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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    I've always changed mine between 50 & 60k. My mechanic always says to be on the safe side and replace it at roughly 50 thousand miles. Better than losing the whole engine.
  • I bought an '00 SE auto, haven't had any trouble till recently. I noticed that the engine will act like it shifts down the rpm's come up (I don't have a tach but can hear it and feel it a little) and then it will "shift back" and the rpm's drop. I assume it is dropping in and out of overdrive, my mileage hasn't dropped but the performance seems like it is dogging a bit. The only thing I have had done is replacing the shift selinoid at 41k because it was leaking. I still notice it either shifting or the RPM's reving. Any ideas?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I haven't been checking this newsgroup much, so I missed your post:


    You said: "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!"


    So it does have better sound insulation than the 2002 I had? Excellent!


    You'll be pleased to know I tracked down some R/T springs and had them installed. Car no longer leans in curves and transitions. I am debating whether to install KYB GR2 shocks as well - KYB tells me the valving is significantly firmer than the stock (SE and SXT) Neons and about 5% firmer than the R/T valving. Any thoughts or suggestions? I tried Eibach Pro-Kits on another car, and didnt like the lowering or harsh ride, but "factory sport" (R/T) sounds appealing.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    At about 4,000 miles, I decided to upgrade from the stock Goodyear LS tires, which come in 185/60/15 size. I thought that was a little skinny. Having put 205's on a former (2001) Neon, I thought that would be a little too wide. So I went to 195's.


    Unfortunately the closest "plus zero" replacement is 195/55, since the stock tire is already a 60 series. And 55 series tires in that width only seem to come in V rated or high performance tires. Of these, only the BF Goodrich Traction T/A is reasonably affordable. The T/A in this size with a V rating is an "up engineered" version of the more common H rated T/A.


    I had a lot of trouble with these tires. Admittedly they handled and look great, but they were relatively noisy, despite being reviewed as being reasonably quiet (maybe they are in the H rated versions?), plus they had an undiagnosable tire pull (checked alignment three times, swapped and rotated tires etc.). The best I can explain it, is that they felt that they were tires designed for a "right hand drive" market like Japan or England. (All tires are designed with some "pull" to counteract the crown of the roads; in Japan and England people drive on the "wrong" side of the road, so they need tires engineered to pull to the right to countereffect the crown of their roads.)


    Anyway, I finally got tired of the noise and the pull to the right, and replace the tires with 195/60/15 Bridgestone 950's. What a transformation! The car no longer drifts right, ride is much smoother and more comfortable, steering and cornering are still razor sharp. I have a slight speedometer error (about plus 1 mph at 70mph).


    These tires really transform the car. Yeah, it's true, the right tires can really add the finishing touch to a car. Now I am excited about the Neon again and am thinking of adding KYB GR-2 shocks, which are a little firmer.


    (Mods/upgrades to date: R/T springs, a little firmer than the standard suspension; K&N airfilter; Mobil 1 5-30 oil; Purolator oil filter. I don't think the air filter is very helpful, imho those gauze air filters really only help if you drive full throttle more often than I do, otherwise if you want more air just open the throttle more.)


    (Comments and observations: the air filter and box on this car are huge compared to my former Scion xA! Stock handling is GREAT! Even with an automatic - 4 speed- performance is great, the 4 speed is well tuned, well geared, and responsive!)
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    How has the reliability been on your Neon? There have been no reports on the newer Neons and I'm curious how they are doing.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Zero defects as of one year of ownership and 8,500 miles.


    Consumer Reports has excellent ratings on them for 2003 and 2004. Keep in mind that their reports are based on reader polls, and so those two years are with very light miles.


    American cars post-1999 have been pretty good up to 60,000 miles, then have small problems. Japanese cars - at least Toyota, Honda - seem to hold up longer, but it's hard to tell since few original owners go beyond 100,000 miles.


    IMHO most cars have an initial shake out period, where you have to fix a couple of minor things under warranty, then a second shakeout period around 40-80,000 miles. After that you are probably good for another 40-80,000 miles.


    In short, if you like Neon and get a good price, it's a great car. But keep in mind that if you pay full sticker, even applying the rebates etc., it isn't such a good deal, because depreciation is steep.


    I have found, recently, that discounts on Toyotas and Hondas (but not Scions) are as steep as on American cars, excluding the rebate. I have gotten 10% of the MSRP in two cases on Honda. That was more than what I got off on the Neon, not counting the rebate. So do your math carefully!


    Also, if you are looking for a used Neon, you can get a great buy on a 2003 or even 2004. But, after this year, the Neon is scheduled for replacement. This fall look for a lot of new cars - Honda is revamping the entire Civic line, Neon should be out with a new car, Scion xA is being revamped (or maybe in early to mid 2006), so this market category is pretty competitive.
  • btrflybtrfly Posts: 18
    Well I went for my first "free" maintenance which consisted of a rushed oil change ONLY! I still had concerns about the engine doing a 1 time rev/knock on occassion at a light, and also the klunking if I don't ease the car in2 park when shutting it off...They told me the station manager listened to my engine and it was fine!

      In reply to the nice CAnadian's response, out here in Calif, we dont' have THAT many different gas choices or stations! And anyone else only getting 20 miles per gallon highway? I"m wondering if it might be a cylinder like someone else had a problem with? Thanks and will keep u posted
  • kebredkebred Posts: 1
    I bought my son a new 2001 Neon for his Senior year in High School and to get him through his 4 years of college. I had no idea this car maintenance (routine) have cost more than my GS 300 Lexus. The car is losing power and is starting to cut off. I have taken it to two dealership so far. The last dealership still has the car (Friday-Unknown) and it is costing me 75.00 an hour, just to find out what is going on with it. They are telling me, they have never seen anything like this before. I am 150 miles away trying to handle this over the phone, because it quit on my son's college campus. When this problem fist started, the only thing that was cutting off was the CD/Radio/Lights/Speedometer/Tech and it would cut off for only a second and the return to power. Now it is effecting the engine (cut off). Has anyone else experience this problem? For my next son, I think I will spend the extra money up front and buy a Honda or Toyota.

