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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    None of the dealers in my area are exclusive to one make of car. So the mazda dealer here is also a five star DC service center as they sell the Jeep line as well (I admit they have done excellent work on my Jeep) The Chrysler/Dodge dealer also sells and services Lincon/Mercury (or any other ford model) Honda is with pontiac and caddys, Ford with Totota (there's a tough act to beat in town for volume sales) so at least around here everybody operates at almost the same level of service.
  • HI
    I own a 97 neon. I bought it 9 months ago and have had it in the shop at least 9 times. My car is on it's third computer and has a lot of electrical problems. After nine month of having my car in and out of the shop I am calling it quits and getting rid of the piece of junk. The Neon is a cute car but not a reliable car. For less money you can buy a brand new Kia or Hyundai with a good warrentty. I have also encounter the rude machanics. They aren't all in FL. My friend has a 95 neon and is also having a lot of problems with hers. In short skip the Neon.
  • lsaukalsauka Posts: 8
    My 2000 Neon also vibrated and it got worse. I took it in and the dealer had to replace the motor mounts. Worth having the dealer check it out. My friend has the exact same car- had the exact same problem. If you read a bit more in the Townhall you will find it is a common complaint. According to my dealer they are supposed to be issuing a TSB on this.
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45
    Hi guys

    Importfighter,I don't know what filter they put in, as I was not there when they did the oil change.Even though I could have gotten it done for free with using regular oil, I chose Synthetic. Cost was $28.00.

    I'm still wondering about the "wind noise" issue.I have found the solution. Whoever is measuring the wind noise in a NEON at 70-80 MPH.., ROLL UP THE DAMN WINDOWS!. That has to be the explanation.Yeah, at 80MPH with my window rolled down, its noisy.But let's be realistic. How many people in the heat of summer or the cold of winter drive at speeds ABOVE 65MPH when there's A/C and a heater?

    Slower speeds.., yeah, I do that not at my routine highway speed of between 70-80MPH.My car just did yet another 400 mile trip and I had no problem hearing every nuance of Beethoven's "Moonlight" piano sonata at those speeds.

    Wilson 26,do not show any enthusiasm for the car while negotiating for it.Negotiate from the INVOICE price up not from the MSRP down.If they don't have a 5sp. tell them to find one, and then call you. I will tell you that they told me the same thing, and lo and behold they found one.I had to wait a while though.It was worth it.They can do a computer search for one.

    They will try very,very strenuously to sell you a car on the lot. If it's not what you want,try another dealer.To find a 5sp with all the "trimmings" except for the sunroof may be hard,but, once again,really and truly worth it.

    I paid 14,300 for a 5sp ES with Alloys,lighting package,ABS and traction,Premium sound (cd changer.., the whole nine yards),Keyless remote,Leather shifter and steering,etc,etc

    I was very dry and dull with the saleswoman (who was in actuality quite nice). When she asked the classic "what will it take for you to buy the car today?" I sacastically answered "What are YOU willing to do to sell me the car today"? I basically had the enthusiasm/interest of a person buying a toaster

    I walked out of the dealership when we could not come to terms. I simply left a business card and said "I like the car, but there are others..,,call me if something can be worked out".Sure enough, a week later, something was worked out.There were many phone calls in between. I then bought the car. Coincidence or not, it was the end of the month,and perhaps that's a good time to buy.

    I would not pay more than 14,500 for everything except the sunroof.Most dealers are doing initial ordering for the 2001 season, and need to reduce/eliminate their 2000 inventory.

    If they come on strong and try the "I'm going to have to discuss this with my manager" bit, tell them this. "I'll allow you once, and just once, to talk to your manager and come back to me with an offer".Let them know that, in addition, you have no interest in having a conversation with their manager in tadem with the salesman (tag teaming).If they F#*K up and bring him,or stall. Politely get up ,leave you phone number. and LEAVE!

    They'll try to get you back (and I mean physically!).Explain that your head hurts,(or you have an appointment)leave your contact info, and tell them to let you know, when they're ready to sell you the car.THEN WALK OUT!

    I think you'll get good results.I did.

    By all means get a 5sp.It's lovely and really is part of the reason I love mine.

