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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,143 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.

1996 Chevrolet Cavalier electrical problems

electrical problem

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1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #5

Nov 242003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,714 miles


Head gasket on my 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier. We couldn't figure out why the vehicle would continue to stall, after placing nearly $800 worth of new parts in vehicle, changing several alternators and starters, from the ingnition swith recall. I had taken to a mechanic and found out the car had a blown head gasket. Which, apparently there is a recall on other Cavaliers, although not with my VIN number. I have called GM motors and they want me to have the car diagnosised at their dealership, costing $100-$200. And now having to spend $400-$600 on another defect from these recalls, is really frustrating my family, espically my husband. We don't have the extra money to keep placing in this vechile, I'm a full time student with a 2 year old son and work only part time. I need a reliable car. I can't spend more money at the dealership and not have a guarentee that they wouldn' fix this part. I know that all the people I have spoken to in school, work and out any where else, hospital for clinicals will not purchase any GM motors vechiles, due to them not wanting to go through this themselves and how I've been unfairly treated by this manufactor. All I want is for this to be resolved. Thank you.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #4

Mar 042001

(reported on)


  • miles
Alternator failed. Nlm

- Poultney, VT, USA

problem #3

Jun 172000


  • miles
Horn hasn't been working since vehicle was purchased. Fuse was replaced, but didn't remedy the problem. Dealer clamed that in different weather &temperatures it will not work. Vehicle stalled on 2 different occasions. Dealer said it was the battery & alternator the 1st time. 2nd time dealer indicated fuel pump went out.consumer had to cover the cost & felt that they should been able to detect this when they did the diagnostic reading a month ago.

- Springdale, MD, USA

problem #2

Jul 011998


  • miles
Alternator failed causing vehicle to loose power and drain the battery while driving on several occasions. Nlm

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #1

Dec 141998

(reported on)


  • miles
The problem is that when your driving at night there is a power drain on the electrical system. Whenever you apply the brakes the headlights will dim, the A/C will slow down, and the instrument dash lights will dim.the Chevy dealer in inverness first worked on this problem on 1-23-98 and stated that this is normal for this vehicle. The problem continued to get worse so I took the vehicle in again on 2-23-98. Again they couldn't find anything wrong but they said the battery was drained so they went ahead and replaced the battery.this solved the problem for a while but after about two months the problem started again and I returned back to the dealer for repair. Again they said there was nothing wrong with the vehicle but they went ahead and replaced the altenator and recharged the battery. This has not solved the problem and just this last week 12-7-98 I retuned the vehicle to the dealer again. They kept the vehicle for four days and said that they could find nothing wrong but that the battery was drained again so they charged it and that there was nothing else they were going to do. My concern is that my family will be out at night and the vehicle will not start

- Inverness, FL, USA

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