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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • joerelljoerell Posts: 2
    I brought a used white 2dr 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier, with 48,395 miles on it on June 6, 2001 and it wasn't until June 22, 2001 I heard a scratchy squiling noise only when I turn my steering wheel left, or move it slightly to the left. I really dont know whats wrong or what is it. can anyone give me advice or comments about the noise on what it is. Thank You
  • tony22rtony22r Posts: 45
    Stay AWAY from General Motors; they make Garbage that breaks down on you, then they treat YOU like Trash!

    * 2K - center console broke. dealer said *I* broke it and refused to fix it! after i Yelled at them for half an hour, they said to leave the car at the dealer for a Week so the parts could be special-ordered! I told the dealer to screw themselves, i got parts from a salvage yard and fixed it myself.

    * 10K - Wiring Short, kept blowing fuses. Dealer could not find problem, said i was probably playing the radio too loud! Took me half a day with a multimeter, finally found a Wire was Pinched between 2 body panels causing a Short! was like this since Brand NEW from Factory! I re-routed wiring away from body panels and fixed exposed wires.

    * 15K - LOTS of rattles, vibration, trim & weatherstripping falling off, dashboard pieces popping loose, controls & buttons breaking and falling off. Tranny fluid pan and engine oil pan began to leak fluid all over my garage floor.

    * 20K - had to replace Alternator AND Starter.

    * 23K - "Check Engine Soon" light came on intermittently. Engine began to hesitate/chug/lose power at certain temperatures and altitudes. Dealership could not duplicate problem and said there was "nothing" to fix!

    * 30K - plastic radiator drain cock broke, dumped radiator fluid all over my garage. Dealership refused to fix, saying it was a "normal maintenance" item. I replaced with a brass drain cock from Pep Boys. p.s. i got to know the people at Pep Boys Very Well! they told me they have Lots of AC-Delco parts in stock because they Break all the time! I found out AC-Delco stands for "Always Crappy - Don't Expect Long Component Operation".

    * 37K - Head Gasket blew! Dealership refused to fix since I was 1K over warranty miles and was S.O.L.! Took me 1.5 days and i put in new FelPro gaskets myself.

    * 67K - my Cavalier is now sitting on jackstands in my backyard. Broken down! Too many things needing to be fixed: charging system, gasket leaks, computer, transmission, windows fell off the track, runs for 10 minutes then stalls, won't start sometimes, "Check Engine Soon" light is ON Constantly along with ABS/Seatbelt/Brake warning lights, burns white smoke/blue smoke, uses a quart of oil every week.

    I bought this car new, am the original owner, and maintained it well; changed oil every 3K, rotated tires every 10K, flushed coolant every 2 summers, etc. but in the end this Chevy OWNED ME! I have Wasted TOO much time, money, and effort trying to keep this Pig running!

    If you want a Reliable vehicle STAY AWAY from General Motors vehicles! They use cheap/defective parts, won't honor their own warranties, have shoddy workmanship and total disregard for quality control, and rude dealerships who are happy to "Sell" you their garbage but when something goes wrong they Don't Know You!

    If you're just renting or leasing for a few years then it doesn't matter... get whatever you fancy... in a few years, lease is over, it'll be someone else's problem and not yours.

    But if you want something Reliable for you and your family, that won't Waste your time and money with constant repairs and parts, then do yourself (and the environment) a favor.
    Get yourself a Toyota, Honda, or Nissan. The junkyards are already Overpopulated with too many broken down Chevys, Fords, and Dodges.
    I used to believe that american automakers have come a long way and I used to believe in "buying american", but time and again i have been disappointed by the very low quality junk that they build, along with all the recalls, and horrible customer service.
    It's a shame i can no longer trust my hard-earned money with any vehicles made by the "Big 3".
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Wow... that's quite a rant. Of course that is your experience, not the average experience. Their are always lemons and if what you say is true, you got one. Most people including our family have been generally pleased with Cavaliers. We currently have a 99 and it's been flawless.