    Good luck, and be deliberate.It's your hard earned money.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I was told by my dealer that the vibration is normal for a 4-cylinder engine. I think they are full of crap. The whole frame of the car vibrates when idling in gear, and the whole dash vibrates when idling in reverse. This car is such crap!
  • jmn2786jmn2786 Posts: 15
    Is your Neon must be an auto. (can't really idle in any gear in a manual). I have no such problem with my 5sp 2K Neon ES. I would go yell at the dealer, or better yet, go to a different one.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I am going to a different dealer. It just makes me mad that dealer service depts. discount me like that in saying it's normal. Just because they want to save themselves some time and work when my car is under warranty. I bet if it wasn't under warranty, they would find everything under the sun wrong with the car. And that's not just Dodge, that's any dealership.
  • okay everybody interested if there is a tsb on their problem(s), GO TO THIS SITE! It is a bit long of a url but it will take you to every tsb listed/reported for the 2000 neon, just put in the make, model & year and youre in. The url is: There is a tsb on vibration/idling problems so if you have this problem I urge you to go to the site and get the tsb number and throw it in your dealers face (if they have been ignoring you-hmmm,vocus) also there is a tsb on the dash coming lose as well. What I would also do is report the dealer immediately to DC (listen to MOBAY, he knows what he is talking about) and then after that go to a dealer who doesnt have his head up his hole and get your service there. Believe it or not there is good service out there sometimes you have to go out and find it. HOPE THIS HELPS.....
  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    I think MOBAY has posted some good advise. Don't show too much enthusiasm. And be ready for the inevitable "what do we need to do to sell you a car today"

    If you are buying the car with cash, tell him you want the car, with the equipment you want, for invoice. If they want to sell you a car on the lot with equipment you dont want, offer to buy the car but not pay for the extra equipment!

    If you are financing, figure out the monthly payment and terms you want and STICK TO THEM. If its 5000 down and 200/month for 48 don't let them talk you into 60 months at 200/month.

    If you opt for the 1% financing you might find that the dealer doesnt want to negotiate too much from the retail price. I dont blame them as 1% financing is an awesome incentive.

    Why? Because in the first year at 300/mo you will have 3500 more in equity in your car vs 6-9% where you will only have 1000-2000 more in equity (because your first years payments are mostly interest). That helps you keep pace with the aggressive depreciation that effects all cars in their first year.

    If you can drive a manual transmission I highly recommend a 5 speed. You will also probably get a better deal on a 5 speed as that is not a popular option these days.

    The popularity of automatic transmissions in small 4 cylinder cars mystifies me. Every car (no matter what the make) performs better and gets better gas mileage with manual transmissions. Manual transmissions are lighter, more efficient, easier to service, and less costly to replace and maintain that automatic transmissions.

    If youre buying a big car or SUV I wold recommend an automatic to lug those beast around!
  • Well I got a price off a windshield of a fully loaded Neon with a sunroof...for 16,326. So I should talk that down to 14,500? That is a lot...don't you think? I also have another problem...i have a really [non-permissible content removed] trade-in is a honda accord with 130k miles...i owe 2,600 on it..and believe me it is not worth it. What should I do?
    If you want to e-mail
    Thank You!!!
  • You also might want to consider ordering your car, if your at a five star dealer they usually give a "no haggle deal" at slightly above invoice.It takes longer to get it but it is worth the wait if you dont have to deal a good price.
  • what is the year of your accord? Is it in relatively good shape? Very Important: do not even look at the sticker price on the window! I recommend you buy a edmunds new car price guide (about $11)pick out the options you want and work with the INVOICE list in that guide for the neon. Once you pick out the options you want and total that with the base price you should add about 300-400 over that total. With the price guide in hand walk in the dealership and offer them that total, they wont like the fact that you have that book because they know youve done your homework. They will be more apt to accept your offer because they have very little breathing room now, DONT BUDGE FROM YOUR OFFER, WALK OUT IF NEED BE. You can also order your car as I've mentioned above. I dont know the condition of your accord but with that mileage your prone to getting a high penalty when it comes to trade-in value. Do you have a CarMax dealer around you? They buy your car even if you dont buy theirs. First try the dealer your getting your car at though. Let me know how it goes. =^]
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I went to a dealer the other day looking at a new Protege, and this dealer also happens to have Dodge too. They had LOADED Neons for under $15,000 (ES models with automatic, sunroof, CD and all that stuff). I was really shocked. Not too bad a price. Also, that new-car rebate will hurt trade-in value, which I just found out when my friend tried to trade his Neon in for another car. With 13,000 miles on the car in perfect shape (also a loaded ES, but no sunroof or CD), they offered him $9300-9500. That is sad for a car that cost $16000 sticker (not what he paid of course) just a mere 7 months ago.
  • Okay..I talked to some dealers, and they are telling me that they will sell the car at invoice..but the price is above 15,000 for the ES. Are they telling the truth about the invoice? I don't know. Is it possible to buy a car at a price lower than invoice? Now, do prices vary from state to state? Importfighter, maybe the invoice is different in your state. I am in Pennsylvania.
    Well, I am going on Saturday to buy one I will tell the dealer that I will buy an ES for less than 15,000..regardless of what the sticker says. Does that sound good?
    My honda is in good shape...except it has a bad carborator..and it is obvious. Since the car is not paid off I know that they will put about $1000 on whatever I get..because they aren't going to pay it off for 2,600.
    This is so frustrating..I am a 21 year old female..I doubt if anyone is going to give me a good deal.
  • djg1djg1 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2000 Neon ES and I like it a lot.
    We got a lot of rain here the past few days,
    and I noticed today that the spare tire area under
    the trunk carpeting is wet, there was probably
    a pint of water. I kind of narrowed the search for
    a leak down to the right side of the trunk, probably
    back toward the tail light or down by the wheel well.
    I read a few problems with neon leaky trunks--does
    any one have any experience fixing them? Is this a
    common problem? Thanks...Dan
  • I havent heard anything about that issue until yours for the new model neons. I would take it in to the dealer and talk to the service manager about it, have them fix it.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Keep in mind they just raised the rebates on Neon to $1500 today so if sticker says $16500 subtract the $1500 then about $1500 more to get to invoice. That puts it about $13500, I wouldn't pay more then $14000 even if it's the last manual on earth.
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45

