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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,800 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #5

May 012010


  • miles


"check engine" light keeps coming back on for the same issue, supposedly the "air intake temp sensor, replaced that one and several sensors repeatedly, had the complete wiring harness connections checked and cleaned, even replaced my ECM and BCM [neither of which was cheap], and still has "check engine" light, even after being "cleared" over and over again -- this car was well maintained and the body and sub-frame are severely rotting out left and right -- had a weird leak on the pass. Side front, under the dash. It comes and goes. The car smells like an old sneaker inside. Water would pour out of the passenger side heater duct, but there was no rhyme or reason to it. One I even had soap foam from a drive thru car wash literally come blowing in to the cabin, thru the very same heater duct. Thankfully it has seemingly cleared up, but it is still a head scratcher. I've taken my car to several dealerships, privately owned shops, and even had some "car savvy" friends look her over, as well as my dad [ands ase certified tech], and the check engine light still comes back every time. If I would have known I'd put this much money into a car that literally ready to break apart, I would have saved my money to put towards another car. Live and learn, I guess. She was doing so well for 10 or 11 years and it's like she just started "giving up" on me. She's got 165K on her and the pain has gone to crap, but that's GM for you, kept her garaged, waxed regularly, had her looking showroom new, until recently, the paint's clear coat started to "stipple" [sharp bumps] and bubble all over top panels, starting with the roof, then hood, and now trunk. It's embarrassing to drive her, and I am not paying to repaint her, I already have way too much into a car that likely will not pass inspection coming up in August. I'm now handicap'd and disabled, fixed income, can't afford a new car.

- Bath, PA, USA

problem #4

May 282015


  • miles
I was looking at my local news station and a man had called the investigation team about cracks in his dashboard so they could get in touch with GM about it because nothing was being done to resolve the problem. I have cracks in my dashboard and part of it was cracked so bad it came out and it is big enough for me to sit an apple in. The man who brought the story to attention was concerned about the cracks over the airbag that if it ever came out that debris from the dashboard would fly everywhere and that would be hazardous to the occupants of the car. This is a concern to me now because the cracks started out small but got bigger over time. I'm almost sure that there will be more cracks appearing especially when the weather gets hot and my car is not always in the heat or in areas where the hot sun is beaming down on it. To me that would be considered as a defect for that to just happen. I also have a Ford escort 2000 model and the same thing is happening to that dashboard. I can take photos but I don't know how to upload them on the computer, tell me other ways I can send photos if possible. My vehicle is mostly stationary at my home address whenever I am not at work and I never hardly use the freeways. There has definitely been no tampering with my vehicle. The story I saw on the news was aired I believe last week or the week before.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #3

Aug 012013


  • miles
The dashboard pieces have started to crack bad. I replaced the console piece but they dont make a replacement for the strip along the bottom of windshield. Its got chunks missing out of it.

- Zephyrhills, FL, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Oct 112004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 24,000 miles
First problem with my car was a short in the brake lights. Chevrolet repaired that. Then the horn would work randomly. Chevrolet replaced that. The A/C failed to work on the driver side. Chevrolet repaired that. Then the keyless entry randomly stopped working, Chevrolet told me they cannot find anything wrong the keyless entry still doesn't work properly. Then the car started turning off while I was driving. Chevrolet again told me they could not repair the problem due to nothing registering on the computer. My car turned off mid turn and I hit a brick wall. Chevrolet investigated the accident and told me my car didn't turn off. I got my car back last Tuesday and my car turned off again. I made an appointment to bring my car back to Chevrolet and its turned off again. I guess Chevrolet will never be able to repair my problem.

- Haledon, NJ, USA

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