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fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
44,510 miles
Total Complaints:
14 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (10 reports)
  2. replace IAT sensor or the idle air control valve (2 reports)
  3. cleaning the throttle body with spray cleaner (1 reports)
  4. fuel pump replacement (1 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Cavalier engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #14

Sep 012010

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


I dont know whats happening with this car. One day after driving around, I turned the key to start the car and it only cranked. It will start for only about 2 seconds if that and shut off, every time. I have replaced the fuel filter because it was dirty as hell well clogged, and checked the fuel pump, which is working fine, and also checked the ignition switch, which is working as well. If you spray starting fluid in the intake the car will stay on a little longer. I'm stumped on what to do or try next.

- , Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #13

May 102010


  • Manual transmission
  • 76,000 miles

I bought my cavlier used about 8 months ago and I had zero problems until last week when it started stalling at idle and sometimes when I hit the brakes in traffic, I ran the AC for a few days until I could figure out what the issue is, yesterday i cleaned the throttle body with sray cleaner and it seems to have stopped the problem completely I've driven in several traffic conditions with the car running cold and at running temperature and no stalls it hasn't dropped below 900 RPMS, I will post an update in about a week to let everyone know if it is still working.

- , Jacksonville, FL, US

problem #12

Oct 292009

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,125 miles

lot's of complaint's here about fuel pump's for this year cavalier! chevy how about stepping up & helping out?

- , Sheperdsville, KY, USA

problem #11

Jun 302005

Cavalier 2.2L Ecotec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


I have had my 03 since November of 2002, never any problems until after warranty went up. I have a few aftermarket parts ie. cold air intake, rims, high-flow exhaust. My car stalls at times as well when coming to a stop. Seems it only happens with the car is not warmed up or I give it a little gas and then stop. Never had it while I was driving though. Also, I found that if I put the car in neutral, idle speeds go right back up. I seriously believe this is a defect that GM is unwilling to admit to. I have 2 other buddies with the same car and same problem. I am an ex-mechanic and it is 100% in the ECU and or a faulty sensor. I have heard from a few other sites that re-flashing the ECU corrects the issue, however I have no proof of this.

- , Desoto, TX, US

problem #10

Jun 152004

Cavalier 2.2L Ecotec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

engine stalls at low speeds or stopped. Only seems to happen when engine is cold. Is a major issue that GM techs have since given up and can not find out what the issue is. Stalls while turning slow turns, causing the power steering and brakes to not function. Engine idle speed with raise at idle to over 1200 rpm and then drop below 300 before stalling. Any ideas what this is? I have heard that the sensors may be the issue, but I have yet to see any defects. Mileage is above warranty now and GM tech will not look at it without 500.00 charge.

- , Desoto, TX, US

problem #9

Jul 072007

(reported on)

Cavalier V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

My wife's parents bought this car practically brand new in 2003 and the engine has always stalled out when the RPM's drop low. We just got back from a trip to Michigan to visit family and the car stalled out 3-4 times during the trip. Each time was at a very bad time (e. g. merging slowly past construction on US 23 and nearly being rear-ended). I am afraid if this problem isn't fixed soon someone could get hurt unnecessarily. It has been put in the shop numerous times and each time the mechanic/dealer has no idea what is wrong with it. If anyone has the slightest clue what could solve this problem please pass it along. Thanks!

- , Pikeville, KY, USA

problem #8

Jul 212006

(reported on)


  • 27,000 miles


After blowing the head gasket due to a broken drive chain in December on our 1st engine at 78,000 miles, we paid to have a used engine with 7500 miles installed. Now the car has begun to stall randomly and after sitting for a while will start up and drive fine. The car won't start correctly if the air is on, and now it randomly dies. This problem is a huge pain. Any suggestions. This car SUCKS!!!!!!

- , Greenwood, IN, USA

problem #7

Feb 252007

(reported on)

Cavalier LS Sport 2.2 ECOTEC

  • Manual transmission
  • 27,500 miles

I got my car about a year and 4 months a go. She ran great until I had her for 2 weeks or so. Then she started randomly stalling when I was slowing down or at a stop. The car starts to vibrate and then sometimes will die, the RPMs go up and down. I've been told the quick fix is replacing the factory IAT sensor with an aftermarket with thicker wires. You all should try that, I'm going to when spring gets here.

- , Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #6

Feb 072007

(reported on)

Cavalier 2.2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

My car stalls at red lights. Now I have even a bigger problem. Last Monday my car wouldn't start, had it towed for the 4th time since Sept 2006. Chevy couldn't find a problem. Then two days ago my car wouldn't start had to have it towed again for the 5th time. Still Chevy has no idea what is wrong with it. It starts up the next day for them at the dealership. They tell me it runs like a champ. My extended warranty is going to be up in August. I don't know if when I try to go to work tomorrow if it will start. I can't take it anymore. I have 24 more payments. I'll never buy another American car again.

- , Halethorpe, MD, USA

problem #5

Jan 122007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles

I bought this car brand new in 2003, every year since then, when in traffic jam and I'm in idle, it stalls and shuts off. In 2004, dealer didn't find anything. Took it again in 2005, again they couldn't find anything. Had hoped to resolve this while it was new and under warranty. This week it's happened again twice. Naturally, now car is too old, too many miles to be covered. I've always checked for any recalls throughout the years and never found anything.

- , Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 252006

(reported on)

Cavalier LS 2.2

  • Manual transmission
  • 35,495 miles


When i'm coming to a stop or down shifting, and even when i just press the clutch in, i lose my rpms. often it drops to 300 to 400 revs then sometimes kicks back up. i've had numerous stallings coming to a stop sign etc. and it sux cause i lose power steering and abs as well as having all my interior lights dim. if i'm moving and i release the clutch the car starts back up but it is a real hassle. has anyone had this prob and fixed it? id appreciate any help/advice. thanx

- , N. New Portland, ME, USA

problem #3

Jun 192006

(reported on)


  • 101,200 miles

My check engine light came on and the rpm's rev when i turn on the air conditioning. i was told it is my IACV.

- , Dahlonega, GA, USA

problem #2

Mar 282006

(reported on)


  • 29,821 miles

I have a 2003 Chevy Cavalier that died at stop lights not all the time be more then i would like it too. The car is in the shop more then i drive it! Please if there are more of you out there i need to hear from you! i know i can not be the only one with this problem...... Thanks

- , Pasadena, TX, USA

problem #1

Dec 232003

(reported on)


  • 19,000 miles

The car runs great most of the time. This last spring and summer we experienced intermittent stalling after engine was thoroughly warmed up and clutch pushed in, such as at a stop light. If the car was parked for a few minutes and then started up and driven again, the stalling went away. It seems to me an engine sensor is sticking. Never see the check engine light go on. WHATS UP WITH THIS!

- , Warner Robins, GA, USA

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