Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Chevrolet Cavalier



  • brokegtibrokegti Posts: 4
    As far as I can tell, yes, it is only on the passenger side.
    Here is a picture taken inside the trunk, showing the inside of the passenger rear fender area. You can see the dirty water trail leading into the spare tire well. The link is in case the img tags don't work or something.

    To find it on the outside of the car, it is under the bumper skin, right as the skin starts to curve around the back of the car, near the top of the skin. If you lay down beside the car, and stick your arm up under the skin, and feel around, you'll find the square valve and feel the 2 rubber flaps that cover it.....or should cover it anyway :D


    When you open the trunk, and get to the spare tire, follow those 2 body channels to the right and you'll find the valve.

    If there wasn't a lot of rain kicked up, it might have simply been absorbed by the sound dampening material, and not collected in the spare tire well.

  • brokegtibrokegti Posts: 4
    Ha, I found pics of a wrecked Cavalier (thanks Google), with damage to the area so you can see the valve.

    It is the black rectangle under the tail light corner where it wraps around, behind the back tire, the skin would normally cover the valve....


    And in this pic you can almost make out the 2 rubber flaps on it....


  • jumperjumper Posts: 1
    My 2000 Cavalier has been very reliable, with just under 100,000 miles on it. A week and a half ago, as I was driving down the interstate at 65-70mph, the car started sputtering and I watched the RPM's drop and then the car stalled. I had it towed and the best they could come up with was a clogged fuel filter (made sense to me, the way it acted.) So they replaced it, I picked it up and it was working just fine.

    Two days later, it happened again under the same circumstances. This time it started back up -- I put some fuel cleaner in it in case it was water in the lines, and it worked fine for two more days. Once again, same circumstances, but with a check engine light. So the computer told them that the #1 cylinder was misfiring. They replaced all spark plugs and wires. Once again, I picked it up and it ran just fine until the next morning. ONCE AGAIN - same thing happened.

    This time, they decided that there was a vacuum leak in the throttle body. So they replaced it. I just picked it up and drove it around. Same thing happened again. I am really, really frustrated.

    It only happens once the car has warmed up. And it has only happened on the interstate at about 65-70 mph. The RPM's drop even more when you push on the accelerator. I have a new throttle body, spark plugs, wires and fuel filter and have spent nearly $1000.00. I'm sorry that this post seems really redundant - but this has been my situation for the last 2 weeks. If anyone has seen this situation or has any ideas about what could be happening, I would appreciate the advice. Thanks. :mad:
  • I am just getting a 2002 Z24 2dr, 5spd manual, 2.4 liter. i was curious to see who else was out there with one and what kind of engine mods u got on it. im lookin to go all the way with this one and i was wonderin what mods worked and any advice before i dive under the hood. Im lookin to up the whole engine and throw
    a super charger on her. Advice or comments greatly welcomed
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    Brokegti, you have certainly gone the extra mile! Thank you so much for going to the trouble to furnish those photos.

    That bumper-damaged Cavalier has to be a 2002 or older model, so that "pressure relief valve" has been in use for a long time without resulting in any TSBs.

    Without removing the trunk "carpeting" (liner), I was able to pull the top of the liner out far enough to see the grill that is part of the "pressure relief valve". I felt all around that area and found no sign of moisture (I will try this again sometime after a high-speed run through a rain storm). Reaching up from under the car I found that there is only one rubber flap on my 2005 Cavalier, about two by eight inches in size (and it is slightly slanted so that gravity will help close the flap).

    The water thrown up from the rear tire should be contained by the fender liner. And it is difficult to see how water can even reach the location of that valve. I am not trying to minimize the water damage you have obviously suffered, I am just trying to understand how it could have happened.

    What does your dealer say about this? It seems to me this should be his problem, not yours.
  • brokegtibrokegti Posts: 4
    Mine has the 2 flaps, slanted as well, but they are extremely easy to lift by hand. I suspect road wind is more than enough to open them.

    I wans't sure of that wrecked model year...honestly, this GM was a gift, I am a VW person, with half a dozen MK2 cars (1985-1992)....they leak like a sieve, but I know why, and the problem is easily corrected. :shades:

    I thought the rooster tails would be contained by the plastic liner as well, but I simply have no other explanation for the water. Nothing has been in the trunk, and no seals are damaged, or anything that would offer any reason to the wet sound dampening material.

