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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I was just wondering if purchasing one of these is worth the time? I am a college student looking at getting an 05 with 116k miles on it. Will I have to put a lot of time into this car stock only? Its 8 grand for the car and I want a reliable car with some power that I can mod in the future. So just curious what y’all think.
 

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the srt4 was my first car and its been a year and a half and i drive it almost everyday since it is my daily driver, i got it at 176k miles and it has almost 194k right now and the only problem i have had is overheating which was my fault since i decided to have the radiator cap slightly open :|, i got mine with some simple bolts on but working on the car so far has been fun and easy, and since the car is stock you will definitely learn even more lol but it all depends on you tbh do you fall in love with materialistic things? and the car has a good aftermarket so yea you could mod it in the future, the only con i don't like about the car is gas, if i step on the throttle a lot i get 18 mpg and if i drive like a normal human being i get 21 mpg and i have to refill it almost every 4 days since my commute is 41 miles round trip, i believe the car can last for a good amount of years with a rebuild kit as well and you probably wont need to get another car if you decide not to go overboard, but if the car hasnt been worked on you might need to do water pump, and timing belt change, i did it to a regular neon and it wasnt that hard tbh just the 4th engine mount was a pita but i dont know if there is a huge difference between the 2.0l and 2.4l but like i said it depends on you and how good the car has been maintained before. and maybe try bargaining the price? it is low mileage but idk i feel like 8k is a lot but thats me
 

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Reliable is a relative term in just about any 15+ year old car, as in, relative to who owned it, relative to what modifications have been done to it, relative to how it was driven.

Even though there are a lot of people that replace their cars within the 3 to 6 year mark, manufacturers generally try to push their cars to average about 10 years, and at the 15 year mark (following end of production) is when you'll notice you don't see a particular car around anymore.

For vehicles that sold in the millions, you'll obviously still see them, camries, accords, full size pickups, tacomas in that group. In the last couple of years, Neons have just up and vanished, following that 15 year trend, especially considering that the base Neon, like most compact cars, was NOT built to last.

So, if this is going to be your daily driver, your only car, and you need to have it running all the time in order to get to work, school, family, whatever, I would say you should NOT buy an SRT4.

If you can afford to have some downtime with the car while you work on issues, either because you have a second car, or friends/family that don't mind giving you a ride, or you just take the bus or walk, then an SRT4 would likely be okay.

Doesn't matter if it's an SRT4, WRX, Mustang, M3, CLK, 350Z, as my father once said, ANY performance model is going to be down for repair and cost you more money at any given time, you just have to accept it. In some situations, it's not something that someone should go for. So it just depends on the factors I listed above.
 

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Reliable is a relative term in just about any 15+ year old car, as in, relative to who owned it, relative to what modifications have been done to it, relative to how it was driven.

Even though there are a lot of people that replace their cars within the 3 to 6 year mark, manufacturers generally try to push their cars to average about 10 years, and at the 15 year mark (following end of production) is when you'll notice you don't see a particular car around anymore.

For vehicles that sold in the millions, you'll obviously still see them, camries, accords, full size pickups, tacomas in that group. In the last couple of years, Neons have just up and vanished, following that 15 year trend, especially considering that the base Neon, like most compact cars, was NOT built to last.

So, if this is going to be your daily driver, your only car, and you need to have it running all the time in order to get to work, school, family, whatever, I would say you should NOT buy an SRT4.

If you can afford to have some downtime with the car while you work on issues, either because you have a second car, or friends/family that don't mind giving you a ride, or you just take the bus or walk, then an SRT4 would likely be okay.

Doesn't matter if it's an SRT4, WRX, Mustang, M3, CLK, 350Z, as my father once said, ANY performance model is going to be down for repair and cost you more money at any given time, you just have to accept it. In some situations, it's not something that someone should go for. So it just depends on the factors I listed above.
Well said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Reliable is a relative term in just about any 15+ year old car, as in, relative to who owned it, relative to what modifications have been done to it, relative to how it was driven.

Even though there are a lot of people that replace their cars within the 3 to 6 year mark, manufacturers generally try to push their cars to average about 10 years, and at the 15 year mark (following end of production) is when you'll notice you don't see a particular car around anymore.

For vehicles that sold in the millions, you'll obviously still see them, camries, accords, full size pickups, tacomas in that group. In the last couple of years, Neons have just up and vanished, following that 15 year trend, especially considering that the base Neon, like most compact cars, was NOT built to last.

So, if this is going to be your daily driver, your only car, and you need to have it running all the time in order to get to work, school, family, whatever, I would say you should NOT buy an SRT4.

If you can afford to have some downtime with the car while you work on issues, either because you have a second car, or friends/family that don't mind giving you a ride, or you just take the bus or walk, then an SRT4 would likely be okay.

Doesn't matter if it's an SRT4, WRX, Mustang, M3, CLK, 350Z, as my father once said, ANY performance model is going to be down for repair and cost you more money at any given time, you just have to accept it. In some situations, it's not something that someone should go for. So it just depends on the factors I listed above.
Very thought out I really appreciate your answer. I do have a second car but was planning on selling after the neon. I might just keep both like you said since the neon would cost me time and money with problems. Thank you!
 

