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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Who are you to call someone else a liar? These forums on Edmund's are for owners of vehicles to share their experiences with each other, not to use for a way to criticize each other. While I don't believe anything until experiencing it, I have had trouble with a used car like that within 9265 miles, so it does happen.

    Boy, after reading all these troublesome comments about the Neons, I am SOOOO glad I bought something else.
  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    Let me just say this. I dont believe that the cars people write about in these forums are as good as the proclaim they are or as bad as they would have us believe they are.

    I am skeptical by nature.

    Are my Neons perfect? Hell no. Are they good cars? Hell yes.
  • justpurplejustpurple Posts: 12
    I understand completely your frustration and disappointment. My 2000 Neon has had many of the same problems as yours. See posts 68, 72, and 81. The most frustrating one for me is the rough/low idle at stops. Like you, they can't find anything wrong with it. I've tried two different service departments with no luck. They tell me it's "normal". Yea right!

    My latest problem? Four days ago the trunk latch broke. My trunk is now tied down with a rope until I can find time to get it back to the service department. It's really frustrating to have to take the thing back to the dealer every week or so.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I think $1000 off MSRP would still be too high. That would give them full price for $2500 worth of options and all of the hold back. Also there is a $1000 rebate right now (Edmunds says $1250 but I think they are wrong). Keep in mind whatever you offer even if it is over MSRP they will probably counter with a higher number, it's just they will always try and get the max possible. I would offer $13500 on the above deal (counting on the $1000 rebate) and then not go above $14000. I would feel pretty good about letting them have a fair profit and me getting a sweet Neon for only $14000.

    PS watch out for getting screwed on the other end with a trade or extended warrenties or $250 wax jobs or...
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Talking up those "fine" other cars that cost the same as a neon to beat my 98 Sport. I got the mileage of the Echo, near the room of an accord, the performance of the Civic SI, every creature comfort I need (power windows, locks, tilt cruise, moonroof, and CD), my two tone camel interior looks far from cheap (unless compared to a LHS or something, not mazada). All this for $11500 ordered new from the factory. I have had a couple of problems (reprogrammed the computer, and fixed a taillight leak into the trunk) I also had the front pads replaced because it was free and they squeaked with 20000 miles on them, my mom's VW does the same thing at 10000 miles and when she found out dodge did it for free she tried VW, they said no way, it's normal. The neon has gotten more expensive but it still can't be beat for bang for the buck.
  • I just got a 2000 NEON with a sticker price of just over $16,000 and paid about $15,100 (about $200 over invoice). So I don't think you are asking to low, but two months earlier my family bought another car from the same dealership and salesperson so they gave me a larger discount than they normally would give to most people. So your luck of actually get the neon for $15,000 is not that good unless you know someone that can get you a good deal
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    what about the $1000 rebate? Or did you get special financing? If sticker was $16000 and there is a $1000 rebate then I'd say you paid about $200 over MSRP and a good $1500 over dealer cost ($2000 if you count holdbacks). There are 2000 neon's advertised in the Seattle area for under $10000 and there is not $5000 worth of options available.
  • lsaukalsauka Posts: 8
    As many people commented, I have everything documented and I also have an attorney. Believe or not everything I listed HAS gone wrong with this car and everything is documented on paper by the dealer as a WARRANTY ISSUE!!! If you do some research you would find that a lot of people are having the same problems with the Neon.

    As for beating on my car, I highly doubt it. Even though the Neon is an entry-level car and not very expensive compared to some, I spent my hard earned money on it. I am NOT going to beat on it and I take extremely good care of it. Even going as far as having oil changes sooner then needed. I have never beat on any of my cars. I had a Pontiac Grand Am prior to this and it had almost 100,000 miles on it. I took care of it and did the maintenance and that is why it lasted as long as it did.

    Oh yeah, by the way, that Grand Am. It NEVER had any problems other than normal wear and tear issues from the day I purchased it. Now my nephew is driving it and still no problems. It now has well over 100,000 miles.
  • has anyone out there experienced a distinct clunk in the front end of their neon? I have a '97, that has been repaired (struts, springs, sway bar)
    it clunks particularly on a turn going up or down hill.

    thx calgaryclunker
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45

    Sounds to me like the CV joints may be going. I would check on this quickly by inspecting the boots and also by taking it to a mechanic.

    Saw a guy yesterday have to pull off the road after his popped off from the tranny. Glad it was'nt me.

  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    I'm sorry you are apparently having problems with your car.

