Last post on Aug 23, 2012 at 5:41 PM
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Chevrolet Cavalier, Sedan
#1694 of 2171 1996 Chevy Cavalier
May 25, 2005 (6:21 am)
In Sept. 2005 I bought a used '95 Cavalier with 28,031 miles on it. The car looked in excellent condition and the dealer said it was. Within an hour I had a flat, 18lbs of pressure in tires (some dealer!!!). Got new tires. I had a leak and a squeak, dealer said he fixed. Following week had to put in a new tension belt motor, change spark plugs (were original) new crank shaft pulley, replaced serpentine belt. I really thought that was it, but now this week I had to replace the compressor. I"m livid, I've put $2,100 into this car and only have put on 700 miles myself. After the compressor was done by my mechanic he test drove the car. He said only then he had major "vibration." Ends up he now wants me to replace the idler pulley, at a cost of another $250. I'm at my wit's end and at the end of my financial resources Is this normal for a 1996 Cavalier with such low mileage, or did i just get a lemon? I'm a woman and not sure if I'm being literally "raked over the coals or what." Any help would be very greatly appreciated.
#1695 of 2171 Re 1995 0r 1996 Cavalier
May 25, 2005 (8:36 pm)
Sorry for your problems candie. No, it is not "normal" for a Cavalier of such low mileage (or any car for that matter of such low mileage) to have any of those things go wrong IMO. Apparently the car came with no warranty of any sort?
Whether a 1995 or a 1996 model, that mileage seems suspiciously low. I would guess that the speedometer was turned back.I am sorry that what I am saying is not any "help" to you. I would however recommend that you get a second (or even a third) opinion from a different mechanic as to the overall condition of your car before spending more on it.
#1696 of 2171 Re: Re 1995 0r 1996 Cavalier [alternator]
May 26, 2005 (5:58 am)
Thanks Alternator. I'm in a real bind here, I've already spent so much. Before reading your message this a.m. I took the car to the mechanic (who is the 3rd I've had look at the car btw). Note though, he fixed my compressor this past week. I picked up the car on Saturday and it was shimmying like all get out..(Felt like riding a Bronco). Note. I did not have this problem before. This a.m. he test rode it with me in it and said "I'd never return a car like this." Well, he did. I drove no more than one hour all weekend and had this problem. Now he's saying maybe I need a new exhaust system??? No, it had no warranty, but I did get a letter from the dealer that they would repair the squeak and the leak...(serpentine belt, who knows at this point in time). It's not leaking, thank goodness for something. I too was suspect of the mileage BUT, the car doesn't show any signs of wear and tear one would think would show if the mileage was more. I have to tell you that I drove a 1984 Buick Regal before this that I was the original owner of and I sold it in Dec. 04 with lliterally 62,071 miles on it. That's why I felt maybe someone else didn't drive much either and trusted. I guess you are recommending I get rid of this car, which for me will be difficult (my circumstances)...but I do thank you. I'll keep you advised of what the mechanic says today, if that's OK with you? I however am thinking the worst...
#1697 of 2171 Re: Re 1995 0r 1996 Cavalier [alternator]
May 26, 2005 (2:10 pm)
Hi again Alternator: I too was suspicious so today I called the dealership where the car was purchased new in 1995. (License plate frame.. told all). They last serviced the car in 2002 and it had 21,000 miles on it, so that seems about right, that it now has 28,000+. I took the car to the mechanic this a.m. and he insisted he hadn't sent the car out like that (shimmying like a bronco ride from a rodeo)..BUT fact is, he had. I didn't drive it more than one hour this weekend and stopped because it shimmied so bad. Now his quote was "ever have the exhaust system changed?" This is the mechanic who last week put in the new compressor and then it began to shimmy. I have a feeling Alternator something funny is going on here. Obviously this car has low mileage, the interior is immaculate, no outside blemishes, and although I'd expect some work on a car 10 years old, this is ludicrous. This is the 3rd mechanic, the first one never fixed my Buick right so when I got this I had him test drive it before purchase. When immediately it still leaked I took it to another close by who repaired the car but somehow didn't notice the compressor shavings...So now I am taking it to a mechanic who came highly recommended by a neighbor and seems I am still getting the royal run around. Makes me wonder if it's not because I'm a woman going in??? I honestly don't know who to trust with this anymore. I'm really quite burned out over the entire thing. Having put just less than 700 miles on this car and so far $2,100 more into it (plus the purchase price of $3,000 plus taxes, etc.) I'm really tired of it all. Any suggestions you or anyone on this board can make would be very greatly appreciated. Obviously, I know very little about cars, but hey guys, I'm learning~~~ Candie
May 26, 2005 (6:15 pm)
candie, I have never had any of the problems like yours on the six consecutive Cavaliers I have owned. I have done all my own maintenance over many years, but I am not a mechanic and I don't do "repair" work on my cars (but I have needed very little, lucky me I know). Hopefully someone in this forum may have had some problems similar to yours and will break in soon with some advice.
