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Dodge/Plymouth Neon

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  • I'm with you guy, boy that 1DB must be pretty dramatic to wind the neon up in 5th place (give me a break!). Although I have the 3spd auto, it isnt any louder that I'm aware of, I dont have any problems with it. Keep blowin those BMW's off the map Mobay! Man do I love my neon! I especially love that neon srt (WOW)
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    always throw a huge personal preference into the mix instead of basing it on raw measurable data. I remember when the Viper finished first in every measurable catagory in Motor Treand or Road and track supercar shoot-out and they picked it 4th or something based on style and cupholder size or something lame. It won EVERY performance test in a performance car shootout and was the second least expensive car to buy tested. I say some me the numbers and I'll pick my winner, short of $15000 the Neon is it.
  • Keep babbling, were on the same sheet of music. I opted for the automatic and even though a 3spd she gives me no problems and she gets up to speed quickly and without complaint. She's no match for your 5spd PocketRocket:-] but I like her just so. You're right on the money, neons have character and I think that's what people love about'em, and they're also the best damn looking small car on the road! I accessorize my neon almost continually and I would like to complement what's under the hood too like a K&N filter for starters (still dont know if they sell a drop in replacement). Howell Automotive sells some really nice accessories for new neons (and older neons). I must say I would surely like to give the new R/T 5spd a test drive, and go after those @#$% Honda's here in C'ville, Virginia. :-D
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    That comparison test in Car and Driver was between
    a Dodge Neon and a Nissan Sentra. I don't care what you say. The Neon's engine is louder than the Protege;s, but it's also a little faster. Refinement is missing in the car.

    Also, my friend's Neon has 12,700 miles on it right now. Thus far, it has been in the shop twice. The first time, a broken left rear door latch. The second time: a peeling dash pad, replacement of the front brake pads and rotors, and replacement of the trunk latch. AND the engine idles so roughly that the dash and steering wheel vibrate. Of course, the Dodge dealer says that's normal for ANY 4-cylinder. I reaffirmed his answer and said it may be normal for any DODGE or any AMERICAN 4-cylinder, but my Mazda NEVER has done that, and it has almost 24K.

    Also, my Protege has been in the shop twice. Once for a transmission that was shifting funny and a CD player that would not discharge CDs. The second time, the car shook at highway speeds. Turned out that ice was frozen in the wheels (during snow) and didn't defrost. They had to shoot hot water in and defrost them. But still, that's twice in 24K, for minor things.

    And customer service with Dodge sucks! They told me if they couldn't have my car ready (Bob Banning Motors in Landover, Md.) by closing, they did NOT have loaners or rentals. They would "put my car back together the best they could" and I would have to bring it back the next day. I told him he would be very sorry if it wasn't ready at 6 when I got there. Needless to say, they called at 20 minutes of 6 and the car was done.

    Dodge surely is Different alright. They are sad. They have good-looking cars, but their mechanicals suck.
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45
    You are correct in the recent comparison.., its is a Sentra.., my apologies.The previous review however, did include a Protege' and I stand by the noise levels measured there.

    Also, is your friends NEON a 5sp or an auto? I've heard that the auto has a higher rev speed and hence higher noise, at highway speed 70-80MPH.I do not own a auto NEON, so someone who has one will have to confirm this.I've also heard that on a moderately long incline the Neon auto will randomly downshift.This would be annoying ,if true.I don't have an auto NEON, so once again,someone will have to reply.

    I also test drove a Protege' and found it to be refined and pleasant,but a rather dull car,both in performance,and style.My dealer model also had an annoying chassis rattle at a certain rev range. I would, however, have bought it, had it not been for me driving the NEON later.The VW Passat V6 was kinda nice but damn expensive, and also rather dull.A well-made microwave is an anology that comes to mind.

    As to your friend's Dodge, and Dodge dealers. I have to believe you.I've heard horror stories about Dodge dealers,but also rather bad ones on Mazda and Honda dealers,so where do we go from here? My Volvo dealer abroad was a horror,and so was the car.

    Tell your friend to make sure he has a folder in which he places all documentation of problems with his NEON.He may need it for the future .Also tell him to check to see if his dealer is a Five Star DC dealer. Five Star DC dealers get special discounts on vehicles and other items based on sales, and CUSTOMER SATISFACTION reports.If he calls Chrylser Customer Support in Michigan and complains, PLUS sends a corresponding letter at the same time, he'll be swamped with call from Bob Banning.

