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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    is largely positive. It's a Lordstown car.

    Ignition switch replaced at 38K, largely because I hung a bunch of keys off it. Replaced alternator a year ago, dealer also replaced valve cover gasket. That's about it.

    This is my wife's present car. I'm driving a 2001 Elantra GLS which has a whole lot more interior room and is a LOT more sophisticated with far better build quality, quietness, etc. However the Cavalier at this point has definitely given me good service. Do think it's getting really long in the tooth, however, and its replacement in 2004 will be long overdue.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    should still be covered under the emissions warranty, since it affects the control of exhaust.A lot of those parts are covered to 80,000 miles by law.
    Check your owners manual to be certain though or try another dealer. It's unfortunate you're having problems with the dealership. So far mine has been great
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Actually, the Cavalier is now due to be replaced with a 2003 model in 2002. The 2002 models have the Saturn 2.2L Ecotec as the optional engine. Cavalier has been left too long and is getting dated. Still don't trust those Korean brands though. Saw two very new Hyundias parked on the side of the road with the hoods up this weekend.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    The 2.2 with the 4 sp will lay rubber.The 2.4 quad is noted for its short comings,a lot of mechanics will cheer now that they will finally replace it with the 2.2 eco tec.You are coming close to the infamous water pump change,picture this the whole front of the engine has to come apart.I have seen posts of $400 to $800 to replace.Btw when i ordered my LS i took the 2.2,$450 option for trouble,no way.The 2.2 pump is 8 bolts an 1/2 hr labor and more reliable engine.GM could never make a good OHC engine,now they got one from Germany.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    It may be from Germany/ Europe, but it's all GM and it's made in the U.S. 2.2L Ecotec is going into the Cavalier, Sunfire, Alero and Grand Am. It's all good.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I have yet to find out if you have to tear the engine apart to replace the water pump on the eco tec, would you know?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    No idea. I do know the engine has had very good reviews all around so I suspect it will have a more accessible pump.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    RE: the Eco-tec on a Cavalier site and noone had any info.Is it the Bi-Fuel 2.2 that comes standard in the S-10 pickups here in CA.? Please post more info. I've only read the name.
    I love the 4speed Auto.w/2.2 in mine, real quiet at speed and great gas mileage. THX, Dave
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The Saturn 2.2L Ecotec in the L-series is the same engine. You can probably get some info from Saturn.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    I may stop by Saturn of the Valley and snag some info or go on their site this evening
  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    Now if only they would offer Saturn's fine 3.0 L V6 in a Cavalier.....
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    1. Compared to my Elantra, insurance costs are a LOT lower. Cheap American cars with readily available parts. I think Hyundai is offsetting lower initial costs with high parts costs.

    (The Elantra is a lot more pleasant to drive, though)

    2. As old as the Cav. platform is, the 1995 redesign was really a clever way of getting another eight or nine years out of the car. I also like the styling.

    As a vehicle, it's WAY ahead of my mother-in-law's 1992 Sunbird which is a most disagreeable car to drive--talk about sitting in a bathtub.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    My third vehicle is a 94 Caravan which was problem free for the first 70K and then proceeded to give me thousands of dollars of grief including the air conditioner falling apart piece by piece to the tune of $1500. The latest problem at 100K is engine mounts (I hope it's not the transmission--3 speed automatic thank goodness--talk about crude!) and like all Mitsu 3 litre engines the valve guides are leaking. Hopefully the Cavalier will age better than that beast.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    is part of the reason I bought my 99.Used to be that if a vehicle that didn't "change for the sake of change" that was a selling point.Now if it doesn't change every 2 or three years it suddenly becomes "unrefined" "crude" or "dated". I loved the design of the 95-up since it was released in Oct.94 [or thereabouts].It still looks good to me.I think they missed the boat dropping the wagon, though.
    That model longevity will also insure a lot of inexpensive parts for a long time to come and there's not many places that won't know how to work on a 2.2.
    csandste: Think there's a difference in the Sunbird and Cavalier because of the 2.0 OHC that Pontiac used in the Sunbird instead of the 2.2 ohv?
    I tried out a 4cyl. Corsica and a v6 when out used car shopping in 96 or 97 and the feel was like night and day.Would that engine be what makes it's character so different?
    There's one thing that the Cavalier has always been [besides dated crude and unrefined ;-)]and that's essentially honest and inexpensive.You know what you're getting.I love mine and after 2 years will still take the long way home just to be able to spend more time with it.Hey,if someone doesn't like them, no matter how good it is or gets,they'll still hate it simply BECAUSE it's a Cavalier.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Well said. We have our second Cavalier (99) and although it's not super refined like a Civic, it's not all that bad either. Generally one of the better small cars for inexpensive transport. Ours is just to get back and forth to work which is about 10km away.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    My grandmother and cousin were picking me up at the airport in Charleston, WV when my cousin's months-old 2001 Cavalier encountered a problem. The car was in park in order to grab an out of reach parking stub and when the park was put into drive, it wouldn't shift. The automatic transmission's "shifting cable" "burnt out" according to the mechanics. Luckily they could fix the engine to stay in drive so that we could drive it to the dealer about 50 miles away. Has anyone experienced this? I've never thought of the Cavalier as a reliable car...especially after reading all of these posts. I knew she should have gone with a Corolla. :-)
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    My neighbors Accord had a blown transmission after 7 months. Doesn't mean that Accords are bad cars. Stuff happens.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    2000 Cavalier LS 15800 mi no problems,had 2 recalls,one for generator light computer reflash & the NE fuel guage problem due to high sulfur fuel.Neither caused a problem with my car but i wanted to keep everything up to date.Best car i've ever owned.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    there are a few Cavalier taxis in Dallas, they mostly run out of Love Field. One is a 99 with the 2.2/3-spd, he has 147K on it, has replaced his head gasket three times, one water pump, one muffler, and one computer. It's pretty reliable. And his mechanic does the work cheap, he didn't say how cheap, but I can imagine he's not worried about blowing another head gasket if it's as cheap as he is inferring.

