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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Well, what else could be wrong with the engine when it's tapping ferociously than the head gasket? I don't know what it could be, but it's a little disconcerting to have the engine in a car that's 6 months old with 15K to have engine tapping worse than a car with 100K on it. I just wish Dodge could find out what's wrong with it.

    They said "no problem found" as usual. But yet, three other people who I rode in the car heard it tapping and they couldn't. That is such bullcrap. That's what makes me mad about the service and customer care at Chrysler.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Tapping noises have absolutely nothing to do with the head gasket. Tapping is normally caused by valves with too large of a clearance, by using low quality gas, or by low oil pressure. Maybe the engine's computer isn't retarding the timing to compensate for the bad gas or maybe the hydraulic lifters aren't keeping the valves in proper clearance or its possible the oil pump isn't holding the proper oil pressure, but that should cause the oil light to come on. At any rate, it isn't that big of a deal unless the tapping is SEVERELY loud. Some four cylinders tend to make more of a metallic tapping sound than others, so maybe it is normal for the Neon.
    I have a classic 84 VW GTI (I think Mobay and importfighter would appreciate that statement) and it has solid lifters. My valves tap whenever it is real hot outside and I am using the AC and accelerating hard or up a hill. It is no big deal. Since I have never adjusted the valves, that is probably my problem. However, the last time I checked, they were within specs. So, my point here is that it taps and nothing can really be done about it. It is just a normal sound whenever the engine is under a lot of strain and is operating in a hot and humid climate. I don't let it annoy me.
  • All these reliability issues can be said about DC,
    but this is outrageous, but of course they weren't
    DC car's, the were Chevy's.

    Check it out:
  • I cant believe some of you took that photo seriously! It was a joke alright just a joke. There was no "bad taste" involved just some comic relief, what bullcrap. This forum has turned into a neon haters affair and once a fun place to be and share information has become totally useless. I say thanks to those like Mobay and others, you've made it great, but I'm outta here guys-this place sucks! I'm off to better things, like driving my neon. Hey, neon haters it's been a nightmare-I think I'm gonna puke ON A WORTHLESS MAZDA!!!!! BYE BYE =^9
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45

    I had a 1982 GTI and loved it till I was forced (relocation overseas) to sell it. When I see one on the street, I look at it the same way a person would look at a long lost lover. I loved it that much.Very fast,handled great,and was not bad at all inside (especially the seats!)

    I am beginning to become intoxicated also by my Neon, and have accepted it's little quirks, just as I do my two son's personalities.It is a very exciting,comfortable,and tight car.

    I'm different perhaps from most in this group in that I thoroughly researched the car before I bought it. I had heard of the Neon, not from American's but from Brits,Dutch and Norwegians (yes! Norwegians) who told me of its performance and value. I am also different in that I knew beforehand it's shortcomings and was surprised to find them gone in the 2K.

    I also have a 5sp.( unlike most), which ,until you drive a 2K with one,you cannot believe the difference between it and an automatic model.

    Tapping noises DO NOT have anything WHATSOEVER! with head gaskets.I've had the pleasure of being around Ferrari's and other sports cars, and they have a "samba" of mechanical noise that is worse than any Neon.My 5sp. idles very smoothly,but at full throttle,you know there's 132BHP in front of the steering wheel.Think of it as Pavarotti,clearing his throat before singing.

    The problem with Japanese,most European, and almost all American cars made today is that they are BORING!Capable, and refined , perhaps like the late Lady Diane,but I'd rather fall in love with a Jennifer Lopez, who is exotic and exciting.

    The Neon is one of those few cars that "grows" on you.It's not what you would expect a cheap (no slight intended) car to be.It was the model for many others to follow.It has redefined what a sub-compact can be (like the GTI did in the 1980's).No one can take that away from it's heritage.

    We will talk forever about reliability of the 2K and until three years go by, will never know. One thing no one argues about here (even the detractors)is that the Neon is not fun to drive.

