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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • Why exactly has your brother changed cars so often???
  • If the neon was reliable, Skalina would not need a mechanic in the first place. Good or bad mechanic! Neons have been proven to be unreliable. There are data to back that up. Also be aware that your 96 Neon is prone to head gasket failure. Mine started to leak oil at 60,000 miles. These cars don't age well. If you have troubles now, you will have even more problems later. Parts don't get any younger!
  • I am a poor college student, who is working hard trying try to support myself through the expensive tuition. I decided to support our own country by buying an American car after the 911 incident and "underwater" economy. I didn't want my money to go to Japan. This decision is my worst one that I ever made in my life so far!!! I purchased a brand new 2002 Dodge Neon SE with 5 speed manual on late March. The car was in the Dodge service department for 2.5 weeks. Well, according to the mechanic those are not "big problems", sounded like he deals with them daily. The car is not even 2 month with 1600 miles with 5 problems: defective steering pump, leak fuel tank, first gear lagging/weird noise, brake problem/weird noise, left front CV boot got not grease in it (caused damages on the front axle. they replaced the axle). God is really nice to me... actually sorry none of the god's business since I made the wrong decision. I owned a 1995 Honda Civic. I bought the Civic brand new and did only engine oil and transy fuild changes(no maintenance at all,except timing belt). The Civic has 130,000 miles on it and it never have a single problem. It was still running in very good shape when I sold it. My dad's Honda Accord hit 120,000 without any problems too. This is my first American car and it will be my last!!! Sure some of you may think that I am just unlucky, but American cars are commonly known to be problematic. It is not due to defective car design most of the time, but poor quality assembly workers. Where is the QC?? How could they ship out my Neon with no grease in my CV Boot??? Why my fuel tank was not assembled correctly???

    We can built better cars than Japanese, but our assembly line SUCKS!!! I really "enjoyed" taking bus to college when my car was in the repair shop. I was ashamed to answer my Japanese classmate, who tried to convince me to get a Toyota(I hate the most, um.. actually seond most now), that my American built brand new Neon with 1,600 miles is having 5 problems and it is current in repair shop and that I came to school with 1.5 hrs bus ride.
  • legero8legero8 Posts: 17
    I rented a Dodge Neon lately and man this is one sad little car. It has no pickup, no getgo, and so many rattles it hurt my ears. The car is very loud and poor insulation and I feel every bump I hit. Its amazing to see people drive this car for more than 20 miles at a time. How do you do it?
    Just my opinion...
  • ems1ems1 Posts: 48
    I also had a terrible experience with a 2000 Neon. I filed under the lemon law provisions in Pennsylvania. Chrysler settled out of court for a buy back. You may want to look into this option in your state. I have to tell you, even if you win Chrysler still goes out of their way to make your life difficult. I settled out of court in January 2002 and I am still waiting for the check. They just keep stalling and making excuses, check in the mail, etc. I now have about 37,000 miles on my Neon ES and every mile was painful in that piece of junk. Can't wait to get rid of it. I would have traded it in months ago if I didn't have the Lemon Law case going.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    According to the leasing guide that tells all the residuals for leased cars, the Neon has resale value 2-5 years down the line equivalent to a Kia. That really shocked me.
  • How much did Chrysler agree to pay you back? How much did you pay for filing the Lemon Law? I pretty much left with no money after buying that junk. I just hope that it does not cause that much to file Lemon Law in my state. Thanks for the info.
  • ems1ems1 Posts: 48
    To: Night Vision

