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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • csawrucsawru Posts: 29

    It's just now paid off. And I can live with some things which are essentially cosmetic or are not safety/running related. Heck, I'd even put up with a busted AC at this point.

    But you point out the same thoughts I'm having.

    Kind of hard to face spending big money when I can get a new Kia Rio 4 door econobox for $9000 - including a 100K powertrain warranty. I don't know much about Kia, but the price and warranty has me interested in knowing more.

    I guess if anyone has specific ideas how to deal with service on this, such as would I have a ghost of a chance pressing for warranty coverage, or even partial reimbursment? You hear about folks getting some informal assistance fairly often, just that sometimes it takes some doing.

    Thanks much,

  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Hey all!

    Could anyone tell me what the EPA rating is on the 2001 Neon (base not HO Magnum engine) with a 5-spd? I seem to recall the 2000 model as being rated 28 city / 35 highway.

    Now I see it rated as 27 city / 33 highway on Edmunds. I'm not sure if they botched the info when keying it in (I'm thinking maybe that's the rating for the HO version), if the EPA revised its estimate or if Chrysler fiddled with the gear ratios (personally, I'd take an extra 2 mpg on the highway over a three-tenths of a sec drop in 0-60 times any day of the week...particularly now with petro running at just over 7 dollars a gallon or so). I'd like to know what the deal is though.

    I'm just a couple thousand away from purchasing (with cash) a new Neon ES now. After driving a few more cars lately, I'm remaining steadfast. If you can live with the "noise" (which I can - it's limo quiet compared to the Isuzu Stylus XS I drove back in college...perhaps I'm deaf from that experience), I think the cute little bobtail Neon is the most rewarding small car out there (unless your idea of rewarding is a soft ride, in which the nod would have to go to that new Civic). But, I digress.
  • amber11amber11 Posts: 2

    We bought our '99 Expresso 2.0L 4-Cyl DOHC brand new and have maintained it on schedule the last 2 years. Now, when you have your foot on the brake and put it into gear (reverse or drive) it makes a horrible grinding noise. If you put it into gear without your foot on the brake, there's no noise.

    It's still under the original warranty, so we're not worried about the $$ and have an appointment with the dealer, but I was wondering if this sounded familiar to anyone and what it might be.

  • jackielejackiele Posts: 22
    I purchased the above car new for my daughter in 1997. It presently has 35,000 miles on it and is the biggest piece of junk I have ever had the misfortune of owning. I have had two master cylinders replaced and just did the head gasket. The only saving grace was that I took out the extended warranty so it has just cost me $150 out of pocket. ($50.00 deductible). I am now in the process of buying a Honda Accord. I will take out the extended warranty on that car also (even though deep down I know that it's unnecessary) However, after my Neon, I'm not taking any chances. I know that there is no resale on this car so my family will use it until it just falls apart - shouldn't be long now! Please, please, please, if you're thinking about buying one, don't.
  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    For those who would like to use this site to post unflattering comments about our cars, let me save you the trouble:

    "I am (your name here)and I have a (least 4-6 year old Neon) and I thought that after paying 2500 - 5000 dollars less for my car than a Civic/Carolla/Sentra/Protege with 1.9% financing for 60 months I should be able to drive it for 150,000 miles and never have any problems with the car - ever.

    Now, I have paid 500 dollars in a timing belt/head gasket/sensor and I am pissed. How can Chrysler sell such junk? Everyone knows those other cars never break, need oil, tires or brakes. My mothers, uncles cousins girlfriend has one of those other cars and never had a problem with it in 25 years.

    This car has been a problem since the day I had it. After one year, I had to get it inspected. I am sure those other cars are so good, my state does not require them to be inspected. But since my damn Neon is such a peice of crap, I have to submit to yearly inspections.

    Then at 25 - 50,000 miles I had to have my head gasked replaced under warrentee. The car never left me anyhere and my mechanic found the problem while it was being inspected. I am pissed.

    In 100,000 miles I have gone though 5 sets of Pep Boys tires, the head gasket, timing belt, 2 sets of spark plugs, a pvc valve, 3 brake jobs 2 sets of front rotors, 30 oil/filter changes, 5 wiper blades, a feul filter, 10 air filters, 2 coolant changes, new belts & hoses, tire rod ends, 2 alignments, and had my transmission serviced.