    This will probably be my last post for a while as I believe that there's not too much more to be said that has not been said.

    I will continue to love my Neon until it does something to betray that love.

    If you're ever driving in the DC Metro area and see a middle age man blast by you in a 2K, with a flag (won't tell you which one!)one the back, that's me.My 2k is modified so it'll sound different from a stock one.

    I'll also have a big grin on my face.

    Thanks fella's it been interesting and enjoyable.

    God keep you all.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    You are in the DC metro area? I work in Lanham and frequent 495 myself.

    I kinda thought the tapping had nothing to do with the head gaskets, but wasn't sure. But the valves shouldn't tap because the car takes 87 octane gas and that's what I put in it. Also, I changed gas brands and it still taps. I guess I will find out when or if something happens with it.
  • You said the Neon is not fun to drive?? Are you sure you are driving a 5-speed Neon?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    What he was saying is that even the people who talk negatively against the Neon do NOT say it isn't fun to drive. I will admit that too, because it is. I guess I'm just used to a quieter car, but the engine does sound nice when it hits redline, even with the automatic and I don't mind that noise. The thing I do NOT like is the vibration through the whole car on idle (I think it's bad motor mounts, but the dealer says no and that's the way all Neons are designed). I am going to the dealer next weekend and driving a 2000 Neon to see if this is true. If it's not (which I don't think it is), it's going to be hell to pay the captain!
  • Give them HELL,because there is TSB for that vibration,and they should fix it,they shouldn´t tell you that crap!
    I have a 2000 Neon,it was built in may of 99 and I didn´t have major problems with it,let me tell you that it´s a fast car,and it´s good with mpg,the ONLY problem I had was with the power steering,a little noise with it.
    So I took it back to the dealer,they told me it was ok,so I took a new car and test drove it,and no noise,so I called Chrysler and explained my problem.
    My dealer installed a cooler,and had to replace 3 times the power steering until I was satisfied with my car,so far the car runs great,it´s a blast to drive it,I enjoy it very much.
  • There are a couple of TSB for the 2000 Neon,the dealer MUST perform them,make sure they will!
    Tell them you want to see them,if you don´t have them let me know.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I tried it with the power steering thing too. It's like a whining noise when I turn it sometimes at low speeds or stopped. BUT AGAIN, they said it's normal. This from a dealership that left my damn car sit from 9am-5pm and then called me and told me they couldn't get to it and would NOT pay for a rental. And that I could either come and get it and return the next day (without complimentary transportation to work) or leave it overnight and pay out of my pocket for a rental car. What customer service!
  • It´s not a whining noise,it´s like a !clunk!,they said it´s because the steering has to much play between the rack and pinion,some dealers are trying to reduce that play giving the steering less tolerance,but as I spoke yesterday with my service mgr. he said to me a new power steering it´s on it´s way,and customers complaining about the noise will have it.
    But what happened with ALL the TSB,are they done?
  • azenoneazenone Posts: 2
    Hey everyone,
    I bought my first car, a used 95 Highline Sedan In March, and I have a couple of questions for anyone who may be able to help me. First thing I would like to know is do all Neons seem to have really bad squeaking brakes? Also Can I take my Neon to a Dailmer/Chrysler dealer to have the head gasket repaiered, or do I have to take it to the dealer I bought it from? And finally and this is the strangest thing, has anyone ever heard of the Neon having a trunk that leaks? Whenever it rains the spare tire compartment fills(not completely) with water. It even got into the back seat floorboards the last time!! i had standing water in my car! The dealership where i bought it said that there was nothing he could do about it! A friend of mine suggested that it may have been in an accident from the previous owner, but i checked and it had a clean title. Should it be the dealers responsibility to fix this or am i stuck with it? Any help on any of these problems is appreciated!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The seals around the outside of the trunk are broken or messed up (rubber). It needs to be replaced, and yes the dealer IS responsible for fixing it!
  • azenoneazenone Posts: 2
    I also noticed, that water seems to run down the gray foam cushion on the inside of the trunk where the tail lights are mounted, does that mean anything?
  • ochoaochoa Posts: 9
    I don't know guys but aim from Mexico and i have a 2000 neon. Is a hit every one have a neon or wants to get one.
    in Mexico it have allot of short streets and a car that can get so much response to the turns like neon do it i think.
