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1997 Dodge Neon Head Gasket



  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Check with - both the 2.0 and 2.4L DaimlerChrysler 4-cylinders have had significant problems with head gaskets (they're similarly designed engines). DaimlerChrysler should cover the problems with the 2.4L engine as well.
  • Thanks for the help eneth.

    We looked at the site and found the TSB service bulletin regarding the replacement of headgaskets on both 2.0 L and 2.4 L engines.

    Hopefully we can settle with Chrysler over the phone...but according to past consumers, threats of small claims court is the only way to receive any compensation from Chrysler.

    We have also e-mailed to the local dealer we purchased both our Plymouths from. Maybe the thought of alot of bad publicity will force some type of action on their part.

    We can only hope!!
  • Dear fellow neon owners, we are in the preliminary stages of initiating a class action lawsuit and are searching for potential plaintiffs. If interested, please email me and include the following details: year of your neon(s), mileage when the headgasket failed, cost of repairs, name, address, phone number, and any associated expenses you incurred. If you do not feel comfortable releasing your personal info, please email anyway and the attorneys can contact you via email directly. Thank you! Aimee
  • I noticed my 1997 Dodge neon has been leaking oil.I brought it to a dealership yesterday and they said it was the head gasket and they would fix it for $750.I was shocked.Then i told them i wanted to get a second opinion and they said fine but charged me $65 dollars for an hours labor on diagnosing the problem.Then i logged on to and seen this problem is commonplace.I am so mad.I need help holding my composure.I need this to be fixed for free.
    Does anyone know the number i call at chrysler?please reply...all help will be appreciated
    Thanks bryan
    p.s my car has 48000 miles on it
  • The phone # for Chrysler is 1-800-922-1997. Post # 82 on this site details their encounter with Chrysler.
  • I just realized that I didn't include my email address for interested parties. [email protected] I assumed there would be a way to email me directly from the post. Thank-you.
  • cwopetecwopete Posts: 22
    For those of you (like me) who were wondering if the used Neon you bought has the new MLS headgasket, checkout this link It shows the MLS headgasket, which has a series of rivets to hold the gasket together. If your engine is clean and you can see the aluminum head to iron engine block junction underneath the intake manifold, you can plainly see the rivets on the gasket on either side of the engine. One is visible to the right and below the radiator cap, the other can be viewed if you remove the air cleaner snorkel. I tell you, I was mighty releived to see that someone had already fixed this problem before I purchased the Neon.
  • I just found out today that the massive oil hemorrage from my 1998 2.0 engine (49,000 miles) was indeed a blown head gasket...I'm getting it towed to a dealership tomorrow and getting it repaired. I mentioned that I knew about the Chrysler deductible program, and then the service guy knew all about it. So, hopefully by the end of the week it should be good as new. I would like to thank everyone on this board for the information...without it I might have ended up paying an arm and a leg when I didn't need to...By the way, has anyone had luck getting the $100 deductible back? I'm planning a massive campaign to do just that.
  • Great website!
    My 5-speed SOHC 1995 Neon sports sedan recently had it's second headgasket (HG) replacement at 98,000 miles almost 2 years to the day and 30,000 following the first HG replacement. DaimlerChrysler (DC) paid for the labor the first time around while I paid for parts. I was socked for a $435 labor cost for the second replacement. The Dealer covered the cost of the part which amounted to $220.

    My question is whether the first HG replacement in December of 1998 used the new multi-layer steel (MLS) HG. The part #s are:
    09353010 GASKET, CYLINDER Head-Replace (B)
    5014132AA GSKT PKG-UPPER

