Last post on Aug 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM
You are in the Chevrolet Cavalier
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Chevrolet Cavalier, Sedan
#1443 of 2171 The Luck Of The Draw!
Sep 27, 2003 (5:01 pm)
I am a Chevy Cavalier owner of both a 1993 LS and 1997 4 door sedan. I have to tell you that I had more problems with the 97 than the 93. I had the transmission, head gasket, and water pump replaced within 2 years. My 93 has close to 180,000 miles on it and most of the parts replaced were due to old age. The 93 is faster and I get close to 40 mpg on the highway!!! (I once drove from Cedar Point, OH to Browns Mills, NJ and still had a quarter tank left or 563 miles!!) I just wish the 93 had more room in the back, because in essence it's a 2 seater! So I can relate to some of the other owner's problems and gripes, but it also depends on how alert the builders were the day that particular car was built, if you have a great running vehicle you probably had all the assembly people awake, alert, and on the ball! If you had problems think that you may have gotten the "5:30, last of the cars for the day, on a Friday" ! In other words they wanted out and only half their hearts were in it, and despite that most line are automated, some human interaction is needed to "tweek" the fine tuning or tightning before sent of the assembly line. I now have a brand spanking new 2004 and I love it, and I want to see if my babying it from day one with "over maintaining" it will make a difference, but so far it's been the best of both worlds the roominess of my 1997 and the power, agility, comfort of my 1993. So lets hope the Ecotec engine is the dream that it has been so far!
#1444 of 2171 Voyager...
Sep 27, 2003 (6:39 pm)
Believe it or not, most people I know with Cavaliers (including myself, in the past) have had trouble with the new ones. Mine was loaded with rattles, and needed the engine computer reprogrammed due to a CEL that wouldn't go out at 34K miles.
A friend still has a 1996 2-door with 135K that has been through $1000s in repairs, including a brand new transmission at 100K, ignition, fuel injector, water pump, and a couple batteries.
Someone else I know blew 3 head gaskets within 10K miles in their Cavalier with less than 70K miles on it. The person finally dumped it and got something else, getting tired of repairing the car every time they turned around.
The current Cavaliers are a throwback to the 80s in the small car class. They are uncomfortable, unreliable, and unsafe. The only good thing about them seems to be the Ecotec engine.
Sep 28, 2003 (6:50 am)
what are you doing on this site.
Sep 28, 2003 (8:42 am)
Whoa. Unreliable and unsafe? You make it sound like they're Yugos or Pintos.
In my experience, Cavaliers are quite reliable. In the first one, we paid for a clutch, struts, and an alternator.
There have been no repairs on the 97 except for regular maintenance items, most of which occur at 5 years (plugs, wires, coolant, tranny fluid (based upon where I live), etc.).
As for safe, I've had to execute emergency maneuvers in both vehicles I've owned (on snow and in heavy rain) and the handling with ABS (standard equipment) and OEM tires was exceptional.
Now the IIHS doesn't think much of the Cav, but the NHTSA shows it to be about, to above, average. I think one will find that most GM vehicles fail to get the highest marks.
Sep 28, 2003 (12:46 pm)
I would have to disagree with your comments.
While I think the current Cavalier is very dated, it's not unreliable and it generally carries an "average" rating in magazine reliability ranks. Powertrian is solid as a rock.
We leased a 99 with the old powertrian for 3 years and had 1 trip to the shop for a rear end rattle which turned out to be a faulty shock.
#1448 of 2171 Dindak..
Oct 19, 2003 (10:54 pm)
A friend still has a 96 base coupe with the 3-speed auto tranny. His has blown an ignition, a transmission, fuel injector, and head gasket since he has had it. Also, the paint on the hood is peeling off now. It's got about 136K on it, but I still think it would have held up better than it did.
I saw on CarsDirect.com that the leftover 03 Cavaliers have a $4500 rebate on them. I guess that's pretty good, since a loaded LS Sport would end up costing about $15K loaded, if you're willing to compromise on the aging chassis and safety as compared to other cars in this class. I bet a used 01-03 would be even cheaper if you could find it. Beware of resale value on the new ones, and definitely buy GAP insurance on any of them or you will lose your shirt if you car's totalled anytime soon.
Oct 21, 2003 (4:36 pm)
14,000 miles and 1.5 years later, ALL IS WELL with my '02 Cav LS automatic!!! Anybody else care to share experiences with their late-model cavs?
#1450 of 2171 97 Cavalier...POS
Oct 29, 2003 (9:57 pm)
My daughter owns a Z-24. She is finally going to sell it and let someone else take over the headaches that this car has caused. She had the engine rebuilt at 70,000 miles for $2800 and just recently had the transmission rebuilt to the tune of $2500. Now she has ignition problems that the tranny dealer claims he didn't do. (The car started fine before he touched it.) Maybe someone had a similar problem. Every couple of starts the starter clicks like it has a weak battery, then after several tries it starts up fine.
#1451 of 2171 Only Use a Professional for this Modification
Nov 01, 2003 (8:15 am)
My 2002 Cavalier has the 2.2L and 4 speed automatic.
Sorely needed was a drain plug on the transaxle for routine fluid changes. (Nine quarts of Dextron is hard to drain - and messy - without a drain plug.)
A 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" X 1/4" thick piece of steel was welded to the pan by a professional weld shop. Then I drilled and tapped for a 3/8" tapered pipe plug.
Whoops. The weld had a flaw, and the transaxle
After removing the pan again, I went to a different weld shop for the fix.
The second weld shop explained what the problem
had been. It was the galvanized coating on the
pan. This makes it extremely difficult to weld
either with a torch or electric weld.
At the second weld shop they even tested the pan
for 24 hours by filling it with oil and letting
it sit. This to insure that their repair was
I'm sure glad that I didn't try to use my amateur
welding talents. I had no idea what a coating of
galvanize would cause.
Nov 02, 2003 (4:48 pm)
My 02 Cav has been problem free for the two years I have owned it. 2.2L engine with the five speed. Never gets less than 30 mpg. Best mpg was 39 on the highway. This car has the most power of any four banger I have ever owned.