    There was no cost in my case to file a Lemon Law suit. The fee for the attorney is paid by the manufacturer if you are successful. Under the lemon law provisions in Pennsylvania, the manufacturer has to buy the car back or give you a new car if you win. I settled out of court for what I paid for the car less $2700 rather than taking my chances on a jury trial and wasting 3 days. I thought this was a good deal since the car has 37000 miles. The lemon laws vary by state. You have to research the law for your state. Send me an email from the user profile if you have more questions.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Thought this might be helpful here. Go to and check out your state's lemon laws.
  • legero8legero8 Posts: 17
    Yea the neon is sad but I rented a Mirage as well and I will say the Neon is better. The mirage is junk on wheels. THe engine was actually louder than a neon and didn't even have tilt wheel. Now thats sad.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The only Mirages being sold right now are to rental agencies. The Mirage is alot more reliable than the Neon. Also, the Mirage was last redesigned in 1997, the Neon in 2000. So that's why the Mirage feels old and cheap, because it is.
  • legero8legero8 Posts: 17
    Is that the same deal with Ford Escorts? THey had Escort's to rent...I thought they canned Escorts 2 years ago for the Focus?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The Escort sedans are only available through fleet, but the ZX2 coupe is still for sale (at big discounts, too).
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    What makes you think that Honda or Toyota brand cars are import? American workers are assembling them. Well if you are concerning about corporate profit then don't you think that DC is half German-may be more?.
    You live in globly managed economy and there is no concept as nationality in there. I bet %90 of your house hold has made-in China, Taiwan, Korea products.
    Sorry for your trouble but our 2000 Neon is running pretty smooth.
  • Keep in mind that Honda cars are not 100% made in USA. They are assembled in USA with better QC. Engine and Transmission of most Japanese cars are still manufactured in Japan.
    Buying American built car does help American economy. Remember some years back, some American Corp.(Sun Micro system just for an example) would pay their employees about $1000 if they buy an American car (Ford, Dodge, GMC, etc; not American built cars like American Honda, toyota)to help American economy. I believe majority of Chrysler/Dodge is still own by American, not German. Moreover, I think Chrysler/Dodge owns most of Mercedes shares. Well, at least it is 80% built by Americans. P.S. I am Computer Science/Engineering major, not Business/Economic, so I maybe wrong =)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Actually, Diamler purchased Chrysler in their merger, so the majority of Chrysler is probably German now. A friend of mine who keeps up with economic news told me this, so I know if he said it, it's right.
  • I should have bought another Honda...
  • 71charger71charger MDPosts: 116
    Sorry some of you bought pieces of crap, it happens. I'm at 30K and loving this car. Except for replacing the two door jamb switches, one of which my daughter broke, under warranty the car is completely problem free. There was a buzz that was driving me nuts but it turned out to be the button on the Sears garage door opener remote. I saw some statistics on problems with new cars about a year or so ago and all the major makers were in a virtual dead heat. I think the difference is in the way the manufacturer handles problems. I must admit Chrysler seems to be one of the worst at this. I've talked to many people who bragged of having no trouble with their Honda/Toyota/Nissan for over 100,000 miles. Most of them when pressed suddenly remember something that broke but had forgotten about it because it was handled quickly and professionally at the time with no hassle to the consumer. With some exceptions, early Neon head gaskets being one of them, American engines have always been among the most reliable in the world.

    Most people are poorly informed about where cars are made. I saw a posting on another board from someone who would never buy another Jeep because the five speed in his or her Cherokee was crap. Do a little research and find out the Jeep and most of the Japanese SUVs at the time used the same Japanese made 5 speed transmission. So this person's next purchase will probably be a Japanese 4x4 based on a bad experience with an "American" transmission.

    I agree resale on Neons seems to be exceptionally low. But, if you're like me, and keep cars for a long time, who cares. When they're 10 years old not many cars have much resale.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    First off sorry about your problems with your Neon.

