Howdy, Stranger!

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

Chevrolet Cavalier



  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I commute 100 miles a day back and forth to work. With the rising gas prices, why get a larger car? My 1999 Protege is huge inside, has great handling, is reliable, and comfortable for me and three or four friends if the need arises. Plus, working where parking is tight, its small size helps me in the parking lot and in heavy traffic on the Capital Beltway as well. No need for a larger car.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    I agree, I would never buy a huge SUV anyways but unfortunately America is driven by trends and most people nowadays are steering away from the compacts and getting into big SUVs and cars. Reason why GM postponed the redesign of the Cavalier to focus on its trucks and SUVs. With the successs GM has had with these vehicles it would be great if the same attention these huge cars are getting was given to the rest of the line. However, personally I would not buy a compact car, I love midsize to full size cars. The more steel surrounds me and the farther away from me the door panels are the happier I am. Couldn't be any happier with my midsize Chevy and my fienace just adores the Cavalier, very very happy :-). good luck!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    It's a huge myth that a larger car provides better crash protection. Check out the offset crash tests (http;// then click on crash tests) and you will see size doesn't matter. Also, I always thought the marketing strategy would be to have a person starting out get a company's entry-level car (Cavalier) and have that person try to be loyal to the brand forever, which means they move up to a Malibu and then perhaps a Monte Carlo or Impala after the kids are grown and gone from home. See my point? If you cannot offer quality at the starting level, why would someone go any further?

    Good point: I had a 1996 Cavalier with lots of problems. I will never have another Chevrolet. If that car would have been reliable and a good car, I would have perhaps thought about a Tracker or Monte Carlo or something in the Chevrolet lineup next time. Make sense?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Pretty much the same reason I will never buy another Honda. If you have a bad experience with a car brand, it's unlikely you will come back for another.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Will be built off the new "Global" GM platform code named "Delta". The car will be a direct spinoff of the all new Opel Astra (GM of Germany)due to debut sometime in 2002 as a 2003 model.

    Since GM's greatest weakness is their sub-compact/compact model lines (Exception: Chevy Prizm)and most future GM models in this size range will come from Opel in Europe (Where they have had successful small cars).

    Ford followed the same approach of sourcing their newest small car from Europe, the Focus.

    Also, Cavalier's sibling, the Pontiac Sunbird will be discontinued after the 2002 model year as well as the Chevy Prizm (Bad move for Chevy). The Toyota Corolla will be re-designed for the 2003 model year and Chevy will not get the newer model. Instead, Pontiac will get an all new entry level hybrid sport wagon that will be built off the platform of the all new 2003 Corolla in an effort to improve Pontiac's current performance/value image in the entry level market. The 2003 Pontiac Sportwagon will be built in the same assembly line as the 2003 Corolla, in the NUMMI Fremmont, California GM/Toyota plant.

    The Chevy Metro (a.k.a Suzuki Swift) will be finally discontinued after the year 2001.

    So let's wait an see how this all new 2003 Cavalier will fill the 'holes' left off by the Metro and Prizm model lines.

    Interesting times at GM....
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Indeed interesting times. I keep hearing a lot about the new GM models that are to be release starting 2001.
    Not sure about the entry level thing keeping a buyer in a car line. Even if that is the case the Cavlier as it is is still an excellent choice for a first time buyer who just wants to get from A to B. I wanted a bit more of a personality so I jumped in the Berreta, best choice I ever made best car next to my Malibu. I take time buying my cars. Took 3 month to decide on the Beretta and 2 for the Malibu. Picked the best ones in the lot and they have never failed. Same with the Cavalier. We test drove 4 of them. Found things here and there that we didn't like until we found a nice white LS with the 2.2 engine and the 4spd tranny. Best little car I have driven. It's fun to drive, cute, easy to wash, simple, user friendly, and has enough passing poser to drive here in Boston. Great little bug. I guess we are just picky when choosing cars and we always get teh best. Good luck! :-)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    You missed the entire point. What I am saying is that no matter how careful you are (and I was), you can still get a lemon. Mine was used and I checked the title and all. It only had 31,051 miles on it when I got it with a totally clean title and only one owner. Little did I know all these problems were going to happen to it.

