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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,485 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Dec 072013

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 123,100 miles


Was in the fast lane and car shut off and tried to restart but it would not. Was stuck in the road cars honking car would not restart.

- Sun City , AZ, USA

problem #27

Nov 072012

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Was at a stop light and car just konked out and would not start again. I tried and tried but to no avail. Had to push it into a gas station about 100 yards, not easy as a 50 year old female (no one stopped to help me, just sped by). I have seen hundreds of complaints on-line that this has been an habitual problem with this make and model. It only has 71,000 miles on it and I just purchased the first part of 2012"??? what is up" this many problems should have involved a recall!

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #26

Oct 202010


  • 130,000 miles
I have a 2003 Chevy Cavalier stalls : changed the fuel pump, pressure solenoid switch, torque converter clutch solenoid.tired of this and no one doing anything about it still stalls and all everyone can do is guess at what it is I hate my Cavalier the last three years I had problems with the catalytic converter got that fixed after three converters help.

- Magnolia, DE, USA

problem #25

Apr 242010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure occurred while driving or at a traffic light without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle without incident whenever the failure occurred. The mechanic replaced the fuel pump, but the failure occurred again almost one year later. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 60,000. Updated 5/2/11 updated 05/13/11

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #24

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 #23

Feb 172010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
I was driving my Cavalier to pick up my wife. As I approached an intersection, the system completely shut off and I could not restart the car. I was able to stop at the beginning of a left turn lane and put my hazards on. With the help of my passenger and a police officer, we moved the car across 2 lanes of travel to the shoulder. The car had 116,000 miles at the time of the incident. The only warning before the car lost all power and drive-ability was the battery light turning on briefly.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #22

Apr 012009


  • 92,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that intermittently while in idle the vehicle stallled. As a consequence, his risk for a vehicle crash increased. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the technicians have been unable to identify the cause of the failure. No repairs have been made. The vehicle identification number was unavailable. The failure mileage was 92,000 and the current mileage was 98,000.

- Santana, CA, USA

problem #21

Jul 022009


  • 86,300 miles
I own a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier ls sedan with approximately 86,300 miles on it. Without warning the car died and would not start on a busy July 4th weekend along I-55 North bound near litichfield, il. I T would not restart, and subsequent investigation resulted in the fact finding that it was the fuel pump. Apparently this is a major problem with this make and model vehicle. I request that GM be required to recall this make and model to address the problem and reimburse owners for out of pocket expenses. I have always owned american cars, but an serious considering a Toyota next year.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #20

Apr 162009


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. While driving 65 mph, the contact stated that the vehicle shut off and the brakes failed. She then noticed that the steering became stiff. She was able to safely maneuver the vehicle to the shoulder and had it towed to her destination. The contact did not notice any warnings prior to the failure. She is in the process of taking the vehicle to the dealer for inspection. The manufacturer advised her to take the vehicle to the dealer for inspection. She would not be compensated for the repairs because there was no recall available. The failure mileage was 79,000.

- Corona Day Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #19

Oct 012008


  • 745,000 miles
I purchased my 2003 Cavalier brand new with 106 miles on it (it had to be driven from pittsburgh to harrisburg). In late Sept. Or early Oct. My car began rattling at stop lights. The day after the rattling started, my car stalled at my place of business and wouldn't start again. A triple a mechanic was called and couldn't determine what the problem was except he thought it was the fuel pump. After having the vehicle towed to a garage, I was told that oil was not making its way through my engine causing friction and in turn causing my engine to expand breaking my timing chain and basically rendering the entire engine useless. The mechanic asked me if my check engine light or oil light was lit on my dashboard because with a problem with the oil pump, one of those lights would have lit up, which I responded no. He then thought that the dashboard lights were not functioning which was not true because when he turned the key, all the dashboard lights lit up. He then went on to tell me that my oil levels were normal and that my timing chain should last for 25+ years. The mechanic went on to explain that I should contact Chevrolet because he believe that with the low mileage of my vehicle and the relative new-ness of the vehicle, the only cause for this issue would be a defect. I contacted Chevrolet via email and was told that I would receive a response in no more than 48 hours. After hearing no response, I filed a complaint with the BBB and still have not heard anything.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #18