    Apparently what DC does is immedialtely call the dealer and request a report on the incident. They then demand that the dealer call the customer and make them happy. They then call back the customer, and ask if he has been contacted by the dealer and is now happy.

    If he has NOT been contacted, and is NOT happy, they read the riot act to the dealer and remind them of how quickly their status( and loss of either cars and incentives) can be initiated.

    How do I know this? Let's just say that a disgruntled formed employee of a Five Star DC dealer informed me of this.The key point is to document and THEN contact Chrysler Customer Support, INSTEAD of bitching to the dealer (who laughs in your face without the threat of DC's Cust.Support penalizing them).Most people do not know this, and hence the dealer abuses them. DC is now very stringent on wayward dealers.Perhaps the German side of the company is being projected??

    Should this have to be the way to live with a car dealer? No way!,but that's the way of the DC world.

    In all of our subsequent posts, it's still going to come to"My experience/opinion with my or X's car".If tomorrow my NEON breaks down,you'll hear it from me,but if it doesn't and goes to.., let's say..24K
    without a problem..,is it a better car than a Protege'?

    Or is it just "My experience/opinion with My or X's car" ?We really need hard data on NEON 2K (not 95-99)and Protege'2K's.

    Data on recalls,warranty usage,total cost of ownership,would go a long way to end the neverending (but fun!),"My experience/opinion with MY or X's car".

    Back to you.
  • Mobay: on the issue of automatic tranny shift problems and the like, my EXPERIENCE tells me this is'nt true. My neon shifts pretty smooth on any incline, and on covering other ground it also run's nice. On the issue of engine noise I have to say that I dont hear "excessive engine noise" but what I am hearing is above normal WIND noise-not engine. Maybe that extra 1DB noise is from the wind. Also, you are dead on when it comes to dealership problems-even 5 star dealers cause grief occassionally for DC, but I tell you I really think Daimler is cracking down hard on corrupt dealers, I'm starting to see a sweeping change in customer satisfaction and I honestly believe it's the german side that is coordinating this...

    Vocus: Mobay is correct about dealers you should attempt (if you havent already) to call DC about your dealer and your friends neon problems and they WILL take the neccessary action. Believe me I had problems with a 5star dealer and I called DC after the manager said "he could'nt do anything about my problem" Whatever, I had DC rectify that real quick! There is nothing worse than having big problems with your car and then to have a dealer that disrespects you. I'm just curious, did your friend buy his neon in early-mid 99? I do know that this time frame does have some potentially big problems and there are several TSB's on them. There is a website on neon TSB's if you want to check on them.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    His Neon was an early build. He bought it in Decemeber of 1999. The Neon I speak of is an automatic. It revs around 3000 at 70 mph, not too bad. But when you punch it, it is very loud and annoying. Also, RPMs are something like almost 4000 at 80-85 mph. Not that high in my Protege. Of course, the Neon is a little lower priced than the Protege. I am glad I decided to get the Protege though, and not the Neon, now that I have been driving one for the past few weeks.
  • mlaportamlaporta Posts: 9
    I did! I did! I DID try to fix the problem. And the next one. And the next one. and even the next five. You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT in stating any car can have problems. There are lemons of every color, style and make. BUT: I had MUCH more problems with how the dealership and Chrysler Corp reacted to the constant problems than I had with the car itself. Nothing, absolutely nothing was ever fixed. (except for the head gasket which blew again) And I was always told either A) it's fixed, or B) there's nothing wrong. I tried the lemon law. I tried the arbitration. Then I decided to be done trying. This message board and others like it are, and should continue to be, for people who are displeased as well as for those who are pleased. And it was not/is not only "my" neon. I work w/ 3 people who have Neons, and 2 of them have had identical problems with identical reactions from our local dealerships and from Chrysler. And: we DO continue to work on fixing it! Although I don't own mine anymore, I'm working with the other two people, assisting them in reaching resolution. I don't like it. I don't have time for it. I'd rather be doing a myriad of other more fun things, but I'm doing it anyway. And really imprtfighter, relax. Why the need to be so nudgy? When I read about a Neon that is running like a charm, I don't get all nasty. I honestly hope the car will keep running like a charm. Cars are supposed to run well a good part of the time, yes? More power to it. Literally and figuratively. But the ones that are doing well do not facilitate positive mechanical changes in the ones that are not. And ALL manufacturers of EVERY product should stand by them; not only in theory. Reality checks have proven Chrysler's preference to stand down rather than stand by. My only goal has been to warn people based upon my experience, and I've actually had incredible success in that undertaking. I work with only 50 people... there are 12 new cars in our lot, and not one of them is a Neon. Four (or more) would have been. My experience supports the belief that I am doing fellow humans a service by warning them. They are free to reasearch and make as informed a decision as is possible in the absence of their own experience.
  • gigsgigs Posts: 11
    hi they are small cars you have to expect them to be pretty loud. Quality wise I'd say the protege is probably better. interior styling in favor of the neon, stereo in favor of the neon, exterior styling tie.
    Noise wise their isn't a big difference. The protege can get loud too. especially in the wind noise category.
    I drive a neon but I also really like both the Protege and the Focus. If the focus looked better I would have seriously considered one.

