1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe 2.2 from North America


Practicality instead of performance


Thermostat at 48,000 miles

Positive battery cable at 50,000

Water pump at 65,000

Alternator at 68,000.

General Comments:

Most repairs up to this point have been minor, but it seems like everything happened at once.

The battery cable is not interchangeable with any aftermarket cable. I had to spend $70 at the dealership for a factory cable.

My next project will be to replace the steering rack and the head gasket, which are common problems with this vehicle. Luckily I work at a salvage yard, and the steering rack can be bought used for $35.

This vehicle does not have the power of a Japanese 2.2L engine, and the way the car handles is reminiscent of an SUV. Overall it makes a good first car for a new driver who is only interested in getting from point A to B.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2004

26th Nov 2004, 10:26

I have a 1997 Chevy Cavalier. The first quirk came just before my extended warranty was going end. Around 58K I took to the dealer because of an engine ticking sound that's loud for the first 10 minutes when the car is started in cold weather. They told me nothing was wrong. I found out I have a broken motor mount on the top bushing of the engine. had that fix. The sound was still there thou. So after several more complaints to the dealer, the dealer had a Factory Rep listen to it on a scope.

Here's the best part.

He sits me down and tells me there is an issue with the engine. Now, I bought the Quaker State Warranty. Change the Oil every 5000 miles based on my driving habits. The Piston is "Ringing" as it's called in the cylinder. He said they've never seen this in Cavaliers. It only has been documented in S-10 pickups & Corsica's. He told me they would give me $1,000.00 towards a new car. I still owed like $9,000.00 on the loan because I bought it new. After arguing that they should give me a new car. I didn't win. So I walked out feeling totally ripped off. I'm still driving it.

Here are some of the other issues that have started to surface. Mind you, I now have 206,847 miles on the car. I'm amazed; I've dubbed this car Christine because it refuses to Die.

Dash top (near front window) cracked. Even with a sunshade on the car.

Heater/AC only works on click #3 and 4. I found out this is a Blower motor Resistor that controls this.

And the part is $150.00.

Alternator replaced with the battery it killed. Around 104K miles.

Radio died twice, and this was the Premium sound package. Don't waste your $700.00 I should have taken the cheaper one and bought a Pioneer like I have now.

Power Window issues: Had the motor replaced in the Drivers door. Still never functioned correctly. Now I need a new door because the shop that did the work, butchered the door and now the dealer can't mount things correctly. Live and learn on that one.

Latch for Glove box broke. Cheapo plastic.

Sunroof leaks all the time in the car wash or the rain. Seal has been replaced twice.

The cup holder in the car suck. They are worthless. Everything rolls out of them on the smallest turn. Not deep enough. Chevy dropped the ball here. How could no one want to test hot coffee falling onto your leg? Geez.

I've killed two dears with both side of the front end so all of that has been replaced. The rest of the body is cherry. No rust anywhere.

Had no major work done but I know its coming fast.

I need the radiator looked at the temps getting a little high from where it use to be.

It needs rotors again! Arghhhh!

The drivers seat has a spring that has popped out from right behind my right shoulder blade. Not comfortable at all. When it was new it was good. But after tons of driving around 80K the seats sucked.

Cruise Control has died again. This will be number two.

Engine Light comes on because of gas cap. Have replaced with 2 factory caps and still happens. This is a pressure issue. If you get this, it costs $78.00 to reset the Computer just to get rid of the annoying check engine light.

The 15x7 hubcaps that the lugs screw onto the rim. Really suck. The hubcaps rock back forth and it makes a sound like you have a brake issue. I'm getting rid of them soon, if I keep this car.

I want to see how many miles I can put on this car. It's certainly outlived my past 3 cars combined.

Chevy has a good thing going here. Now if they can just make some of these quirks stop. They would have a better car then those made in Japan.

1997 Chevrolet Cavalier 4 cyliner from North America


Good car for the money


Really not that many problems. Overall a decent car. Had a head gasket problem from day one, but the dealer took care of it immediately and it was fine.

General Comments:

Great car for a budget, and believe me the company I worked for was on a budget!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd June, 2004