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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,864 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 engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #12

Apr 112006

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


: the contact stated while driving 25 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection; however, the problem could not be duplicated.

- West Newton, PA, USA

problem #11

Jun 092005


  • miles
On my 1998 Chevy Cavalier my timing belt tention pulley has broken twice, also my idler pulley has also broken twice

- Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #10

Aug 291999

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 18,868 miles
This E-mail is in regards to my 1998 Cavalier rs. This car has been nothing but trouble since I bought it on June 29, 1998. Just 14 months after I purchased the car, the clutch goes out. Then it goes out four times thereafter. A total of five times my clutch has went out. The reason I purchased a brand new automobile was for the dependency of the Chevrolet product. I was mistaken in my thinking obviously. That dates of having to replace the clutch master cylinder are as follows: 08/29/99, 04/05/01, 08/09/01, 10/17/01, 06/26/03. I understand things go wrong with vehicles, but five times on the same problem. (no the clutch is not being ridden.) thankfully I have reimbursment towing on my insurance, considering I was miles away from a Chevrolet dealership. Also, the engine light came on July 20, 1999 (13 months after I bought the car). My receipt states all the cylynders were misfiring. On November 21, 2001 my catatylic converter had to be replaced. (don't ever go on a trip in this car!) all the work stated above was done by Chevrolet dealerships. The car is paid for now and they received all of their money out of me. I just hope this doesn't happen to someone else. (the car was in my grandmother's name, mary H. decker 3416 St ann St owensboro, ky 42303. It is now in the process of changing the name on the title.)

- Calhoun, KY, USA

problem #9

Jun 142003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,500 miles


My daughter was driving her 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier when the engine stalled and she had not power. She tried turning on a side street she had no power steering and no brakes. She tried to get out of way of a truck that was approaching her but couldn't and her car went underneath the truck. Needless to say the car was totaled. The engine stalled once while it was idling so she had to get it jumped. My husband and I thought she might has left something on or wasn't quite sure about what really happened when it died while being parked. I drove it the next day and it seemed fine. After the accident happen she told us that sometimes when she would put the car in reverse it would die. She would has to put it in park and the re-start the engine and the car was fine. We only had the car for a month. We don't know if the transmission had problems or if this was an electrical problem.

- Rock Springs, WY, USA

problem #8

Mar 192003


  • miles
The head gasket leaked anti freeze, and the oil pan leaked oil.

- Mishawaka, IN, USA

problem #7

Oct 282002


  • miles
Upon starting vehicle, consumer states that the water temperature gauge goes hot, smoke comes out of reservoir, and the anti-freeeze indicater goes down about a gallon. But anti-freeze is not leaking out side vehicle its internal.

- Hinsdale, NH, USA

problem #6

Apr 042002

(reported on)


  • miles


I heard before I purchased my 1998 Cavalier that there was a problem with leaky head gaskets, although I also heard that the manufacturer also remedied the problem before releasing the cars to the market. However, from what I can tell there wasn't any changes made since I now have this problem which was apparent about 2 years after the warranty expired, and I am now stuck with a vehicle that will definetly not last longer than my prior car, a Toyota. I am very disappointed with Chevrolet.

- Washington, IL, USA

problem #5

Aug 232001

(reported on)


  • miles
Vehicle stalled and died while going down hill. Dealer inspected vehicle, and determined that seals gaskets blewout a valve in engine cylinder.

- Wassaic, NY, USA

problem #4

Nov 041999


  • miles
Transmisson slips sometimes and no one can till me what is wrong. The motor mounts broke and there is only 29,917 miles on it. The car vibrates really bad when you are just setting in it with the car running like when you are at a red light or a stop sign. You just start the car up and it clunks you turn the car off and it clunks.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #3

Sep 011998


  • miles
While driving and with the air conditioner on or the defogger on, the vehicle will stall unexpectedly which may cause an accident. Been to dealer several times. Dealer replaced the crank case position sensor and a computer chip, but the problem would reoccur.

- Tom River, NJ, USA

problem #2

Feb 101997


  • miles
Accelerated pad wiggles all the time, and the motor mounts are not tight which makes the pad move all the time.

- Hoston, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 121998


  • miles
When applying the brakes consumer can smell the brakes burning. Consumer had problems with the rotors/hood latch and calipers sticking. Also, had three mufflers replaced. The headlights went out while driving, and the parking brake won't work. In addition, was having problems with engine rocher arm gasket, and the brake light kept coming on. Dealer can't find the problem.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

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