Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Dodge/Plymouth Neon

1353638404153

Comments

  • I just took a trip from MD to NC last week. On the way down, with my wife driving, we averaged over 34mpg. I was very impressed as she was cruising at 85. Sometimes slipping up over 90. In a week of driving around down there including a trip into the city of Wilmington we averaged a little over 28 with the AC on. I'm happy.
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    Get around 32-33 mpg on the highway at 80 mph. All city, get around 22-24 mpg.

    -B
  • Hi , I have a 63,000 mi on my Neon when the heater core gave up I understand that this item does not fail until the life of the car, does this mean its the end of the line for my car. Ilove it no problem for the last 63,000 but. . .
    has any one have the same problem, did Chrysler pay for it?
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    Unless you bought an extended warranty I doubt anyone but you will be paying for it. Heater cores sometimes fail. It's an unfortunate fact of life. The one in my friend's Protege failed just out of warranty. Mazda said too bad the warranty expired we're not paying for it. That was their right and they exercised it. Much like cars themselves heater cores are not all made the same. Sometimes a soldered joint gives out. Sucks when it happens to you. I still have the original in my 71 Charger which is probably nothing short of a miracle but you never know how long (or short) these things last. I don't know who makes them for Dodge. Maybe if you could find out who the vendor is perhaps you could contact them and [non-permissible content removed] them into helping you with it. Perhaps Modine. They supplied a lot of radiators to Chrysler.
  • yositoyosito Posts: 55
    Well my car a 2001 Black NEON R/T burned AGAIN the multilever turn signal harness connector and even the turn signal lever!
     I already replaced three batteries, the PCM, ALL WIRE HARNESS, three times the multilever turn signal, I´m CRAZY about this problem.
     Took it again to the dealer, they couldn´t find NOTHING WRONG!!!
     I phoned Chrysler, got the answer from them Sir. We really don´t know what´s causing the problem, we might need to replace everything again!
     I spoke to a PRIVATE TECHNICIAN, he told me wires to fog lamps are not strong enough to hold all the charge, plus the multifunction turn signal lever is also very weak.
     Cars having fog lamps may experience that problem if you use those "fog" lamps very often !!!!
     So I hired him and PAY HIM TO FIX MY CAR.
     He installed two relays more in the fuse box, directly in the lights wires, he replaced the damaged connector and the turn signal lever.
     Now I´m using the car already for three weeks, with no problem. (Being honest to you, I´m not using those fog lamps, I´m affraid !).
     But I´m checking the connector twice a week, to see if it´s ok, next week I´ll start again using those fog lamps and see.
     I´m praying for my car, I just hope It will be ok, I can´t buy a new one, can´t afford it.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,867
    A major newspaper is looking to interview people who recently bought small cars after previously
    driving larger cars or SUVs, despite whether you traded from big to small or if you still have the larger vehicle. He's especially looking for drivers of the Mini Cooper, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Dodge Neon, Hyundai Tiburon and Mazda Protege. Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com by Tuesday, October 28, 2003 with your daytime contact info and the type of vehicles you had and have.
    Thanks!

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    "he told me wires to fog lamps are not strong enough to hold all the charge" Personally, I find this patently rediculous. I had fog lights in my 2000 and I have them in my 2003. I use them a lot. Never had a problem. There has got to be a short somewhere in your car that they cannot find. If the wires couldn't carry the load then the problem would afflict all fog lamp equipped Neons. Not just yours. A friend of mine is a Jeep tech. He told me that they used to "smoke out" problems like this. They just apply way too much current to the circuit that was acting up and let the problem spot burn. Then replace all they needed to replace. He told me they're not allowed to do this anymore as it usually destroys other things that then also have to be replaced.

