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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • I had a similar problem with my 2000 Neon and there are just few things that you have to check. The first of all the liquid that you see dripping is transmission fluid. Check the connection to the transmission fluid cooler (you suppose to jack the car). The worst scenario is replacing the cooler (broken connections). In my case I had just to tighten up the clamps. Good luck
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Consumers' Most Wanted Vehicles for 2004 Survey is posted and ready for your input!
  • trunks1trunks1 Posts: 13
    I just traded my 99neon sport in for a scionxb but let me tell yalls about my neon it was a great!!!car i have 217,667 miles on it (alot right) the only thing that i had to get fixed was i went thought a couple break pads and the alternatior(which i got pepboys to do it for 165 dollers dodge place wanted 387)the amasing thing about this about that littel car was i abused the heack out that car i missed at leased 20+ oil changes by 3000-5000 miles no lie and i always drove it like a bat out of hell, all i have to say peace and love neon you will be missed :(
  • beachbrumbeachbrum Posts: 16
    I need to top off the PS Fluid on my 01 Neon RT and all the owner's manual tells me is not to use auto tranny fluid in there. Does anyone know what I need to use to top off the fluid?

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Go to your local auto parts store and look for a power steering fluid that says it can be used on Chrysler products. If unsure, ask someone who works there and they will be happy to point out a safe fluid for your car.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    I recently took a long trip in the Neon. It was great. I was able to let it run on some wide open roads. I was surprised to find I couldn't get my cruise control to set over 87mph. I didn't expect there to be a limit. Oh well.
  • santa18santa18 Posts: 1
    I have 96 3-speed dodge neon and it is stalling out on me. I had the trans checked, new fuel pump, new ECM and the repair shop has had it for a few days it has not stalled on them and they aren't getting any codes when they run the diagnostic. It stalled out on me about 6 times in 20 minutes. I mean the car just completely shut off, not the power but the car itself so I know its not the alternator or the battery... HELP... also my door squeaks is there anything I can do for that?
  • rwarrickrwarrick Posts: 4
    My 95 automatic has been sitting for a couple of months. I was worried it wouldn't start, but that was not the problem. My joy at it's starting was overshadowed by the fact that it WON'T MOVE! The rear wheels are locked up tight as a drum, so to speak. What's up with this? And how do I fix it?
  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    Was your parking brake on and was it below freezing outside? I know this was a common occurance in Germany - the rear brakes were frozen onto the drums (or in some cases rotors).
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    by request... this discussion had autoarchived itself a few months back.

  • btrflybtrfly Posts: 21
    Hi, I am hoping some other purchasers of this car will visit this site soon as I'm interested in their experiences with this car. I just bought one-brand new- and am shocked as it seems the brake calipers are all rusted? Also when I play a Cd it seems to make the engine mess up? Any advice? otherwise it's doing very nicely:)
  • kdarmkdarm Posts: 4
    We are buying our first Neon this weekend. A manual 2000 4 dr all basic, no ac, under 45,000 miles for $2900. Though it is a base model car, it seems like a steal--much newer with many thousand less miles than we thought we'd find for the money.

    The one big drawback, worse than no ac, is no cruise control. (My last speeding ticket comes off in November---and I don't want to risk another.) How expensive is it to add on a cruise control at this stage in the game? I wouldn't mind a pop up sun roof to take the place of no ac, but cruise comes first...

    Thanks for your input.
  • bjkingbjking Posts: 2
    I would not put off any oil change in any car no matter how good they say the car would last (dumb)any smart consumer knows you need to change it every 3000-5000 no matter WHAT!!!!!! and as far as doing it your self take your car to a certified mechanic and insure that no matter what someone else is liable other than your self. IT'S CHEAPER IN THE LONG RUN!!
  • bjkingbjking Posts: 2
  • btrflybtrfly Posts: 21
    Wow, that really seems like a "steal"! I paid $12,500 for my 2004 but it has everything except a sunroof. I am alittle disappointed in how they cut corners on some things tho- like no light in the glove carpartment? and unless u turn on the lights, u can't see to shift in the dark! However, it did very good in the awful rain we just had when someone went sideways in front of me, even without the ABS brakes!! Now if the engine would quit knocking at times at a only minor kinks so far.
  • I bought this car used, so I don't have an owner's manual. Is it very hard to change out my headlamps? I want to buy some 9007ST Silverstar lights and put them in, but I'm not sure how.
  • I have a 2001 Neon SE. Car has ran great till about a month ago. It started to spit and sputter on takeoff and overdrive. I started thinking it might need a tune up but I wanted to make sure so I asked the dealership where I got it to do a diagnostic check on it. It read that the #2 cylinder was misfiring. So I got a tune up but just changed the plugs. About a month later, the same thing happened. I got another tune from a different place and only changed the wires. It ran fine. Now it has started again. I'm pretty sure it's the #2 cylinder burning up my plugs. I don't know why or how to fix it. Can anyone help me out with this or has anyone had this happen to them before?
  • Cruise in that model is very easy to install; a little harder on the post 2003 models. It MAY even be partially prewired back then. Any dealer can put it in. It will be identical to the steering wheel type that come from the factory.
  • New car like that should not "knock" ... try a different brand of GAS. Not sure of you location, but up here in Canada I have had some success with using standard oil for the first 10,000km and then flipping to synthetic.

