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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 1
Average Mileage:
24,620 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 #11

Oct 042006


  • 40,000 miles


This car shuts off while driving like the GM cars being mentioned in the news today. Started in 2005 and was evaluated by multiple mechanics including a Chevrolet dealership that kept it over a month. It doesn't show a code when it happens. It randomly shuts off while you are driving (varied speeds). It also randomly won't start. Totally unpredictable when it will quit on you or not start.resetting did not was purchased for daughter (new driver) to drive, but was too unsafe.

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #10

Dec 162011

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 158,721 miles
There's alot of stuff wrong with this car. It ran good and is reliable when running, but recently stop running.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #9

Oct 132010


  • miles
Yes car will turn over but won't start it does this at time or U can press the gas to try and start interior light don't work.

- Calumet City, IL, USA

problem #8

Sep 011999

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Interior lamps coming on unexpectedly and/or stay on after car is turned off. I purchased this car when it was two years old. I took the car back several times complaining about this problem. They could not repair the problem. I finally got tired of complaining and I removed the fuse - so that the light would remain off (of course this is also a fuse to several other items within the car). But, it was they only way I could resolve this problem myself.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 152005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,995 miles
The consumer stated he bought a car on 6-29-05 from klick lewis Inc. On his way home when he applied the brakes, suddenly the car felt like it was coming apart. He called the dealer where he bought the car and they told him the vehicle needed front rotors. On Friday 7-15-05; before he had taken it in to have the rotors put on, he noticed the car was full of smoke. He called the fire dept. And they came out and diffused the fire and told him that it was an electrical problem and the car could have caught on fire. He then called the salesperson that sold him the car and they said they would have someone get back to him. He has made 5 telephone calls to them and no one has returned his calls.

- Bridgeport, CT, USA

problem #6

Feb 092004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle stalled causing the driver to pull off the road. The trunk would lock without the remote entry, the check engine light flickered and the vehicle would not start.

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #5

Dec 172003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles


I purchased a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier ls from advanced care care Inc in orlando Florida 9-23-03 this car is a lemon. List of problems with it (was sold to me telling me nothing was wrong with it ). problems ive paid to fix so far engine replaced head job (blown head gasket) 02 sensor twice ECM computer twice coil pack- 3 times icm 5 times engine strut transmount front engine mount brakes rotors main rod bearings catalytic convertor they are now saying it needs another engine that the crankshaft is bad, it is pouring out oil, I cant go past 3 rpms it has sudden acceleration that has almost caused multiple accidents the car has a stalling problem as well which has almost costed me and my son our life. Advanced car care Inc (silverstar road) in orlando Florida sold me this car notifying me nothing was wrong with it. I have already paid 7,000 dollars in repairs and the car is even more messed up than what it was. Everytime I pay for something to be fixed something else wrong shows up... I took it to the Chevrolet dealership and the mechanics were all shocked at this car. They sd the have never seen a car built this messed up before. The computer was shooting out 13 different codes. This is a lemon car. I need it fixed or replaced also S & S automotive in apopka Florida charged me 1,515 in repairs which they never gave me a written quote or even on the phone. They lied to me about parts being new when they were used. They installed my catalytic convertor wrong as well. They did work and labor to the car and charged me for it without my concent.. when I went to pick up the car and I test drove it I was shocked that now the crank shaft is all of a sudden bad and it will cost me 2,000 there or 5,000 at the dealership. I am a single mom and I dont even have a dollar to my name right now. Couldnt buy my son any gifts for christmas after paying all of these car bills and now im stuck with this lemon of a car.

- Ocoee, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 152003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
For the last two my 1996 Chevy Cavalier have problems with stalling when either the air conditioner or heater is on.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 032003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving down the street. While accelerating all the lights on the dashboard lit up - the car shut off and the steering wheel locked. Thankfully I was able to pull over in time and I was not driving that fast. Also I was able to pull over safely without hitting anyone.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #2

May 011996


  • miles
Brake lights stayed illuminated. Took vehicleto dealer, and they corrected problem. Sometimes there was a smell like wires burning. Then, vehicle suddenly died. Consumer felt there a problem with electrical system.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 011996


  • miles
I have contacted the dealer ship all the way to the complaint dept. About the car shocking you when you get out of it, they informed me that was just happening with that model, they didn't know why. I have never owned a car and had some much trouble with it, and it has been in the shop 2-3 times being repaired while I send in a car payment, I thought brand new cars weren't suppose to give you trouble, guess I was wrong.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

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