    And if you happen to get a lemon, you are less likely to go back to that particular manufacturer. Your above-stated logic makes no sense to me.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    vocus... I am talking about buying NEW. Buying used yes you can get a lemon no matter how much investigation you do. Used is used. New is diferent. Yes if you get a lemon you are less likely to return to that manufacturer but if you buy it used you can't really blame it on the manufacturer since you will never know how the previous owner treated the car. yes one owner, low miles, clean title but God only knows how they drove the car and if the kept up the maint. very hard to tell. Anyhoo this is getting off topic. good luck!
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Well I decided never to buy a used car again. I had a terrible experience with a Honda Prelude I bought. I don't blame the car but rather the previous owner. No matter how clean the car looks you'll never know how it was treated. That's why I went for the Cavalier. I decided to rather buy a cheap new car than an expensive used car.

    I always treat my cars very carefully and service and maintain them myself. I did my first oil and filter change on the Cavalier at 1000 miles. I did 2 more oil and filter changes and at 5000 miles I switched over to Mobil 1 Synthetic. For me the car runs sweetly and is a pleasure to drive. I really believe that it will last me a long time.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Thanks a lot, you almost caused me to commit suicide!! Just kidding. I feel totally embarrassed about the aluminum head on the 2.2 Cavalier as I pride myself on knowing everything I can about cars. This was one of the few times I posted without looking up the info first, so I learned a lesson. I do not like to be wrong when it comes to cars, but for once, I have to admit I was completely wrong. I don't know what I was thinking. I must have got confused with some truck engine. I also figured that some of the GM pushrod engines were still using an iron head since the old GM four banger was known as the Iron Duke and the engines are far from advanced. Anyway, sorry for my mistake. You can believe I won't let that happen again!
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Intonge18, please don't worry about it. We all make mistakes and in this case it's nothing serious. It's just a discussion about motorcars. Cheers.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    We took in my wife's 1995 Cavalier in March with 43,000 miles on it; it was suffering from the infamous head gasket leak. It was replaced under GM's "secret recall."

    Well, now it's only six months later (48,000 miles on the car now) and it's leaking again. After sitting in the dealership shop for FIVE DAYS, they finally got around to looking at it -- and they're saying one of the HEAD BOLTS is broken. Yeah right. Now WHO would've done THAT? Maybe the incompetent service guys as they overtightened the head after the repair in March? They're saying they won't cover it.

    We planned to keep this car until it hit 80,000 miles or so. My wife doesn't drive it very much, and it still looks new. But now we're already shopping for a replacement (and it WON'T be a GM product) for a car that has only 48,000 miles on it. What a piece of crap.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Take it to CarMax and sell it to them. You will get top dollar for it, and then go get something else. But beware, because Cavaliers don't hold their value that well.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Ya got a lemon, it's too bad. The Cavalier is a generally decent car. We have our second now (a 99) and it's been perfect. Great commuter car.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    The problem with the head gaskets in 1995 through 1999 Cavaliers is documented. They even issued an unpublished recall on the head gaskets for '95s and '96s that covers the head gaskets for 7 years/100,000 miles.

    BTW, I just heard back from the dealership. It was a broken bolt and TO MY AMAZEMENT AND DISBELIEF, they admitted that they probably overtorqued the bolts back in March. Therefore I'm not going to be charged.

    But read what the Service Manager told me -- I can't believe he told me this little "secret":

    Chevy's recall instructs their service departments to replace the head gasket but keep using the old head bolts, which goes against Chevrolet's OWN service guidelines that instruct their mechanics to use NEW HEAD BOLTS each time they install a new gasket.

    Looks like another example of GM cutting corners at their customers' expense to me. But I've learned my lesson now. My days as a GM customer are numbered. What's the adage? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME."

    (But I'd replace "fool" with "screw" in the above adage.)

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    On this forum is the only place I have heard positive things about Cavaliers. Everyone I knew who had them (about 5 people, including myself) have had nothing but problems with them. A shame, because I loved my Cavalier when I had it because it was so cheap. But that's the problem: It was soooo cheap.
  • I've had the opposite experience. My fiance just bought a 2000 Cavalier LS, my best buddy has a 96, I drove a 95 in school ( it was the campus schuttle),one of my closest friends from high school has a 94 and they are all extremely happy with the cavalier, no problems whatsoever. So I'm affraid to say that dindak does not have a lemon, you just have a bad dealership. When it comes to cars we all have "friends" who have nothing but trouble with their cars. From experience with Toyotas and Hondas my family had nothing but head aches and the repairs were too costly. The only good experience is my uncle, he still has his early 80s Toyota pick up, the rest was awful. So in the end it depends where you ask and who you know......
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Well maybe it is a lemon, but with over 20K on it in a year and a half, it's been fine. I have owned only GM, Ford and Hondas in the past 10 years and the GM cars have been the best. The Cavalier is only our el-cheapo to work and back car. We also have a 2000 Intrigue and it kicks butt. It wasn't cheap though.

