1997 Dodge Neon Highline Sport 2.0L 16-Valve DOHC from North America
Please don't buy one unless you're rich
Speedometer stopped working after 5 miles of driving.
After fixing speedometer two more times, entire instrument panel failed.
Brakes replaced after 1000 miles.
Radiator has leak after 15,000 of driving it around.
Interior lights have never worked.
Cooling fan went out after 2,000 miles.
Air conditioning pump leaking.
Valve seals gone after 20,000 miles.
This car is really slow off the line, with low moderate power after 40 mph.
Overall comfortable to drive, minus the window noise.
Car seems to be an electrical lemon, full of all kinds of electrical problems. Not having an instrument panel is kind of annoying.
Smokes really bad when idling for a long time, new valve seals would probably fix this.
Radiator leaks onto the exhaust manifold making it smoke at a stoplight.
Do not buy this car unless you keep absolutely no valuables in the car. I can lock myself out of the car, and peel the window back easily to get into it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 19th March, 2005
Your car must of the first generation neons if you can pull the window back and break into it. Starting with the 2000 model the frame of the door surounds the window.
I have noticed that people with Neons either hate or love them. I noticed that the negative comments seem to stem from used car regular maintenance complaints. In other words, they did not like the fact that they bought a used car with the mileage it had on it. Neons are temperamental and I will not argue that; however, one should probably expect to make repairs on any used car with the mileage that is being reported here. Not to put to fine of a point on it, they (these individuals) would most likely complain about any used car purchase due to lack of mechanical skills or knowledge. Neons have a fault with headgaskets near their number four head bolt. The blind hole in the block has NOT been drilled deep enough and a 100 thousand ground off the head bolt usually cures that problem. Sensor problems that cause the computer to make bad calls on engine operations is the number two problem encountered. When I here someone complain about no low-end power it is usually because they have a stock automatic. Four valve per-chamber motors have peaky engine performance and require the ability to keep the motor revved up (this is hard with an automatic sometimes). I will note however, that the fastest Neon is an automatic car (8’s and 9‘s in the quarter mile I believe). My Neon is a Honda killer at the track and that is good enough for me.
P.S. I saw that a complaint was the radiator was leaking on the exhaust manifold. The exhaust manifold is behind the motor and well hidden from any radiator leaks, which suggests a lack experience. This supports my belief of complaints vs. knowledge on this issue.