    Having a bad experience and writing off all American cars is not fair. It's too bad you had that experience though.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    What year and model is it and where was it made? I've had no trouble with my 99 2.2L 4sp. automatic at all. It would be nice if people who had problems with their cars gave us those details so that we could see if there is a pattern to these complaints. Somebody else earlier on also complained about their Cavalier without giving any details as to what model it was even though I asked them to let us know.
  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I recommend Prozac.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    99 2.2 4speed auto,just turned 20,000 miles.
    There IS a question I have though and my friend Bob has been renting a car every 2 weeks to transport his Dad around. He's had three or four "J"s as rentals the last one REAL bad, pieces falling off etc.I asked him if it was built in Mexico or Lordstown Ohio.
    He said he's check the next time he rented.
    I went to the dealer where I bought mine,most of them had where they were produced on a little piece of paper that is stuck inside the rear window with "Total US content" and final assembly plant "Lordstown Ohio". There's even that Union sticker.
    On the really inexpensive ones the paper that told where final assembly was done was hidden behind the smog sticker that tells you where the car rates between 0.0 and 3.0 particulates per million etc.
    I have heard a rumor that the ones from Mexico are not as well built. I know that VW is having trouble on that score as well with the New Beetle.
    At any rate, I'd have gone to a different IMMEDIATELY had I been accused to abusing the car and causing it to screw up.
    Joe3891 and 7937: have you heard of Cavaliers built south of the border being less well built than the N. American ones?
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I have heard that story about cars built south of the border being more troublesome. My Cavalier has a sticker inside the passenger window saying it was built at Lordstown.

    The only problem I've had so far was an issue with the wheel lugnuts working loose. I'll write to GM and tell them about it. The cause of that problem was the wheel covers. Three of the 5 lugnuts hold the cover in place.The lugnuts have a collar that rests on the cover. What was happening was that the collar would contact the cover before the tapered end of the nut seated in the taper of the wheel. It's hard to describe but if you look at your wheels and covers you'll see what I mean - that is if they are not snap-on covers. Anyway, I solved the problem by buying a set of new lugnuts and snap-on covers. Just use a good quality torque wrench and tighten to 100ft.lbs as per user manual to avoid brake pulsation and other nasty problems.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    All the j cars in NE come from Lordstown,I didn't know they built them in Mexico until I got on the web.The assy place is in all the VIN codes 11's code 7 is Lordstown.The first code is country,1-USA 2-CAN 3-MEXICO.Just read the VIN.

    They changed the wheel cover install in 00,the covers nuts screw on to threaded lug nuts.I owned a 94 and the wheel nuts held the covers on & in 120,000 mi never had a problem,when I read your first post I was puzzled.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    It's possible that the covers I had were not up to spec. The nuts must fit through a hole in the cover and a collar on the nut holds it in place. The extension where the nut fits through is too long and gets squeezed between the nut and the wheel. The fact that the mounting method was changed in 2000 is interesting. My 99. Anyway, as I have said, I've solved the problem. Other than that I can't complain about my car.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Mine was built in Lordstown too. Didn't know they built them in Canada as well.
    I'm a little suspicious about the rant above about the Cavalier problems. Seems the Ford Windstar has indentical "failures".click on the name, you'll see what I mean. It's the same rant about Fords, with very little change.
    I hope everyone doesn't think that because I have suggested that the So. of the border J's have been suspected of being more troublesome that it's anything more than a managerial problem down there and not to do with an entire work force, because I KNOW better.Local suppliers? Mgmt? Lack of oversight by GM and VW? I've seen wildly different experiences with these cars. I actually went to look at an 87 4door at a "skid row" lot. Probably not more than 800.00.I'd do it, but the Valiant has to be finished up first, so adopting another car at this time would not be very wise!
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I see what you mean about the Cavalier rant. I asked him for more details, (model, year, engine etc.) and all is quite so far.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Don't assemble Cavaliers in Canada. Most Cavaliers in Canada come from Mexico. My Mexican 99 4-door has been great.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854 has a story about GM moving up the date for a Cavalier replacement to spring 2003. FINALLY!!

    The car will be based on the Opel Astra and will not be too "Americanized" Knock on wood!
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    No! Please NO!I've seen pictures! The 4 door is okay, but the others look like Daewoo built Pontiac LeMans of the late 80's!!I hope they have better luck with them than Cadillac and Saturn have with the Catera and LS. Doesn't bode well for their reputation; they haven't exactly been stellar examples of reliability. I love the Calibra and the others in the line, but the Astra seems too small and dumpy to me.We'll see. Maybe they look better in the cold rolled,eh? In photographs on the Vauxhall/Opel sites they don't look too appealing.I'm only speaking of the styling, now not the mechanicals which are quite modern.Anyway I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.Just resent GM taking old Opel designs and feeding it to the public as "new" because they've been spending all their R&D money on SUVs and trucks!!!
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    The Opel Astra is 1000 years light ahead of the J-body a GERMAN car at a Chevy price!!!

