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1997 Dodge Neon Head Gasket



  • Just putting my 2 cents in.I have A 90 dodge colt that has 83000 miles on it.For the last year or so I have had oil leaking out of what appeared to be the head gasket.Kept telling myself its got to be leaking from the valve cover,but that part always remains dry.Alos bad oder from A?C vents when A/c is on. Got tired of it so was going to trade it in on A used neon or stratus.But why trade it in and get the same problems.Looks like dodge really needs to clean up there act.Glad I did my resaerch before I put myself indebt on I new headache.
  • bearssbearss Posts: 1
    A couple weeks ago my 1996 Neon blow a headgasket at 54,000 miles. I thought it was just my bad luck, so I took it to an independent mechanic and had it fixed. The bill was ~$800. When I went to pick up the car the mechanic told me that he has seen the same problem in many Neons with far fewer miles.

    I went home and investigated on my computer. Sites like this one allowed me to realize that the headgasket problem is very wide spread.

    I wrote a letter to Daimler Chrysler (DC) and sent a copy of my bill. They called me and said that they would pay me $148.94 for the parts under a "good will warranty". No labor.

    I politely said that I was not satisfied with $149 given that the Neon headgasket problem seems too wide spread to be just a coincidence. The DC rep asked me "so you are not satisfied with this?" I replied "no I am not". She then said " well since this good will warranty is designed to make you happy and it is not, then I am withdrawing the offer and you get nothing, zero. You are no longer eligible for the good will warranty sir."

    I was left almost speechless by the response. I don't know that I have ever been treated more poorly. I called and explained the situation to another DC rep and got no where. I asked him that if he was in my shoes would he not expect to be at least partially reimbursed for the head gasket repair. He responded "no sir, I take responsibility for my own vehicles".

    I realize I should have taken my car to a dealer, but at the time I thought the problem was unique to my Neon. Thus I did not even think of being reimbursed. If DC would have publicly admitted that there is a Neon headgasket problem, then I would have known and taken it to a dealer.

    Any advice on what to do next. I am out $800 and I am shocked at how poorly the DC reps treated me. I could see their responses if I was rude, but I wasn't. I was polite and professional at all times. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. Thank you.
  • My daughter is thinking of buying a 2000 Neon. Do they have the same gasket problem or has it be taken care of at the factory? I don't think she should buy one if the same trouble still exist. She is going to make the purchase Friday Jan. 26. Need answers SAP! Thanks.
  • I have a 1995 Dodge Neon and the paint is flaking off. I called the main office and they refused to paint it because i was a 3rd owner and they also said that the warranty on the paint was 3 year or 36,000 miles. I find this very strange that a company would only warranty their paint for 3 years. But I am fighting to have it repainted if i can get enough people to stand behind me and maybe they will recall them. So if you have this problem please e-mail me at I am fighting hard to get all white neons recalled so please help
    thank you
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    The new 2.0 and 2.4L engines use a redesigned head gasket that supposedly has fixed the failure problems.

    As for paint, it's warranted for 12 months or 12,000 miles on a Dodge. The Neon postdates the common Uniprime peeling-paint problem Chrysler (and Ford and GM) had in the late 80s and early 90s. It is more likely an isolated case now - unlike its transmissions, Chrysler apparently has improved its paint finishes.
  • fuji56fuji56 Posts: 1
    Just had the head gasket replaced this past week. I would like to thank all of you that have posted experiences with you local service departments.

    I started out by calling a local dealership in order to get a quote for the repair. I was quoted a price of $800 parts & labor. I immediately called the DC number and was told that I would need to take my Neon to a service department and get a problem determination. Well, I did and of no surprise I was told that it was the head gasket that was leaking and that DC would go 50/50 with me for the repairs. The final bill for the repair ended up to be $214.96. I believe that the district managers have undue influence in determining the final cost of repairs. I also believe that there is a possibility that I might not have had to pay anything. The idea of a class action suit will be my next consideration.

    Good luck to all Neon owners.
  • cabinscabins Posts: 1
    Thanks to everyone that has posted information on their experiences with the Neon head gaskets -it helped to save me quite a bit of money.

    My (daughter's) 1997 Neon had 28,000 miles on it when we bought it. Shortly after buying the Neon, we started noticing the oil spots. My daughter-in-law also owned a Neon (1998) during this time period, and it developed a major oil leak. My daughter-in-law was able to get her head gasket replaced at no charge, although the warranty had expired. (I attributed their willingness to correct the problem to the fact that she and my son have been good customers of the Chrysler dealer in our town.)

    After arming myself with information from this site, I finally took my daughter's 97 Neon in to the dealer to have the oil leak checked at 44,400 miles. I told the service dept. when I took it in that I was reasonably sure that it was the head gasket, given all of the problems that Chrysler has had with this item. The service dept. told me that if it was the hg, it would likely be covered by Chrysler. They would call to get approval if needed.