    Electrical gremlins have got to be the worst affliction. My headlights kept shorting out in my 71 for some unknown reason. Until one day a loose ball of solder fell out of the fuse box. Haven't had a problem since. The funny thing is the car was over 25 years old before the problem set in. I can't tell you how many fuses I replaced. I even changed the switch once until the problem solved itself.
  • yositoyosito Posts: 55
    It seems the turning signal lever is causing the problem, they look into 25 neons on the lot and 17 had already signs of a damage in the same connector, I must tell you that all of them had the fog lamps option, so if you have a second gen. Neon with fog lamps, you better check the connector (GRAY) located at the turn signal lever.
  • Sounds like your hardware is either defective or not installed properly. One of the return springs may not be hooked up or is broken. You can always try the old fashioned approach and give the self adjusters a workout. Find a clear stretch where you can get up a little speed backing up and then brake hard a few times. If that doesn't work for you you're going to have to have it checked. Are you using the emergency (parking) brake? It's not unusual for cars parked for a length of time to have the shoes stick to the drum. But, if you're using the car regularly, it shouldn't happen. Probably broken/weak/improperly installed return springs.
  • I am looking at getting a used '99 Neon (highline), 2.0 l engine, not many amenities. Engine looks clean and I test drove it - everything seemed fine. Mileage is at 36,000 and it's priced very well.

    I keep reading mixed reviews on this car, and would like to get some quick opinions on the reliability of this car. I'll be putting in around 60 miles a day on the car (stop and go city driving) and need to make sure it isn't going to poop out on me for at least 2 years (around the time I'll be moving and will need to sell it).

    I really CANNOT afford expensive repairs and am purchasing a limited insurance, so this is very important for me. Unfortunately the well-rated cars (Honda, Toyota...) are priced so high it's hard to find a good deal. Thanks for any input!
  • eeeleeel Posts: 57
    There is a comparison test at corollaland on the net where they actually say the Neon is as good if not better when all things are compared to the Corolla and the Civic. Check it out. I think you'll be happy with the Neon. I know several people who moved from Toyota's and Honda's to the Neon and all have had good luck and really like the car. Good luck with you choice !!!
  • A '99 Neon is a reliable car, as long it's well-maintained. The main problem with this car was interior bits falling off and creaks and rattles, etc., but that's not the kind of stuff that will leave you stranded.

    My only other thought is that if you live in a very hot area, I believe they may be prone to overheating in summer in stop-and-go traffic with the a/c on.
  • My 1995 Neon is stalling, just cutting off. The repair shop says it's the idle sensor, but I can't find any information anywhere on idle sensors. Can anyone out there tell me what an idle sensor is?
  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    I had a '95 Neon Sport with manual tranny. It ran fine and was reliable, and I would take it any where - even on long distance trips. Then at about 111,000 it started making loud knocking noises when the engine was cold. The mechanic said "it might just be normal wear on the valves and it could last another 10 years - on the other hand it could also be about to throw a rod". So since my son's Audi had just thrown a rod, I decided to get rid of that fun-to-drive Neon.
  • I have a 01 neon with almost 100,000 miles on it now. I get a loud knocking noise when the oil is low. The noise stops after about a minute of warm-up. This does not happen when the oil level is showing full on the dipstick, but happens when about 3/4's of a quart low. It is a good reminder for me every time that the noise starts that The oil is about time for a change. I suspect that I use about a quart of oil every 5000 miles, which is when I change the oil and filter.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I've rejoined the Neon owner ranks after previously owning a 1999 and 2002 four doors, both with stick shift (these cars were reliable and defect free, but I was interested in a VW in one instance, and in a Focus ZX3 in the other). This time I got an automatic because I am married and now there is a baby on the way. My wife needs a vehicle she can (eventually) drive (she is not licensed yet).

    I didn't really intend to buy another Neon; we had a 2002 Mustang that was no longer suited for our needs (2 doors with a 3.8 V6 and stick; a lot of fun, but no interior room), and I thought I would get something in a comparable bracket - like the new Malibu, the Stratus, etc., but with four doors and, of course, an automatic for my wife.

    I drove the Malibu, and it is pretty spacious. But, it is close to $23,000 with the preferred V6, and for that price you get a pretty "plain" automobile with handling that just isn't up to par with current small car handling - it might be a great handling improvement for buyers of Big 3 cars, but still leaves a lot to be desired if you have been used to driving cars like the Neon and Focus (and the room isn't much greater than on the Focus).

    The Stratus was definitely better handling, and the V6 engine was spritely, but price with the V6 and handling package was $20,000 - and that was cheaper than normal. Most V6 Stratuses are priced closed to $21,000.00 and $22,000. (Fortunatley the Stratii have $3,000 rebates vs. the paltry $1,000 offered on the new Malibu.)

