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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • 1989 2.0L automatic Cavalier doing well at 243,000 miles. Engine is a bit noisy and shakes the whole car at idle but otherwise has lots of power and A/C works just fine (was retrofitted to R134a). Only other problems seem to be rust from salty winters and oil leaks. Tranny had her first fluid change last year.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    didn't realize how crude it was until I purchased an 01 Elantra. I'm sure the comparison with any other modern car would have been similar. Even though I don't like automatics, I would agree that the 4 speed automatic is the best part of the Cavalier. That plus the standard ABS/traction control is about the only part of the Cav. that remains enjoyable.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    didn't purchase the Elantra you wouldn't know the difference,I not going to make that mistake.
  • I test drived a 2002 Cavalier. It is a very good entry level car. I almost bought one. However, the dealer raised the price for the car near the end of the manufactory rebate. Might because too many people rushed in. If you are not in a hurry, don't buy it if you can not get at least invoice price - $3000. So many 2002 cars are sold this year. What do you think is going to happen to 2003 cars?
  • Does anyone know of any Auto Plant Tours available to individuals or couples (not groups) in Michigan-Ohio-Kentucky-Tennessee-Illinois (or slightly beyond) area? I've already toured the Toyota Plant at Georgetown, Ky. And, if you know, who do I contact to make the tour? Does the Cavalier plant in Lordstown, OH give tours?

    Also, any rave Auto Museums you can recommend in that same area? I've already been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg and Ray Miller museums in Indiana, and the Gilmore in Michigan (and those are all great I might add).
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Lansing Car Assembly gives tours at the Body Plant on Verlindon Ave. in Lansing, Mi. The final Assembly plant accross town does too, I believe. They both make the Grand Am, Malibu, and the Alero. Body plant builds the body, paints it, all glass, some trim and ships it to the final Assembly plant for seats, dash and drive train. Very interesting with over 200 robots in their body shop.
  • I took my wife's 2000 Cav to the dealer to have the rough start problem looked at and checked for the TSB involving the fuel module screen being too fine. This morning it had a rough start infront of the service manager (I left it at the dealer last night) and he told me it was due to the sequential fuel injector system and it is normal for it to crank for a long time (relatively speaking to all the other cars I have ever been in) and that they have had similar complaints, but it is normal.

    If those of you that have experienced this would please reply, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, if there are any repairs that could prevent this, they would also be appreciated.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I had a 1996 Cavalier with the 2.2 engine, and it never took more than 1 try to start the car in the summertime. I never owned it in winter (got rid of it in 3 months), so I don't know about that.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I suppose it could be right but I find it highly unlikely. How many people would go to a dealer and buy a car that had to be cranked and cranked to get it started. Reminds me of the old days of chokes when they got out of wack. Something isn't right in Mudville.
  • Don't know if this will help, but a bad fuel pump would/might cause that condition. TSB from alldata:

    00-06-04-044 OCT 00 Fuel Pump Module - Engine Hesitation, Stalls/No Start

    SFI would seem to refer to a 2.4L engine. 2.2 is listed as an MFI. So, if you have a 2.2, the explanation would be even more suspect.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I have one since new,26000 miles now and it starts right up,you have a problem.Any engine should start right MFI SFI or what ever,you need to go to another dealer,your is suspect.
  • Sat in a 2003 Cavalier and the seats felt way better than my friend's 99, or any rental I have driven.

    Also, the steering wheel and some interior pieces felt better. But, the rear end looks funny with the fenders sticking out past the trunk lid.

    But, I would wait for a 2004 Malibu or 2005? Cavalier.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The 95-02 cars were rude and crude, but I felt they were among the prettiest in Chevy's stable. This thing's been taking beauty hints from a Monte Carlo and that's not good. Lutz should have saved his money and brought out the replacement six months early.
  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    My Mom is considering buying her friend's off-lease 2000 Cavalier. 2.2l, auto, air, cruise, keyless entry, about 54,000km (33,750 miles), well cared for (except the paint which has some scrapes and nasty bird-dropping marks). The price is just under CDN$9,500.

    Seems like a reasonable deal. Any comments (either on the price or on the car in general)?

