Last post on May 23, 2013 at 6:30 AM
You are in the Dodge/Plymouth Neon
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon, Sedan
#806 of 1773 FOUND A 4 SPEED IN THE NEW NEON
Sep 07, 2001 (8:12 pm)
I was delighted to find an overdrive in the automatic I picked up at Downers Grove Dodge this evening. I hadn't seen any test reports yet on the 2002's and the dealers don't even have brocures for them yet. But there it was: a 4 speed automatic overdrive. The silver Neon purred like a kitten on the way home tonight. The motor really gets to run on noticably lower rpms in that steeper 0-drive. This new neon even has frames around them windows--not like my old '95 red one. The whole car seems to be put together real tight. Well, that's one complaint we won't have to read about anymore from the test drivers who said the auto needed the overdrive for the last 7 years. Incidenally, I got one of only 3 of the 2002 SEs that the dealer advertised in the Chicago Tribune this morning(9-7-01)at the special advertised price of $9473. The other two went quick. One was being bought by a nice young lady while I was there and the other went just after I bought mine. Of course they have a lot of other new cars. In fact I almost bought a 2002 4cylinder Caravan SE (auto and air)at the advertised price of $16,500 after I test drove it today--but I opted for the Neon. Those bright halogens lit up the road nice on the way home.
Sep 08, 2001 (12:56 pm)
The warranty was extended (in the U.S. at least) to 5 years/60,000 miles on the powertrain as well - likely the Korean competition with the 10-year warranties had started making inroads into Neon sales.
#808 of 1773 finally brought my Neon home
Sep 10, 2001 (11:46 am)
Ok, so after buying my 97 Neon in Minnesota 2 weeks ago, I finally drove it back out here to DC and I absolutely love it. It just purrs. The whole process has not been without its headaches, though (literally a migrane in Ohio). Here's my story:
I bought a 97 Neon with 65K at a Toyota dealership in Minnesota two weeks ago and it was giving me a Service Engine code of 32 as soon as I drove it off the lot. I took it back to the dealer and they took it to a garage down the street to "clear the code" for me. I kept talking about fixing it, they kept talking about clearing the code--I was worried. I live in Washington DC now so I flew back on Friday, picked it up at the dealership and headed East, back to DC. All was well until 400 miles later, just east of Chicago, the light comes back on again and it gives me the same code. Now I'm pissed. The salesman isn't at work, the mechanic isn't at the shop, so I press on. 300 miles (and a migrane-induced 2 hour nap at a rest stop)later, as I'm crossing Pennsylvania, I look down and the light is off again. I pulled into DC last night and all seems to be fine. The invoice from the auto shop is in the glove box and it reads:
**Check Engine Light On, Inspect and Advise***
SCAN AND CLEAR CODE
CODE 401//EGR SYSTEM FAILURE STORED, CLEARED CODE & TEST DROVE,
SIGHT STAYS OFF. CODE DOES NOT RETURN. DROVE SEVERAL TIMES ON 9/6
LIGHT STAYS OFF.
PARTS TOTAL: 0.00
LABOR TOTAL: 55.00
SHOP SUPPLIES: 4.40
HAZARDOUS WASTE: 1.25
INVOICE TOTAL: 60.65
So it doesn't look to me like they "fixed" anything as much as they just tried to make the light go off. I suspected this beforehand since the dealership will spend as little money as possible to fix it once I've bought it, despite the 30 day/1,000 mile warranty that came with it. It ran perfectly all the way to DC, except I noticed some water leakage on the ground under the reservoire twice when I got gas. Should I complain to the dealership? Take it to a Dodge dealer or a regular mechanic out here and send them the bill, or just drive it and hope the light stays off? What gives?
Anyway, it's in fantastic shape and I love to drive it. I'm definitely happy I did my homework and it doesn't appear that the EGR failure is anything major, so I'm a happy camper, all told.
Good luck with the 02's. They sound sweet.
#809 of 1773 Re: finally brought it home/water leakage
Sep 10, 2001 (4:33 pm)
Were you using the A/C? I've never seen as much condensation drip from an A/C system as puddles underneath mine. That's a good thing, it's nice and cold. As long as it's just clear water and not green you should be fine.
Sep 11, 2001 (5:58 pm)
Also remember that you don't have to turn on the A/C for the system to run it anyway. The A/C runs in defrost mode as well, I disabled it on my 98 to only run when you push the blue button, I hate cars that think to much for you, I also set the fog lights to be able to be turned on any time the key was on. Both things only took about 1/2 an hour to do. The A/C requires removal of the climate controll panel and drilling out the circut board line from the derfost to the a/c, the fog lights required poping off the button which also includes the rear window defroster and using the power supply line from the defroster for the fog lights as well. I used the defroster a lot in Montana and always ran with the fogs on (like DTR lamps) and never had a problem with the fuse. I even had 55 watt bulbs in there.
#811 of 1773 Buoyant..
Sep 12, 2001 (9:39 am)
I tell ya, leave for a little bit then come back only to be getting flamed. That's cool, I can handle it. I am eating crow among a couple friends of mine, because I always nagged about their "unreliable" Cavaliers and Neons, and now I have myself in a little trouble. Serves me right I guess. I am really disappointed in this new Protege. Wish it was like my old one, but I guess that's long gone. Guess that will teach me to shut my mouth in the future.
Seriously, I guess I have to eat my words now about the Neon. I know my ex-roommate hasn't had any trouble lately from his. His daughter did wreck her 1996 though. Slid into a guard rail in the rain. Must be a pretty safe car, because she walked away from the crash. So anyway, apologizing for all the flaming posts about the Neon. Guess they aren't half-bad after all.
