hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,834 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.

2001 Chevrolet Prizm engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Chevrolet Prizm Owner Comments

problem #4

Mar 102004


  • 65,000 miles


My 2001 Chevrolet Prizm has been burning oil since around 60-70K miles and has only gotten worse. Chevrolet didn't build the engine right and the rings/heads I think need replaced (what I read on). And Chevrolet has not fixed this problem and its costly as it burns around a quart every 200 miles.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #3

Nov 112015


  • 127,000 miles
I got this car a year and half ago and it worked ok. But now it is eating oil like crazy. And also when I try to accelerate it hesitates and wont move forward. It has almost caused me to have 3 wrecks. This is completely unacceptable. Why pay for this car if its going to kill me.

- Warren, IN, USA

problem #2

Jun 012009

Prizm 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Got the car in 2004. In 2009 the check engine light came on, went to three mechanics to try and find the problem. None of them had a clear idea of what was wrong but they tried various things. It still never went off for more than 5 miles directly after servicing. For a while it was driving fine even though the light was on (over a year) but then it started deteriorating. It was very sluggish, did not drive well (shaking) when going over 35 mph, and the check engine light started blinking for 5-15 seconds when I accelerated. Mpg tanked, went from 35+ to 23-25. Needless to say, I took it to another mechanic. They replaced the spark plugs and fuel injectors and the catalytic converter ($1300 fix on my then 10 year old car). Car started running better, mpg slowly got higher, but after about three days out of the shop the check engine light came on again. Mechanic was stumped, had no idea what was wrong, but he ok'd it for me to continue driving, so I have been doing so. It's still driving well, more or less, but the check engine light is still always on. Around the same time as the 2009 engine light, I noticed the engine was drinking more and more motor oil. Now (2012) I have to put in a quart every full tank of gas, just about.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #1

May 112005

Prizm 4-cyl

  • 53,336 miles
Engine is eating oil!! -- I purchased an 18-month old Chevy Prizm lsi with a 1zz-fe 1.8L engine back in November 2002 with about 27K miles. This car is still in mint condition. It's garaged and I do all the routine maintenance and use pure synthetic engine oil since I purchased it. Unfortunately at about 50K miles, my engine started eating up oil at about 1 quart per 200 miles. After researching the 1zz fe 1.8L engine block series, it appears this engine has piston and ring problems leading it to consume oil at a rapid pace. I keep a case of oil in the trunk for long trips and put in at least one quart each time I refill the tank. This engine can be found in at least 10 Toyota and one Chevy model (Prizm). This is an excellent car, however I can't believe GMC hasn't issued a technical service bulletin (tsb) regarding excessive engine oil consumption problems. These cars can run for at least 250K miles if you make sure the engine has enough oil. Buyer beware -- 1998-2002 Chevy Prizms and their siamese twin, Toyota corollas with the izz fe 18.L engine with more than 50K miles will consume much more oil and it is therefore imperative to ensure you have enough oil in the engine block to prevent engine seizure. GMC should issue a tsb for this problem. I realize this car is more than 10 years old, but there are millions of 1998-2002 Prizms and corollas on the road. If you buy one, make sure the previous owner is honest with you regarding oil consumption, otherwise you may be buying a car with lots of engine problems. Your engine may seize up on you and leave you stranded in timbuktu...

- Bellevue, NE, USA

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