    I just get a little tired of the people with problems bringing them here, over, and over again. Reposting their disatisfaction with their cars like we havent heard them out 50 posts ago.

    I conceed there are lemons out there. There is arbitration and ulitimately the courts to get satisfaction. If you get a jury you will win because they hate car manufacturers.

    I stopped reading the posts that start off -"My Neon is a piece of crap and all this stuff broke and I want someone to pay"

    I empathise with the posts that start off, "I have a ------ did any of you have the same problem? How did you resolve it? Is it serious?

    Its a fine line, I know, but all the negativity just brings me down.

    If you hate your car that much, just trade it for a Honda. I mean that with sincerity because they have the best reputation for quality.

    I had a car that stranded me 2 times in 1 year. After the second time, I traded it for a different car. I lost on the initial deal, but I drove the car I replaced it with 120,000 relatively trouble free miles and never looked back.

    After having a car that stranded me a couple of times, your problems dont seem that serious to me.

    On a positive note, I just took a trip in my Neon, with baggage, drove 250 miles at 70+ mph and got 33 mph with the AC on. Take that OPEC!
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    could be stearing nuckle pop. Look at at the TSB link and look for it. It describes how to isolate and correct the problem (which really can go on forever with no further effects if you can live with it). This also lists many other TSB's that apply to you specific year/engine/transmission combination. These are great for warrenty work because you can expain exactly your problem in terms the dealer will understand and fix it right the first time.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend has a 2000 Dodge Neon with about 9800 miles on it and I have a 1999 Mazda Protege that just turned 22,000 miles yesterday. He told me he likes the looks of my car and all that, but never drove one. I told him we could change if he wanted for about a week, and see what each of us thought. No decision yet, but we shall see. I know his Neon is faster, but I get better mileage and have more front room inside, but we shall see.
  • mlaportamlaporta Posts: 9
    the clunking in my 98 neon also remains undiagnosed, unfixed and frightengly loud at times. I'm afraid I can be of no assistance to you re: the cause or cure. I am a single mother trying only to get to/from work and get my kids where they need to go, in a car that has been one headache after another. To the person who said, basically, " stop complaining and trade it in", I am doing just that at a $6,000. loss. I can ill afford this, but neither can I afford a car w/ a rebuilt engine (at 1.5 yrs, 18,000 miles!!!)that now burns a quart of oil per month (and stinks), a car that does not consistantly start when wet, a car that gets 18 mpg, a car that now needs a new steering column (yes, perhaps the source of the clunk...or maybe only of the clank)...Nor do I wish to deal any more w/ the dealership(s) in my area who have treated me very badly from the first time I brought the car in for clunking. The dealer stories are quite funny, but I won't waste the space here. However, I will take space to air my "negativity" in hopes of advising or warning others away from a poor product. While it is true that one car can be a lemon, that one dealership may be anti-women or that one group of mechanics may be basically bad at their job, in all cases these people and these products are representatives of Chrysler Corp. I tried the legal route: are you aware that this law is set up to protect the manufacturers as much as to protect the consumer? My car does not QUITE fit the criteria for a lemon. So I will steer my new Honda away from all Chrysler products and will continue to advise others to do the same.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I don't understand, if your neon is a 98 and has only 18,000 miles then why is it not under warrenty? How can you lose $6000 on a car that you should have paid under $10000 for in the first place? If a Honda dealer is only giving you $4000 for a 98 neon with 18,000 miles that can be fully repaired under warrenty it is Honda who are the crooks. I'm sorry I'm not too sympathetic, but then again every Dodge shop I have ever visited has been nothing short of a friend to me.
  • Well, since we are all fully aware of everything that could go "wrong" with the new neons(or any year neon..) I am here with some semi-good news: My neon is the best car I've ever had! Period. I've had chevy's and foreign jobs (but no ford's-I'm not nut's ok!). Now these car's are all well and good but after about 4 months with my new neon I can say without a doubt that it is already the best car I've had yet. I know other's will disagree and to be fair I understand and possibly sympathize with those who have had problems with thier neon's especially if you are involved with arbirtration-I wish you luck. I can only say that if you're experience with the new neon was the same as mine, you would be very happy. Now I ordered my neon from the factory and just maybe they put that extra special care into putting it together,maybe not. What I know for sure is that my car is great, service is ok(at best),and the neons competitors are mediocre in surpassing it. 4 months is a short time to hazard an opinion but I have enough faith in DC (hope they back me on this)to make my decision. Hope this brightened up the neon forum a bit-you know with all the negativity and all....
