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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,801 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.

1997 Chevrolet Cavalier engine problems

engine problem

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1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #47

Feb 132003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,848 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My mother has a 1997 Cavalier which she bought used. Since she has had the vehicle there has been two recalls and upon further investigation on my part I found on your site 5 more totaling 7 in all. She bought the car in August of 2001. When the car reached 109,000 the oil pump went out and she had to spend 3,000 dollars to get another engine put in, and she don't even have the car paid off. With these newer cars 109,000 is nothing and even in the older vehicles I have never had an oil pump go out with that little bit of miles on the engine. I have friends who are mechanics that I have talked to and they have told me that they have had a lot of these particular engines being the 2.2 liter with bad oil pumps in them. This is the reason I am filing this complaint for my mother. My brother has a 2000 Cavalier with 239,000 miles on it and has never had a bit of problem so most likely it was in a particular year of vehicle that bad oil pumps were installed. He also has the 2.2 liter engine. So could you please find out if this is an on going problem because I sure would like to get my mothers money back because she is on a fixed income.

- Jonesville, MI, USA

problem #46

Feb 012003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 162,800 miles
When first started strong gas fumes in car; then hesitation/stalling while driving, has gone dead two times; rough idling.

- Canon, GA, USA

problem #45

Aug 141999

Cavalier

  • miles
The consumer has experienced a number of stalling with this vehicle, almost causing accidents in a few cases. The consumer has contacted the manufacturer, and there has been an attempt to repair, but the problem still occurs. The consumer is concerned that this problem could cause a serious accident which could lead to death /serious injury, and would like to have the vehicle replaced for one she can trust.

- Upper Sandusky, OH, USA

problem #44

Sep 162002

Cavalier

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving engine check light came on, vehcile started to shake and stalled out. Engine had blown.

- Anson, ME, USA

problem #43

Jul 122002

(reported on)

Cavalier 4WD

  • miles
About 1-2 months ago my wife tried to start the car and she said that all of the systems(I.e. windshield wiper blades, interior warning lights, etc.) started going off all at once, the brake pedal would't push in, there was a loud buxxing noise, and the car would not start. Ever since we have had to try several times before the vehicle would start and there have been multiple occasions when we are driving along (speed doesn't seem to play a role) and the car will react in a similar manner and stop running. After this happens, it can take us up to 10-15 minutes to get it started again. Just this morning it happened again and if the truck behind us had not swerved as it did, it would have totalled our car. We then spent almost 20 minutes in the middle of traffic trying to start our car.(this was submitted by brian quinney - husband of said owner).

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #42

Mar 152002

Cavalier

  • miles
I learned that technical bulletins were given with regard to this problem. It appears to be a manufacturer defect after reviewing numerous consumer complaints and technical bulletins.

- Worthington, OH, USA

problem #41

Apr 182002

Cavalier

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While traveling on the parkway without prior warning the vehicle shut down. The dealership is aware of the problem. Nlm

- Queen Villiage, NY, USA

problem #40

Aug 012001

Cavalier

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle stalls at slow speeds and in stop and go traffic. Will start again after 5-15 minutes. Taken to dealer, cannot remedy. Vehicle has stalled about 15 times.

- Calinas, CA, USA

problem #39

Oct 011996

Cavalier

  • miles
When ever the car is started there is a bad knocking/ticking sound as if your car was low on oil...and even when the oil is changed and/or checked and the oil level is fine...the problem still occurs...I have notified the dealer more than 20 times about this problem(while under warranty) and they could not find what was causing the problem..their (Chevy's)engineer was even in town at one time and they had to bring it in then and he/she could not even figure out what was causing the problem....if he can't figure out what the problem is..then I think they need to investigate further and pull the engine completely down there could be a serious problem that could cause the engine to have to be replaced and want the owner to cover the charges when it is not even the owners fault...can you please let me know what I need to do to get a recall done on all the Cavaliers that have this problem.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #38

Apr 162001

Cavalier

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle stalls when first starting up. Takes a few times before vehicle will stay running. Engine check light and ets light have been on. Dealer cannot remedy problem.

