Chevrolet Cavalier: Meet the Owners

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited April 2014 in Chevrolet
Introduce yourself and share your Cavalier experiences with other owners here.


  • georgecavaliergeorgecavalier Member Posts: 54
    My names Matt and I have owned 2 Cavaliers. My first one was a 1992 RS 3.1 wagon. It looked like junk (red primer, tons of rust) but that motor was downright quick and reliable. It only left me stranded once (bad fuel pump wiring harness). I once ran it out of oil (an unknown-at-the-time oil leak) and it still ran like there was no problem (of course I put oll in it as soon as I could). It was a real tire burner and I shocked alot of people who thought it was just a granny car. I sadly had to give it up for $150 because of all the rust issues.
    I currently own my second Cavalier: a 2001 Z24. It has all of the factory options excpept the sunroof (the only Z24 I've seen without one). It has the power of a V6 although sadly the fuel economy too. My old 1992 got around 30MPG with the V6 while this one gets 24. The radio has RDS which is awsome. It's black and looks grat when it's clean. Sadly I had to replace the engine because the old one died at only 93K. It has been trouble free since then (knock on wood). After the engine issue I did research and some of my own experience found that the 2.2 (OHV and EcoTech) and the 3.1 are much more reliable motors. So if I get another Cavi it would have to be the Ecotech or the 3.1. The 2.2OHV is a bullet proof motor but it's too slow for my driving (my famlily had/has a 1990 wagon and 2002 sedan both with the 2.2). Overall though I would recommend a Cavalier (along with the other J-bodies) to anyone looking for a cheap reliable car that will leave the imports in the dust. Just make sure to inspect the body for rust on the early models and have a mechanic inspect the Twin Cam motors.
  • maryawmaryaw Member Posts: 22
    This is also the second Cavalier we've bought. The first was a light blue metallic 1989 2 door. It was a great car...we had it 13 years, went through 5 Midas "lifetime" mufflers, BUT the rust was a problem. I had to all but bite the local Chevy manager on the ankle and hang on like a terrier before he offered new door skins and repainted both sides of the car (this was in 1994). We traded it with well over 100K on it. :(
    The current 1997 Cavalier is a 4-door dark green with 2.2 engine. It has 132K on it and is still very reliable. It drives nicely and looks good. MDH misses the "sporty" looking 2 door model but he has quieted down since I bought us a Mustang last week.
    The Mustang was a sentimental purchase. It belonged to my father. My neice got it when he passed on 10 months ago and I made her an offer she couldn't refuse.
    Our third car is a 1999 Ford Escort Wagon, also Dark Green, a very utilitarian car for hauling dogs and home improvement supplies. It also has over 100K on it but is very reliable.

    We keep our cars a long time, and as you said, even though the Cavaliers are inexpensive they are reliable and they will keep you going from point A to point B for many miles, as long as you treat them well and do your maintenance. On the 1989, we only went over the 3,000 mile mark for an oil change ONCE in 13 years.

    Hey, I wouldn't mind having a used Z24 one of these days! Maybe when the 1997 hits 200K....
  • areboursarebours Member Posts: 1
    anyone looking for a cheap reliable and good car that can be made into anything you want, needs to get a cavalier. My parents have had mine since probably 2002. we bought it used. it has about 75,000 miles on it right now. Its a great car to get from point A to B with really good gas milage.

    but these cars are good for much more. you can make even a 4 door look pretty sporty for about 300-500 dollars, and you don't even need to get a body kit. All you need is coilovers, a small profile fyberglass spoiler, and old spoke hubcaps make it look sweet.
    and its also cheap to make it a bit more sportier. With the accelaration you already get from the stock inline 4 ( a pretty spunky 115 horsepower) you can get a cold air intake, new exauhst system, voltage stabalizer, and maybe even a supercharger, and you've got a car that can leave any other compact in the dust.

    over all any cavalier could fit anyones wants, and they aren't expensive and are very simple to fix.

