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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • I am glad you are enjoying your Cavalier. I too have a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier LS, and it now has 5800 miles. I am enjoying it, and absolutely nothing has gone wrong, although there are a few rattles in the dash. Soon, the car will be taking a 250 mile trip, which will be enjoyable.

    Also, it gets great gas mileage compared with my Ford Expedition.
  • Need help with this problem. Have had an intermittent miss problem on 2.2 1994 cavalier.
    Replaced plugs, wires and one coil [ for #2 and 3] b/c my timing light test showed that missing
    is on #2 and sometimes #3. Replaced coil last night and runs well but can detect miss on #2.
    After each replacement, 1st plugs, then wires and now we'll see about coil, the car ran well for a few weeks or in the case of wires, days, and then developed a horrible miss which sometimes disappears by itself. Any suggestions?

  • Alright, I know I am a girl- but Just wondering if you checked the fuel injectors??? Because currently I have a rough idle and it is caused by 1 bad fuel injector. =)
  • My 2004 Cavalier LS has 5,950 miles on it, and I have been thoroughly enjoying every mile. Recently (yesterday as a matter of fact), the "Service Engine" light came on. I don't think it is very major, and I am having the tires rotated on Monday, so I will get the dealership to have a look. But I was just wondering if anyone has any idea what could be triggering this?

    PS- In the manual it says something about the emmisions system..
  • lexielexie Posts: 45
    I own a 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier and it is worst investment I have ever made. If you are thinking about buying a car for a reasonable price, read this because it happened to me. Do not let those rebates lure you in as was exactly what happened to me.

    I had just gotten out of college and was looking for a reliable car to get from point A to B. I did not care about anything else except that it was new because the warrant WAS important to me. I was looking at the Madza, Honda Civic and Toyota Echo but the Cavalier won my heart because of the $2000 rebate. I felt that I was getting a good deal.

    Car required a new transmission around 17,000 miles in July 2003. The overdrive was completely torn. Car spent 17 days in the shop. Repair was covered under warranty. Took it in two times previously and they could not find out the problem until I insisted that there was a problem.

    The radiator cracked at around 23,300 miles. Service advisor told me it happens to 1 in a million. The coolant leaked inside of the transmission causing it not able to build pressure. Almost required a second transmission replacement. Fought GM to reimbursement on the repair of $1162. They reimbursed me for $1062 even though it was out of warranty but because of the low mileage. Three months later, in late Feb 05, body valve and shift solenoid needed repair and it was $698. The car had less than 24,000 miles. It is a chain of events happening w/ the transmission. My car spent 30 days in the shop since I purchased it. I lost faith in it and filed a complaint w/ the BBB to request a buy back. Got a call from GMC and I was told that they went far and beyond to help me and that they cannot keep paying for the repairs. They are man made and things like this are going to happen. They indeed did me a BIG favor -constanting sending me back to the shop, not to mention the setbacks that I sustained! So basically the message I got was, 'tough sh&t, deal with it'. The issue here is not about the faulty car, but whether GMC stand behind their products or not and in this case, they did not. Spend the extra several grands and get something reliable and with good resale value. If you cannot afford a reliable car, lease one. I never thought it would happen to me but it did. I drive 120 miles a week and took good care of it w/ the intention of making good use of it.
  • I suppose you mean "GM" when you say GMC? GMC does not make the Cavalier, but makes SUVs. It is another subsidiary of GM as is Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, etc.
  • lexielexie Posts: 45
    I did not know that General Motors Corporations only makes SUVS. The last time I checked they make coupes, 4 door sedans, SUVs, pick-up trucks and sport/cargo vans.
  • Well, MOST people would become confused with your way of putting it, as here in the US (are you from Canada or something?), GMC is a subsidiary of GM which is General Motors. I guess some people refer to it(General Motors) as GMC, but it is confusing because GMC is a subsidiary of GM..
  • cavrebelcavrebel Posts: 1
    I was wondering if anyone can tell me how to remove my center console in my 2002 cavalier coupe! Cuz I bought a short throw shifter for it and I want to switch it with the factory sifter! so if anyone knows... please help me out!
  • lexielexie Posts: 45
    Thank you for clarifying. I always thought that General Motors Corporation is registered as GMC.
  • lexielexie Posts: 45
    And if you already own one, I am sorry. You cannot even give it away for scrap metal. It has the worse resale value and it is not a cheap car either.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    My five previous 4-cyl Cavaliers (1984, 1987, 1989, 1992, and 1996 models) averaged about 65,000 miles each when I sold them. I never had any problems with any of them, except early replacement of alternators on the first two.

