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Dodge/Plymouth Neon

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  • stans40stans40 Posts: 16
    Since Chrysler wants $80 for spark plug wires for my 95 Dodge Neon, I am asking about suggestions for good but reasonably priced wires.
  • wenbwenb Posts: 45
    Is anyone questioning the throttle response an d shiftong of the 4 speed auto 2002 Neon.I test drove one and it seemed pretty terible. I understand that Dodge has replaced the engine controler chip with a more powerful unit for 2003. they claim quicker response and smoother running engine.The car I drove was so bad it seemed like the software control between engine and transmission was in crash mode. Comparing the drivability to a Kia Rio, the Kia felt like a Ferrari. Both cars had A/C on.I am not talking about racing. I am talking about quick take off and shifting when you step on the gas.The Neon felt reluctant to move out.
  • Anyone know the correct amount of ATF+4 trans.fluid needed when removing pan/changing filter on a 2000 Neon with 3 spd.auto.trans.?
  • The shocks you're getting on exiting the vehicle aren't caused by the vehicle electrical system. (the electrical system is 12V). You are getting static shocks. They are preventable by touching the door or other metal part of the car while sliding off of the seat.
  • Check your fuses first.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I've owned and driven both, and also owned and driven the Focus ZX3.

    No problems on either.

    The 1999 handles better out of the box. The Neon S definitely needed better tires. Both cars had Goodyear GA's, but the GA's seemed grippy on the 1999 and sloppy on the 2002. Goodrich Comp T/A's were a major upgrade on the 2002. I also put a front swaybar on the 2002, but couldn't but a rear one on, since the rear shocks no longer come with the necessary mounting brackets.

    The 2002 rides better. Isn't that the inevitable trade off - handling or ride?

    The 2002 feels squooshed down - like the roof is smooshed towards your head. It isn't really, but the long sloping windshield and A pillar make it feel that way. The windshield is naturally harder to reach and clean on the inside.

    Both cars have fast engines, but both benefited from an aftermarket exhaust. On the 2002, I put on a Dodge muffle designed for the DOHC engine and it was much quicker and also quiet. A Magnaflow and resonator on the 1999 were much cheaper, just as fast, slightly louder - in hard acceleration. Both cars hit 55 mph in second gear without a struggle now. There is a definite power bump when the rev's hit the mid range. The 2002 has a K&N air filter, the 1999 just gets the paper element changed every 10,000 miles to allow maximum breathability.

    The 1999 is surprisingly solid on the freeway. 80 mph interstate crusing is no problem, and the car still has passing power, but you have to downshift - 5th gear is way to high.

    On the 2002, fifth is lower and less downshifting is required. This is supposed to hurt freeway mileage, but I got 31 mpg on the interstate. Of course, on a recent trip in the 1999, I think I got 34 mpg - but previous trips were more on the order of 31 mpg, so I might have gotten a faulty fill-up.

    Compared to the Focus ZX3, both Neons are reliable, and quicker too. The four doors are easier for throwing things in the back seat than the ZX3, not to mention much easier on the rare passenger.

    The 1999 handles stiff crosswinds great.

    I got the 2002 up to 110 mph once - accidentally! It was lonely stretch of interstate, and I had earplugs in to reduce the noise level (the car isn't terribly noisy, I just don't like 5 hours of wind drone). With no cars to pace, and no trees to count, I looked down and discovered the speedometer at 110 - that's how well the car handles. You can't judge speed by its handling, only by the increasing wind roar! (Be assured I promptly dropped down to 80).

    The 1999 doesn't seem to have the same "long legs." It'll cruise all day at 80 to 85, has plently of power to pass, but doesn't seem composed enough to cruise at higher speeds for long periods. I'd say the second generation Neon can keep up with just about anything on the highway, but in the 1999 you have to either put up with being passed once in a while, or drive like a maniac (i.e., outside a comfort zone).

    The 2002 is definitely slick. The 1999 is my choice for an urban stealth car, with mountain road capability. It is always underestimated, but gets you were you want to go - fast.
  • Saw a new 2003 Neon on the freeway this morning. I have to say I like the rear end treatment better, the front end is a matter of opinion, but no worse than before.

    My understanding of some of the changes:

    New gear ratio for 5th gear on manual to help with fuel economy and noise on the freeway.

