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Chevrolet Cavalier



  • chispaschispas Posts: 94
    Thanks, Joe...

    Gearing has a LOT to do with towing...

    Thanks again...
  • May be the intake manifold gasket. GM had a recall on these in the early '90s. If you are fixing it yourself, this is a straightforward job, but check with the dealer on the recall first. I would try this before doing the head gasket again.
  • hoyahenryhoyahenry Posts: 399
    97 2.2 LS. Speed 25mph and slowing for upcoming turn/stop sign. Engine temp is up to 195 on the gauge - normal operating temperature. Tach dives from 12-1500 down to 500 RPM. Electrical systems dim. Just before the impending stall RPMs jump back to 1200 or so. This oscillation continues until stopped, where steady idle is achieved, or...

    put the car in neutral. At that point, idle does not fluctuate. This only happens in gear, in motion, no throttle, city speeds.

    Car is otherwise drivable.

  • chispaschispas Posts: 94
    A late Cavalier is rated for towing at 1,500 #.

    The hitches that I've seen bolt to the spare tire
    wheel well under the car. (Not a sturdy way.)

    BUT, you can weld more flat metal to one of those

    Then WELD the hitch to the wheel well and ALSO the
    body floor pan.

    Rough guess is this would bring the towing capacity from 1,500 # to around 2,000 #.

    Happy welding my new Draw Tite hitch. Looks like
    it will be a WINNER.
  • bett1ebett1e Posts: 16
    I have a '92 Cav. (bought new) with 103K on the clock. Had the first head gasket replaced at 50K mi. For the last two years, I have occasionally smelled coolant when exiting the car. (Only in winter, and only when parked in the garage.) Every time I take the car in for an oil change, they need to add coolant. There are no hose leaks, no foam on dipstick, no puddling under car. Where is my coolant going??? I asked the dealer to check it out 2 winters ago, and they claim nothing is amiss. However, I have a sneaky suspicion that my head gasket is leaking again, dripping small amounts of coolant down the front of the engine block where the heat vaporizes it, just like it did back at 55k mi. Does this sound correct? Is it worth fixing, or can I limp along like this indefinitely?
    I typed a long post and it doesn't show up. I purchased a 1993 in March of 1993. I sold it this year. Please feel free to email me regarding the head gasket issues and coolant issues. As a Cavalier owner, I am quite familiar with these issues:

    Bett1e at yahoo dot com
    (that's a ONE and not an "L")
  • bett1ebett1e Posts: 16
    ORINAL POST: Well, I'm laboring over the decision of whether or not to sink a bit of money into ole semi-reliable, or whether to say goodbye after 11 years. My '92 Cav, bought new, now has 102K on it, doesn't burn any oil, runs like a top, but I think will soon need its 1st new exhaust, a set of new tires, and possibly front end work, since I hear an occasional strange sound when turning at low speeds. Not to mention that coolant seems to disappear for the last couple years (to no obvious place - no puddling, no foam on dipstick, no "white smoke" out the tailpipe). I'm flip-flopping on whether or not to keep the car. It's a so-so car at best, but I'm sentimentally attached. Advice? I feel like I'd be euthanizing an elderly pet if I were to junk it. ORINGINAL POST ENDS

    Okay, I will try this again. I bought my FIRST car in March of 1993. It was a 1993 Cavalier. The only problems from 1993-1995 was a cassette tape got caught and there was a recall on something. In about 1995, the temperature gauge broke. From that year on, either the temperature gauge was breaking, the coolant was missing or some hose had a hole in it. From 1995 to about 2000, I was actually driving around with coolant because my car never had coolant.

    During the years from 1999-2003, the car's brakes failed, the head gaskets had to be replaced, the ignition switch had to be replaced, the water pump, alternators (too many times to count), about 3 batteries (the alternators and batteries were under warranty though), various other modules and parts I have never heard of.

    From 1999-2003, I would say I spent about $3,000.00 at most on the car. I was attached to the car and didn't want to let it go. I decided to keep it. THEN, in November of 2003, the issues started again, the temperature gauge was in the "HOT" area, the heater core needed to be replaced, the brakes started to shimmy.

    I couldn't take it anymore and bought another car. When you have a Cavalier (built by the disgruntled or lazy employee), you get double whammied. The issues are frequent but inexpensive. Expensive but infrequent. In other words, you just never know with this vehicle. With other cars, you know whether the car will not work or not. With my Cavalier, I wasn't sure if the repair would be the last for that year or only the beginning for that year.

