1996 Plymouth Neon 16 V from North America


A decent economy car, but I wouldn't buy another. You're better off with a Sentra, Civic, or Elantra


Head Gasket (twice)

"gage assembly"

Stalling on highway; then "service engine soon" light comes on and stays on.

General Comments:

This car has been fairly reliable.

Some negatives: The head gasket has failed twice. The first time was at 57K and resulted in a break down and tow. The second time was at 114K and this time it just leaked and didn't break down.

The gage assembly went bad at 30k or so. The GA is what controls your speedometer, fuel meter, etc. A new one would have cost $400 but I was able to get a used one at a junk yard for $150.

The latest problem I have is this sucker likes to occasionally stall on the highway. I can get it started back up, but she usually will keep stalling, until I get off the highway and to my destination. It's happened now twice and both times it was with several people in the car. Could the added wait and highway speed be a factor?This is usually followed by the check engine soon light coming on and staying on. The last time this happened my mechanic had to reset some sensor and the light went out. No one can tell me why this occasional stalling occurs. I think the engine is reaching the end of the line.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st December, 2003

5th Jun 2004, 13:16

I have a 1996 Plymouth Neon and the stalling thing seems to be a problem with most people that own them. I had did some research on this particular problem and there was a recall issued by Chrysler for the 96 Neon, BUT... make sure that the recall number matches your vehicle. I can't remember off hand what the website was where I found this info, but if your sincere about getting this stalling problem fixed (along with gage assembly, that has also failed in my car), a little searching could help. And it's not a weight issue... I drive a lot for work and it happens to me all the time and it's just me in the car!

8th Aug 2004, 16:46

I own a 1996 Plmouth Neon. I also had the stalling problem, the car would start bucking the check engine light would come on and then it would stall. Like other posters the dealer said it was a sensor problem, after about 3 sensor changes it still stalled out. Finally the mechanic decided it could be the throttle body that was the problem. To make my already expensive repair cost cheaper he did a reroute with the connections to the new throttle body on mostly his own time. He had to disconnect my Air Conditioner in the process, but other than that my stalling problem disappeared! So if anyone with a stalling problem is out there have them replace your throttle body and you will be a happy camper again. The air conditioner thing was a shortcut the mechanic took to save me money, not the standard way to replace the throttle body.

15th Apr 2010, 15:11

I have a 1996 Neon Plymouth, and the service engine light stays on, but how do I reset the sensor?

1996 Plymouth Neon from North America


Good price, if you're willing to pay for some repairs down the road.


My head gasket and timing belt blew after 2 weeks of owning the car (used).

Air conditioning quit after one year, had it fixed for $700 in October, when it came time to use it again in about June, it didn't work. Dealership refused to pay for it because it was a "different" problem this time. Still not working a year later.

Alternator belt gone about a year ago (not the car's fault, happens to everyone).

First winter I owned the car the battery died (again, not the car's fault).

Passenger window doesn't seal when rolled all the way up, very annoying when driving on the highway.

Currently paying $3700 for repairs after a minor fender bender, it sucks because I only paid $7000 for the car itself.

Heater makes a ticking noise on really cold days, only happened a couple of times though, only lasts a few minutes when it does happen.

My biggest complaint isn't with the car itself but the dealership I bought it from and the dealership I had it serviced at after I moved. Car dealerships are a huge rip off. They see a young girl with a questionable car and decide they can talk me into pretty much anything. I may be young and I may be a girl but I am not stupid. I wish women could get some respect in the auto industry.

General Comments:

All in all, I love my little car. It was a graduation gift from my dad so I am ever so grateful that I have a car, even if it does give me some grief now and then. From reading the other reviews I see that most people who own this type of car have some of the same problems I have had. But I'm not going to get down on my car to badly. It gets me from A to B and despite repairs it is a very cheap car to run. (Great gas mileage!)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th November, 2003

17th Oct 2004, 09:57

I'm a 24 year old male, and I feel the same... I just don't trust dealerships. The whole industry is a bunch of crooks. As a result, I've never really gone back to the same shop more than twice.

7th Jun 2009, 12:41

I have a 1996 Plymouth Neon Sport sedan, purchased it in 2008, and at first it ran great, no problems.

Then the back axle broke in half, which the dealer fixed at no cost.

Then 8 months later, It was time for the emissions test, can't get your plate sticker if it doesn't pass... it failed twice and I had to put a new CAT on it, a month later and now the rad is overheating, maybe a blown head gasket or water pump, not sure yet, and of course it had to happen 1 day after being laid off from my job... yep, I think you're right, once it starts breaking down, it will keep going, Yes it is a used car and this is to be expected, but I have had other used cars with less major repairs so I am disappointed as I always have good luck with Chrysler / Plymouth cars... but it seems my luck has changed. I would not own another Neon, and plan to sell this one ASAP.