Hi, I have a 1997 Neon, well the parts are expensive and it does lack power in take off. I do like the look as you say. I have a mechanic who does know about them, which is good, but it does take about a week to do something to get the parts.
Terrible, horrible and awful! Mechanics have no idea about this car in Australia!!
Got car checked out before I bought it, mechanic said it was fine.
Couple of weeks later, car was making a noise and I took it to mechanic to check out.. they said it was my imagination and nothing was wrong.. Timing belt snapped a week later.. had to have engine re-machined and replace radiator, water pump etc... cost over $2,000 but had no options as I was still paying the car off.
Couple of months later had extreme shaking.. took it to mechanics and had two have two engine mounts replaced.. also had a transmission fluid leak and a problem with the power steering.. another $1000...
Then, the Neon was parked on the street and someone broke off one of the power mirrors... to get the part new from Chrysler.. it was going to cost over $1000, just for the part!!! Labour on top of that!! Finally found a second hand mirror, but even this cost $280 (part only)...
Now, the air-con has just stopped working... haven't taken it in yet, but this will be super expensive too, I sure :O/
All I can say is stay away from the Neon in Australia.. mechanics have no idea and it the maintenance is hideously expensive!!
It's good to know that there are people out there that experience the same problems with this car!
I've had my 1998 Neon for two years, and my mechanic did the same thing when I told him there was a squeaking when I turned on my air conditioning - he said that I needed to change the filter. A year later, finally, he realised the screw of the air conditioning wore off!?
My car has had a leak somewhere, the thermostat just melted away, had to replace it. Then three months ago something broke (?) and then the timing belt broke as well. Had to replace the belt and the water pump.
The saga continues. Mechanic said one of the cylinders could be broken but I could still drive it, even though it was shaky, very shaky. Now, miraculously, my car stopped shaking and it runs but I can't change gears either! I don't even want to try to turn the air-con on.
LOL.. Absolutely Hilarious! LOL.