    Anyway, the thrifty (read: cheap) part of me said to try driving the 2004 Neon with the new 4 speed automatic to see what it's like, since I liked the 2002. The automatic has been written up as much improved over the 2002 introductory year. Finally, Neons are plentiful (vs. hard to find Stratii) and well proven (vs. the new Malibu). Finally (again!) the Neon SXT package offers a power package (windows, door locks, mirrors) without breaking the bank - the 2002 I got was a "California special" with crank windows and manual mirrors, only the CD player and air con were included. I didn't realize what a psychological difference such niceties make even in a small car.

    Saturday I went out to test drive, first, a new 2004 Saturn Ion, because in terms of measurements it is "in between" the Neon and the Stratus/Malibu class of cars. Also, the reports are the sloppy steering and handling were cleaned up for this model year. Sure enough, it felt spacious, but, honestly, not as well put together as I had expected. Nothing obviously wrong, but just not "solid." Pretty subjective, but that seems to be how it is these days, including for manufacturers and their focus groups. (Steering was ok, but handling was still a tad sloppy, despite sways bars at BOTH ends of the car.)

    After the unexciting Ion, which had the advantage of the relatively new 2.2 Ecotec DOHC engine (144 horsepower, 14 more than the Neon) with new 5 speed automatic (also cutting edge, especially for an American car), I expected the Neon, with an auto, to be sluggish and, of course, similarly lacking in "solidness," since we are talking "economy car" here.

    Much to my surprise, the Neon accelerated spritely, shifted with alacrity (and, more importantly, downshifted one or even two gears with alacrity), and generally behaved like a "sporty" sedan instead of an "economy car", with a good "solidness" and low NVH (noise-vibration-harshness) levels. The only "noise" was a slight growl from the exhaust and whoosh from the engine compartment when I dropped all the way from 4th to 2d (by applying the accelerator pedal firmly) to see how it could handle a rapid freeway on-ramp merge. Otherwise NVH were commendably low, not as low as my current Ford Focus ZX3 with 2.3 engine, but lower (believe it or not) than the top rated (for build quality) Scion xA.

    There is a little body roll with the 2004 Neon on curvy onramps, but not as pronounced as in my 2002 Neon (where the lean was great enough to motivat me to upgrading with a bigger sway bar and fatter tires). Also the 2004 stock tires are much better than what I had before - the wheels on the SXT are 15 inch now, vs. the 14 inch on the Base model in 2002, and tires are Goodyear LS (excellent - I've had them on two cars and they are great tires) instead of Goodyear GA on my 1999 and 2002(not quite grippy enough, more of a problem on the 2002 than on the 1999). I feel no need to upgrade the suspension on this 2004 Neon, as I did with the 2002 Neon. While handling is not quite up to Focus ZX3 standards, it is close enough not to make a difference to me - keeping in mind the lower center of gravity on the Neon will always keep it more "tossable" than the ZX3. I feel the ZX3 will hold its grip better until the breaking point, but then behave badly, while the Neon will gradually and predictably slide.

    The engine also feels freer reving than the 2002 Neon, possibly this is due to different tuning or throttle body for the automatic version (I understand the autos have bigger throttle bodies). Although it is not broken in yet, on my freeway "merge" test the engine did not sound strained as it moved surprisingly close to redline before upshifting. In comparison, it took the Magnum 2.0 muffler and a KN filter to "open up" the 2002 with its stickshift.

    Most important is that the automatic transmission itself is very responsive, even at these low miles, with good shift points and a willingness to downshift, as needed, to make use of the engine's power, rather than lugging first and downshifting later.

    I like the new "plain cloth" seats vs. the "fuzzy" 2002 seats. Cabin ergonomics are, of course, identical, but fit and finish seem a tad better.

    The only thing I miss are hydraulic struts for the trunk. Having had those on the Mustang, for example, I like the way struts don't intrude into the trunk storage area. With hinges, the hinge can come down and whack your luggage.

