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Chevrolet Cavalier

bluemist1bluemist1 Posts: 1
edited October 2017 in Chevrolet
I have a 1996 Hyundai Accent (81,000 miles!), and
am considering purchasing a new car in a few

I'd like to know what experiences people have had
with the Chevrolet Cavalier, especially with the
2.4 liter engine, since I'm considering buying that
specific car.


  • Bluemist - I purchased a '98 Cavalier for my teenage daughter about 10 months ago. It has about 7,500 miles and it has been fine. I only had one minor problem - water condensation in tail light. It has the 2.4 liter engine and it has great power for such a small car. The engine was the main reason why I bought it. This car had much more power than comparable class cars
  • Bluemist,

    Buy it, I rented the Cavalier for a week and drove it around California during Christmas, and it was great. I was doing 90 on 101 but was afraid of the cops so I didn't step on the gas further, it climbed I-5 mountains great too-70mph towing 4 adults and a child and a trunk packed full(I had to forced it shut with my body weight).

    Mile per gallon is great too!

    The only problem we had was the trunk, I think my dad broke the trunk latches, but I got luggage out through the folded back seat(it was wide).

    I didn't test the AC because it was freezing in CA.

    From Wed-Sat: San Jose to Anaheim then back.
    Sunday: San Jose to Tahoe then back
    Monday: San Jose to SF Union Square
    Tuesday: San Jose to Monterey Bay (17-mile drive Pebble Beach) It was beautiful! I saw a bunch of Cavalier, Grand Am and Alero there.

    Cadillac is the Official Car of Pebble Beach and Company.

