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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    neo763: I have had three neons; a 96, 2001,and 2004. My 96 now has 175,000 miles on the orignal engine. The 1996 is the only one that has needed motor mounts, several times. The one in the front seems to need replacing about every 80,000 miles.. For some reason this one takes more of a beating from curbs, and rocks, and parking lot stops. They are not cheap as you say, I paid about $125. installed at a local garage in Sept. 04. The mount came from Napa, which you already said. You are not alone. But the Neon keeps going and going.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    My 96 Neon has 175,000 on the orignal engine. I have learned the hard way this engine does not run well on Split Fire plugs, the SOHC is not designed for Platinum plugs. The best plug is the OEM Champion plugs, and change them at 30,000 miles and the spark plug wires at 60,000 to 75,000 miles with Mopar. I tried two other wire sets and they just did not fire as strong and interefered with the radio. The biggest thing is the timming belt at 90,000 miles and replace the water pump with a new one while doing the belt. The 96 also had head gasket problems and if yours worked out as mine did, I had the belt and water pump changed at the same time and my cost was only for the belt and pump. Hope this helps.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    We got our 2004 Neon SXT late July 2004. We have almost 22,000 miles on it now. The only thing done has been reseting the left tire rod was not done correct at the factory, and that was done at less than 1,000 miles. This is our 3rd Neon, we still have a 96 with 175,000 miles on it, and we had a 2001. Of all this 2004 is the best. The four speed is nice,but shifts rather awakwardly at times. We have goten as high as 33 mpg and avrage is 28 mpg. That's quite a bet better than Consumer Reports says! They claim 24 is Neons best, well our 96 still gets 30 plus mpg.

    The only thing I find distracting is the solid black seats and doors, dash and interior. They show dirt real easy. The seats clean up real easy. The car is comfortable even on long trips. The interior is noisy and the engine is also, wind noise is less than the older style. But when on a cell phone it's not as nice as our Jeep Liberty.I kept the "Bad Year Tires" just long enough for a tire shop owner friend to order me a set of Cooper tires.

    The 2005 is suppose to be the last year for the Neon. However that remains to be seen as the replacement looks like a crossover something like a hatch back and a Derango type front end. Time will tell.

    I think Chrysler should fire the idiot that is designing these "low rider" "chopped top" station wagons and this "old Charger". Heck we have had all the station wagons and fastbacks to last a life time! When will Dodge build a sedan that's got lots of back seat foot room, and looks like it belongs to the twenty first century?
  • Thank you for the update. I purchased Mopar wires on eBay for $22.99 plus $7.99 shipping and picked up the OEM Champion Spark Plugs at Autozone for $8.00 and my Neon runs tops. I called the dealer about the timing belt. I am at 75,000 miles. They told me I could wait but the entire job would go for $800.00, which was a little steep. I called my mechanic and he said he could do the same job for half the price the dealer wanted. I'll be doing this job in the fall when I have the money. Thanks again.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I called the dealer about the timing belt. I am at 75,000 miles.

    I think the manual calls for a change at 100,000 miles or thereabouts. Check the manual or use the Edmunds maintenance guides, which are great. Unless the car is a manual transmission, the timing belt is probably safe out to about 130,000-160,000 miles (no "popping the clutch" or wild downshifts with automatics). It is a critical replacement, and so the manual recomendation is actually conservative. I wouldn't go past the manual recommendation, but I wouldn't feel a need to do it earlier either as a precaution. The belts have improved a lot over the years, and there is a lot of statistical evidence on belt life for manufacturer's to draw on.

    I recommend shopping dealers since there are wildly different rates for this. Personally I'd rather have the dealer do this, they have all the proper tools, use factory parts, don't have to improvise, have good up to date manuals, and usually trained personnel. They also back up their warranty. One trick that sometimes works well is to ask which mechanic (or two) is good at timing belts and make sure that mechanic is on duty when you take your car in. You don't want someone who does a lot of brake jobs to substitute when the timing belt person is out sick. Or take it in on that person's day off.

    And believe it or not, it helps to show up early with a box of donuts for the crew.
  • Thanks again for the update. I remember putting 103,000 miles on my 95 automatic SOHC Neon and traded it and never changed the timing belt before it was traded. I plan on keeping my 99 for 3 more years. I don't hardball her and 85% of my miles are highway. I've had her since August of 2004 and she had 45,000 miles on her. I figure by January I'll need to change the timing belt.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    You and I agree as to having the dealer do the job. Too often local small shops or even large ones are a general, attempting to do it all shop. When shops maybe do two belst a year, they may have a less hourly rate but when they take twice as long and get a cut rate timing belt, what is the savings there? I personally have the water pump replaced whit a new one while everthing is easily to get at. For struts, tires, and generally noncritical things I might use a general shop. At the Dodge/Jeep dealer, an oil change is $22.00 and a tire rotation and balance is $46.00, and that is a better price than most shops arround here.

