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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • delliottdelliott Posts: 5
    Reference my previous message on squeaking hubcaps. I should have said this applies to a 1997 Cavalier with plastic bolt on type hubcaps. Hasn't anyone else had this problem?
  • shyontsshyonts Posts: 1
    I've definitely had the same problem with my Cavalier. I suspect many others have too, since Chevy was putting those plastic bolts on the hubcaps since the late 80s. Since the bolts are strictly for decorative purposes, I got down and wedged a little bit of black electrical tape between the bolt and the hubcap. If you do it right, you can wedge something where it is out of sight and it'll hold the bolt in place so it won't make noise.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I have a 99 Cavalier 2.2 liter automatic. Have had it for 15 months and done 10k miles. No problems yet whatsoever. My wheelcovers don't squeak but if they did I would take them off and spray silicon lubricant on the back of them and bolt them back on.
  • delliottdelliott Posts: 5
    Thanks to shyonts and 7937 for your answers to squeaking hubcaps. We will try these suggested solution and see if they work.
  • I purchased my 1996 Cavalier in December 1995 and luckily I purchased the additional warranty with it. Within first 6months and less than 10,000 miles it was in the shop 4 times for transmission leak. Finally they replaced the transmission completely. Then in 1997 it was in the shop 2times b/c it would cut off while at stop light. They still are not sure what happened but it hasn't done it since. Then it had to be towed in again in 1997 due to fuel pump went out, so they had to replace it (w/less than 18,000 miles). And now again I am having several leaks and transmission problems. They have replaced barring in the transmission, they have done work on my power steering, shifting rod and other numerous parts that I haven't a clue what they are called. I have paid a deductible 2 times w/in 40 days and since December 1999 my car has been in the shop 6 times for over 45 days and that is where it is as of today I had to take it back again due to my engine coolant light has come on and will not go off. I hope that if anyone else out there is listening and is going to purchase a used 1996 Cavalier...I hope you think twice! It is in the Consumers Report for a "bad" choice so to speak due to the transmission problems. And for those of you who own a 1996 Cavalier I sure hope you have had better luck than I, b/c I wouldn't want anyone to go through the mental stress that I have been put through with my first brand new car! I had 2 used cars before I purchased this one new, and combined I never had to have them worked on besides the usual oil, tires, brakes, plugs and general maintenance for upkeep. I am now in the process of writing GMC to report all of the trouble I have had and how unhappy I am. I have reported it several times and have a file w/GMC call center but found no customer satisfaction with them. I too have had the dashboard rattling but I can deal with that, but getting to point B from point A w/out worry is what I can't deal with any longer and my additional warranty will be up in December. My car now has 55,000 miles on it and I refuse to sell it to someone knowing the problems that I have had w/it. I am trying to get GMC to purchase it and let them be responsible for selling this lemon twice! (If you have any of the similar problems, please respond!)
  • tbsrtbsr Posts: 2
    I'm a kindergarten teacher who lives in rural Alaska, population of 450. I need your help!

    My 1981 GMC truck has been terric. I've driven it in -50 below. I'm looking for a 2000 Chevy Cavalier to purchase right away!

    1.Does anyone have any experience with this vehicle in cold weather?

    2. Also, our town only has 1.5 miles of gravel road that I will travel on daily. Can a new Cavalier hold up under these conditions with an average daily mileage of 6 miles per day?

    3. MSRP and dealer invoice for Alaska does not seem to apply. My nearest dealers (which are 350 airmiles away), are pricing the base Cavalier with automatic tranny at $14,150 minus a $1000 rebate for an initial price of $13,150. Considering my location in Alaska, is this a fair price or am I being taken to the cleaners? I got higher price quotes online and in the "lower 48."