    This car is taking me for everything I got. Some of you (I assume you are a small minority) report you have not needed any major repairs. I guess you just got lucky and got one of the few good ones. I am sure if I bought another one I would have even more problems.

    If you have one, you better sell it, or trade it in now before you start having to do all the things I had to just to keep it on the road.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    jackiele; your neon has very low miles compare with it's age. Within 4 years, how many times you got your brake fluid changed.
    I am a former owner of Accord 99LX (wrecked it a month ago), my wife drives 2K Neon. For your new purchase, visit Accord's problem topic and get yourself familiar to potential problems. You will need it.

    edsword; good job dude
  • greg116greg116 Posts: 116
    jackiele: are those the only problems youve had with it? Willing to let it go cheap? I'll take it! (not, too far away)

    from what ive heard about neons, this is a darn good one.

    edswords: very good job! i read a post in the pickups board about a guy who was thoroughly pissed about his eight-year-old Dakota because it needed its tranny rebuilt once, saying he'll never buy a dodge again. What a whiner.

    One quick question. I am planning on looking for a used '95-99 Neon sometime in the near future. I've driven a '96 4-door SOHC automatic for a few days and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though the tranny was junk and the A/C didnt produce any noticeable results other than to surge the engine.

    Does the coupe give up a significant amount of interior space to the sedan? I'm gunning for a Highline Sedan for the versatility and possibly lower insurance, but if there's a Coupe that I really like ill settle for that instead.

    Oh, one more thing: Say I bought a '95 and the head gasket went. If I took it into the dealer, would they replace it with one that won't blow out on me again (Assume no warranty)? And, are blown gaskets related to abusive (read: enthusiastic) drivers or does it just seem to "happen?"
  • jackielejackiele Posts: 22
    First of all, I am not Neon bashing - I don't have to - the car has proved to do that all by itself. You are all in denial. Just read about the problems. Yes, I do take care of my car. I change the oil every 3500 miles and take it in for checks regularly. Because it was my daughter's car, I checked it more than usual because I was concerned for her safety. When you buy a car, (whether you pay $500 or $50,000), you expect a certain level of comfort from it. This car did not do that! I purchased it new, took excellent care of it, and it disappointed me at every turn. In fact, I was just at the dealership again on Monday. The power mirrors have suddenly stopped working. When he put my VIN number on the computer, he laughed. I told him that I was buying a Honda and he fully agreed with me. Told me it's the best car in the business. Also, I assumed that these postings were meant to help potential buyers and owners. Should I lie and not write the truth? If you're happy with your Neon, hey, you're really lucky and I'm envious. But, don't tell me that I cannot post my personal experiences. If I can save one person from a huge financial error, I will.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I don't really see any reason to be disappointed because of your Neon has some problems. Honestly you have very solid Neon and let me tell you it will start leaking oil soon because of head gasket problem but that does not mean it is a bad car.
    Look at Toyota Sienna- engine sludge problem
    Toyota 4Runner-head gasket (certain years)problem
    Honda Accord - V6 transmission problem (limited production)
    Honda Accord - Trans.oil leak -engine oil leak, poor construction compared with previous generations
    Honda Civic - stereo and CVT transmission problem
    Chevy malibu - break problems........
    So the list goes on. No matter what you buy you will inherit certain type of problems. There is no perfect car for the money you are willing to spend. Based on my personal experience and readings, DC has the best customer service if you know how to deal with them. Try to submit something to Honda, you will see how arrogant they are.
    Good luck to you with your new purchase.
  • jackielejackiele Posts: 22
    Thanks for your posting. My Neon already did the head gasket thing at 30,000. I understand that you're very happy with your car and I think it's great. I hope it provides you with a million more miles of happy motoring.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    When we bought our neon in 98 it was way under the price of a comparable Civic, (like $5000) I can't imagine the problems you would have to have in a neon to make up for those numbers. When we traded in our neon we got $3000 less then what we paid for it (exactly three years old and 24K miles) so unless the civic gains value with age you couldn't even throw reasle into the mix to make the civic a better value. Add to that the civic will never be as quick and sporty as the neon and I just don't understand why people shell out the big bucks for such a tiny Honda. I wasn't one of the unlucky owners with problems but even if I had any I'm confident the dealer would have handled everything timely and under warranty. I still love neons but now am looking to get a tire smoking Dakota V-8, regular cab, 4x2. Under $15000 brand new with a few goodies seems to be a good value as well.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    You must have an oil rig somewhere in TX.:-)
  • eeeleeel Posts: 57
    what a joke - you think no other make of cars every has trouble - for what it's worth - my sister bought a 94 neon new - 48k in one year - no repairs (she should have bought an interpid - neon too small for her and her family) - my neighbor - a salesman - got a neon instead of a honda - 3 years -125k later - he says it's without a doubt the most trouble-free car he's ever owned - can't say that about his honda though - 2 trannys in 60k - constant emission problems - oh yeah - that's right - honda sold 8 years worth of cars that violated the emission standards - setting them to spec - they don't run too well - our pizza delivery guy has 100k + in 18 months - if you saw this guy drive - i'm surpised anything he drives would last 10k but - his neon runs like a scalded dog (he doesn't really take care of it either) - and a girl i work with - her husband is a honda mechanic - he bought 2 neons 3 years ago and swears by them - no trouble - none - even he says his honda's were more of a problem (especially when he was in california - with the known emission problems - to set to spec he said makes them un-drivable) not withstanding honda's tranny problems - and there are many
  • jackielejackiele Posts: 22
    Did I read that right? 100K in ten months for your pizza delivery man? That must be a helluva pizza! Lots of deliveries! You make the Neon sound so good I may cancel my Honda order.
  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    I have been reading and posting on this board off and on for about 2 years. This is the only board that has approximately one negative post for every 3 or 5 positive posts.