    In my opinion the Civic and the Focus are better cars, but they also costs more. We are leasing and it would be $50-60/month more. To me, that's the gas money for the month.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ... until it hit 42,000 miles. Then everything started to fall apart. And she's only driven it 48,000 miles in six years ... at 8,000 miles a year, it hasn't seen a rough life either.

    Maybe you're lucky ... so far. But go and read the "consumer complaints" section on NHTSA's web site. Just enter Cavalier for 1995 through 1999 and have fun.

    We are far from the only ones experiencing these problems.

    And Malibu99, I don't think the problems with my head gasket have anything to do with the quality of my dealership. And GM didn't publish a "hidden recall" to cover their asses about this problem because of a few blown head gaskets here and there. This is a major, major problem ... and what makes it even worse is that they elected to cut corners when remedying it.

    But don't just take my word for it ... go to the NHTSA web site and read the complaints of others who have played Head-Gasket-of-the-Month with their Cavaliers.

  • Oh well it sucks to be you. If the dealership screwed up using old bolts then that is a bad dealership whether you like it or not. 48,000 for a 6 year old car makes me wonder. Oh well too bad. Not saying you are the only one with the problem just saying that there are just as many happy owners with trouble free Cavaliers out there but hey who am I to say so. Life is just so tough at times. Good luck.
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    he could have had a Neon!

    j/k ;)
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    You're missing my point. The recall campaign from Chevrolet INSTRUCTS -- do you hear me? INSTRUCTS the service departments in ALL DEALERSHIPS -- NOT JUST MINE -- to re-use the old head bolts. If you didn't go to the NHTSA web site and read the Consumer Complaints section yet, you need to. Then you'll see how many folks are going through this. The recall doesn't fix the problem. It's a temporary "band-aid" fix to save money. Go and read it -- it's not just me, my friend! (I haven't even complained to NHTSA -- so in the theme of your statement that there are gazillions of happy Cav owners out there, I'll charge that the several dozen who have complained to NHTSA represent quite a few more unhappy customers.)

    I wish you luck with your Cavalier. And I hope you get rid of it early unless you want a maintenance nightmare on your hands. This will be my last post about this; I have all the proof I need sitting in my driveway and on NHTSA's web site. Did you watch Dateline NBC last night? Did you see how NHTSA's now in trouble with Congress for not doing anything about all the consumer complaints about Ford Explorers losing their tires? Now Ford's on the hot seat along with Firestone. I have a feeling NHTSA's going to become a lot more accountable in the coming months.

    Just remember what I said. If you keep your Cavalier a few years, this discussion will come back to you.

  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    It's too bad about your Cavalier, but I'm sure we are not all going to face the same problems. Now correct me if I'm wrong but, you have't paid for any of these repairs so I'm thinking GM has taken care of you. While it is a pain to deal with, you will have a car that works in the end.
  • I understand that the problem with your head gasket is real, yes I know about the issue. What I am saying is that this is not the case for evry single 2.2 out there. And yes there are far more happy Cavalier owners that the ones that complain. Far more people buy another Cavalier when they are ready for a trade in than the ones that don't. It's a fact. I'm really sorry to hear that you are having this problem but believe me look up the NHTSA data for the 1994 Chevy Berretta and look at the complaints. I was told the same thing about me Beretta but guess what that was a trouble free, I repeat, TROUBLE FREE car. In my years of owning Chevies none of them have failed me and our Cavalier is one happy car. It's economical on gas, fun to drive, gets us from A to B with no hasle. Sorry your car gave your trouble but just because your car is a lemon and the ones in the NHTSA are lemons ( also keep in mind tons of those complaints are repeats or duplicates ) doesn't mean the whole car nameplate is bad, after all they are Chevies best selling car. Oh and before you give me the whole fleet thing ( really it sounds like a scratched 45) go to and check the sales figures, those DO NOT include fleet sales. So stop complaining GM is fixing your car without you having to pay a penny, get over it.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    The A/C and power steering stuff I paid myself to the tune of $300, even after the Chevy guys admitted that it was caused by the way these hoses were mounted so that they contacted the serpentine belt WHEN THE CAR WAS MANUFACTURED. And even though we had taken the car in three times under warranty to complain about a squeaky belt -- each time they thought it was the belt and replaced it. Turned out it was squeaking because it was rubbing on other engine components! I called Chevy's 800 number, hoping to find someone who could help, and they basically told me, TOUGH LUCK since you're 3,000 miles out of warranty. They wouldn't listen to the fact that we'd been complaining about it since day one.

