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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I don't buy everything CR has to say. It's a good guide but the Cavalier is a decent car at a decent price. It's not best in class, but you won't go wrong either.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I had a 1996 Cavalier and had alot of problems with it. A few friends of mine had Cavaliers too, and they had trouble. My best friend had a 1996 and the engine blew at 100,500 miles (just outside the warranty on the head gasket). They are nice cars, but not as reliable as a comparably priced import car would be.
  • Doh! I will readily admit that I am pretty weak when it comes to car knowledge, but I actually did know it was a Chevrolet. I'm not quite sure where Ford came in... The main cars that I have been looking at are the Accord and Civic, the Corolla, the Sentra, and possibly the Prelude or Altima. The only reason that I even considered the Cavalier is because $4000 seemed awefully cheap for a '96, and it was in great shape. The problem with all of the cars that I listed is that no one seems to want to get rid of them until they actually start to break down. And on the other hand, if I do find one from the mid to early nineties, the used value is still quite high, thanks to the quality of the car. My best bet so far is (This is completely off-topic from the Cavalier, so I apoligize) a '91 Corolla with less than 60k miles, in absolutely perfect condition, for $3500. We spent over an hour inspecting the car, and although I'm not by any means an expert, I couldn't find a single problem with it. Anyway, thanks for the help and I apoligize for the Ford/Chevrolet mix up. ;)
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    I was doing my usual "where are the cheap cars this week" searches on eBay, Yahoo, Excite, and Auto Trader classifieds today and found many 1995-1996 Cavaliers for $2995 to $3995 all across the USA. Most of these were at dealers so price is negotiable (They set their prices as high as they can) and had anywhere from 80K-130K. Of course there are cheaper ones but they were either wrecked or needed major work (i.e. head gasket repairs after 100K once the warranty expires). $4000 would be a good deal if the car had 60K or 70K though. Does the car have all its maintenance records? Looking at those can tell a lot. It's another reason I like taxis and fleet cars because the records areusually available. That and $4000 for 1998 Crown Victorias and $1500 for 1996 Tauruses. I don't care if they have 150K or 250K, they run and drive and with the money I save on the purchase I can afford a transmission or two.

    I don't think $3500 for a 1991 Corolla is a good deal no matter the miles or condition. It is a ten year old car in a few months and they feel old. The Corolla was redesignedin 1993 and that model is much more refined. $3500 can buy a 1993 or 1994 model, still in nice condition.

    $4000 is a good amount of money to spend on a car. It will also buy a larger car like an Accord, Camry, Corsica, Contour or anything else compact or even midsize. Heck, you could always get a 1998 Ford Crown Vic NYC taxi if you don't mind yellow.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    You can get a 1998 Chevrolet/Geo Metro for the $4000 price limit. They are nice little cars too, so you might want to check into it.
  • I greatly appriciate all of the advice I've been getting in the forums... Having someone to talk to who knows their stuff and *isn't* trying to sell you a car is great. This will certainly help me to make my decision. Thanks!
  • msomso Posts: 1
    my fiance has a '93 chevy cavalier RS convertible with a 4 cylinder, AC, and a 5 speed. the head gasket just failed and i would like to replace the motor (which has high miles anyway) with a gm goodwrench 3.1/6. can anyone tell me if that motor will fit my tranny and what else will be necessary (computer, brackets, FI, ignition) et cetera. any help appreciated.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I don't think so and the car's suspension/ tires are probably not able to handle a v6.
  • The 3.1L-V6 was offered in all models of the Cavalier. The 3.1L-V6 was offered with the exact same 5-speed in your convertible. So the engine will bolt to the transmission. You will have to get a lot of parts to do the conversion. You need the computer from a same year 3.1 engine, you need the motor mounts from a 3.1 equipped Cavalier, and the radiator and hoses from a 3.1 equpiped Cavalier. Ifyou're buying the engine new you will also need all the accessories like a starter, alternator, water pump, intake manifold, exhaust manifolds, Y-pipe, catalytic converter, fuel injection parts, airbox, electric fan, and all the assorted brackets. A better idea would be to find a used 3.1L-V6 at a scrapyard with all the accessories and bolt that into your car. If you're dying for a new engine, buy the new one and a non-running used one. Make sure it has all those parts and don't forget the exhaust. Because the GM Goodwrench engine is a basic short block and very few of the parts from the 2.2 engine will fit. I know for a fact the starter will not but the alternator may work. The brackets will not.
  • by the way, it would be MUCH cheaper to fix and sell the 2.2 convertible and buy one that already has the V6.