    All in all I am quite pleased with the Neon. It truely is a "little Intrepid" in a lot of ways. Particularly if you are a smaller bodied person, as I am, there is no particular advantage is getting a Stratus or Intrepid ... except the prestige. And I am starting to get over that, at last, and enjoy a "good car" even if it is (or used to be called) an "economy" car.

    I'll keep the list posted at periodic intervals. Other than Spead Beading the car (waxing it) this weekend I don't plan on any modifications. I will probably run 5-30 Castrol or Pennzoil through the warranty period, then switch to 5-20 oil. I am worried about oil pan drain plug "stripped thread" damage on any of these new cars with all aluminum pans, and hence am thinking about putting in a Fram Sure Drain plug to eliminate removing the plug to do oil changes. But, if I like the dealer service and pricing (free first oil change) I make just make the drive to the dealer so I have the records and, hopefully, recourse if the drain plug goes south (the
  • I am looking at purchasing an 01 Neon with 41,000 miles. The price is VERY low and the dealer is small which makes me a little nervous. I took it for a drive today. The car started easily and idled smoothly. All components appeared to work flawlessly except two things.

    After startup, the car "dinged" three times and the word "fuse" appeared in the odometer window. It did not appear again for the entire test drive. The owners manual makes no mention of this, at least as I could tell from a quick look. Does anyone know what this is?

    Second, the car has a five speed, and it shifted smoothly other than a small, quick "grind" each time I shifted in to third gear. Is this a major concern? Will it be expensive to repair?

    Also found out tonight from Carfax that the vehicle was purchased at auction and then 3 months later resold at auction to the current dealer. Why didn't the first guy keep it....makes you wonder.

    The price is very cheap and I could afford some minor repairs.....should I go for it or steer clear?
  • Congratulations on your shrewd purchase, micweb. I know a fair amount about the Neons, and they have improved sound insulation for 2004, as you can appreciate. The car has excellent build quality for its class, and is tuned for a sporting character (steering, suspension, brakes). They have a winning racing heritage on the SCCA circuit, too. They're neat, bottom line. More fun to drive than many cars on the road. Needs a few refinements, like a more-modern interior, but they also are dirt-cheap to own. Enjoy!
  • steveflstevefl Posts: 62
    Can anyone give me a clue how to remove & replace the left side fog light on a 1995 Neon? The right side unit came off easily enough because the nut/bolt is easily accessible. But the car's frame on the left side is so different there is no ready access to the nut. It seems as if I might have to remove the entire bumper fascia to gain access. Any hints?
  • steveflstevefl Posts: 62
    I gave it a try, renegaded. Couldn't remove the headlight/signal unit. On the '95 the unit is held in with four easy bolts and one more invisible bolt that must be behind the bumper fascia. Thanks for trying.
  • steveflstevefl Posts: 62
    Chrysler Corp has a website where you can e-mail your technical questions. I asked then about removing the left foglamp, as described on this Forum. In only four days I received the following e-mail reply:

    "Thank you for your email to DaimlerChrysler regarding concerns with your 1995 Plymouth Neon.

    "Unfortunately, we are unable to diagnose the situation you have outlined in your email. There are too many variables involved and a detailed inspection of your vehicle will be required for proper diagnosis. We recommend that you contact your authorized DaimlerChrysler dealership for an appointment for proper diagnosis and repair.

    "DaimlerChrysler dealerships have the factory training, equipment and information available to them to diagnose and correct problems with DaimlerChrysler Motors Corporation vehicles. We are confident that this concern is not beyond their capabilities. Should your dealer require factory assistance, it is available through our zone office."

    So, I was able to 'stump the chumps' with a foglight removal question. That really gives me a lot of confidence in their engineering department. Would YOU buy another car from this company?
  • steveflstevefl Posts: 62
    The FSM? Why, yes, I own a copy. I bought it at the same time as I bought the car, exactly nine years ago. It is well-written. It does not address the foglight issue directly but it does state that headlight removal requires removal of a bolt "behind the bumper fascia." I can certainly do the job myself the long, hard way but hoping someone had a shortcut.

    I want to clarify something. My previous report of Chrysler's response to my e-mail was intended to be in a light-hearted vein. It was not bitterness. I hold no grievance against the Chrysler folks, nor any of their products.