    There is a tremendous difference in DC customer service between December 1998 and December 2000. In 1998, customer service was prompt, courteous, and they kept me on the phone until the situation was resolved. Flash forward to the new DC which requires you to navigate a voice mail menu which asks you 4-5 times about whether you really want to talk to a customer service representative (i.e., a real person). Add a 5-minute wait before your call is answered. I was told during my first call that if I wasn't satisfied with the Dealer defraying the cost of the HG that my only recourse was to speak with the District manager, who may or may not talk to me. I felt like a captive in Stalag 13. In addition, the customer service rep said that this offer was very generous on the part of DC, and I should be grateful. Three weeks later I called the dealership that serviced my car, and was told the the district manager has not checked in yet, but that I was on the top of the list. I called DC again, and after navigating the voice mail harassment system was told that the only person I could register my complaint with was the district manager. I told the customer service (clearly a misnomer) representative at DC that this individual is still missing after three weeks, and wasn't there anyone else I could contact. Sergant Schultz... I mean the customer service rep said the only person who could address this matter was the district manager (how do you spell "run-around"). The helpful customer service rep then told me that DC defraying the cost of the part was a goodwill gesture, and that "the customer has to take responsibility at some time". After reading this message board you have to wonder when DC will develop a consistent policy in standing behind their product. The HG issue is a design problem. Neither the dealership nor DC addressed my concern about whether the HG will need to be replaced in 10,000 or so more miles. I didn't know about the redesigned MLS headgaskets either. Does the MLS HG really remedy this problem?

    Please let me know whether the first HG replacement was the older type which was known to be defective, and had been replaced.
  • Basic information: 1998 Neon with 77,000 miles (husband commutes), Neon leaking oil like crazy.

    After reading the helpful information on this page I called my local dealership yesterday to tell them that I thought I had a headgasket problem. I was told by the Service Manager that the District Manager had set a limit of 5 years or 50,000 miles on headgasket replacement. I then called the Customer Service number (which by the way is 1-800-992-1997 NOT 922-1997) and talked to a really nice guy who called my local dealership and set up an appointment to check out my Neon. I got a call a few minutes ago and was told that the District Manager had turned down DC paying for any part of my gasket replacement due to the high mileage.

    I called Customer Service again and was told that my only recourse was to have my file sent to the District Manager's Office. I asked her what good it was going to do to send my file to the same person who had already turned down my case. She said that it was the only thing that could be done. We'll anyone with a brain knows what's going to happen when my file gets there - it's going to be turned down again without anyone ever looking over the information.

    My advice to anyone reading this is - 1) don't commute in your Neon and 2) take your Neon to your dealership TODAY - even if you don't seem to have a problem - have them check the gasket every month until your warrenty runs out. And, if the extended warrenty is under $605 (what I'm about to pay for a replacement gasket job) buy the extended warrenty because your gasket will fail sooner or later and it's better to be under warrenty!!!
  • Just putting my 2 cents in.I have A 90 dodge colt that has 83000 miles on it.For the last year or so I have had oil leaking out of what appeared to be the head gasket.Kept telling myself its got to be leaking from the valve cover,but that part always remains dry.Alos bad oder from A?C vents when A/c is on. Got tired of it so was going to trade it in on A used neon or stratus.But why trade it in and get the same problems.Looks like dodge really needs to clean up there act.Glad I did my resaerch before I put myself indebt on I new headache.
  • bearssbearss Posts: 1
    A couple weeks ago my 1996 Neon blow a headgasket at 54,000 miles. I thought it was just my bad luck, so I took it to an independent mechanic and had it fixed. The bill was ~$800. When I went to pick up the car the mechanic told me that he has seen the same problem in many Neons with far fewer miles.

    I went home and investigated on my computer. Sites like this one allowed me to realize that the headgasket problem is very wide spread.

    I wrote a letter to Daimler Chrysler (DC) and sent a copy of my bill. They called me and said that they would pay me $148.94 for the parts under a "good will warranty". No labor.

    I politely said that I was not satisfied with $149 given that the Neon headgasket problem seems too wide spread to be just a coincidence. The DC rep asked me "so you are not satisfied with this?" I replied "no I am not". She then said " well since this good will warranty is designed to make you happy and it is not, then I am withdrawing the offer and you get nothing, zero. You are no longer eligible for the good will warranty sir."

    I was left almost speechless by the response. I don't know that I have ever been treated more poorly. I called and explained the situation to another DC rep and got no where. I asked him that if he was in my shoes would he not expect to be at least partially reimbursed for the head gasket repair. He responded "no sir, I take responsibility for my own vehicles".

    I realize I should have taken my car to a dealer, but at the time I thought the problem was unique to my Neon. Thus I did not even think of being reimbursed. If DC would have publicly admitted that there is a Neon headgasket problem, then I would have known and taken it to a dealer.

