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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend has a 1996 Cavalier coupe with the 2.2 and auto-3. He presently has 100K on the car and just had about $800 worth of work (catalytic converter, computer, and fuel pump) done on the car in the past two months. Last night, he was turning from a side street to a main street. He pushed on the gas and heard this very loud bang and smoke started filling the interior and coming from under the hood. He blew the engine and fried the tranny! At 100,000 miles? That's a good car for ya!
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    What caused it? I'm sure there is more to it. How did the transmission go also? Sounds like a simple head gasket problem. Cut the freaking car some slack it's a compact ECONOMY car, not a luxury sedan. Geez get a life.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The car only had 100,000 miles on it. Civics are compact economy cars too, and I have heard of them lasting AT LEAST 200,000 without problems like that. Cavaliers look, feel, and even sound cheap when driving them. No getting around it. Ask an automotive publication and they will also back me up on this. I had one too, so I know how they are. And the dealers are the biggest jerks in the world as well. Don't wanna admit to anything going wrong with the cars.

    He said the coolant didn't leak or anything, so I have no idea what caused it. He is just going to get another car (Mazda or Toyota-- smart boy) and junk the Cavalier.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Well the Protege is not exactly the cream of the crop either. That's why you see NO ONE driving them and that's why they sell so little. Also keep in mind it is a cheap car because that is what it is a CHEAP transportation. I laugh at people like you, the immediate answer is to switch to the import. Think again though, Civics have gone through worse problems at 100,000. What you have heard is the "good" rumors about the Civic but if you really look and research you will see that cars are cars and no matter who makes them they ALL have had issues at 100,000 miles. Oh wait, but you should be proud of your Mazda, it's after all another Ford product, what a joke.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    "And the dealers are the biggest jerks in the world
    as well. Don't wanna admit to anything going wrong
    with the cars."

    This is Honda you are talking about right? Because everyone says that EVERY Honda dealership always denies that anything is wrong with their cars when they are wrong. Well, my fiance just bought a new 2000 Cavalier LS loaded and saved abundle, with that money we are going on a cruise. Sounds like a better deal, oh and consumer guide recommends the Cavalier every year. You get what you pay for, Cheap transportation and teh Cavalier delivers that with no problems. Say what you must, more people put their trust in Cavalier than Protege, poor Mazda.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    More people buy Cavaliers because they are bargain basement priced. Some people don't care that they are cheaply built or can't afford anything else. And some Cavaliers go on trouble-free forever. But most of them don't.

    And you need to do your research bud. The Protege is all Mazda designed, engineered, and built. Not one part in it is made by Ford. They may have helped with the financing, but Mazda did all the rest. Now that we resolved that issue...

    Anyway, I am glad your fiance bought a new Cavalier and is taking a cruise and all. She bought what she liked and I bought what I like. It's just that it's proven that domestic cars have more problems in general to foreign cars. Ask anyone and they will tell you the same thing. Also, check Consumer Reports (April 2000) for past and present reliability issues (about 400,000 or so readers surveyed for info) on all cars. And in there, Cavaliers from 1992-99 are "Used cars to avoid". Protege is a "Good bet".
    Seems like most of the American companies are in their "avoid" column. hmmm..... Wonder why???
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    CR isn't the be all end all of publications Vocus. Cavaliers are generally good cars for basic transportation. They are reliable and a great value. We have a 99 Cavalier as a second around town car and you couldn't ask for more for the price. ABS, traction control, cruise, air, auto, ps/pb/pl, keyless entry ect. ect. ect. for about $18k CDN ($12K U.S.). 1.9% lease rate to boot. Civic can't compare on a price level. Sure it's more refined, but it's a lot more expensive too.

    Don't know what happened to your friend, but there isn't anything wrong with this car in general. It's not the best, but it's definitely one of the best values out there which is why it's a best seller!
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    There are two ways to buy a car.

