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Dodge/Plymouth Neon

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    stnbchrstnbchr Member Posts: 2
    My 01 has worked well with the kids -- I looked at the Focus ZX3 and as soon as my 6 year old daughter had to squeeze behind the front seat I knew that was not the car for us. I have hauled my eldest son who is 15 and his friends around and have never had anyone say "where's your mom's van J?"

    As far as spoilers go, I like the way mine looks. I know it is completely useless, but you can't take a $12,800 car too seriously.

    I did consider a Protege, my sister had bought one earlier in the summer and I really like the way the car looks. I just recently drove her's when I "volunteered" to take it and get the oil changed for her -- the seats are way to firm. We looked at the Mazda minivan and that is one of the main reasons we went with the Ford -- my wife liked the zoom-zoom of the Mazda but hated the seats.
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    71charger71charger Member Posts: 116
    I went to register the Neon on one of the auto parts websites and it asked if the engine code was a Y or a C. I have both in my VIN. Which digit indicated the engine. I thought there was only one in 2000. Maybe one is federal and the other California, I don't know. Anyone with a service manual that can check for me?
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    majorthomechomajorthomecho Member Posts: 1,331
    It is called a pre-owned vehicle and not used because the pre is short for previously.

    Yes, I know my answer is a serious answer to a not so serious post.
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    dayedaye Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at buying this 1999 Plymouth Neon. There's a lot of reasons
    not to buy a Neon, but with all the constraints, this is the car I am
    seriously considering.

    Anyway, nothing wrong was found in the $40 Goodyear buyer's check. The
    guy at the garage mentioned that the dealer has detailed the engine, so
    they wouldn't be able to tell whether there had been anything wrong (ie
    gasget) in the past. He said the tire pressure was 'funny', because they
    are 'perfectly' right. The dealer must be an extremly careful man. The
    car runs good in 3 speed automatics trans (very smooth). However, when I
    accelorate it really hard (which means push the padel to the end for a good 5
    seconds from 60mph) on the highway, my wife (driving another car behind)
    noticed a light 'gray' smoke came out of the exhaustion pipe. At more
    than 60mph, the smoke was gone in a second, can did not came out again.
    After a half hour drive, the pipe is dry and there's no residuals.

    Could this be a 'sign' of problem? If so, what kind of problem could it be?
    Please help, thanks.
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    buoyantbuoyant Member Posts: 128
    It's normal to see gray exhaust when a car hasn't yet warmed up or it is cold outside. In fact, up here in MN, your car can be running all day in the winter (completely warmed up) and you'll still see gray exhaust if you punch it or travel at high speeds down the freeway.

    Be concerned if you see bluish exhaust (burning oil) or lots of whitish/light grey exhaust on a warmed up car on a mild or warm day (blown head gasket).

    That said, the prev generation Neon has had its fair share of head gasket problems, but I believe it usually resulted in actual engine oil leakage rather than coolant mixing in with the oil. Then again, I could be wrong.
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    mustardgrrlmustardgrrl Member Posts: 1
    I am thinking of buying a used Neon... I saw one good post from a used Neon owner... Consumer reports appear to be poor... are there any other good feelings about used Neons out there?
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    beanboybeanboy Member Posts: 442
    2003.5 Neon SRT (Launch scheduled for three models on Dec 10)
    This definitely adds excitement to our Neon line up. The SRT will feature a 2.4L turbo engine with 225HP with a manual transmission and a top speed of 150mph. We plan on building 5,000 units per year. The SRT build definitely adds process and build complexity, as 193 unique parts will be required. The SRT will come in four exterior colors of Red, Solar Yellow, Black and Bright Silver. It will also feature 17" tires and race style pedal pads.
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    snowmansnowman Member Posts: 540
    Injectors might be dirty too.
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    hjr2hjr2 Member Posts: 105
    one lady said engine mts needed replaced,electrical shocks, computer needed replaced...etc....

    Now you know why i get mad when people bash Hyundai. ALl makes have some cars that have problems! Nuff said.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Here is a link with everything you would want to know on the car.


    Looks promising, but it is a very competitive market segment.


    http://www.allpar.com/neon/neon-srt-4.html

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    moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    In terms of acceleration per dollar the Neon is going to spank it's competition.

    Chrysler Group, trying to capitalize on the renewed popularity of compact race cars, or so-called pocket rockets, is introducing the 2003 Dodge SRT-4, a souped-up version of the automaker's Neon. The SRT-4 comes equipped with Viper-style racing seats, 17-inch aluminum performance wheels and performance gauges.

