1992 Chevrolet Cavalier RS 2.2L from North America
Great, reliable, mechanically-sound car with some rust problems
The head gasket leaked probably since I bought the car at 90,000 miles, and I finally had it replaced at about 115,000 miles. This is apparently a common problem with GM's 2.2 liter engine.
I had to have the left front axle replaced around 110,000 miles.
A motor mount came loose and needed to be tightened.
The rear brake cylinders started to leak and had to be replaced.
My car has started to overheat at highway speeds when the temperature is 70 degrees or above, I suspect the radiator is clogged.
Rust has formed in MANY places, including at the bottom of the doors, the outer part of the drivers side wheel well, the rocker panels (almost rusted apart), bumper reinforcement (pretty much disintegrated), and much of the sub-frame.
The has been a great car for commuting and I always have been confident in driving it any distance, even in the winter months.
The engine has enough power for what I need it for, and I feel comfortable merging with traffic or climbing hills, although it is about as weak of an engine as I would want to have in the car.
The handling is fair, and I have had relatively few problems driving in the snow, but I think it does slide around in wet conditions more than most cars.
I am happy with the overall mechanical durability of the car, but the body is far below my expectations. The drivetrain of this car will FAR outlast the body, as the car has rust that I have fought, but will not go away. GM's paint job on these cars was sub-par, with the paint fading and wearing away badly on the horizontal panels.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st December, 2004
I also have a 92 Cavalier and have noticed that the body is starting to rust. The overall drive of the car is good. I also feel confident driving long distances. My gas mileage is good, which is very nice. My overall complaint is the rusting of the car. But then again for the year, it is in very good condition.
I since have replaced a few more parts on the car:
Radiator: I replaced this myself (pretty simple) and solved my overheating problem when driving on the highway.
Heater core: I wasn't getting any heat in the winter (cold!) so I changed this out myself and solved that problem.
Starter: Changed this out myself, which was pretty simple. It solved my "clicking" starter problem, and it starts like a champ every time now!
This car is great because if things go wrong, they're pretty easy to fix yourself if you know a little about cars. I have over 160,000 miles on this bad machine now, and the 2.2 liter still runs strong. It leaks a little coolant, but that's probably my fault from bad coolant line connections from when I changed the heater core.