    I agree with hersbird. My basic advice stands. For all options MINUS the sunroof I would not pay more than $14,000 or $14,500. If you have the financing lined up and therefore can buy the car,they are idiots not to sell it at that price.

    Plus they have the $1500 rebate and the Honda to deal with.

    Mine invoiced at $17,400 but I paid $14,500 with tax and tags.

    I am reminding you to get the 5spd. and not the auto.

    If they won't deal with you for it at that price someone else will. You just gotta be brave and stick to your guns. The advice you've gotten from other's here is right on the money.

    You CAN get the 5spd ES with all the goodies (except sunroof) for under $15,000.

    Oh, by the way, inspect the car THOUROUGHLY!.Sometimes they have small dents or nicks from "lot abuse" and you can dicker on price by pointing it out. I found two on my car when it was at the dealer. Check aslo for alignment of the outer window pillar rubbers and seals.Make sure they give you two keys with the Keyless remote, and if you get the alloys ( I know you will,they're the bomb!)check for keys for the wheel locks.

    Mine was missing so if I had gotten a flat, it would have been interesting removing the tire.

    If you just say to yourself that I am going to pay no more than $XX,XXX, and stick to it you'll be allright. Dealers and saleman need to sell you a car more than you think.Dangle the carrot of a sale, but also let them know that you'll walk if they try to schmooze you.

    Good luck!
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45

    OOps! sorry I forgot you. My apologies.

    Have you checked the seal that is at the BASE of the rear window? It should have, at either end. a slight taper that allows water to run off into the area in between the trunk seal and the sheetmetal. The water then goes around the side of the tailights (the black plastic part that you can't see when the trunk is closed) and runs off underneath the car.

    At least thats how mine works, and my trunk is as dry as a bone.They only other thing could be if the trunk seal is not securely glue/attached to the trunk area metal.
  • Thanks guys for giving me so much good advice. Well i picked out a car today and it is an ES and it HAS a sunroof. Now what are alloys?
    I told the guy I would be back I need to get a price so I can stick to it. Also, I have the problem with my trade in...the loan pay off is 2,600 and I need that done.
    Any advice?
  • Oh and also I am not taking the rebate..I think that 2.9% interest would work better as far as lowering the monthly payment.
  • click here:
    those are the upgrade factory ALLOY wheels on that red neon, they should be on the car you are checking out at the dealer. They are really nice, get em. =^]
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Make sure before taking the financing instead of rebate you check what your local Bank or Credit union's rates are and then compare the monthly payments based on equal length loans, one with Price-$1500 and credit union rate the other price with 2.9 chrysler rate. Then consider that you would have to keep the car the full length of the loan to take full advantage of the financing deal. If you decide to bail on it and get somthing better (Neon SRT) in 3 years you would be way better off taking the $1500 rebate in the first place.

    The alloy wheels are very good looking on the current neon, my 98 wheels are ulgy and I can't beleive I paid an extra $300 for these 14" syling nighmares, Oh well they will look good with the studded snows for winter when I buy a new set of 16" next spring.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend's Neon has alloy wheels on it and it's Patroit Blue, so the car is nice looking. The only thing I hate about them is that they are always covered with brake dust.