    SRT-4 is the second-quickest car in the Dodge lineup, accelerating from 0-60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds, trailing only the Dodge Viper SRT-10.
    It has a 2.4-liter, turbocharged, 205-horsepower engine. Appropriately, "SRT" is an acronym for street, road and track.
    The car is priced at $19,995.
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    johnny282johnny282 Member Posts: 34
    Hello. I recently saw a 2002 Neon R/T on a dealer lot and am hoping to test drive it today. I can't believe how much I liked the car. As the owner of a 96 Plymouth Neon Sport Coupe I really didn't think I'd ever consider another Neon, but that R/T looks really cool and it seems like alot of performance for the money (just like my 96 was). Have the Neons really improved over the years? Are there any known problems with the new ones? Have they addressed/corrected past issues such as electrical, trim, and head gasket problems? Does it still feel like an anchor has been thrown overboard when the A/C is turned on? I read about the turbo coming in 2003, and not sure if I'm interested. I had an 86 Shelby Charger back in 1990 and have very ugly memories of numerous turbo problems. Considering that Dodge hasn't produced alot of turbo vehicles, I'm not sure if I'm ready to try one. Also, if anyone is considering a used 96 sport coupe I can say that other than minor electrical problems I've had 88,000 miles of trouble free, really fun driving. I still get 33 mpg and the car doesn't use oil. It has developed some valve/lifter noise that subsides eventually, perhaps a lifter that's slow to fill. $18000 will buy some pretty good cars these days, I'd just like to know from some of the owners here if the '02 R/T is worth the money.
    John
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    tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    The SRT-4 is a huge improvement and I think it should just be called that, with no dippy "Neon" name attatched to it!
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    gisomgisom Member Posts: 144
    I bought neon in june of 94 new. It has 160,000 on it and finally the head gasket went. First problem with car. I was considering getting a new one because it has been such a charm to drive, but now I know about the horror stories on the head gaskets I will leave the neon alone. It was nice while it lasted.
    Greg
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Just to clarify, you are saying your Neon has a blown head gasket, and that is the only major problem in 160,000 miles and over 8 years of driving a $10,000 car?

    I don't see how you can think that is a horrible reliability record. The bad thing about the Internet is people can claim anything, I take it all with a grain of salt.

    I cannot think of a single person I personally know that has that many miles on their car. My friend has a 93 Lexus with 144,000 miles he's owned since new, and it has a bad oil usage problem. He has spend out the wazoo to perform all the scheduled maintenance as well.

    If that was my only problem with a car in 160,000 miles, I'd buy another one without a second thought.
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    71charger71charger Member Posts: 116
    You're the luckiest person alive. I think the 94 head gasket probably should have blown much sooner. Chrysler re-engineered the head gasket for the Neon in the late 90s and it is far superior and as good as any in the industry. As far as basing a purchase decision of a new Neon on "only" getting 160k out of a 94 head gasket that's like not buying a 300M because the straight eight in your grandfather's Town and Country burned oil. Night and day, apples and oranges.
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    gisomgisom Member Posts: 144
    Guys,

