Bought the car for 500 dollars in 2009. There were some rust spots, but no holes, just surface rust. Sunroof doesn't work and headlights aren't too bright on it.
For safety it needed ball joints, muffler, wheel bearings, one tie rod end and rear brake lines.
My speedometer would only sometimes work, and my heat gauge would skyrocket. It was an easy fix, just had to re-solder the circuit board.
At 190 000, replaced spark plugs.
At 199 000, rear main seal started to leak. Brought it to a shop; estimated 900 dollars to fix. I just tried a bunch of oil additives, and the best one I find is Lucas. The additive stopped the leak.
Master brake cylinder went at 201 000 km; bought a used one at a local junk yard for 15 dollars.
At 215 000km, when I would step on the gas hard, it would pop into neutral. This was because of the connection of the throttle cable to the transmission (this activates your passing gear) was rusted together. I tried fixing it, but I ended up breaking the passing gear. It still drives fine, but it doesn't have a passing gear.
220 000, replaced coil and wires with used ones from a junk yard for 30 dollars.
It is my first car, and now has lasted me just over a year, and is still running great.
I decided to do a custom paint job. Found a used body kit for 100 dollars (bumpers and side skirts), a 50 dollar spoiler from a junk yard, a fart can from eBay for 30 dollars, and tinted the windows and all the lights. It's definitely not a race car, but it looks like one.
This car has been pretty reliable; only left me stranded once, because I could not get the spare tire out of the trunk, because the bolt had rusted.
Parts are easy to find at a small town junkyard.
Overall it's been a great first car for me, and it has proved itself, because so many people had told me it wouldn't last, and it would break all the time since it's a Neon.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th September, 2010