    For me, the decision came to buy anothe vehicle when I no longer felt I could trust the vehicle on long trips. In my view, one should never have to rent a car if they have a car that has been taken care of properly. I was taking care of my car yet I had gotten to the point where I didn't want to drive it for trips longer than 1 hour. If you feel this way as well, I would go ahead and sell the car. The best time to buy a car is when you don't NEED one.
  • I dont own a chevy cavalier but I do have a small 1993 tracer with over 200k miles on it. If it makes you feel any better I too smell engine coolant when I exit the car. I notice it more in the summer time to tell you the truth. I also have the same problem. Sink money into the beast or trade in for something new. I plan on getting the new chevy aveo and also keeping the tracer as my winter rat/work car. It has its quirks and also needs a new muffler, brakes, tune up. Engine and transmission are fine so I cant see getting rid of it. Im also attached to it. My advise is to see if the head gasket is really the problem. It could be a bad hose or small leak. Run the thing into the ground or till it blows up. You'll get nothing on trade in.
  • The cars involved, from the 1998-2001 model years, are certain Chevrolet Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunfires built between March 1997 and April 2001, GM said in a statement."
  • The front end noise is probably the sway bar end links. There is a TSB on this that I read some time ago. I had a '93 Cav and had some coolant loss issues too. Had to replace the upper hose. It had a pinhole leak in it so small that it was undetectable until the hole gradually got bigger. Check for the intake manifold gasket problem also or possible head gasket. As far as alternators are concerned, get the best quality battery you can afford and the alternator problems will go away. What happens is that the cooling fan (which runs anytime the A/C or defrost is on) draws a lot of amps and puts a drain on the system. Later models resolved this problem with the upgraded Delphi alternator. Cheap or weak batteries will kill an alternator. It is best to get quality rebuilt (ACDelco) alternators also. I think Advance Auto carries them for around $100. I use Deka batteries from Carquest Auto Parts with good results. Tires are cheap for this car at Sam's or Wally's and the exhaust problem may only be the muffler. I would say to definitely keep the car as you don't really have any major problems with it. It would also be a good second car or good for a teenager to drive back and forth to school in. Hope this helps and have a nice day:)
  • I have just bought a 2002 automatic chevrolet cavalier sedan, no later than a week of having it, it seems to have gotten weaker. When you take off, it takes longer than normal to change gears. In 2nd gear (automatic) it sticks so long it starts to roar, I get worried it might blow up. I'm a previous owner of a 4 cylinder, so I know what kind of power to expect.
    Is this normal or is there something wrong?
  • Transmission problem is likely....

    Let us know ? ....

    A transmission specialist will diagnose it
    VERY quickly....

    (GM's late model automatic transmissions are one of the
    BEST features of Cavaliers.)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Do you live in a cold climate? If there is not a serious drop in power throughout your rev range, the "problem" you describe may actually just be the vehicle keeping itself in a lower gear to facilitate a quicker engine warm-up. Most automatics now do this, and its quite noticeable in my 2003 Sentra.. for the first mile or two, when under moderate acceleration, the vehicle almost feels as though its lugging... holding gears to a higher RPM before upshift. Temps have been in the low teens for a few weeks now...

    I'm not saying you definitely DONT have a problem, Im just offering a less harrowing, more optimistic explanation.

  • Let's hope you're right, and I think you are...

    If it's really something wrong inside that transmission...

    Probably it's the torque converter...

    Let's hope he lets us know...
  • rae52rae52 Posts: 103
    Of ourse your engine is going to "roar" because the transmission is in 2nd gear! Leave it in drive and you'll be happily amazed at how quiet it (the engine) is.

    For the record, I also own a 2002 Cav LS w/4spd auto. It has 17k miles on it
  • my mother bought a 2002 Cavalier Sport (it has the 16" wheels, cladding, chrome exhaust tip etc...) and it is the 4 speed auto. It has the basic 2.2 (not the ecotec). She had a 94 cav. with the 2.2. Has anything changed between the 2.2 of 1994 and the 2.2 of 2002? I know from the outside it looks different, but is it essentially the same engine? Would it have been a better idea to go with the 2.4 or the ecotec engine? I have the 2.4 with a 5-speed in my Grand Am GT (1997), and absolutely love the engine. Is the ecotec a better engine even though it lacks some of the 2.4's power? PS.. just a word to the wise... if you decide to purchace a Sport model with the optional performance tires... opt for a good set of snow tires on the side.
  • Pros and cons about different J-body engines can
    be found at :

    It's tedious process to search through all that's
    available at this site.

    My summation : The old cast iron 2.2 engine was
    many times improved, and the last ones in 2002
    are reliable and easier to work on. The more
    powerful engines (with dual o.h. cams are very
  • I received this in the mail today from GM Protection Plan :

    "Dear Mr. XXXXXX, This may be your last opportunity to protect yourself against the rising
    cost of repairs. Your vehicle's GM Warranty
    may be about to expire, and after that it will be
    too late to consider GM Protection Plan coverage.

