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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • "lo There, After My 97 Neon warms up a bit I can Hear a very low frequency rumble, vibration seemingly coming from the rear or underneath cabin areas. This is especially noticeable when stopped, but also shows up at about 40 - 50 kph just slightly louder than road noise. Engine RPM, In- Gear or not, Clutch depressed or not, the sound remains the same. It does go away just as I start to accelerate away only to return as mentioned... Local mechanic wants to take things apart to make a guess at what is causing it, at $75 per hour no less....Does anybody out here have any rough ideas? Would be appreciated. thanks
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    Check your exhaust hangers. If one has broken or deteriorated it could all the exhaust to come into contact with some part of the underbody. Accelerating could move the engine thereby moving the exhaust enough to break this contact temporarily. Could also be an in tank fuel pump on its last legs. They some times growl when they're dying. Acceleration may provide enough other noise to mask this growl.
  • zxcvbnzxcvbn Posts: 1
    I own a 96 Neon,5sp,4Dr. The engine occasionally cuts out while driving at all speeds. This only occurs while the speedometer is jumping up & down. The cut-out will last for a fraction to as much as 2 or 3 seconds. Any help is appreciated.
  • Does anybody know what causes the carpeting in the back seat of a 1995 Plymouth Neon to become soaked whenever it rains, and know how to correct the problem? Any help would be appreciated.
  • I put a set of Altezza tail lights on a 99 Neon and then had the problem you have. One of the gaskets behind the light didn't seal good. Try using a garden hose and see if you can see where the water comes in. In my case it also got into the spare tire well too! Good luck!
  • edmdanedmdan Posts: 4
    Once again I find myself amazed at how knowlegable some people can be about their cars, and in this case, mine. From just a short note and very few clues, 71charger (a cool car if ever was one) made two guesses and was right on with the fuel pump going bad. after consulting in person with a couple of mechanics, I broke down, and had the darn pump tested... it was still putting out almost normal pressure, but consensus was that it would die without further warning sometime in the next 24hours to six months. I reluctantly spent the $800 to get a new one installed, rather than adding a towing charge to the inevitable. Once again thanks for sharing your expertise.
    PS. I found the noise stopped on a full tank but would return as soon as the level dropped to about three quarter full, Just FYI anyone else gets this problem.
  • I saw the new 2003 neon sxt and I think its a much better looking car. Anyone know if the head gasket thing is taken care of? The 7/70 helps with the ease of mind. I also heard that the auto trans has an extra gear now.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    The "head gasket thing" was taken care of years ago. There was a thread on a short while ago on Neons. One of the techs on there said they have never had to replace an MLS gasket on a Neon.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I could have sworn reading in this forum that someone had to replace the head gasket on their 2000 Neon. I might be wrong though...
  • I am currently in the market for a used car. My toyota truck is fine but I am done with it (cant stand the handling, ride, pickup, anything). I am basically looking for a 2dr, 5spd economy car.

    First I was looking at Civics, but I really cannot afford them.

    I did find a 1999 Dodge Neon Sport, 2 door, 5spd, DOHC with 52,000 miles. I ran a carfax which shows 1 owner and a clean title. Now I know of the headgasket and other various problems. But I was wondering would you other Neon owners recommend this car? I only plan on keeping it about 2 years or so until I can afford something alittle better.

    By the way, it is extremely hard to find any first generation 5spd Neons. Seems like most Neon owners opted for the archaic 3spd auto.

    Thanks for your help
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    Archaic? Depends under what conditions you plan to drive. Around town why do you need a four speed auto? Usually the fourth speed is an overdrive that will likely not get used. If you spend a lot of time in stop and go a two speed would be enough. Longer highway trips the extra gear is nice to cut engine revs and improve fuel mileage. The three speed has a good rep for being a dependable transaxle. Buying used I'd take the rep for dependability over a perceived need for another gear any day.
  • I dont plan on getting an automatic anyways. I cannot stand them as they are mostly pretty stupid and most dont understand when your foot is saying "I need to go real fast right now." I was just stating that its very very hard to find any 5spd Neon coupes (I have found all of 3 in the entire state of Florida and part of Georgia).

    From further research I have concluded that 1998 and 1999 models were much better as far as "refinement" goes compared to earlier models.

