1996 Dodge Neon 2.0 Liter from North America


Another dealer special bargain!


I bought the car last week (Thursday). Less than Twenty Four hours later with only 46 miles of driving, the head gasket blew, the dealer thinks. Now it going on a week sitting in a repair shop, dealer hope to figure out why the coolant leaks into the engine. I only have less than a week to finish my family business in San Diego, CA before returning to Anchorage, AK. Next trip is not planned until December to continue this Neon Story. Will keep all of you informed on the latest.

General Comments:

I enjoyed the short live driving trip, wish I could have gone further!

Since finding this site I understand future problems with the Neon model.

Everything looked so new and was working after I bought it, too bad it's setting in a shop, waiting for me to drive it one day down the road!

I thought I was getting a great deal on a 1996 Neon with only 65,023 miles!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th August, 2004

17th Nov 2004, 20:01

I own a 1996 dodge neon sport. It has 170,000 kilometers (not sure how many miles) but my head gasket blew around 130,000 kilometers. Now, here's the funny thing, I have to get a rebuilt engine because I am burning oil and there's oil coating my cylinders. I drive this car to university everyday, but never bag it, so I would suggest when you get it back to sell it ASAP and try to get as much money out of it as you can. If you don't you will be in the same situation as me... stuck with a car that breaks down constantly, and personally I don't think that a neon is worth all the time and money.

1996 Dodge Neon sedan from North America


A sad disappointment


Where to begin...

Engine had to be replaced not long after purcahse.

Brakes had to be replaced.

Air conditioning gone.

All, but one speaker has blown.

Interior light..can't remember it EVER working.

2 inches of water on the floor in backseat.

Side mirror FELL OFF.

Paint peeling.

Interior rattles.

General Comments:

This car has been a nightmare. I don't have the money right now to get a new car so I am pretty much stuck with it. It is comfortable. I suggest if you want to want a neon you put it in your yard as lawn furniture.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd August, 2004

1996 Dodge Neon Base 2.5L from North America


Do repair bills scare you? Look at this!


Head gasket was replaced before I purchased the vehicle due to manufactures recall. Belts continually came off until bent crank shaft pulley was replaced. Not a problem with belts since. Rear cam seal replaced at 76,000 miles. Main cam seal replaced at 106,000 miles. Major oil leak after main cam seal replacement - covered under car auto repair warranty. The main cam seal was leaking oil and needed to have a re-enforcement put on at 115,000 miles. Today, fuel pump being replaced at 118,000 miles. Overall the car has gotten me to where I need to go without breaking down on the highway or in town (just in the driveway!) The repairs for todays bill was $505.60 - fuel pump alone was $355.00! Beware of fuel pump cost! Will put car for sale below book because of constant need in repairs - probably due to high mileage.

General Comments:

Dodge Neon - Overall good car; a bit high in repair costs!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 29th April, 2004

28th Dec 2004, 06:20

I am happy to see this article. I recently purchased a used 1996 neon. I had no idea of the problems with the head gasket and am now suffering for it. I cannot find any recall information on this particular problem. You mentioned a recall in your article. Would appreciate more information about it. Will check survey in future for more info.

1996 Dodge Neon from North America


To Love or To Hate? That is the question.


Where to start? I have barely owned the car for six months and have already put $1000 in it for repairs! I haven't even put 5,000 miles on it yet.

At first it seemed perfect, like a dream. I bought it from a guy who was a mechanic (it has a reconstructed title), but he assured me it was only in a minor accident. My father inspected the car and agreed that he was telling the truth, so it seemed like I was getting an awesome car for a great price (I paid $1900). And at first, it was great. It drove great. And then the trouble started. First the hazard light on my dashboard came on with an annoying buzz sound, but only every now and then. My friend who's a great car guy tracked it to the fuse that controlled the dome light (which has never worked, incidentally) so we figured it was the fuse messing everything up. We pulled it out and instantly the buzzing stopped... took it to a Chrysler dealer who told me it was the "dome light relay system" and gave me another one for $40. My fiance and I were pretty happy... we took it out to the car, popped it in and shut the doors and the buzzing started all over again. Now the fuse rests comfortably in the glove box in its original box, as I have decided I would rather live without a dome light than dig into the entire wiring of my car. Freak thing, right? Guess again.

Two days later, my fiance and I were supposed to leave for Canada in the morning, and he called me from Walmart to tell me he was stuck and the car wouldn't start. Had it towed that night...fortunately, I was lucky this time. It was just a loose wire near the battery and it only cost me $16. Thank goodness I have an honest mechanic.

About a month later I went home to get my brakes fixed as they had been squeaky and not working as well for awhile. The brakes were bad and cost me about $100, but there was another major problem... a HUGE leak in the oil pan that almost cost me to lose my engine! Again, thank goodness I was taking it in to get the brakes looked at. That cost me another $100.

I thought for sure I'd be good to go, but my brakes continued to squeak and I noticed a foul smell like burning brakes after I would be driving for awhile. So over Spring Break I took the car back to the guy who did my brakes because my fiance figured maybe they weren't adjusted right... WRONG AGAIN, but this time I wasn't so lucky. You guessed it... Head Gasket. Cost me $700 to fix.

So I finally got the car back up to school, and my fiance joked with me about how "nothing else can possibly go wrong"...the next day I was on my home from classes about 20 minutes from where we live and the car stalled in the middle of the street. He came and pushed it off the street, and I had it towed once again that night... this time it was a broken Cam Sensor. That cost another $118. Again, thank goodness for my honest mechanic!

General Comments:

It's a very deceptive vehicle because on the outside it looks beautiful and it's very spacious inside as well.

It drives wonderfully - quiet and smooth.

Despite all of the problems I have had in the last month, I continue to hope that perhaps they were a few freak things and the car will straight out now. I am either a wishful thinker or a very poor college student who is desperate for some hope.

However, I have also developed an intense fear of driving the vehicle because I never know when it will break down and it scares me.

It's very economical as far as gas goes - one tank seems to last forever.

Bottom line, if you're looking for an inexpensive vehicle, the Neon is tempting... but do your research first! I wish I had.

If you're strapped for cash, shop around because so far my Neon has only been more money in the long run to fix all of the bad things that have happened to it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th April, 2004

19th Apr 2004, 22:15

One more thing to add to the review:

Now, barely two weeks after I got the car up and running again after the cam sensor, it stalled AGAIN right in the middle of the busiest intersection in the city where I live on a Friday in 5:00 traffic. It wouldn't budge a bit, and the mechanic still doesn't know what the problem is this time.

That was definitely not a fun experience!

This car has got to go...

Save yourself the trouble and never, ever, EVER buy a Neon! It's a mean thing to do to a college kid.

26th Mar 2006, 20:19

Over a year later: I sold this hunk of junk just shortly after writing that last review, went with a nice basic-model Chevrolet Cavalier, and have never been happier! My advice: GET OUT NOW and get yourself a Chevy! :-)

24th Dec 2010, 02:44

You know, it sucks not being able to know if the Original Poster has really been writing these latest updates. I'm just saying a Cavalier is OK, but probably just barely compared to a Neon. I don't know.