    I just feel that in this day and time with the modern technology of the car industry, I just think 160k is not enough. The car itself has just a little rust around the emblem on the hood, otherwise it looks great. The paint job still shines nicely when waxed. It is never at a good time when your car quits on you. I been checking around to see if I can get a rebuilt engine for it because I don't want to put a $1000 bucks into fixing the engine with that many miles on it. I would feel better or more secure with an engine with many less miles on it. Don't you agree? As it is or was, I always bragged on the car because it held up so well. Is it because it was built in Mexico?
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    gisomgisom Member Posts: 144
    I forgot to mention that my olds 84 delta 88 had 220,000 on it before things started falling apart such as power window switches falling in arm of door, door latch would not open on driver side. I had it for 14 yrs. My 77 buick century had 175,000 on it before the rust took over in 7 yrs so I am use to getting good miles on my cars.
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    71charger71charger Member Posts: 116
    I would like to buy a Flame Red R/T. Anyone seen one on a dealer lot in MD? No. VA (Alexandria, Arlington, Sterling, Leesburg OK). S Central PA also doable (Hanover, Gettysburg, Chambersburg, Carlisle). West Virginia panhandle is also just down the road (Charlestown, Martinsburg). Anyone seen one? It's hard enough to find an R/T much less be choosy about the color. I might consider black. Definitely not silver or white. I am in Frederick so Eastern Shore/So. MD is a bit of reach but would consider the drive for the right car. Prefer five speed with cloth but would consider auto and/or leather.
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    toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    Have had silver 2000 neon es for 2 years (and 3 accidents!), and it is a KICK [non-permissible content removed] RIDE! Stick shift, factory 15's. Get many compliments on it's curb appeal. People think it is much more expensive! Gets 29-30mpg hiwy, 22-23 city. I drive like a "good" NY cabbie, so gas suffers. SRT-4 looks sweet, but I will be drivin RSX Type-s this summer cus I need more resale and a more prestigious plate. Can't drive dodges forever! America done good, though! I'll never through a stone at Chrysler anyway!
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    lisabufflisabuff Member Posts: 13
    Consider yourself lucky.. I traded my 98 neon sport in at a loss.. just to get out of the nightmare.. Chrysler hasnt a clue how to build a car.. with maybe the exception of yours?..I had my car for 3 years.. almost the entire cars works were replaced..including the transmission at a year.. each repair under warranty was a struggle with chrysler.. that ended in a letter from them saying 'we dont care..you bought it..its your problem now'... ok..im paraphrasing.. I wasnt shocked at all to hear that they are dropping the neon line.. its a cute car.. as long as you dont actually need to drive it anywhere!!
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    jenkinsqhjenkinsqh Member Posts: 1
    Where did you hear that the Neon line is getting dropped? Certainly not this year, as they are already planning for 2003 models. You seem to have had a bad experience, but don't think it is the experience of the majority. I've driven exclusively Chysler products for the past 12 years, and have driven each at least 100,000 miles. The current one is a 2000 Neon, and my second one at that. It has 50,000 miles on it, all trouble free. A couple months ago, I used it on 2600 mile business trip. Took only 84 dollars worth of gas, averaging 36 mpg including the WV mountains. I've been very pleased with this car, and the other 3 Chryler cars I've owned('90 Sundance, 94 Neon, and 97 Intrepid).
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    vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    The Neon is not getting dropped, but the Plymouth model is. Maybe that's what she meant in a roundabout way.
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    enetheneth Member Posts: 285
    The Neon will be dropped in a couple of years, replaced by a rebadged Mitsubishi Lancer - Hyundai Elantra model - that much Chrysler Group has confirmed.
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    lisabufflisabuff Member Posts: 13
    Yeah I had heard the news from a relative who delivers the things.. they really are bad news. I feel happy when people say they ones that actually work but considering I was getting form letters back from Chrysler I dont think mine was an isolated bad apple. I wouldnt have been as disappointed by the whole thing (since eventually I got them to fix things under warranty), but the attitude was so bad. Ya know, maybe Chrysler needs to learn a few people skills?!! The only thing that saved me was my dealership.. but even they could only go so far. I got rid of the thing because I wanted a car I could actually take on a trip! You know..one that gets there!
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    71charger71charger Member Posts: 116
    I just went over 28,000 miles on my 2000 ES. I've had it for 25 months. I've had two small problems. The door jamb switches that turn the dome light off both went bad. I think my daughter closed the driver's door hard on something killing that one but the passenger side was just a defective switch. The dealer could not have been nicer and they changed my oil and filter for 20 bucks while it was in. Every company makes lemons. The last I saw all the major manufacturers were in a virtual dead heat as far as initial problems reported. I think they've had to push it out and report on problems per thousands of cars now instead of hundreds back in the eighties. I think the Neon, in it's current form, is a stylish, sporty, and high quality small car. To give Chrysler and Ford credit at least you know when you're looking at a Neon or a Focus. See the competitors from a distance and most people don't know if they're looking at a Honda or a Toyota or a Nissan or a Mazda.
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    protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    "To give Chrysler and Ford credit at least you know when you're looking at a Neon or a Focus. See the competitors from a distance and most people don't know if they're looking at a Honda or a Toyota or a Nissan or a Mazda."
    by 71charger


    I can always tell the difference between small Japanese Sedans and Domestic Sedans! The Ford Foci and Dodge Neons are hooked up to tow trucks and the Japanese sedans are zooming down the road.
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    vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    That's not always true. I mean there are good and bad cars of all brands built out there. Some are worse than others, but buying a new car is part of a gamble. I would say the Neons and Foci are less reliable than the Japanese makes though. Any auto publication will tell you that much.
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    lisabufflisabuff Member Posts: 13
    are you kidding?? a neon is more reliable than a say a nissan or toyota??! No way! My old subaru didnt need a repair until it was 7 years old.. my neon.. I dont think it made it 30 days!! the simple fact that Chrysler is nixing the line just shows that they know they have a loser. Its really too bad though..would be nice to have an american car and the neons are cute.. but cute doesnt get you home on a snowy night! Im with Larry..
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    rassom1rassom1 Member Posts: 35
    If you think Neons are bad cars, just read what is being said about the sludge problem on the Toyota's.

    Could be 3,000,000 affected.