    The SX/Neon is designed to run on "cheap" 87 octane fuel (or even lower). Change gas stations for a few tanks to see if that clears it up. Once you get some mileage under your belt you might get some knocking in cold weather, but it should be solid with then car is new and engine tight.
  • when should i have the timing belt replaced in my 2000 neon? i just turned 60k mi. according to edmunds it's not until 105k mi. and also it wasn't required at 52.5k mi( half of 105k mi). i just figured it was every 60k mi. is edmunds correct? i do not have a manual, i bought it used. also the rear brakes sqeak. any solutions or previous postings you can refer me to. our mechanic says the brakes are fine and the sqeak is typical for neons. thank you.
  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    I've always changed mine between 50 & 60k. My mechanic always says to be on the safe side and replace it at roughly 50 thousand miles. Better than losing the whole engine.
  • I bought an '00 SE auto, haven't had any trouble till recently. I noticed that the engine will act like it shifts down the rpm's come up (I don't have a tach but can hear it and feel it a little) and then it will "shift back" and the rpm's drop. I assume it is dropping in and out of overdrive, my mileage hasn't dropped but the performance seems like it is dogging a bit. The only thing I have had done is replacing the shift selinoid at 41k because it was leaking. I still notice it either shifting or the RPM's reving. Any ideas?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I haven't been checking this newsgroup much, so I missed your post:


    You said: "Congratulations on your shrewd purchase, micweb. I know a fair amount about the Neons, and they have improved sound insulation for 2004, as you can appreciate. The car has excellent build quality for its class, and is tuned for a sporting character (steering, suspension, brakes). They have a winning racing heritage on the SCCA circuit, too. They're neat, bottom line. More fun to drive than many cars on the road. Needs a few refinements, like a more-modern interior, but they also are dirt-cheap to own. Enjoy!"


    So it does have better sound insulation than the 2002 I had? Excellent!


    You'll be pleased to know I tracked down some R/T springs and had them installed. Car no longer leans in curves and transitions. I am debating whether to install KYB GR2 shocks as well - KYB tells me the valving is significantly firmer than the stock (SE and SXT) Neons and about 5% firmer than the R/T valving. Any thoughts or suggestions? I tried Eibach Pro-Kits on another car, and didnt like the lowering or harsh ride, but "factory sport" (R/T) sounds appealing.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    At about 4,000 miles, I decided to upgrade from the stock Goodyear LS tires, which come in 185/60/15 size. I thought that was a little skinny. Having put 205's on a former (2001) Neon, I thought that would be a little too wide. So I went to 195's.


    Unfortunately the closest "plus zero" replacement is 195/55, since the stock tire is already a 60 series. And 55 series tires in that width only seem to come in V rated or high performance tires. Of these, only the BF Goodrich Traction T/A is reasonably affordable. The T/A in this size with a V rating is an "up engineered" version of the more common H rated T/A.


    I had a lot of trouble with these tires. Admittedly they handled and look great, but they were relatively noisy, despite being reviewed as being reasonably quiet (maybe they are in the H rated versions?), plus they had an undiagnosable tire pull (checked alignment three times, swapped and rotated tires etc.). The best I can explain it, is that they felt that they were tires designed for a "right hand drive" market like Japan or England. (All tires are designed with some "pull" to counteract the crown of the roads; in Japan and England people drive on the "wrong" side of the road, so they need tires engineered to pull to the right to countereffect the crown of their roads.)


    Anyway, I finally got tired of the noise and the pull to the right, and replace the tires with 195/60/15 Bridgestone 950's. What a transformation! The car no longer drifts right, ride is much smoother and more comfortable, steering and cornering are still razor sharp. I have a slight speedometer error (about plus 1 mph at 70mph).


