My dad bought me a 1996 Neon Sport Coupe in New Jersey.
I live in New York City and this car has been nothing but headaches from day one.
I spent so much money in parts and labor that I probably bought the car over 2 or 3 times already.
First problem was the transmission. It would not go into gear when going up hills. I had to put it in park and restart the engine. So I had the transmission rebuilt that was 2000.
The little shift knob on the gear shift never worked. You can accidentally shift the car from park into reverse and the car would roll back.
Two months ago the transmission slipped again and I had to replace it.
Another problem is the speedometer. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't I had to have that changed back in 2000. Now the same problem is back. I don't even know what the real mileage is on the car.
During the cold winter months the engine would race while in park. Going to 3,000 RPMs. This caused the engine mount to break. Every minute I'm changing mounts. So I had to change the throttle-body. This cost me a fortune.
I have no AC, but luckily I have a sunroof. The radio is shorting out again... even though I changed that too in 2000.
Ball joints gone... struts gone...fuel filter had to change... oxygen sensors.
I recently changed the timing belt. Come to find out the the crankshaft pulley and tensioner had to be replaced. Master cylinder also had to be replaced because the brake pedal was low, it still is low and doesn't work well with the anti-lock brakes.
I have been to the dealer so much over the past few years that they know me by name and they give me discounts on parts. It's pathetic. I don't want to sell the car because it was a gift, and I would feel guilty selling a lemon to someone.
I would never recommend this car to anyone, especially if you are looking for a first car and you are a female.
It is a pretty looking car, but you'll be in the shop almost every month.