    Checking my brothers 2005 4-door, I found the same thing. I was nearly positive it is a GM problem, but wanted to see if other folks had the same issues (so far, one other 2005 owner mentioned water in the new car trunk).

    I took the car to the dealer for the 1st oil change and mentioned the problem, asking if anyone else had reported it, and the guy commented that they hear everything, and when pressed, he said one lady closed the trunk lid on top of something laying over the seal, and it allowed water in, but nothing else had been reported.

    I don't think the rooster tail itself is being directly thrown at the valve, but if my hand can reach it, water is going to as well. If the flaps are being held open with wind, even a light mist will eventually collect on the flaps and plastic grid, dripping down into the car. I'm guessing short trips in light rain would be OK, but the 150 mile trip (roughly) to Kentucky during the 3 hours of heavy rain was enough that I noticed the wet spot in the trunk after arriving to KY. It had gotten the sound material wet enough to soak upwards showing a dark wet spot on the carpet itself. There was a good bit of standing water in the spare tire well a few days later, when I had the car apart to replace the bumper skin and taillights.

    For now, I have sealed the flaps up with some black sealing goo tape I found laying around the body shop, I believe it is actually for sealing ducting....anyway, it was used to seal the grid into the body, and a few pieces were used to seal the flaps themselves to the grid.

    I would post a pic of this, but to be honest, it looks like garbage and very amatuer, so, no posty the pic ;)

    It does the job of keeping the wet out it seems, I dried the liner before putting the car back together and so far it is OK. I will check tonight, it is raining now, and the wife will be driving it home about 30 miles in just a few minutes.

    I wish I had a pic of the valve BEFORE the ugly seal was installed, but I didn't have the camera at the body shop that night. The next day I took it, and snapped a pic before the skin was installed.

    Really, the ugly seal was the body shop owners decision....and being he is a friend, I didn't want to say "hey, that looks terrible.". I figured the goo will be easily removed, with no harm to the paint or part, and if and when GM issues a replacement part, I can install it.

    I would have let the dealer pull it apart again to look (during the oil change trip), but I needed the car, there was no loaner for the first day service, and what are they really going to do once it is taken apart?
    Without taking them a leaking car, and showing the dirt trail leading from the valve, it is not much point in it. Me showing up with a dry car with a dirt trail LENDS itself to my theory, but it won't allow them to prove it, and without a new part, nothing would get accomplished anyway, even if they agreed.

    I will keep in contact with them, and inquire about any recalls, or new info about the part. Until then, mine is staying dry (as far as I know), and shouldn't be a problem.

    My brother is an idiot, and won't bother ever doing anything about his, so his will rot out, and he'll be fighting for the corrosion warranty :P

    I am hoping to see more 2005 owners reporting this problem, so I can look forward to a re-designed valve piece.

  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    I will keep a close watch on my "valve" and advise if anything develops.

    Your input is the sort that makes a forum useful.
  • aelmeraelmer Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Cav. just bought it a few weeks ago the service and theft light
    is on I put the scanner on it and NO trouble codes came on.replace the
    computer with another one with the same numbers on it.
    Still didnt help what i dont understand is if the theft light is on it shouldnt run
    but this car starts and runs like it just came off the showroom floor.
    The only thing that was wrong with it when i got it was a dim right driving light.
    that i think could be a bad ground at the light
    Thanks for anyones help in advance Elmer
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    I was mistaken. The "pressure relief valve" on my 2005 Cavalier does have two rubber flaps, one is above the other, each is about 1 1/2" high by 8" long.

    To feel these flaps you must run your hand up immediately behind the bumper skin, just below the vertical body seam next to the rear turn signal.

    To check to see if any water is coming through this valve it is very easy to pull the top of the trunk liner out far enough to see the grill (part of the "pressure relief valve") and to reach down to and below the grill to check for any moisture there.
  • candiecandie Posts: 28
    In Sept. 2005 I bought a used '95 Cavalier with 28,031 miles on it. The car looked in excellent condition and the dealer said it was. Within an hour I had a flat, 18lbs of pressure in tires (some dealer!!!). Got new tires. I had a leak and a squeak, dealer said he fixed. Following week had to put in a new tension belt motor, change spark plugs (were original) new crank shaft pulley, replaced serpentine belt. I really thought that was it, but now this week I had to replace the compressor. I"m livid, I've put $2,100 into this car and only have put on 700 miles myself. After the compressor was done by my mechanic he test drove the car. He said only then he had major "vibration." Ends up he now wants me to replace the idler pulley, at a cost of another $250. I'm at my wit's end and at the end of my financial resources Is this normal for a 1996 Cavalier with such low mileage, or did i just get a lemon? I'm a woman and not sure if I'm being literally "raked over the coals or what." Any help would be very greatly appreciated. :cry:
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    Sorry for your problems candie. No, it is not "normal" for a Cavalier of such low mileage (or any car for that matter of such low mileage) to have any of those things go wrong IMO. Apparently the car came with no warranty of any sort?

