Is the 2000 Dodge Neon a junker?

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Dennis Blewett
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Is the 2000 Dodge Neon a junker?

Post by Dennis Blewett » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:47 am

Hello, all.

I've got a 2000 Dodge Neon that has about 145,000 miles on it. At the moment, it needs to have the radiator, water pump, and timing belt changed. I don't know what other changes it may need. In general, it has been an all-around the year kind of vehicle. It has some rust damage on the rear of the vehicle. It's not a vehicle that I have modified in the sense of tricking it out.

However, as of late, I've considered that it may be better to sell off the vehicle rather than put money into the vehicle and fix it up. At the moment, I believe I have enough technical knowledge to go about fixing up the vehicle. However, I don't know if and when something else will break down.

I'm thinking that it may be a keeper, however, due to the location I am at. The Belvidere, Illinois Chrysler assembly plant is the place that last 2nd generation Dodge Neons came off the line, for what I understand. And I'm about 12 or so miles from that location. This generates belief in me that there should be an abundant number of Neons around the area, thus increase the ability to find parts, replacements, and potentially modifications. Am I right on that assumption?

What are some good ways of determining whether or not it's time to get rid of the 2000 Dodge Neon?

I don't think the vehicle sells for more than $1400 USD. I'm reading stuff on this forum that's making me think the car sells for about $1000 USD. Due to the age of the vehicle, mileage, and need for repairs, I'm thinking that junking the vehicle might be a better choice rather than making the vehicle a money pit. From what I've read on the forum, it appears that neons are starting to become a money pit.

I was on Craigslist and found a local 2000 Dodge Neon selling for $800 USD. It was previously priced at $1000. I'm assuming that the selling price is not doing well.

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Post by wickedgood4684 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:39 am

It really depends on you. Cost of repair vs. how your situation is to acquire a new(used) car.

In my opinion rust is the biggest fear factor when it comes to neons. The more rust the lower the value as rust repair for a neon of this age for the average driver is not worth it. The neon you posted has significant rocker panel rust, so to me that car is not even worth $800.

Really, again, it comes down to you and your perceived value of your car. $200 - $300 in parts to repair the car yourself can go a long way to keeping the car on the road for a few more years. That could buy you time to save and search for a new car to replace the neon you have....may even lead to a newer neon is much better condition ;)
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Post by Neon4Life » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:20 am

It all comes down to if you know how to fix the car or not. The are easy to work on. And the reason neons can be found cheap is because people don't fix them. To me it's worth it to fix a neon but others it's not. I have a 96 neon that's in better condition than most neons or newer Cars today. Because I've maintained it and to me it's worth putting money into it to keep it running good. Plus I like getting awesome gas mileage with it.
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Post by occasional demons » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:35 am

Another deciding factor, would be to check the crossmember under the engine. They tend to rot out.

If it is in bad shape, along with doing the past due engine maintenance, the costs may exceed the value. You can find decent used ones for $125, but you are also getting into replacing the LCA bushings while it is out, etc. Plus you would need a couple days to R & R it and do the bushings, if working in your driveway.

If the underside is solid, then it may be worth putting money into for the above mentioned reasons. Having cash put back for a down payment always helps with monthly payments if not leasing. Or as a back up fund to make payments if those circumstances arise...
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