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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • Is the 1981 era 2.2 pushrod motor really dying? I know the 03 Sunfire is EcoTec standard, but what about the Cavy? If so, it was a mercy killing!

    Also, when will we get the "Delta platform" based Chevy/Pontiacs?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I read that both cars will get the Ecotec standard next year. The old 2.2L is dead.

    No word on a new car, but the Sunfire upgrade list was impressive. I think it's a stop gap until they have a new car in 2 years.
  • I recently replaced my two remotes for my 97 Sunfire. I scoured the net looking for instructions to program them with no luck. So I paid the dealer. Here's how they did it. I expect this will also relate to the 97 Cavaliers.

    Both remotes must be programmed at the same time. It is possible to program just 1 remote but a second cannot be added later.
    A 2 remote maximum for each vehicle.
    In the trunk over the rear drivers side wheel well is the receiver.
    It has a 2 pin connector wired to it.

    1) With a small screw driver or paper clip ground/short these pins together and keep them connected during programming.
    Once grounded, the power locks will cycle lock-unlock. This indicates that the system is in ‘program mode’.

    2)On the first remote hold down both the lock and unlock buttons for 15 seconds until the locks cycle lock/unlock. This remote is done.

    3)Repeat step #2 for 2nd remote.

    4) Remove the screwdriver or paper clip from the 2 pin connector.

    5)Test the remotes (be sure not to lock them in the trunk when done).

    Hope this helps!
  • It can pay to back-up "keyless entry devices" with several cheap (Wal-Mart, etc.) keys. I always carry such a spare in my wallet and it has come in handy often!
  • I've read through alot of these posts and have found a really interesting common thread. Most people who say the Cavalier is crap bought a used one.... I own a 96 2.2L Coupe, 4 speed auto from day one. I drive it hard, and I treat it right. If something is leaking I fix it. I don't consider a valve cover gasket leak a defect. I mean it's a piece of rubber. That's like saying in 30 years the faucets in your house are never going to leak.
    I don't particulary care much about all these whiny people saying buy a Honda/Toyota. I like use to like Toyotas, now they are just getting cheap. A Honda is going to last you just as long as a Chevy. My girlfriends 91 Honda Accord LX with 70k on it burns oil and runs rough. And it was USED. My 96 Cavalier with 75k on it runs a little rough and doesn't burn any oil. A car will last you as long as you take care of it. And I don't know where all these 200k mile Hondas are. They don't exsit in North Carolina. You see lots of 94+ Hondas, a few early ones. But you see tons of late 80's Chevys (Cavalier's and Beretta's). People seem to think a used car is a great buy, why? Cause it's cheap? Cause you run the risk of buying something someone else has severly neglected? Cause it has a good chance of turning into a nightmare?
    I'm not going to call the Cavalier a great car. But I can say I love mine. Even if it goes up in a ball of fire and smoke, I'd still love it. And what is this about being loud? (Well I guess the modified air intake on mine isn't helping any) I love the way it sounds (wish it sounded more like the old Beretta's). It has it's fair share of problems. My favorite the intermitent power loss/skipping. It's like it is loosing a fuel injector or something. It has low power somedays and occasionaly it studders and skips real bad. If anyone knows what that is let me know. And the dash rattle, you could try removing the central air vent, and tightening down the two screws there, it might help.


    BTW, I know the EGR, IAC, and most simple things are not wrong with the engine. It is something more complex, or a system of complex stuff. My feeling is the problem stems from a poor fuel pump or a bad computer (have had the abs/trac system disable it's self 3 times)
  • klohiqklohiq Posts: 1
    I think your problem lies in the spark plug wires and possibly the spark plugs themselves. I had the same problem (if I get what you mean) on my Cavalier. I have a 98 Cavalier 5-speed with almost 200k miles on it. Before replacing these wires and plugs I had never replaced them since I got the car; how's that for reliability? I love the car and hope to give it a body kit and some performance mods soon.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    expect to be attacked for even mentioning perfomance mods and body kits!!!!
    The problem with this board is that too many people want to post misinformation about these cars because they think their own choices are superior to yours.
    The only remaining part of the 81 Cavalier is the COWL as has been reported in a previous post. The Cavalier became based on the N platform in 94, The same base as the Skylark, Grand Am etc.I have seen this same ignorant claim several times on this board.The last 81 based Cavalier was the 88 to 94 version.
    BTW,comparing a Golf to a Cavalier is laughable. No one in their right mind shops both those vehicles. By the time you'd add CD,air,
    ABS auto etc. the VW is in the 18-20,000 range.With the exception of the automatic all the items mentioned are standard on the Cavalier and would be 3 to 5000 less and more with the 2002 rebate.Why not compare to the Mercedes Hatch, then? Why even post such an absurd comparison???
    Klohiq, enjoy your Cavalier. Have you checked Canuk's Cavalier Club on Yahoo??? Very enthusiastic [and informed ] members.
    Bcsizemo: I'm with you.Unlike many detractors, I actually OWN a Cavalier, a 99 2.2 with the 4 speed auto. Great mileage, with 27,000 miles, the engine keeps getting smoother and has a pleasant sound. Hitting the on ramp I'm already up to speed by the time I hit the lane, so power is not a concern.May trade for the 4door 4speed auto. w/EcoTech.Haven't had any problems , no rubber timing belt to change at $200 to $300, plus replacement of the water pump ["just in case,while we're in there"]at 60,000 miles.An honest vehicle. I like the fact that the 95 looks pretty much like the 2002 also. It's a good design and has worn well. Not something you can say about a lot of GM's newer designs.
    Accident investigators claim the insurance institute test "results" are meaningless. These are the true experts as they study actual accidents. What you get in a laboratory situation will never be recreated on the road in a million years as each incident has it's own dynamics, so to shriek "death trap" and "the crash ratings say" only marks one as being unable to absorb data with anything close to critical thought.
    There's nothing wrong with these cars.Their purpose has been consistent all these years: a lot of value for a fair price.And with additional rebates??? That's some sort of indicator that they're unsalable??? What sort of logic is THAT??? ALL of the automakers are doing rebates!I can go out today and get a Mitsubishi with no down,no payments for a year. Using the same lack of logic that I have been exposed to here, that would mean Mitsubishi makes a POS????????
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    They said in their April auto issue that the Cavalier's reliablility has improved to average. Figures, GM just gets the car right and it's going to change platforms in about a year! :)
  • rbb2rbb2 Posts: 70
    I picked up a 2002 LS sedan with the Ecotech engine. It's silver with chrome wheels. It stickered at $17,875. After the rebate, GM discount and $500 dealer incentive they passed on to me I got over $4100 off sticker plus I got the 5.9% financing. To me that's a great deal for a car w/ traction control, abs, auto. power windows, locks, alarm, remote entry, rds radio w/ cd and cassette. It was too hard to pass on. I had a 96 Z24 coupe w/ 100,000 miles on it and it ran great, I was just ready for something newer.