And let prayers be with everyone after yesterday's terrible tragedies in the US. God bless everyone involved in that, and their families, co-workers, and friends too. People here in the MD/DC area have been driving around with their headlights on to show support for the victims affected. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
#812 of 1773 Moi torch someone?
Sep 12, 2001 (4:56 pm)
Vocus, I don't recall torching you. Even if you might deserve it - this IS the Neon board after all, and a lot of Neon owners here (I do not own one - I just like them) feel the same way about their cars as you do about your Protege.
My "nasty" comments were said in jest, even though - admittedly - written sarcasm isn't exactly the easiest thing on earth to decipher (particularly when it's authored by someone you don't know personally).
Not to sound hokey, but I think a lot of people (and virtually everyone who takes the time to post to auto boards) see their choice of automobile as a reflection of their personality. Picking out a car isn't like buying toilet paper - it's an exercise in personal expression (yes, I have a degree in marketing). This is why I TRY (sometimes I don't always succeed) to tread cautiously when I express my opinion of cars I do not like.
I think EVERY car has its strengths and weaknessess. Even the Chevrolet Cavalier, a car I personally dislike, has some undeniable strong suits: price, long-term dependability (ever heard of anyone whose had engine or transmission problems with their Cavalier?), and a very extensive dealer network. For someone who values these strengths more than others, I can see how it could be a very appealing car.
Personally my small car faves are the beautifully appointed VW products. I can't help but be smitten by their extremely tasteful, upscale interiors. Unfortunately, I can't ever see myself justifying the high purchase and maintenance costs of a VW.
To me, the Neon is not only a very appealing car (it's stylish, roomy, and even the low-end models are a blast to drive with the stick), but it's also a great value.
#813 of 1773 Buoyant...
Sep 13, 2001 (5:54 am)
Regarding what you said about the Cavalier, my best friend bought a new 1996 Cavalier 2.2/3 speed auto back in May 1996. He has just over 110,000 miles now, and he just had to replace the transmission. It literally fell OUT of the bottom of the car, along with all the fluid. Cost him $1300. So I have heard of someone with at least one engine problem in a Cavalier.
I can't aruge that the Neon is a good value. I guess my ex-roommate just got a bad one, like I got a bad Protege. Things happen though. Also, I would love to have a Jetta 1.8T. Didn't get one because I heard about reliability problems. Five people who work in my office have Jettas (all VR6 and 2.0s though), and not one of them has had a problem. Go figure. Guess next car I get will be what I want exactly, and I will stop listening to Consumer Reports on everything.
#814 of 1773 it IS interesting
Sep 13, 2001 (2:35 pm)
Well, anything can happen. I can tell you that the 3-spd unit GM put in your friend's Cavalier is one of the most reliable transmissions on earth. But, poop happens.
I believe Honda and Toyota build some very high quality automobiles, but rest assured, their service departments do more than just oil changes too.
All told, I think vehicle longevity is 50% engineering/build quality and 50% owner maintenance. I'm currently driving a 1991 Chrysler New Yorker 5th Ave. with 175,000 miles on it and it's in mint condition (the original owner was - of course - an old fart and the car was babied). I was planning on driving it till the wheels fell off, but that hasn't happened yet (and the way things are going, it might not happen 'til 2008).
I bought this car no more than a month after looking at a 1993 Honda Accord 5spd EX with 105,000 on the clock - exactly what I thought I was looking for at the time. Despite Honda's reputation for long-term dependability though, this car was SHOT at 105K.
I recall the test drive vividly. The driver's seat rocked back and forth, the brakes made a horrendous sound and every time they were applied the vehicle pulled strongly to one side, a radio button was missing and the fan knob was cracked in two, the clutch was worn-out and the car vibrated so bad at idle I thought the doors were going to fall off. And these are only the items I can still recall from 3 years ago. Rudy Luther's Hopkins Honda asking price BTW, $9500. No joke.
Apparently, it had been owned by one of these idiots who believe the mantra: just buy oil changes and gas and your Honda will last forever.
My current car is the most reliable car I've ever owned and I bought it with 140K on the odo.
The most unreliable car I've ever owned: a 1991 Isuzu Stylus XS I got NEW and crashed at 60k. Interestingly, it was a Japanese car BUILT in Japan. Just goes to show that Japanese and high quality are not always synonomous.
As far as Consumer Reports is concerned, recall that it was this same magazine that RECOMMENDED the 1995 Neon six years ago in their annual auto issue. I worked with a guy who bought a 1995 Neon for this reason and has bad-mouthed Consumer Reports from that day on.
Now Chrysler is building solid, reliable Neons (that seem to come in high in every quality indicator except those of CR) and Consumer Reports can't find enough bad things to say about them. Go figure indeed.
I agree with you, Vocus. Next time I buy new (or used for that matter) I'm getting what I want and I don't give a flying damn how CR rates it. It seems the more "flavor" a car has, the less they tend to like it. Of course, they are engineers, not automobile afficionados. Well, no Toyota Corolla for me, thank you anyway.
#815 of 1773 Buoyant...
Sep 14, 2001 (11:30 am)
I am really mad though. I am having all this trouble with my trusty Protege (according to CR), and I could have gotten the Jetta I wanted and maybe been luckier. Oh well, guess I will learn next time.
My Pro's in the shop right now, with a funny squeak in the transmission on the 3-2 downshift (among other things), and they told me they can't find it. They hear it, but don't know how to fix it. That's real nice to hear. I told them they better act right and put a new tranny in there, because I am not about to drive a car with a known problem in it, so I can be stranded. I ain't havin' it.