  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    he he he, what makes you think German cars are so great? I've had an Opel Kadet, Opel Ascona and some other German Chev thingy whose name escapes my memory (thank goodness) at the moment. My Cavalier is light years ahead of any of those! Talk about computer problems! They are all just common garden variety run-of-the mill average beaters. Nothing to write home about. I see the German designed Ford Focus is also having its share of problems as well.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Add: Catera, Saturn LS to the less than stellar "German car at Chevy prices" thing going on at GM.That STILL does not change my opinion of their cars. GM has been trying to palm that Opel "machinery" off on the public for 30 or 35 years in this country and hasn't been able to pull it off and won't with such retrograde designs as the Astra.The mechanical stuff is probably fine, the styling really IS dated and dumpy looking.VW has not had much luck with reliability with the Beetle and the Jetta no longer makes Consumer Reports "recommended" list because of it's drooping reliability rating.Just because it's sourced in Germany does NOT mean it is automatically suitable for sale in the US.It may run fine, but it STILL looks like a rehashed Pontiac LeMans.
    With all due respect, and not to sound snappish,if I wanted a German car I'd go out and buy one.European vehicles are only marginally better [again according to the data in C/R]than Domestic cars;their rates of problems just about on the same scale.And 7937, you are correct again:Opel is to VW what Chevy is to Ford in this country.Sophisticated drive trains and German "engineering" do not necessarily endow a vehicle with sterling reliability or guarantee "quality" [as Saturn LS and Cadillac Catera owners have discovered].
    Well, we'll see, eh? I haven't been shown anything that would get me to jump for new set of payments when the "new" Cavalier comes out.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    I want to tell you; I hope you haven't taken offense at my response to your post, it wasn't meant that way.I REALLY appreciate the heads up that you provided a link for.
    Please don't get me wrong, I'm a real fan of these cars, I won't go into all the reasons right now, and it may seem weird, but a bastardized Opel just doesn't impress me, [though the Calibra is hot...then again it looks like a 2 door Cavalier].
    Say what you will about the out of date chassis etc.the Cavalier STILL looks good.
    Just hoping you don't think I was jumping on your neck;I've been aware that that's where GM is going with it's platform sharing, then checked the Opel/Vauxhall sites and all I could think was "WHY"? My initial post was a little tongue in cheek. Was wondering if anyone else felt as disappointed as I do.
    No offense meant Teo. Dave
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I suspect the Saturn 2.2L will be going into these cars which will be a big improvement on the current 2.2L. Better mileage and smoother. The Saturn LS is a very nice car now and I hope Chevrolet can do something similar for the Cavalier.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I agree with you ,I'v worked on German vehicles and not impressed,electrical a nightmare.I may just have to hang on to my 2000 Cavalier LS,I won't go German,13000 mi over a year old NO problems zero nothing.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    my 99. 20,000 and no problems.Saturn engine is apparently an oil burner after a certain point, [but if you don't check your oil and fluids regularly, you shouldn't be driving anyway!!!]but that would be fine.
    There seems to be this attitude out there that if a car doesn't increase in ever more complex and potentially troublesome gimmicks gadgets mechanical bits and electronically controlled systems, that it's "unrefined, crude and dated".I don't call making a vehicle more complex "progress", but it makes great copy for the ad dept. and gives you bragging rights at the water cooler!
    Perhaps GM is buying some time [as they did with the Catera; the next gen. of which will be designed here in the US] to design the 5th generation Cavalier, using Saturn, Opel and GM sources with it's own unique body. Or not.
    Historically GM puts a small car design on the market and leaves it there for YEARS with few updates or changes.
    The Cavalier does what it has always done: it works. Millions of people depend on them every day for reliable transportation.L.A. is swarming with them. And if GM is having to subsidize it with rebates that's their fault for not paying any attention to it for the past 7 years.First car I've had that I didn't wish was something else. It's an honest, straight forward vehicle that does what it's supposed to do AND looks good doing it.Compared to the Astra, I wonder what the design looked like that the "focus" groups rejected!!!!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I agree with a lot of what you say. Our 99 has been basically flawless aside from a couple of dash rattles. That being said, the Cavalier is looking dated when compared to the Sentra, Civic, Protege, Neon and Corolla. The 2.2L is ok, but it lacks power and refinement and burns more gas than it should (mainly in the city).