    Any advice on what to do next. I am out $800 and I am shocked at how poorly the DC reps treated me. I could see their responses if I was rude, but I wasn't. I was polite and professional at all times. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. Thank you.
  • My daughter is thinking of buying a 2000 Neon. Do they have the same gasket problem or has it be taken care of at the factory? I don't think she should buy one if the same trouble still exist. She is going to make the purchase Friday Jan. 26. Need answers SAP! Thanks.
  • I have a 1995 Dodge Neon and the paint is flaking off. I called the main office and they refused to paint it because i was a 3rd owner and they also said that the warranty on the paint was 3 year or 36,000 miles. I find this very strange that a company would only warranty their paint for 3 years. But I am fighting to have it repainted if i can get enough people to stand behind me and maybe they will recall them. So if you have this problem please e-mail me at [email protected] I am fighting hard to get all white neons recalled so please help
    thank you
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    The new 2.0 and 2.4L engines use a redesigned head gasket that supposedly has fixed the failure problems.

    As for paint, it's warranted for 12 months or 12,000 miles on a Dodge. The Neon postdates the common Uniprime peeling-paint problem Chrysler (and Ford and GM) had in the late 80s and early 90s. It is more likely an isolated case now - unlike its transmissions, Chrysler apparently has improved its paint finishes.
  • fuji56fuji56 Posts: 1
    Just had the head gasket replaced this past week. I would like to thank all of you that have posted experiences with you local service departments.

    I started out by calling a local dealership in order to get a quote for the repair. I was quoted a price of $800 parts & labor. I immediately called the DC number and was told that I would need to take my Neon to a service department and get a problem determination. Well, I did and of no surprise I was told that it was the head gasket that was leaking and that DC would go 50/50 with me for the repairs. The final bill for the repair ended up to be $214.96. I believe that the district managers have undue influence in determining the final cost of repairs. I also believe that there is a possibility that I might not have had to pay anything. The idea of a class action suit will be my next consideration.

    Good luck to all Neon owners.
  • cabinscabins Posts: 1
    Thanks to everyone that has posted information on their experiences with the Neon head gaskets -it helped to save me quite a bit of money.

    My (daughter's) 1997 Neon had 28,000 miles on it when we bought it. Shortly after buying the Neon, we started noticing the oil spots. My daughter-in-law also owned a Neon (1998) during this time period, and it developed a major oil leak. My daughter-in-law was able to get her head gasket replaced at no charge, although the warranty had expired. (I attributed their willingness to correct the problem to the fact that she and my son have been good customers of the Chrysler dealer in our town.)

    After arming myself with information from this site, I finally took my daughter's 97 Neon in to the dealer to have the oil leak checked at 44,400 miles. I told the service dept. when I took it in that I was reasonably sure that it was the head gasket, given all of the problems that Chrysler has had with this item. The service dept. told me that if it was the hg, it would likely be covered by Chrysler. They would call to get approval if needed.

    It turned out that it was the hg, and they called me to say that it was out of warranty and the repairs would not be covered. I told the service rep that I knew that Chrysler had repaired many of the Neons at no charge. She offered to do the repair at 50% cost. I told her that I also knew that many of the hg's had been replaced for a $100 deductible paid by the consumer. She agreed to this and the work was subsequently done.

    When I went to pick up the car today, the lady that I had spoken with was not available. There was confusion about the charge, but the owner of the dealership got involved, and I was able to pick up the car with No Charge. He stated that Chrysler gives him a great deal of flexibility in dealing with the head gasket problem.

