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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,380 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Jan 012002

Cavalier

  • miles

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

Car radiator fan won't kick on cause car to get very dangerously hot causing car to become a bomb

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #24

Feb 222016

Cavalier

  • 162,000 miles
While driving my horn stopped working without any kind of indicator!! 3 time this has occurred while driving !! major safety issue! was unable warn car backing out and had to swerve to avoid accident! replaced fuse 3 times!! someone may die as a result of this malfunction!! never received any kind of notice from dealership/ manufacture regarding this issue! upon googling found many are experiencing same problem!! a serious accident or death may result because of this defect!!!please, please look into this problem !!!!!! also the gage lights tend to stay on!! first it was the oil sensor lite, now the radiator lite!! both chambers are full even after professional servicing!!!!!! the oil lite still comes on just had professional oil service"!???"

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #23

May 012000

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Car smells like gas in warm and hot weather, smell comes in through the vent system. Chevy med-ved in arvada Colorado cannot find the problem, but replaced the exhaust gas canister, stating it was saturated with gas, car still has the same smell after this replacement. Many other repair shops referred me to the dealership which I took the car to. The problem still exists, a potential fire hazard if fumes of gas are existent-this is my concern, not to mention the smell that comes in the car is not of clean air-my second concern. Summary of activity: This problem has been noticed since summer 2000. Air conditioning and repair shop refers me to dealership, advises me to stop driving the car because it is a fire hazard. In 2000 and 2001, failure to duplicate gas leak smell when taken to dealership. In summer 2004, gas leak evident at dealership, replaced E-vac canister, gives advice not to "top off the tank when filling up with gas." October 2004, smell is still evident.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #22

Nov 192003

(reported on)

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • miles

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

Complaint regarding 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier serious safety defects. There were two crashes. One when the vehicle was parked and the other when the vehicle was rear ended. The diagnosis included previous botched workmanship. Alignment and suspension couldn't be performed. The vehicle was unsafe due to botched mechanic work which was unreported to the consumer or within the bill of sale.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #21

Jul 222003

Cavalier

  • 105,502 miles
Vehicle failed inspection and could not be repaired or insured for road safety due to safety defects. Vehicle was involved in a accident before purchase and was not reported.

- Muncie, IN, USA

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problem #20

Sep 272002

Cavalier

  • miles
Ts

- Grand Forks, ND, USA

problem #19

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 #18

Mar 262002

(reported on)

Cavalier

  • miles
Previous years recalled for replacement, owners year should have been recalled for replacement as I am experiencing a problem due to a corroded module since purchase of vehicle. Manufacturer unwilling to repair at manufacturer cost. Nlm

- Churchville, NY, USA

problem #17

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 #16

Apr 062001

(reported on)

Cavalier

  • miles
Dash rattles and squeaks. When it rains the inside of car smells sour. Cannot pinpoint the leak.

- Westlake, LA, USA

problem #15

Jan 212001

Cavalier

  • miles

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

Car was parked for about 10 hours. When started and put in drive, "ets off" light flashed and then remained on steady. Along with this, the check engine light also stayed on. Both lights remained on for duration of drive home from work, approximately 25 minutes. Engine sounds fine, no strange noises, but warning lights still remain on. Taking it to a mechanic to be checked out.

- N Huntingdon, PA, USA

problem #14

Nov 012000

Cavalier

  • miles
Engine light came on while driving, took to shop was told that the computer showed a transmission problem but none was found, light came on again within 24 hours took to shop again still showing trans problem still unable to find problem was told that the only way to reset light was to put on computer but could not promise would not happen again.

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #13

Jul 152000

Cavalier

  • miles
I have called this morning (12/06/00) to NHTSA, you said you will send me a form to fill out. But then I got into this website. So I would like to file and document asap becasue I feel very unsafe while driving. I am sure my vehicle has a defect or problem which could cause an accident or injury or death to myself and others. The problem first appeared in early July/00: Soon after starting the car, warning lights (oil pressure and charging system) lit up and the car stalled and lost power. Power brake was gone, and I was heading down a steep slope! luckily I managed to stop the car without causing an accident. I can restart the car and drive on. It happened 2 times more and I took it to the dealer to check. It cannot repeat the condition, so nothing was done. For the next short while nothing like that happened, although several times 2 other warning lamps will lit up (enhanced traction system off and malfunction indicator). I called the dealer to make an appointment but the lights will go off, and I cancelled the appointment... on the night of 11/28/00, the same dangerous situation occurred again. Since the dealership was not immediately available, I took it to a mechanic who ran a computer test on my car, and found taht faulty code #704 had occurred intermittently in my transmision system. But again, the mechanic cannot duplicate the condition, so cannot fix anything. I called GM's customer assistance and the dealer to see what I can do. The advice is that there is no similar incidents reported. And I just have to wait for the condition to happen again somehow. But the dilemma is that even if the stalling happens, the car can restart, then the condition will not exist and even if I bring/tow it to the dealer, they won't know what to fix!! so I have no recourse to take except to drive the car around with this danger on my mind all the time! there must be a better way to have the car fixed or the matter resolved, I would think/hope? thankyou.