    71charger: Would you recommend the first gen Neon?
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 1st gen Neon if it was built with the new style head gasket or has one installed. Run it through Carfax though, just in case. As far as a 2000 needing a head gasket, they've made tens of thousands of these things. I'd be shocked if none had needed a head gasket. If it did I'm guessing it was more likely a poorly torqued head at the assembly plant. 5 spds are hard to find because the people that own them love them and they keep them. Try and look through the classifieds. There is also
  • while I was waiting at the hospital and I really like the new look. When I buy a car its till death do us part. In other words till it blows up. My spectra was hit by a truck and destroyed so now Im in the market for two cars. One will be my daily work car, the other for week ends. I once had a 89 plymouth horizon with the 2.2 litre motor and I think it had the 3 speed (it was an automatic) and I never had one problem with the transmission. It lasted till 100k and then my girlfriend pulled out in front of a taurus and my horizon lost. I do think the head gasket was starting to go because I had a massive oil leak behind the motor and it was making one heck of a mess. Other than that it was a tough little car and if the new neons are just as tough then maybe Ill have another look. I want a 2003 sxt stick shift with no a/c and I feel that I shouldn't have to pay more than $12k. I dont know if this is so unreasonable but I just want a basic car with out all the toys, just sparten. With the 7/70 deal.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Since AC comes with the SXT (along with power windows and locks, keyless entry), it's hard to get one of those stripped. If you want a basic Neon, get the base model. You should be able to score one of those for around $10-11K, if not cheaper.

    How did the Spectra hold up in the accident? Were you in it, or was it parked?
  • I was parked at work and a truck driver and his 18 wheeler truck decided to enter a restricted area and backed his truck over and through my car. The truck driver then pushed it about maybe 30 feet or so into the corner of the building. I was not in the car at the time but needless to say it was ugly and my poor car even though a kia was a total loss and made me sick to my stomach at the time. Thats why Im out looking again. I like the look of the new neons and put them on my list of consideration. So far its between a neon, elantra, cavalier, maybe a accent. Anyone care to offer an opinion on which one they would buy over the other?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I would definitely cut the Cavalier from your list. The Elantra is about the best on there right now actually. Great price, long warranty, nice room, pretty good roadhandling. I would check into one of those, especially if you can find an 02 leftover.

    The Neons are nice cars, but I just am leary about American cars myself because I have had pretty bad experiences. That's just me though.

    Good luck in whatever you get. :)
  • and am quite impressed. For the price of the car $3875 (99 Neon Sport Coupe, 5spd with 52k miles) I can deal with the flaws.

    The drivers side door lock has some issue where you have to hold the key in the unlock position while opening it (the used car dealership said they would go ahead and fix that). The passengers side window does not even come in contact with the window gasket and it sounds like the drive belts need to be replaced.

    The drive/ride were great. It felt nearly as powerful as the 1997 Integra GSR I used to drive, for interior noise it was again similar to the Integra.

    The gearbox/clutch were smooth. But I will say the accelerator pedal is quite odd in that its travel is very small and it feels like its already pushed halfway down when it really isnt.

    I went ahead and applied for financing (they wont have a reply until Monday). Once it is approved I am going to go down and have the car looked at by the Dodge dealership to see if there are any major problems (headgasket for example) that I should know of. If there are any minor problem I may still get the car as it is a real steal.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    You're leary about American cars but have no qualms about Korean cars? Oh my! I'll leave it at that.
  • I went to another dealer who has 2000 and 2001 going pretty cheap. I've seen the miles in the teens and still with the factory warranty. With the 2003 models out I think they will deal to get them off the lot.
  • I have a 5 speed '99 Neon R/T. Besides changing the head gasket already I have a couple of other problems. When I come to a stop my RPM will go up to 2000rpm, sometimes less, then drop back down to around 900. One time it went all the way to 3500, held for a second then dropped. Or, if I'm down shifting the RPM holds for a second when I push in the clutch then drops. I've taken it to the dealer several times and they can never duplicate it. Any ideas?

    The second problem is that something keeps shorting out the #1 O2 sensor. I'm on my 3rd one in the past year. It will work for about 3 months then I get a check engine light and the code comes up for the sensor. The mechanic I use can't figure out the problem. The last time it happened he didn't change the sensor but he reset the codes so when it comes on again I could take it to the dealer. The light came on again about a month later and when I was on my way to the dealer the light went out. Bugger!
    Any ideas?
  • First, I just bought a 2003 Neon SXT. Dodge is really pushing these out the door. I went to the dealership looking for a deal on 2002's. They had the ridiculously low prices hanging in the windows (You know with all the fine print, rebates go to dealer...). I got the car for $12,680, which I feel is a good deal. It may not have the resale of a Toyota or Honda, but it didn't cost as much up front either.