    This is the also the only message board with regular posters who routinely disparage Neons to get reactions from their owners for who knows what reasons.

    It makes me wonder, how hard is it to get a new I.D. (name and password) and post a few negative comments, then get another new name and post some more?

    Im going to keep my Neon a long time, 100,000 miles + (already got 25,000 trouble free miles on my 5 speed 2k) and I would rather come to this board and discuss how to solve problems that inevitably occur so I can continue to enjoy my car.

    The same people, some of which do not even own Neons, are still here disrespecting our cars for 2 years! Get a life!
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Would a 2000 or 2001 5 spd Neon owner give me an idea what kind of gas mileage they're getting (scroll up to post 632 for my mileage message)?

    I'm still dragging my feet on a new car purchase waiting for my crash-rebound car, a 91 Chrysler New Yorker with 174k now, to die but it won't. I figure I might as well keep driving it since it doesn't give me any problems. But...when it does...I think it's going to be Neon time.

    I guess I'm not that at all shocked to find so many anti-Chrysler people here. The company makes a lot of cars, and whenever that's the case, it's going to have upset customers. It's unfortunate that some people have purchased some really trouble-prone Neons, but considering Chrysler has sold over a million of these babies worldwide, I'm surprised I haven't seen more negative Neon postings on this site.

    It's a sheer numbers thing. You don't hear many blatantly anti-Daewoo people out there, but I suspect if Daewoo actually sold a million Lanoses (Lani?), the fit would hit the shan.

    Also, a bit of advice for those of you who might experience a problem with your car (any make): stay calm and be polite when dealing with manufacturer reps.

    I did a couple part-time customer service gigs in college and was amazed by the people whose first approach with customer service was one of belligerence and intimidation.

    While there ARE some very poor service reps out there (I had the pleasure of working with a couple), you'd be amazed by the number of hostile customers out there who will proceed to tear you and your employer a new one and then expect you to be courteous, helpful and professional in return.

    Well, I took Psychology 1001 too. The last thing you want to do as a service rep is go the extra mile for rude people and reward them for their behavior. Behavior rewarded is behavior repeated. I suspect a lot of these Chrysler service reps have my attitude.

