1997 Dodge Neon 2.0 SOHC from North America


Lemon with a polished rind..


Passenger's side window shattered at 10,000 miles due to a glass defect.

Gauges stopped working at 40,000 miles.

Head gasket blew at 75,000 miles.

General Comments:

The car has decent response and pickup, it drives well, but when things go wrong they go wrong in a major way.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th March, 2001

1997 Dodge Neon Highline 2.0L DOHC from North America


Not a bad little car


Radiator fan relay (covered by warranty).

General Comments:

Everything else with the car has been fine.

It's a bit cramped and that's why we need to move up.

We looked at the KIA Sephia and chose this one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th February, 2001

1997 Dodge Neon Highline Sedan 4 Door 2.0 16v DOHC from North America


Better off with a YUGO!


In the same month I purchased the car (after putting about 1,000 miles on it), the head gasket blew - estimated cost of repair $800+. After doing online research, I discovered that it was a KNOWN issue with the 1996 - "new" Neons. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website had several postings from owners of these cars, stating they had to have the head gasket replaced MULTIPLE TIMES.

Called Daimler/Chrysler, and they wouldn't admit anything and blew me off. The car sat in front of my house (still making $220/month payments on it to the bank and keeping full insurance on it because it's financed at $100/month) for another 5 months without me driving it until I was able to locate a Dodge 5 Star dealership that only charged me $200 for the repair and billed Chrysler for the rest (in my opinion I shouldn't have had to pay a dime).

About a month later I had a bearing blow, and another gasket - I went BACK to the service center where they kept my car for 2 weeks and finally replaced the short block altogether (they didn't charge me because it was related to the head gasket blowing).

I drove the car for another 3 months and then my spark plugs fried (just figured this out last night) - I'm also getting clicking sounds around turns which is leading me towards worn CV joints. The car is now completely gutless compared to the first few weeks after I bought it. It is starting to shift extremely hard, it has major hesitation, and it's making a "THUNKING" sound on hard acceleration.

The trunk leaks like a sieve.

The fan is EXTREMELY loud.

A smell (not unlike CAT URINE) comes from the air conditioning (which is also mentioned at the NHTSA website).

Going through puddle the undercarriage gets wet and the steering ceases to function (I nearly ran into a cop because I couldn't steer - thank god the brakes actually worked).

In my opinion the car isn't worth more than $50.00 - and I'd get rid of it in a heartbeat if I could find someone to pay as much as I owe on it.

I've had the car for about a year now, and I've had more problems (primarily MAJOR) with it than with a beat up 1983 Honda Civic 1500 that I drove for 5 years - not to mention having it wrecked twice in that time. It still runs better than the NEON.

General Comments:

Authorized Dodge service people have told me that the "NEW" Neon has a different engine in it, so it will not have the same problems as the '96 - '99 models.

Supposedly the head gasket issue was more centered around the DOHC engine.. it happened with the SOHC as well, but not nearly as often.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th August, 2000

7th Jan 2001, 10:45

My wife and I also made the Neon mistake. We purchased a 1995 dealer demo Highline in 1996. Nothing but trouble. The horn was replaced 5 times. It went out everytime it rained. The dealer told us that the horn was installed upside down at the factory.

The wipers quit working towards the end.

The car was extremely loud as it approached 25,000 miles.

We also had a very bad experience with the a 5 star Dodge dealership.

Finally lucked out and got our payoff and traded for a new 1997 Geo Prizm. Drove it for 3 years trouble free. Just traded it for a 2000 Chevy Tracker. No more Chrysler products in our driveway.

1997 Dodge Neon Highline 2.0 from North America


Not a reliable car


Engine problems from the 3rd day I had it. Several transmission problems.

General Comments:

Not a reliable car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th May, 2000

16th Sep 2002, 14:50

The head gaskets leak.

I had to replace both oxygen sensors at 90000 miles costing me a total of $350.

The a/c went out at 100000 miles during the biggest Texas heat wave of the summer.

The power steering pump went out and that had to be replaced.

The speed-o-meter likes to dip down to zero until I smack the dashboard to cause it to work again.

Save your money and buy a Honda.

1997 Dodge Neon Highline 2.0 DOHC from North America


Alert!!! All Dodge Neon's have a known head gasket problem. If yours has not gone out, it will!! "The words" of four professional mechanics that looked at my 1997 Dodge Neon.

If you don't believe it look at other comments from other Neon owners, Dodge and Plymouth 1995 on.

My head gasket blew it's top @ 50,000 mi. Try and resell it, people see the residual oil. No thank you.

General Comments:

Manufacturers need to fix the known problems and stop stealing from us.

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

Review Date: 22nd April, 2000

22nd Jun 2001, 16:58

Totally correct! My 1998 Neon's head gaskett went out at 41,000 miles. Other common problems with Neons including mine are squeaky brakes that will always squeak (according to the mechanic), brake replacement and battery replacement. This car sucks overall, and I will never buy another American made vehicle.

22nd Jun 2001, 18:06

My head gasket went out in August of 1999. I purchased my Neon new in 1997. You are right, of course. I will never buy another Neon. NEVER!!!