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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • I have a 97 Cavalier, 2.2L, 150K+ on the odometer. Overall, the car runs okay, but I am having several wacky issues that have cropped up over time: When I park and turn the AC off, the engine stalls. When turning at low idle, such as pulling into a parking spot, the steering is sometimes very tight. When I hit a puddle, something from the engine compartment "screams" for a few moments, as if the belt is slipping.

    Last night I changed the oil and filter, installed new plugs, air filter, and replaced the leaking #1 fuel injector. (Over the last year, I had already replaced 3 of the 4 fuel injectors, due to leaking.) After all of that was complete, the engine initially did not want to start. I finally got it started, but it stuggled somewhat, and the check engine light was blinking. I rechecked my plug wires to make sure I had not mixed them up, and I'm 99% sure they are correct. I started the engine again, and it ran better, but the check engine light is now lit steady. I test drove the car, and it stalled as I was slowing down and starting a turn.

    I'm going to drive it to the auto parts store to have the code checked, but I wonder if any of you have any ideas or have experienced similar performance??

    KJ in Orlando
  • You can relieve the belt tension by using a really long socket wrench(no socket). on the end of the belt tensioner is a place to put this( a 1/4 in. square) you can also get a serpentine belt tool at autozone, they'll let you borrow it with an I.D. of course. or you can always do my favorite, take a crowbar and put it on the top of the tensioner pully and push down.
  • Any recommendations for Batteries and Throttle body's? Plus, my CD player takes 10 seconds after I open my door to shut off normally. My battery died the other day, and ever since then, my CD player won't shut off... Think I should just unplug the CD player to reset it? Or is there something that I'm missing? Thanks!
  • I recently changed-out the fuel-injectors due to fuel leaks, I repaired the problem. Only now the car runs terrible. At start-up the car now stalls but does start. Also the car now hesitates when you accelerate after stopping at a red light or stop sign. These 2 problems were not present before changing out the fuel-injectors. I have also changed-out the fuel filter to see if it would help but it did not. Runs great on the freeway. Please help....
  • I recently had my 04 cav in for its 12000 mi. service, I told them about a "thud" in the front end when turning the wheel completely L or R. they informed me that the bolts on the left of the sway bar were loose and about to fall out. they said they never heard of such a problem w/ 04 cavs. has anyone else had a similar problem?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Pull the radio fuse for 10 seconds. :)
  • Oh, good idea... Didn't even think of that. So much easier than opening the dash up again. Thanks, I'll post back whether or not that works!
  • Hmm. My 2004 Cavalier has 14,500 miles on it, and there is a clunk in the left rear wheel area when hitting a bump, turning tightly, or hitting the brakes hard. I don't think it is a big deal, though.

    Could it be the same thing? :confuse:
  • gmoudygmoudy Posts: 67
    No, it is not the same thing. Your rear axle does not have a sway bar unless you had an aftermarket one installed. It could be a loose or worn strut mount. Check out to insure that the strut is mounted properly and all hardware is tight.
  • Sorry. I meant to type "Front left wheel area" in my previous post. I was distracted at the time, and for some reason I typed "rear."

  • bdawnbbdawnb Posts: 2
    I bought my daughter a 99 Cavalier Z24 in April. At the end of September the transmission went out and we replaced it. Of course when we got it back we needed to reset the radio, which I was used to because I have a Monte Carlo.

    However, her code no longer works. I know she has the correct one because we used the year she was born and we did it together, wrote it down, and put it in the car file.

    So, took it to a chevrolet dealership who said she tried so many times it is in "super lock" and gave me some instructions to try to get some codes of the radio. They aren't working.

    I'm not asking for any information on how to get the codes off the radio...but do you think I should go to another dealer? I have tried what he said several times, which involves several hours of leaving the car on in the auxiliary mode and it just isn't working.

    Thank you for any advice.
  • As aformentioned, my 2004 Cavalier has had a popping noise in the front area of the car. It seems like it comes more from the front-left wheel area more so than the front-right. It has gotten worse and now seems to pop and creak when turning or hitting any bump. I am taking it to the dealership next week. Could anyone tell me what it is? Could it be the sway bar bolts?
  • Worked like a charm! Thanks!
  • gmoudygmoudy Posts: 67
    I would say go to another dealer. I had the same problem happen to me a few years ago on my 98 Cavalier. Went to the dealership and they got the master code from the factory. This unlocked my radio. The service manager than gave me the master code in case I ever had any more problems.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Thanks for reporting the results. Pulling the fuse will fix most problems with the GM radio, most dealers don't know that. :)
  • bdawnbbdawnb Posts: 2
    thanks for the feedback. I'll call another one tomorrow.
  • My wife's 1996 Cavalier heater fan will not come on at the first 3 speed positions. It kicks on when you turn the dial to the fourth (highest) position. Can someone advise what may need replacement and where to find it in the car. Thanks
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Need to replace the fan resistor, behind the glove box and behind the fan motor. It can be bought aftermarket.
  • Thanks Gonogo, I will look for that blower resistor behind the blower motor. I see by the wiring diagram that it has 4 different colored wires going from the blower switch to the resistor so I felt that might be the part I needed to replace. Hopefully I can find it without too much trouble and if so will disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery before taking out the defective resistor. Thanks again!!
  • I really want to put in a stereo soon ....well a deck for now and possibly speakers(tired of the radio). I've been told by a couple places that it will cost aprox. 130 for the the wiring harness plus installation plus the deck. Aparently it will cost this much for all GM vehicles year 2000 and up because there the wires are all hooked up to one spot (to air bags etc) and they need to be moved to the trunk?? I had a friend who would have installed it but because it need to be wired differntly he didnt want to touch it in case something important didnt work later. Now ive been told by a friend that i should go to Canadian Tire and buy the wires for 30$ and take that to the place for them to install, saving me $$. Can someone better expalin why it will cost so much to install a stereo so i can explain it to people cuz they think its crazy to be charged that much ...also what kind of deck and speakers/size preform good in cavy's? (thinking pioneer or Kenwood) Don't need anything to elaborate. Thanks alot! :blush:
  • gmoudygmoudy Posts: 67
    If you have a 2000+ J-Body then your factory head unit/radio/cd player/stereo/whatever is a CLASS 2 unit. Class 2 radios are wired differently than anything most stereo installers have dealt with.. and there's a LOT of misinformation out there about them.

