really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
86,950 miles
Total Complaints:
14 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (7 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
  3. transmission was flushed, radiator was flushed (2 reports)
2002 Dodge Neon transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Dodge Neon Owner Comments

problem #14

May 192014

Neon 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


2nd transmission in 6 years. The radiator lines broke mixing trans and coolant. Only a matter of time before this trans goes. Found out by most shops that Neons and Stratus cars this is a common issue. I spent $1600 on trans axles, timing belt, water pump, controller arms, and I bought new tires and 1 month later this happened. Really? I would think at the very least Dodge would have had a recommendation to replace the radiator at this same time as their timing belt. But No. Now I know why people stay away from Dodge. First and last Dodge I ever buy.

- edee, Hartland, WI, US

problem #13

Aug 112011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Jesus...was a pain. The transmission died at a stop light.

- deatrix, Enfield, CT, US

problem #12

Feb 112014

Neon ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,100 miles

This is the second time I have had this same problem with my 2002 Dodge Neon. The last time this occurred, I had just put 30 miles on after buying the car. I have put 6000 miles on since then. What happens is the transmission coolant piece that goes into the radiator either corrodes or develops a leak some other way and the transmission fluid and the anti-freeze start mixing together. The only warning I had is the warning light for the coolant had just come on. Other than that, it was like I put the car in neutral without taking my foot off the gas. I was stranded for 2 and a half hours in below zero weather with a car that has no heat whatsoever. I was able to move the car a few hundred feet at a time by letting it idle for awhile on the edge of the road, then I would press the gas a little to increase the rpm, and at some point the car would all of a sudden be in drive and away I'd go until the next coasting stop. I haven't fixed the car yet. I am a female so I have been told by one male that I have to junk it for $300 and others have said I'll need to come up with $2000 for a new transmission. If I had $2000, I would not be driving that miserable nightmare in the first place. I will post in this section what I did, and what the cost was as soon as I can work on the car. I have to say I have heard many people say how awesome these little cars from hell are, but personally have not been blessed to own one I could say anything remotely near to awesome about except the color, black.

- Debbie S., Claremont, NH, US

problem #11

Oct 202011

Neon ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


I had put 30 miles on my new, used car, a 2002 Dodge Neon when without warning, I had no gears that would work. I was driving down the road and it was like I shifted into neutral without taking my foot off the gas. That was the only warning I had. After much bitching, and a few threats, the dealership that sold me the car agreed to take it in to repair. They flushed the transmission and allegedly put in a new radiator. However, I don't believe they put in a new radiator, I do know the difference and the tranny fluid was still mixed in the coolant. When questioned, they said they had flushed the whole system 3x and that I would have to do it again in a few months. Huh? So I hope they at least had changed the transmission coolant piece that goes into the radiator because they didn't replace the radiator. This was okay for 6000 miles. My next complaint will continue the nightmare pain in the ass saga.

- Debbie S., Claremont, NH, US

problem #10

Oct 052012

Neon SXT 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 230,012 miles

Hose for transmission fluid that goes thru radiator broke sucking fluid into transmission making transmission fail. have already rebuilt transmission at 60,000 miles. cannot afford to fix again with no guarantees that transmission will work more than one day!

- Mary L R., Conneaut, OH, US

problem #9

Oct 142012

Neon 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

going 70 mph down the interstate when I heard a pick clunk-thought I had hit something in the road!! got to the next exit and before I could get to the end of the ramp the car just stopped DEAD!! had this happened on the interstate we would have been trapped and killed by tractor trailers flying-even if we had gotten out of the car we would not have been safe by any means.was told by the mechanic that this model neon has LOTS of problems with the transmission-PINION BOLT??? not sure-had to wait for tax return to get it fixed

- Vicki K., Staunton, VA, US

problem #8

Sep 142012

Neon ES 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles


How stupid is this set up?! The radiator goes in the car. Not a bad problem to deal with, until I find out that the Transmission fluid goes through the radiator. My antifreeze went into my Tranny and my Tranny fluid went into my engine block and radiator! This is major problem with this car from what my mechanic tells me. He said there should have been a recall for this years ago. Who can afford a repair like this?

- Gary S., Mahanoy City, PA, US

problem #7

Jul 092009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

I had to cash in my entire pension savings from my previous job in order to buy this car. I am a single mother and needed a car in order to get a job and maintain care for my son. There is less then 50,000 miles on my car, I've already had the front and back brakes done twice, the shocks and struts replaced and now the transmission. I personally think Dodge should have to reimburse Neon owners for this problem since it isn't just a one time occurrence

- bgeils, Lodi, NJ, US

problem #6

Dec 202008

Neon SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,550 miles

Well transmission failed just like you guys, and so did a lady at my church, my dodge neon had 55,550 miles on it when it failed and hers was the same year and had 58,000 miles on it and her car had a extened warrenty and $50 deductable is what she payed, mine is still setting, i should make dodge pay for it because it was there product,but have not heard anything about any recall , well there should have been, if i ever buy another new car it will be a nissan, dodge neons with this weekass transmission a604's are junk, they should have stayed with the 3 speed like my mom and dads 2000 neon it have almose 160,000 miles and no trans problems,

- Kevin S., Olympia, KY, US

problem #5

Jun 082009

Neon SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,700 miles

it was interesting to see that the majority of complaints about this make/model has been over the transmission. it was hard to believe that my transmission could croak so very suddenly and without any true warning. reading through others comments i'm now sure it was the pinion bolt breaking loose? whatever that may be, but from the strange noises the car suddenly started making that has to be my culprit as well. what a piece! no way i can spend that much but thanks for the input. i can't believe others have two and three new tranny's in theirs..:(

- Nikki F., Hardy, AR, US

problem #4

Apr 282009

Neon ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


The transmission specialty place did not even look at my car for a week and a half. Supposedly it will cost 1700, but now told today they have to replace my radiator which means probably another 400 dollars or so (my guess). They have basically kept me in the dark. I am wondering what it should cost for all this and if they are cheating me (which I know they probably are and aren't - they'll fix the problem but overcharge me).

- Melvin R., Fairmont, WV, US

problem #3

Dec 212006

(reported on)

Neon ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,900 miles

Problem: Pinion bolt broke on the inside of the transmission and fell down inside. At this point, it starts to ruin the inside of the transmission and will eventually cause your car to stop. Period. The mechanic I talked to told me that the reason it fell down is that there was nothing there to support the bolt into place if it ever happened to break. On the 2006 model transmission I received, there is a new safety feature (a metal plate on each side of the bolt) which will eliminate this hazard in the future.

This is a serious manufacturers defect, that I found out about after the fact. Yet, there is no recall out there and it generally happens shortly after the warranty runs out. If you're driving along and you hear a whining noise, or are parked and have your hood up and hear a "ticking/clinking" sound, get it checked out as soon as possible before you're stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere without any help.

The total cost of this is about $2096 to fix, if you're not being ripped off. This included an $80 tow charge, labor and parts.

- Jeb L., Appleton, WI, US

problem #2

Oct 082004

Neon SXT 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

Transmission totally failed a 2nd time; Once again back to the dealer for more head scratchin'...

- David P., Muskego, WI, US

problem #1

Aug 102008

Neon SXT 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

How lucky I am...3 transmissions since 2004. I just have to laugh this off because there is nothing else I can do except let Dodge corporate give it to me up the tail pipe:(

- David P., Muskego, WI, US

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