    Lastly, Vocus your wrong about Protege's not used as rentals. I have 2 or 4 at my rental branch that I work at.

    peace
  • mlaporta, I'm not "nudgy" to you or anyone else. I do however sympathize with your case, and based on your previous posts you were BEYOND THE HELP OF DC to help you. Obviously your car was a lemon and Dodge is'nt going to help you in that case but you know that now. My original post about fixing the problem/not the manufacturer is meant to say just that, serious problems or otherwise you attempt to fix it, but dont spitball dodge in the process, but you have every right to make it known your car was a piece of @#$%&. This is all I'm saying. I'm a mopar fan and you may not give a damn about that but at least make it look like you respect other's views, I've respected yours in the past and I also said before that I understand your grief and feel sorry for you. I hope this episode is behind us now, so we may wipe the BB slate clean if you will, and lurch forward to a brighter more healthier posting of opinions,Good Day to all. :-]
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    Ayup, you paid over twice the amount I did.

    -Beanboy
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    How did I pay over twice the amount you did for a new car? I told you I paid something like $13,000 for my Protege. There's no way you got a brand new Neon for something like $6000 unless it was in an accident or something beforehand. Get over it.
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    reduce your daily intake of caffeine and don't spend so much time in the forums, =). The Neon I nabbed was used, a '95 model in fact.

    -Beanboy
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    As long as we are into this whole, "I had this happen to me so XXXX brand is all junk" it would seen strange that vocus has had problems with "his" dodge dealer when he has never owned a Dodge hinself. Personally I am really leary of your whole I swapped cars for 3 weeks story, the whole thing seems like such a nice little package to enable you to post negative comments about the neon. Next I supposed your "friend" will come on line and start posting about what a perfect car your Mazada is.

    All I ever get driving my neon of 2.5 years is many smiles, there are many other cars I'd rather have out there but none cost under $15000 let alone the $11000 my loaded Neon cost. Yeh it was in the shop twice in the first year and a half for minor problems. The 2 different dealers were both amazing and neither was where I actually bought the neon in the first place. The most recient trip (a year ago) was because it idled rough one time upon start up and almost stalled causing the check engine light to come on. I took it in and got an updated program put in the computer and the changed the plugs and wire for free as 1 cylinder had higher resistance readings even though it was in spec, I also had them replace the front brake pads are they had a very minor squeel at light break pressure. It didn't really affect anything (my mom's 99 VW is way worse) but hey, free pads. I plan on watching the headgasket closely until warrenty expires and if it does I know Dodge will fix it out of warrenty for $100. Sorry but I never here about the other makes giving this kind of care, if anything they are worse because they will do anything to protect the image they are above such problems. Look at Honda Oddyssey transmission problems, Toyota v-6 head gasket problems and a mysterious 'sludge' buildup in the oil, Honda accords crap distributers that cost as much as neon headgaskets regularly every 60000 miles. Sorry I don't know much about mazada, I have never rellay cared enuf to look. I guess they must be perfect.

    Point is all cars have there share of problems, no one car let alone an entire make of cars are seriously more reliable then the next. So for me it comes down to bang for the buck and Dodge always leads this catagory in everything they sell from the lowly Neon to the mighty Viper.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Sooooo my neon has cost me $60 in maintenance (4 oil changes) that took 5 hours total time of my life (this includes the two trips to the dealer for previous post repairs) I have had my Neon since Jan 98 and think it has 24000 miles now (too lazy to go look right now). I am currently trying to burn these goodyears off before next spring so I can show the wife how much we need new tires. And hey why unmount the snows on the factory alloys we can just get new set of wheels, she wont even notice they are 16" suddenly!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    We actually did swap cars for 3 weeks. We live in the same house, so it wasn't difficult. If you don't believe that story, I know there is no way you believe this one either.

