1995 Plymouth Neon Coupe from North America


Money Pit


Head gasket blew at 60,000 miles. $900

Starter at 61,000. $200

Blower Motor at 65,000. $100

Horn at 70,000. $15

Air Conditioner at 80,000 $1,000

Transmission at 82,000 $1,500

Brakes & rotors twice.

Paint is peeling.

General Comments:

Very disappointed in this vehicle.

Plymouth won't stand behind vehicle, and are difficult to work with, because of too many outstanding problems.

I'm afraid to take the vehicle out of town or on trips over 25 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th October, 2002

1995 Plymouth Neon Sport 2.0L SOHC from North America


A several hundred pound paper weight


Shortly after the purchase of this car, a faulty Cam Shaft Sensor caused an electrical drain on the car. Took a year and a half for the qualified technicians at every Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge Location to attempt to find the problem. It took a 3rd party service facility 3 hours. This rendered the car nearly useless for anything bigger than short neighborhood trips to the store.

Oxygen Sensors start returning invalid responses to the computer: 55000 miles, 70,000 miles and 93,000 miles.

Faulty piston in brake system cause undue break wear and tear. Break system and pads replaced 60,000 miles.

Head Gasket replaced at 65,000 miles.

Faulty piston in brake system cause undue break wear and tear. Rotors and breaks and pads replaced 80,000 miles. Note the pads had been replaced less than a month previously.

Timing Belt snaps under normal driving conditions 80,000 miles. Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge inappropriately defines the damaged portions of the vehicle and attempt to charge me a base of 3 thousand dollars for their services in labor. 3rd Party vendor identified and quickly returned my car to me in working condition.

91,000 miles Engine coolant Sensor returns invalid responses to the main computer, causing fan not to respond to overheating engine.

93,200 miles: Alternator Belt mysteriously slips off one of the lower gears slightly and begins to grind itself causing the engine to drain the battery and mistime the firing of the spark plugs.

Heating and Air conditioning have stopped working properly within the first month of ownership.

General Comments:

When I first purchased the car, I ran a Car Fax report and the result returned no negative feedback. And at the very beginning of my ownership of this vehicle I was perfectly satisfied. Handling and manuvering for the vehicle was perfect for my need and desire. However the consistant failure of individual components throughout the vehicle is only one side of the spectrum.

The lack of respect and service I have received from the Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge corporation in seeking answers to my problems have been terrible. Their service is slow and at some points not at all capable of dealing with these cars. Each visit has cost me hundreds of dollars in labor alone.

In a recent complaint letter sent to the Daimler Chrysler Corporation, the parent company of Dodge, Plymouth and Jeep, I noted the above points in detail. Their response was condescending taking the time to embellish their achievements in service and vehicle quality and apologized that my expectations had not been met. Even if I had the money for a Viper, I would still look at it in the same disdain as a Neon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th October, 2002

19th Jan 2009, 17:42

Your timing belt should have been replaced with the head gasket!

1995 Plymouth Neon Highline 2.0L SOHC from North America


Temperamental, but I love my Neon!


The car started overheating around 115,000 miles. At the time, I didn't realize how common this problem was and how easy it was to fix. By not taking care of it right away, the head gasket started leaking. At this point, the car was stolen. The thief did not know how to drive a manual transmission, and ground most of the gears to dust (rebuilt transaxle now installed). He finished blowing the head gasket (now replaced with the multi-layered steel gasket), and also blew out the intake manifold gasket before the car was recovered (122,000 miles).

At 135,000 miles, my timing belt broke while I was on vacation. The manufacturer recommendation is 105,000 miles, most Neon enthusiasts recommend an even shorter time frame. Being an interference engine, damage was done to the entire valvetrain (rebuilt head, timing belt, and water pump installed).

At 150,000 miles, the original struts finally had enough. They were replaced by slightly stiffer struts and springs. Around this time, I replaced the front motor mount (torn) with a stiffer and less expensive Mopar mount. Wheel hop during take-off was virtually eliminated.

At 155,000 miles, the rebuilt valvetrain assembly began failing (just outside of warranty...), two rockers cracked, and eventually caused a rod to start knocking. The engine was replaced, as was the radiator and original clutch).

General Comments:

Other than the occasional blown fuse, and a faulty throttle position sensor, nothing major has failed that could have been prevented by routine maintenance. Despite the money I've put into it so far, I still love to drive it and look forward to improving the performance and handling over the next few years.

When money permits, I plan on buying a second Neon to tear down and rebuild. I've learned so much about auto mechanics and repairs by tinkering and doing things myself (like changing the oil, replacing sensors, troubleshooting wiring problems), that I would not feel uneasy about larger projects like head gaskets, timing belts, exhaust system replacement, etc., when the time comes.

The engine design is actually quite agressive. It has been somewhat detuned to make it marketable as a "family" car. With judicious use of aftermarket parts, even the stock 132 HP SOHC engine can put out over 150 HP with less than $500 invested. The stock 150 HP DOHC can put out nearly 200 HP with the same investment. There are even aftermarket turbo systems that have proven the block capable of handling well over 300 HP, and still get 30 mpg as a daily driver.

The suspension is also much stiffer and responsive than the traditional family car. Quite frankly, I enjoy it.

Interior noise can be a little louder than most cars, especially with the frameless windows. I spend 3 hours per day going back and forth to work and don't mind, as long as the radio is on. I would not take my family on a long (500+ miles) trip due to the limited space, comfort, and noise level (also partly due to the stiffer motor mounts).

The stock stereo system has been rated outstanding by many magazine reviews. I have replaced mine with an aftermarket unit that can play mp3 CD's.

The 1st generation Neon ('95-'99) is an excellent car for just about anyone, as long as you do your homework on it and keep up with the maintenance. It gets great mileage, it handles exceptionally well, it's fun to drive, easy to work on, can look sporty or not-so-sporty, tends to have low insurance rates, and could easily last 200,000+ miles with proper care.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 2002

22nd Aug 2009, 00:44

You said that eventually 2 of your rockers cracked and that one of your rod's started knocking. This is interesting considering the Neon is only offered in either DUAL OVERHEAD CAM OR SINGLE OVER HEAD CAM! NOT OVERHEAD VALVE!