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend has a 2000 Neon with about 10,300 miles on it and the front brake rotors are warped already! He took my Protege in for service today and I drove his Neon for my 50-mile-each=way commute this morning. It was a nice ride and nice handling too. Also, it has features (power windows, keyless entry, etc.) that my Protege doesn't have. But, my car has more room for the driver in it. Also, it's engine is quieter and its tranny shifts smoother. I do like the Neon for the price, but have to give the hands-down to the Protege.
  • mlaportamlaporta Posts: 9
    hersbird: I am honestly glad you've had good experiences w/ yr dealerships. I just havn't. I pd 14,000 for my neon, I was taken a bit... (the financing was 0.9%) My mistake, and I've learned from it. So I owe 10,500 and am getting 5,000 on the trade in. Repairs ARE under warrenty, car has 24,000 miles. But the poor gas milage (18 mpg) the stink (which truely makes me sick) and the clunking are undiagnosed. I need to DRIVE my car, not only drop it off for repairs. If I went the BBB route I might "win" but it's my choice to take a loss and get out. Currently, it's the makers of excedrine that are getting rich off of me. If I told you my dealership stories, my decisions would be better understood. That's not a tease, thet are just a bit long.
  • All problems aside (and I realize there are plenty), I must stick with my overall opinion on the new neons: that they are a great car. I read about other individuals and what has happened with their new neons and I am just blown away at what is going wrong with their car. I wont speculate on whether their claims are legitimate but I will say that odds are good that not "everything" is falling apart because of manufacturer defects or poor quality. For those of you who know full well that the car is actually the culprit-then disregard this post I am not directing this at you. However, with that said I just cant believe that ALL those posts about vehicles breaking down, stalling, warped brakes, engine problems and such is the being caused by the car "itself". I mean it's as if you could park the neon and just watch it fall apart piece by piece. Let's be realistic here, the neon's have problems but these descriptions are outrageous. I think in certain situations the problem is partly caused by driver abuse/habits. I think another person posted this same scenario a few posts ago and I agree with him. I see the way most people drive and their not "driving miss daisy". All I'm saying is on some of these stories that are hard to believe the actual problem is much deeper than what is percieved to be the going on. Take this into account when making your opinions on a particular car. Oh and by the way- on the issue of engine noise on new neons dodge intended for it to be that way, dodge boys like aggressive throttle response and hi horses even on their small cars so combine that with a more aggresive cam position you get the additional noise, some like it some dont. As for me I like it, it gives the car character and it's nice to know you've got quite a few extra horses in there.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend has a 2000 Neon and I have been tooling around in it since yesterday. I like it a lot. It has nearly 10,500 miles and the brake rotors are warped already and the dash pad is pealing, but I still like the car. We shall see how it fares.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    All problems aside $5000 is too low a trade in for the most stripped 98 neon with 24000 miles. It should be at least $7000 unless there is some accident damage you are not disclosing here. I understand you just want to get rid of it but don't let the Honda dealer take advantage of your current situation to help him buy that new house on the hill. Bottom line is it can be fixed, the warrenty is good for 6 more months so it won't cost a dime and even if you don't want to deal with it somebody else will. If you continue on this path you will end up with $5000 added to the MSRP on an already overpriced civic and then you'll have yourself a $20000 Civic DX. But hey, I bet in two years and 24000 miles it will be worth a whole $8000!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Take the car to a different Dodge/Plymouth dealer before getting rid of it. You would be a fool to get rid of a car still under warranty and take a big loss like $5000. Also, as an alternative, try CarMax. Don't know where you are, but check into them if you are near one ( They give pretty good trade-in. But that should be your LAST resort besides taking it to another dealer or even getting a lawyer involved.
  • gigsgigs Posts: 11
    I work at for a car rental company and we have many a neon. Since I've been there I've noticed a couple have problems with the steering. This problem is not a myth. We brought one in cause when you try to turn the wheel when the car is at a stand still or movingly slowly the power steering makes a loud sound (not normal). Also brakes may need quickly because we have a couple neons who's bracks like to squeal sometimes cause they got wet and sat around and some need brack jobs. We had one that had almost 50 000km just get the brakes done. Lastly, at least the early editions have a flaw with a component with the Air Conditioning. We just brought a neon in with broken a/c and they need these newer parts to fix it.

    Now as far as small car ratings go I think it was road and track that I saw had a little more realistic comparison.

    My rank would probably be.

    Corolla 2001 looks much nicer
    Civic over priced (financing yikes!)
    cavalier or sunfire yuk poor quality uncomfortable ride

    As far as engine noise the cavalier, sunfire, and elantra are way worse then the neon.