    I also know of two Metro sedan taxis. The one, a 98 with 145K the other a 97 with 190K. No major repairs on either and they still get 30-32mpg even with all the idling they do. But I'll tell you this, I see a Cavalier or a Metro in the taxi stand and I'll walk right on past to the first big car or van. I wouldn't want to squeeze into one if I'm spending $0.40 per 1/4 mile.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    3 Head gaskets in 147K now that must be a record,it could also be poor gasket change.I have owned 4 cav & i have had few problems,& when i do cheap to fix.Water pump new $20 free installation.Head gasket $14 free installation,hard to get cheaper that.
  • lyn58lyn58 Posts: 6
    Our daughter's 2001 Cavalier Coupe is 8 months old and has just over 4,000 miles on it. We bought it new. The TRAC OFF light has been staying on when the transmission is in drive. The manual says to take it to the service department to be checked which I really don't want to do. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    issued and I believe it says there's no fix. It's common, but it just happens apparently and has for years.But I believe it referred to a random appearance of the light, not an on all the time thing.
    What's wrong with having them check it at it's next service? I don't think your daughter will have too much "down time" that way.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I'm reading a note here about the the Traction control indicator light staying on all the time in Consumer Guide about the Cavalier. They state that there is no problem with the system but there is no current fix for the false indication. So far my 1999 Cavalier has not had the indication. It would be interesting to hear what the dealer has to say to lyn58 about it.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    2000 Cavalier the trac stayed on a couple times after 2 nd gear down shifts,that was miles ago haven't seen it since.
  • Thank you for your responses. The light finally went out after a few days. The next thing to happen is the battery went dead. We jumped it a couple of times and then took it to the local GM dealer (not the one where we bought the car. We bought the car out of town)and they installed a new battery under warranty that same day. No problems. I thought they might put us at the end of the line since we didn't buy it from them.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Anyone see the pictures of the 04 Cavalier in the new Road and Track. Very nice!

    If this is what will really come about, GM may be back in the small car game.
  • What issue? this month's? I wanna see it, will stop by the book store today. My fiance wnats the 04 Cavalier when they come out, actually I think it should be out in 03.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Ya, it will be out in 2003. It's in the new issue (October). It's an Opel picture, but says 2004 Cavalier on top of it.
  • only because it was just getting too small for us. My son just turned 14 and is 6'1" already. He is constantly fooling with the radio when riding with me and it felt like he was right up on me all of the time. Also to go over a bump was to feel like you'd lose a kidney. Such is the small car. BUT - this was a most trouble free, reliable car. NO vibrations, noises or any such thing. I bought what I could afford at the time. I found it odd, though, that even with back to school time, and 50K miles left on a 100K bumper to bumper "elite" warranty, a loaded Cavalier in great condition could NOT be sold in my area. I spend alot of money in newspapers and on the internet, etc. with pics, posted at state offices, and the for sale sign in the window - all this generated barely 3 inquiries. I was asking $8,500.00 and the warranty was no cost to transfer. I finally traded it and got $7k by the hardest. I did notice dealers selling cars like mine for around $7800.00, and so with the tax break I got on trading in, I guess I didn't do too bad. If I had a more normal size son, I probably would have kept the car for him.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    What engine did have and what transmission? I've got a 99 2.2L 4sp automatic and am very happy with it. I guess I'll drive it until it dies if that is what the resale value is.
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