    get one. they're great
  • cav_rider666cav_rider666 Member Posts: 8
    Hello peoples! My name is JP and I own a 2002 Cavalier VL sedan (black). I adore this litle car; its cheap on gas,looks good runs well. Her name is Poobox and other than an alternator and battery, its been pretty reliable.">
  • marleenkmarleenk Member Posts: 1
    I just wanted to say hello to fellow Cavalier owners. I am only a few months into ownership of a 2004 Cavalier 2 door LS and I couldn't be happier with my wonderful little treasure. It is my upgrade to a cherished 1991 Geo Storm GSI I had for 11 years and loved to pieces. My new Cavalier is in excellent shape with only 13500 miles from one previous owner. It's orange metallic but soon to be changed to Rally Yellow. One question I have been wondering about is the difference between the LS and the LS Sport. Is there really a difference?
    Anyway, I just wanted to say hello to all. I hope to glean lots of information from other Cavalier owners about their experiences.
    Kind regards,
    Marleen :)
  • maryawmaryaw Member Posts: 22
    I can't answer your question on the difference between the LS and the LS sport. I do wish we'd gotten a 2 door, but at the time we thought my parents were moving to town and would be riding in this car and couldn't see them climbing in and out of a coupe.

    My husband just put new 80,000 mile tires on our 1997 Cavalier sedan. He is doing a big "reconditioning" project on it before winter hits. It now has 135K on it, and we hope to get many more miles on it. Such a reliable commuter car, and comfortable to drive!

    I applaud your decision to repaint your car - Metallic orange sounds a fleet car. My sympathies on your Geo Storm. Those were nicely styled cars. I don't know why they were dicontinued. :mad: Sometimes Chevy has their head in a dark spot.

    One difference I see in some Cavaliers - don't know if this may feed into the trim levels - some bumpers are color-keyed and others are flat black. Maybe someone will answer that question, too!