    New engine mount design

    Recalibrated automatic tranny

    New steering wheel

    I wonder what the reason would be to buy a Stratus over a Neon - they are pretty close in size.
  • What has been your replacement tire of choice for the 185/60-15s that came on the aluminum rims on the 2000s? It seems Goodyear (as far as I've found) seems to have a monopoly on that size. Has anyone put on 195/50s? I'm at 40,000 miles and will need new rubber before the snow comes (if we get any this year). Experiences?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Browse the Tire Rack's website at www.tirerack.com - they give you all the sizing choices. Also, here is a website that let's you calculate speedometer variations based on different tire sizes: http://www.fernblatt.com/longhurst/tyre_bible.html


    I was reluctant to mail order tires and have them installed by a "recommended installer" but it worked out ok. The practice seems well enough established that the installers don't treat you like dirt for not buying from them. They are even friendly and helpful!


    I had 50 tires on a Focus ZX3. Every car is different, but the 50 tires seemed to make the ride hard - I could feel every expansion ridge. Personally I like 60 series tires - squat enough to be laterally stiff, tall enough to protect the rims.


    After trying several current models, I think Bridgestone 950's are worth looking at - easy to balance, quiet, grippy in dry or rain. Look good, too.

    Finally, 195/60x15 should fit nicely and you should have a lot of choices. The Tire Rack or your local installer should be able to help you. I put 205's on my 1999 Neon, but I wouldn't do it again - that was overkill.

  • I've purchased from Tirerack a couple of times. Once because I needed snow tires and they had the only decent prices. Generally I've found I can shop around and do better locally as their installers charge quite a bit to mount and balance. A friend has access to the equipment at his job and will do it for me for $5 a tire so I may buy from them again this time. I've been running 195/50-15s on my Shelby Charger for over 19 years and don't mind them. That's why I was wondering if anyone has put them on their Neon. I had put Bridgestones on in that size and they were horrible. When it was time to replace them they tried to sell me Bridgestones again. I told them how much the last ones they sold me sucked and I wasn't interested in having them again. I was assured the tires were completely re-engineered and only the name stayed the same. They told me if I didn't like them after a week to come back and they'd give me full credit toward any other tire. I took them and haven't been back. This set is awesome.
  • "lo There, After My 97 Neon warms up a bit I can Hear a very low frequency rumble, vibration seemingly coming from the rear or underneath cabin areas. This is especially noticeable when stopped, but also shows up at about 40 - 50 kph just slightly louder than road noise. Engine RPM, In- Gear or not, Clutch depressed or not, the sound remains the same. It does go away just as I start to accelerate away only to return as mentioned... Local mechanic wants to take things apart to make a guess at what is causing it, at $75 per hour no less....Does anybody out here have any rough ideas? Would be appreciated. thanks
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    Check your exhaust hangers. If one has broken or deteriorated it could all the exhaust to come into contact with some part of the underbody. Accelerating could move the engine thereby moving the exhaust enough to break this contact temporarily. Could also be an in tank fuel pump on its last legs. They some times growl when they're dying. Acceleration may provide enough other noise to mask this growl.
  • zxcvbnzxcvbn Posts: 1
    I own a 96 Neon,5sp,4Dr. The engine occasionally cuts out while driving at all speeds. This only occurs while the speedometer is jumping up & down. The cut-out will last for a fraction to as much as 2 or 3 seconds. Any help is appreciated.
  • Does anybody know what causes the carpeting in the back seat of a 1995 Plymouth Neon to become soaked whenever it rains, and know how to correct the problem? Any help would be appreciated.
  • I put a set of Altezza tail lights on a 99 Neon and then had the problem you have. One of the gaskets behind the light didn't seal good. Try using a garden hose and see if you can see where the water comes in. In my case it also got into the spare tire well too! Good luck!
  • edmdanedmdan Posts: 4
    Once again I find myself amazed at how knowlegable some people can be about their cars, and in this case, mine. From just a short note and very few clues, 71charger (a cool car if ever was one) made two guesses and was right on with the fuel pump going bad. after consulting in person with a couple of mechanics, I broke down, and had the darn pump tested... it was still putting out almost normal pressure, but consensus was that it would die without further warning sometime in the next 24hours to six months. I reluctantly spent the $800 to get a new one installed, rather than adding a towing charge to the inevitable. Once again thanks for sharing your expertise.
    PS. I found the noise stopped on a full tank but would return as soon as the level dropped to about three quarter full, Just FYI anyone else gets this problem.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    I'm blushing
  • I saw the new 2003 neon sxt and I think its a much better looking car. Anyone know if the head gasket thing is taken care of? The 7/70 helps with the ease of mind. I also heard that the auto trans has an extra gear now.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    The "head gasket thing" was taken care of years ago. There was a thread on Moparts.com a short while ago on Neons. One of the techs on there said they have never had to replace an MLS gasket on a Neon.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I could have sworn reading in this forum that someone had to replace the head gasket on their 2000 Neon. I might be wrong though...
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