    Here's a little something to think about: it will cost an additional $3000 for me to fly the thing here to our town. We are very, very, remote; so you can appreciate the need for advice since this vehicle will never see a dealer's shop.
    Thanks in advance to all who respond.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    A friend of mine has a 99 Cavalier and he lives just north of Sudbury Ontario. No problems, and it gets pretty cold at night in January up there. GM has a test center in Timmins Ont., which is just a bit further north. Not sure about the prices though. Good luck.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The Cavaliers are cheap and all that, but they lack quality. The interiors feel cheap, and their reliability is not all that good either. The 1992-99 used models are "cars to avoid" according to Consumer Reports. I would recommend a Sentra, Corolla, Civic, or Protege instead of the Cavalier.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I would take what CR says with a grain of salt. Most other car review magazines give Cavalier an average reliability rating which is exactly what it should have. Not as good as Civic, but and average and less expensive. That's why Chevy sells so many of them. It's great value for some basic transportation, end of story. (This excludes the Z24 which is pretty kool).
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I had a 1996 Cavalier. It broke down 8 times in 6 weeks. The P/S pump had to replaced, along with the strut, trunk lock, and eventually fuel pump. Also, the back brakes had to be serviced twice and the front ones use to grind. And to add to it, the dealer was rude too. That is the reason I got rid of it and got a Mazda. It will be a loooong time before I buy another American car. Just my experiences and opinion.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I have the 99 2.2 liter 4spd automatic Cavalier sedan and so far no problems. I also take CR with a grain of salt. My brother-in-law has a 92 Buick Skylark and a 92 Mercury Topaz both which are classed as "used cars to avoid" by CR. In both cases the cars have given him good service and the only things replaced were the batteries. Both are well over 150k miles. The automatic transmissions are fine.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Just took over a lease on a 99 2.2L Cavalier last week. Air/cruise/auto/AM/FM Cass. CR said avoid so I went for it. I needed a cheap second car for my wife to get to the train and it's perfect. Not super refined, but not too bad either. With a 1.9% lease rate and a 60K warranty, how can you go wrong? A lot better than the 7.1% Honda is charging these days on the Civic.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I see that my 99 Cavalier has 18 NHTSA service bulletins as opposed to the 2000 Ford Focus which has already got 23. Also, owners of the Focus are venting off in the Town Hall chat about problems. I thought the Focus was designed in Europe so should be better hmmm..... I'm happy with eLcheapo Cav thanks.
  • lochbuielochbuie Posts: 2
    I've owned two of the present series, a '95 and a '98, both sedans with 5 speed manual transmission. I immediately noticed increased body roll on the '98 but also a torquier (though less powerful on paper) engine. Pluses: decent stereo; reasonably comfortable seats; powerful A/C; relaxed highway cruiser. Minuses: manual transmission (GM, unlike Ford, just doesn't seem to believe in the concept of a manual trans as anything but an economy measure -- their automatics are the best; maybe the Getrag trans on the 2000 is better). Other minuses: reliability record not up to [non-permissible content removed] standards (not my experience though); fit and finish a bit sloppy; non-availability of the OHC engine with a five speed in the sedan. But it definitely feels like a little Chevy, which I like. And with the money saved I can travel to Europe and fly airplanes for fun on Saturday mornings.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Warming to my theme, I see that the 1999 Ford Escort has 46 NHTSA service bulletins as opposed to 23 for the 99 Cavalier. Something's wrong here! Consumer Reports gave the Cavalier a thumbs down and the Escort was recommended.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Sorry, there are only 18 service bulletins for the 99 Cavalier. It's the 2000 Ford Focus has already got 23.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Drove the "new" 99 around town a lot this week. It certainly takes getting used to (my car is a 2000 Intrigue), but for the money you get great basic transportation.

    Anyone who is looking for just that.. buy/lease a Cavalier and use the savings for a new deck. that's what I'm doing! Mmmm, BBQ and beer on the deck. Thankfully summer is almost here.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    tbsr. Seeing how you are writing from someplace not accessible by road, I suggest you consider an ATV for the summer and a snowmachine for the winter. It's a change in the way of thinking, but it's a different world you're living in now. Ask around and check out what other people use. If all you've got are short, small logging roads, to travel on these will deal with the ruts and washboard much better, and I'm betting there's a TON of people in town who maintain them themselves.