    Please help!
  • I would consider replacing the battery. I have had several Neons and currently have a 99 Plymouth and a 2002 Dodge R/T. Both my 99 and an earlier 99 R/T had their batteries replaced because of strange electrical problems. Once the batteries were replaced the problems went away. Even though the batteries started the cars with no problems they had weak cells which did not allow the computer to get the voltage level it required. Hope this helps. Both my kids had Neons while the went to college and they performed as well as could be expected of "kids" cars.
  • I bought an 01 neon se and so far my only complaint has been the three speed automatic tranni, good trani but no fun! but then someone tried steeling the damn thing and their foiled attempt left me stranded later. they tried to pull the ignition switch off the colomn assembly and just start it that way, idiots! how would they have unlocked the steering column? any how when they did that they broke that piece of the ignition switching assembly that runs between the lock cylinder and the switch. the only place i can find one is to order a new column for about $300. ouch. can't afford that right now. so i'm looking for any nearly complete column or just the ignition switch assembly for any 01 or newer.
  • its not to hard you dont have to take anything apart. the smaller the hands the better. becides that only 4 bolts hold them in place
  • im about to put a turbo on my 97 plymouth neon but i have to know something first is the oil filter positively charged or what?
  • my 97 requires a timing belt change at 105K miles

    are the brakes drum or disk? mine are drum and they dont squeak.. . becides who needs a manual anyways
  • sassyredsassyred Posts: 1
    I bought my SXT back in September and it has a little under 6,000 miles on it now. I gassed up yesterday and as I was leaving the gas station parking lot, the car started bucking and then the check engine light started flashing.

    I immediately called the dealer who said to bring it in and they'd do what they can. Ran the computer and found nothing wrong. They said there was a notice just reached them about faulty spark plugs and wires in 2004 Neons and that anyone with problems could have the sparks and wires replaced at no cost. So we made an appointment, and were told the car was fine to drive, it just would buck periodically.

    So last night, my husband and I were returning from running errands and every light in the car went out. Instrument panel, radio/cd, headlights, dash board. This lasted about five seconds and then every thing came back on but the car started bucking again. We ended up scrapping plans and came right home as it was too late for the dealer to be open at 7pm.

    So this morning they are saying there is no sign of electrical issues and that they've never heard of such a problem occuring in 2004's. I can't believe that I am the only one. I can't be driving at night if my headlights and electricals are going to fail. Has anyone experienced this issue?
  • mkiddmkidd Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 also and i am at 100,000 miles and my water pump started leaking and then the timing belt went up till now the only problem has been the shaking when it was sitting at lights which ended up being the motor mounts needed replacing
  • boziebozie Posts: 30
    My Grandson owns a 95 Neon. Has been nothing but a headache since purchasing,but with a lot of trial and error He and I have about gotten ahead of the game. #1-Instrument Cluster not working-speedometer included. Solution-Pull the cluster and slightly bend the male prongs in the plugs attached to the Cluster. #2-Cruise control-forget about the directions others have told you about removel-Take the battery and battery cage out- The crusie control is attached to the battery cage.Do away with the vaccum box, hook vaccum direct. #3-Headlight lens-Use a mild rubbing compound to clean. #4-Auto-gear shift knob. The push down pin under the handle breaks accasionaly-Superglue it back or dig out some of the remaing pin and make a new one to fit the shaft. You have to remove some of the remaining shaft to have room for it to work properly when handle is replaced with set screw. This is Bozie, Have a ggod Day
  • boziebozie Posts: 30
    Another solution to a problem on the 95 Dodge Neon-#5-Gas guage not working properly-Solution-Drain gas tank and remove the pump and senseing unit. It all come's out together- Be careful in removing same, it takes a little twisting and turning to remove. Clearance isn't that good. Clean the sliding sensor bar where the electric signal is picked up to go to the guage. Bozie, Have a good day
  • chessallchessall Posts: 1
    Need some advice: 1995 Neon would not start. The battery was fully charged, everything electrical was working. Starter would not engage not even a click. Next morning the car started. Dodge dealer replaced starter, they told me it was faulty. 4 days later the same problem again even with new starter. I have also had this car at the same dealer ship to have fuel gauge repaired. They have installed a new fuel pump and sending unit at a cost of $500.00. The gauge sometimes works but most of the time it reads empty with the low fuel light on.

    Anyone have any ideas.
  • barexybarexy Posts: 3
    Im looking into buying a 1998 neon DOHC with 73000 miles on it.What i would like to know is, are there any problems with the DOHC Motor and will this car hold up for me if i maintain it.
    I hear so much about the neon ,both good and bad i dont know what to think,some input on this would be greatly appreciated
  • barexybarexy Posts: 3
    Im looking into buying a 1998 neon DOHC with 73000 miles on it.What i would like to know is, are there any problems with the DOHC Motor and will this car hold up for me if i maintain it.
    Neon is a 4 door and is purple in color.Also this neon has front power windows,and not rear power windows,how can this be? Neon has the factory fog lights, factory spoiler,and tach, I hear so much about the neon ,both good and bad i dont know what to think,some input on this would be greatly appreciated.
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