I bought a used Neon that was six years old and I loved it. I owned it for two years and I wish I still had it. I was the best car I've ever had. I had to make replacements on it such as the starter, but that was expected for it was an used car. This car was very reliable and I could always count on it to get me from home to where I was going and back home in one piece. I couldn't ask for more than that.
I would have to agree with the first comment. I don't think its physically possible for coolant to either 1) get in the fuel line and 2) go *up* the fuel line. Sounds like someone sabotaged that car, because I have never ever heard about this with any other car. Frankly as a neon owner, I don't consider my car a lemon, nor myself a fool for buying it. Nor would I insult the engineers who made the car, as they have done a great job with so many.
As for the crazy windows, my window doesn't roll back up in the track, it wants to close to the inside. For the howling, it may be an adjustment issue, because the window might not all the way go up and seal right, also the front half that connects with the stripping and the mirror triangle may be shot.
I purchased my Neon in April of 1995. The first week of May, with all of 600 miles on the odometer, the computer erred and the engine wouldn't turn over and the lights wouldn't come on. It had to be towed back to the Dodge house.
At almost 40,000 miles the fuel gauge quit working. I was told it was due to the "fuel sender relay" having gone bad. Cost to fix? Only $280. I've chosen to go on without ever repairing this problem.
At 42,000 miles the cruise control quit working.
At 63,000 miles the rear main oil seal and head gasket had to be replaced.
At 80,000 miles the turn signals and headlights quit working. It was an electrical problem I was able to fix myself.
I've had two water pump replacement jobs, and now I'm looking at a radiator replacement.
I would not recommend this car to anyone.
I bought my Neon last summer. It is now 12 years old. The car has 241601 miles on it. It has a newer engine in it with about 100000 miles on it. I didn't own it when the newer engine was put in. I bought it for $700.
I had owned it for 26 hours and the water pump seized up, causing the timing belt to snap right in front of my house. I did some research and there was a good chance none of the valves were damaged at a low rpm. I called a garage and they quoted me 375-400 bucks. So I bought the Haynes repair manual for $20. The water pump for about $40 and the timing belt for about 34 bucks. I followed the book and it took about 9 hours. Overall I spent a little less than a 100 dollars.
Since then the only other things I replaced were the rear struts, and there's something up with the windows; they need adjusted. It's been really reliable since then.
The door panels are a pain in the butt to get off. If you want some advice in repairing a 1st gen Neon, email me and I'll help you out deerhunter1660@Yahoo.com