    Now although I think it was a great deal ther are a few issues with it: seat is not the most comfortable. I 'adjusted' it to allow more leg room. Also, they moved the radio above the heater controls but they moved them too far back and now you have to lean forward and around the shift knob to get to them. That means I have to take my eyes off the road. It was better the other way imo.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    LS 4 door: 4speed auto. spoiler, power everything $13,999. This is one of the LA dealers in the valley. Brand new.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    ..are going pretty cheap these days. They would be one of the better values if the interior trim was a little better. Of course, they would probably be more expensive then...
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    "The Cavalier became based on the N platform in 94, The same base as the Skylark, Grand Am etc"

    Absolutely false!

    The current Cavalier/Sunfire are still J-BODY cars! The basic architecture of the J-Body car dates all the way back to the early 1980's! Is not just the COWL, is the whole entire UNDERPINNINGS! Who are you trying to fool, yourself?????

    The only cars being currently manufactured in the lousy N-Body platform are the Malibu, Grand AM and Alero.

    Please get your facts straight.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    is a good price for an LS,i bought a new oo loaded LS for $11700 and my 94 Cav with 120K.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I think N body suspensions are far different than j-body. GM did a pretty good job making a silk purse out of a sow's ear in '95. I still think the Cav is a nice looking car. I have one with 75K and it's been pretty reliable. However after driving my Elantra for a few hundred miles, I found out crudeness in the Cav. that I didn't know existed. It will suffer greatly in comparison to any modern car and is far cruder, for example than my daughter's 1990 Prizm. It is less pleasant than my other daughter's 1993 Topaz, and that was replaced by a car that was replaced by a small SUV. The Cav. is several generations behind the competition-- time for Mr. Lutz to move on.
  • I have a 96 2.2 4 door and have a loud thud, clunking noise, seems to be close to the firewall as the noise seems to come from back part of engine and down by your feet. After 3 places, I have had the lower control arm bushings replaced and the front right lower motor mount replaced, new brakes and the exact same noise, clunk as before. The clink doesn't necessarily happen going over a bump, it does it upon deacelleration and acceleration after a stop...any ideas??? Thanks.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    CV joints?
  • hoyahenryhoyahenry Posts: 399
    I have a 97 2.2 4 dr and something is making a dull thudding noise in the rear. I have eliminated everything except the fuel fill and shocks. It's not the spare, or anything in there - took it all out. It doesn't appear to be the folding seat or the speakers or the trunk lid. The original muffler is mounted properly on the rubber mounts.

    So, could the shocks be loose. Considering it is the lighest part of the car, I expect it to bounce around a bit, but I really wish I could figure it out. It's like a wobbling noise, like someone is bouncing 25lb rocks in the trunk, very hollow. More noticeable at 15-25mph since the engine and road noise at higher speeds cancel it out.

    I would appreciate any insight besides trading it in for something better. I got that possibility figured out.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    It could be a loose brake pad in one of the drums or the ABS. I had a similar issue with my Beretta, turns out they needed to clean teh rear drums out and sand them, noise was gone. Hope that helps.
  • rbb2rbb2 Posts: 70
    If it's what I had on my 96 Z24 it is the rear shocks. If your 2.2 has the same shocks it's going to be costly. Over $400 because they are struts. It was even hard to find someone to find the parts believe it or not. Had it done at Belle Tire and it cost about the same as the dealer wanted.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Replace the rear strut mounts,they get beaten out and needs replacing.May be a dealer item.
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