    Second, there was an earlier post complaining about electric shocks getting in and out of the car. These are often caused by static buildup and can be quite strong. There is probably nothing wrong with the electrical system.

    The following link goes into great detail on static generation in the car.

    PS Also make sure you touch the car and ground yourself before you pump gas. That little static charge packs a lot of punch when mixed with a fresh tank of gas.
  • I went and picked up the 99 Neon I was looking at and am quite happy with the purchase. Its a 99 Dodge Neon Highline Coupe, DOHC, 5spd with 52,482 miles. I got it for $4492 after TTL.

    I am very happy with the car. The build quality is outstanding, as far as NVH it is much better then the 2000 Honda Civic EX Coupe I test drove.

    The drivetrain is very moody though. It starts real rough compared to other fuel injected vehicles I have driven. Also it does suffer from the hesitation/stumbling feature which comes standard on all 1995 to current Neons. It seems to be a huge problem according a Neon forum on the internet.

    Other then that its a great car. The frameless windows seal pretty good (the drivers window did get sucked away from the seal when I was driving in the draft of a 18 wheeler), there are absolutely no squeaks or rattles, the handling is outstanding and it can move.

    I did get the most recent headgasket design too. Apparently the most recent headgasket was introduced in Nov. 98, my car was built in Jan. 99.

    This car is way too much fun, it is actually more fun to drive my Neon then my Integra. Its more mature, but still just as fun.
  • srockrsrockr Posts: 79
    I used to own a 95 Neon and then dummy me traded it in for a 97 Breeze. The Neon had it's share of oil leaks while I had it. Didn't know it was a problem then with so many. The Breeze did ok for a while then started to develop oil leaks as well as loss of power, etc. I just had the head gasket replaced as well as the timing belt and t.b. tensioner. This was all just done not more than a month ago. Guess what it is leaking oil again. I only have 59k miles on the car. I am going to go back to dealership AGAIN and hopefully get it fixed AGAIN and then get rid of this car. Never more will I drive or buy any Chrysler or Plymouth products. Hope everyone else has good luck.
  • Your head gasket should have been replaced with the new MLS head gasket if it was done a month ago (which is apparently supposed to be a permanent fix).

    My 99 Neon has 53k miles and there are no oil leaks to speak of. It also has the MLS headgasket so I am not really that worried about it springing any leaks anytime soon.
  • It won't be permanent if they took any short cuts in the job. Did they resurface the head? If not the whole job was a waste of time. They don't want to take the time to remove the manifolds and run it to the machine shop then reassemble the manifolds. They have a bad habit of "eyeballing" the gasket surface and declaring it good enough. I was the victim of that myself last year. I did the second head gasket myself to make sure it was done correctly. I paid to have it done the first time as I didn't feel I had time to do it myself. That was for a 2.2 Turbo II. Those heads are heavy to lift when the manifolds and turbo are still attached.
  • I got a good deal on the Neon when I bought it new but wish I hadn't. Ran great for 38,000 miles. When the warranty ran out the head gasket went with it! Common problem with Neons and then at 43,000 miles the air conditioner went out. $1000+ for each repair. I wrote to Chrysler about it with so few miles on the car and they wrote back saying they have made great progress in quality. I would hate to have an older Chrysler car if that is true.
  • boredbored Posts: 300
    $1,000 for a Head Gasket?!?!?!? Is this true? Also, what's a Valve Cover Gasket?
  • The valve cover should, on overhead cam engines, be more properly called the cam cover. It's the top-most stamped steel or plastic cover on the engine itself. On mine it says 16 valve or something like that on it. V engines (V6, V8, etc) have two valve covers. The valves go all the way through the cylinder head. The valve cover covers (as the name implies) the stem ends of the valves along with the springs, retainers, keepers, rocker arms. And on many engines the camshaft or camshafts. I believe Ferrari refers to the part as a cam cover and one or two manufacturers refer to it as a rocker cover. Go with valve cover and the guy at the parts store will know what you're talking about when you go to buy a gasket.
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