- Groton, CT, USA

problem #12

Apr 192000

(reported on)

Cavalier

  • miles
Every time the vehicle is started, the air bag light comes and stays on.

- Newville, PA, USA

problem #11

Jul 301999

Cavalier

  • miles
In jul7 of 1999, the ets off light and theengine check light came on. The mechanic said the computer showed due to emission regulations, the egr valve needed replaced. Replaced the valve, a month later the two lights came on again. I was told the egr valve was defective. Had it replaced again. A couple months later, the two lights came on again. The mechanic told us the system was very sensitive, but the egr was fine and just reset the lightls. Last week the two lights came on again, the egr was replaced again. The next day, the car started jerking fiercely and the two lights came on again. I don't know what the problem is with this system and we are having a difficult time finding the problem. I don't know if it's a computer defect, a valve defect or what. But it's not save to have a vehicle that constantly shuts off the traction system due to this problem and causes the car to jek while driving.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #10

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

problem #9

Dec 151999

Cavalier

  • miles
In December 1999, I experienced a loss of engine coolant level and the low engine coolant indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. I assumed the thermostat was failing and had a local service station replace it and flush the radiator. Several days later the low engine coolant light illuminated on the instrument panel. Upon inspection, I had lost some coolant and experienced the smell of hot coolant which I attributed to the recent radiator flush. I took it back to the service station and the coolant system was pressure tested to check for leaks and passed. After being idle for over 1 week, on January 3, 2000, I checked the engine coolant level and it was low. I filled the engine coolant reservior to full and after short trips the level had held at full. On January 4, 2000, while driving to work, I experienced a rough idle and in addition to the low engine coolant level illuminating on the instrument panel, the check engine light and the traction control lights also lit up on the dash. I took it to the dealer, hawthorne Chevrolet, expecting to have them finally resolve my problem and they informed me they suspected my engine block was cracked and estimated the job at over $3400. I noteiced service bulletin #'s 67-62-04, 970501776109 & 970501738309 posted on your website refers to similar defects as those I have experienced. If the engine has a defect, what recourse do I have? I have followed the recommended maintainance schedule and feel frustrated that GM and hawthorne Chevrolet knew of the potential problems but failed to take the preventative measures to avoid perminant damage to the engine. I have taken the car to the service station where I had the thermostat replaced and their conclusion is the head gasget has failed or the head has cracked, based on the fact that there isn't any coolant in the oil pan. I received an estimate of $950 for the repairs. I'm not a happy Cavalier owner. I thank you.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #8

Dec 101998

Cavalier

  • miles
Car stutters, then powers down to 10-15 mph, then ets & engine check lights come on. Repeated trips to mechanic and dealer show nothing wrong. Latest was clogged fuel filter. Dlr chge'd. problem repeated within 24 hours of pick up from dlr. Will drive normal w/ lights on. Has had intermittent problems assoc. W/ a crash after the first incident of lights on failure.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #7

May 291998

Cavalier

  • miles
On May 29 1998 my cars ets/ engine check light came on, and I took it to a Chevrolet dealer to find out what the problem was. They told me that it was the number 2 engine cylinder misfiring, and they tried to fix the problem. Within the next few days I was back for the same problem. This time the called the technical assistant for help, and they did this another time as they did not fix the problem. I then move to ft. Polk la. As I am in the military. On 1 Jan 9, the same problem started up again. This time they did the same thing the other shop did. I have had my car in the shop for a total of 4 times that they have worked on it, replacing the cylinder cap/fuel injector and coil housing. And they talked to the technical assistantce personnel at Chevrolet. The last time I had my car in the shop was 29jan 99, and they hooked a computer up to it. Drove it for a week to try to creat the problem so they could take a picture of the system. But the lights never came on. So they gave me back my car with the problem still not fixed, and the Chevrolet Corp. Won't do any thing about the problem, but continue to work on it under the warranty. I have been told that they can't fix the problem, and the technical assistants are out of suggestions. I have filed a complaint with the Chevrolet Corp, and feel that nothing will be done about my problem. I feel that they have had several attempts to fix the problem and can't, and they won't replace the car.

- Leesville, LA, USA

problem #6

Nov 211998

Cavalier

  • miles
While driving low on gas and the engine check light came on, causing the consumer to go the gas station. While the consumer put the pump into the tank, there were fumes coming from the gas tank, and the fire department came out to put out the fire.

- Aurora, CO, USA

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