    And I was told Thursday that if any more head bolts break, they won't cover them. Nothing like generating nice, closed-ended comments like that to guarantee repeat business. You know, when my 1994 Mazda truck started having pre-detonation problems at 52,000 miles (2,000 miles out of warranty), they stood behind it and covered it under warranty. I met with Mazda factory reps who came to my dealership from Maryland to meet ME and discuss my vehicle's problem. They kept working on the problem until resolving it two years later at 98,000 miles, and none of the work ever cost me a CENT. They paid for loaner cars (sometimes up to a week), a head check and resurfacing, new intake manifold, new engine computer, new oxygen sensors, new ignition module -- quite a hefty bill -- all after my original warranty had expired. That's one reason I'm driving a 2000 Mazda now -- even though I had a Mazda "lemon" (built by Ford, actually), they treated me right -- at the corporate AND dealership levels -- and won my repeat business.

    My 1988 HYUNDAI EXCEL (hey, I was in college and needed a cheap car) lost its transmission 4,000 miles out of warranty. Hyundai offered to (and did) pay HALF of the $800 cost of the repair.

    You know, there are ways to keep customers, and there are ways to lose customers. My profession is marketing (not for a car company). Chevrolet, in my opinion, at both the corporate and dealership level, has a long way to go before I'll ever consider being their customer again. And I will preach my hatred of their corporation and our dealership until they prove otherwise.

    Wouldn't you do the same if YOU bought a product that broke down all the time, and the manufacturer AND service people wouldn't stand behind it? Don't fault me and say "tough to be you" for acting like any normal person would. And I'm not fretting over it -- you seem to think I'm sitting here crying in my Corn Flakes. These forums are for sharing ideas and experiences, and I'm sharing mine. I've made my decision. No more Chevrolet products!

  • Tough to be you. Sounds like you just buy bad cars. God only knows what you do to the cars. If I were Chevy and you were 3,000 miles out of warranty I would also say "Tough luck". Really feel bad for you but oh well. I had my hood re painted because I scratched it myself brushing snow off the hood. I brushed a whole chunk of ice off of it and scratch it from the beginnig to the very end of the hood, one long nasty line. I was out of the 12,000 warranty for the paint defects but when I went to the dealership I told them the story and they didn't even bother to call Chevy, they just filled out a warranty claim and painted the hood and the front fenders ( color matching technique) for free. I gave them a nice Thank you and when i walked out they said " anytime Mr. gonzalez just bring her back if you are not happy with the paint job or if you find any defects". Chevy and their dealership have stood behind the product in every case ( had the hood cable snap on my Beretta when it had 38,000 miles and they replaced it at no cost). You just sound like the kind that goes to the service department with attitude written all over you. If I were the dealership I wouldn't even bother fixing it. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar and that is true.....
    Good luck with your next car when it breaks down, sound slike a pattern of bad cars. Really though, better luck next time.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Wow, you have a lot of car problems.

    All I can say is, $300 into a 6 year old car isn't much. They have fixed everything and you have a working car. Speculating that something else will go wrong is pointless as the car is getting up in years. They can't warranty the product indefinitely. I don't think you have a lot to complain about. Don't buy another Chevy.. be happy.

    BTW.. Ford and Mazda are basically the same company.
  • Also, I just want to make it clear that I am not saying that you are lying or anything. I believe everything you have said, all I am saying is try a different approach, sometimes it really helps. I don't wanna sound like I'm attacking you just giving you a different point of view. Good Luck!

    PS: Sounds like you are more concerned with excellent service. In this area no one beats Saturn. Try trading the Cavalier for a Saturn SL their service will take your breath away. The dealership by my house cleans and vaccums the cars when they are done servicing them and as an added touch of care they leave a mint on your dashboard. Execllent service, try that brand and you might find what you are looking for. Good luck!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I broke a head bolt brushing snow off my car.

    I busted a power steering pump and a/c line because I was breathing too hard.

    No, gentlemen ... I had these problems because I bought a crappy car.

    For some reason you have to resort to name-calling and personal put-downs to try to prove your point. I've made my point. Have fun with your Mr. Gutwrench products!

    Bye bye!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    If it matters, most people I know have had problems with their Cavalier. Just because the select few in here have not, maybe you all are the minority.

    And MD is right. No reason to call names because someone doesn't agree with your point. Make sense?
Sign In or Register to comment.