    The protege may be a tad quiter but its pretty close.

    So just the corrola and maybe the civic are a lot quiter but more expensive and much more boring.

    But when you talk quality, handling, ride and price, with quality getting the most weight, the protege, focus and sentra are ahead of the neon basicly of quality.

    Best handling- Protege
    Best ride- focus with Neon and protege close behind
    best looks- Neon and Protege
    Build Quality- Protege, corrolla and sentra are all good

    worse handling- cavalier sunfire very laggy
    worse looks- cavalier with focus behind but starting to grow on me (too bad its a ford)
    build quality- cavalier sunfire
    ride- cavalier sunfire and sentra has a reallly stiff suspension making it hard on the a@#
  • mlaportamlaporta Posts: 9
    Thanks to those who suggested I try for a better trade in price on Neon. there is no accident damage...although the paint is peeling in 3 places and it does not look too good. Both Saturn and Honda offered basically the same trade in. However, my plan is to go to many places over a couple of weeks to get the best offer. I plan to share that info openly w/ each dealer, as well. The 2000 Honda I plan to buy is only 11,100.! A basic hatchback. I pd 14 for the neon 2 yrs ago (got taken, as I said) Anyway thanks again, I will search for the best trade. Signing off...
  • gombocgomboc Posts: 2
    I haven't commented in a while so after reading all of the posts I'll put my 2 cents in.

    I've had my 2K Neon LX with auto trans since April '99 and it is still as solid and everything is working as well as the day I drove it off the lot.

    My wife and I have driven the car for 7000 miles in varying conditions - highway, city, heat, cold, snow, potholes so it has received a pretty good workout. I'm the one that drives it hard and fast and can be seen cruising down the highway @ 90+ mph. The wife is the slow short trip driver.

    Yeah the front brakes make an occasional but not very loud squeak, but I have found this to be from rain and humidity causing a fine layer of rust to form on the rotors, after applying the brakes a few times it wears off and the squeak stops. I get the shock treatment sometimes too. It does not happen all of the time so I think it is a combination of factors and not the car's fault.

    The only time it has been in the shop has been for oil changes every three months, regardless of mileage, and twice for body work - once from an inconsiderate idiot that left there calling card on my driver's door, and the second when my wife had an accident damaging the left front fender, headlamp assembly and front facsia.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I think the Neons are nice cars. My friend's has 10700 miles and it's getting ready to have the front rotors replaced due to warpage. Also notice when starting the car and putting it in reserse, the engine vibrates very harshly and the steering wheel shakes. Going to the dealer sometime this week to get it looked at.
  • gigsgigs Posts: 11
    If you let your Neon set around for a few days and it rains the brakes will squeal and usually fairly loudly for the first couple of times you break like gomboc just said. My personal Neon hasn't done it but first thing monday mourning when ever I rent one to a customer it does. This ocurred today and I explained to the customer that this is what neons seem to do when they sit. Unfortunate I guess also a bit embassaring for me and my manager but drove around the parking lot a bit and braked a few times and they stoped.

    Edswords yes I chose the neon for the exact attributes you spoke of. I also am prepared for a few more difficulties out of my neon then if I had bought an import or maybe even a focus but the price was right, I liked the options the neon had, it is fun to drive and was the cheapest car I could by in canada with the options I wanted.

    Hopefully I'll have good luck with it as I hope many others do too ;-)

    Treat your neons well and they may do the same for you.

    PS I hate to say but the zx3 focus has grown on me a bit. It has to have better rims though and the focus design in general is still a bit harsh on the eyes.

    Good small car for a family
  • copperhead1copperhead1 Posts: 157
    New colors
    Steel blue,garnet,shale green,STONE white.
    The R/T comes in:

    Stone white,black,silver and red.
  • Does anybody have any problems with their auto tranny's on their new neons? I have no problems with my 3 speed auto, absoulutely none-yet I hear people cringe when they hear 3 speed auto. There is a reason why a 3 speed auto is in there: first of all dodge had an overheating issue when they tried to mate the neon with a 4 speed (I'm not sure how they overcame this issue on the new r/t's because they have a 4 speed) Also, the 3 speed is a more reliable and durable design as compared to the 4 spd. I think mainly though the premium price for a 4 speed is more than dodge wanted to charge it's customers. As for me I got no problems, getting 28-29mpg in city driving!I use full synthetic so I think that has helped.Can anybody else beat that mileage? :-)
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