    Whether a 1995 or a 1996 model, that mileage seems suspiciously low. I would guess that the speedometer was turned back.I am sorry that what I am saying is not any "help" to you. I would however recommend that you get a second (or even a third) opinion from a different mechanic as to the overall condition of your car before spending more on it.
  • candiecandie Posts: 28
    Thanks Alternator. I'm in a real bind here, I've already spent so much. Before reading your message this a.m. I took the car to the mechanic (who is the 3rd I've had look at the car btw). Note though, he fixed my compressor this past week. I picked up the car on Saturday and it was shimmying like all get out..(Felt like riding a Bronco). Note. I did not have this problem before. This a.m. he test rode it with me in it and said "I'd never return a car like this." Well, he did. I drove no more than one hour all weekend and had this problem. Now he's saying maybe I need a new exhaust system??? No, it had no warranty, but I did get a letter from the dealer that they would repair the squeak and the leak...(serpentine belt, who knows at this point in time). It's not leaking, thank goodness for something. I too was suspect of the mileage BUT, the car doesn't show any signs of wear and tear one would think would show if the mileage was more. I have to tell you that I drove a 1984 Buick Regal before this that I was the original owner of and I sold it in Dec. 04 with lliterally 62,071 miles on it. That's why I felt maybe someone else didn't drive much either and trusted. I guess you are recommending I get rid of this car, which for me will be difficult (my circumstances)...but I do thank you. I'll keep you advised of what the mechanic says today, if that's OK with you? I however am thinking the worst... :cry: :lemon:
  • candiecandie Posts: 28
    Hi again Alternator: I too was suspicious so today I called the dealership where the car was purchased new in 1995. (License plate frame..:) told all). They last serviced the car in 2002 and it had 21,000 miles on it, so that seems about right, that it now has 28,000+. I took the car to the mechanic this a.m. and he insisted he hadn't sent the car out like that (shimmying like a bronco ride from a rodeo)..BUT fact is, he had. I didn't drive it more than one hour this weekend and stopped because it shimmied so bad. Now his quote was "ever have the exhaust system changed?" This is the mechanic who last week put in the new compressor and then it began to shimmy. I have a feeling Alternator something funny is going on here. Obviously this car has low mileage, the interior is immaculate, no outside blemishes, and although I'd expect some work on a car 10 years old, this is ludicrous. This is the 3rd mechanic, the first one never fixed my Buick right so when I got this I had him test drive it before purchase. When immediately it still leaked I took it to another close by who repaired the car but somehow didn't notice the compressor shavings...So now I am taking it to a mechanic who came highly recommended by a neighbor and seems I am still getting the royal run around. Makes me wonder if it's not because I'm a woman going in??? I honestly don't know who to trust with this anymore. I'm really quite burned out over the entire thing. Having put just less than 700 miles on this car and so far $2,100 more into it (plus the purchase price of $3,000 plus taxes, etc.) I'm really tired of it all. Any suggestions you or anyone on this board can make would be very greatly appreciated. Obviously, I know very little about cars, but hey guys, I'm learning~~~ Candie
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    candie, I have never had any of the problems like yours on the six consecutive Cavaliers I have owned. I have done all my own maintenance over many years, but I am not a mechanic and I don't do "repair" work on my cars (but I have needed very little, lucky me I know). Hopefully someone in this forum may have had some problems similar to yours and will break in soon with some advice.

    Just to be clear: "tension belt motor" is not any part I know of. Was this described in any other way? Does "compressor" refer to the air conditioning compressor? Since "shimmying" usually refers to a shaking caused by something awry in the suspension, is the mechanic saying this is an exhaust system problem? Or is the "shimmying" actually an engine vibration?