    I have repeatedly said these dealers get griped at, and seldom get praise. I too bring something to say thanks, and let the service manager know I am please. This is a key to great service, and helps when you really do have a problem!
  • shymerm8shymerm8 Posts: 7
    I am new to this site but I just wanted to let you know tellie the 2000 neons are pieces of crap. We have one we bought it at 35,000 miles and it is in the shop every three months no joke. 2 months after owning it the speed sensor went out and when I took it in they said there was recalled part the break hose that was recalled several months before we drove the car off the lot. Since then we have had our cam sensor go out it lets the car know if it is on or off. Two window motors go out since they are power and a door go out power too. Then our battery so it was replaced but the dealer broke something so we were iding from 0-20 without our foot on the gas. So they fixed that problem they made. We has the timing belt and another one replaced and found out we were charged for these so called belts but they were not put on. So we stopped going the original dealer because the car already breaks down it does not need help.Then we replaced the brakes and found out our rotar had been eaten because one side of the pad was braking and not the other. So that's not a big deal because that is matance. But then we had our freeze plugs replaced because our car kept overheating and I could smell the coolant when I got out my car. My car has stared overheating again, 3 months after 600.00 worth of work for the freeze plugs done. So it broke down right on schedule I guess you could say. So we took it in and they told us it was not our radiator because they flushed it and tested it so it is good. They did say it was our radiator cap so a new one was put on. Problem is 2 weeks out of the shop and it is still over heating and needs new motor mounts at 84,000 the upper and lower ones and a new power steering pump. Which is quite funny because our pump has always sounded like that since we drove it off the lot and now we need a new one. It however is very noisy. No one knows why the car is overheating and now they are telling us it is our termastat what next our gasket ??? or the trans ??? Our car is a piece of carp and I wanted to let you know your not alone and warn people not to buy these cars.My best friend bought one too the same year and her trans went out @ 50,000 and now is going out again @ 80,000. So I am not alone in the fact that these cars are pieces of junk. I will never buy another dodge if my life depended on it. I'm so upset with mine I just want to scream. :lemon:
  • shymerm8shymerm8 Posts: 7
    oh i forgot to mention our cars feels like it wants to stall sometimes too. This has been going on the past 6 months we thought it might be a fuel thing so we used a fuel clearer. However it is still acting up it goes a little then it shakes and then drives a littke more and shakes it feels like it is trying to shut off like when the cam sensor went out the first time. Which is quite scary when your on the freeway and your car wants to shut off because it is not getting a signal that it is not on. This was the case when the sensor went out. It's like there is little power when my foot is on the gas and then a bust then a little and then a bust. That is best way to describe it So does anyone know what problems this is and why the stupid car is overheating ? :cry:
  • rick20rick20 Posts: 1
    yes i have the same proplem with my 2000 neon did you solve this proplem could you let me know i think it could be a short or could be the relay thank you
  • Okay I have a Dodge Neon that is also a 00 and it is doing the same thing. And I have noticed the same thing concerning the weather conditions. Example in the mornings when there is dew, rainy days, cold days it is worse. I took it to get the brakes done today and talked to the guy at the garage about it and he said it sounds like there is rusty S pin in the door panel (p/s door) since that is the only door that acts up with the auto lock system. If I get any answers on this I will let you know and if you do if you could please let me know that would be great. Thanks
  • Hi!

    I also drive a 2000 Neon LX that does the exact same thing. When I am driving, the car constantly thinks the door is open and the light goes on and off. The doors also constantly lock and unlock, and this is all very annoying! To complicate matters, the passenger rear door lock makes this horrible sound when it locks. It drives me crazy.

    Anyway, I have a temporary solution. Please excuse my lack of technical car language; I have a degree in theatre and know nothing about cars. There is a "button" on the car that gets pushed in when the door closes. If you are in the driver's seat looking at the door, there is a "hole" on the left side in the middle that has a little latch in it. Push the latch up and close the door. This should help force the "button" into the car so that the car won't think the door is open. Also, this sounds cheesy, but if you cover the "button" with a piece or several pieces of duct tape, this also helps a great deal. Closing the door HARD also helps. I know this doesn't offer a long-term solution, but maybe it can help restore your sanity until you can have your car professionally looked at. I know I plan to have this done immediately after I stop being poor! :)
  • Spark Plug Wires!!!! On a dry day, spray them with water using a spray bottle. If you see sparks then your wires are junk. Change them and your car will run the way it's supposed to be. :D
  • rick15rick15 Posts: 1
    The used Neon I recently bought just turned over 102,000 miles and the service engine light is on. I am sure it is something to do with the oxygen sensor or something along those lines, right? What do I need to do to fix this problem the correct way and reset the light? Thanks

  • Rick,
    Put your key in the ignition and turn it 5 times like you were going to start it 5 times but don't let it start. The check engine light will do a series of flashes and those flashes can be found in the repair manual as to what is wrong with your car. The O2 sensor is cheap money. I believe I paid $150 at the dealer to get mine done on my 95 when I had it. Also, Autozone can check your engine light problem for free. Once the O2 sensor is replaced, the check engine light should go out. If it annoys you then remove your negative cable on your battery for 5 minutes and put it back on and you will find your check engine light out. This is a temporary solution until you get the new sensor. :D -Rick
  • on the starting problem , i have a 95 plymouth neon and i am having the same problem but mine is because of the wire that runs from the internal fuse box to the positive battery terminal has a bad conection. try replacing it or rigging it to fit better.i also have the fuel gauge problem as well as a speedometer. i could use some help too
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    Sounds a lot like a head gasket. Neons were famous for blown head gaskets from 1995 to 1999 but perhaps your Neon got an old one dur to a late build on the engine. It's worth a look anyway.
  • Well said, I totally understood what you said without car technical terms lol. I am going to have to look into that door thing cause like you I am about insane due to the noise it makes. Today was a horrible day for the noise too :mad: I was ready to jump out of the car lol with it still in drive and just let it go. Thanks for the tip I will be trying that :)
  • johnniebjohnnieb Posts: 1
    I just completed wiring up the push button start on my drag Neon and decided to crank it up for the first time. The engine turns over and has fuel but I have no spark. The whole key ignition is gone but I still have a few wires. Does anyone know what wire or wires were getting power for spark when the key ignition was turned on? :confuse:
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