runs out.
    5) Often I get a static-electricity zap when exiting the car. Not a big deal and maybe it's the seat covers? It's worse in the winter of course.
    Well, that's about all the bad news. There has no engine or tranny problems at all (knock on wood).
    The good news:
    Very smoothe ride (except in Arkansas--the roads there are even worse than South Carolina's).
    Terrific AC. It get cool very quickly and the defroster/defogger works great. The fan is alittle loud at maximum speed.
    Wipers had no problems even in a monsoon-like downpour in Memphis.
    No problems passing folks on the highway (especially those slow texans) but the car seemed most comfortable at 70mph and sounded alittle strained at 80mph. But it is a 4-cylinder after all.
    The cruise control was worth the price 100% (except in Texas--they drive sooo slow).
    The stereo and CD player are terrific too.
    Well, that's all for now. I'll let you guys know what's up at 50,000 miles.

    Picturethis (aka theliz).
  • If you have thought about buying a Chrysler product, do yourself a favor, DON'T. My '95 Neon that I purchased new has 62,000 miles on it and is going downhill fast. The car is in impecible condition for the most part, but I just can't keep up with the internal problems. The oil is changed EVERY 3,000 miles and fluids checked religiously. But when the head gasket goes at 60,000 and the dealer tells me that it is normal for a head gasket to go at 60,000 I could not belive my ears. I told him that if this is Chrysler's idea of quality it stinks.

    That is the last Chrysler product that I will ever buy.
  • The head gasket problem has been well documented by thousands of Neon owners for models before 1998 and D/C should have no problem paying for the fix. Your problem may be with your dealer and not DC after all.

    Now other than the head-gasket you state you have had no problems at all for over 50,000 miles.
    So, based on the one head gasket problem (which does'nt even affect the 2000 models) you will never buy a D/C vehicle again?!?

    Well, I once had a 1986 Toyota Corolla that had some problems with the brakes...should I never buy a Toyota again?

    This makes no sense at all.

    Besides, a 1995 model with only 65,000 miles? I'm sure you can sell it with no problem.
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    I've heard that the static electricity problem is something that has to do more with the materials they're using to make tires nowadays than the cars.

    My first car was an 84 Pontiac 6000 (indeed, I was the envy of my entire high school) and that thing used to zap me EVERY time I closed the door. In fact, it got to be so annoying that I just dreaded closing the door with my hand, so I'd use my sneaker instead.

    I used to think it was some type of electrical problem (God knows the car had enough of those), but my next car, an Isuzu, was almost as bad. And I think my last co. car, a 2001 Grand Prix was even worse.

    If you really find it bothersome, not touching the car (except with your shoe) after your foot hits the pavement is my technique. This seems like the best option if you've got a rental or co. vehicle, in my opinion.

    They also make a little strap (so I've heard) that hangs down from the car body and touches the pavement. Apparently, this doesn't let the car build a static charge while you're driving around.
  • lucinelucine Posts: 4
    who would buy a 95 Neon. The dealers here eyes glaze over when you drive in to ask and they reply those earlier model are too hard to move. My gasket has gone, things are constantly seeping; the left wheel actually froze up last winter and
    had to drive it like that to a service center.. There are some awful fumes drifting into the cabin of the car, and they can't figure out what it is. . Looks great on the outside; how can I wish this disaster on anyone.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Perhaps Consumer Reports relies on something when they send out the surveys about cars. A little something called honesty. Perhaps they hope that people will talk about cars that they still own.

    Not having seen the survey, I don't know how they address the potential for abuse.

    Has anyone on this board actually participated in the survey and can tell us if there is anything that addresses this?
  • eeeleeel Posts: 57
    i agree with both of your posts - especially about how biased/un-reliable consumer reports surveys are - i love how you can have 20 categories - 15 red - 4 half red - 1 clear and give it a black mark !!! - always with amercian cars,too - wonder how they can come up with that average - some kind of weight huh -
    and snowman - i have a friend who only drives hondas - her first had 2 trannies and 1 engine replaced in 30k. her 2nd one - a 2000 model - tranny replaced, ac never works right - 25k - swears by them - didn't seem to bother her having her car out of service for 3 months. so i know just what you mean
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I have an issue of Consumer Reports that talks about how they come up with the red, black, or no check mark, but it is about as undecipherable as a user's guide translated into English from another language.

    Actually, no check mark is worse than the black check mark. Red means better than average overall reliability. Black means average overall reliability. No check mark means worse than average overall reliability.
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