    I recently bought a 2005 Cav Coupe. Small but noticeable changes made since my last Cav (1996) have made the Cav a more comfortable, better car, one that I am enjoying immensely. And the 140 HP Ecotec engine is essentially the same engine as is in the new Cobalt.

    Despite a lot of hooey about how ancient the Cav design now is, I've always averaged about 24 mpg and servicing the car is relatively easy. I sincerely believe the last of the Cavs is the best buy in compact cars I've ever come across.

    I also own a 2002 Mazda Protege. A good car, but scarcely better than the Cav in my opinion, and it doesn't get as good gas mileage.
  • lexielexie Posts: 45
    You have gotten to be kidding me? No sign of wear and tear and told them the car has no mechanic defect and that is the quote I got.... Scrap metal worths more...
  • future1future1 Posts: 103
    Consumer Reports published the list of the most and least satisfying cars. The Cavalier ended up the second least satisfying in the "small cars" category (44%). I scanned this board, and it seems consistent with the CR: I mostly see the terms "disgusting", "pathetic", "worst", and "trouble" in here. I am very curious, why do you folks keep buying it? I mean, there are sensible choices out there among the small cars in the similar price range that have the satisfaction index at least 40 points higher (Prius, Scion, Civic, Mazda3). I am just trying to understand.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    You can buy a 05 new for less than $9000.
  • lexielexie Posts: 45
    I would not buy it again even if it go as low as $5000. I found the incentive attractive at the time. I never thought that a new car would give me this much trouble and with the warranty, I thought it was a good choice but it turned out to be the worst investment I made thus far. From the people that I talked to that own it - it is either a hit or a miss. I take my money and gamble somewhere else.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    There is a lot of hooey everywhere (particularly on the internet) about what an ancient, deplorable, cheap, troublesome car the Cavalier is. I don't think it was just luck that I have had very satisfactory service now from six different Cavaliers over a period exceeding 20 years!. And I have had experience with owning and driving cars since 1948. And I have always done the maintenance service myself on all my cars.

    Yes, some people will get an occasional lemon from any make of car, and that may well sour them for life on that particular make or model car. But, considering the very large volume of Cavaliers sold, where is the hard evidence that, percentage-wise, the Cavalier has had more than its share of problems?

    Surely there are other Cavalier owners that will side with me? Please let us hear from you guys. In any case, you've heard my personal opinion. Enough said from me, a very Happy Cavalier Owner!
  • future1future1 Posts: 103
    But, considering the very large volume of Cavaliers sold, where is the hard evidence that, percentage-wise, the Cavalier has had more than its share of problems?

    The above mentioned Consumer Reports is the evidence that you are looking for. This year, they asked 250,000 consumers how satisfied they are with the vehicle they are driving. In the small car category, 44% of Chavalier owners were satisfied, compared to 94% of Prius owners, 87% of Scion owners, and 80% of Mazda3 owners.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    I believe that is mostly the result of the brainwashing that occurs after years of media inattention, and finally abuse, that is usually given to any proven design that doesn't give the media very much new to talk about from year to year, over a long lifespan.

    I have seen the Cavalier improve steadily from year to year, and now the best Cavalier ever is being sold at bargain prices. Generally I sell my Cavaliers to personal friends who have always said that they have gotten continuing good performance from their purchases.
  • gmoudygmoudy Posts: 67
    I must agree with you about the Cavalier. I have owned a 1986 RS with only having to replace the fuel pump. I owned that one till 1992 when I moved overseas.
    When I came back to the states, I test drove quite a few cars, including the Dodge Neon, and was very happy with picking the 1995 4 door Cavalier. I owned that till 2001 with no problems. I bought a 1998 Z24 and still have it. The only things I have had to replace in the Z is the battery and the water pump. The water pump went out with 60000 miles on the car. The Z still runs great and I still get 33mpg on the highway trips and about 30 town driving. I would say that I am a very satisfied Cavalier owner. :D
  • shadow6shadow6 Posts: 1
    I love my cavalier. But resently I've been having some problems and I'm not sure what it is. While driving on a trip and accelarating my car start making a noise that kind of sounds like an airplane. When I am driving at slower speeds not really any noise. And now yesterday while I was about to start driving my flashers flickered and my service light went on. I turned off the car and turned it back on and it was off. So drove the car home. When I started the car again and was switching the car to drive the flashers flickered again and my service light went on again. And now it is not going off. What is wrong with my car?????? :sick: :sick: :sick:
  • Well, I am in the supposed '44% category' of Consumer Reports, then. I am almost completely satisfied with my 2004 Cavalier which now has 6,600 miles. I guess I am just easily pleased. I am a subscriber to CR, too, so when the satisfaction results for 2005 comes out, I will be one of the satisfied.

    'Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc.' people get too brainwashed with their stories of their "wonderful Japanese" cars. But, we all have our opinions. :shades:
  • isseyvooisseyvoo Posts: 121
    I took loving care of my old '92 Cavalier (bought new). Much highway cruising. Frequent washing. Very few sudden starts/stops. Oil/filter every 3K w/o fail. Major dealer-performed tune-ups every 15K, and all the rest of normal preventive maintenance on time or early.

    I would have to say my experience was mixed at best -- the most significant problem being a leaking head gasket at 50K (replaced at considerable cost), and then again at 106K (when I gave up). Other weaknesses--the paint failed early and badly, the power locks broke repeatedly (both under and after warranty), rust set in earlier than I would have expected (especially since I had it Ziebarted when new). Other than that it was pretty normal. Replaced alternator and exhaust once each, replaced brakes and struts twice each as well as some other relatively minor suspension repairs over 106K and 13 yrs.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    I was considering buying a Cavalier myself but bought a 2001 Toyota Echo instead (Ziebarted too :) )

    At 110k miles everything is still working. The front brake pads were replaced although the old ones still had 30% useful life left. No coolant leaks or rust whatsoever. No rattles or unusual noises.

    The only Cavalier I have driven was one loaned to me for a week, while fixing a mysterious electrical problem with my Chev. K1500 had (did not leave me stranded).
    Great gas mileage (33 MPG) and very comfortable.

    I've been lucky with GM. My 91 Caprice went past 300k with only minor problems and my pickup truck never fails.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Go ahead and post your question so that anyone who might have a suggestion can respond.
  • gmoudygmoudy Posts: 67
    If your check engine light is staying on, take it to the dealership and have them hook up to the on board computer. If your car is just under five years old and under 100000 miles, it should only cost you around $80. The computer is considered part of the polution control. Your computer may have dropped it's programming.
    That may sound funny, but it happened to me and my 98 Z24. The car still ran like a champ. The dealership couldn't understand why it was still running so well. Try this and see if it doesn't fix your problem.
  • krismkrism Posts: 11
    Why do we keep buying the cavalier?

    Because its the best car for the money, and does a great job being what it was built for and thats an econobox. Magazines, media and those so called car reviewers have crapped on the car for years, and while the car has been improving constantly the media gave it a bad stigma. I work as an auto tech (although not at a dealership so we dont see warranty stuff) and considering there is more cavaliers on the road then just about any other car, we dont see many coming here for repairs, most are for maintenence.

    The cars did have problems, 95-96 2.2L engine did have a head gasket issue. But a head casket job on those cars is cake and can be done in a little more time then it takes to change a timing belt on an import. Blower motor resistor is also crap on these cars and goes south fairly regularly, but again its a $30 dealer part that can be replaced by anyone with minimal mechanical knowledge and a 10 dollar tool kit from wallmart.

    To me the problems with the Cavalier are minor. I dont read car reviews by CR or other car reviewers often, and I don't put much faith into generic reliability ratings, and too me CRs sample base is way too low to have meaningful and accurate numbers.

    The best advice you can get on any car is from someone who had owned it for a good period of time and if they are satisfied with it. This speaks for all cars and not just Cavaliers.

    I own 2 Cavaliers, a 2000 2.2L 5spd manual which i bought new, so far other then oil changes and a set of pads I replaced the serpentine belt tensioner, idler pulley and blower resistor. The car is at 86k mi atm and runs like a champ.
    I also have a 97 2.2L 4spd auto that i bought in 2003 at 61k miles. I replaced the alternator, both rear coilovers and again the blower motor resistor. This car is nearing 100k and still runs great.
  • krismkrism Posts: 11
    There are a few screws holding the console in. One is in the storage area in the front part of the console past the cup holders. You need to pry up the circular plastic piece to acecess it. The other screws are in the storage compartment/arm rest thing, open it up and remove the screws. There may also be some under the coin box/power window swithches if u have PWs, though im not sure, that piece can be popped out easily too.
  • sport4sport4 Posts: 1
    I own a 2005, and a 1996, always had good luck with the 96, that's why i bought a 05. my wife likes to drive the 96, so after 118k on the car, I had a new engine, trans, clutch, and new tires on it, to the tune of $ 3400.00, she was rear ended, and the damage was in the range of $ 1400.00, now the insurance co. wants to total the car and give me almost nothing, I'M STILL FIGHTING WITH THEM.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    I really appreciate the support I am getting from other satisfied Cavalier owners.

    In particular, the input from krism is a really great example of the sort of positive and helpful information that is often missing from these discussions.

    In any case, it's been a pleasure to see some activity on this board for a change!

    sport4, I am very sorry for your apparent loss. Hope you are able to leverage something from your insurance.
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