    He decided he wants to get rid of the Neon after a little over 6 months and 12,500 miles. He has been driving the Protege and wants to keep it. So, I am going to sell him my car and I am going for a 2000 or 2001 Protege ES, loaded. It will probably cost more than the Neon, but it will be worth it. Also, the "crappy" dealer I went to is called Bob Banning Dodge/Pontiac in Landover, Md. If you don't believe me, pull up their website by searching. Their customer service sucks butt there. My Mazda CS experiences haven't been perfect either, but at least they call me when the car's finished. Also, they readily would offer a loaner car if my car had to stay in the shop overnight. This place wouldn't and told me flat out they would "put the car back together the best they could" and I could bring it back the next day for the remaining work. I was appaled that they would think that, let alone say it to a customer.

    Just because 10 peoples' Neons have been good to them and reliable doesn't mean everyone's will. My friend just got a bad one I guess. So we are fixing the problem by dumping the junk and becoming a two-Protege household. Problem solved.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have never owned a Dodge, Jeep, or Chrysler because I know better. My cousin had a 1998 Wrangler in which the rotors went at 9300 miles. Since the car was 1 month and 3 days over 1 year, Chrysler wasn't going to replace them. After my attorney sent them a nice little letter, they came and got the car from home and replaced the rotors, and washed and waxed the vehicle, all free of charge.

    It just seems that almost everyone I know has trouble with DC products, and this reaffirms it.

    I will say my friend's ex-wife has a 1996 Neon sedan that she never had problems with. That's why be bought the 2000, based on the experiences with the 1996 model. So I guess that means there are good ones and bad ones, like any manufacturer.
    Just seems DC has more bad ones than good ones.
  • roadrnnrroadrnnr Posts: 1
    I have owned alot of Chrysler products over the years and a couple of Tacoma's.

    I have a 90 Shadow ES Turbo that has been driven everyday since new with no major problems. Still runs like new.

    I had no qualms about my daughter getting a new 2000 Neon. She got an automatic and I drove it also and it seems adaquite for a 19 year olds first new car.

    The choice was between that and a Civic but they are overpriced I think and the look is so stale after all these years. The New Neon is IMHO the best looking of the entry level cars.

    I take care of my vehicles and do most maintenance myself and I am sure her new Neon will give her many miles of pleasure.

    I buy Dodges cause I know Better!
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100
    Folks:

    I just spent some time with my son in California. He has a 95 Neon with the 5 speed. I drove that baby for quite a while. I was very, very impressed. It is like new on the inside. Drives beatifully, rock solid on the highway.

    Very impressed by the seats. Much better than the seats in a 2000 Acura TL I drove recently. Also, nice gearbox.

    My only complaint was the level of engine noise.

    The only major problems he has had is a broken clutch cable and the infamous head gasket. Luckily, he had an extended warranty.

    Ed
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I still don't understand why if you have never owned a dodge what were you doing at the service shop? I agree they might not give such excellent service on your Mazada.

    Lsauka- if you didn't pay $16500 then it really didn't deperciate $6500 did it? What did you pay? then you ratio that to the retail value, not the trade in (wholesale) value to find a resale percentage. I bet it's really no more then $2000 which is what you'd expect from a 1 year old Honda as well.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend has a Neon. The Dodge service shop is right up the street from where I work, so I thought I would be a nice friend and take his car in to the shop for him. He took mine for its oil change, alignment, and tire rotation the week before, so I thought I'd return the favor.