  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    bh0001 : Sounds fair, nothing special about the price. My mother in-law has a 2000 Cav and she has had about 90K of trouble free driving.

    csandste : The 03 isn't ugly, but it's not as good looking as the 02. Ah well, the replacement is about a year and a half away and the ION looks pretty good if you want a GM small car this fall.
  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    Thanks for the input. I figured there was nothing special about the price but I wanted to verify that it wasn't unreasonable.

  • I'm looking at a 1999 cav. it has 41000 miles. the driver side rear door and quarter panel color look slightly diff than the rest of the car and the trunk lid is slightly wonky. carfax shows no accidents reported etc. the rear seat is pretty stained. the used car lot is asking 5995.00. i'm being very cheap and only want to spend 5000.00. am i being unreasonable is asking that price? or is the 5995.00 a good price?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Go to and check the price.

    Also, and click on "research and price", then on "black book prices" on that page.

    You are looking at a 4-year old car with pretty good mileage, but an awful interior. This car also was probably in an accident. I think you can do better than $5995, especially since this car is a Cavalier, and they don't hold their value that well either.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I saw an 03 Cavalier sedan on the road last night. It was raining, so I didn't get a great look at it. The back end of it looks like a smaller Impala though, totally not appealing to me at all. I wish they would hurry up with the redesign and stop playing games with the public.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    They aren't playing games, it's just that Lutz didn't like what was being planned and wants to make sure the next Cavalier is done right. I would sooner see it take a year longer than get something half baked next year. This is becoming a very important segment and they can't screw it up.

    I think also want to give Saturn a little head start with their new small ION.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Never thought about the Cavalier waiting for the ION. The ION looks pretty promising. I have a "drive appointment" for the ION on October 7 at 6PM. They sent me a card in the mail about it, read the details on the ION discussion.

    I am curious to check out Saturn's new car. I know the S Series is wayyy over the hill, worse than the Cavalier is.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    the rear end is wall to wall red plastic very tacky,I like the front though is has a sporty look,just got back from the dealer.I hope LUTZ had nothing to do with rear end,its a disappointment.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    I just saw what I now suspect is a 2003 Cavalier. I saw it from behind. I was not amused.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Is not very attractive. They screwed it up there, too bad.

    I would go for an ION at this point. They should hit the street in a month or two.
  • Just bought a 97 Cav 2.2, 4 sp auto. The abs light comes on when the key is first turned on, like it should then goes out. no problems indicated. I took it out in the rain yesterday & the ABS system doesn't seem to be working. The car stopped pretty well but I got the front tires to lock up for a just before it stopped. I didn't feel the pulsating I was expecting from antilock brakes. Should the ABS light come on when the system is working then go out when it stopped or is the light just to indicate system problems?
    Is there a common problem that anyone knows about or anything I can check for?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    The ABS light will not come on unless there is a problem,the brakes will lock up when you are almost to a stop,thats normal.
    I have driven 200K with ABS & think its the best thing since popped corn.
  • After thinking about it, it may just have been that I never lost traction to activate the ABS. the car has new tires, & althogh the road was wet & I hit the breaks pretty hard from about 40 mph, the car stopped in a very short distance. basically what I'm getting at is that the cavs brake system is "undersized" for the car from what I've read here & the new tires gripped well enough to keep the undersized brakes from locking up the wheels. Guess I'll have to wait til winter & check them in the snow.

    Anyone here know where I can locate detailed info on the ABS system used in the cavaliers. I got a Chiltons on it & it tells how to change the components but not how to check the system. I didn't even see anything in the wiring diagrams showing a schematic of the system. I also bought the Haynes manual which I'm going to return because it's USELESS. SO DON"T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THE HAYNES, go for the Chiltons, I found it to be a bit more indepth on most things.
  • Using the factory incentives along with the GM Mastercard points makes it a better deal than most other makes. I found that out on Just keep it for fifty thousand miles right before the wear and tear appears and dump it. By then, the points will have built up again. Might as well,all cars nowadays are made like disposible cigarette lighters.
  • I bought my new 2001 Cavalier 14 months ago with seventeen miles. It currently has 12,000 miles with no problems whatsoever. It's hard to believe some of you are having so many problem with a new car. New cars in this day and age have enough quality control to avoid many major mishaps. Just look at the rental companies, they have to choose a reliable car to stay in business. It is only after a car has over fifty thousand miles the wear and tear haunt us all at once.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    My 2000 Cavalier LS 25,000 miles still no problems.Next report at 30,000.
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