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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,495 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.

2002 Chevrolet Cavalier engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #8

Feb 272010


  • 77,115 miles


I bought this car a 2002 Chevy Cavalier in 2005, and at the time there was 25K original miles so I was told. Since then I have found out there has been 5 recalls on this car for various safety hazards, none of which I was ever told about prior or during my purchase of this vehicle. The signals have failed, I had to pay for them to be replaced, the bearings on the tires caused dry rot and I had to pay to replace those, both were on the recall list. The engine would over heat in the idle position, and they replaced an air filter sitting that as the problem and it wasn't. the pedal sticks when I accelerate and sometimes gets stuck, the rockerarms have started to go bad and it has caused the valve stems to bend, thus causing the oilpump to seize up and now my cars engine has a blown gasket, this is under the engine component system recall, which was reported in 2007. I was never notified. And now im paying 350 per month for a car that is not running.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #7

Nov 212007

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier. The engine light illuminated intermittently. The dealer was informed that the oxygen sensor needed to be replaced. The contact was charged $600 for the repair. She took a long trip and the light did not illuminate. On a shorter trip, the engine light began illuminating intermittently again and the vehicle overheated. When the vehicle was turned off and restarted, it operated normally. While driving 10 mph to the dealer, the engine failed and the dealer stated that the repair would cost $5,000 and could not guarantee that the vehicle would actually be repaired. The contact learned that the head failed before at 28,000 miles. She believes that her vehicle was mis-diagnosed the first time. The current and failure mileages were 54,000. Updated 01-10-08. 12/31/07.

- Taylor, MI, USA

problem #6

Aug 082005


  • 62,657 miles
Consumer engine makes a popping sound as if it is going to exploded. The consuemr replaced the timing gear, chain, tensioner, and pulley on 2/22/2005. The vehicle continues to make loud noises.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #5

Dec 122004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles


Since purchasing my 2002 vehicle I have had to already put a new battery, new alternator, new tires (acceptable) two sets of brakes and the check engine light still is on and no one can find out why so therefore I can't get an inspection of the vehicle until light is off. Help.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #4

Dec 112003

(reported on)

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,663 miles
Engine check light stayed on. When driving lights turned off then flickered. Also, windshield wipers and automatic locks operated poorly. Vehicle was taken to dealership on several occasions for the same problems. On for occasions consumer was driving when vehicle headlights went out. Another problem consumer is experiencing is the windshield wipers come to a complete stop while in use. There is also a problem with the door locks. Vehicle has been serviced on various occasions for electrical problems. During one service visit the body control module was replaced and the theft deterrent system was programmed. Even after several service visits vehicle still experiencing problems with windshield wipers, door locks, turn signals, and hazard lights.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #3

Apr 012003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,500 miles
Car surges when cold, under slow acceleration. Gives a feeling of holding back, under slow acceleration. Runs fine when warm. First 3 minutes then clears up.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 072003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,424 miles
Engine and vehicle speed sometimes, but intermittently, do not respond to driver control - vehicle accelerates on its own. When that happens, had to ride brakes to control speed. This happened five times with increasing severity over a period of time - on the sixth time the vehicle reached 60mph without the accelerator being touched. Review of ODI compliants shows an increasing number of similar related complaints on this model with age. Had purchased car to give to my newly licensed daughter, who, due to lack of experience, was initially unsure if the problem was with her or the car. The last time scared her, and the dealer's rep said "it was an accident waiting to happen". dealer did a good job in persisting with the problem, which was finally (after two days) traced to the accelerator control cable dust cover coming loose and wedging itself between the cable an actuator in a difficult to detect location.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 082003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,600 miles
While driving 60 mph, the service engine light came on and the engine stalled. The dealership serviced the vehicle, and replaced several components, but the problem still continued.. the fuel filter and oxygen senor was replaced however the problem continued. The consumer believed the problem was electrical.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

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