    I did wayyyy better service at the Mazda dealer than at the Dodge dealership though. It was just this particular one, because when (over a year ago) I took my cousin's Jeep Wrangler in for brakes, they were very nice to me. There is no other word for the repair shop at Bob Banning motors than ghetto-rific.
  • gigsgigs Posts: 11
    Vocus you truly hate dodge. Is it because deep down inside you know that your deep down you realize that your uncreative Mazda brand (every type of vehicle looks the same but in a different size (protege, 626, mpv) is inferior to our dodge products? ;-) I'm just messin' wit ya but its funny you talk about how your Mazda gives out rentals. My rental branch is right beside a Mazda dealership and they never, ever give out rentals. Meanwhile many of my branches stock up on american built vehicles cause they are the dealerships that will pay for rentals. Chrysler dealerships get reimbursed from chrysler for rentals as long as your vehicle takes, I think, at least 8 hours. I know this cause we are a choice rental company for both the Mazda and chrysler dealerships in my town. Well when ever we do get the odd deal from Mazda cst pays, as with many japanesse makes.
    The boys and girls at both midas and chrysler in my town are both nice to deal with.

    I like both cars, I've also heard alot of people say they hate there protege's as well as people who hate there neons. One car a lot of people like is the echo. It ends up surprising them how much room and how peppy it is. to bad it gets tossed around in the wind.

    You want to pick on some really crapy cars lets pick on sunfires and cavaliers cause in my mind there is no other cars worse in this class then them. They handle like crap, are so unconfomortable and are louder then hell.

    top 5 cars in this class
    1 focus or protege
    2. focus or protege can't decide
    3. neon
    4. sentra
    5. civic or elantra

    The reason I got a neon the protege was a few thousand more expensive in Canada (that means a lot) and the focus's looks and interior soured on me a bit
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Before my Protege, I had a Cavalier. Someone I went to school with had one too, both of them were 1996 base coupes with automatic. Mine was white, and his is tanish. His engine blew at 100,500 miles, just far enough so Chevy wouldn't cover it to be replaced. Mine was traded in because it spent more time in the shop than on the road. A shame, because they were cheap and have nice power.

    Bob Banning told me if my car wasn't done at 6pm when they close, they would put it back together the best they could and return it to me. Then I would have to bring it back the next day. That is awful! I asked for a loaner or rental, and they said they didn't have one. They did, thank GOD, have the car ready at 6 when they closed.
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45
    HI,

    Is is just me? I could have sworn that we've been through this before.

    Anthing else to discuss?

    As for Bob Banning, I would suggest sending his company an email, with this link and tell them to see all the post with his name mentioned.They'll either sue, or give your friend better service.

    Send it to Chrysler customer support, and your friend may just get kissed by them north of the knees and south of the belly button.They will also string up Bob Banning's dealership by their gonads.

    We've been here before,where do we go next?

    BTW had my first oil change today. Put in 0-30W Synthetic. I swear the engine is idling slightly higher and feels ..,more.., how can I say..,less restricted.

    Has anyone had the same experience?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Does anyone else's 2000 Neon vibrate when idling in reverse? No matter if the engine is cold or hot, AC on or off, the engine vibrates bad enough to make the steering wheel tremble. Is this normal? My dealer told me ALL 4-cylinder cars do this. Maybe in the 70s or 80s, but not in 2000!
  • vocus: to answer your question about vibration, NO. It seems your dealer has a B.S. in "BS" =^]. Get a new dealer and get a new car.
  • My neon runs better too with full synthetic in it, I use Pennzoil's synthetic. I use Mobil 1 too but Pennzoil was on sale. What filter do you use? I use Purolator Pureone . Just drove 600 miles roundtrip, my neon drove efficiently and VERY QUIET at cruising speed, I almost fell asleep at 70mph! Saw a ton of new neons back home in Pennsylvania, a friggin ton of em. MOPAR MANIA!!!!!!!
    PS: I RECANT ON THAT WIND NOISE ISSUE, THE NOISE IS COMING FROM THE 60 SERIES LOWER PROFILE TIRES BUT ONLY OCCASIONALLY,WIND NOISE ISNT BAD THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME EITHER. ENGINE: JUST PERFECT! SEE YA IN THE FUNNY PAPERS.....
  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    I just purchased the detatchable luggage rack from Dodge for 200 dollars. It fits great and is easy to install (took me about 10 minutes). It also has a lock for security. If you need a luggage rack for any reason, I recommend the factory one.
  • Check this Out! Go to neonsport.com/srt_2d_nitro.gif

    YYEEEAAAAHHHH BABY!!! =^] 208 HP AFTERBURNIN NEON.
  • I am purchasing a 2000 Neon this weekend...and I want the SE...I think that is what it is called...with all the options..I also want a 5-speed-especially after reading the comments. I was wondering how much should I pay...because I get ripped off by everyone I encounter.
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