1997 Plymouth Neon Highline DOHC from North America


A money eating, aggravating piece of crap


The side view mirror fell off out of nowhere the day I got the car, that should have been my first clue...

The timing chain has been replaced twice.

My air conditioner went out at 70k miles.

The head gasket blew around 65k miles, took two tries, two major breakdowns/towing to finally fix that.

Brake pads have been replaced, but still work terribly and make the worst screeching sound you have ever heard when they come in to contact with more than one drop of water.

Speaking of water, my trunk leaks.

Speaking of leaks, for the longest time no one could figure out if it was my transmission fluid or oil that were leaking; turns out it was apparently both.

The service engine soon light remains constantly lit, just one more feature Plymouth offers.

The car does have an air bag, but when I got into an accident at 35 mph, the air bag did not deploy at all, thank goodness it wasn't a serious wreck.

The paint job started peeling when I'd only had it a month, and hasn't quit since. Now the top of the car is beginning to rust out, and I've been told (just like every other unfortunate Neon owner) that it was defective paint.

Car never stays in alignment, no matter how careful you are about bumps, etc.

Absolutely no get up and go.

All of this, and I still need back surgery to make up for all the discomfort sitting in this piece of crap car has caused me.

General Comments:

I have sunk more money into this pit than the car is worth, many times over. It is so completely not worth it, and I can't wait for the day I get to haul it off to the junkyard and say good riddance! Don't by a Neon unless you enjoy activities such as depositing money into a fireplace or spending 2/3 of your lifetime at the auto shop.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th June, 2004

4th Feb 2007, 19:40

Street that thing and buy a sundance. They were built before the neon and had what I feel quite a bit more quality to their construction. Not as much horsepower and maybe a mile or two less to the gallon, but other than that, everything was better!

1st Jul 2007, 19:35

OK, this is a list of all defective Neon parts (Dodge or Plymouth previous to 00')

1. Radiator, if your VIN starts with a 3 it was made in Mexico, if your so lucky and it starts with a 1 it's made in U.S... Mexico no good!

2. Front brakes... Now lets delve into this for those ignorant ones out there... the problem is yes your should upgrade from the semi metallics your mechanic put in so he would make a few more $$... originally they came with Porcelain carbon fiber brakes... GOOD BRAKE PADS, NOT BAD! The real problem with the brakes is that the flex hoses clog up in them, which causes the caliper to freeze, so you get the caliper and the pads replaced and not the hose... what do you think happens next?

3. Upper and lower seals for spark plug shafts leak oil on top of the plugs... Easy fix, but untreated will clog your catalytic converter and while your at it, replace the plugs, and wires.

4. Bad inner and outer tie rod ends. This causes the alignment to fail and the car to shake at 55mph and faster. Your mechanic will probable tell you your wheels just need balanced and try to convince you to buy new tires while your at it.

5. Rust... need I say more?

6. Transmission pan gasket and oil pan gaskets... To replace both, for me, it takes about 1 hour and cost me $92.00 approximately for all parts and fluids.

7. Trunk leak... this was a '95, '96 neon problem and it was for a variety of reasons. Gasket seal, tampered springs (intentionally and otherwise... not enough trunk space for some) and minor parking lot accidents unreported by the perpetrator while your innocently inside shopping for Chef Boyardee.

8. Trunk lock stopped working with key. Bad key cylinder.

9.Front engine mount. Took me about 18 minutes to replace and about $35.00 for the part.

10. Window cranks, lock actuators and automatic window motors all seem to be bad. good luck with that one!

11. The owner!!! Drive like you have some sense and remember the street is not a race track. Be good with your regular maintenance and stop thinking that if you have to replace something that it's a lemon!

12. Finally, to the originator of this thread: I can already tell you that there is no way in the world your bought you Neon brand new!!! Tell the truth now.

22nd Aug 2009, 20:24

To "1st Jul 2007, 19:35"

I have a Mexican made '95 Neon. I have replaced the head gasket once at 80,000 miles, and the power steering rack once at 81,000 miles. Other than those 2 problems, my car has been just fine. Maybe some of the Mexican-built Neon's were bad, but mine has been just fine. Maybe I got lucky.

1997 Plymouth Neon Expresso 2.0 DOHC from North America


DOHC 5-Speed Neons RULE!!


I caught a rock in my windshield.

Idle air control motor went bad.

Minor valve cover gasket leak.

General Comments:

The car has an Iceman fresh air intake, an Indy intake manifold, 60mm throttle body, Mopar Performance computer, Black Dog header, 2 1/2" exhaust, my own custom short throw shifter, Jeff B's booger bushings, white gauge overlay with carbon fiber over that, Nakamichi 45z deck, (Jap) Alpine amps, Audio Control processors, Infinity 12" subs, 6X9"s, 6.5"s, and 3.5"s in the dash, Eibach anti-sway bars, and Koni struts. The car has been modified over many miles, but it has never been a problem. This is my second Neon Expresso. The first fell victim to a Ford Minivan driver in a Northern California rainfall. I don't know why people have had problems with them, but I think you should know at least a little something about your car if you're gonna own it. If you know nothing, your begging for problems with any car, unless you're charmed. Worse, minor problems become major when not cared for, and the mechanic will see you coming if you don't know which ends the trunk and which ends the hood. I love my little Neon. It hauls, and still gets close to 30 MPG even the way I drive it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th March, 2004

9th Jun 2005, 12:12

What a fool, why would anyone put that much money into junk? Silly person with money I suppose. My aunt had a neon. I drove it and was not impressed with it at all. The DOHC has very little power. My 88' caddy can beat those things. So those of you who drive neons and call cadillac's granny cars, watch out.

15th Sep 2009, 15:06

A real car? Like what? A Civic??? Give me a break. My Neon has 230,000 miles on it. They are not bad cars. They just need to be taken care of like every other car.