Lennie, the reason for the 100k mile point of destruction is because that is when most American made cars have their timing belt break. When a cars motor snaps its timing belt, a whole slew of problems can occur from the damage of it rattling around inside your motor. Everything from manifold problems to head and gasket problems and even piston problerms can occur because of a snapped timing belt. Again this usually happens around 100k. Most people usually get their timing either replaced or at least thoroughly inspected for wear BEFORE this point. I hope this helps you out a little.
Timing belts are not like the timing chains in older cars. They have a required replacement interval. The belt usually requires replacement between 60 and 100 thousand miles. At the same time the water pump usually gets replaced as well. Any car with good maintenance will give you well over 100 thousand miles. Also driving habits are also important. This is a four door economy sedan. You cannot drive it like it is a sport car. It has good power and pick up, but not like a sports car. Also if you bought it used you have to wonder why it was traded in.
I had the same problem with the car. I lost all power, no lights, nothing at all. If I wiggled the battery cable, it would start and run. Neon cars are very sensitive with the battery cables. Changed the cables after 4 trips to the dealership. They couldn't figure this out? 2 years later, it still runs great, never dies.
I just bought a 2003 Neon SE with 122k on it.
Just today, I started the car, and the check engine light stayed on. Everything sounded great and it drove with no problem. After several minutes of trying to find the problem, I shut off the car to start it again. Then it hit, it acted like I had a bad starter or starter coil. I had power, but all I had was a repetitive clicking sound. After another several minutes, I tried to start it again, and to my amazement it started and the check engine light went off. I still have no clue what the hell happened, except that there is an error in the computer.
The battery cables are thin and brittle. I was cleaning my mass air flow sensor, and found that whoever had replaced the starter at one time, did not reconnect the negative ground to the engine block.