    Why am I still driving a cheap 9-year-old car with 192,000 miles on it? This Neon has been the longest-lived, most trouble-free car I've ever owned. The engine is still strong and quiet, the interior is near-new, and the paint still polishes up to a magnificent shine. (Ignore the numerous door dings and paint nicks.) You hear a lot of Neon-bashers ranting about, but there are far more satisfied Neon owners.
  • steveflstevefl Posts: 62
    Yes, I have the supplement as well. They both came together as part of a $50 package. Most of the supplementary stuff is just reprints of the main manual.

    Just out of curiosity, renegaded, if you had to replace your '01 Neon tomorrow, what would you get?
  • The Ford Focus is a likely consideration for my next car too. It is interesting.. I've run into a number of people who would never consider the Focus simply because it is a Ford! They are no different from those who have sworn never to anything to do with GM, Chrysler, Microsoft, any German product, etc. etc. It is a pity that those who have good advice to give sometimes lose their way in irrationality.
  • My 2001 RT has about 20,000 miles on it at this point and I wanted to swap the manual tranny fluid with synthetic at its regularly scheduled interval for that service. I check the owner's manual and it says that the fluid in there is good for the life of the vehicle. What is the story with that? Unless the life of the vehicle is 50000 miles, I don't think any fluid should be there for the "life" of the vehicle. I am assuming I would not do any harm to my RT if I went ahead and did it.

    So I was just wondering what kind of fluid you guys used and what your results were.

    Thanks in advance!
  • The owner's manual on my 2001 RT does not state what the service interval is for flushing the radiator and cooling system. I am at 20000 miles now and I was wondering if I should have done it at 15K or if I should just wait for 30K. I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon so summers are not too hot and winters can get cold. I anticipate a few long drives this summer however and I do use the AC a lot in the summer.

    Just wondering what everyone's experiences are with this.

    Thanks
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Liftime manual tranny fluid is quite normal. My 84 VW GTI stated the tranny was sealed for life and there was no recommendation for changing it. The only time it was changed was when it leaked badly after 17 years of service.
  • Thanks for the advice, sounds like you guys probably helped me save some cash on services I didn't really need. I guess my questions now for you renegaded is:

    Where can I pick up some of the moly slip manual transmission supplement and is it easy to put in yourself?

    Also, do you know of places where I can pick up Mopar parts without having to use the dealer?

    Thanks in advance!
  • You know I was wondering, are there any notorious places for oil leaks on the 2nd gen Neons. Every now and then I get a drip in my garage. When I look under the car, the drip falls between the radiator and the engine and directly in the middle(from left to right). The front of the transaxle is dirty with a thin layer of some greasy crud. What falls on the floor is about the color of brand new motor oil.

    Now it is an occasional drip, I don't think I am losing oil per se. But it isn't black or real dark like you'd expect from an oil lean but that could be b/c I change the oil very frequently and I use synthetic. Now, could this also be caused by too much oil going into the engine? I know when I last changed the oil, I did by accident fill it up to the top end of the dipstick but didn't worry about it, would that potentially cause a leak, albeit a small one? And does the brand of oil make a difference?

    Thanks!
  • Okay, I took another look and the spot where it has dripped is directly below the dipstick, so it could have been quick dipstick removal on my part since the spots have been few and far between, however I do check the oil weekly. Plus I do use synthetic which I know will run a little more freely than Dino oil.

    I am changing the oil this weekend anyhow so any overfill issues will be alleviated but as of last night it does not seem like an issue.

    Since we are on the topic of oil, I have to plug the oil I use. I have a buddy that is a tech at a BMW dealership and he saves and combines partial quarts of oil from work for himself and gives me some whenever I need it. BMW does not oil to be used unless it is immediately from a sealed bottle. Anyhow, it is a 5W30 synthetic that goes on 15,000 mile service intervals per the BMW service manual. Since I get it free, I just change it every 3000 miles in my RT. Anyhow, the color on this stuff after 3000 miles looks great and much better than other oils I've tried plus cold starts sound better to me and gas mileage has improved slightly. Not sure how much the stuff would cost retail however.
Sign In or Register to comment.