1997 Plymouth Neon - replaced head gasket for $ 500 - car as fewer than 78,000 miles - there should be a recall on the head gasket

Posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2002 at 12:00am CST by 49a8b919

Company: 1997 Plymouth Neon - replaced head gasket for $ 500 - car as fewer than 78,000 miles - there should be a recall on the head gasket

Category: Other

Complaints.com received the following consumer message on November 18, 2002:

From:

RE: 1997 Plymouth Neon - replaced head gasket for $ 500 - car as fewer than 78,000 miles - there should be a recall on the head gasket

Dear Sir(s),

I have recently had to replace the head gasket on my 1997 Plymouth Neon. When I took it into the shop, they nearly guarenteed me it was the head-gasket without even loking at the car. It is a know problem, common to the Dodge/Plymouth Neon.

I feel that if the manufacturer knows it is a design flaw in the head gasket, and they have even developed a new gasket to fix the problem, why isn't there a recall. I just spent over $550 to get it fixed, and the vehicle is still under 78,000 miles. I told them to go ahead and replace the timing belt and EGR valve while they were in there, and that is just smart to do so I don't have to come back and do it again next year.

The bottom line is why is there not a recall of the head-gasket. I feel the auto-manufacturer owes me my $550 back! Thanks for your time, and I hope this is something you can help with, or point me in the right direction to get more done. Below is a lot of owner comments I found at MSN.com, Autos, Auto Review, 1997 Neon. I was amazed at the number of people had the same problem, and there are many sites on the web where owners complain about the head-gasket. I just don't think too many of them have notified Chrysler Div. at 1-800-992-1997 (Prompts 1, 2, and 5). (Owners Reviews)

Cons:

The headgasket went a few months after I bought the car (and with 70,000 kms). The dealership fixed it for no charge after I screamed at them. The frameless windows are an incredibly stupid design. I have to push the driver side window back in after closing the door because it pops out when you close the door. Not really a big deal - just annoying.

Cons:

major oil leak right after warranty ended.

Cons:

The chronic oil leak that no one can seem to figure out where it is coming from or fix for the matter.

Cons:

Has No Power, Seals around the Doors don't really seal up to good. Head Gasket Blew, Rear Defroster quit working, Transmission would go into neutral then back to drive and throw you around, Back up lights quit working, Left Front Speaker quit working, Oxygen sensor went bad, and the Plugs and Plug wires went bad. All of this with in 4k miles after i purchased it. After having my neon in reverse then apply my brake the padel goes to the floor and takes it a while to stop. Has anyone else had this problem?

Cons:

Head Gasket problems...(replaced head gasket two (2) times) Had to have the transmission rebuilt one (1) time. Front wheel drive sucks.

Pros:

Nothing...had two head gaskets at $500.00 each. Had to have transmission rebuilt at 40,000 miles. Only plus in this vehicle is for a compact it is roomy.

Cons:

Mechanically,this vehicle is subpar. I have had it to the garage three times for fuel system problems,twice for air conditioning problems,and once to replace the infamous head gasket. The air conditioner still does not work, oil is leaking from the engine,and the "check engine light" frequently comes on for about a day and then goes off. The suspension is also somewhat lacking in quality.

Cons:

Manufacturer knows about head gasket problem and will pay about $320 toward the $1100 of fixing. Best to get problem fixed ASAP as it can cause major damage.

Cons:

Lots of air noise around side windows. Engine leaks oil all over.

Cons:

First, 700 characters aren't enough. PLEASE do not buy this car. The problems I have had are too numerous to list but I will try. Blown head gasket, twice. The engine mount bolt came loose dropping part of the engine on to the axls, bending them both and messing up the transmission, which had already been rebult once. The cruise doesn't work, good thing I got that option. The aluminum rims might be ok but someone forgot to tell them to add another metal other than that. They have the structural rigidity of foil. Every day I get in the car waiting for something to break or not work.

Cons:

Paid over $900 to repair oil gasket...mechanic knew over the phone what the problem was before I even finished describing it. Was a common repair to the 97 Neon at that dealer---I felt ripped off, like it should have been a recall if it was so common to mechanics and expensive!!

Overall Review:

NEON - a hole into which one pours money! In 4 1/2 years I had to replace/repair 2 Fan Motors, 1 Fuel Pump, Head Gasket, Engine Cam Seal, Battery, Brakes, Wiring Harness, and Dash Circuit Board.