    It turned out that it was the hg, and they called me to say that it was out of warranty and the repairs would not be covered. I told the service rep that I knew that Chrysler had repaired many of the Neons at no charge. She offered to do the repair at 50% cost. I told her that I also knew that many of the hg's had been replaced for a $100 deductible paid by the consumer. She agreed to this and the work was subsequently done.

    When I went to pick up the car today, the lady that I had spoken with was not available. There was confusion about the charge, but the owner of the dealership got involved, and I was able to pick up the car with No Charge. He stated that Chrysler gives him a great deal of flexibility in dealing with the head gasket problem.

    Once again, I thank all of you for providing me with the ammunition needed to get this repair done for free.
  • I have a 1997 Plymouth Neon that started leaking oil a small amount at about 40,000 miles. Go figure, right after the original factory warranty ran out. Then it stopped and started again from time to time until it reached 58,000 when it really started leaking. A half a quart every 500 miles. I took it into a local dealership in my town and they took one look at it, actually I think they knew before they looked at it, and told me it was a blown headgasket. I luckely had extended warranty through Fidelity Warranty and they covered all but my $100.00 deductible and they would not pay for new nuts and bolts. Strange. They did pay for all fluids. I also contacted Chrysler and kindly complained to them and was told that they would be willing to offer a "good will" gesture of paying for all labor, basically, and I could pay for parts. This would have meant me paying around $200.00 or so. I told them I had the extended warranty but wanted them to pick up the tab on the deductible. They would not do it. They were nice about the whole thing and I was surprised about the "good will" offer but they at first didn't want to admit that it was a "known" problem. Then I told them everything I had researed on this site and others and they then started saying when they normally offered good will offers that customers usually ended up paying around $200.00. Now tell me how they know what they normally do when at first they tried to say they didn't even know about it being a known problem. Well, hope this helps someone out there with a similar problem.
  • If I buy a Neon that has had the HG changed then do I look forward to it going again in another 30 - 50 thousand miles? What is the average life of a neon in miles?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Neon head gaskets have been updated to resolve the leakage problem (hopefully). Look for small rivets through the gasket where it protrudes between the head and block.
  • I have a 1996 Ply mouth Neon. At 24K the suspension went south. At about 55K (just out of the warrantee period), the head gasket went ($879.00) and at about 60K the paint began to bubble-up and peel off around the roof-line and sides ($237.00). I could peel every last hint of paint off the car using my fingernails if I wanted to waste an afternoon. It appeared that it wasn't even bonded to the primer. That doesn't include the two master cylinders I purchased at $350.00 a pop. -My brakes lost pressure and failed 4 times. My gas gauge has also been replaced but that too has gone bad again and I use my trip odometer to see how much gas I have. The A/I stopped working at 54,000 ($329.00). All the while, I was told by Chrysler that this or that wasn't covered and that all these were probably caused by my driving tendencies.' I can understand them saying I could POTENTIALLY blow a head gasket by over-revving the engine (but I've never had that problem before, on any other car..) but I asked the guy exactly how fast I'd need to drive to peel the paint off the car. Bottom line..... Don't buy a Dodge/Crysler. They're rip-off artists and shiesters. They know of these problems and they don't care. I will never ever buy a Dodge product again in my life and I will tell EVERYBODY who cares to listen to do the same. Hell, I was out looking at cars last week and as I was leaving a Nissan lot, a Dodge salesman on the next lot asked me if he could help me. I almost decked him for his trouble. (I know, it's not HIS fault!) If you think my luck is isolated, ask any owner of a 1995 - 1997 Neon if he's had problems with either the paint, the head gasket or the brakes and I'll wager my worthless Neon that one of the above rings true. (Go to consumer reports website and you'll see that these are VERY common problems). Of course, If you win the wager, you may not want the devil anyway!

    -P.S. -TO THE GIRL THAT WAS LOOKING TO PURSUE A LAWSUIT - If still interested, I'M GAME!!! my e-mail is listed on this site. IF anyone, for that matter, is looking to do the same, I'll get in on the action. I know Dodge/Chrysler won't squirm because their rep is poor anyway (I found out about that too late!), but If I can exact at least $2500.00 damage in bad publicity from Dodge/Chrysler, I'd call it even.....
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    cars and you expect the COMPANY to REPAINT YOUR CAR???Pick a real issue, no court in the world is going to hear a case like that. Blame the EPA for demanding "low emission" water based paint.There are too many variables involved especially YEARS after the warranty has expired for DCX to be held responsible for that.
    I am no DCX cheer leader, but not EVERY problem is someone else's fault. Paint ages, fades, cracks, checks, crazes.
    I hope that a class action suit IS brought against them for their defective head gaskets and Ford's and GM's as well. But the paint thing-please.
  • Yeah ! Congratulations Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth
    You did it, U Won ! Worldwide consumers have paid there hard earned money and you provided worldwide consumers with the worst Engineered vehicles on Earth...