    Oh well...long live everyone's Neon.
  • jackielejackiele Posts: 22
    I said it before but I guess that I have to say it again...if I could save someone from having the same experience I had with my Neon, I will. I was all set to buy a VW Passat about two months ago until I started reading postings on Edmunds and VWVortex. Once I started, I talked myself out of a VW real fast. And, I am grateful for those negative postings. We all work really hard for our money and want and deserve the best value possible. I was never looking to bash - just looking to be constructive. This is the only post where that's hard to do. Everyone is so defensive about their car - or is it denial? And, Buoyant, you are so right about the customer service reps - you always catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar! Happy motoring... P.S. - I get about 30 miles to the gallon on my '97.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Hey, uhm, if you did not cut the deal for Accord, I suggest you to take a look at Chevy impala, they seem like far superior then Accords. If you did then happy driving.
  • jackielejackiele Posts: 22
    Ya, I looked at the Chevy Impala. My brother just bought one and loves it!!! It was a great car - I test drove it but it was a little large for me. Plus, I got the Accord much cheaper with many more options including leather. Thanks so much for your advice. Hey, snowman, what do you think about Goodyear tires. I need tires for my 1997 Neon. I have a good friend who is selling four tires - very slightly used. (long story). I can buy them from her installed for $100 total. Any advice?
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Some people may have good experience with them but to me they are average tires. Indeed $100 is pretty good price. If Goodyear comes with new car I use them but replacement will definitely be different brand. Personally I prefer Michelin X One - MXV4 Energy - Pirelli and Yokohoma. If you want to get highest wet traction these would be my selection. Dunlop is OK too but compound is kinda soft. However if you utilize your Neon for back up car then I guess those used ones are going to be OK. If I were you, I would log on to and look at the prices.

    Since I wracked my Accord I have been looking for a car. I am moving towards base impala and Intrepid. LS Impala is too much money. I am kinda bored with Honda and Toyota. I think some domestic cars (duh! everything is domestic in these days) are real fun to drive like Dodge Intrepid, Impala, new Status. Ehh! I don't know, this is what I think. Hey cong. on your new Accord and drive carefully.
  • jackielejackiele Posts: 22
    Thanks for the letter. As a note, I have a leased 1999 Sebring Convertible which I absolutely love. It's got 36,000 miles and it's time for it to go back. Never had a single thing go wrong with it. I would've bought it out but I have four kids and it wasn't the most practical car for me. So, I would definitely recommend the Intrepid. I understand that you would be bored with the Honda and Toyota thing. Think about the Sebring. A great car and definitely cool. Even my kids thought so.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I don't really care much about gas mileage anymore, we have a Grand Caravan AWD that is the vacation cruiser and it gets about 22-24 highway. My daily commute is 6 miles RT, 5 days a week. With a little running around, and weekends fishing or hunting, I don't put more then 4000 miles a year on the car I use for work. So even worst case getting 13 MPG city compared to 25 MPG city and paying $1.80/gal (which it is $1.60 here now) thats $22/month more for the gas hog. I guess that means I could buy a feul efficient car for $1000 more then the gas hog and still have the same monthly expense over a 60 month loan. I'll take the engine upgrade over the power convenience group anyday.

    PS- I also want one of those "I'm changing the climate! Ask me how." bumperstickers to go with my tire melting, catilitic converter removed, pushrod 360 magnum. Ahh, I just kidding about removing the cat... it's much better to just pound a straight peice of pipe through the middle of it!
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Well, I'm still looking for a 2001 or 2000 Neon 5spd that cares to share gas mileage info with me...

    jackiele: I thoroughly understand why you want to share your negative Neon experience with others. I would too. Actually, at one time I was thinking about buying a used Neon (96-98), but was deterred after reading about the whole head gasket thing. It's just not worth the hassle. I do really love the new (2000 and newer) Neon's styling and think the car is an amazing value for the money.

    The head gasket problem has been remedied and I really feel it should be at least as reliable as the average car now. The low price of parts and maintenance and the convenience of having a plethora of Dodge/Chrysler dealers (I have no problem driving another 4 or 8 miles for a better service dept) in the Minneapolis area are all important factors in the buying process for me.

    Initially, I really wanted to go Golf but it's too costly all-around - not to mention there are only 3 dealers in metro area. Since they started producing them in Brazil, I think reliability is a wild card (read: Mexican built Jettas and Beetles). I don't think VW has as tight of control over its foreign manufacturing operations as say...Nissan does. And the only thing worse (for those of us that like to keep our cars to 200k miles) than owning an unreliable car is owning an unreliable car that's expensive to fix and difficult to service.

    snowman: If you're an automatic kind of guy, have you considered the Intrigue? I just talked my parents into getting a new one and they think it's the best thing since sliced bread. With the $2000 rebate and the 60 mo/60k warranty, it strikes me as the best value in the $20k area and it drives beautifully. Makes me think of their old ad slogan: "There is a special feel in an Oldsmobile"...15 years too soon I guess.

    I think the biggest pluses with the Camry and Accord is that you can get them with the manly man trans. Apparently, I am one of the select few who'd love to see a stick in a midsize domestic. Oh well...