    This plan offers extended service coverage protecting you against the potential high cost of
    parts and labor for repairs to your Chevrolet

    I'm not going to, but if I replied, I'd say, "Dear
    Mr. GM, I still have 18 MONTHS of coverage on
    my 2002 Cavalier....So, take your $600 offer and
    CRAM it !"

    GM must be getting DESPERATE to stay ALIVE !!!
  • Using the GM filter numbers, the PF-47 is recommended for the late Cavaliers with the
    2200 engine and 4 speed automatic.

    It's very difficult to change the filter because
    it seems like the transmission (next to the filter) is too big for the car. Working from
    below is next to impossible.

    Working from above (after removal of some electrics) is still "painful" due to the limited
    space between engine, cooler lines, transmission,
    and "things".

    Some owners have recommended using the longer
    PF-52 filter to make it easier to hold on to the
    filter for installation or removal. (I realize
    the thread and mating surfaces are the same between the PF-47 and PF-52. There's no problem
    there and the PF-52 should provide more filtering

    Once, I tried to use the longer filter. I just
    couldn't find enough room to "wiggle" and get
    it in place.

    Anyone who can make the PF-52 work, I applaud you.
    The longer filter definitely would be better.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    works great on a 00 Cav LS.
  • I just started using the PF-52 on my 2002 Cavalier (2200 5 speed). Works well, but I can see where the automatics can be a problem.
  • Was studying what this "stuff" is all about....

    There are lawsuits against GM because sometimes
    it will "sludge"....

    Whew !!!

    Then, I found this site...

    It seems to give an unbiased opinion...

    Just sharing info....

    Personally, I think GM has made the right choice
    to use Dexcool.

    Maybe some warnings should be given, however.
  • I would like to install an intake on my 2002 cavalier. I bought the car about 3 months ago and the dealer hooked me up with a 75000 mile warranty. I was just wondering if putting an intake on my car would void the warranty. If so, could I just take it off if I ever need to take my car in to be fixed by the dealer. Any input would be helpful. Thanx.
  • john232john232 Posts: 3
    a couple of months ago I bought two 2004 Cavaliers, one for my 17 year old Daughter and one for me to be used as a "go to work car". I did not expect to buy one for myself but after driving my Daughters for about a week (while I was waiting for her insurance to be activated) I fell in love with the performance and styling, and features this car had for the price. We ordered ours with the exact same options which were the popular PKG which included tilt steering, floor mats, intermittent wipers, mud guards, and AM/FM/CD player, and side moldings. Also I am VERY GLAD I ordered the Auto trans and Sport appearance PKG with 16 inch aluminum wheels, Perf. tires 205/55R16s,and a spoiler with sport suspension, and cruise control.
         Sticker price was 16,685.00 less rebate of 4,250.00 plus my GM employees discount was about another 2,000.00 wich brought the price down to about 10,500.00 plus TTL. This little car looks great.
        The car handles really nice with the 16" tires and the sport suspension. The radio is more than I expected, and the Auto trans is super smooth. What can I say except that I feel like I made out pretty good and after I pay these cars off I will finally get my Vette and keep the Cav for my work car. Later
  • chaz7311chaz7311 Posts: 2
    I purchased a 2000 Cavalier LS with 25,000 mi on it. It was a granny car and in excellent shape, anyway in my book it says if you would like to have the RKE (Remote Keyless Entry) give horn feedback when you press the unlock button, to contact the dealer to activate, but i really dont want too go back to my dealer, does anyone know how to turn this horn feedback feature on? I would really like to have it enabled. Thanks in advance.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Far as I know only the dealer can program the BCM which controls the horn feature.I also have a 00 LS and the only time my horn blows is when the RKE locks the car or when I push the panic button.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    I guess anyone who is willing to shift for themselves can get a terrific deal on one. $10,700 MSRP, TMV is $10,328 in black in my zip code, and several local dealers are showing them in stock in my color (black, of course).

    I saw two seperate ads in Saturday's Dallas paper advertising SV Coupes for $7995 and every other Chevy ad was $8500-$9000. I wonder if the cars can actually be purchased at that price. I think 2002 models are still selling used at these prices. Maybe the 2-door, 5-speed, used Cavaliers will go further down in price!

    Anyone else around the US find similar deals? I couldn't find a Prices Paid/Buying Experience for the Cavalier so I posted here...
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    In New England 04 new $8900 but they are coupe and striped, Lutz dropped a lot of the std equipment like ABS and A/C.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    Read the paperwork for your service contract. It will tell you in the fine print. I think most contracts are voided if aftermarket parts are installed. All the ones I've read void the contract if you install a spoiler on the back end.
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