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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,973 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.

2003 Chevrolet Cavalier brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #11

Apr 012009

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


Trans axle went out April 09 with a horrible mess of oil, steering rack replaced 6 months later, driver side window/ motor problem, fuel pump went 75,000 a bit shy of a year later. Now my defrost isn't working; possibly the switch 85,000. Had brakes done twice so far with leaks; this includes hydraulics, rotors, pads, shoes etc. My steering has seized while driving. This car has been a very expensive inconvenience.

- Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, 00, USA

problem #10

Jun 232010


  • 102,000 miles
ABS, trac off and check engine lights stay on. There is a tsb on this but since it affects brake operation this should be a mandatory recall.

- Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 072005

(reported on)


  • miles
The brakes of the consumer's 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier grind loudly while braking. The consumer also experienced extended stopping distance while braking. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who indicated that the brakes were operating as designed.

- Perry, IA, USA

problem #8

Jun 062003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles


While driving approximately every two months the brake light will illuminate the dash board. The fuel pump blew out. The heating a cooling went bad. The vehicle makes noise when making right turns. Consumer has not found out what it is as of yet. The vehicle has been into the dealer at least twenty times.

- Parsippany, NJ, USA

problem #7

Sep 212004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,200 miles
When braking consumer heard a squeaking noise coming from the rear brakes. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician and consumer took the vehicle for a ride and determined that the rear brakes were the problem. The consumer asked if the brakes were covered under the vehicle's warranty and was assured that they were. When the vehicle was returned the next day for repairs someone else told the consumer that the rear brakes were not covered under the warranty. The consumer chose not to have the repairs made.

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #6

Jul 142004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
While applying the brakes at a low speed, a clicking noise was heard. The consumer stated the part has been repaired five times, however the problem still exist. Please provide additional information.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #5

Nov 152003


  • Manual transmission
  • 7,000 miles


1. both brake lights went out w/in month of each other. In the months of July and August. 2. brakes noisy, September 3. trunk would not open, October 4. brakes noisy, again, November 5. car turns off in the middle of an intersection after making a complete stop and trying to speed up. Freaking out, I pressed the gas and moved the key in the ignition, then put car in park and got it to start, November. It just seems to me that I have a disfunctional car that when I dont have something wrong with one thing I have to go in to the dealer for another. Its a new car and its costing me more problmes and inconviniences than the old '96 I had till I bought this one.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #4

Mar 242004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,500 miles
When applying the brakes at night, the headlights and dash lights dim to a softer shade of light. I have also changed the rear single lights in my car three times in the past 6 months. This car has a bad brake problem. The front of the car shakes very bad when you apply the brakes while exiting a highway. City driving is not as bad, but when the brakes get warmed up they pulsate when I come to a stop. At the end of the day, I pull my car into my driveway and the first thing I smell when I get out is a burning smell from the back brakes. I called the fucillo Chevy service department in December 2003. I talked to a serviceman about my brake problem. He told me that my pulsating brakes is the ABS system working in the snow. Now the roads are dry and my brakes are still pulsating. I could not find anything in my original paperwork on my car showing that it has the ABS system. Now my brakes are shot. The car had only 6500 hundred miles on it when I first called in December of 2003. In June of 2003, I bought this car and test drove it. The car seemed to be a good car, except for the noise that I heard coming from the front left tire area. It sounded like a rubber band when it snaps. I brought it up to my salesmen rocky from the Chevy department. He told me that it's a new car. Now when the front tires are turned to the right, it makes a crunching noise. When I drive over any bump at any speed, it feels like there are no shocks or struts on this car and makes a bad clunking sound.

- North Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 242003

(reported on)


  • miles
A dark brown rust color developed on the front wheels. The dealership in an attempt to correct the problem, changed the brakes, turned the rotor and put new bearings on, but the problem still exist. The dealership indicated that the brown rust color was caused by a failure in the brake system.

- Red Bud, IL, USA

problem #2

Aug 202003


  • 1,500 miles
While driving at any speed and whenever the consumer depressed the brake pedal vehicle lost power. Also, intermittently cruise control engaged on its own. Vehicle would have to be turned off to disengage it. Vehicle was taken to dealer several times, and the dealer could not find the causes of the problems.

- Harrison, MI, USA

problem #1

Mar 272003

(reported on)

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The brakes grind/squeaked when used for the first time each day. The brakes were also sensitive and grabbed on occasion. The service technician indicated that this was normal operation.

- Voorheesville, NY, USA

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