1989 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 2.8L V6 from North America


Perfection on wheels


The factory stereo ate cassettes when the car was acquired (1997). Since then, it was replaced with a 45 watt Alpine CD player

The alternator died of old age (Partially due to an Alpine Stereo that was too powerful for the then 12 year old alternator). When the alternator died, the car still made it 130 miles until it could get replaced.

The factory sunroof leaks during rain at the tropical storm and/or hurricane level.

The power windows switch wore down and separates from the housing.

The power steering pump developed a leak and had to be replaced.

The spark-plug firing sensor died and had to be replaced.

General Comments:

Purchased the vehicle used while in high-school in 1997 with the intention of getting a year or two out of it. Only paid about $2,000 for it. Now, 6 operational years later, I've had nothing but good things to say about it.

The Z-24 has earned it's keep through 4 hard Vermont winters (Outperforming numerous 4x4's and All-wheel-drive's I might add. It's fun driving on the unplowed Vermont roads looking at the SUV's stuck in the ditches. It's even more fun watching the look on their drivers faces as a 12 year old, 2WD Coupe pulls those plastic POS's out back onto the road.)

Working in EMS, it's done its fair share of 02:00 AM wakeups (0-90 while still cold) and has performed admirably.

Now in Florida, it's survived 3 hurricanes and numerous tropical storms, with only minor leaking from the factory sunroof.

When I got the car, it was only supposed to be a stopgap until I could afford something better. Now, 6 years later, the heck with that, there isn't anything better, I'll put that money towards retirement. Something tells me this Z-24 will still be around by then.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2002

25th Nov 2002, 16:07

Hi there, my 88 z24 keeps puttering.

13th Feb 2009, 19:56

I've had 14 Cavs in the last 8 plus years, and every one of them has had well over 130k on them.

Out of the bunch, four of them have been Z24s, one auto that I gave to my brother, two of them 5 speeds, and one 86 4 speed.

I've sold most of them off in great running condition with close to 200k on them. They ranged from my 1980 hatch, to my wife's 97 2.2. The 97 was the only third gen we've owned and the only one I wasn't happy with (junk).

My 86 RS 4 door was bought for $100, drove for a year and drove to the junk yard. It was rusted so bad when I bought it that I had to weld the rear doors shut to keep it from breaking in half, but the yard gave me $85 for it as scrap, LOL.

I have to say this was one of the best cars to come out of Detroit in the 80's and early 90's. A lot of people don't give this car the respect it deserves, and a lot of them are still running strong, aside from the head gaskets on the 2.2 at 130K, and a wheel bearing or two, they're very cheap to keep going and great little cars.

19th May 2010, 16:34

I have a 89 Chevy Cav Z24. I drive the hell out of it. I've had to replace the ignition coils and the alternator. Other than that, it has been fine until I ran out of gas. Now my car won't start at all. I think my fuel pump went out. This happened two days ago. It has 164203 miles on it.

1989 Chevrolet Cavalier Z-24 2.8 Liter Multi-port V6 from North America


Has to be the smallest Chevrolet with a six cylinder out there!


The cooling fan motor went at about 146k miles. The thermostat went a week later.

The coolant overflow cap wasn't creating a good seal and I replaced the water pump, accessory belt, and the cap itself.

I noticed the front cover, where the water pump mounts, is slowly leaking water onto the rear exhaust manifold.

Tachometer doesn't work.

Convertible top motor has a short in it.

The top itself had to be replaced at 151k miles.

Struts went at 152k miles.

General Comments:

The automatic transmission is utterly horrible, there is a delay between the second and third gear shift, showing that this is an economy based transmission.

The 2.8 puts out 130 horse power and 160 foot pounds of torque*.

This is one quick little car, it beat a 95 3.8 V6 Mustang with ram air and duel exhaust in the 1/8 mile!

* www.v6z24.com.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2002

31st Jul 2008, 19:39

I bought my 89 Z24 for cheap second hand. It was beat bad by a young kid, and the body was rusted. I've had it over a year and a half now, and it still runs great.

I spent more on it than I paid for it, but that was expected because it was beat. But now with TLC and a body job, it looks and runs great again.

Lots of power for only 130 hp and 160 torque. Only mods are magnaflow performance exhaust and high flow airfilter.

These cars have a fiberglass cowl induction hood that allows cool high pressure air to be stored in the hood, and in turn get sucked in by the air intake. With a 5speed and perfect shifting it is possible to beat or keep up to newer sporty cars, but its hard on axles and tires.

If you see a Ford Taurus SHO don't even bother trying to race it! My buddy had 1. They have a 220 hp 3.0 litre Yamaha racing engine with a 5 speed. The race was embarrassing. Super high output are true words for those cars.