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#100 of 139 I'm joining the club
Jan 15, 2001 (9:06 pm)
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.
#101 of 139 Neon Headgasket Shellgame???
Jan 16, 2001 (8:28 pm)
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
48642071B SEAL PKG-EXHAUST RIG
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.
#102 of 139 98 Neon Headgasket run-around
Jan 17, 2001 (1:42 pm)
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!!!
#103 of 139 Dodge products hhhhmmmm not to good
Jan 20, 2001 (6:09 pm)
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.
#104 of 139 96 Neon Headgasket
Jan 20, 2001 (9:14 pm)
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.
Jan 24, 2001 (11:26 pm)
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.
#106 of 139 95 dodge Neon Paint Flaking Off
Jan 26, 2001 (2:48 pm)
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 Crazzyjwbellsouth.net. I am fighting hard to get all white neons recalled so please help
Jan 27, 2001 (5:42 pm)
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.
#108 of 139 97 Dodge Neon Head Gasket
Jan 28, 2001 (5:52 am)
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.
#109 of 139 1997 Neon Head Gasket
Jan 29, 2001 (3:49 pm)
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.