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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,684 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 steering problems

steering problem

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1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #10

May 022011

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Steering does not turn going at a rate of 5 mph.

- Wenonah, NJ, USA

problem #9

Apr 082011


  • 139,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier. While driving in reverse approximately 5 mph, the contact attempted several times to turn the steering wheel but the steering wheel would not respond. The failure was a continuous occurrence in any selected gear. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 02V286000 (steering: Rack and pinion) but was advised that his VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired for the failure. The vehicle was no longer being driven. The failure mileage was 139,000. Updated 5/24/11 updated 1/18/2012

- Edmounds , WA, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Jul 212005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,843 miles


On 08.25.2003 sun Chevrolet (in pittsburgh, pa) performed recall work on my 1998 Chevy Cavalier. This was classified as "rack and pinion campaign 02049, MA-96-V0948.7". at that time the only part listed on my receipt as being installed on the Cavalier was bearing K 6.835 a. recently I have been encountering difficulty turning the steering wheel, where it feels as though the power steering has become disabled intermittently. This is very startling when it occurs, and has led to several "near misses" in traffic when trying to negotiate turns. So, on 07.21.2005, I took the vehicle back to sun Chevrolet for them to evaluate this problem. They told me the vehicle needs a new "steering gear" for $1168.95, and that the vehicle is unsafe to drive. I called pricilla lundquist (from Chevrolet 866.952.4368 X 58092, service request # 1-351040321) on Saturday 07.23.2005, and she said that she would speak will sun Chevrolet then get back to us on Monday (07.25.2005). At that time she told us there is nothing they would do about the problem, it was completely our problem to fix and pay for. From reading the information on this rack and pinion recall, it seems as though the steering gear should have been replaced at the time of the recall (08.25.2003) along with the bearing to prevent this problem now. This vehicle only has about 55,000 miles on it, but is not safe to drive because of this steering problem.

- South Park, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 122004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at 10 mph, the consumer noticed it took longer for the vehicle to respond when making a turn. Please provided additional details.

- Bayport, NY, USA

problem #5

May 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Power steering has slowly gone I took it to mechanic who could not read but says there seems to be a leak but he can't figure out where. It's caused the entire car to act up and I don't even want it anymore.!!

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 232004

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The steering wheel did not realign properly after making a turn. The dealer has been contacted.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #3

May 142002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
Chevrolet cavlier 1998 - the car is only 5 1/2 years old with 33,000 miles on it. I have had steering issues for more than 3 years with this car. I can not parallel park or make hard turns with out the steering locking up or forcing me to you my entire body weight to ge the wheel to move. When I've taken it to a dealership they simply say this is how the car is designed use the gas and that a recall has not been issued although according to this web page there has been. Apparantly according to GM my VIN number is not included in the Nov/2002 recall for steering rack/pinion which sounds as if it is exactly what the problem is and that there are no recalls scheduled in the future.

- Harleysville, PA, USA

problem #2

Feb 062003


  • miles
Consumer loss steering control, when the vehicle hit a curve.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 012001


  • miles
Approxiamately 2 months into owning the vehicle the problems started. First the seat belt covers snapped off, I've had to have the steering stabilizers replaced 3 times already, the air conditioner which is rarely used failed at about 55-60,000 miles, the battery busted and leaked on the entire right side under hood, the jack was warped, the gas guage reads incorrectly, the sunroof stopped working after 30000 miles, dash rattles, glove box will not stay closed, pass seat gets stuck when you move it forward, the gas pedal gets stuck and you have to apply more force than usual to get it moving, drivers door does not close all the way, more air than normal comes into vehicle, thermostat failed at 30000 miles, installed sidewinder 6500 car alarm which failed to operate after the battery busted, plus numerous other problems not mentioned here.

- Dallas, TX, USA

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