Original Reviewer again.
Car has worked on and off since last update. Usually runs well for about 3 weeks at a time and then has another failure. May be my first car, but it's definitely my last domestic vehicle. My family has had similar issues with domestics in the past, and while most aren't this bad, they aren't much better. Final straw was when it left my mother and brother stranded on a busy highway in the middle of a pouring rain storm. Definitely won't be buying another Chrysler product, and most likely will become 100% Japanese vehicles after selling this sh*t box. None of our Honda's (only Japanese vehicle we've owned) has ever left us stranded, and our last one had over 450,000 miles on it according to my father (who still has records on it.) My next car will DEFINITELY be a Honda.
I have 86,300 miles now. And so far it's been good to me. (Knock on wood.) My ABS doesn't work (not a big deal for me.) I have some valve tap, but it doesn't seem to affect it much. Now that it's running better, I've really gotten to try this thing out. It's completely stock, but it's very fast for what it is. Just last night I had a Civic pull up to me at a red light. I could hear the big fart can exhaust rumbling and when I looked over, I saw the driver, looking at me like I wouldn't stand a chance at beating him off that light. He revved the engine and I heard a faint turbo whine. I just smiled. I figured that I'd give it a whirl and see what happens, maybe I'd beat him. Light turned and we took off. And that was it, right from the start I saw him in my rearview. I was amazed. And by the look on his face at the next light, so was he.
It's grown on me now. As long as it stays working exactly like it is now, I'll be happy with it.
Just another update.
It's at 87,000 miles now. Not much more from the last update I know. I had one problem since my last update. Went outside to start it up and let it warm up for a good 5 minutes before I drive it as I always have, and nothing. I had power, all the dashlights worked, but it wouldn't turn over. Stumped me that's for sure. Mind you it was about 9 degrees outside, but still, I expected it to at least crank.
Opened the hood and jiggled the starter ground wire... Fired right up without hesitation. Go figure. Just a bad connection I guess, and if it happens again, at least I know what to do. Other than that it hasn't been too bad. Like I said before, as long as it works I'll be happy with it. When it's working, I love it.
Also, there's now more paint flaking off in the wind than what's actually on the car (OK, slight exaggeration, but the paint is getting pretty bad.) I'll probably just get it painted again as it needs to last not just for my high school years, but for my younger brother's as well.
I'm at 87,800 miles now. No serious issues since last update. I have put off replacing the sway bar bushings for awhile now, but they are getting noisy and quite annoying, so I will be replacing those soon.
Overall, for the past 800 miles it has done quite well. I have been getting a consistent 29-30 MPG. Despite the failing crankshaft bearings and wrist pins , which are noisy (it sounds like a diesel) it still has plenty of power. And yes, I know those a very serious problems, however, I will not be fixing them because I am saving my money for a newer and better vehicle. I'm looking into a used Dodge Charger (the new model, not the old muscle car. Not that that one isn't awesome though).
I know I stated above I was looking for a Honda or Toyota, but I haven't been able to find a newer one that I can afford. The Charger, having rear-wheel drive and a pushrod V8, is an equation you can't mess up. Anything to keep me out of a Ford or a Chevy! Plus I've found Chargers for $9,000. Can't find a much smaller Honda or Toyota of similar age for that price (they hold their value so well!)
My Neon just needs to last for another year and a half or so. Although hopefully it lasts long enough for my younger brother to inherit as a hand-me-down. I'll probably keep it even after I get a new car. I like it a lot, maybe I'll restore it someday.
Original Reviewer here:
I found a used '96 Corolla for real cheap and it's in excellent shape. I decided to go for it because I have been unable to find a Corolla in any condition for the price I paid on this one. I will be selling my Neon at a major loss (invested over $2,000). It did okay, but ultimately, I wish I had done more research before buying it.
Original Reviewer again:
WOW. I'm amazed at my timing of purchasing the Corolla. While trying to start up the Neon to move it out front to sell it, it took awhile to start, and then when it finally did start, it ran extremely rough. The piston slap it had must have killed it, because cylinder 4 has lost almost all compression. In the beginning, the car didn't seem too bad, but now I can see why there are so many bad reviews on it. The little face on my review should be changed to that little blue face on the rest of these reviews.