    Actually the problem you see most of the time is not with the assembly (I refuse to believe that American assembly workers are any worst then other assembly workers) but with the parts and the suppliers. The Japanese companies tend to protect their suppliers while American companies tend to squeeze their suppliers out of every last dime out of their profits. I read an article back in November. It was an interview with the CEO of Honda and he mentioned how they work closely with their suppliers to maintain the quality of the products and that they also work harmoniously with the car. Which is why the Japanese models tend to cost a couple of thousand more then the American counterparts. Where with the American car companies it seems like every week you read about the big 3 (or is it 2 now) telling their suppliers you have to cut costs by 10%. It doesn't take a finance whiz to figure out what happens when you keep cutting into a companies profits. The quality must come down (i.e.: cheaper materials).

    Then shortly after that article, I read another where they interviewed a retired GM assembly worker who was visiting the Honda and Toyota plants in the US as part of a consulting position for GM. He was amazed that they all had the same criteria and quality control (each company had their own of course). He mentioned how this would have never worked with GM. I found this article fascinating.

    As far as the Neon is concerned, it's not a bad car but it is a very average car in a very competitive market. It's competing with the Civic, Focus, Sentra, Protege, Elantra, Saturn, etc. It has some good thing going for it: roomy interior, strong engine, uniquie styling. But it needs more to stand out in this crowded market.

    With the American companies, Gm has turned the corner as far as QC is concerned. Believe it or not, Ford is just about there. People complain about all the recalls but I guarantee you 10 years ago, Ford would not have done any of them. And it looks like their "grand" plan should make them a solid company in a couple of years. I don't know enough about DC plan to know about their future. There are some nice designs coming down the pipeline. I just hope it isn't too little, too late.
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45
    After being away from this post for more some time I am amazed to see that a troller "I've got a roommate who has a Neon" is still alive and well ,spewing his opinions (usually negative and veiled at other times to not seem so).

    To spend this amount of time is I'm sure admirable, but makes one wonder if this chap has any other form of life. What's particularily interesting is that over a year ago, he promised to leave this board, if more than one magazine article could be found praising the Neon 2K. When the evidence was presented to him, did he leave?

    Hell no he didn't ,and he remains here to this day. Hopefully this gives you an idea of his integrity and honestly. Anyway enough of him, he'll respond shortly.

    My Neon 2K ES 5sp has gone 30K+ plus miles with one problem so far. A defective keyless remote rear door latch that was making a buzzing noise whilst actuating. Replaced in a few hours and that was that. My car is still rattle free,and all items work flawlessly. Slighty modified for performace, it is still a joy to drive and it's gearbox/engine still gets my heart pumping.

    No doubt about it, there are some problems with some 2K's and 2K2's.For me though, and I'm sure others, the statement that all post 1999 models are "junk" is unfounded and just not true.

    In closing let me once again challenge this board's favorite troll-why not be honest and let everyone know your true reason for being here. SHEESH! two years trolling? Get a life!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Actually, I classify trolling as saying stuff about a product/car/whatever that is not true. I have not made any false statements about said car.

    I have not really been here in awhile, because the roommate I used to have left anyway, and took his Neon with him. We don't really speak anymre, so that's another reason why I have not been here.

    I was just really surprised and let down by the quality of the car. Bad cars happen though. I am sure there are Neons out there that are perfect, or near so. My ex-roommate's ex-wife had a 1996 Expresso that ran perfectly.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    One bad Neon and the entire US indusry is damned?

