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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Whatever. You can nit pick about what I've said and the dealer can blame whomever they want but in the end, your car is fixed. Drive it or get rid of it and get one of those perfect Civics.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Hmmm. It's still leaking engine coolant. Doesn't appear fixed to me.

    Malibu99 ... Just give up and buy a new car, huh? Sorry, I don't play like that. I shouldn't be tucking MY tail and running when the car's got less than 50,000 miles on it, and I'm going to fight GM until I get a satisfactory repair on this car. There's a difference between "whining" and standing up for yourself. Tell me ... do you accept other people's mistakes that affect you this easily in other aspects of life, or do you just have a lower standard when it comes to vehicles?

    BTW, I've never insulted you ... until now, in response to your insults. All I've done is criticize a car that has been a maintenance nightmare at WAY too young an age.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Actually, I did get rid of my Cavalier. I didn't buy a perfect little Civic though, I bought a perfect little Protege. And it's not really little, since it's a lot roomier inside than my Crapalier was (sorry, I meant Cavalier). Also, it's a helluva lot more refined and reliable too. I have 27,500 miles thus far and in the shop once for a CD player that wouldn't eject properly. Better than the 8 times in 6 weeks my Cav was in the shop, for things like bad fuel pumps and struts and messed up brakes and stuff like that.

    And as far as giving you someone's best shot, you aren't worth it. Some people are just very small minded in their thinking and you can't change it.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I got 80K out of my 94, just bought a 00 so ill see how that gasket does.The dealer says no warranty yet.Great car my 4,easy to work on, parts are cheap and you buy them any where.GM must have built 10 million by now.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    joe: My 91 had over 130K when I sold it in 98. never a problem except rust on the doors. Our 99 with 25k has been problem free also.

    vocus: I agree with you, the Protege is a slightly better car. It ain't close to perfect though and our local Mazda dealer is a nightmare.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Your response just further illustrates the kind of person I'm wasting my time with here, and convinces me that I don't need to be wasting my time here anymore. Some examples in response to post no. 310:

    1. It's "and" -- not "amd."
    2. "Whinny" is what a horse does. You meant "whiny."
    3. It's "change," not "chnage."
    4. "Masoquist" is spelled "Masochist."
    5. Your second sentence is a run-on sentence.

    Try proofreading your work before you spout off next time.

    I am not keeping the car because I am a masochist. I guess I'm not as rich as you are and don't have the luxury of being able to throw thousands of dollars out the window when my whims dictate. The bottom line is we cannot afford a new car right now, and we expected more than 50,000 miles out of this one. If you have any sense of rationality in you, I think you'll agree that an average person should expect more than 50,000 miles out of a car, especially when he's performing all of the recommended maintenance on a timely schedule. I'm not being unreasonable.

    For goodness' sake, do you really think I believe all Cavaliers and Chevys are bad cars because I got a lemon? No, I don't. But I've had my bad experience, and I don't feel like taking a chance again. So yes, the next car we buy for her -- which will be as soon as we can, believe me -- will NOT be a Cavalier, or a GM-built product. And nothing you can say here is going to change our minds on that. This is a forum to share experiences. I shared mine. So YOU stop whining about my decision, OK?

    Joe and dindak: Joe, your '94 was a completely different car. The '95 was the first year for the new design. If I'd been married to my wife then, I would've steered her away from it. And that's not just a Chevy comment -- I wouldn't buy ANY car in the first year of a new design. Dindak, ditto to you. And likewise, your '99 is the fifth year of this new design. Chevy has had more time to work out the bugs. And you only have 25K on that car, and I would hope any car with only 25K on the odometer wouldn't have any problems yet. Then again, I thought 42K was too young too. Oh well. According to your buddy Malibu, I guess 50K is about all I should expect out of a GM product. We need cars that are more durable, so we're looking to other makes for our next car.

  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    "I guess 50K is about all I should expect out of a GM product".

    Not true at all. My sister's ex-boyfriend had a 88 Cavalier for 300K before it died. My mother in laws 90 Cutlass had 288K when she traded it in. GM cars are generally good these days, but like I said before the Cavalier is a weak spot.It's not a bad car, but it's not near the top either. The optional 2.4L is a better engine choice also.
  • This topic kind of reminds me of the Daewoo vs. Protege topic. Everybody is getting so wrapped up in what the other person is complaining about, that they are forgetting the issue. Strengths and weaknesses of a particular car.