    If I get a better job between now and next month, maybe I'll go for the Accord EX 5spd instead. She's a plenty nice ride and easy on the eyes. As far as the Toyota...I still haven't met anyone hip who drives a Toyota yet. I'd hate to have to battle that nerd stigma all night just because I pulled up in a Camry.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Yeah, I am aware of that rebate but it is not just my kind. Honda and Toyota are great cars but every body has it and to me they are way over boring. In my community I can easly point 20 Accords from my front porch. But there is no Intrepid.
    I live in MD -DC area right by 495, traffic is horrible here, you can't imagine. Driving a stick is a suicide.
    Unlike some complaints, our Neon has 4K and is running with no ding, no ping. It has 4 wheel ABS, CD, AT, Black and we only paid 11.5K after rebate last year. And this car can beat the hell out of any Civic including EX interms of performance, I don't even consider others.
    I drove Intrepid for 1.8K during my Florida vacation and fell in love. Amazingly comfortable, strong nice looking. I think DC is in the right track.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    I drive about 45 miles each way to work at about 75mph. On the highway at this speed the car gets 31-33mpg, it varies by tank and how bad I get hosed coming home through the I-70/I-270 interchange construction. If it's just used around town with no highway mileage it gets 26.5-28mpg. I did get over 35 on one long trip. By the way it's a five speed. I just hit 18,000 miles and the car is 15 months old and have still had ZERO mechanical defects. Although, I must admit, there is a slight buzz that seems to eminate from the dash near the base of the driver's A pillar on rough roads that started at about 15K. 99 percent of the time it's not there so I don't worry about it. If it gets worse, I'll pull off the dash pad and us a little foam rubber and cable ties and quiet it right down.

    A side note on customer service. When I bought my Shelby Charger new in 83 the trans. would grind going into reverse. Of course I got the "they all do that, it's normal" story. I was told to shift it to first then reverse and it wouldn't grind. This worked so I ceased to worry about it. The first trans. blew up and was replaced under warranty. The dealer had the car forever and still did a crappy job. But it still ground going into reverse. This second trans. lost second gear about 4 years, 11 months and 25 days into a 5/50 warranty. This time I took it back to the selling dealer as it was driveable. The service writer hopped in, started it, went to put it in reverse and it ground big time. He asked how long it had been doing this. I told him since it was new and I had been told they all do it. He said they don't all do it, and that none of them should do it and assured me he would make sure it was fixed right this time. That was the summer of 88 and I'm still driving that transmission. I guess my lesson was check it out when you get the "they all do that" story. I might only be on my second transmission if I'd been a little more vigilant back in 83.
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Hey thanks for the mileage info.

    Snowman: I can imagine what the traffic is like on the beltline. I've driven in it during rush hour (I have an aunt and uncle out in Herndon).

    Interestingly, a friend of mine moved back to Minneapolis from DC about 9 months ago after commuting on the Maryland side of DC for a couple years. He claims it's even worse here. Of course, he is commuting from the south metro way the hell over to Plymouth (takes him 1-2 hours to drive 9 miles). Idiot...

    I'm still of the opinion Chicago has the worst rush hour traffic on earth. I have yet to encounter anything worse (I've driven in LA but not NY).
  • Rn13Rn13 Posts: 2
    I am a 16 year old who just got a '98 dodge neon. I would like to get the windows tinted. Can anyone tell me how much I should expect to pay? Is it a do-it-yourself job? Any advice would be appreciated. Also, my car has CD changer controls. Would I have to hook up a changer in the trunk? Does anyone know of any cheap good quality CD changers?
  • eeeleeel Posts: 57
    hey i saw the pizza guy the other day - he also works full time for a messenger service - this guy does dc to phila 5-7 times a week - said he also does richmond to new york once in a while too - i looked over his neon - he does have that many miles - i got to tell you - i admire this kid - he says he going to be rich and i believe him - he works 50-60 hrs doing the messenger job and does the pizza gig, too - i asked him - what do you do for fun - he said - make money !!! - if he's busy - says he can't spend it - says he's going to own the largest messenger service in the country - ah youth !!! - all things considered - his neon doesn't look to bad - has less dings etc. than you would expect
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I don't think that she will visit this site anymore. Funny thing, I visited Accord problems topic before came here and realized two people have fuel sending unit problems eventough first replacement was done under warranty and guess what Honda is not even looking at their face. If their car was Dodge, they would scream everywhere.
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