    If the original dealership serviced the car up until 21,000 miles would it not be possible for them to take a look to see what they think could have happened in just 7,000 miles?
  • candiecandie Posts: 28
    Hi Alternator :) Thanks again for responding. I've been in touch with mechanics who are in total agreement with you that they have also never heard of so many problems on any Cavalier, consecutively. I have a strong feeling Alternator, I'm being ripped off. About the shimmying. This did NOT happen, not at all before this same mechanic installed the compressor. Obviously it was something he did. Yes, it was the AC compressor but I wasn't having a problem with the AC, I was told by him that the compressor was bad and that it was leaving "shavings" and if the belt broke on it I could be on the highway and lose steering, etc. This is why I had it done to the tune of $876.00. I got it home 'that day' and it shimmied. He told me when I left the shop it was shimmying and now says he didn't do it. DUH, I think he did. He has the car now and I am tempted to pull it from him and take your advice and take it to the original dealer who I don't know, but who did give me the information about the mileage when I called. The shimmying is coming from under the hood, it's as if something is lose. I do not think it's an exhaust problem, it would have happened earlier than "right after" his working on the compressor. I think we have a mechanic here who doesn't want to take responsibility for his own mistake. In the meantime it's costing me way way too much :( What I had done previously was a serpentine belt replaced; spark plugs replaced; new "tension belt motor" (is what is written down); crank shaft pulley; tires, muffler, new compressor now, etc. It would seem to me if someone was taking the car apart (as they did to put in the crank shaft, wouldn't they have seen the compressor shavings??? I realize you aren't a mechanic but thank you for jumping in trying to help. I too wish a mechanic would jump in here. The car is in the shop as I write this. They were to call me at 1:00 yesterday to advise me of whatever they now think it is, but NO call, so I'm thinking more of your advice...take it to the "dealership". This way too, if the compressor isn't installed right, I'll have my proof and be able to take some action. Thanks Alternator. You're very sweet. I'll keep you posted. :sick:
  • rorytaterorytate Posts: 21
    Hi, I'm new to this site/forum. And i have a request....
    I have a 1998 Cavalier 4 door sedan. I want to take the factory stereo out (i believe it's a delco) and put in an aftermarket stereo. I'm just leary of how the dash comes apart. Would someone be able to show me the diagrams or point me in the right direction to figure out to take the dash apart so I can put a new stereo in it please. :D
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    I have two answers for you


    Go to

    Click on "Library" (top right of page)

    Scroll down to "Interior Enhancements"

    Click on "Audio Install Directions"

    I have done this job on several of my Cavaliers. Let me know if you don't understand something and I'll try to help.



    A far easier solution is to access the radio by using a small rotary tool cutter to make two horizontal cuts thru the trim plate to separate the lower "U" part of the trim plate from the upper part of the trim plate, pop the lower part off carefully, and pop it back on when through. Cut slowly through the plastic because it will tend to melt. The separation betwen the upper and lower parts of the trim plate will be hardly noticeable.

    The cut should be made right along the line I have indicated by an "arrow" in the picture I had intended to add to this post.

    Edmunds FAQ says "You may post a link to a photo or insert the photo using the standard html tag for an image: image Since this is my first attempt to post a picture on a forum I don't know what part of that form stays as-is, and what part do I remove and replace with my photo's information.

    I have asked Edmunds to explain this better for me, but can anyone help me here?
  • hey jumper, I too have this same problem except now mine has turned into not only the sputtering and stalling at 65-70mph. When I come to a light occasionally the car also stalls slowing down. The check engine light came on again stating again misfire in the second cylinder. (this was a problem before, where i replaced wires and plugs). The fuel filter is fine, supposedly.

    I am taking the car in to a new shop for a check up I figure I'll find a mechanic eventually that will figure this out. But I do have a question for you. Check the exhaust hook up this problem started shortly after i noticed a change in the exhaust sound, and I've also notice a loss of power in the engine with this. Do you have this too?

    Also does any one have the temperature problem with their car, the gauge is actually reading incorrectly is what the mechanic tells me, but it seams that its running warmer than normal.

    I'll post what the mechanic states when he gives me his "solution."

    I hear ya though I've spent about 1200.00 trying to figure this out.