  • georgecavaliergeorgecavalier Member Posts: 54
    The difference between the LS Sport and the LS is just equipment and cosmetic. The LS Sport has standard alloy rims, spoiler, nicer interior, ground effects, a better sound system and I think a standard moonroof. Mechanically they are identical although I'm not sure if the LS Sport has a different suspension. It could since it replaced the Z24 and that had a different suspension from regular Cavalier.
  • georgecavaliergeorgecavalier Member Posts: 54
    To answer you question about the bumpers the first few years of this design 1995-1996 or 1997, the Cavalier VL (base model) had the grey bumpers. Chevy changed this to give the car a nicer and less rental look.
  • maryawmaryaw Member Posts: 22
    AHA! Thanks for the info. Ours is a 1997 4-door sedan, base model, and it has the color-keyed bumpers so that gives us the year they cut the grey bumpers.
  • vandusenvandusen Member Posts: 7
    Help thinking of buying a 2000 model, 118,000 miles on it car is clean and good interior, drives well but makes a weird vibrating sound under acceleration and then quits after high gear. Also low oil pressure lite came on at idle, so I changed the oil and filter. Light still came on after driving a few miles and stop (at Idle) soon as you touch the gas the light goes out! So i know theres oil pressure.. Replaced sending unit but light still comes on! I think engine is idleing to low, but theres no adjustment acording to the repair manual.. Help I need to know if theres a fix before I buy this car ... Thanks VanDusen
  • cajunoutlawcajunoutlaw Member Posts: 1
    hi all . my name is johnny i have had my 85 Cavalier for around 6 months and i have put around 8,000 miles on it. it has around 180,000 miles and still has good motor and trans. and glass never a crack in it. dome light messed up my fault. and water pump is leaking. never ran hot. and shifter cable is broke. called auto zone cable $80.00 and water pump $20.00 4 door didn't come with ac. heater works great. got around 30 miles to gal on it. i bought it out of state and drove it here louisiana then did another round trip week later. i didnt do a title transfer. i have the title for it. would make a good parts car or a cheap fix it up. im going out state leaving car at my sis house. if you looking for a fix it up are parts car. email me. it has 2.0 L fuel injector
  • jim0847jim0847 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I had a fuel pump replaced and when it was done my dashboard lights went out, I have no gages or lights. Anyone know anything on this problem? Jim
  • corvettefan427corvettefan427 Member Posts: 92
    I bought my 2001 Cavalier coupe for $4800 about 5 months ago. It's white, has the 5 speed manual, and the 2.2L OHV, although they started calling it an ecotec in 2001. It had 40,265 miles on it when I bought it, and so far has served me well. It replaced a 1996 Corolla, and honestly, I'm much more pleased with the Cavalier so far then I was with the Corolla. It just drives a lot better. I'm looking forward to getting quite a few good years out of this car, especially with the low miles I put on it. It now only has about 44,000 miles.
  • litestorm17litestorm17 Member Posts: 3
    Hello, I am an 18 year old and a proud owner of a red 1998 Chevy Cavalier Z24 (my first car). I bought it about 10 months ago for $4500. They were asking $6000, but my grandparents gave me some cash to put down. It had 78,000ish when I first got it, but it has now climbed up to 90,000. It has the 2.4L Twin Cam engine on it. Unfortunately with the age of the car, there are a few things wrong with it. The water pump is leaking, but is getting fixed. The bearings are shot, the paint is peeling (I think its a defect in the paint, because the car is previously from Iowa and they don't get snow like we do in Minnesota and the carfax report was clean), the rotors are warped, there is a hole in my exhaust, and the tires are worn out. Because of the things it needs, I am going to tune it. I just installed a new short ram intake which, surprisingly, made it growl louder and increased acceleration a lot more than I expected. I have ordered a body kit and a cat back exhaust to replace some of the things now. I am going to wait until next spring to do the rest because it is pointless to install performance mods in the snow. I absolutely love it, and don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon!
  • 96cavygirl96cavygirl Member Posts: 1
    My names Trinity. I have a 96 red Z24. With a fantastic 171k miles on it. I love my car! even tho it has had a rediculous amount of problems that Ive had to fix. Ive had it for 5 years. I named my car Bucky... because about 3 months after I bought it a fuel injector went out...and it started bucking. So, I thought it was a great name. haha. It really only left me stranded once tho. when my altenator went out. and luckily I have an awesome dad who drives over an hour to help me fix it when I need a little extra muscle. So lets see... Ive replaced...

    My fuel injectors
    hood hinges(who would of thought)
    gas tank
    catylitic converter
    O2 sensors
    Blower motor resistor thingy
    front wheel bearings
    altenator and battery
    Shift linkage cables(last month)
    both power window motors.
    and a bunch of other random little things

    my shift cables were a fantastic experience with a transmission place that I got to yell and take my car away from them while telling them that theyre stupid. haha. fun times being a girl who has a dad and brother who race cars. So Ive picked up a few useful things throughout my life. :shades:
  • cavz24cavz24 Member Posts: 3
    OK first, Trinity.......Hood hinges?? are you serious?
    I just purchased a 2001 Z24. I have never owned a cavailer so I was wondering a few things.
    I bought this car off the orig. owner and its in exelent condition inside and out no accidents all orig including the paint only a few rock chips on the nose. the car runs great and very strong, not what i expected with a 4 cyl. I live in Florida and the lady I bought it from said it never left the state(who knows) judging from the bottom its possable. there is a complete maint record that came with the car,I mean complete she kept every single thing, even found a reciept for an air freshener. I have put 600 miles on the car bringing the total to 120,000. there is alot of freeway driving here so i'm not to worried. Very nice dark blue.

    My question is what do you veteran Cav owners think i should look out for?
    Every thing works but I find the car just a little uncomfortable. has anyone ever changed the seats out? I am making a trip up north soon. how is this car in the snow and ice?
    I look forward to reading your thoughts. Thanks!
  • slackermanslackerman Member Posts: 43
    Congrats for buying a good car. I believe I can provide a few insights as the proud owner of a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire convertible (2.4L, 5-speed manual).