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transmission parts are hard to come by... and keep it around 400-450hp.. it will be one of the best cars you ever own
 

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You better have access to a second car. The transmission is the x factor. Make sure it shifts well before purchase. I think at this point most of the available parts for the transmission are going to be used and are possibly in a beat up condition.
 

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Really? After 16 years? We're still going to bang on about this?

It's a Neon. Accept it, and life will be happier.

Stock parts are getting harder and harder to find, as a lot of the SRT-4 specific stuff is discontinued. Struts, springs, air filter(s), trim pieces, etc.

I would not recommend to anyone to have an SRT-4 as an only car. Have a backup / second reliable DD. Regardless of how reliable and how well-kept your '4 is, it will be down for an extended period while you source a part when something does break. And you'll only make it worse by driving it while broken. And then you'll hate it because it's broken. Then you'll sell it, and be mad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Really? After 16 years? We're still going to bang on about this?

It's a Neon. Accept it, and life will be happier.

Stock parts are getting harder and harder to find, as a lot of the SRT-4 specific stuff is discontinued. Struts, springs, air filter(s), trim pieces, etc.

I would not recommend to anyone to have an SRT-4 as an only car. Have a backup / second reliable DD. Regardless of how reliable and how well-kept your '4 is, it will be down for an extended period while you source a part when something does break. And you'll only make it worse by driving it while broken. And then you'll hate it because it's broken. Then you'll sell it, and be mad.
what car would you recommend getting then? the market isn’t great right… im looking for a decently fast car (or one that i can mod myself), manual transmission, reliable and seats 4. basically something fun to drive. what do you think?
 

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what car would you recommend getting then? the market isn’t great right… im looking for a decently fast car (or one that i can mod myself), manual transmission, reliable and seats 4. basically something fun to drive. what do you think?
Reliable isn't the first word I'd choose to describe a Neon. Alternatively, I would use the words/phrases - 'cheap' & 'easy to work on'. If you want reliability, choose a 10 year old Toyota. Don't go for the 20 year old economy American sports car.
 

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Here's the thing, if you are reasonably decent with a wrench, and (here's the kicker) you get an SRT4 that was taken care of by the previous owner(s), you will likely have reasonably decent luck, but you will still want that 2nd car. It is really hard to find a well taken care of SRT4 at this point though.
 

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what car would you recommend getting then? the market isn’t great right… im looking for a decently fast car (or one that i can mod myself), manual transmission, reliable and seats 4. basically something fun to drive. what do you think?
I'd definitely hold off until the market cools a bit. Beater SRT-4s going for 6-10k aren't worth it, except to the seller. It boils down to cheap, fast, reliable: pick two. There isn't anything else on the market, frankly, that does what the SRT-4 does, at the price point it does, since it came out. It's still your best option, because everything I would recommend (especially with 4-seats) is either newer, more expensive, a shit-show with regards to cost or complexity with regards to maintenance... or all three.

Here's the thing, if you are reasonably decent with a wrench, and (here's the kicker) you get an SRT4 that was taken care of by the previous owner(s), you will likely have reasonably decent luck, but you will still want that 2nd car. It is really hard to find a well taken care of SRT4 at this point though.
Pretty much this. You're looking for the needle-in-the-haystack. Craigslist and FB Marketplace SRT-4s are not going to be what you're looking for.

Start leaving business cards with a note and your phone number on every clean SRT-4 you find. Chances of finding a single-owner, near-stock car at this point are better that way, since I'll bet that kind of owner isn't on the forums. Everyone I know who's found the unicorn (original owner, stock car, good condition) in the last 5 years has used that approach, and sure enough - none of those cars owners were on the forums or actually had an active listing.

Also, find someone who knows a dealer with auction access. That's another way of finding the "unicorn" before it hits a lot or flipped for $$$$.
 

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^^^
Yup....in my search/hunt, I've only found or run across 1 one owner car. And I regretfully didn't end up buying it. It was in perfect shape, but the price was kinda high & it wasn't the ideal time to be buying it (we just had another baby).

The rest have had multiple owners and are/were beat to all hell, and they're all generally overpriced.
 

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^^^
Yup....in my search/hunt, I've only found or run across 1 one owner car. And I regretfully didn't end up buying it. It was in perfect shape, but the price was kinda high & it wasn't the ideal time to be buying it (we just had another baby).

The rest have had multiple owners and are/were beat to all hell, and they're all generally overpriced.
Despite being the 3rd owner of my car, it was for all intents and purposes a 1 owner local car. The guy I got it from barely drove it in the 2/3 of a year that he owned it, and did nothing besides an oil and trans fluid change since getting it from the original owner. 28,000 km rolling around on the original KDW2's when I picked it up 6 years ago, and so far she hasn't let me down or stranded besides popping a cam shaft sensor or two, and the original fuel pump taking a dump.
 

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‘04 here, 11 years of ownership, 149,240 miles, original motor and transmission, solid 170 compression, sounds and drives amazing. I drive it and treat with love and respect. It is not my DD I have another car for that.
 
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