- Powderly, KY, USA

problem #37

Apr 072001

Cavalier

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Consumer had just gotten home and parked vehicle. 5-10 minutes later, horn was blowing. Consumer looked outside front end of vehicle was on fire. Dashboard and steering column were completely destroyed. Chevrolet dealer said they couldn't find anything wrong. Therefore, they wouldn't be liable. Allstate insurance adjuster took one look, and could tell it was an electrical fire. Chevrolet dealer was not responding to insurance adjuster. Vehicle was under extended warranty when it caught on fire. Engine light illuminated, dealer had replaced the oil pump, solenoid, and exhaust however light still illuminated. Battery light illuminated. Windshield wiper skips and chatters across windshield, dealer replaced blade. Trunk would not open from inside lever, compartment lid release broke. Clicking noise was heard when turning steering wheel, dealer could not find problem.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #36

Mar 192001

Cavalier

  • miles
Consumer stated that sometimes could try to start engine but it will not start. Consumer had taken vehicle to dealer and could not find what was causing problem. Also, fuel was leaking and vehicle could get on fire.

- Grand Blanc, MI, USA

problem #35

Dec 122000

(reported on)

Cavalier

  • miles
Vehicle will stall while idling and without warning, dealer has replaced throttle positioning center, and reprogrammed PCM, but defect still occurring, and causing safety hazard.

- Oshkosh, WI, USA

problem #34

Jul 302000

Cavalier

  • miles
The engine has stalled multiple times while driving. The dealer has been unable to identify or rectify the problem. The power steering and brakes become difficult to operate when the vehicle stalls, and because it seems to occur randomly may lead to substantial injury if the vehicle stalls while in traffic.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #33

Jul 152000

Cavalier

  • miles
Blown head gaskets/valve covers on vehicle with just over 30,000 miles. Vehicle's warranty is up due to a purchase date of sep96. Please advise on any recall information. I was told this is comon with Cavaliers.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #32

Jul 301999

Cavalier

  • miles
1). wheel bearings wearing out then tires and when driving on wet pavement cant go more than 40 mph or car will spin around in road. Back left brake light always not working. Engine with only $12,000 miles knock bad untill warmed up and some times dont stop when warm.ignition switch will lock up and cant get car to crank must wiggle and giggle to get it to work.horn has not worked since bought car.transmission clatters when trying to give to much gas

- Archdale, NC, USA

problem #31

Jun 122000

Cavalier

  • miles
Complete engine shut down while in rush hour traffic at 25 mph on 3 separate occurrences. Each occurrence was 24 to 48 hours after a oil change and "topping off fluids" at the same dealership where the vehicle was purchased. After each oil change, the smell of hot oil was prevalent the next day. After the first engine shut down occurence, the dealership inspected the car but found nothing wrong. The engine has shut down on Jan 12, 1999, Apr 12, 1999, and June 12, 2000. Oil changes took place 3 days before each occurrence. The engine has never shut down in traffic without a recent oil change. The vehicle speeds at the time of the engine shut down have all been approximately 25 mph due to rush hour traffic while on the expressway.

- Hales Corners, WI, USA

problem #30

Jun 022000

Cavalier

  • miles
While driving all signal lights came on, and engine lost power. There was no steering, and finally vehicle had to be towed. Vehicle had been repaired for the same problem onc ebefore.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #29

Apr 202000

(reported on)

Cavalier

  • miles
While traveling at any speed intermittently vehicle would stall and lose power. Dealer has repaired vehicle three times, but problem returns..

- Lake Wales, FL, USA

problem #28

Jun 011998

Cavalier

  • miles
We have had problems with this car from the date that it was purchased. The brake rotor problems have been worked on several times, and it will stop for a while, but will continue to worsen with time. The ABS light and low coolant light have been on and off for over and year and we were told that we would have to pay to have them fixed, the sound from the exhaust, possibly the catalytic converter, has been going on for over a year and again, we were told we needed to replace it, that it was not covered under warranty. Then engine is sounding more awful as time goes on...lots of noise under the hood especially at crusing speed, and then again when slowing to a stop, and more recently even when idling. Not only was this car not serviced properly when I would bring it in with a complaint, but I feel as if the dealers were purposely putting me off just so the warranty would run out and I would have to fix these problems myself. Obviously I am not the only on that has had similiar problems. And also, the car has been leaking antifreeze for a number of months, but cant seem to find the leak. Definitely can smell the burning antifreeze, especially after an extended trip.

- Ketchum, OK, USA

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