    You can probably get a new, decent model of each for less than what you'd pay for a Cavalier, and if you'll have something to go out on trips with with friends too. The fuel economy and oil changes, etc. should be cheaper too.
  • 91689168 Posts: 1
    Where did you find the service bulletin for the '94 Cavalier? I know two people who have that car both w/ automatic transmissions that have blown head gaskets.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I don't think it's a service bulletin. Chevy isn't that honest (believe me, I had a '96 Cavalier and dropped it for a Mazda). Anyway, go to and then click on Secret Warranties. That is where you'll find it.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend has a 1996 Cavalier coupe with the 2.2 and auto-3. He presently has 100K on the car and just had about $800 worth of work (catalytic converter, computer, and fuel pump) done on the car in the past two months. Last night, he was turning from a side street to a main street. He pushed on the gas and heard this very loud bang and smoke started filling the interior and coming from under the hood. He blew the engine and fried the tranny! At 100,000 miles? That's a good car for ya!
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    What caused it? I'm sure there is more to it. How did the transmission go also? Sounds like a simple head gasket problem. Cut the freaking car some slack it's a compact ECONOMY car, not a luxury sedan. Geez get a life.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The car only had 100,000 miles on it. Civics are compact economy cars too, and I have heard of them lasting AT LEAST 200,000 without problems like that. Cavaliers look, feel, and even sound cheap when driving them. No getting around it. Ask an automotive publication and they will also back me up on this. I had one too, so I know how they are. And the dealers are the biggest jerks in the world as well. Don't wanna admit to anything going wrong with the cars.

    He said the coolant didn't leak or anything, so I have no idea what caused it. He is just going to get another car (Mazda or Toyota-- smart boy) and junk the Cavalier.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Well the Protege is not exactly the cream of the crop either. That's why you see NO ONE driving them and that's why they sell so little. Also keep in mind it is a cheap car because that is what it is a CHEAP transportation. I laugh at people like you, the immediate answer is to switch to the import. Think again though, Civics have gone through worse problems at 100,000. What you have heard is the "good" rumors about the Civic but if you really look and research you will see that cars are cars and no matter who makes them they ALL have had issues at 100,000 miles. Oh wait, but you should be proud of your Mazda, it's after all another Ford product, what a joke.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    "And the dealers are the biggest jerks in the world
    as well. Don't wanna admit to anything going wrong
    with the cars."

    This is Honda you are talking about right? Because everyone says that EVERY Honda dealership always denies that anything is wrong with their cars when they are wrong. Well, my fiance just bought a new 2000 Cavalier LS loaded and saved abundle, with that money we are going on a cruise. Sounds like a better deal, oh and consumer guide recommends the Cavalier every year. You get what you pay for, Cheap transportation and teh Cavalier delivers that with no problems. Say what you must, more people put their trust in Cavalier than Protege, poor Mazda.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    More people buy Cavaliers because they are bargain basement priced. Some people don't care that they are cheaply built or can't afford anything else. And some Cavaliers go on trouble-free forever. But most of them don't.

    And you need to do your research bud. The Protege is all Mazda designed, engineered, and built. Not one part in it is made by Ford. They may have helped with the financing, but Mazda did all the rest. Now that we resolved that issue...