Just to be clear: "tension belt motor" is not any part I know of. Was this described in any other way? Does "compressor" refer to the air conditioning compressor? Since "shimmying" usually refers to a shaking caused by something awry in the suspension, is the mechanic saying this is an exhaust system problem? Or is the "shimmying" actually an engine vibration?
If the original dealership serviced the car up until 21,000 miles would it not be possible for them to take a look to see what they think could have happened in just 7,000 miles?
#1699 of 2171 '95 Cavalier needing multiple repairs
May 27, 2005 (2:57 am)
Hi Alternator Thanks again for responding. I've been in touch with mechanics who are in total agreement with you that they have also never heard of so many problems on any Cavalier, consecutively. I have a strong feeling Alternator, I'm being ripped off. About the shimmying. This did NOT happen, not at all before this same mechanic installed the compressor. Obviously it was something he did. Yes, it was the AC compressor but I wasn't having a problem with the AC, I was told by him that the compressor was bad and that it was leaving "shavings" and if the belt broke on it I could be on the highway and lose steering, etc. This is why I had it done to the tune of $876.00. I got it home 'that day' and it shimmied. He told me when I left the shop it was shimmying and now says he didn't do it. DUH, I think he did. He has the car now and I am tempted to pull it from him and take your advice and take it to the original dealer who I don't know, but who did give me the information about the mileage when I called. The shimmying is coming from under the hood, it's as if something is lose. I do not think it's an exhaust problem, it would have happened earlier than "right after" his working on the compressor. I think we have a mechanic here who doesn't want to take responsibility for his own mistake. In the meantime it's costing me way way too much What I had done previously was a serpentine belt replaced; spark plugs replaced; new "tension belt motor" (is what is written down); crank shaft pulley; tires, muffler, new compressor now, etc. It would seem to me if someone was taking the car apart (as they did to put in the crank shaft, wouldn't they have seen the compressor shavings??? I realize you aren't a mechanic but thank you for jumping in trying to help. I too wish a mechanic would jump in here. The car is in the shop as I write this. They were to call me at 1:00 yesterday to advise me of whatever they now think it is, but NO call, so I'm thinking more of your advice...take it to the "dealership". This way too, if the compressor isn't installed right, I'll have my proof and be able to take some action. Thanks Alternator. You're very sweet. I'll keep you posted.
#1700 of 2171 1998 Cavalier Console
May 27, 2005 (8:51 am)
Hi, I'm new to this site/forum. And i have a request....
I have a 1998 Cavalier 4 door sedan. I want to take the factory stereo out (i believe it's a delco) and put in an aftermarket stereo. I'm just leary of how the dash comes apart. Would someone be able to show me the diagrams or point me in the right direction to figure out to take the dash apart so I can put a new stereo in it please.
#1703 of 2171 Re: 1998 Cavalier Console [rorytate]
May 28, 2005 (3:13 pm)
I have two answers for you
Go to http://www.ny-jbodies.org/
Click on "Library" (top right of page)
Scroll down to "Interior Enhancements"
Click on "Audio Install Directions"
I have done this job on several of my Cavaliers. Let me know if you don't understand something and I'll try to help.
A far easier solution is to access the radio by using a small rotary tool cutter to make two horizontal cuts thru the trim plate to separate the lower "U" part of the trim plate from the upper part of the trim plate, pop the lower part off carefully, and pop it back on when through. Cut slowly through the plastic because it will tend to melt. The separation betwen the upper and lower parts of the trim plate will be hardly noticeable.
The cut should be made right along the line I have indicated by an "arrow" in the picture I had intended to add to this post.
Edmunds FAQ says "You may post a link to a photo or insert the photo using the standard html tag for an image: Since this is my first attempt to post a picture on a forum I don't know what part of that form stays as-is, and what part do I remove and replace with my photo's information.
I have asked Edmunds to explain this better for me, but can anyone help me here?