    1) Buy what you like and what has proven to be reliable to YOUR family, not CR. My family has owned 2 Luminas ( 95, 98), 1 Beretta( 94) ( mine), 1 Malibu ( 99, mine also), 1 Monte Carlo ( 1980), 2 Cavaliers. They have ALL been trouble free. The monte Carlo has 240,000 and it just went in for a power steering pump and a new radiator. Despite what CR says they have proven VERY reliable. Your statement revised would be " MOST Cavaliers are very reliable andd go forever, SOME have trouble. GM makes MORE cars than your Protege so yes the more cars you make the more the chances of a lemon.

    2) Being a Leming and following what magazines say as the word of the Lord. Obviously you bought your car because a magazine called it a Best Buy. What does that mean? Really what value does it carry? So if a magazine says that eating raw eggs would make you rich you would go ahead and follow. That is pretty sad. The Cavalier is actually a RECOMMENDED car by Consumer Reports, Consumers Guide , and AAA. So even though I DO NOT follow magazine reviews, here they are for you.

    We chose to buy the Cavalier because Chevrolet has ALWAYS been tehre for us. They have PROVEN to be Reliable and have proven CR to be faulty, biased. Glad you bought what you like but I don't believe for one moment that " my friend's car" story. Why didn't your "friend" post it? There is no such thing as the engine going and the tranny following unlesss he was doing something wrong or the people who installed the catalitic converter screwed up. I know cars my friend and I know Chevies pretty well, what you describe is only a hoax. Hope your Protege goes for more than 100,000 miles without trouble because if it doesn't you're gonna feel quite embarrased. Either way, no hars feeling, this is car talk, enjoy your new purchase. :-)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I guess it's because I had such a bad experience with my Cavalier is why I am against them. A friend of mine had one and beat the hell out of it, changed the oil every 10,000 miles, and did nothing to it. Hers ran fine up to 70,000 miles when she let the loan company repossess it. :) Guess she can't keep up with anything. Anyway, someone else had one and it ran fine too. Mine was very poor. Just didn't understand how a car with only 31,051 miles on it could have soooo many problems. My friend's never had trouble until about 70,000, then water pumps started going left and right, the catalytic converter went, the fuel pump (common on Cavaliers from what I hear). Then at 100,000, it died. Never heard of a car doing that though, at least not one that was maintained properly (which his was). Also, the numbers don't lie. In general, foreign cars are more reliable. They don't sell in as much volume, but I would rather spend a little more for a car that holds up longer. Maybe me, but it just seems foreign cars last longer.

    Also, as far as what Cons. Reports says, I am going to listen to them, because I would rather have a reliable car that costs a little more than a cheap one that doesn't.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Before this 99 Cavalier we have as a second car, I had a 91 Cavalier RS (with the 3.1L v6) as my primary car. What a great car that was. Gobs of torque, reliable and an all-round great car. The only complaint I had was rust on the doors. This was the reason I sold it in 1997 with 138K on the dial.

    Came back to Cavalier this year for a second car because the other one was so good. So far with 15K on the dial... perfect. It's not super refined, but it's not bad. Great for around town.

    vocus: Mite want to be careful when you say foreign. If you include korean, some Japanese and European marks, I would totally disagree with you.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    It just seems that the Japanese cars are pretty good. Even the Korean ones (Hyundai) are starting to improve. It may not seem fair, but I just have this phobia that if I get another American car, it will be the same as the Cavalier I had. So I guess I will just stick with Japanese, for a while anyway.

    BTW, I would KILL for a new Jetta or Golf. But heard they have had some quality problems too. I drive 100 miles a day for work, so need something I can constantly depend on for transportation.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Well, if you had a bad experience I can see where you are coming from. Fact is, I have had great luck with every car I have had. My Civic, Cavalier, 626, Grand Prix, Intrigue and Cavalier #2 have all been great. I really have no bias other than good value for the dollar. GM seems to offer that right now so I have 2 GMs in the driveway (2000 Intrigue and 99 Cavalier). Hondas and Toyotas are hot sellers, so they aren't good values. GM is pushing for market share and their cars are good values both from a price and rate point.

