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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
71,299 miles
Total Complaints:
35 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. remove and replace fuel pump (30 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Cavalier fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Oct 102016

Cavalier 2.2L I4

  • Manual transmission
  • 139,809 miles


We went on holidays for a week, when we returned the car wouldn't start. No codes were displayed. I noted the hum of the fuel pump wasn't present when the key was inserted (and turned to acc.). Checked the fuel pressure. absolutely zero.

In the past the car had issues starting when parked up a slope, so it isn't surprising that the already crappy fuel pump died.

If you do it yourself I would highly recommend ordering the part online. It's $89.00 versus the $250-$370 at a non dealership parts store.

- , Calgary, Canada

problem #34

Dec 012011

Cavalier LS Sport 2.2L Eco-Tec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,600 miles


I just had my fuel pump die on my 2003 Cavalier and had to pay $575.00 to have it replaced at the dealership. I only have 44,600 miles on the car! The only way we can get Chevrolet to post a recall for this problem is to flood there phone lines with calls informing them of this problem. I called them and told them about my problem and how many people on the internet are posting similar problems and they said they need people to call them and tell them about the problems in order for them to issue a recall. So everyone needs to call them immediately about the problem. They even told me they would try to financially reimburse me for some of the repair costs! That should be reason enough for all of you to start calling them now and filing complaints about this issue! There number is 1-800-222-1020. CALL NOW!!!

- , Easton, PA, USA

problem #33

Oct 242011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,661 miles

Only 59000 km (36660 miles) and I have to replace my fuel pump in my gas tank? The dealer told me it was because I don’t drive it very much and the fuel pump was probably corroded. I own 3 chevs and a dodge and have always bought North American vehicles. I am presently looking for a new vehicle and I will not buy another chev product, looks like I will be going to the Asian or Europe market for my next purchase. This web site was one of the reasons I purchased this car (very little complaints) but this problem was one of them and Chevrolet should have recalled this problem. I now understand why they needed to be bailed out.

- , Calgary, Alberta, canada

problem #32

Oct 152009

Cavalier Ecotec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,500 miles


We had the car less than 2 months. Thankfully it was partially covered under the extended warranty~ we paid around $300 for an almost $1,500 repair. Heard from several other people that this is a common issue with this car.

- , Washougal, WA, USA

problem #31

Sep 032011

Cavalier 2.2L Eco

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Took wife and 3 kids down to New Braunfels from Amarillo...Got 282 miles out (Near Robert Lee TX) and car just started to die. It did coast at about 30 MPH for a good while, then 20 for a good while...then I finally just hit the brake. Cost 205 for a tow into San Angelo, where the car sits at a dealership right now. Since it is a holiday weekend, they can't look at it until Tuesday, but was told it was more than likely the fuel pump. Got no warning of it at ALL! With kids and the Mrs crying, had to call someone to come pick us up! Was not a good trip at all!!! Please fix this problem!

- , Amarillo, TX TEXAS, USA

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problem #30

Jul 102010

Cavalier LS Sport 2.2L (Vin F)

  • Manual transmission
  • 53,400 miles

When the pump fails, its because the brushes in the pump motor are worn and or the connector plug for the pump inside the tank is not making good contact. To fix temporarily to get the vehicle to "limp" home, you will need a small jumper wire. pull the cover off for the fuses under the hood. look for the fuel pump relay and remove it. put it someplace safe for now. take a small jumper and jumper terminals 87 to 30 (look at the relay to determine which terminals are what.). once the jumper wire is in place, crawl under the car and hit the bottom of the fuel tank sharply with your hand until you hear the pump start running, you should be able to start the car then and be able to drive it home, It will not last long (only a few miles or so) so be prepared for it to fail again without warning after a few miles. Hitting the tank, jars the pump enough to reseat the brushes to get contact and allows the pump to run for a short time, hopefully long enough to get to a mechanic or home.

- , Marion, IA, USA

problem #29

Jul 012010

Cavalier LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


I really wish I would have seen this website before buying my car... I got off work last night at 3 am only to find that my car would not start. I have never had a problem with the car starting or any clue that there was a problem at all. Only after paying to have my car towed 40 miles did I find out that the fuel pump was out and that this was a common problem with this make and model. I really hope Chevy does something about this since clearly I'm not the only person who has had this problem and to think I have been buying Chevy since I was 16! Guess I should reconsider when buying my next car.

