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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • Real brief comments (don't mean to interfere with ongoing conversation) ...

    Love the comfort and ride of our 2000 Neon.

    However, have had the 2 following nagging problems -- and was wondering if anyone could relate:

    1) Hubcaps (which have been replaced 2x) which make all kinds of clicking and squeaking noises (especially front tires). Replacement caps solve the problem for only a short while, then the sounds return.

    2) When braking 60 - 75% of the time, hear a clunking noise -- like there is some sort of a problem with the calipers. But, which shouldn't surprise me, the service people could duplicate when I had the car in.

    Thanks for the feedback ....
  • You need to tight more your hubcaps and no more problems,BUT don´t break the screws!
  • abaltoabalto Posts: 22
    Rodney here is that site...

    Here is that Dodge site I mentioned. It has over 75000 posts on Dodge!
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I got a 2001 Neon booklet today and have a few observations. First the ACR will have the same 150 HP the RT has, autoweek must have misprinted those numbers. The HP is 150 at 6800 RPMs and torque is 135 at 4,800 rpm. Looking at my old 98 booklet the new motor has an identical HP curve but the torque of the new motor is better, faster. At 4000 RPM the old motor made about 121 Ft/lbs and the new makes about 133. The new motor makes 120 ft/lbs or more from 2000 to 6000 RPM. The old made 120 or more from 3700 to 6500 RPM. This torque advantage with no loss of HP must make this new RT and ACR really fly. The new 16" wheels look great (although identical to the Focus ZTS wheels, the best part of the focus), as does the ground effects and rear spoiler. The split dual exhaust tips (one out each side) is nice and the option of leather starts to make the RT cross over the compact car line. The ES also gets woodgrain inserts in the dash with the leather package. I also got the new 2001 Stratus book but it really doesn't do much for me. After seeing the neon RT I'm not sure why you'd want to spend more for the Stratus sedan, even with the 200 hp V-6 I bet it is slower and not as good in the twistys. But hey, people spend more for the Protoge so go figure. (sorry, gotta take shots while I can). This is all from the book, the real evaluation would have to come from a test drive. I hadn't really been excited about the Neon redesign until I saw this new RT and ACR, now I really need to decided between a new RT, a 4-5 year old Caddy STS, or a PT. The fact the Caddy and PT cost $5k more then a neon RT makes it a tough choice. I think I'd have to wait until the PT gets a turbo to be happy there so it really is not an option now. Oh well, at least the old 98 is still keeping me happy, maybe I should just sink a grand into wheels and tires and be happy for another few years.
  • I own a 96 Dodge Neon w/55k miles and it has given me nothing but problems since I bought it used with 26k on it. I've spent $900 on a tune-up, cooling system service and a new wire cluster for the dash. Now the paint is bubbling up and flaking off and after having a tune-up done, the car loses power when going 55-60 mph. Also, had to repair a brake on the back when it broke apart while I was driving and now the back shocks are going bad. Geez........what did I ever do to deserve this crap. I still owe a ton of money on it and need to get rid of it fast before the head gasket goes . Has anyone else had a problem with the paint on their neons doing this??? I need a car god quick!
  • Well my son sold his Beetle at the same dealership he bought it from!
    If you all remember,in August he was contacted by the general manager of a dealer,he was offered a very god price for his 98 Neon,and they sold him the beetle.
    Last week he AGAIN met the same person at the same restaurant,the manager asked him how things were going on with the beetle,he said fine,the car was running grate.
    The manager said to him they were lucky because he was about to give him a call,because he wanted to buy back the Beetle!!
    He had a customer that wanted that kind of car in the same color and was unable to find for him another like my son´s car.
    My son laughted,and said he was not interested in selling the car,BUT he couldnt refused the money,and sold the car,he made $1200.- of profit on it,so he sold it.
    This morning the manager called him and said that the customer he had for the car,declined to buy it,so he can still have his car back!
    No way,no deal this time,and now my son is looking to buy a new black neon R/T or a used 5 speed PT.
    He doesn´t know what to do,because the used PT will cost him about $12,000 less than the NEW R/T.
    The PT has 9000 miles and it´s not the top of the line,and has a after market cd changer,he doesn´t know which one to buy.

