The Dodge Neon is a compact front-wheel drive sedan manufactured from 1995 to 2005. Interestingly, the Neon was also renamed and sold as the Plymouth and as the Chrysler in other markets. The Neon was lauded for its price, power, and looks upon its release. However, its design has aged since the late ’90s and early 2000s. It doesn’t shy away from never-failing problems, either, so know the common Dodge Neon faults .
Since it has been out of print for many years, the Neon barely depreciates now. The 2005 Dodge Neon is expected to appreciate 2% in 5 years. That being said, less than 20% of its original value remains. That means Dodge Neons can now be purchased at incredibly affordable prices.
How good is the Dodge Neon?
The Dodge Neon has mixed reviews. While they can’t give you a full reliability score for the Dodge Neon because they lack data, they do have data on its average cost and frequency of repairs. The average annual cost of repairs is a cheap $526 , while the frequency with which you have to schedule unexpected visits to the mechanic is just as good, averaging 0.3 visits per year.
Like any other vehicle, customer feedback tends to depend heavily on whether your Neon had a major issue that has defined your experience with this model. In general, many owners praise the Neon for being extremely reliable.
Several owners gave it a five-star rating in various surveys, as they reported driving over a hundred thousand miles with no major issues. One owner even said that the Neon “will last forever.”
While some owners stopped short of giving a five-star rating because they had a few hiccups involving various components, the fact that the Neon continues to garner praise despite its age is a good sign.
Common Dodge Neon Faults
Since the Dodge Neon has been out for a while, many owners have already reported commonly failing components. Read on and learn about the common Dodge Neon faults:
1- Faults in the operation of the cooling fan
Owners have reported that the Dodge Neon’s cooling fan has been known to fail. The cooling fan is important because it is the component that forces air past the radiator, effectively cooling the hot coolant.
Owners have reported overheating shortly after starting their car as a result of the fan not turning on. This problem persists in both generations of the Dodge Neon , which ran from 1995 to 2005.
While overheating can damage the engine, owners have not reported engine damage as a result of a cooling fan malfunction, which is a good thing.
The owners have thought that simply replacing the malfunctioning cooling fan would fix the problem. However, they have discovered that the problem is not the fan itself, but the relay that activates it.
2- Oil entering the spark plug tubes
Some owners have reported their Neon’s engine misfiring and inconsistent acceleration at low speeds. This is caused by oil getting into the spark plug tubes and interfering with the function of the spark plugs.
There were also a few instances where the check engine light came on. Owners have unsuccessfully tried to replace various engine gaskets to prevent oil from getting into the spark plug tubes, the valve cover gasket, and the gaskets around the spark plug.
An owner claims to have found a simple solution to the problem in a video he uploaded to YouTube. In the video, he feeds the spark plug tubes into the engine block using another spark plug tube. In this way, he improves the sealing of the spark plug with the engine.
According to reports, while both generations of the Dodge Neon were affected by this issue, owners of the 2000 Dodge Neon have reported this issue the most.
3- Musty smell in the HVAC system
Owners have reported that the Neon’s heating or air conditioning system developed a strange musty odor after some time. They were puzzled that the smell would linger even if their cars were clean. The problem is caused by bacterial growth in the ventilation system .
The odor is usually more intense when starting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This problem has been reported primarily by 2000-2005 Dodge Neon owners.
To counteract the growth of bacteria, Dodge has launched a disinfectant and coating for the evaporator of the air conditioning system.
4- Problems with error codes
When the camshaft or crankshaft sensor fails, the engine cannot run, causing frequent stalling, misfiring, and poor fuel economy. This usually leads to an illuminated check engine light. Typically, you or a mechanic can figure out which part or sensor is malfunctioning after connecting an OBD scan tool and checking what error codes have been stored.
However, there have been cases where error codes were stored for a fully functional sensor. Although the exact model year this problem occurs is unclear, frequent shutdowns and malfunctioning sensors have been reported on the 2004 to 2005 Dodge Neon.
Owners have reported replacing various other components due to faulty error codes. No solution for the problem is listed, but care is advised when diagnosing the problem so that owners do not replace a perfectly working component.
5- Axis noise problems
Owners have reported hearing a clicking, popping, or popping noise coming from the front of their Neon when accelerating or braking. Sometimes the sound goes away, while other times it’s loud enough to make them think something has hit their vehicle. This problem occurred on both generations of Dodge Neon spanning 1995 through 2005.
The problem is caused by the leakage of the rubber seal on the shaft. Despite the alarming noise, the shaft was not damaged. However, the leakage of grease from inside the shaft can cause the noise. Replacing the rubber seal on the shaft should fix the problem.
Despite these common issues, it’s a good thing the Dodge Neon doesn’t have issues that are known to severely damage the engine or transmission, which are the most expensive and troublesome parts to repair. But it does have a number of annoying issues, including a musty cabin smell and shaft noises.
If you are not sure about the reliability of the Dodge Neon, we hope this article has helped you. All cars tend to develop problems throughout their life, but some develop less serious problems. The Dodge Neon is certainly one of those vehicles. Learning from the experience of other drivers can help you decide if the car you want to buy is worth it or not.