    Wouldn't touch VW or Korean. They may be better but I think they both have a way to go still.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Like to get one of the Saturn LS models. Drove one and really liked it. But I want to see if their first-year reliability pans out before purchasing. Also, I hope that I wouldn't have the same experience as I did with the Cavalier. I am really worried about that. At least Saturn has a good reliability record and also has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don't like the car.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I've just done a long trip (1800 miles) with my 99 2.2 liter automatic 4 spd. Cavalier. Highway cruising and overtaking are fine. Aircon works great. No problems with comfort. Fuel consumption as advertised - 32 miles per gallon. Brakes are great and ABS kicks in when it should. Not one moment of problems. What more could I ask for?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Sounds like you have the same car as I do, with the same experiences. Couldn't really ask for more for the price.

    The only complaint I have is the around town mileage which I think should be a bit better. I try an keep the a/c off, but it doesn't seem to help much. Most of the driving in this car is in the city so I really notice.
  • alhoutexalhoutex Posts: 14
    I have a 99 cavalier with the 2.4L engine. The car has almost 19000 miles on it. When we bought it, it had every option you could get except the sunroof. We failed to notice until the next day that the car did not have a rear window defroster. We have noticed several other cavalier LS model sedans without the rear defrost as well, but every base model I have seen has it. What is chevys problem? I am thinking of trading up to a Malibu, any suggestions or comments?
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    I'm not sure if the 99 had standard defroster, however, if you got every option perhaps it's just a factory mistake and the defroster was left out. You are still under a warranty so I would just have the dealership install one under warranty.
    I have a 99 Malibu LS and my fiance has a 2000 Cavalier LS. Both cars are sweet. Upgrading to a malibu is a good choice. Despite the problems with the early models ( 97-98) my 99 has been flawless. The 2000 models are even better. If you go for the LS you will have a quieter ride since I believe they are insulated a bit better. My fiance's Cavalier rides nicely and it's very comfortable for the money we paid but you notice the plushier, quieter, smoother ride the Malibu can offer, either car is still a great choice. Good luck!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Where do you live? Perhaps they don't ship cars with defrosters to your part of the country. My wife has a regular 99 and it came standard with it as far as I know.

    As for the Malibu, don't think you will go wrong. It's a great car and you'll really like the V6.
  • alhoutexalhoutex Posts: 14
    Well, I live in southeastern Texas, so the rear defrost is definitely a must in this humidity. Well, tonight I went to the Chevy dealership where I purchased my Cavalier alomst a year ago, and drove the 2000 Malibu. This model was the LS, with the spoiler, LOADED. This is definitely a fine piece of chevy. Drives great, quiet, powerful, Sandrift metallic color. Awesome. But of course, dealers try to hammer you on trade ins. I was attempting to trade the cavalier, but they would only offer 10000, and that is for a loaded 99 LS, with the 2.4! and that is only if I would have agreed to pay sticker, plus one of those stupid add on sealants. So i told them to knock the trade out of the picture, take the package off, and sell me the car at the same $26 dollars over invoice I paid for the cavalier. They said they would do it. But when I told them I wanted to do the smart buy, they claimed I could not get the $1250 rebate with smart buy. Are they full of S&%T, or serious. I am going to call GMAC and ask them in the morning. So needless to say, I didnt drive home in the new Malibu. I have two delimas, to get the Malibu without getting killed, and sell my Calvalier before the wife goes nuts. She loved the Malibu, and now im under pressure. HELP!
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    I believe ( someone correct me if I am wrong here ) that you can use the rebate with the Smart Buy BUT you cannot take the low rate finance with it. In other words you can not get the rebate and the low financing, it either/or. However, sometimes you can negotiate. I got the rebate AND a low APR with a LEASE. I believe you can't get rebates with leases but the dealership was nice to do it since I told them thta I plan on keeping this car.

    $10,000 trade in for the cavalier is kinda around the low end. Maybe 12,000 is ok. Why do you want to trade the Cavalier? Is it just to upgrade to a mid size? If there is nothing wrong with the Cavalier then they should offer you more. Either way you will end up with a nice car. Can't go wrong with the smooth V6 and the quietness of the Malibu. Good luck!

    PS: They might have purposely left out the rear defroster since your car was for Texas but then again you have humidity.
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