    Any advice??
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    how could a new neon RT (which should top out about $16000 after $1000 rebate) cost $12000 more then the PT. Hell the PT could be heavily damaged and still bring more then $4000! Good dealing on the Neon to Bug to ?. I whish all my past car deals were that productive.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I checked invoice on a 2001 Neon RT with every possible option. It is $17353, subtract the $1000 rebate in effect now and add a $300 advertising fee and the max you should have to pay for a fully loaded RT (sunroof, CD, leather, cruise, are only options) would be $16653.
  • Sorry,my mistake,it should read $1,200.- instead of $12,000.-
  • I paid a $250 deductable for the repair of my headgasket, I have done some research and found out that i paid to much. Why is there no recall on the 95 neon headgasket?? The manufacturer denies there is a problem, but the dealership do and the manufacturer will refund the dealership. do i sense a consperacy?? The manufacturers have a fault peice of equipment, and I have to pay over $700 to fix there mistake, something is wrong with this picture..
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Go to and click on "secret warranties watch". It should give you all the ammo you need.
  • Yesterday my son picked up his brand new black Neon R/T,it´s a beauty,it feels more solid,tighter,more precise,the exhausts makes a nice "concerto" and it´s a sharp looking car!
  • ggr1ggr1 Posts: 1
    I bought a 2000 Plymouth Neon with just 4k miles on it only 10 days ago, and tomorrow I am returning it to the dealer. While driving between 50 mph and 60 mph, the car shakes, which is very annoying when I drive 150 miles per day at that speed. Then, the idle has dropped so low when stopped in traffic that the car has almost turned itself off, then when you give it a little gas so it does not completely stall out, the car lunges forward. Just this morning while rolling out of my garage, the rear brakes started rubbing and squealing, and I wasn't even pressing the brake pedal. This car also does not get the highway miles that Plymouth claims. I did not get over 20 to 25 mpg this past week, and that was without the air conditioning. Also, the car pulls to the right. I took it to the dealer about all its problems, and he said the car was fine. I asked about the shaking and was told that was normal for this car, and the drop in idle is also normal for this car. I can not wait to return this junky car!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I know how you feel. My roommate has a 2000 Dodge Neon with just over 20K he bought new. It's been in the shop 7 times already for various mechanical problems from the rotors warping to the alarm and power locks not working. It's the worst car I have ever seen! Just when you think all the problems are fixed and everything is fine, something else breaks on it. When the car gets up to 10 times in the shop, it's getting traded in and that will be the end of it.
  • Who knows the real truth behind that specific car,and C´mon,don´t play a foul with your dealer,are you a KID???
    Why don´t you test drive a brand new Neon,you will then see if what is normal and what not; I have the great pleasure,a joy,etc..etc.. to own a Neon R/T,and I have been a Neon owner since 95,I already had several Neons,and NONE of them gave me such kind of problems.
    How do you know if that specific car was not involved in a accident,or it had been abused,etc.
    Be smart,take a test drive in any other dealer,have a new one,then speak,and don´t listen to others who are not owners of a Neon,we have the right to speak if we know what we are talking about,we will have a HONEST,and TRUE opinion when we drive on a daily basis a car for a certain time,and NEVER speak about a "friends experience"
    OH GOD!! he is back flaming again,he is back!,he loves the Neon or he is a liar or he doesn´t have any better to do!!( I MEAN VOCUS!!)
    Vocus,when are you letting this go?,it´s NOT your business,I´m sorry,mind your own business,don´t speak for your friend,how is it possible that your friend(THE REAL OWNER,DRIVER of THE NEON,NEVER SPOKE,AND NEVER SPEAKS HERE).

    You are free to go to Mazda they want you there,this is a NEON TOPIC,you are not the OWNER of a Neon,so please stop it,Shut-up; it´s time don´t you think so??

    Nothing personal,but enough,is enough from you already.!

    PS Is the nightmare about to begin again with you,I hope not!
  • Hey all-
    It's me again! Just a quick refresher: my name is Elias, I own a Y2K Neon with an Advanced Engine Management (AEM)Cold Air Intake (CAI)system on it (installed myself). I have had the car for 13K mi and not a damn thing wrong, not ONE single thing. I have gotten all my oil changes, and it has been running like a top. In the next month, I will be putting a full coilover suspension system on it that will lower it two inches. Has anyone lowered their Neon? What drop would you suggest? I can go as low as 3 inches, but I think that would destroy the handling. Let me know. Also, when lowering the car, did you replace the struts? If not, are they working fine? Sorry for all the questions, folks. I am just trying to find out some info. I have been taking every single Civic off the lights, it's amazing. By the way, I purchased my blue HID look headlights out of Import Tuner magazine. You should be able to find tons of ads with them. They typically run for about $35. Let me know if you have any questions!! My car is running great, best of luck to all of you!! I am in the Tempe, AZ area, so if you would like to cruise one weekend, let me know!

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I saw a Neon R/T on a dealer's lot on Saturday and it was sweet looking. Too bad it was stick shift, or I would have test driven it. Definitely a nice ride. Do they come in automatic or not?

