17th Dec 2008, 16:09

You know the funny thing is... I just traded my Toyota for an 03 Neon SXT, cause the yoter just had problem, after problem, after problem, and etc. Yep, good old Japanese cars...

30th Dec 2008, 18:37

2003 Dodge Neon, I have the same problem with the radiator leaking into the tranny. The car only has 40K miles but is past the warranty. Any suggestions to get some help $$ from Dodge. Thank you.

9th Jan 2009, 13:40

First off as it was said, the Neon's use Japanese motors/transmissions. And second, if everyone is gathering in one place like this talking about all of the problems they have with the same car, of course it is going to look like there are nothing but problems. Same goes for any car. I know many people that drive these so-called superior Japanese cars that have nothing but problems.

22nd Feb 2009, 06:55

I have had the same problem with the trans and radiator leaking. They fixed it once and it happened again. Was like a whole year. I told the people at the dealership it had a problem and they said that is the way the car runs.

Yeah, the car seized up on the Howard Franklin bridge in Tampa. Good thing I was in the right most lane and pulled over. The car stopped, dead. They fixed it and put a rebuilt in it. Then I had to change engine mounts $800. Ever since the trans problem I have the same funny problem which I thought was unique. When I stop at a light, the idle drops to 500 in two steps and vibrates. If I turn the steering wheel a bit, it idles smooth, and if change to neutral, the same, put the air on, the same. I changed the IAC, ran smoother but same problem.

Sucks so much. Did anyone fix this problem? And for those who have so many positive things to say, did you ever encounter this problem and did you ever fix it?

9th Mar 2009, 19:27

By the look of things, my wife is going to get burned with the 03 Neon she bought. I told her to stay with a GM product. Anyone know where the switch is to turn on running lights? Thanks, Unhappy Dodge Neon buyer.

20th Mar 2009, 13:27

Looking to buy a 2003 SXT Neon. Just looking on what things to ask the dealer about the car. I have have 2 Toyota's and 3 American cars, both Toyota's, where 85 one still is running great and the other died. Finally a water pump went. I did very little maintenance on that one hence the failure. If I could afford a Toyota right, now I'd get one and not the Neon.

14th Apr 2009, 19:58

Just bought a 2003 Neon SXT, and got a tranny leak, don't know where it's coming from. Bought it at a dealer for cash, and we are 100 miles and 5 days over warranty, go figure. Any help?

24th May 2009, 14:37

I bought a 2003 Dodge Neon SXT in Feb. 08 with a little over 5,000 miles on it. Now I have 24,800 miles on it.

The only issue I have ever had on it was the check engine light, and every time it goes on it's the gas cap.

This car has been a great car and great on gas. I drove from Florida to Virginia, and it only cost me $60 bucks.

Maintaining this car is definitely important, I have had a lot of mechanics tell me that. If you're thinking about buying one, definitely do some research about the specific car you're looking at. If it's from a dealership, make sure it a good dealership that can offer you a great warranty. I bought mine from Carmax and if anything goes wrong with it, I only pay $50 (bumper to bumper). If you are purchasing it privately then make sure you see records of regular oil changes and scheduled maintenance.

Most important, learn your car! Find out what's normal and if something is not, don't ignore it. Every car has its issues!

28th May 2009, 21:25

I wrote a message earlier where I got stuck on the bridge in Tampa.

The earlier post about the trans filter sounds like something I might do.

I am thinking about getting a PCM. If you go to NHSTA.gov or safercar.gov, look for something called I think it is a tech note "TSB". I saw a local mechanic and he brought it up on his system "ALLDATA". There are recalls on the PCM "Powertrain Control Module". If this does not work, then you will never get a bad code because the car can't diagnose itself.

Dodge said this was not on my car. I've had problems over the years. YES! I do take very good care of my car! The dealers are the ones that said that is how the car runs. I have just passed my 70000 powertrain warranty. I am buying a new car for my wife, and I will drive and try fix the Dodge.

For the person with the emission solenoid problem. That is where all of mine started. I got a code and the dealer fixed it, and ever since, the trans leaked into the radiator (the car would not get into gear right away, gas pedal felt hard to press when driving). They said they fixed it. A week later it happened again. They changed the radiator and the thermostat because that broke. All this, and a year before I visited the dealer and told them something is wrong with the car. I had to fight with them to change the radiator.

Trans fluid is red. When I saw my radiator fluid was red and sticky, that is when I knew it was the trans fluid in the radiator.

Anyway, they did this, and I had the idling problem. I let it go because another Dodge dealer said that is normal. Can't find nothing wrong.

A couple months after driving on the interstate (60mph), the check engine light came on, and moments from that, the car jerked twice and stopped dead still. Lucky I was in the right hand lane, and got the car to slide on the side of the bridge (could have been deadly).

They changed the transmission. Had to fight with them for that. You shouldn't have to fight that much. They treated us very poorly.

Called Dodge, but only got people in India who couldn't understand the problem, and could not escalate the call. Just work out of their books, can't help you.

I am sorry I sound bitter, but you would be too, and for the one person who posted that the cars are Japanese made. The car is made in Mexico, so it isn't an American car.

Back to the car!

They replaced the trans with a rebuilt one. Now still had the idling problem. I took the car there before, and asked them what is this, can they fix it? I will pay for it; I just expect it to be fixed.

I also had to replace the engine mounts, because when everything happened, they got damaged.

Took the car to AAMCO; would not touch the trans because it would void the powertrain warranty.

Just took it there for them to look at it. Again, they were very nice. Looked at it for free! Found that there was a leak from one of the trans hoses, told me to take it back to the dealer.

Had to fight with the dealer to fix it. If changing the trans, you would think they would inspect if there is something else wrong.

Well they fixed it after having to argue with the people there.

Since then I've had the idle problem when I stop. Took it to a recommended local guy, and he said it must be the PCM, because there are so many TSBs on the 03 Dodge Neon SXT. Still under powertrain warranty! Mind you that.

On my way home, took it to a Dodge dealer. They said the faulty PCM is on my car, and the idling is how the car is. Called Dodge again, and talked with the Indians who don't care at all.

With the idling, I was advised to put in a new IAC "idle air control"; cost >$150 (was not going to pay labor, easy DIY part (if your car is idling rough all the time, clean this or change it out, check and see if the air intake is clean)). Bought it myself and bought cleaner for the intake. Cleaned the old IAC and the car did idle better, but still dropped at stops. Put in the new one... car idled even better, but still dropped at stops. Took IAC back and put the old one back in (cleaned).

Don't know what to do. Have my oil changed all the time. Had an induction service done (air and filters), plugs and wires.

Oh my radiator fluid is red. But was red when they put in the new trans. They said it is red coolant, the type that you don't change for like 100k.

I don't know; it looks like trans fluid...

Now I am past warranty, and the car is acting hard to get into gear while driving. Feels just like the time before the trans went bad. Feel like it could go out any day.

I am looking for a PCM and will install it myself, but will change trans filter first.

The reason why I think it is the PCM, is when it drops at a stop, if I turn the wheel, it idles back good, turn the air on, it's good, put in neutral, it's good, tap the gas, it's good.

All of this sends new signals to the engine control PCM. The car does not know how to idle at stops. So the brain must be broken, right? Look up the TSB's on the NHSTA.gov site.

A PCM is like $250. But read a post about one person changed a "shift solenoid" I think. Haven't looked into that yet, but will.

I know I have been long. I will look back at this post. Let me know if you have this problem and have fixed it. Can't buy new car yet. This will be my car now.

Thanks for reading, and hope you find an answer.