1988 Chevrolet Cavalier 1.8 liter from North America


An engineering marvel


The computer died at 120,000.

The alternator goes out every 2 years. A lifetime alternator did fix the problem.

The interior heat has caused the speakers to melt and the dash and seats to crack.

General Comments:

This car is a fine accomplishment of engineering. I must commend the people of Chevrolet because this car has one of the strongest engines I have ever seen.

It can drive at 80 miles per hour with the air-conditioning on. Keep in mind that this is a 4 cylinder 1.8 litre engine.

I have been very neglectful of the car on oil changes, once pushing 10,000 miles. Most times the car would range between 4,000-5,500 miles between oil changes.

The car still gets 30 miles to the gallon in the city at 183,000 miles. I am painting it and planning on keeping it for as long as it runs which appears to be well into the 200,000 mile range.

I have spent $2,500 in maintenance over the years with $1500 due to owner carelessness.

This car is one of the most reliable cars I have ever owned. I now drive it one to two times a week and it starts every time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th May, 2001

20th May 2001, 17:45

You're lucky, your engine still runs after letting your oil change go to 10k miles.

My brother-in-law had an older Cavalier and let his oil changes go, and his engine blew up at 50mph. Engine was sludged up so the oil could not flow.

Oil changes are very inexpensive.

26th Jun 2001, 00:37

On the other hand, my Z24's engine was completely stopped up with crud, I mean you would not believe the amount of sludge built up in it, but it ran very solidly for a long time before I experienced problems (a blown lifter).

1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Station Wagon 2.8 V6 from North America


Very reliable and economical


Several prom upgrades, alternator, oil gauge, water pump, and the computer in '96 and '97.

Windshield wiper activates occasionally due to a bad switch.

Torque convertor, clutch and solenoid.

Heater core recently (cheap plastic tubes to heater hoses).

General Comments:

This 12 year old car has been very reliable. Engine and transmission original and runs very strong. Gets 30mpg on the highway.

Antique white paint very durable.

Have had all fluids flushed regularly.

Body styling very plain and no cup holders, but the car gets used every day, and we hope to keep it at least 4 more years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2000

18th Jul 2004, 10:56

Update from owner. After 4 more years, the car is still very reliable. Replaced distributor shaft o-ring (oil leak). Belt tensioner and fuel pump replaced at 173k. Uses very little oil. Plastic vacuum lines from throttle body get brittle and break when removed for service.

A good web site for 6 cylinder Cavaliers is v6z24.com.