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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,575 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Chevrolet Cavalier fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 3 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #153

Jan 292009

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles


2003 Chevy Cavalier stalled while driving. Had towed to shop and fuel pump was bad. Replaced at 69,000 miles at a cost of $760. The warranty on the new factory fuel pump was for 12 months or 12,000 miles. After 14 months and at 78,000 miles the 2nd fuel pump has gone bad. Unemployed and don't have the money to fix it again! please recall.

- Vanleer, TN, USA

problem #152

Mar 202010


  • 100,000 miles
The fuel pump failed on my 2003 Chevy Cavalier leaving my car power less (off) at 65 mph. Then would not start, leaving me stranded on a busy highway. I am having to buy a new fuel pump costing around $200 and take time off of work to fix it.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #151

Mar 142010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
I own a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. 65,000 km (not miles on it). Works great, one minute, then the next won't start. Have had it towed twice... told no real problem, then told that the fuel pump is gone. Checked online and there are hundreds of complaints, but no recall. Seems absolutely unreasonable, especially when it appears to be happening while driving... that would seem to me to be a safety issue.

- Milton, 00, USA

problem #150

Feb 172010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 116,000 miles


I was driving my Cavalier to pick up my wife. As I approached an intersection, the system completely shut off and I could not restart the car. I was able to stop at the beginning of a left turn lane and put my hazards on. With the help of my passenger and a police officer, we moved the car across 2 lanes of travel to the shoulder. The car had 116,000 miles at the time of the incident. The only warning before the car lost all power and drive-ability was the battery light turning on briefly.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #149

Mar 152010


  • 66,000 miles
Have a 2003 Cavalier 66,000 miles and was working beautifully drove into work and was coming home stopped to get groceries and came out to start my car and fuel pump was dead. There was no warning for this problem at all would like to find if GM is doing anything about this since there are a lot of complaints for the same issue.

- Edgewater, FL, USA

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problem #148

Mar 082010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
2003 Chevy Cavalier stalled while driving. Almost got killed. Just another defect in this car. I keep reporting stuff and no one seems to be listening.

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #147

Feb 202010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


I was returning home and when I pulled into my driveway my car had an extreme loss of power. I was surprised by this because it was a sudden change in my cars performance. I had not been having any trouble before this. After I parked my car and turned it off I later attempted to leave. It would not start. The engine and everything turned over fine it just did not seem to be getting fuel. I then turned the key on and off and realized that the fuel pump was not running. I researched online and found this to be a very common issue with the 2003 Cavaliers. Thankfully I was in my driveway when this happened and not in the left lane of the freeway in rush hour. I will be spending my weekend replacing my fuel pump. I will keep the dead pump if it is needed for investigation.

- Dellroy, OH, USA

problem #146

Feb 222010


  • 117,000 miles
Started the car up in the morning as normal to warm the car up ( about 5 mins). Drove about 1 mile to royal farms. I shut down the car to go inside and I returned to the car to start it up. At first it started up but very ruff and then stalled out after that it did not fire up anymore. I had the car towed home where I found out that the fuel pump has gone up. I have had idle problems with the car since I had bought the car and the dealership could not find any problems with it. I do not know if these problem go side by side.

- Joppa , MD, USA

problem #145

Feb 182010


  • 65,062 miles
Recently purchased pre-owned 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier stalled, the engine died in the middle of traffic. I have been unable to start the vehicle since. It sounds as if it wants to start but will not. I believe that there is an issue with the fuel pump. I have read other complaints and this is the exact same thing that happened to me...

- Lewisburg, KY, USA

problem #144

Feb 122010


  • miles
The fuel gauge began to malfunction about a year ago. Assuming it was just the float, I decided I would ignore it and use the trip odometer to determine how much gas I had left. Unfortunately, because the gas gauge went well past full, into the realm of what would be considered two tanks of full, the temperature gauge needle could not move. Eventually, the gas gauge needle went past the temperature gauge (now at what would be considered two and a half tanks) which freed the temperature needle to actually register. Now, the temperature gauge is malfunctioning, resting at the half way point even after the car sat all night in our recent frigid temperatures. It now runs in the red even though there is nothing wrong with the engine. Now, the speedometer is showing signs of malfunctioning, as it reads 5 mph though I am at a complete stop. Research on various internet message boards suggest this is a very common problem in not only 2003 Chevrolet Cavaliers, but other years and models of Chevy vehicles. When I complained to GM that a malfunctioning speedometer was a safety issue, I was greeted with "there's no recall, it's no longer under warranty, can't help, your problem, deal with it." Following this logic, what's stopping GM from creating more defective vehicles, if the problem happens after the warranty expires" they've adopted the attitude it's "not their problem." At what point is a defective speedometer not a safety problem worthy of a recall"

- Fairview Heights, IL, USA

problem #143

Jan 192010


  • 60,000 miles


Fuel pump goes out after only 60,000 miles. This is unacceptable, I own other vehicles that have 3 times this mileage before I had to replace a fuel pump.