    Also, the high-output 2.0 engine was listed as a $250 option on the price sheet, not as part of the R/T preferred equipment package. Is that engine available on the lower-level Neon ES too or not?
  • Is the ACR model the top-of-the line model for the Neon? What advantages does it have over the R/T?
  • Hi my name is Tom,

    All I want to do here is state everything Plymouth did wrong with their all new 2000 Neon, oh yea I bought one (it sounded good in the catalog) Now ... let me set the scene, its winter and its cold and there is a lot of snow. So after using the rear defroster to melt the snow blowing from the roof on to the rear window at any speed, if you have a Neon you know what I mean.... you have to use the rear defroster to melt the snow right, so far so good the defroster is doing its job RIGHT ? WRONG! the water seeps into and around the decklid seal and freezes making opening the decklid a pain in the [non-permissible content removed]... oh did I forget to mention the only way to grab the deck lid to open it, is to jamb your fingers under the bottom of the deck lid between the bumper cover and pry like hell!!!! This must be what Dodge was talking about when they said this car was fun !

  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    The R/T is only available with a 5 speed in 2001, the 98 and 99 could have an auto. You can't get the 150 hp in a ES, but you must get it in the R/T and pay the extra $250 (I don't know why they just don't include it in the package and up the price a bit). The ACR ends up costing almost the same as a R/T even though the R/T appears to have many extra features. The ACR has it's money under the skin with a fully adjustable competition suspension and not much in the way of creature comforts. If you don't plan on going to the track just go with the R/T, if you want the flat out fastest and best handling neon above all else get the ACR.
  • I recently bought a new 200 Dodge Neon. I test drove a red car and then decided on buying green without test driving it first - Big mistake on my part! When driving home the car made a horrible noise on the passenger side whenever the heat was turned on. It was a missing screw. Now, I've looked at the spare tire and there is water all over the place. It's so bad that the bolt that holds the tire down is rusted and I can't get it to turn. Has anyone else had this problem. The dealership doesn't know it yet, but they are getting this piece of junk back.........Any responses will be greatly appreciated.
  • Hello, I just purchased a 1996 Neon Highline Coupe with 54K miles from a "reputable" dealer (if there is such a thing, leave that for another discussion). Anyway, I stumbled across the "Neon Head Gasket Disasters" section and now I've got cold feet about this car. Don't get me wrong, the car appears to be in great shape, it's super clean and runs great, no visable oil leaks, everything (with the exception of the passenger side door key lock) works just fine. My concern is that am I just another head gasket statistic in the waiting? I would have asked this question on the other discussion but I'm sure the answer would've been "get out while you can". You all seem to have a more enthusiastic approach to the Neon, and I'd appreciate a more informed viewpoint to the car. My cousin owns one and has put 81K on it, wouldn't part with it for the world. Sure, she had to change out the head gasket a 60K miles, but she wasn't quite so annoyed about the whole process. So is my Neon a time bomb or something to keep and enjoy through the years?
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I would just enjoy your Neon. If you do end up with a problem (more likely then not it will be fine) it really is not a very costly or a problem that will leave you stranded. Chrysler has fixed many head gaskets out of warranty for $100 for people who called the customer service line. Would you feel more reliable in a 90's Honda civic? They are more likely to blow a distributer then the neon is a head gasket which costs more to repair and stops the Honda dead in it's tracks. When the neon 'blows' a head gasket it just causes a slight oil leak on the side of the motor. Not like the common early 90's Toyota V6's head gasket which often requires a whole new motor (look at 90-94 4 runners in the newspaper and see how many claim 'new motor'). If you do end up replacing the gasket you can take comfort in the fact the new part developed after mid 1998 has fixed this problem.

    Water in the trunk probably comes from a leaking or misaligned tail light gasket. While some cars came like this from the factory in early 1998, it seems possible a few after the redesign may not have gotten put together perfectly. It could also have been in an accident and not repaired properly. The water has been allowed to sit and so your spare hold down bolt has gotten rusty. Isn't a 2000 still under warranty? Take it in and have it all replaced. If it is not the result of an accident then I bet you get all new trunk lining as well. Try asking in a nicer way then you have put your views here, you may get better results.
  • hersbird, appreciate your response. Yes, we will keep the Neon and won't sweat the head gasket issue. Afterall, it's a 96' with 54K miles, we paid around $5,000 for it and it looks and runs great! Even if it eventually did blow a head gasket I suppose it would be no big deal to have it fixed.
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    As a resident of the frigid and snowy city of Minneapolis, MN, I have the same problem with my current company car, a 2001 Pontiac Gran Prix. In fact, I've had that occur with EVERY vehicle I've ever owned during the winter months here.

