Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Dodge Neon

Does anyone have any input on Dodge Neons ? I am thinking about buying a 2001 Neon with 140000 miles. It’s clean, runs well,we;; maintained, but I’ve been warned away from the make by several people.

In general Dodge Neons have a worse than average repair history. A 2001 is now 10 years old so how it was maintained by previous owners has more to do with the condition of the car than what make it is.

If you buy it you can expect some pretty heafty repair bills. The biggest issues are head gasket problems for the motor and bad auto transmissions. A good pre-purchase inspection can help determine if there are any serious flaws so you really need to have the car checked out before you put any money into the seller’s hands.

Neons tend to have more electrical problems, with dashboards, radios, power windows, and power seats. Some of these problems can get expensive to track down and repair. Otherwise the basic mechanicals are pretty standard and parts are readily available.

If the car checks out OK, and you get a good price it could be a decent deal for you. Just hold onto about $1,000 to 2,000 dollars for some repairs and stuff like new tires, etc.

Thanks. The seller is asking $ 2000, offering personal (?) warranty- car is immaculate, but still a Neon. I think I’ll pass on it.
Thanks again for your input.

I agree with UT…you pretty much get what you pay for. A Neon with 140K has pretty much run it’s mechanical life and if the body is still in good shape, would only be worthwhile if you were a mechanic yourself or owned a parts store. Otherwise look at more reliable brands and be prepared to pay more initially for fewer problems later in most non specialized used cars. A fact of life in the auto world.

A friend of my wife bought a “well maintained” and immaculate Dodge Neon. Like many other Neons, it was unreliable, and even with good maintenance, it developed a leaking head gasket, very common with these cars.

Whatever you do, don’t pay too much for it and ask the seller if he will put a transmission overhaul and a head gasket replacement in his “personal Warranty”.

My department chair has an older Dodge Neon–no newer that a 2004 and maybe older–which he has driven well over 100,000 miles. The paint is coming off, but it does still run well. What type of driving will you be doing? If you are communting 100 miles or more per day, this may not be the right car for you. However, if you are buying the car to use around town it may just fill the bill if the price is right.

Thanks for your reply/ The problem is that, unlike your chair’s car, this has had multiple owners and the service record is unknowable. The head gasket problem has been pointed out by several friends as well- I guess a one-owner car is more predictable, especially if driven by an academic, as opposed to a teen or some more aggressive driver.
Thanks again.

If it needs no major work, it’s worth $500 tops. If not, then free could be too expensive.