    Do I drive a Cavalier? Nope. I have driven a few as rentals, and they got me where I was going. Nothing fancy, but also not very refined. It's an economy car you say? True, but so are a lot of others in this price range that offer refinement as part of the deal for very similar money.

    Stop whining and sell the car? Easy to say if you like to lose a lot of money doing this over and over again. I prefer to spend my money once and get value for my money.

    What do I consider a good value? It should include the following (not necessarily in this order):
    1. Reliability (okay this is my person #1)
    2. Good features (creature comforts)
    3. Good looks
    4. Decent performance
    5. Safety
    6. Good dealer experience (not ALWAYS a brand thing...)
    7. Fair price
    8. Flexibility of design/configuration
    9. Refinement (subjective measure)

    If any of these attributes are below average, it will SERIOUSLY lower the car's standing with the resurgence in small cars lately. There are many good choices lately in small cars.

    I personally think the Cavalier is lagging behind the others in reliability, refinement and to a lesser degree, features. Protege, Sentra, Focus, Elantra, Corolla, Civic and Esteem are all cars I would choose ahead of the Cavalier based on all of the qualities listed above. Ones I would NOT choose ahead of the Cavalier are Nubria, Sephia, and Neon (all in that order). REMEMBER, these are my opinions based on my own experiences, reading and obervations. So I voted with my money for the Protege. In my opinion, it captured and mastered most of the qualities I consider as part of the "value" equation.

    If you choose to buy a Cavalier after comparing (including driving) all of it's competition...then you should feel comfortable that it was your best choice. Not everyone is going to agree with you no matter which car you choose. Try to use all sources (print, government agencies, personal and friends experiences, dealership experiences, etc...) when making your decision, and fairly compare ALL sources.

    Good luck with your Cavliers, and I hope you wish me the same good fortune with my Protege.

    Regards (and sorry for the long-winded post),

  • Speedypt has a good comprehensive list of things to consider. Let me add to that:

    I first started driving Cavalier rental cars when I travel and I was immediately impressed with what makes it unique among ALL small cars.... It doesn't feel like one!

    I have driven almost all of the economy to mid-size cars on the road since the early 90's and the Cavalier's frame and body and steering are VERY close to the ride and feel of a mid-size Malibu or Stratus, etc. To me, the Escort, Focus , Civic, etc. "feel" like small economy cars.

    Plus, at the moment with a $2000 rebate, you can get a 2000 Cavalier LS with Air, 4-speed Auto, 15 inch tires, tilt, AM/FM CD player, etc for a street price of about $11,300 (excluding delivery, tax and title). An equivalent mid-size sedan, though it may have a V-6, will cost $15,000 to $18,000.

    Has anyone else experienced this trait?
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Ok. Here we go. I have a 99 Cavalier 2.2 liter 4sp automatic sedan and my son-in-law has a 99 Escort 2 liter 4 sp automatic sedan. The ride in the Escort is bumpy and choppy and the ride in the Cavalier is smooth and supple. My son-in-law acknowledges this. The automatic transmission in the Escort is no match to the Cavalier's. He also acknowledges this. So far I've had no problem with the Cavalier. The aircon on the Escort has croaked and is going to cost a fortune to repair. Just out of warrenty of course! Also, when it did work, you could feel it kicking on and off while driving. Really slowed the car down when on. On the Cavalier, you can hardly feel it coming on. Build quality on both cars appears to be the same. Same amount of plastic in both.

    So, question. Who has the better motor car?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I think the Cavalier is a bit soft when turning corners, but the ride quality is good. The 4-speed transmission is VERY smooth for an econo box. The features like ABS, traction control, cruise and A/C make it a value leader. Reliablity has been great for me, but I think it's average overall.