    There are alot of US makes that have satifies owners. I don't see anyone saying "I hate all imports" if they have to take their Kia or Saab back for repairs.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    We ordered a new Neon R/T 2 months ago and took delivery last Friday. The car is flawless. This is the 3rd Neon in our fleet along with a Dodge Dakota Quad Cab. We traded in a Nissan Altima Se that we had since we bought it new in 1995. We have had good luck with Neons and suspect that we are part of the Majority. Most people who post are posting because they have a problem and are not really representative of most owners experience. I just posted to let others interested know that there are happy Neon owners out there. For those interested we have a 1999 Plymouth Neon Expresso 2 dr, a 1999 Dodge R/T 2dr and the new 2002 Neon R/T 4dr. They all have the 150 HP engines. The 2 1999 Neons have had no serious problems and the small ones they did have were taken care of on the first trip to the dealer. Rick
  • Hello!
    I have a 95 neon 2dr, automatic. When it is raining the car waits to shift to 3rd gear at 50mph (!) Needless to say, the sound is spine tingling, and kind of scared me. The car also has problems downshifting during wet weather. But, when it is not raining, the car runs fine (at least i think so). I know of one other car (a 97 auto) that this happens to... anyone have a suggestion, or does this happen to you??
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    Well, the problem with your car is that it's a mini-Viper. It's a compact exotic, so it's fun, don't get that wrong, but it's a little quirky.
    The Detroit area has a ton of these little sports cars. Very durable, this is obvious. Don't worry, your transmission is up to the highest level of quality available from the world-class Detroit automakers. And remember, it's a mini-Viper that you're driving. Let er rip, no fear!
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Your computer might be getting moisture. Try to locate it and inspect the surrounding components (carpet, plastic housing etc). It happened to my 87 Dodge Aries when I was in college. The car was acting weird when it was rainy, later I discovered that the computer was located right behind the right fender and of course fender was completely rotten and sucking water from street. Just an idea, good luck.
  • jlvjlv Posts: 14
    I have a 2000 Neon that I bought in March 1999. There is a squeaking sound coming from the steering (heard when the wheel is turned right or left) that sounds like a squeegee tool being pulled across wet glass. Has anyone else had or heard about this?

    Also, the back brakes have a high-pitched squeak. You will only hear it the first couple of times the brakes are used after the car sits for a while. Anyone have any idea what might be causing this?

    Thanks for your help.
  • My car has that noise too. I think it is common on Dodge cars.
  • Well, I realized that if I wanted my Neon to be happy, I had to take it to a dealer (that and I am all thumbs when diagnosing a car). I learned something that surprised me, maybe not everyone reading this would be equally surprised but... The dealer said that the Neon 3 speed auto transmission has no electronic control, nothing to do with the computer, etc. It was just like the "auto transmission of yore." Go figure!

    Anyway, the reason for all of the stutter stepping on the road during the rain, apparently really didn't have much to do with the rain. It was the throttle valve working with the transmission... that was the problem. They freed up the valve, and all seems to be OK... for now.

    Just for the record I really do like my Neon. I just have annoying little problems. Probably a Lemon car, but I like it just the same. Here is a web site some of you might enjoy. (I found this website, and it will at least cause you to smile... it is not funny throughout, but there are some good parts)

    The Tao of Neons:

    Thank you for your tips on the auto transmission

  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I haven't been here in over a year and agree with mobay! What's up with that man, no neon and still here. For those who don't want to look up year old posts I sold my neon so my wife could have a AWD minivan for here work as a nanny. It was a custom ordered 98 sport that was basically flawless for 3 years and 38,000 miles. I paid about $11,000 for it brand new without a trade in and sold traded it in on the van for $8500, so I don't agree resale is bad. I came back now because I am thinking about getting a 3rd car and the Neon SRT is sounding good (looking not so good IMO, I still prefer the look of the first generation). My price on a SRT neon would be about $17,800 which is pretty awesome for something that should run low 14 sec 1/4 mile times. If a heavier WRX with more rotating mass can run a 14.1 pure stock with high rpm launch, then the lighter SRT neon with similar power should maybe even hit into the 13's. It looks like it is really set up to be the best handling neon ever and the old ACR's were pretty awesome. I was thinking about a Mini Cooper S but there is a big wait, big price gouging, and they are no where near as fast. (don't give me cooper=BMW crap, cause the motor was a joint project with Chrysler!) I don't think the SRT neon will classify as the 2nd quickest/fastest Dodge though. It will be a 2003 and there will be the viper and a pesky 2003 Dodge Ram SRT with the viper powertrain floating around. Though this neon will stack up pretty good for 1/2 the price of the ram, and the down payment on the viper!
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