    I have to take the car in for service again (as a favor, of course. I am too nice sometimes) :) on Tuesday. They are replacing the peeling dash pad, because they had to order the part. Also, I have another concern. I wanted taking off quickly from a stoplight today (to change lanes in front of someone), and from a standstill, I floored the pedal all the way down. No rubber laid (never does anyway, unless turning), but the engine made this HARD tapping noise, like it had no oil. I even pulled over shortly after and checked the oil and it was at perfect level. It baffles me. It doesn't matter that this car is such a lemon, because after Tuesday (hopefully), it will be someone else's lemon. We pick up our 2000 Mazda Protege ES then, and this is going to go bye-bye. I will be glad to see it go. Too bad its reliability sucks, because it's a pretty nicely styled and executed car for the price my friend paid ($14,000 fully loaded on 12/31/1999).
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Another thing I noticed about Mazda's, Honda's, Toyota's, etc is that their compact cars are not as big as a neon. I parked my 98 neon next to a new mazda 626 today and the neon looks bigger, wider for sure, maybe a little shorter. If Mazda's 626 is one of their bigger cars the protege must be tiny compared to a neon. The wide stance is what makes the neon really look (and handle) good. This is best demonstrated by how the neon's used to dominate the miata's in SCCA solo racing, they finally had to move the classes around to make things even out.

    That's Dodges life story in racing... read the rules, make something completely within the rules, dominate the competition, listen to the competition whine, have your stuff outlawed by rule changes. I'm sure the vipers are the next thing to be pushed out of GTS endurance racing after dominating Lemans again. The new winston cup motor already has Ford and Chevy whining before it's ever been run on a track. Heres a hint to the competition, instead of trying to make our stuff worse, how about just concentration on making your crap better.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Maybe my friend just got a bad Neon (it is an early production model), so I will leave it at that. It's also amazing when I took it in for service, there were 6 other Neons there, along with about 10 or so Durangos. I just don't like Dodge's reliability here lately. And I am not the only one to have problems with a Chrysler-made vehicle.

    Also, the Protege, Civic, Sentra, and Corolla are among the most reliable cars on the market. Can't say that about a Neon now or ever.

    And FYI: The Neon is .4 inches longer than a Mazda Protege and about a foot or so shorter than a 626. Check out the specs right here on Edmund's.
    That's one thing I like about the Neon: It feels like a larger car when riding in it and driving it.

    Also, the Protege is a little roomier inside than the Neon too. I have ridden the same passenger in both cars (5'8 female) and she always asks the front passenger to move up his seat in the Neon because she is scrunched a bit. But she never asks that same question in the Protege. Case closed.
  • Regarding your last statement, maybe the seat in the neon WAS A BIT FARTHER BACK THAN THE PROTEGES' WAS at the time. HELLO!!!!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Nope. The front seats in both cars stay all the way back all the time. Also, with the Neon, it even looks a bit smaller (in leg room) when compared to the Protege.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    That was kinda cold. If you don't believe my stories, I don't know what to tell you. The car my friend has is a 2000 Dodge Neon ES sedan, patriot blue with everything but CD, ABS, and sunroof. I wish it were more reliable, because I like it. But the Protege and Neon have different pluses and minuses. I am not trying to down Dodge, just voicing my bad experience. Isn't this forum for voicing experiences and opinions??? Well there you go then. Thanks.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    The neon is 13" shorter but taller and wider. If you take the stats for length x width x height the neon is bigger then the 626. I realize niether car is a cube (although the 626 is close) this may be why the neon seems bigger then the 626. As for back seat size I've had 4 navy guys in the back of a rented neon going 20 miles to a hotel in Hawaii, yeh they asked to move both seats up a bit too. I didn't say the accord, corrolla, sentra?, or protege had poor reliability just that they are smaller then the chrysler competition. It seems strange the accord is always compared to the concorde when somebody is comparison shopping. This is because they are close in price not size, the Stratus is the accurate comparison but it being over $5000 less then a Accord I would expect it's reliability to be a little lower. Mabe if Honda made a car with size and power then it wouldn't seem so durable, oh wait that already happened, the Odyssey, an epic story of tragedy. Then when you look at common problems of accords (distributers) and how much the repair is (over $500) and the fact this leaves you stranded (unlike a neon headgasket that can go for months) they dodn't seem that great. A distributer seems minor compared to a headgasket but when you look at it closely the truth comes out.
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