    The Cavalier handled the road very well.
  • BTW we put over 2050 mile on it in 6 days. Not to forget the Daytime running light, it was a great feature for the road condition that week and the places we went.
  • I have a 96 Cavalier and it started out pretty good, but at 27,000 miles, I discovered quite a number of problems while I was doing an oil change. The items consisted of : Leaking oil pan gasket/sealant, leaking oil level sensor, leaking A/C compressor, serpentine belt glazed, rear struts leaking, valve cover gasket leaking, horn quit twice. Believe me, I change my oil every 2k-3k, so I do not neglect it. I can't say for sure that Cavaliers in general have had these problems at this mileage, but I certainly have. I do have to say that my car starts each and every day without fail (even at -10 degrees), has never left me on the side of the road, and is fairly comfortable, though I wish the seats had more support. My recommendaton is that if you buy this car and intend to keep it for a long time, buy an extended warranty....not a bad car, though.
  • I was wondering if anyone has had success with fixing the mysterious rattling that occurs in the Cavalier dashboard. We have had the instrument cluster replaced once and had seals replaced around it with no luck. We have a '95 2.2L automatic.
  • Is that the plastic on plastic type squeak noise fron near the instrument cluster?? Does the noise go away if you pull up on the top of the dash?? If so, I've fixed this noise with a small piece of double sided tape or adhesive backed foam between the dash pad the the instrument combi.....
  • Yeah, sounds like you've had the same problem. I will try what you suggest and see if it works. Thanks!
  • bethbeth Posts: 1
    I'm looking to buy the Chevrolet Cavalier LS. Does anyone have any comments? Is this a reliable, dependable car? What makes it good or bad? Thanks!
  • gba2michgba2mich Posts: 22
    That depends on your definition of reliable....
    If it means that it is fairly dependable and will get you from point A to point B, then yes. If it means that you won't have many repairs to worry about, I would look elsewhere. I had a 1996 Cavalier that I traded in a few weeks ago...the Cavalier is uncomfortable on long trips, feels cramped, feels cheap, and had it's fair share of warranty problems (problems that could have been relatively expensive) in it's low mileage. Within 3 years (less than 28,000 miles), I had to replace the horn twice, had the exhaust system repaired, had the oil pan gasket replaced, had both rear struts replaced, had the oil level sensor replaced, had the valve cover gasket replaced, and also had the air conditioning compressor replaced...all due to leaks. Granted it was under warranty, but those are some pretty significant failures for a car with low mileage. To be honest with you, it was definitely the least satisfying car I've owned....traded it in March 13 for a 1999 VW Jetta far the most fun car I've owned!!!
  • tffkaptffkap Posts: 11
    I had a Cavalier for about a year. It really comes down to preference. I am a pretty big guy (6-2, 290 lbs) and the car was actually pretty comfortable for me, except the lack of leg room. The only problem I had (and it was under warranty) was the fuel pump broke at about 28000 miles. I think it was just a freak thing, because I had no other problems besides that. I think this is a really good entry level car. Good for a family just starting out, or for a first time owner.
  • gba2michgba2mich Posts: 22
    Also, when reading my previous post, please keep in mind that I thoruoghly look over my car frequently, especially underneath.......most people don't even know of problems they have with their cars, because they have no way to get underneath them and do a thorough inspection.....
  • tffkaptffkap Posts: 11
    True enough. I do a thorough undercar inspection every time I change my oil. You can diagnose so many potential problems just by doing a check. That is why I think EVERYONE should change their own oil!
  • sbonnellsbonnell Posts: 1
    I am about two days away from purchasing a 98 Cavalier Sedan. I really liked the car. I didn't realize however, that there were so many negative comments out there. And yes, it is the blue so much talked about. I would really appreciate hearing from someone owning the same car and how they feel about it, i.e. did you make a bad choice! I figure with all of the test driving and looking around I have done, if this is what I've come up, based on the comments I have heard, I am in BIG TROUBLE.
  • mcpaganomcpagano Posts: 6
    I purchased a 98 Cavalier with the 2.4 liter engine for my daughter about 14 months ago and she has 10,000 miles on it. It has been fine. I only had one minor problem with condensation in a tail light and the dealer replaced it. I really recommend the 2.4 liter engine. The car has a lot of pep to it and my daughter loves the car.
  • gba2michgba2mich Posts: 22
    I wouldn't say that the Cavalier is the worst car out there.....there are certainly better and certainly worse. I found most of the problems with my Cavalier, the dealer never mentioned any of them.....while under my car for tire rotations and LOF's, I noticed all of the various fluid leaks.... Keep in mind that people's opinions of reliability differ, and also many people's awareness of problems differs. For someone like me who is always checking out their car (top and bottom), I will certainly see more than the person who barely knows where the hood release is. The Cavalier was certainly fine for around-town driving, not so much for highway cruising, as the seats become very uncomfortable due to their lack of support. The A/C system is great, and the stereo is about average. I did like the front legroom, although shoulder room was a bit tight IMHO. I sort of miss the Cavalier in some ways, but the Cavalier didn't suit my driving style, and handling was fair to poor, IMHO. I don't regret trading in the Cavalier for what I bought, and I do hope my ex-Cav will serve someone well....I had heard that American quality was up, and indeed it was, but not to where I feel it should be.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Try for reliability ratings
  • hindsitehindsite Posts: 590
    Rented a 99 Cavelier LS for a month and it was the worst riding car I remember since the K car. One time I was accelerating and the car just died. It did restart on the first attempt and there was no more occurance again. Steering was very jiggly . . . guess it is suppose to be that way. It had traction control and the light did come on once while driving on smooth dry pavement. I guess that was a fluke also.
  • jonelljonell Posts: 2
    I would like to know is a
    Cavalier Sedan 1999 a good car
    to drive? what about the parts
    are they affordable? Do you know
    what the standard featured it
    has is it a big a car or a small
  • jonelljonell Posts: 2
    I would like to know is a
    Cavalier Sedan 1999 a good car
    to drive? what about the parts
    are they affordable? Do you know
    what the standard featured it
    has is it a big a car or a small
  • smakinsmakin Posts: 1
    Has anyone else found rattles in the doors in the 1997 models? I have had the squeaks in the dash and have had to fix them myself.