    dindak...the suspension on the Cavalier convertibles are identical from four to V6. The only difference is if the car is ordered with the F41 suspension. The transmission, clutch, and axles are also the same. Tires are tires. If you buy cheap tires they will suck whether you keep the four or drop in a Northstar V8 and a THM440 automatic. Whcih of course would cost a fortune and you would have to cut your engine compartment all up to make it fit.
  • Folks, I have to share with you my wonderful experience with our '97 Chevy Cavalier LS. Purchased new in the Fall of '97, my wife and I wanted a commutable sedan that would lend itself to hauling around our then only daughter an be able to handle grocery and mall shopping capacity tasks. Did I mention that I drive 82 miles roundtrip a day and my wife drives 110 miles roundtrip a day? Since I work steady midnights (11p-7a) shifts and my wife works normal 9-5 hours, we share the cavalier for commuting. So this car during a five day period commuting alone goes 960 miles. We now have 122,000 problem free miles on our cavalier. We are so impressed with this car, we are now in the process buying a second 2001 Cavalier we will keep the '97 Cavalier as a primary driver. Both cars are LS sedans, except we are ordering the 2.4L engine in our new cavalier. For no specific purpose other than we wanted to have the larger HP rating. The 2.2L was described as "Venerable" when we bought our '97 and it certainly has been for us. What a great engine. I hope to report hope same on the 2.4L. By the way, the $2,500 rebate on the Cavalier was the incentive we needed to buy right now, otherwise we we just rely on our trusty '97 for the commute duties. I wish our '89 Toyota was as reliable as our '97 Cavalier has been.
  • I like high mileage cars...after you hit 250K email me...if it still runs I'll drive it for courier work and I'm putting about 1200-1500 miles a week on the 1995 Aspire I have now. No dealer will give you good money and many people are scared of high miles. I had a 1989 Escort once with 351K...I am NOT scared of high miles. The Cavalier can be a good car (I have seen them with over 300K) and the seat folds down and that makes it OK for my kind of work. Good luck keeping the odometer spinning!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The 2.4L should be a lot more fun to drive. We have a 99 with the 2.2L, but I find the power to be lacking a bit. It might be because I usually drive our V6 Intrigue, but if I bought another Cavalier I would go 2.4L for sure.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Good luck with your 2.4,keep us informed on how you like it.
  • Hi
    I bought a new 2001 Black Z24. It has the clearcoat paintjob and is black.
    When looking at the car in sunlight or at an angle, there are what seems hundreds of fine scratches in the clearcoat. Again, its mostly noticable in bright sunlight. The dealer says that its normal and is more pronounced on a black car than on other colors.
    My friend has a new Monte Carlo, black, but doesnt have the same scratches. I undestand that the Cavalier is no comparison to the Monte, but its upsetting.
    Does anyone else have these fine scratches on there Cavalier ?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The paint used on the Cavalier is not quite the same quality as on the Monte Carlo. That being said, we have a black 99 sedan and it seems fine. I do take it through car washed (touchless and softcloth).

    Have you waxed?
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Those fine scratches or "swirls" are caused by the buffing of the paint job. From what you are saying it appears that the dealership did not do a complete wax job before delivery. But fear not, go to any autoparts store and buy yourself Maguires swirl and scratch remover and a bottle of Maguires wax. Follow the instructions for both and your car will look better than when it was delivered. Swirl marks are indeed normal to a paint job especially for dark colored cars. I have a navy blue malibu and the swirls are not even noticeable since I use Maguires wax.

    Good luck!
  • I have to say, my cavalier has been the best car.
    Very dependable and cheap. I bought my 94 Cavalier in 96 with 29,000 on it. Got it for 6,500. Cheap. I know have 150,000 on it with no problems. I drive 140 miles round trip everyday. It has never failed me. I have no doubts in this car starting for me everytime I turn the key.

    I do regular maintenance, oil change every 3,500 miles. I had to change the normal things too, like struts, shocks, alternator, radiator, battery. The 2.2 is a great engine. I have a friend who keeps waiting for the car to die. I don't think it will for a while. I know I can get atleast 200K on it.

    NEVER PUT BOSCH PLATINUM PLUGS IN IT. I had problems with it missing with both sets of replacement plugs. I put AC back it. Not a problems since.

    When that happens, I will probably get another 2 year old Cavalier. I Get a GM discount, but the resale value on these cars are not the best. I can get them alot cheaper a couple years old.

    Keep 'em for the long haul.
  • Hi all! I am new to this forum and this is my first post. but i have been reading the other posts since a couple of weeks and are they helpful or what!! i have a 99 chevy cavalier.
    4-dr Sedan automatic with the 2.4L engine. i bought it a couple of months ago with 27000 miles on it. since 3 weeks or ago or so i am hearing a strange knocking noise under the hood it occurs when i go at low speeds on uneven roads or soemtimes when making sharp turns. i am sure something is loose down there which makes that sound when it gets shaken in some particular way since the sound is not there always. i took it
    to the dealer since its still under warranty but he couldn't find anything. A friend of mine says that sometime the engine becomes loose on its mounts or something like that(he owns a metro prism). i am not sure whether that might be the problem or not. Have any of you heard of a similar problem. please help me out with this one. that noise is driving me nuts. thanks
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Mine did that too. Have them check the front struts. When mine did it, they checked the struts but for some strange reason couldn't find it the first time and said there was loose change in the glovebox and that I should just drive the car and enjoy it. After speaking with my attorney and when the technician who said that was terminated right on the spot, then they looked at the problem more seriously. It was a broken front strut. They replaced it at 40,000 miles free of charge.
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