    If you have not driven the new L-series with the Saturn 2.2L, I suggest you do. It has more power, burns less gas and is more refined than it's Cavalier 2.2L cousin. I think a new Cavalier with this engine will sell much better. If they fix up the handling a little and turn up the quality a notch, GM won't have to subsidize this car like they do today.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    This is the German car I wish I had never owned. It had a 1.8 liter German designed engine. It was a cam-in-head arrangement. The problem was that the designers had forgotten to give the cam shaft sufficient lubrication so that from day one your cam lobes were slowly but surely ground away. The oil from the camshaft drained out of a hole at the back of the cylinder head. After putting a new camshaft in, I put a tight fitting length of pipe in the hole to try and raise the level of oil and form a dam which hopefully the cam lobes would splash up and help to lubricate them. I was glad when I sold the lousy thing.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    about the 1.8 OHC that came in the Firenza,Skyhawk,and Sunbird.It was Brazilian I believe...same engine design I think.He was a used car dealer and described exactly what you described as being the reason the engines were shot at 70,000 miles.
  • joerelljoerell Posts: 2
    I have a new 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier and i have a Am/Fm/Cd radio, and i was looking on the chevrolet website and i saw the new Radion Data system radio. it gives the driver information about various accidents, or bad weather reports. I saw them installed on the 2001 Chevrolet Cavaliers. I was wondering if i can put the RDS in my 1998 Chevy?
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    that new saturn 2.2 is light years ahead of whats in the cavalier now.

    I drove one, its smooth. As smooth as the Toyota motor in my Prizm. Can't say that about the Quad 4 or OHV2.2. Also, it gets 30-35mpg reportedly, in a 3000 pound car!!!

    Maybe gm usa finally has pulled its head out of its corporate collective butt and figured out how to build a competitive motor.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    My 2000 2.2 cav idles so smooth that with the radio on I can't tell the engine is running unless I look at the tach.
  • jimm16jimm16 Posts: 2
    I wrote earlier about a problem with "creaking" steering (2001 sedan, 9000 miles) that is due to a bad strut bearing on the driver's side. I have had the car back to the dealership 4 times and the problem has not been fixed. They have replaced both strut bearings and the steering rack.
    It is very easy to reproduce the problem and I have demonstrated it to two different service managers. You can put your hands on the coil spring and feel it "chattering" as the handwheel is turned. I believe that the strut bearings, including the replacements, are defective.
    I have contacted Chevrolet Customer Service to get them involved and they are making arrangements for one of their troubleshooters to look at it. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to approach Chevrolet and the dealership to get this fixed? Has anyone else seen this problem?
    P.S. Built in Lordstown
  • My 1997 Cavalier with 53k miles has not given me a lot of trouble and has proven to be reliable SO FAR. Problems were wiper motor that took 3 tries to fix, 2 recalls, replacing the tiny front brakes every 2 years along with a set of rotors, coolant temp sensor, and the usual American made squeaks and rattles. Overall, I won't complain as I bought her for a little under $14000 new well equipped.I do have the 2.4 and 4 speed auto which, as far as i'm concerned, is a different car than the 2.2 and 3 speed auto. I also think the 2.4 is a more reliable engine. When I went to the dealer for the last recall which was a cover for the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) I was told that there are several upgrade patches to the PCM memory. One of which is for cold engine stalling and stuttering which I am experiencing. The dealer wanted me to pay for the upgrades. I figured why should I pay for GMs programming mistakes. I contacted GM Customer Service and got nothing but excuses, surprise! The programming upgrades to the PCM seems to be a well kept secret. I wonder how many of the driveability problems people are experiencing are related to this simple reprogramming of the PCM. No parts involved just to download the bug fixes just like we all have experienced with our PCs. Would I buy another Cavalier? With GMs lets "PISS OF THE CUSTOMER" attitude, NO! But anyone experiencing minor driveability problems with no error codes I would investigate the PCM programming upgrades and complain.
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