    First, the radio light will eventually go out except on the coldest days. I'm not sure if that's a GM or just a Pontiac thing since the only other car this seems to happen to is the G6. I haven't bothered to get my radio fixed since the car has steering wheel radio controls and is over twelve years old. Last year, my ignition coil had to be replaced when the car started bucking and stumbling. The warning there is the first two OEM replacement coils were bad! I'm currently using a 2.4L ignition coil from a junkyard and my garage is talking to AC-Delco. The power window and power door lock switches are not as reliable as they once were (Did I mention the car is over twelve years old?). I'm losing oil at a rate of roughly one quart every 3000 miles. IOW, I don't care. My cruise control has stopped operating and the passenger seat no longer moves forward and backward...but I think that's from lack of use.
    All in all I can't complain since I keep getting compliments on my car.

    Tell me how it goes if you swap the seats out. I've always wanted a couple more inches of leg room.
  • cavz24cavz24 Member Posts: 3
    it seems to be a shame to pull out the seats they are in great shape but like you said a couple extra inches would be good. im not sure yet which seats. I need to go shoping. The arm rest is also a little low so mabey somehow lower the seats. Its gonna be some project to do it right, it needs to look as good as the rest of the car. I had a 2000 grand am gt and I had the same raido problem no other issues.Ill let you know.
  • TCRaven87TCRaven87 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 Cavalier Standard coupe 2.2Litre and it has 110,000 miles on it. I made a move from the Beaches of VA to Mountains of WV and notice that it handles really well on the mountain winding roads. I have encountered a new issue with it however..While driving, the security light, maintenance light, and sometimes check gauges light comes on sometimes and the lights dimmer, Temp, Fuel, and Speedometer go crazy at once.. I've had the battery tested along with the alternator tested and they both came back fine...any clues on what the issue may be? This was my first car and I would hate to sell it with the way it handles..I've grown a likeness to it and want to fix it. :sick:
  • cavz24cavz24 Member Posts: 3
    check your instrument cluster
  • slackermanslackerman Member Posts: 43
    My check oil light comes on at times. I've checked the oil and it's fine. Turning the car off and back on fixes the problem. Did I mention my car is twelve years old? Bugs happen.
  • skydiver3679skydiver3679 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, my name is Justin, and I'm 30 yrs old. I've lived in Gulfport, Ms. all of my life. When I first spotted my 2000 Chevy Cavalier, I KNEW I was going to own that car. When I seen it, NO ONE could see what I seen. I seen so much potential for this vehicle, it was unreal. It's American made, small, and EXCELLENT on fuel. First, I installed my Stereo System, my Car Alarm, etc. Next, I put 20% tint all the way around. Then I put in alot of LED lights in AND underneath my car Then I installed a Cold Air Intake System from AEM, increased my Exhaust a 1/4 inch and installed the latest design in technology - The Apex AeroTurbine Muffler. Next, I pressure washed my Engine (covered all electrical, of course), degreased the HECK out of it, and spray painted my valve Cover Cobalt Blue. There is ALOT more tobe done, but this is for now...
  • 2xlhead2xlhead Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm Ed from Raleigh, NC. I own a manual 1999 Z-24 Convertible. I use it as a track car. It is bone stock except for the required roll bar for safety on a convertible. No plans to mod the engine or exhaust, since it still has to be able to perform as a backup daily driver if my Toyota craps out. Besides, it will always be a momentum car, regardless of anything. Moderate suspension changes are in the works, but I won't change a thing until I have enough time under my belt to figure out just what I need. The real beauty of this car? I'm 6'2" tall, 330 lbs, and I fit in it very comfortably with a XXL helmet on my head.
  • slackermanslackerman Member Posts: 43


    The proud owner of a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire convertible with 2.4L and manual transmission.

This discussion has been closed.