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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • It is loud enough for my son to ask me what that noise is from the back seat.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Get it looked at and if your dealer can't find the problem, bring it to another. Brakes in small cars do make more noise than in mid-full size cars, but that is abnormal.
  • I took the car to the mechanic. He told me the following were bad: The fan motor, the termostat, and the seals in the bottom of the radiator went bad because of the heat. Total damage to replace those 3 items and an oil/filter change was $245.
    I told him to go ahead. Do you guys think it was a fair price?
  • Does it happen *only* while braking, like a low scuffing noise? New or re-machined rotors have a slightly abrasive surface. This is normal. Smaller cars tend to have less sound-insulation, so you'll hear more.

    Does the car seem to stumble a little or even jack-rabbit as you're slowing down (like leaving a manual tranny in top gear)? That would be a sticking TCC solenoid on the tranny.

    High-speed rumbling is from out-of-balance wheels but goes away when slowing down (so unlikely).
  • A dead fan or bad thermostat can cause damage, yes. If $245 fixes everything, consider yourself lucky. Usually an overheated car will have some engine warping, requiring more $$$.

    The fan is only needed when going slow or when stopped. At good speed, the fan is normally off because the air rush is plenty to cool the radiator. If the fan died, then you'd only overheat when going slow or stopped.

    A stuck thermostat will overheat you no matter what speed you're at. The thing about thermostats is that they're one of the cheapest part on your car. Usually when the coolant hoses are changed every five years, the thermostat is changed too.

    My '89 Cavalier overheated when the heater core's plastic pipes broke. This killed the water pump and warped the head block. I knew the head was warped because the water jackets no longer mated and coolant oozed out from the head gasket as well as got into the cylinders -- got white smoke out of the exhaust. I learned that day that coolant in the cylinders will make your engine run very poorly.

    Replaced the water pump and remachined the head block. Amazingly, the engine runs just fine (230k miles and rustily going).

    Final note when a car is overheating -- if you're losing coolant too, you have a leak in the system, meaning the car's normal method of pulling needed coolant from the overflow reservoir won't work well if at all. Make sure the car is completely cool then add directly into the radiator (if you have a cap -- the newer cars don't).
  • Found some OLD posts about headgaskets and 100K warranty. What warranty is this? When my 92 Cav had problem last spring at 80k or so, all info I found on net said it was 7 years time also so I was SOL. Did I miss something? TIA!
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    Need to change my son's 97 Cav Manual Trans oil. Right now I have no access to a manual, but want to buy the oil. What is the specfication and quantity for the oil? Does it have a drain plug? I assume there is no filter. Do you fill it thru the dipstick tube. Any info would be helpful.

  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    front of me.It uses "Synchromesh Trans Fluid" GM part #12345349.Brake and Clutch fluid is Dot3 brake fluid [it has a hydraulically activated clutch].Takes 2 quarts of the trans fluid when changing the trans axle fluid.This bloody manual doesn't show a drain plug, but refers to one, so I guess it's on the transaxle. Also says use a finely pointed funnel and refill through the place where you check the trans fluid level. Also read in this thing that the manual is an Isuzu- built one. Hope this helps and I didn't add to the confusion.The old Citations used Dexron 111 in both the auto. and manual. Things change I guess. dave
  • tymetyme Posts: 3
    I have a 97 Cavalier. It has 75,000 miles on it.

    Like a good car owner, it had oil changes every 3000 miles, and a tune up at around 55000.

    The car has been in three different shops in the past month and no one has any idea how to fix it. About every five days, I will pull into a parking spot, park the car, and go inside somewhere for about 30 minutes. I come back out, the car starts beautifully, shift to reverse, back out, shift into drive, and press on the gas, where the car will promptly stall with the engine light, the oil light, and the battery light flashing on. It will keep re starting and keep stalling. If you are patient enough to wait three hours, you can start it and drive home. Unfortunately, work is not as patient. They kind of like seeing my there, instead of taking a three hour lunch.

    Everything has been checked. The engine, battery, alternator, transmissions, coils, coil housing, spark plugs, oil, filters, carburetor everything. Like I said, I have this fine vehicle that is still currently in a shop that I have not driven success for more than 5 days at a time.

    I never had a single problem with this car until it hit 75,000 miles. Cars are built to last longer than this. At the same time, I can't afford to continually be stranded.