    Once again, I thank all of you for providing me with the ammunition needed to get this repair done for free.
  • I have a 1997 Plymouth Neon that started leaking oil a small amount at about 40,000 miles. Go figure, right after the original factory warranty ran out. Then it stopped and started again from time to time until it reached 58,000 when it really started leaking. A half a quart every 500 miles. I took it into a local dealership in my town and they took one look at it, actually I think they knew before they looked at it, and told me it was a blown headgasket. I luckely had extended warranty through Fidelity Warranty and they covered all but my $100.00 deductible and they would not pay for new nuts and bolts. Strange. They did pay for all fluids. I also contacted Chrysler and kindly complained to them and was told that they would be willing to offer a "good will" gesture of paying for all labor, basically, and I could pay for parts. This would have meant me paying around $200.00 or so. I told them I had the extended warranty but wanted them to pick up the tab on the deductible. They would not do it. They were nice about the whole thing and I was surprised about the "good will" offer but they at first didn't want to admit that it was a "known" problem. Then I told them everything I had researed on this site and others and they then started saying when they normally offered good will offers that customers usually ended up paying around $200.00. Now tell me how they know what they normally do when at first they tried to say they didn't even know about it being a known problem. Well, hope this helps someone out there with a similar problem.
  • If I buy a Neon that has had the HG changed then do I look forward to it going again in another 30 - 50 thousand miles? What is the average life of a neon in miles?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Neon head gaskets have been updated to resolve the leakage problem (hopefully). Look for small rivets through the gasket where it protrudes between the head and block.
  • I have a 1996 Ply mouth Neon. At 24K the suspension went south. At about 55K (just out of the warrantee period), the head gasket went ($879.00) and at about 60K the paint began to bubble-up and peel off around the roof-line and sides ($237.00). I could peel every last hint of paint off the car using my fingernails if I wanted to waste an afternoon. It appeared that it wasn't even bonded to the primer. That doesn't include the two master cylinders I purchased at $350.00 a pop. -My brakes lost pressure and failed 4 times. My gas gauge has also been replaced but that too has gone bad again and I use my trip odometer to see how much gas I have. The A/I stopped working at 54,000 ($329.00). All the while, I was told by Chrysler that this or that wasn't covered and that all these were probably caused by my driving tendencies.' I can understand them saying I could POTENTIALLY blow a head gasket by over-revving the engine (but I've never had that problem before, on any other car..) but I asked the guy exactly how fast I'd need to drive to peel the paint off the car. Bottom line..... Don't buy a Dodge/Crysler. They're rip-off artists and shiesters. They know of these problems and they don't care. I will never ever buy a Dodge product again in my life and I will tell EVERYBODY who cares to listen to do the same. Hell, I was out looking at cars last week and as I was leaving a Nissan lot, a Dodge salesman on the next lot asked me if he could help me. I almost decked him for his trouble. (I know, it's not HIS fault!) If you think my luck is isolated, ask any owner of a 1995 - 1997 Neon if he's had problems with either the paint, the head gasket or the brakes and I'll wager my worthless Neon that one of the above rings true. (Go to consumer reports website and you'll see that these are VERY common problems). Of course, If you win the wager, you may not want the devil anyway!

    -P.S. -TO THE GIRL THAT WAS LOOKING TO PURSUE A LAWSUIT - If still interested, I'M GAME!!! my e-mail is listed on this site. IF anyone, for that matter, is looking to do the same, I'll get in on the action. I know Dodge/Chrysler won't squirm because their rep is poor anyway (I found out about that too late!), but If I can exact at least $2500.00 damage in bad publicity from Dodge/Chrysler, I'd call it even.....
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    cars and you expect the COMPANY to REPAINT YOUR CAR???Pick a real issue, no court in the world is going to hear a case like that. Blame the EPA for demanding "low emission" water based paint.There are too many variables involved especially YEARS after the warranty has expired for DCX to be held responsible for that.
    I am no DCX cheer leader, but not EVERY problem is someone else's fault. Paint ages, fades, cracks, checks, crazes.
    I hope that a class action suit IS brought against them for their defective head gaskets and Ford's and GM's as well. But the paint thing-please.
  • Yeah ! Congratulations Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth
    You did it, U Won ! Worldwide consumers have paid there hard earned money and you provided worldwide consumers with the worst Engineered vehicles on Earth...

    Got to hand it to Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth you have Won beaten all your consumers.

    Wise old saying you can't read a book by its cover :O)
    Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth great looking vehicle unfortunately for the unsuspecting consumer even to date Transmission failure, head gasket failure , too many more serious problems Etc...
    Just read this Newsgroup 2% Satisfied , 98% Unsatisfied . Surf the internet U will find 100s of thousands of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle owners that are Big Losers. Telling there Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle Horror stories.

