I own a black 1998 Dodge Neon Sport Sedan with an automatic transmission.
I'm not sure how many owners its had.
I bought the car in October of 2011 from a mechanic for $1600. The car has 135,280 miles. I noticed oil was leaking out the gasket seal. So I had my cousin replace the seal.
And the leak stopped. My cousin also put new spark plugs in, and he noticed a couple of spark plugs were drowned in oil.
I give the car it's routine oil changes every 3 to 5000 miles. I never had any trouble starting it, even in the coldest winter last year, it started fine. The car handles the snow ok. I had to replace a fuel pipe, because it rusted through.
In conclusion, I think it's a reliable fun car.
My favorite features on the car would have to be the exterior design for starters.
To me, it almost looks like a Porsche.
The car is a little sluggish at normal acceleration. But, when you put the pedal to the medal, then it really moves! I like how it sounds to when all the horses in all 4 cylinders are being fired.
I think the car looks best in black. I was lucky to find one in black.
I think the creators of that car could have did a better job with safety of the car.
The quality of plastics for the dash could have been better.
Ive had this car since about 07, when I acquired it from my mom who was the 2nd owner (originally bought from a dealership). Ive been driving it since I was 16 so its been through a lot. Aside from regular maintenance this car has been very low maintenance. Ive had the oil changed about every 5k miles and a few tune-ups but this car has not asked for much more.
In terms of repairs this is what Ive had to have done:
-brakes a couple times in 7 years
-fuel pump twice (wear in the fuel line which was unnoticed)
-various parts of the cooling system
Still has the original clutch after 13 years! This car lasts forever if you care enough.
200k miles plus!
The interior is phenomenal (besides the headliner which I think the dealership replaced incorrectly and is loose now) and still looks brand new even 13 years old. The clutch is stiff and so is the gas which makes driving the car feel like driving a real stick and not one of those new crap manuals that are impossible to stall out. Only parts of the grill and spoiler have shown wear in the paint and the rest shines like new when waxed.
Downshifting is a BLESSING in this car in the ice and snow. The car itself is too light to use the brakes and I don't think it has ABS so downshifting is key!
Also, EXCELLENT gas mileage! Even in its old age this car gets 28-33mpg average.
Overheats occasionally in heat and humidity even since I had most of my cooling system rebuilt. Not sure what's going on but selling the car soon so haven't taken it to a legitimate mechanic to find out.
The display went from bad a couple years ago to worse and now the speedo and odometer work half the time.
Also manual locks and windows are standard with this car which drives me crazy. Oh and the CD changer is located in the trunk which is impossibly inconvenient to change with a memory like mine so you always end up listening to the radio (equally as bad as repetitive CDs).
Keep in mind technical issues occurred after 100k.. Like I said, work horse if you don't treat the car like garbage.
My 1998 Dodge Neon has had belt issues where the water pump locked up and the timing belt jumped. Then a month later the serpentine belt shredded completely and had to be replaced as well. The car rattles a lot when I drive it, and shakes bad when it idles. My Neon doesn't have much power to it either. Its got bad acceleration, (it doesn't pick up speed quickly). Also my dome light and my shifter light don't work, (I changed the dome light and yes have checked the fuses and light switch, I don't know how to change the shifter light.) Over all, I wish I had a different car, or a better Neon :(
I bought my Neon new in 1998 and have had only one major issue and that was with the defective head gasket. Other than general maintenance, it has been a great car. I just put a set of 75000 mile tires on it and I talked to my mechanic and he said it should hit 400,000 with no trouble.
Have always used Catrol Syntec and I get about 30-35 in town and around 40 on the highway. I have had a few trips (recently) where I hit 45-48 mpg.
Other minor issues include the leak around the driver's side tail light and my sunroof motor went out.
Could not have spent $17,600 any better way.
I bought my car at an auction last year. I have driven it every day and had no major problems other than: The 4 cyl has a not so known issue of the valve cover gasket leaking oil into spark plugs. This was found by a mech telling us so I have yet to replace gasket. I take the plug out clean it and it's good to go for a few months longer. Secondly is I have to put oil in it cause the oil pan gasket is bad. BUT knowing those two problems I am ok with it. It is known for bad heads and often blow. I haven't had that issue yet! But the engines are so easy to find it is good to work on.
I like the size for me and two kids it fits well. The trunk is huge and I put it in a snow bank with no major damage. It was cheap car and has paid for itself.
For the price of the car and its old. Can't say much bad. I guess for a new car it would be considered a cheap car. But it serves it purpose