    It's been a good car but the dealerships have not been very good.
  • gba2michgba2mich Posts: 22
    Is the cavalier a big car or small car ??? Ya mean you've never seen a Cavalier on the road ??? Seriously, if you're looking for relaible and safe cars, this certainly is not the ride for you. If you want inexpensive and relatively inexpensive maintenance, it's not bad. If you're looking for a fun to drive car, you'll be sadly disappointed.
  • jarvik007jarvik007 Posts: 2
    hello everyone i own a 99 z 24 5 speed (yeah i know this is a 4 door town hall, but it's the only one with some recen activity) some times when i cruise and i roll up to a stop light and people start reving their engines, i'll do the same jsut for fun. well, this has happend a couple of times..i would give enough gas to rev my engine up to about maybe 4 then let off..and the car will die. it starts right up again just fine but i was wondering if anyone else had this similar problem.

    99 Z-24
    5 speed
    7600 miles (had this problem since i first got it at 2500 miles)
    email [email protected]
  • jarvik007jarvik007 Posts: 2
    Jonell, if you're looking for a fun to drive car dont get a sedan cavalier get the z-24. its more expensive but its a whole lot better. 2.4 engine is pretty quick. you can beat neons r/t's, ford Zx2's, old camaro 3.4 liter v6's (automatics), probes, the list goes on. unless your pocket book is very shallow get the z 24, its just like when you buy a mustang or a camaro..dont get the base line..get the GT or the z 28 or the Trans am. when you go, go all out.
  • fairdealfairdeal Posts: 2
    I have just turned 4,000 miles on my Z24 5 speed. No problems except some dash rattles and poorly designed seats. While the sticker price is too high for what you get, I dealt it down to invoice and had a $1500 rebate, $400 college rebate, and $500 autoshow voucher from GM. It took it to the low $13s. That is the only way this car makes sense is when you can deal. It's still a hoot to drive.
  • franky10franky10 Posts: 1
    I bought a 1998 Cavalier LS sedan last January with all the bells and whistles, and 2.4 liter engine. Price was an appeal for what you get. I found the handles were somewhat flimsy,requiring repair when one was sticking; the gear shift rod was poorly designed, which requires operating it from the top with the thumb, rather than from the side.
    Car seems to run OK otherwise.
  • dprimodprimo Posts: 1
    I have a '99 cavalier 4 door sedan with the 2.2 liter engine. It is brand new, yet it runs very roughly at low speeds, and it does not accelerate smoothly at all. Is this a function of the engine? Has anybody experienced similar problems?
  • ralph124cralph124c Posts: 36
    I rented a 1999 Cavalier sedan (4 dr, 2.2 liter engine, auto/air) in S. california last week. Not a bad car a t all-good acceleration and decent handling. My only concern was gas mileage-in 300 miles of mostly freeway driving, I got less than 25 mpg-seems low for a car this size. Admittedly, the AC was on all the time 9it was hot)-on a very hot day (98 F) it stalled once-could this have been vapor lock?
    I would consider buying if I could be assured that the car would be reliable for the first 100K miles.
  • havertownhavertown Posts: 1
    To anyone, I am going in to hopefully lease a 99 cav sedan for $139/mo, no money down and all the business like college grad, no security deposit etc. Does anyone here have leasing experience? I am trying to find out about how dealers try to screw you at the end of the lease, I know as long as I stay within the 3 yr/36,000 mile term, they can't screw me in that regard. Is it better to pay the taxes and destination fee up front? Does anyone know how much I will have to give them initially if I only pay taxes, tags, and destination fee? I know these questions have dealt with leasing rather than the Cav itself, but hopefully someone is out there leasing a Cav and could give me some advice. I know I don't want to buy it because it is a starter car, but this appears to be the best lease deal I have found in the past 6 months. Please respond, anyone. Thanx!
  • i own a 1996 cav 4dr sedan a/t,with the 2.2eng and iam happy to report zero problems at 65,000+ well kept miles,although i did have one oil leak at 34,000 miles. p.s the dash noise is common problem.
  • gotmilk1gotmilk1 Posts: 1
    How much did it cost you to purchase a 1999 Chev. Cavalier Sedan and what kind of insurance rates did you get? I am buying a car this week and need some quick help, please. Thanks..
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