    Every manufacturer has its problems.
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    71charger71charger Member Posts: 116
    Having never seen a 70s or 80s Japanese car that didn't disintegrate into iron oxide in less than five years but never heard anyone complain about it I don't understand the Japanese autos as demi-gods mindset. When I bought my Neon I had narrowed the field to three cars (Neon, Focus, Protege). I just couldn't live with the styling of the Focus and thought the interior of the Protege just screamed CHEAP (although it could have been the color making it seem so). I drove the Neon and loved it. Funny how BMW chose to partner with Chryler on engines for the new mini and how the same 2.0 was used in Neon and Eclipse but, of course, the Eclipse is higher quality being Japanese. Chrysler spends next to nothing on magazine advertising compared to its competitors (or so I'm told) so they get treatment in the automotive press commensurate with what they spend. No model intro on the French Riviera (ala the new Tiburon) or other such things. I think most people are sheep. The automotive press (subjective they're not) say Japanese cars are better so they must be. Have I owned Japanese, yes. Will I again, probably. But I don't automatically assume they're going to be better. Open your eyes to the possibility that the quality of small American made cars has caught up. Stop automatically paying whatever the Toyota or Honda dealer tell you you're going to pay and look around some more.

    Look at GMC. They figured out that the public perceived their trucks as being better made than Chevys. Some people polled even said that GMCs used thicker sheet metal. Never mind that they are assembled on the same line by the same people. Now GMC is capitalizing on this with their "Professional Grade" campaign.

    Enough ranting for now.
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    71charger71charger Member Posts: 116
    Meant to say "objective they're not"
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    lisabufflisabuff Member Posts: 13
    I agree that the neon is a cute car.. I loved it because it was cute and when it worked it was fun to drive.. but nothing in my mind will convince me that Chrysler has a clue..why? CUSTOMER SERVICE.. how do you kill a customer's interest.. bad customer service.. the simple fact that I had a transmission problem that put me in danger on the highway (literally) and Chrysler dragged their feet for almost a year and at one point I was told 'it stalls on the thruway?.. we dont see that being a problem'!! WHAT? a good customer is a dead customer??!! Sorry..say what you want.. I prefer a company that likes me alive.

    Ill stop ranting now.. I've said my peace!
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    buoyantbuoyant Member Posts: 128
    I believe the last JD Power survey I saw had the Neon coming in with fewer problems than several Japanese makes - the Protege, Sentra and Civic (yes, Honda Civic).

    It's unfair to judge an automaker solely on its past mistakes. Yes, the 95-99 design was kind of a junkbox as far as quality is concerned, but the newer designed is much improved. I think some peoples' quests for vengeance here are clouding their reasoning.
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    vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    I think it's funny when hearing about the 1995-99 Neons. My ex-roomate's ex-wife has a 1996 Dodge Neon Expresso with about 40K on it. The car has never given a day of problems (of course 40K in 6 years is hardly alot of driving). On the other hand, his 2000 Neon with 40K or so miles has been in the shop many, many times with different stuff all the time. Weird.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    My brother's 99 Neon Expresso is driven every day for commuting to work. The grand total of problems so far - one. The cigar lighter did not work when new.

    Incidental, yes. However, as cheap as they are used, I would buy one without too much hesistancy - checked out first of course.
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    snowmansnowman Member Posts: 540
    I used to be a loyal import driver mainly for Honda Accords and one time Civic. Now...? I am driving 2000 Taurus and my wife drives 2000 Neon. Both cars are performing very well. We paid 11.5K to Neon (ABS, CD, 4 Wheel Disc, Auto) and paid 12.7K for Taurus (it was demo car). Neon was at the shop for power steering pump-they took out bubbles from the system. That is all. Performance of Neon is awesome, fast and very responsive that you can only find in EX Civic for 17K or 18K. Taurus is very comfortable, strong nothing has been done except oil changes.
    Will I buy import again, Not likely. I don't want to dump my money for a car that I can easyly substitute with domestic counterparts.
    I believe that majority of the problems are caused by incompetent techs and mechanics even at dealers.
    For who bashes domestic brands constantly, I think they don't read Toyota's sludge, Accord and Civic problem topics. Honda and Toyota are still good cars BUT not as good as they used to be. And they don't deserve the price difference.
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    iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    I have a new Neon R/T on order and have a question. I did not order any optional packages that show they include the Sentry Key. Does the 2002 Neon R/T package include the sentry key. I have gotten quotes from dealers from $40 to $60+ each for extra keys. Does anyone here have a 2002 R/T that can verify if it does or doesn't have the "sentry key". Thanks, Rick
    I'd check one on the lot but there are none to be found in the 5 dealers in the local area.
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    green_obgreen_ob Member Posts: 10
    I have a 95 Plymouth Neon Sport with 131K miles. About 3 years ago at about 100K I had all the oil leak / head gasket problems. It cost me about $2K for repairs including a new water pump and head.