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #142

Dec 032009


  • 83,000 miles
2003 Chevy Cavalier, ~83,000 miles. Dec 3 in ne Ohio, traveling at highway speeds on Ohio route 11 at ~11:50pm. Car suddenly started to slow down, trac light and oil light came on. Able to pull over to side of road. Engine still running but rough. No power when tried to make car move. Had to have car towed home $200. Took ~3hrs in freezing cold and snowstorm. Car would not start the next day. Could not hear characteristic whir of fuel pump when key first turned. Diagnosis of electrical showed fuel pump was receiving voltage. Tapping on bottom of fuel tank while trying to start car resulted in car starting. Diagnosis: New fuel pump required. Anticipated cost $250 + labor. Total anticipated cost: $450 + labor. Fortunately no or little traffic. Also fortunate tow truck responded quickly otherwise personal injury from cold could have occurred. This should not have happened at this low mileage. Fuel pumps should be lifetime engineered.

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #141

Jan 022010


  • 88,000 miles
2003 Chevy Cavalier fuel pump has to be defective for all the problems people are having with it. Mine just went on my car without any warning.

- Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #140

Jun 072004


  • 10,000 miles
I had purchased brand new Chevrolet Cavalier back in 2003 after 10K or so, it started stalling during driving when the clutch is pressed to change the gear or at traffic stops. This problems repeats every week or so and it is very dangerous as all the power to the steering and brakes is lost. I think this should not be happening to a brand new vehicle. Because of this problem I am never going to buy a GM vehicle again and will not recommend others. I would like GM to fix this for me as it is a major safety concern.

- Winnipeg, 00, USA

problem #139

Oct 102009


  • 78,000 miles
Fuel pump failure at 125,000 kms. Driving on highway, car failed to accelerate. Eventually had to pull over, vehicle stalled and would not re-start. Towed, fuel pump replaced.

- Kamloops British Columbia, 00, USA

problem #138

Nov 102009


  • 36,100 miles
I was driving down a busy road in town going 40 mph when my car started to chug. It ended up stalling and I was in the busy lane, still driving!!! I had to immediately turn on my hazards and try to slowly get out of every other drivers way. I had cars that had to slow down quite quickly behind me as I could not accelerate or do anything but coast out of their way. This was the first time something has happened like this, I had the car towed the next morning as when it stalled I was on my way to work. It was the fuel pump. I had brought my car to the dealer where I bought the car. My warranty was just up about a year ago, but I am sure this is not under warranty, it cost me $900 and the fact that I stalled on a busy street. To me this was a very dangerous situation to be in. I was quite upset after the whole ordeal.

- Grand Forks, ND, USA

problem #137

Nov 092009


  • 49,900 miles
While actively driving my 2003 Chevy Cavalier my car without warning just shut down. I was unable to restart it and a tow to the repair shop was required. I had to have my fuel pump replaced. This was a shock because my car only has 49,900 miles on it. My mechanic was even in shock and doesn't understand why that would happen. I was lucky enough to be able to glide to the side of the road and avoid an accident.

- Middletown, NJ, USA

problem #136

Nov 082009


  • 70,740 miles
I'd purchased my 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier in like-new condition with ~20K miles. Months after I'd started driving the vehicle, I noticed that when I would put the transmission into neutral(manual transmission), the RPM would drop well below 1000 and sometimes it would stall. When it would stall, it wouldn't start again for a few minutes of sitting. I had the vehicle looked at and no one could find a problem. This problem didn't occur at a regular interval, but instead happened randomly at least once within 2 or 3 months time. I have had the car for 4.5 years and the fuel pump has stopped operating completely. The problem wasn't apparent until I tried starting my vehicle on the morning of November 8th 2009 and the vehicle would not start. The starter was functioning properly, but the electronic fuel injection unit was making a different noise. After having the vehicle evaluated, it was determined that the fuel pump had become inoperable. The replacement fuel pumps price ranges between $150-250 on average and labor would cost more. By doing a little research, it's obvious that this is a common case. An O.E.M. fuel pump on a car under 75K miles should last longer than 5 years before deterioration.

- Wellsburg, WV, USA

problem #135

Nov 052009


  • 60,000 miles
I own a 2003 Chevy Cavalier. The fuel pump went out on it. The car only has 60,000 miles on it. Everything was working great I pulled up to a store turned off the car, ran an errand, then the car wouldn't start. I checked all fuses and relays, and hit the bleed off in the fuel line. The pump just quit. I did some research and many ppl believe that the fuel pump in 2003 and 2001 Cavaliers has a defect. Im one of those people.

- Weatherford, OK, USA

problem #134

Oct 072009


  • 84,000 miles
Car lost all power due to engine stalling on a busy highway. Was able to pull to the side, car would not restart. We had it towed to a mechanic and it was determined that the fuel pump is defective.

- Mukwonago, WI, USA

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