    These tires really transform the car. Yeah, it's true, the right tires can really add the finishing touch to a car. Now I am excited about the Neon again and am thinking of adding KYB GR-2 shocks, which are a little firmer.


    (Mods/upgrades to date: R/T springs, a little firmer than the standard suspension; K&N airfilter; Mobil 1 5-30 oil; Purolator oil filter. I don't think the air filter is very helpful, imho those gauze air filters really only help if you drive full throttle more often than I do, otherwise if you want more air just open the throttle more.)


    (Comments and observations: the air filter and box on this car are huge compared to my former Scion xA! Stock handling is GREAT! Even with an automatic - 4 speed- performance is great, the 4 speed is well tuned, well geared, and responsive!)
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    How has the reliability been on your Neon? There have been no reports on the newer Neons and I'm curious how they are doing.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Zero defects as of one year of ownership and 8,500 miles.


    Consumer Reports has excellent ratings on them for 2003 and 2004. Keep in mind that their reports are based on reader polls, and so those two years are with very light miles.


    American cars post-1999 have been pretty good up to 60,000 miles, then have small problems. Japanese cars - at least Toyota, Honda - seem to hold up longer, but it's hard to tell since few original owners go beyond 100,000 miles.


    IMHO most cars have an initial shake out period, where you have to fix a couple of minor things under warranty, then a second shakeout period around 40-80,000 miles. After that you are probably good for another 40-80,000 miles.


    In short, if you like Neon and get a good price, it's a great car. But keep in mind that if you pay full sticker, even applying the rebates etc., it isn't such a good deal, because depreciation is steep.


    I have found, recently, that discounts on Toyotas and Hondas (but not Scions) are as steep as on American cars, excluding the rebate. I have gotten 10% of the MSRP in two cases on Honda. That was more than what I got off on the Neon, not counting the rebate. So do your math carefully!


    Also, if you are looking for a used Neon, you can get a great buy on a 2003 or even 2004. But, after this year, the Neon is scheduled for replacement. This fall look for a lot of new cars - Honda is revamping the entire Civic line, Neon should be out with a new car, Scion xA is being revamped (or maybe in early to mid 2006), so this market category is pretty competitive.
  • btrflybtrfly Posts: 21
    Well I went for my first "free" maintenance which consisted of a rushed oil change ONLY! I still had concerns about the engine doing a 1 time rev/knock on occassion at a light, and also the klunking if I don't ease the car in2 park when shutting it off...They told me the station manager listened to my engine and it was fine!

      In reply to the nice CAnadian's response, out here in Calif, we dont' have THAT many different gas choices or stations! And anyone else only getting 20 miles per gallon highway? I"m wondering if it might be a cylinder like someone else had a problem with? Thanks and will keep u posted
  • kebredkebred Posts: 1
    I bought my son a new 2001 Neon for his Senior year in High School and to get him through his 4 years of college. I had no idea this car maintenance (routine) have cost more than my GS 300 Lexus. The car is losing power and is starting to cut off. I have taken it to two dealership so far. The last dealership still has the car (Friday-Unknown) and it is costing me 75.00 an hour, just to find out what is going on with it. They are telling me, they have never seen anything like this before. I am 150 miles away trying to handle this over the phone, because it quit on my son's college campus. When this problem fist started, the only thing that was cutting off was the CD/Radio/Lights/Speedometer/Tech and it would cut off for only a second and the return to power. Now it is effecting the engine (cut off). Has anyone else experience this problem? For my next son, I think I will spend the extra money up front and buy a Honda or Toyota.

    Please help!
  • I would consider replacing the battery. I have had several Neons and currently have a 99 Plymouth and a 2002 Dodge R/T. Both my 99 and an earlier 99 R/T had their batteries replaced because of strange electrical problems. Once the batteries were replaced the problems went away. Even though the batteries started the cars with no problems they had weak cells which did not allow the computer to get the voltage level it required. Hope this helps. Both my kids had Neons while the went to college and they performed as well as could be expected of "kids" cars.
  • I bought an 01 neon se and so far my only complaint has been the three speed automatic tranni, good trani but no fun! but then someone tried steeling the damn thing and their foiled attempt left me stranded later. they tried to pull the ignition switch off the colomn assembly and just start it that way, idiots! how would they have unlocked the steering column? any how when they did that they broke that piece of the ignition switching assembly that runs between the lock cylinder and the switch. the only place i can find one is to order a new column for about $300. ouch. can't afford that right now. so i'm looking for any nearly complete column or just the ignition switch assembly for any 01 or newer.
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