1999 Dodge Neon Highline 2.0 SOHC from North America
Fun reliable daily that your mom won't know you're speeding in, unless you cut off the muffler
Cluster wasn't working (easy fix with soldering).
Bad tie rods.
Water pump timing belt (just to be on the safe side).
Replaced a couple broken interior parts.
Replaced headlights, blinkers.
Camshaft position sensor and fix some exposed wiring to it.
Transmission fluid/clutch/booger bushings.
Harmonic balancer (previous owner had bent it).
This has been a very reliable fun car for me.
I got the car with unknown mileage since the cluster wasn't working; a lot of people report them going out around 300k miles so I assume that's where it's at.
The car used to be loaned out to people who couldn't afford a car, so they were allowed to use it until they could get their own car (so I'm sure it was beat on and not maintained well). When I bought the car it did shift a bit rough and would hesitate to go into gears; I replaced clutch, trans fluid and shifter bushings which fixed the issues.
I had a previous 97 Neon automatic that had a trans failure, so I pulled the motor and got this as it was at 100k miles. I put the motor in because I could see the previous motor ran great, not a slight hint of clatter, misfire or metal in the oil. I did switch out the alternator at one point because I had a battery drain and assumed the issue was the alternator; later discovered it was the exposed wires on the cam position sensor.
On the motor I put in I had already done a timing belt and water pump kit on it; if you're reading this I assume you're checking one out to buy it, so I'll say do a water pump and timing belt; they are an interference engine; if the timing belt skips you will ruin the motor. As long as you rent a harmonic balancer tool, it's an easy 4 hour job for a beginner if all goes to plan. The back plastic of the timing cover has an arrow to line a divot on the cam gear to time it, and a more obvious mark on the crank; just turn over the engine by hand 3 times and check the work. Motor mounts will probably need done; you can replace them when doing the water pump. Any older Mopar will likely need a suspension overhaul or at least a few parts fixed; for me it was just tie rods.
As a send off these cars are extremely easy to work on even for beginners,. Do the timing belt, parts are cheap, and there's tons of support at https://neons.org. Avoid 2004-2005 year Neon's, they have a pin in the transmission and if you ever have the tires spin, the pin starts to loosen and it's a time bomb till they shoot the pin and destroy the transmission
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd April, 2022
11th Aug 2022, 16:55
They are the same car. Different nameplate is it.
12th Aug 2022, 15:58
True, there was a Plymouth Neon as well I think.
11th Aug 2022, 14:15
What is the difference between the Dodge and Chrysler Neon? Sorry, I am not from the USA and cannot see any difference in these cars; if I had the choice between the two, which is best?