    I was never aware that this was a common problem. Is there any chance of getting some kind of reimbursement from C-D at this point ? The work was done at a dealership (Stoneridge Chrysler in Dublin, CA) and I still have the work order /receipts. How should I go about getting some kind of refund ?

    thanks
    chris
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    buoyantbuoyant Member Posts: 128
    You'd have better luck finding a well-maintained home in Spokane than you would getting any type of refund for those repairs today for 2 reasons: the repairs were made 3 years ago (last century) and the car had 100K on it at the time.

    It's your time, but I think any attempt to get money back now would be futile. Good luck though.
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    frenchy2002frenchy2002 Member Posts: 40
    I have a 1996 plymouth neon with 60,000 miles and I just found out that the head gasket is leaking oil....a deja vue I believe! Since this is due to a defective design of the head gasket, has anyone managed to have Chrysler pay for the repair? If so, how? Is it a process where I am going to have to use my French?!! Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
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    vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    I think the warranty is 7 years or 100,000 miles. Go to http://www.lemonaidcars.com and click on "secret warranty" to read more about it.
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    cdornemacdornema Member Posts: 2
    Hi,
    I'm have an intermittent problem with the power windows in my 1998 coupe. The switches only work once out of a hundred tries, and when they work, they work just fine. I'm thinking bad relay or ground, not the switches. I think a relay is probably the culprit since it has been getting progressively worse. All three switches exhibit the same problem. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
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    71charger71charger Member Posts: 116
    There isn't usually a relay in a power window circuit as power usually flows through a fairly substantial wire to the switch. You don't say which window. Is it just the passenger? Just the driver? Both? I don't have a wiring diagram for the Neons. The last power window system I had to trouble shoot was an 87 Shelby Lancer. It was the switch on that car. Same basic principle though. You're going to have to pull the driver's switch and veryify that there is power to it. If there is power to it and it still doesn't operate you'll have to use a jumper from the hot lead to power the window motor. If the motor actuates it's probably the switch. Power for the pass. window most probably flows through the driver's switch first. I don't know how Neon switches are constructed. But in the 80s you could take the switches apart, clean them, adjust the contacts, and make them as good as new. If your Neon is like the 2000 where only two windows are powered your job is two windows easier. Four power windows can be a b*&@#. A wiring diagram will be your best friend if you can get hold of one.
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    vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Even in the older Neons, only the front windows were powered. So it's easier. And the car, I think, was a 2-door anyway.
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    71charger71charger Member Posts: 116
    If it is the switch and you're going to have to buy one any way, what the heck, pry it apart. Who knows maybe you'll get lucky and it will be like the ones in the 80s. Clean it and put it back together and give it a try. Lot's of the older cars had switches replaced that were repairable. But at dealer labor rates it's cheaper to plug in a new switch. DIY it's cheaper to try and fix the old one. If it breaks coming apart or you can't get it back together, who cares, you needed a new one anyway. Just a thought.
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    skalinaniskalinani Member Posts: 3
    I am a college student who bought a dodge neon 96' in 2001 with 41000 miles on it for 4300$ drive out with warranty!!!
    I thought I had made made the best choice in my life.
    Year and half later and 2000$ later in maintance I am wondering how much longer I can keep up with the problems with this pile of junk!!! I had a Nissan maxima 92' before this which was owned by my brother and then me and right now it has 260,000 miles on it after 2 teenagers abusing it to the max and we have not spent more then 700$ maintanance in 10 years!!!! Now that is a car worth buying!!.
    I am not comparing the difference in hp or comfort or style just plain old maintanance!!! Right now after spending so much on the neon i still have my service engine light blinking and the oil light blinking(although the oil is filled). The ac just got messed up again!!! The brakes sqeaul!!
    Basically right now its just four wheels running and god know how much longer
    Stay as far as you can from this car.
    Also if any one know any good resanable mechanics in the Richardson,TX area pls send me an email. I am sick of seeing my mechanic over and over again, i feel like i stay there!!!!
    Thanks
    Skalinani
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    yositoyosito Member Posts: 55
    But my son has a 2001 R/T with no problems at all, my brother already owned 4 Neons, he had a 95, 96, 98, 2000 and next week he will be driving his 2002 Neon, he drives between 15 and 20,000 miles a year, and no problems with them.
    You better find another GOOD MECHANIC.
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