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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
400 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.

1998 Chevrolet Cavalier cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 152008


  • 2,000 miles


Ever since I bought my car brand new, I have had issues with the engine stalling on hills or inclines. My car will start to feel as if it's going to stall, and the RPM's jump up as if I am accelerating the gas, but since this normally only happens on hills, when I apply the brakes, my car will not stop, B/C the RPM's are still high, then that's when the car stalls, and of course my steering wheel locks, and I cannot stop without using the E-brake, or put it back into neutral and restart it. I have no warranty left since it has expired, however, I had taken my vehicle to the dealership and they always said nothing was wrong. I have small children, and it's not fair that this defect has "slipped" through the cracks for this long. Something must be done before owners of this car get injured or killed! I am also having a rack and pinion problem, but gmac said that my car didn't come from the plant with the defective parts! well, I think it did. My car has been unreliable more often than not. Every time I have drive down a hill, I say a prayer. This happens about 2-3 times/week. My steering is so bad from the defective rack and pinion, that I can't turn my steering wheel until the car has been running for about 15 mins.(when it's cold out). Gmac has failed to take my concerns serious, it's sad that a company I paid all my hard earned money to, can't even make/or fix an unsafe vehicle! and I also have the recalled dex coolant, but you have to have paid for the damages and repairs in order to get reimbursed! they need to fix all the affected cars, not just the ones people have paid to already have it fixed!

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #4

Nov 052001


  • miles
Water pump failed on vehicle. I have owned this vehicle for 3.5 years and unfortunately, I never thought this would happen. This car couldn't last 5 years without problems. I should not have to pay for something like this so soon, I paid a lot of money for this car and expected to receive a quality vehicle. Now I'm wondering what next, is my engine going to fail. How could the water pump go out so soon on this vehicle. And how many other buyers have had the same or similar problems. Have there been recalls on this vehicles, it seems to have a lot of problems, unforturnately we the consumers, are now finding this out.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Mar 212001


  • miles
I will never buy another Chevrolet cavaler, the dealership even ripped me off, they charged me 400 dollars to fix a water hose pump and tension belt, this car has been nothing but problems, and now 5 months later, the vehicle is acting up again. I don't know why Chevrolet won't do anything about the massive maintenance to this car...but in the future, I am buying from a foreign company due to all of the maintenance. And on top of all of the other garbage, this was suppose to be a low maintenance car, and that is not even true! I think I can speak for everyone else, that this car is the worse car that was made in 1998. It took me three different times of bringing my car to different dealerships because they didn't fix the recall the first time. I claim discrimination when it comes to Chevrolet dealerships

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #2

Aug 052000


  • miles
We also own a 93 Cavalier that is always having the same problem. No safety defect listed in summary.

- Youngwood, PA, USA

problem #1

Jan 101999


  • miles
At 8 miles before purchase of car water pump, gasket, thermostat and seal replaced because of coolant leak, at 14,000 miles water sensor replace because coolant light continued to come on, at 15,000 miles coolant coming on again and head gasket replaced. Claims no damage to engine but a mechanic told me they could not tell unless they tear engine down and mic it. At 5,000 miles trunk leaked at 15,000 miles in for continued trunk leak. Front passenger door sticks. Rear passenger door handle sticks out further than rest. Continue to have problems with car. Also had to have mud flaps installed after purchase, they where suppose to come with it. Had to have front passenger seat fixed because it would not move. Car is in william M fowler and barbara a fowler

- Tell City, IN, USA

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