2002 Dodge Neon from North America


This is a low quality, cheaply manufactured lemon


Shaky and loud clanking engine idle.

Electrical problems from day 2.

Low MPG.

General Comments:

My parents came home with this car for me right before I moved to CA. They were afraid that my older Ford Escort wouldn't make the 2k trip.

After having it for 2 days, the radio completely died. It now blinks on and off, but doesn't function at all.

After the first couple of weeks I would have to boost the car every morning before work, because the battery was dead. I took it to the Dodge dealership, who had it for a week, and they said they had no idea what was the problem. They even went so far to say that "it appears to have fixed itself." Wrong.

I have had continuous problems with this car including:

- Loud engine.

- Rough idle, to the point of having to shift into neutral at stop lights.

- Loud clanking engine sounds when I first start it up.

- It's occasionally dead when I try to start it, even though I've had the battery replaced. I now carry a battery pack booster.

- Not so good mpg. Perhaps 25 mpg.

I should have kept my old car. Never had any problems with it. But I do know that my next car (I'll be trading very soon) is not going to be an American one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th June, 2008

13th Aug 2010, 11:28

The radio went... what a bummer!

Anyway, you could've considered replacing the spark plugs when experiencing rough idle. It's part of regular maintenance, and would have probably fixed the issue.

14th Aug 2010, 23:27

I recommended a Neon for a good friend back in 2001. He took my advice and now has 120,000+ miles with absolutely zero problems. My previous Dodge Omni (what the Neon replaced) had been driven 240,000 miles with nothing but routine maintenance. The A/C on it never even required Freon. All our Dodges have been flawless.

21st Mar 2011, 17:15

OK, a clanking sound would probably be the throw out bearing.

A battery dying is the alternator going out.

Poor mileage would be the pre catalytic converter oxygen sensor, or you have a lead foot.

And the car most likely had electrical problems. So it was a pre-owned car that was not taken care of.

22nd Mar 2011, 12:14

Please read your Consumer Reports annual auto issue that comes out every year around April... it will give you the good and bad of many cars made today... Many mechanics are charging 80.00 per hour to work on cars, and also charging a 80.00 inspection fee also... Bad cars can become an expensive money pit very quickly...

Also as car sales dim in this bad economy... many dealerships are relying on parts and service to keep them afloat... even a cheap new car can run $27,000+ to own over a 5 year period... so don't be a victim... do your homework before you buy any car out there... new or used

2002 Dodge Neon from North America


My life, my love, my friend


Sometimes the speedometer doesn't work.

General Comments:

This car is the best car I have ever owned. It is reliable and excellent on gas mileage. Everything about this car is too be loved: it's comfortable, quiet, and shifts easily. It's one of the funnest cars I have ever drived, and quickly gains speed. The neon is the perfect first car :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2008

2002 Dodge Neon SXT 4 Cylinder from North America


The 2002 Dodge Neon is to be stayed away from, I wish I had been warned


The car has always had a leak in the trunk that has caused pools of water behind the back seats.

The car also had a very loud engine and did not shift smoothly.

After a year of driving it the transmission gave way without warning. The dealer said there was rust in the transmission filter, and it took three weeks to rebuild the transmission.

A year later, while driving, the transmission and the radiator both broke at the same time and exchanged fluids. This causes me needing both a new radiator and transmission and paying to have the systems flushed a number of times.

A year after that incident the engine light came on and the car began to jerk. I needed a new solenoid pack. When driving it away from the dealer, the engine light came on again and I needed the transmission computer reset.

The next day the car drove rough again (jerking, lurching, making noises, etc.) So I took it back and was told that they didn't see anything wrong with it.

Two days later the car jerked and the engine light came back on. It is now at the dealer to see what is wrong with it now.

General Comments:

I am glad to see that other 2002 Dodge Neon owners are dealing with the same issues that I have dealt with for the past four years.

The car was very nice looking, handled well in extreme snow and winter weather.

I loved the sunroof moon roof, leather seats and 6 disc CD Changer.

The car was not good for people over 5'5.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th March, 2008

21st Aug 2008, 13:01

My wife purchased the 2002 ES model and I've had almost the exact same issues.. it leaked from the trunk. Dodge actually fixed it then dried it and used an ozone machine to clean it out. The transmission fluid blew out into the radiator causing the transmission to loose all preasure and the fluids to mix. New radiator.. new lines.. flushed transmission fluid twice. Now I had the engine light go on and the computer set the car in a safe mode which locks it into gear. Guess what? Solenoids went bad. I am fixing it to go and trade in for a new car!

Yes the gas mileage is great, and it is a small car, but maintenance on the car is horrid.

11th Dec 2009, 18:17

Interesting. I'm getting ready to seal a leak from the transmission solenoid pack in my daughters Neon. I've fixed it once before but the part does not use a gasket. I don't find this to be THAT unusual. Other than that, I've replaced the motor mounts and maybe a few little things.

While I may have chosen another car for my daughter, she loves her little car and really doesn't have that many problems with it. Here's an observation, though. My daughter does much of her own work on her car. I insist.

Of course I guide and help her, but she "wields the wrench". (even though she's an adult, she's still my "baby" and I want her to be able to take care of herself!) That means she checks her fluids regularly, changes her own plugs, wires, bulbs, etc. and keeps her car well maintained.

Is there a chance this little car is just a bit "needy" when it comes to attention and may not be as much of a "lemon" as it might appear?

11th May 2010, 13:09

I love my 02 Neon. The best handling car I have ever owned. It has 120K on it and it has a very small slow oil leak. It is about time for the timing belt recommended replacement, so will replace the crank seals at that time. Lots of power. Very nice to drive at any speed. My wife had an 03 and it ran perfectly till she flipped it at 190K. We never did the timing belt or anything else to that car either.