    Has anyone else ever dealt with this problem?
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    have suggestsloose/faulty connections at ignition coil,insufficient fuel reaching the injectors[fuel pump?]
    Vacuum leak at the gasket btween intake manifold and throttle body[where the fuel injection attaches to the engine I think.]
    Were the spark plug wires replaced? sometimes they go bad as well. I love mine, I hope this helps but to me it sounds like the fuel pump is not keeping the system pressurized and it doesn't keep enough after it's been started to restart it. I have also heard the same problem related on one of the Car Q&A shows and the fuel pump was suggested as a source of the problem as well.Have them check it to see if it's losing pressure in the system.
  • Has anyone seen a problem with a loud clattering/grinding noise (souund like ice cubes in a blender) in front brakes on a 98 Cavalier? If so is it bug or a safety problem. I was told that it might just be the ABS brakes in wet/snowy conditions. Car did not seem to do it in dry weather.
  • tymetyme Posts: 3
    Dweezil: Coil housing, replaced. Vaccuum, checked, manifolds checked, pressure checked, spark plugs replaced, oxygen sensor replaced, fuel pump checked. I think I am running out of options :) Since Jan 5th, I ve had my car 3 days out of 14, and am losing patience :)
  • My daughter's 1999 Sunfire with 2.4 DOHC engine recently lost its a/c refrigerant charge and compressor oil. The transmission shifter cable (auto 4-speed) was positioned too close to the high pressure liquid line and rubbed through it in 40,000 other-wise trouble-free miles. The a/c line is aluminum and much softer than the steel-cased shifter line. Look between the engine and firewall, close to the firewall to see if you have this problem. Hope this saves you Cavalier owners some trouble.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Sorry that was of no help.Besides the fuel pump which seems like what I have heard happens when it won't restart,I wish I could be of more assistance. There's a Cavalier Club on Yahoo:Canuck's Cavalier Club and there are some REAL enthusiastic and knowledgeable people who post there. Perhaps someone has had this same problem and has a fix. hope it helps! dave
  • tymetyme Posts: 3
    Dave, thanks but I think I am just going to have to trade it. No matter how you look at it, I have to have a dependable car for work, and stalling for a few hours every three days just is not going to cut it. Suggestions for a new car? Robyn
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    and found someone who had exactly the same problemin the Edmund's posts on Cavalier that I printed out a year or so ago. The "Crankshaft Position Sensor" was the problem. The poster's problem was solved.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Tell me where you found that post - if it's still on the site, I'll post a link to it so that tyme can read it.

    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    it was post #69 in an archived[?] topic "Conference:Sports Cars, Topic 330" pre Edmund's new look, printed out 03/04/00 with follow up, # 96, both by "weebil" and subject:"Cavalier Suck"[sic].
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I found them. The first post is here: weebil "Chevy Cavalier-good car overall?" Feb 1, 2000 5:00pm and the follow-up is here: weebil "Chevy Cavalier-good car overall?" Feb 17, 2000 5:12am.

    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    There is also a potential problem with the flexible refrigerant line that's connected to the compressor on the 2.2L Cavalier. It takes a loop and rubs on the fan housing and could wear through. I noticed a groove worn into the insulation that's on the high pressure pipe. I solved the problem by tying a piece of shaped aluminum around the pipe. I tied it with strong cable ties. Now if any rubbing takes place it will be on the piece of aluminum.
  • My 1997 Cavalier overheated. After it was towed, i was told the head gasket cracked, but subsequent damage to water pump and belt tensioner resulted. They had problems w/head gasket and covered it under warranty at dealer, but I was told water pump was my responsbility. After repairs were made, they noticed steering did not respond, and told me a gear is broken in steering column. I never had a problem w/steering and feel something may have happened during towing or while they did repairs. They are denying. Does anyone have info on if steering column may be connected in any way. Also, if dealer does not want to look further, can I talk to someone else at Chevrolet? Any help will be appreciated. Am without a car for one week now and don't know where to turn. Thanks.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    One is not related to the other, unless the serpentine belt had something to do with it as it also pulls the steering pump. It may be just coincidence. How many miles??
  • I just had a visit to the dealership for basic service, and the mechanic told me I need a lot of work done (which was quite upsetting being a poor college student). I was told that I need a new head gasket and water pump. From talking to people, I don't have the classic signs of needing a new head gasket (white smoke from the tail pipe, excess overheating). Are there other symptoms of either of these going? I haven't seen any leaks and my thermostat needle never gets over the half mark, even in bumper to bumper traffic. Just trying to make sure I don't get taken for a ride. Thanks.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    mepumpkin, see if the coolant level in the recovery tank stays constant. Check for coolant on the oil dipstick - see if the oil looks milky. Ask the mechanic to spell out exactly what makes him think you need a new gasket and water pump. I just don't trust dealerships. They tried to get my 1999 Cavalier in for a "routine checkup" and the going price was around $600+. You know...check this and that. The car had only done something like 10,000 miles at the time and there were no problems with it.
  • can anyone help in telling me how to get at changing the front parking light bulb in a 96 cavalier. It seems to be in the bumper and can't seem to get at it from behind with the hood up or from underneath. thanks!
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Remove the splash shield under the bumper below the light for access.Like 6 screws.
  • from one joe to another..thanks for tip on 96 lights.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    take it to a small mechanic and have him check the compression. If one or more cylinders are below spec and you are losing coolant (doesn't have to be burning, could be dripping in the oil or leaking externally), it's probably a bad head gasket.

    My wife blew her head gasket at 30,500 miles in a 1998 Acura (Honda) Integra, manufacturing defect, repaired under warranty. Head gaskets are a common problem with 2.2L Cavaliers, several years (92, 93, 96) have had recalls for it, although all 2.2's can experience it, like the 2.2L in my Mom's '95 Buick Century, which never got hot, just started leaking around the outside of the head and was caught before the coolant level went down much.
  • cool. thanks, i'll have to get that checked out.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Anyone know what happened to the J-BODY forum,its been off the net most of the week?
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