    the stylish of the car are remarkable and the stereo sound very god i don't think that the noise are bad i think like in the racing cars every one wants some experience to.and not to think that you drive a limacine.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    It's probably not leaking around the trunk seal but around the tailight gaskets. I believe there is a TSB on this, check on their TSB page. Anyone can fix the headgasket, DC may pay all but $100 of the cost if you call the customer service number and tell thenm the story, (again look on to come up with the best story). I would go to the best DC service center around weather you bought the car there or somewhere else. The squealing brakes is a TSB also but I believe they will only pay to replace pads if you are with in the orginal factory warrenty (not the case on a 95), you could fix them yourself (or any brake shop could) during your next brake job with $1 worth of anti sqeal applied correctly. My mom's 99 VW is way worse with squealing brakes even before Dodge fixed mine at 15000 miles. It really didn't bother me but I figured what the hell, free pads. The head gasket must actually need to be replaced, contrary to popular belief not all head gaskets on the 95-99's fail, many are still giong strong on the originals with well over 100K. Many times a leaking valve cover gasket or PVC valve can be mistaken for a head gasket leak. Unlike the head gasket that failed on my 90 Beretta with Quad 4 motor that seized the motor, bending a connecting rod and 4 valves, requiring a $4500 new (not rebuilt) motor, the neon headgasket leak is not catastrophic and maninly results in an oil leak down the side of the motor. Anyone that thinks DC's customer service is bad should try Bremerton WA's chevy dealer, they tried to get me to trade that chevy in for $2000 telling me it was out of warrenty. I went home and checked the records and it had a 3 year 50000 mile warrenty, they said 3/30000. Then 2 days later I got a notice direct from chevy saying they haedgaskets were a common problem and they extended the warrenty to 75K and no $100 deductable. Needless to say I took it 20miles to the next dealer and 1.5 months later (no loaner of course) it was finally done. That Chevy GTZ cost $3000 more in 1990 then my neon did in 98 and the neon funner to drive. Good luck on your neon, Is it a sport model? if so you really have the equal of a 99 RT model, after 95 the sport model was more of a trim line then a performance line, just something to be aware of.
  • Hi I am 22 year old in college college. I am about to purchase a 1997 Plymount Neon highline. It is automatic and after reading everyone's comments, I am so skeptical. This whole head gasket problem, I don't understand at all. Can someone please explain to me in lay man terms?(I don't know anything about cars). Also is there anyway I can fix the problem before it arises e.g ask my dealer if the head gasket has been replaced before or have him check and put the better model in it. I know there are some problem-free ones being manufactured. Which ones are they and how can you tell them apart?. Also when I test drove the car, the engine was making a little noise. It did not sound smooth as other cars, is this normal with neons or should I be worried from now?. I am not going to be driving the car much. I just need something to get me to and from work and school. no major travelling or anything. but on the other hand, my job is very important and I need a reliable car to drive around especially if I am paying all that money for it. I don't want a car that would spend 10months out of 12 in the auto shop. I went to carfax and checked the vin# on the car. the history was good. just one owner and no major problems reported. I was also wondering, although my dealer said the car has been inspected, should I take it to the auto shop and have them re-inspect it to my satifaction? I know there are a lot of questions but I would appreciate it if someone can please help. thanks a lot.
  • Yes re-inspect the car bumper to bumper!
  • ancuancu Posts: 2
    I have the same ckicking noise on my 2000 Neon. Did you solve your problem? Was it wheel covers or break pads? Did copperhead1 ever explain why he thought it was break pads?
  • mark194mark194 Posts: 15
    This whole gasket thing has been blown out of proportion. What happens is a little oil leak occurs by a head bolt at the rear of the engine on the drivers side. At most you will notice a small puddle of oil on the ground after driving it. If it isn't fixed the engine will not self destruct. If it does start leaking just take it to a respected DC dealer and it should be fixed for next to nothing. My daughter owned a 97 highliner and traded it in for a 2000 ES Neon with all the whisles and bells. She still liked her 97. Good luck
  • Hi,could you expain me your problem? maybe I can help you.
    Thank you.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I test drove a 2001 Plymouth Neon LX on Saturday. The engine and wind noise have been greatly reduced, and they added a 3rd shoulder belt for the middle-rear occupant. But, no 4-speed automatic yet. They did, however, add side air bags.