    Got to hand it to Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth you have Won beaten all your consumers.

    Wise old saying you can't read a book by its cover :O)
    Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth great looking vehicle unfortunately for the unsuspecting consumer even to date Transmission failure, head gasket failure , too many more serious problems Etc...
    Just read this Newsgroup 2% Satisfied , 98% Unsatisfied . Surf the internet U will find 100s of thousands of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle owners that are Big Losers. Telling there Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle Horror stories.

    Now that Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth consumers have read the book by owning one of the worst Engineered vehicles on Earth. Consumers worldwide learned a costly but valuable lesson.

    Now we have come to realize. Yes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth they are the Winners.

    Yep we the "Consumers of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicles are the BIG LOSERS" !

    Were losing vehicle trade in, Value its Awful.
    Quality Automobile Dealers don't want your Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle offering 50% of Galves Trade in if in Mint Condition.
    Even Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth Dealers are offering 50% of Galves. Now we are driving around in a nearly worthless Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle and paying for Major repairs :O(
    Its not going to get any better cause Smart Consumers are not Buying a New or even thinking of buying a used Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle.

    We sure learned a Valuable Lesson > Never again buy Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicles. For those few Die Hards remember( Only a Fool Loses Twice )

    Rejoice fellow Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle consumers now it is our turn to Win.

    Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth your profits are gone, Stocks are dropping to an all time low Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth is just hanging on by a thread bankruptcy is near Hooray - Yeah !
    Now how does it feel to be a LOSER ! Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth :O)

    Worldwide automotive consumers buy smart be a Winner don't become a Loser like the rest of us who owned or still own the worst engineered vehicles on Earth.
    Let Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth become the final Loser.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Speaking of losers Jack, or is that Mr.Azz? (I wouldn't reveal my real name if I were you either) have you considered having someone with at least a grade 3 reading and grammar skill level proof read your posts for you? Trying to slog through your drivel and verbal diarrhea was absolutely painful. Furthermore, did you really think your post was so special that we'd want to suffer through it in at least 7 forums here? GET A LIFE, MORON!
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Thanks. Went on another site and thought I'd made a mistake I was reading [or trying to]the same thing all over again.I got the point, but it was hell for reading.
  • Although it stunk because I was on the road and my wife had to deal with it, I can't complain. Not sure if it was free because we had the 7-70 Service plan we bought when we got it new. My head gasket blew at 19K miles. On my 2nd '98 Neon now - a green one this time, with the plates GB PKRS. These plates go with the green Neon better than my old red one. Now all I have to do it get the new WI official PACKERS plate design - but I'll need to give Lambeau $25 a year for as long as I own the plate - probably as long as the current Lambeau! Cripes! I can thinkl of better charities, so it's a tough decision. What does this have to do with my head gasket? Nothing! but I'm bored and in a hotel room. Just thought I'd share. C-ya! Thanks for reading. Hey, if your head gasket blows FIGHT IT! Many have got it fixed for free besides me.
  • My wife has a 1997 Neon Highline(yeah right) and had purchased it new with the extended warranty. At 32,000 miles her head gasket blew with oil all over. We had it replaced for free. Then now we have a major coolant leak. We just had the head gasket replaced again, now at 42,000 miles! What a piece of *%@#!
  • 97taurus97taurus Posts: 2
    Why is there no MAIN PLACE to collect the horror stories/facts/ and help to initiate class actions to force these companies to provide a decent product replacement for OBVIOUS defects.....we have the misfortune of having the Neon, now undergoing a head gasket replacement which was DENIED by DG to exist.....(service manager even pretended to scope current updates to see if there was any major complaints on record for this DEFECT)....unfortunately, other vehicle is a Ford Taurus 97 wagon that has MAJOR transmission problems that again the company thinks isolated to US only.....and reading thru the board see that we may have head gasket trauma to come on the Ford. Why is there no easier way for consumers to follow up on all this and just where are the HIDDEN WARRANTIES that are referred to..the ones that are not bandied about PUBLICly??? This is repulsive paying the amounts of dollars to initially purchase these junkers!!!!!!
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Look at it this way - the ease with which information can be collected and published on the Internet is one decided advantage in favor of the consumer.

    And there are companies that will stand behind what they build - my Subaru was just serviced for an alternator replacement after 4 years and almost 50,000 miles. Subaru didn't have to offer the service campaign - it did so to keep the goodwill of its buyers. They replace the alternators without charge for parts or labor.

    I guess customer satisfaction means more to some companies than it does to others; it may be one reason why Subaru (and Honda and Toyota) are selling cars just fine, while DaimlerChryler's Chrysler Group is struggling now.
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