    There are a few options you have if you don't want snow to melt off the rear window:

    1. Don't use the rear window defroster (it turns ice and snow into water, which has to run somewhere)

    2. Buy a minivan or SUV - they typically have handles in the back so you don't have to wedge your fingers into that crevice between the decklid and body/bumper

    3. Keep your stuff in the back seat during the winter months and use the trunk for warm weather hauling only

    4. Move someplace that doesn't have frigid winters

    Also, just a note to those of you thinking of purchasing one of those low-mileage rental/lease return Neons: rethink that.

    If you're going to buy a Neon, buy a new one. All rental cars get the tar beaten out of them, and the $199/week specials seem to receive the most brutal abuse.

    I already feel bad for the unknowing person who buys my Gran Prix when it comes off lease. I would never drive my personal car that way...

    Seasons greetings and happy motoring to all!
  • jag88jag88 Posts: 1
    I have a 2k neon in northern cali. I just wanted to warn you all about those new bulbs that are supposed to look like the HID bright-white/blue lamps on the Benz's and BMW's you see. Someone wrote above that they were installing them on their neon, like I did. They run about $20 but are just regular bulbs with blue paint on. The sellers say they are "European" and resemble the expensive HID's that cost thousands, but they suck and are illegal (I got a fat ticket)- that's all.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Hersbird's advice is a little off-base. A head gasket leak is not a minor problem, and can just as easily lead to serious damage on a Neon as on any other car. Replacing a head gasket will cost several hundred dollars, which DaimlerChrysler may or may not cover (unlike Toyota, it never owned up to the faulty head gaskets and recalled the cars, and extended the warranties).

    It is important to check frequently for oil leaks, since it won't be long before coolant ends up in the cylinders, or the car overheats - probably damaging the cylinder head along with the gasket.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I was saying the headgasket leak does not disable the car. I had a Quad-4 motor blow a headgasket and it seized right there, filled a cylinder full of coolant and when the piston came up bent the rod, a couple of valves, and scored the crank. This all happened in a fraction of a second. I ended up getting a whole new motor, which alone cost $4500 not counting labor. Thank god it still had 5000 miles on the warranty. The neon problem may cost between $100 and $500 but that is still the same or less as the parts and labor on the Honda distributer.

    PS actually there was a $100 deductable on that warranty on my Quad-4, so it ended up costing the same as my neon might if it blows the gasket even after the warranty expires next week.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My roommate's 2000 Neon just turned one year old with 21,500 miles on it on 12/31. It's been in the shop 8 times for various problems. All the problems are being worked out little by little though. I wish the customer service was better though. They finally did find the power steering problem though, and said it was a missing part in the system which they had to order. It's on order with a new radio (cassette died). They had to also replace and reprogram one of the remotes (broke it in a drunken state a few weeks ago). :) The other one doesn't work now! Have to send that one in next time I guess. Hopefully, the car will be good now since just about everything has been replaced in it that was troublesome.

    Oh, and the trunk rubber ripped too. That's also on order to be replaced when the car goes into the shop for its 9th visit in a week or two.
  • I said I'd post after our purchase of a '01, so here it is, just a little late...

    We couldn't get the 5-speed unless we ordered one and waited two months (so they said), so we ended up with an automatic ES, Clearcoat Black with the Sun & Sport package. This, combined with the fact that they gave me half of what my RX-7 was worth, was disappointing. Luckily that disappointment lasted only half an hour. It's been nothing but pleasure since.

    It's funny to me that I had thought I'd be sacrificing performance for a back seat. While I'm no longer racing Mustangs and Honda's or rolling into the curves like I did in my 'seven, I'm still zipping onto the interstate and gliding down the highway with power to spare.

    This car was full of surprises like that; it's roomy, and handles like a much bigger, more luxurious car. Bumpy roads no longer rattle my teeth, and I certainly don't miss the occasional cramp in my clutch-knee, either, thanks to the automatic, which I must admit is kind of nice *grin*. The much-ranted engine noise is non-existent; the 'seven was *much* louder, and I can no longer hear my husband pull around the corner and into the driveway when he's in the Neon. The auto-fading overhead light was a whimsical surprise, too.

    The biggest surprise is our friends' reactions. Suddenly the guy with the Mercedes wants to ride in my back seat. We fit four adults comfortably. They also adore the re-designed body, and everyone we talk to has a story about someone else's Neon and how happy they are with it.

    So far we've had absolutely no problems with the car, and we've got about 1200 miles on it. Mileage is averaging about 30, which is more than double what we are used to, and with regular octane instead of premium, an appreciable savings! The trunk is huge, too, and I really made use of the space when Christmas shopping, and was able to fit a new folding table into the trunk, laid completely flat with the back seats still upright. We feel that we made a smart choice, and if we had it to do over again, we'd still go with what we got.

    Thanks again for all of the information and encouragement. The decision to buy this car was left up to me, and I really would've heard it forever if my husband wasn't pleased. He brags that I did good, and that's another bonus!

    I love my Neon!
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