- , Cassopolis, MI, USA

problem #28

Apr 252010

Cavalier ES Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

My wife went shopping at the local supermarket. After putting groceries in the trunk, she went into her vehicle, put the key in the ignition switch, turned it, but the car would not start. She tried several times, but nothing happened. I went to check on the car, (thinking that all she needed was a boost), but I couldn't get it running. We had to toll the vehicle to our home. We had a mechanic check the vehicle and learned that the fuel pump had to be replaced. Bummer! This was pretty bad. I found this problem to be pretty odd. I say this because I also own a 2000 Toyota Corolla, now with 275,000 miles on it, and I never replaced the fuel pump. I don't get. We're always being encouraged to buy American made cars, but you do the math. I found out the Chevrolet didn't think this problem merits a recall because the number of complaints were not high enough. Chevy, you need to pay attention. People may not be putting their complaints in writing but I can tell you this, they are not buying you vehicles again. You need to recall and fix, once and for all, the fuel pump problem. Do not ignore this.

- , Hampton, GA, USA

problem #27

Apr 132010

Cavalier Sedan 2.2L Ecotech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

So I left my house last night around 10pm was able to get about a mile out and I went to make a left at an intersection and my car suddenly started to shutter and i gave it more gas got a little more shuttering after I mad the turn the car just shut down, no warning, just died in the middle of the road. I then had to push my car as I was by myself off to an adjacent street which was not easy or convenient. i proceeded to try and start the car but no turnover was possible. Unlike some readers here I did do research on the reoccurring problem, but it was after I had already purchased the vehicle. I bought the car summer of 2008 at 65,000. Everything ran smooth all I did was change oil and add gas and my car was good to go. This is the first major problem with my vehicle and it totally screws everything up as I work late some nights and public transportation is not an option. I have to take out an emergency cash loan from one of those website which i thought I would never ever ever have to use with there interest rates ridiculously high and fees of 30 dollars per 100 dollars borrowed. This is making my life hell and the worst part is I was out a couple weeks ago looking at new vehicles and wanting another car, but never acted on it. Had i done so this fuel pump failure would be someone else's problem and id be off driving in a Toyota or Nissan. So now im stuck getting the pump replaced with the chance of the problem happening to me again. I guess all i can hope for is that it happens within each 12 month period so it still is under warranty. This really sucks i had been extremely loyal to Chevy up until this point and may never purchase another Chevy in my life. There needs to be a recall on this fuel pump failure for sure.

- , Collingdle, PA, USA

problem #26

Apr 082010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

My boyfriend bought this car back in October or so. It was used and my father begged him to do his research before he leaped into this.. of course my boyfriend had had problems with a previous car and was just anxious to get it out of his hair. Sooo he leased the car.

The day we picked it up we got it home and parked it. After that it wouldn't start. I called the dealer and chewed them out. Of course it got messy and I had to do a bunch of research to see if there was any way to get his money back.. but of course there wasn't.. so I did a vehicle history report.. accidents.. Ugh.. definitely proved to me that this was stupid on his part. But on with it. His mechanic came over to look under the car and said that he was 90% sure it was the fuel pump. He got it running and said to keep and eye on it because it was going to quit eventually.

1 day I was working second shift and got off at midnight.. he wasn't there to pick me up. He apparently broke down 1/2 mile from our home. Roadside was a nightmare so we ended up pushing it a little over a quarter mile into a vacant home driveway, The next day we had it towed to the house. Our mechanic went easy on us and charged just under $400 on the repair. after I had received several quotes of 800 and above. Well about 3 or 4 months later it's doing it all over again. This is by far the most annoying problem ever.. Especially since at this rate he's going to pay more for repairs then he is for the car itself. Cavaliers should be recalled.. this is just absolutely ridiculous.

- , Portland, TN, USA

problem #25

Mar 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,545 miles


This is sad that so many people have had the same issue with one specific car make and model and year and all. Less than 57,000 miles and I have to replace the fuel pump, fuel sending unit and fuel filter (ok filter isn't pissin me off but the other sh*t is) I am told this is going to cost around $900.00 This just sucks!

- , Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #24

Dec 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,900 miles

Finally get it paid for ,been a pretty good car ,kept it serviced well kept with hardly no miles and my fuel pump goes with no warning!! Then i hear of all the same complaints , why haven't Chevrolet RECALL this damn problem????

- , South Hill, VA, USA

problem #23

Nov 102009

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,700 miles

I was on my way to work on a busy road going 40 mph when my car started to chug then died. I was still coasting along and had to try to get out of traffic and not cause any accidents, people behind me had to slow down really quickly, I was in the left hand lane and had to coast into the turn lane then get off of road. If I had caused an accident I wonder whose fault it would have been, I am very mad now as I write this.

I was on my way to work so needless to say I was late. The next morning I had it towed to the dealership to get it fixed, it was the fuel pump and cost me a couple dollars shy of $900!! I was a bit peeved, but was more pissed when I read online and saw it was a common problem with cavaliers, oh and that the recall investigation was closed, REALLY!!!!

- , Grand Forks, ND, USA

problem #22

Oct 152009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I was surprised to come on here and find this as a common problem for my car. I did some research and talked to a lot of friends and family before I went along and got it fixed, and it turns out that this is a common problem for all GM cars and that the reason why this is such an expensive job is because GM made the cavalier to be a pain in the butt to have the fuel pump changed. What should be an easy job turns into a ton of labor when the mechanic has to take everything out of your car to replace the fuel pump and then put everything back in again. So the $750 we have all gotten charged to have it replaced is mainly labor. I am a little worried about this because some people are saying that this will happen over and over and over again with these cars and the fuel pump that I am getting only has a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty and I put a lot of miles on my car, being away at school.

If this does happen again to my car when the fuel pump is not under warranty anymore, I will consider buying a new car instead because in the long run I will probably get a better value. I still love my little Cavalier and for all the time I have had it this is the first major problem. Other than this, it has done me good while being up at school.

- , West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #21

Sep 202009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,560 miles

Ok, so yesterday im on my way to work, and i pull out onto my road and my car shudders a little, so i gave some gas and it accelerated, it did it again about a minute later, except when i gave it gas this time the RPM's went down instead of up. And my car proceeded to die as soon as i stopped on the side of the road. now, im not sure if its my fuel pump, but im almost sure it is. and from what I've been reading, this is a rather common and expensive pain in the ass. i've dealt with bad fuel pumps before and this is all the symptoms except one. usually the car will restart about 5 minutes after it dies and drive about 2 feet before dying again. my car wont. I've owned this car for a little over a year now and its only at 77,560 miles. i shouldn't be having this problem, and im highly considering just trading it in and letting someone else deal with it. and seeing how expensive the repairs are just aggravates me more because i don't have that kind of money. im hoping its something else...but my gut says otherwise.

- , Hereford, AZ, USA

problem #20

Jul 242009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

My chevy just stopped would not start again. If this is a recall, how could we find out. I am pricing different quotes, it will cost between 600 and 1000, that I do not have! This is typically annoying..........

- , Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #19

Jun 112008

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

i let my brother drive my car to the store when he had his temps and nothing happened but once i started backing out of a parking stall it just shut off with no warning. i started it again and moved out of the parking lot and it kept slowing down as we got farther so i pulled off on to another road then it kept shutting off....i finally made it home when i told my parents. they took it in and they told up it was the fuel pump....luckily it was still under the warranty but it was a hassle to deal with.

- , Lomira, WI, USA

problem #18

Nov 202008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

This seems to be a very common problem with the 03 cavaliers. I bought this car brand new and it only has 72,000 miles on it!!!! Why on earth and I fixing this problem already???? Chevy really needs to stand behind their work and recall all of these defaulty fuel pumps. I will think twice before owning a Chevy again..

- , North Bennington, VT, USA

problem #17

Jan 052009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,456 miles

Same old, Same old fuel pump problems. Lots of noise this time. Kind of whistling under the car. This time was not under extended warranty as the warranty on a fuel pump is ONE YEAR. Surprise it has been a year and one half. Did we just get a lemon? And are we going to have to keep doing this year after year? Does anyone have any answers?

- , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

problem #16

Jan 082009

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I had fuel pump failure also. I just shut off the car and it would not restart, no warning at all. This repair cost me 750.00 to fix.

- , Warrensburg, MO, US

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