    It isn't the greatest car in the world but for us it's mostly used for short trips around town. We use our full size car for big trips. I recommend the car all the time.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    A thing I forgot to mention in my comparison of the Cavalier and the Escort was road noise. I found the Escort very noisy compared the the Cavalier. I've been on long trips with the Cavalier and found it very satisfying. The car travels very well at highway speeds and overtaking is no problem. On one long trip I had the aircon going the whole time and was averaging about 32 miles to the gallon. What I like about the transmission is the fact that it kicks down when needed and never has trouble staying in the correct gear for the situation. A lot of negative remarks have been made about the lo-tech engine. However, I prefer the 2.2 liters of lo-tech compared to the typical multivalve 1.6 or 1.8 liter screamin demons of the typical import compacts. I don't understand that philosophy. They start with a small engine and then squeeze all they can out of it. In the end you have a complicated engine and a nightmare to repair. Also, the high piston speeds cannot help wear and tear. I'd rather stick with a slightly larger engine that's not souped up and get the same horsepower. Add power draining aircon to a small high revving engine and you soon feel it. Another point on the Cavaliers lo-tech engine is the lack of adjustments needed. The valve lifters are hydraulic and no adjustments are called for.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Oh md thank you for the spelling check not only
    are you good at crying and complaining but you are
    a great spell checker. Oh I'm so hurt by yourattack, please please stop.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    You also forgot to mention torque which what makes it go.The 2.2 has 115 hp an 135 ft lbs torque.I have seen those imports with 125 hp an 106 ft lbs of torque,they dont go so they have to scream. Joe
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Correct on all points! I suppose twin-cam multi-valve high-tech makes good advertizing material. But in the real world it doesn't always count for much. There is a point of diminishing returns. Multi-cams and multi-valves take a lot of energy to make them move. And then they usually drive the whole bangshoot with an elastic band. Nah, just give me good old fashioned tried and tested technology. I want my valve train to be driven by a chain. The 2.4 liter ohv Cavalier engine does use a chain at least.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I'm pretty sure all GM DOHC engines use chains. It's amazing how many other companies still use belts.
  • speedyptspeedypt Posts: 200
    That seems like a great price for the Cavalier, and for under $12,000 it sounds like you are very satisified with your Cavalier. That's cool.

    The Protege also does not feel like a small car. It's ride, feel and handling feel very much like my boss's Audi A4 (not to mention it looks very much the same!). I agree that the ride in the Cavalier was very smooth, it just wasn't as sporty feeling as I liked. The ride on my Protege is a little stiffer, but the handling is absolutely terriffic! The other car that "feels" bigger than it is just happens to be my last pick, the Neon. It rides like a full-size car, many reviewers even mention this.

    THanks for the good (and fair) discussion!



    P.S. I know this is a Cavalier topic, so I'll stop talking about my Protege! :-)
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Talk about low tech power,look at GM truck engines.They are push rod with computer designed combustion chamber an they call them Vortec,they out pull anything OHC or not.When they first came out a marine outfit had a boat version an wanted to know where all the power was coming from so they tore it down but couldn't tell.Now thats power.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    The reason most manufacturers still use belts is because they are much quieter running than a chain. Secondly, the point behind those high revving smaller engines is to get the same power but better fuel economy when compared to larger old tech engines. It's obvious that the torque difference is huge when comparing much smaller 1.6 liter engines to the 2.2 OHV. However, the slightly smaller multivalve engines are not far behind the torque output of the Cav. Example: 1.8 in the Corolla makes 125 hp and 125 lb feet of torque, yet trumps the Cavalier by getting 31 city/38 highway. There is no indication that the higher revving engines have a shorter life span either. Lastly, most multivalve engines don't require valve adjustments either. Most engines nowadays have hydraulically operated valves. Some require attention every 30,000 miles or so which is not a big deal and is actually better because there is nothing exensive to replace like a hydraulic lifter.
  • I agree with all of your comments.

    The Cavalier does not corner as well as some of the other compacts however that is (likely) because of its additional weight and its body/suspension tuning for a generally comfort ride.

    My particular tastes run towards the isolation department. I lIKE less road feel in the steering wheel and the suspension and there is always a trade-off there -- especially with an economy car.

    I also have driven the Neon and was impressed at how the front wheels seem to be much farther "out there" than they's a weird feeling. It also takes off faster and corners a little better (in my opinion) than the Cavalier and Escort/Tracer. But, the front end is so close to the driver that it seemed...dangerous?

    Also, the Neon's ride is a little choppy compared to the Cavalier and the windows do not have a frame around them making it easier for "screwdriver" break-ins.

