Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,535 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Dodge Neon engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Neon Owner Comments

problem #12

Apr 142011

Neon 4-cyl

  • 111,000 miles


I got my oil changed, tires rotated, and windshield wipers replaced on April 13 2011 around 6:30pm. My oil change took approximately 15 min. After the oil change and tire rotation, I paid and went straight home. I was not informed by anyone at valvoline that anything was wrong with my car. I got in my car around 7:40am on April 14th and headed towards my insurance company on asheville highway. As I entered onto business 85, my car started to smoke from under the hood and I could feel heat on my feet near the gas pedal and brake. As I tried to brake and slow the car down, something under the hood caught fire and the brakes failed to stop the car and the car ended up sliding into the back of a pick up truck and the hood and front end of the car completely burst into flames. The brakes on the car were replaced supposed have been replaced by the dealer before I purchased the car in December of 2010. Because of the incident, I sprain my wrist, dislocated my toe, and am without a vehicle.

- Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #11

Dec 242006


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Neon. She has had several failures within the transmission, engine and seat belts. The manufacturer was called, but the representatives refused to discuss the failures.the failure mileage was 87,000.

- West Haven, CT, USA

problem #10

Feb 012008


  • 41,951 miles
Rapping sound was heard from 2002 Dodge Neon engine upon cold start which would stop after about 30 seconds. First dealer we took car to said it was carbon buildup; I knew it was more than that and brought it another dealer who at first denied they heard the sound at startup. I told them to keep the car and try another cold start - ended up that third cylinder piston was cracked and fourth cylinder was scored and they replaced the short block. Lucky for me, I was under warranty and the cost was $100 for the deductible. Car had just under 42,000 miles on it and has been maintained properly - oil changes every 3,000 miles, and is driven in a moderate manner (not beat on).

- East Hartford, CT, USA

problem #9

Aug 152008


  • miles


2002 Neon developed a tapping noise at cold start; the noise continues until the car is warmed up. No warning lights to indicate a problem. Car was taken to dealer for diagnosis; owner told it is a rod or wrist pin, best to replace the engine for 4,600. This car only has 44,000 miles on it and has been properly maintained.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #8

Feb 072007

Neon 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
Vehicle would not shift into drive, upon having the vehicle towed to the garage we were informed, it had a sizable hole in the transmission and they also found an oil leak. Total repair cost exceeded $600. This vehicle is a 2002 Dodge Neon and we are the original owners. The vehicle has always received proper care as far as oil changes, tires, spark plugs etc. The vehicle has not even reached 60,000 miles yet, and we're encountering such problems. In addition, the technician informed us, there are a number of small leaks, but it would be very, very costly to repair each leak, thus they only fixed what was causing the transmission to slip and the oil leak, which was also substantial.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #7

Jun 012004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,272 miles
June 1, 2004. On my way home from work the car started idling real rough and I didn't really think anything of it. I would stop at a stop light and it would idle real rough. Finally the oil light flashed on and the car died. Called for a tow truck and they took it to a dealership where they could not find anything wrong with it. A month later on July 2 the car started idling real rough. I didn't even bother driving it out on the street cause I knew it would break down on me again. I shut it off and started it again about four times and each time it would idle real rough. Got it towed to the dealership again where I was told all they could find it needed was a tune up. I got the tune up done to it and ever since then it has a hard time going past 60 mph.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #6

Jun 042004

Neon 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


Driving down I95, oil and engine light went on. Immediately pulled into rest stop <1 mile away. Car died on ramp. Last oil change 23,000 miles, car has 30,000 miles. Realize late for change, but deal says engine needs to be replaced will not cover under warranty. States that failure to have dealer do maintainan invalid warranty. States that problem caused by neglect. 7000 miles since last change, while late should not blow engine. No assistance offered by dealer.

- Gloucester, NJ, USA

problem #5

Feb 202002

Neon 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The car shakes when you come to a stop, and continues to until you begin to accelerate once again. I have have the battery go dead twice since I have had it. It has only been serviced at a dealership. The last time I took it they said that it had the wrong spark plugs in it. Why didn't they find this sooner. The car acclerates better now on take off, but it still shakes alot when you come to a stop. It still continues to shake while your still sitting there. This has started to happen about a month after I received the car.

- Okeechobee, FL, USA

problem #4

Oct 072003

(reported on)


  • miles
Vehicle stalls while driving at highway speeds. Dealer cannot determine the cause of the problem.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #3

Jun 162003

Neon 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
I have a Dodge Neon 2002 with 10,000. Miles on it. Recently my car idles now between 4-500 RPM. Driving my car; came to a stop light my car stalled. Now sitting at red lights/ stop signs the RPM's dropall the way to 300 RPM car starts to act like it is going to stall. Took it to the dealership and said nothing is wrong with it. One the tech's who took the car for a road test said there is something wrong with the computer. The car is deciding on its own for the RPM's to drop but does not show up on the computer analyses. The dealership said they are waiting for a "flash upgrade to be installed"; also the cd player in the car heats up the cd's burned my hand when I tried to take it ou. On 7-9-03 they gave me a loaner and on 7-12-03 they took it back. They said the only reason they gave me the loaner is because I was upset. They replaced the cd player but the problem with the car stalling is still not fixed. On 7-13-03 car stalled at a stop sign. Almost got rear ended. This is going to cause an accident. You need to get involved because the dealership is not doing anything and someone is going to get hurt'.

- North East, PA, USA

problem #2

Apr 302003

Neon 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,200 miles
Noticed car was leaking oil; checked oil level and oil wasn't even registering on the oil dipstick. Required two (2) quarts of oil to fill to proper level. It appears as though the oil is finding its way into the coolant system and being expelled from the coolant overflow (expansion) tank. Almost two weeks later the vehicle required another quart and was losing oil and coolant at an alarming rate (pouring out of the vehicle). Dealer has insisted problem doesn't exist and has accused me of putting oil into coolant overflow tank. This is a blatant lie on their part to avoid warranty liability. He insist that there is no way for oil to find its way back into the coolant system. I have researched this statement and it is utterly false (either the head gasket or the water jacket could be responsible, among other things). They refuse to acknowledge the problem or fix it instead insisting that the car is operating according to factory specification and that it is safe to drive. My understanding is that this could result in an engine fire if the engine overheats, engine seizure, etc., any one of which could result in the loss of life, mine or my family.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #1

Jun 252002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states the vehicle stalled while driving, the vehicle was towed to the dealership and consumer was informed that the engine had locked up, during inspection of the vehicle, it was pointed out to the consumer that the air intake port lays under the vehicle parallel to the wheel and is easily accessible to water coming off the road and being displaced by the moving tire, consumer argued that it should be considered a manufacturing defect since it seemed to be in the wrong location, the dealer stated it was not a manufacturing defect and that the vehicle should not have been driven in high water, however consumer disagrees and states that yes it was raining, but the water was not that high, the dealer replaced the engine block.

- Palm Harbor, FL, USA

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