    I just want my car running good again :confuse:
  • jeamarcjeamarc Posts: 1
    My son hydro-planed his 2001 Cavalier into a curb and ended up busting the tire and the rim. When we replaced the tire, we had to put the spare back on because the new tire was scrubbing against the tire well. The guy who changed the tires said we probably needed to repair the control arm. I looked into the manual and it looks pretty easy. My questions are 1. Is it as simple as it looks? 2. Is there any other damage I should be looking for? It's been a while since I worked on cars, so any help is appreciated. :sick:
  • rorytaterorytate Posts: 21
    That is PERFECT, i couldn't of asked for a better diagram/examples.
    1 more question.
    Is it necessary to disconnect the air bag system? If so, how do i go about doing that? I just replaced a stereo in a '94 grandam, and it was pretty simple with the wiring harnesses. How ever I didn't do anything to the 1 air bag which was installed on the wheel. I did read somewhere though to disable the airbag, if i'm not not actually going to be changing wires just doing harnesses from the radio wiring to the radio, what are the odds of needing to disconnect the air bag system?
  • rorytaterorytate Posts: 21
    One more thing.
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    The ny-jbodies diagram is a copy of what Crutchfield provides if you buy a radio from them to install in a 1995-2000 Cavalier. Since they say nothing about disabling the air bag I haven't done so myself.
  • rorytaterorytate Posts: 21
    My other 2 problems with my cav is...

    1. Basically what happens I start the car up, and i put it in drive, it kinda chugs a lil bit then it goes...It's almost like it's going to stall...

    2. Almost as soon as I goto turn the wheel the wheels kinda click (like the abs) then the ABS brake light comes on and as well as the ETS light come on at the same time. My brakes work fine. I've had them changed and they're still the same. Would it be a sensor? If so is it easily changable or does a mechanic have to do it?
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 629
    I have no idea about your problem #2, but I can't resist suggesting for problem #1 that you pull, clean and regap your spark plugs. Just a chance this might work for you.
  • candiecandie Posts: 28
    If there are any mechanics out there who are reading this, PLEASE HELP. My car had a new compressor put in last week. It has has a lot of work done to it (see my previous posts above-2 of them). Now it shimmies like a Bronco (and I don't mean the Bronco vehicle). There is now a new noise (LOUD click click) from under the hood and I have no clue how to proceed. I have the car presently at another mechanics who is trying to figure out what Mechanic 1 did wrong when he installed the compressor as the vehicle didn't seem to have any more problems, but now it does. Any suggestions? I tried to take the advice of another poster but was unable to take it back to a Chevy dealer, there isn't one locally and I'd have no ride back :( If anyone has any "suspicion" of what is happening PLEASE RESPOND. Thank you very much. :lemon:

  • themoose1themoose1 Posts: 2
    1993 Chevy Cavalier
    -When leaving headlights on or key in ignition, the chime does not work if you open either door.
    -When opening either door, the dome light does not work.
    -When putting gearshift to Drive, doors no longer lock and safety belt warning lamp does not light.

    Dome light and door locks will work operate manually. All fuses look fine. I can't find a mechanical switch on the door that controls the chimes if the door is left open !

    Help ! :confuse:
  • chris1987chris1987 Posts: 2
    you might want to think about the coil packs because if it is missing and they changed the plugs and wires it could either be just that coil pack or the ignition control module because i have a 1992 z24 cavalier with a 3100 and from my past experiences with the dis ignition systems that could very well be your problem. a coil pack for mine costs about 50 bucks and the ignition control module for me was about 150.00 it may be higher since yours is newer but try that best of luck to you dude
  • chris1987chris1987 Posts: 2
    im installing an after market tachometer in my 1992 z24 cavalier it has dis ignition and i do not know what wire to splice into of the ignition control module can anyone help me out or hook me up with a diagram it would be very much appreciated thanks
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    To add onto this statement...I am in a Cavalier rental right now and all I can say is that is a very scary car to ride in. It has 16K miles on it and it drives like it has 160,000 miles on it. It's cheap feeling, rattly sounding and drives terrible for a 2005 car. I would go with a 1995 Civic instead of buying this car, incentives or not.

    Seriously, what is there to like about this car except the price?
  • To each his own. Personally, I really like my 2004 Cavalier LS. It drives just as well as the Civic, Elantra, and Forenza I tested, I think. The interior quality isn't the best, but that's not a problem to me. Regarding rattles, I have hardly any. Currently, the car has about 9,000 miles.

    To tell you the truth though, the incentives were a factor of why I chose this car.
Sign In or Register to comment.