    Also, got into my friend's sister's 2000 Neon too. And it does NOT vibrate like his 2000 Neon ES does. So I guess it's back to the dealer again.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    You know you want it vocus. Come on, join me on the dark side, we will rule the univerise together. Hey wait a minute, there isn't a such thing as 2001 Plymouth, is there? I thought they were done, if plymouth is still secretely making cars, put me down for a Cuda and a roadrunner.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Yes, they are still making cars. I know for a fact 2001 is the last year for Plymouth to make the Neon. I don't know about the rest of the line, but the 2001 Neon is out now.

    Anyway, we got a recall on the PCV valve yesterday in the mail. I don't know exactly what it said. Something to the affect that in cold weather, the valve will freeze or something. I do know the effect would be the gas pedal sticking a little. I have that now, so maybe that's what the problem is. And I just took the damn car to the dealer about 1.5 weeks ago and they said they couldn't fix it then. Thing is, I got the recall yesterday and it went to my old address first. So they probably sent it out right about 1.5 weeks ago. If so, I am going to get the BBB involved because they basically refused to fix my car.
  • A 4-speed is on it´s way,try another dealer about the vibration,tell them about the TSB!
    Plymouth(Neon),will still be available for one more year.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have seen 3 2001 Neons already (1 Dodge, 2 Plymouth) and none have had a 4-speed. Maybe it will be a running change or something. I hope so. Anyway, I am going to take the car to a different dealer next week and have them fix all the TSBs and recalls, plus anything else they find. It just sucks that Dodge won't give a loaner if the car is in the shop overnight. I thought that was a standard-fare thing among all car companies.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I don't believe it is any company's policy of giving out loaner cars. My dodge dealer here gives them if you bought the car there, the Mazda dealer here does the same. Again only if you purchased the car from them. So you could give your above arguement about any make of car not just Dodge. The funniest thing I saw was when my stepdad bought a new chevy and got minor bodywork done at the dealer 1 month later and got his old trade in as a loaner (75 caddy eldorado). There is no company policies on loaner cars, it is left up to the dealer and I believe no dealer is going to bend over backwards for you if you bought it somewhere else.
  • Just make sure they fix ALL the TSB and RECALLS!
    About the 4-speed it´s coming,when that I don´t know for sure,but it will be available for 2001.
    BTW most 2000 neons have a electronic lock-up´torque converter,it really feels different from a normal 3-speed tranny.
    If your dealer doesn´t give you a loaner,try Chrysler give them a call,let them know the problems you still have,AND REQUEST! a service rep. to meet you at the dealer.
    When you will meet him insist on the POOR SERVICE,the inconveniences you had,and ASK HIM FOR A LOANER,for sure he will give you one try it!.

    Good luck!
  • ancuancu Posts: 2
    I had a grinding/clicking sound that I hear
    with the windows open. Its repetitive and
    increases in frequency with speed.

    The sound is gone when the hub caps are removed!!
    I can't figure out why the hub caps cause that
    noise since they were on quite tight....
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