    Now that Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth consumers have read the book by owning one of the worst Engineered vehicles on Earth. Consumers worldwide learned a costly but valuable lesson.

    Now we have come to realize. Yes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth they are the Winners.

    Yep we the "Consumers of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicles are the BIG LOSERS" !

    Were losing vehicle trade in, Value its Awful.
    Quality Automobile Dealers don't want your Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle offering 50% of Galves Trade in if in Mint Condition.
    Even Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth Dealers are offering 50% of Galves. Now we are driving around in a nearly worthless Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle and paying for Major repairs :O(
    Its not going to get any better cause Smart Consumers are not Buying a New or even thinking of buying a used Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle.

    We sure learned a Valuable Lesson > Never again buy Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicles. For those few Die Hards remember( Only a Fool Loses Twice )

    Rejoice fellow Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle consumers now it is our turn to Win.

    Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth your profits are gone, Stocks are dropping to an all time low Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth is just hanging on by a thread bankruptcy is near Hooray - Yeah !
    Now how does it feel to be a LOSER ! Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth :O)

    Worldwide automotive consumers buy smart be a Winner don't become a Loser like the rest of us who owned or still own the worst engineered vehicles on Earth.
    Let Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth become the final Loser.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Speaking of losers Jack, or is that Mr.Azz? (I wouldn't reveal my real name if I were you either) have you considered having someone with at least a grade 3 reading and grammar skill level proof read your posts for you? Trying to slog through your drivel and verbal diarrhea was absolutely painful. Furthermore, did you really think your post was so special that we'd want to suffer through it in at least 7 forums here? GET A LIFE, MORON!
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Thanks. Went on another site and thought I'd made a mistake I was reading [or trying to]the same thing all over again.I got the point, but it was hell for reading.
  • Although it stunk because I was on the road and my wife had to deal with it, I can't complain. Not sure if it was free because we had the 7-70 Service plan we bought when we got it new. My head gasket blew at 19K miles. On my 2nd '98 Neon now - a green one this time, with the plates GB PKRS. These plates go with the green Neon better than my old red one. Now all I have to do it get the new WI official PACKERS plate design - but I'll need to give Lambeau $25 a year for as long as I own the plate - probably as long as the current Lambeau! Cripes! I can thinkl of better charities, so it's a tough decision. What does this have to do with my head gasket? Nothing! but I'm bored and in a hotel room. Just thought I'd share. C-ya! Thanks for reading. Hey, if your head gasket blows FIGHT IT! Many have got it fixed for free besides me.
  • My wife has a 1997 Neon Highline(yeah right) and had purchased it new with the extended warranty. At 32,000 miles her head gasket blew with oil all over. We had it replaced for free. Then now we have a major coolant leak. We just had the head gasket replaced again, now at 42,000 miles! What a piece of *%@#!
  • 97taurus97taurus Posts: 2
    Why is there no MAIN PLACE to collect the horror stories/facts/ and help to initiate class actions to force these companies to provide a decent product replacement for OBVIOUS defects.....we have the misfortune of having the Neon, now undergoing a head gasket replacement which was DENIED by DG to exist.....(service manager even pretended to scope current updates to see if there was any major complaints on record for this DEFECT)....unfortunately, other vehicle is a Ford Taurus 97 wagon that has MAJOR transmission problems that again the company thinks isolated to US only.....and reading thru the board see that we may have head gasket trauma to come on the Ford. Why is there no easier way for consumers to follow up on all this and just where are the HIDDEN WARRANTIES that are referred to..the ones that are not bandied about PUBLICly??? This is repulsive paying the amounts of dollars to initially purchase these junkers!!!!!!
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Look at it this way - the ease with which information can be collected and published on the Internet is one decided advantage in favor of the consumer.

    And there are companies that will stand behind what they build - my Subaru was just serviced for an alternator replacement after 4 years and almost 50,000 miles. Subaru didn't have to offer the service campaign - it did so to keep the goodwill of its buyers. They replace the alternators without charge for parts or labor.

    I guess customer satisfaction means more to some companies than it does to others; it may be one reason why Subaru (and Honda and Toyota) are selling cars just fine, while DaimlerChryler's Chrysler Group is struggling now.
This discussion has been closed.