    Anyway, I am glad your fiance bought a new Cavalier and is taking a cruise and all. She bought what she liked and I bought what I like. It's just that it's proven that domestic cars have more problems in general to foreign cars. Ask anyone and they will tell you the same thing. Also, check Consumer Reports (April 2000) for past and present reliability issues (about 400,000 or so readers surveyed for info) on all cars. And in there, Cavaliers from 1992-99 are "Used cars to avoid". Protege is a "Good bet".
    Seems like most of the American companies are in their "avoid" column. hmmm..... Wonder why???
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    CR isn't the be all end all of publications Vocus. Cavaliers are generally good cars for basic transportation. They are reliable and a great value. We have a 99 Cavalier as a second around town car and you couldn't ask for more for the price. ABS, traction control, cruise, air, auto, ps/pb/pl, keyless entry ect. ect. ect. for about $18k CDN ($12K U.S.). 1.9% lease rate to boot. Civic can't compare on a price level. Sure it's more refined, but it's a lot more expensive too.

    Don't know what happened to your friend, but there isn't anything wrong with this car in general. It's not the best, but it's definitely one of the best values out there which is why it's a best seller!
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    There are two ways to buy a car.

    1) Buy what you like and what has proven to be reliable to YOUR family, not CR. My family has owned 2 Luminas ( 95, 98), 1 Beretta( 94) ( mine), 1 Malibu ( 99, mine also), 1 Monte Carlo ( 1980), 2 Cavaliers. They have ALL been trouble free. The monte Carlo has 240,000 and it just went in for a power steering pump and a new radiator. Despite what CR says they have proven VERY reliable. Your statement revised would be " MOST Cavaliers are very reliable andd go forever, SOME have trouble. GM makes MORE cars than your Protege so yes the more cars you make the more the chances of a lemon.

    2) Being a Leming and following what magazines say as the word of the Lord. Obviously you bought your car because a magazine called it a Best Buy. What does that mean? Really what value does it carry? So if a magazine says that eating raw eggs would make you rich you would go ahead and follow. That is pretty sad. The Cavalier is actually a RECOMMENDED car by Consumer Reports, Consumers Guide , and AAA. So even though I DO NOT follow magazine reviews, here they are for you.

    We chose to buy the Cavalier because Chevrolet has ALWAYS been tehre for us. They have PROVEN to be Reliable and have proven CR to be faulty, biased. Glad you bought what you like but I don't believe for one moment that " my friend's car" story. Why didn't your "friend" post it? There is no such thing as the engine going and the tranny following unlesss he was doing something wrong or the people who installed the catalitic converter screwed up. I know cars my friend and I know Chevies pretty well, what you describe is only a hoax. Hope your Protege goes for more than 100,000 miles without trouble because if it doesn't you're gonna feel quite embarrased. Either way, no hars feeling, this is car talk, enjoy your new purchase. :-)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I guess it's because I had such a bad experience with my Cavalier is why I am against them. A friend of mine had one and beat the hell out of it, changed the oil every 10,000 miles, and did nothing to it. Hers ran fine up to 70,000 miles when she let the loan company repossess it. :) Guess she can't keep up with anything. Anyway, someone else had one and it ran fine too. Mine was very poor. Just didn't understand how a car with only 31,051 miles on it could have soooo many problems. My friend's never had trouble until about 70,000, then water pumps started going left and right, the catalytic converter went, the fuel pump (common on Cavaliers from what I hear). Then at 100,000, it died. Never heard of a car doing that though, at least not one that was maintained properly (which his was). Also, the numbers don't lie. In general, foreign cars are more reliable. They don't sell in as much volume, but I would rather spend a little more for a car that holds up longer. Maybe me, but it just seems foreign cars last longer.

    Also, as far as what Cons. Reports says, I am going to listen to them, because I would rather have a reliable car that costs a little more than a cheap one that doesn't.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Before this 99 Cavalier we have as a second car, I had a 91 Cavalier RS (with the 3.1L v6) as my primary car. What a great car that was. Gobs of torque, reliable and an all-round great car. The only complaint I had was rust on the doors. This was the reason I sold it in 1997 with 138K on the dial.

    Came back to Cavalier this year for a second car because the other one was so good. So far with 15K on the dial... perfect. It's not super refined, but it's not bad. Great for around town.

    vocus: Mite want to be careful when you say foreign. If you include korean, some Japanese and European marks, I would totally disagree with you.
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