Cons:

ENGINE NOISY, HEAD GASKET PROBLEMS (LEAKING) IDLE ROUGHS SHIFTS ROUGH AT TIMES

Cons:

The well-known head gasket problem that Chrysler Corp. should do a formal recall on. Fortunately, mine went at roughly 36,000 miles...and the extended warranty covered it.

Cons:

There seems to always be something wrong with the car after around 85,000 of miles. I have replaced the head gasket and that the most costly repair, about $700.

(This is from www.neon.org and is under TSB. It basically says they know there is a problem, and here's the fix, but we don't want to pay for it. Let the customer foot the bill!)

SUBJECT: Multi-Layer Steel (MLS) Head Gasket Installation Procedures NO: 09-05-98 GROUP: Engine DATE: Nov. 6,1998 MODELS:

1995 - 1999 (JA) Cirrus/Stratus/Breeze

1996 - 1999 (JX) Sebring Convertible

1996 - 1999 (NS) Town & Country/Caravan/Voyager

1995 - 1999 (PL) Neon

1997 - 1999 (GS) Chrysler Voyager (international Market)

NOTE: THIS INFORMATION APPLIES TO MODELS WITH A 2.0L SOHC/DOHC OR 2.4L ENGINE.

DISCUSSION:

A new Multi-Layer Steel (MLS) head gasket has been developed and is being implemented into production vehicles. Additionally, it has been approved for service applications.

This new gasket will provide superior sealing characteristics, but will require extra care in its installation where a composite gasket was previously in place. The following steps will assist service technicians in the proper installation of this MLS gasket.

CAUTION: ALUMINUM ENGINE COMPONENTS ARE VERY SUSCEPTIBLE TO METAL TRANSFER AND SURFACE DAMAGE WHEN OLD GASKET MATERIAL IS REMOVED FROM THEM. EXERCISE EXTREME CARE WHEN CLEANING THESE COMPONENTS. THE MLS GASKET CANNOT PROPERLY SEAL IF GOUGING OF THE SURFACES, METAL TRANSFER HAS TAKEN PLACE, OR COMPOSITE GASKET MATERIAL IS LEFT ON THE HEAD OR BLOCK SURFACES.

Thank you for your time! Mr. Drew


3 Comments

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4118bc43, 2008-01-30, 10:33PM CST

I own a 1999 plymouth neon which is the last year for the 1st gen. and just last week my head gasket went for the second time i have just had it replaced a little over a year ago not to mention the transmission i had replaced , the cross member,the water pump,timing belt and many other things. I agree that the head gasket should have been recalled along with many other things like the weak 3 speed transmissions I would just get rid of the thing but I recently had it painted from gold to black professionally down with ppg civillian black , I bought 17 inch chrome rims with low pros, after market black spoiler, and all new clear chrome lights all the way around the car tail lights, signal pieces, headlights, and third brake light. That annd i commute to College and i need a ride asap. Its a shame that they have so many problems and people like me have to be so inconvinienced by them.

522d89da, 2008-07-10, 04:52PM CDT

I bought my neon in 1997, I had gasket problems back then, when i first got the car, after about 11 months i was searching online to see who had the same problems , I found a few that did .. then miracuously I got a letter in mail from a lawyer who was suing Chrysler under federal law if you take your car back three times to a dealer they have sold you a lemon, young lawyer in his twenties, was finding people who bought those cars 150 bucks and he sued got my trans replaced 100,000 mile warranty gasgets replaced with nondefective ones and 15,ooo dollars he kept 3000 grand.. then when my friend had a problem with hyundai he got him a brand new car free... go for lawyers who sue under federal law with car problems state law will not help you

e1a5c489, 2009-01-22, 02:10PM CST

Might aswell add to the list. We and my GF bought a used plymouth neon for about $7000, I know I got screwed lol. From a used dealership, it only had 33,000KM on it so seemed decent.

Didn't get the extra warranty because it was 1000 for one year which seemed high considering I figured chances of having to do over $1000 of repairs aint going to happen in a year, boy was I wrong.

Tires were messed up, didn't notice till afterwards so we had to replace 2 front wheels. Then about 6 months in or so we notice some lovely oil marks below our car... Cost to get head gasket replaced will cost $1300 with labour and the higher quality replacement part.

Labour expensive here in Canada so thats why its expensive :'(.

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