    Plus the Cavalier's dash looks great. It seems that most dashboards look the same these days. Compare a Corolla, Camry, Sentra, Maxima, Civic, Accord, etc.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Intonge18, specifications always look better on paper. Let's try a thought experiment. A Cavalier 2.2 liter and a Corolla 1.8 liter both automatic 4 sp start to climb a long hill. Both drivers have their air-conditioning on. Say the incline is 10 miles long. Both drivers have their speed control on and set to 65 miles per hour. Question. Which car will use the least fuel in getting to the top of the hill? Bear in mind the number of gear changes each car will have to make.

    Well I dunno so I'm off to sleep now. Maybe I can dream up the answer!
  • wbtwbt Posts: 3
    I am in need of advice concerning the purchase of a rebuilt 99 Cavalier Coupe. The car was formerly a total that was bought from an insurance comapany. The garage that does the work specializes in Cavaliers and Sunbirds. This Cavalier is a 99 model automatic trans with 15k. The price is quite compelling. The car had body work done and I took it for a test drive. I let go of the wheel during the test to see if it veered to the left or the right. It did'nt. I stomped on the brakes at 50 mph and it stopped on a dime. The engine sounds good and has nice pickup considering it is a 4 cyl automatic. The car comes with a one year bumper to bumper warranty. If it needs work I must have it done at that garage. I pay $150 and they are responsible for the rest. I took a look
    underneath and it appears to be fine. I tested the shocks by pressing down on each part of the body and the car returned to the up position without bouncing up and down. I like it but I have had such bad luck in the past with cars. I can't afford to buy new so it has to be used. If anyone has any advice I would be so grateful.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    It does sound compelling, but the car might not be as well-built once it gets some mileage on it. But how much is it going for? And at least you would have a warranty on it too.
  • wbtwbt Posts: 3
    The car is priced at $7500. It has been certified
    by the Secretary of State Of Illinois through inspection. I had this posted on another area of this site and two responders came up with good points. One said that the first thing to go would be the paint job. But he said that it would probably show up in a few months or more. THis would still be covered by the warranty. I am so conflicted about the entire thing. I don't know whether to run to it or away from it.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I just got on and saw a 1998 Chevy Cavalier 5-speed coupe with 35,144 on it for $6995. I live in Maryland though. But still, I am sure they are not that much more expensive where you live. Get a car with a clean history and you will be thankful later that you did. Also, before EVER buying a used car, go to and run a vehicle history report on the VIN# of the car. Get an unlimited membership that will last you for 3 months for only $19.95 and it's a better deal than spending $14.95 for each report. Also, let us know how your shopping turns out.
  • if anyone of you guys with the cavalier problems have front end suspention problems, you really shouldinject grease into the grease ports located on the underside of the ti rod ends, and on the underside of the lower controll arm. trust me unless you new car guys wanna pay alot when your warrenty runs out (and belive, it will happen just months after) do this preventative maintnance it will save you lots of dollar signs!
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    88ber290, my 99 Cavalier has grease fittings only on the tie rod ends. The lower control arms have no grease fittings anymore. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing. I would have liked to have been able to grease the lower control arms. Hopefully, the ball joints are long lasting. The user manual says the tie rod ends should be greased every 6000 miles. By the way, beware if you go to Jiffy Lube. They'll tell you there are no grease fittings at all. In a moment of weakness I once took my Cavalier there for an oil change and told them to grease the fittings.

    What year is your Cavalier?
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412 has several Cavalier rebuildables in Omaha Nebraska. And that 99 isn't worth $7500 wrecked. It may be worth $4000-$5000 fixed, but once that title has been salvaged the car reverts to salvage and wholesale values. A 1999 Cavalier can be bought in like new condition, never wrecked, for $8000-$9000, you just have to look around. But $7500, no, it isn't worth that at all. I just bought a salvaged 1995 Aspire in "nice" shape with 75K on it for $1300. That was a good deal. But for $2500, it wouldn't have been a deal.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    rebuildables...they have a 2000 sedan for $4400, looks like it needs a fender, headlight, bumper, not much else. And locally in D/FW I have seen many 95-99 Cavaliers at a place called Hart's for $2000-$6000 with various states of damage. No matter where you are, there are auto recyclers that can provide you with a cheap rebuilt car. You may get what you pay for, but the less you spend on an already fixed car, the better off you are. Even better, have a trusted body shop friend find you a rebuilder.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    Will the 4-speed automatic from a newer Cavalier fit the 2.2 engine? As in, would I be able to put one in a 1992 Cavalier that I found dirt cheap with a slipping 3-speed automatic?
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