Oct 112008


  • 110,200 miles


My 2003 Chevy Cavalier has been experiencing intermittent startup issues and occasional "chugging" while driving - seemed like the car would lurch ahead at times, has also briefly stalled at lights. On 10/11/08, the car would briefly turn over and start for less than a minute, shut off, and afterwards refused to start. Had car towed from my residence to mechanic shop who alerted me that fuel pressure was low. Fuel electronics were functioning as per computer check, turned out to be a bad fuel pump. Car is at ~110,300 miles. Had spark plugs, fuel filter, engine belt replaced in March & April of 2008.

- The Plains, OH, USA

problem #17

Jul 202008


  • 96,359 miles
Coming home from milwaukee at 12:30 am with son after seeing race in slinger, wi. On interstate, car lost complete engine power and became dead. Closest GM dealership in watertown, wi went out of business last year (per tow truck driver). Had towed to dealership where they diagnosed a bad fuel pump and a price of over $800. Came to pick up with a trailer and asked for help pushing car on trailer. They said you could drive it up as the mechanic tapped the fuel tank and it started. Drove around the block a few times last week with no problems. I explained this to GM, told them about their poor design and that this is not safe because it will fail at any time and could cause a major accident. Was given case #71-648948392 (told no recalls were available per my VIN #). checked on internet ( and over 400 have had similar problems.

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #16

Jul 122008


  • 77,000 miles
The car stalls at low speeds (up to 15 mph) and has been increasingly doing so lately. I was nearly hit by a tractor trailer when the car stalled as I was crossing a highway. My wife has been nearly hit several times and I am fearing that if a recall isn't given on these cars people, including my wife and I, may be seriously injured. We are going to try to replace the fuel pump to see if this helps the problem. The mileage is approximately 77,000.

- Pikeville, KY, USA

problem #15

Jun 082008


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle began to stall whenever the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle felt as if it were slipping, which eventually led to it stalling out completely. The contact did not notice any differences in the vehicle prior to the failures. The vehicle had to be towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 67,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #14

Jun 032008


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle stalled in the middle of traffic. The vehicle was able to be restarted. The following day, the contact attempted to start the vehicle, but it would not start for approximately ten minutes. The following day, the vehicle would not restart again, but did later in the day and was driven into the contact's driveway. No repairs have been made. The current and failure mileages were 35,000.

- Coraopolis, PA, USA

problem #13

Mar 012007


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle shut off in the middle of the road without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the fuel pump failed and made the replacement. A few days after the repair, the headlights stopped working and the electrical system was rewired. Recently, the engine failed and the vehicle was towed to the dealer. The contact does not yet know the cause of the failure and the vehicle is still at the dealer for repair. The failure mileage was 73,000. Updated 06/16/08

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #12

May 012008


  • 14,500 miles
On at least 10 occasions, my car has stalled upon deceleration. Has happened on highway, stopping at lights and while slowing down to turn. My car has 15,000 miles on it. Cannot determine source of problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #11

Feb 142008

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact had to make several attempts to start the vehicle. Once started, the vehicle would not accelerate properly. On two occasions, while driving between 35-55 mph, the engine failed. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 73,000 and failure mileage was 65,000.

- Alcalde, NM, USA

problem #10

Jun 152005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
2003 Cavalier engine stall on red lights/ coming to stop/ turning corners at low idle speeds causing a loss in power steering and ABS. Check engine light active, immediate restart is available, however while turning has nearly caused accidents. Believed to be caused due to faulty wiring to intake temp sensor.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #9

Sep 132007

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,621 miles
Yesterday my husband was driving home from work and came to a stop light as he slowed down the engine just cut off. This same thing happened last year once and the car dealer lindsay Chevrolet said it was not a problem. I am now finding that hard to believe.

- Weston, FL, USA

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