    Here's EVERYTHING you should need to know about them:

    1. If you remove the factory radio from the car.. you will lose your factory door chimes and OnStar (if you even have it). That's it!

    Removing the factory deck will NOT affect your airbags (it's a separate circuit entirely!), your DRLs (also separate), your cruise control (again, separate), your oil change light (you don't even have one!), your sex life (well, maybe)...

    If anyone tells you otherwise.. THEY ARE WRONG! (Feel free to tell them this.)

    2. If you WANT to keep your factory door chimes and/or OnStar... you need to either relocate the factory deck using a T-harness or replace the factory deck with a new module for the chimes and OnStar speaker.

    3. If you don't give a crap about factory chimes.. you can buy a $15 harness and hook it up using that! You don't have to spend $100 or more on a T-harness and relocate the factory deck. Your airbags WILL still work.

    Of course.. you'll also need a deck mounting kit.. and a GM antenna adapter.. and whatever harness you choose that you need.

    Hope this helps explain it for you.
  • I have a new engine and almost everything else on this motor is new as well. It has about 20,000 on this new engine and I am having constant problems with overheating. Everything has been checked and rechecked for this issue. I even put in a new radiator fan motor. The only other thing we can think it could be is the fan relay since the fan is not coming on all the time when the engine gets hot. I can only go about 3 to 5 miles (with stops) and 10 (without stops) before the car heats up to the point that it completely bogs down dies and it takes about 10 to 15 minutes of cooling before it will start and go again before it heats up and dies again.

    Could the overheating be caused because the relay for the fan does not work properly, therefore not turning on the fan to cool the engine, causing the car to stop or is there another reason for the overheating and for the car to stop after such a short period of time? Does this kind of overheating cause the car to stop? While it is hot, you can actually turn the car on, but when you put it in gear it stops. It will idle in park for a long period of time without stopping, but on the road and in gear it will stop when it heats up.

    If it could be the relay, is there a place were I can find a schematic of the relay for my car so I can fit it myself.

    If it is not the relay, what else could cause this problem with overheating and the car to stop completely when in gear?
  • I have a 1989 Chevy z-24

    While stoped at a light my car will idle at 600 then start to pulse and then shut off.

    I have changed the plugs, wires, fuel filter, and radator.
    I have also cleaned out the butter fly flap and put a thing of fuel injection clean in my tank.

    And it also seems to have a brand new o2 senor in it.

    If any one knows any information that would help me out please respond back you can also email me at

    Thank You very much
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    A sticking TCC valve will cause the engine to stop, the torque converter will be locked, no slip, so it stalls. Has the new engine overheated since it was installed? When moving down the road at 35-40 mph you don't need the fan, will it overheat then?
  • No rear brakes I have no brake fluid pressure at either rear brake lines at the ABS module on the side of the master cylinder. No ABS light is on and no ABS codes and Alldata is no help. Are there any Techs. out there with a clue, either master cylinder or ABS module, any help would be greatly appricated. Thank You.

  • Hey all - my daughter lives in Arkansas and I'm in Maryland - she called and told me the fuel pump went up on her '03 Cavalier. The shop is charging her $750 for a pump and filter replacement - seems steep to me, but I'm not that familiar with the car. It that price high/low/average for the Cavalier. Any help greatly appreciated!
  • Hey, I got a 2000 Cavalier and last spring I turned my car on and I had three lights show up I'd never seen before. ABS, Traction Control (a little TC) and obviously the service light. So now winter is coming and I have no ABS and I was wondering what the problem could be. I don't think it has to do with something physically broken that's worn out because it's both TC and ABS. Well... then again... I dunno. Anyway, if anyone could tell me potentially problems that I could check out that would be very appreciated. It's a 2.2 by the way, if that matters.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Get the codes read, some codes with automatically turn off of the ABS and TC. Most likely nothing wrong with either of them, fix what set code and the other lights will go out.
  • when driving my cavalier i stopped at a stop sign and it shut off. I thought maybe it was the fuel filter, i went to the store and got one for it. i went to install it and couln't find the fuel filer in the car. then I looked in the manuel and it's not listed anywhere. Also when i brake it seems like the brakes are pumping, instead of a smooth brake. it would help a lot if anyone can knows why my car is shutting off on me or why the brake is doing that.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I don’t think GM used external fuel filters in 04, my 04 Malibu has none. The pulsating you feel is warped front brake rotors, needs to be turned or replaced. Not sure why it’s stalling, will it stall every time you brake to a stop?
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