20th Jul 2004, 17:41
I have a 1997 Z24 Cavalier with 119,000 miles on it. I have made repairs when needed, but that's part of keeping your vehicle in good condition. This is the 4th Cavalier I've owned and they have all been as reliable, if not more reliable, than the more expensive auto's I've owned. My 1989 Z24 Convertible was at 189,000+ miles when I sold it a few month's ago. My 1998 RS Cavalier was designed well enough to save my life in a High Speed Freeway accident involving three cars, and I was the middle car. (And the only one not cited for any negligence) I personally will miss the Cavalier from Chevrolet's offerings when it is discontinued.
8th Jul 2007, 03:16
I actually agree that the cavalier, although cheap to purchase, often requires a lifetime of small (and sometimes large) repair bills.
I have owned a 97 z24 since in high school (around 4 or 5 years), put 70k miles on it (to make a total of 134k miles), and have now given up on it.
About a month after buying the car, the timing chain started to break (a $600 fix in the back woods of KY). A few months later spent a total of around $150 on an accessory belt, rotors and front brakes (all, but the belt I put on myself). Also 60ish to replace a cracked caliper.
The biggest thing I have to say is that if something seems in the slightest way off on the cavalier, investigate it to the end of the earth. For example, I had a flat tire causing a rim to be slightly warped; this led to rotor and brake damage (both had to be replaced AGAIN), and unbeknownst to me, started the hubs going bad as well. $140 later, I had replaced those (again, doing this myself after having to buy extra sockets, wrenches, etc for the wretched awkward nuts and bolts of this car.
Course the thing that really killed it was a deer... grazed it, really, hitting it with my bumper. Apparently the bumpers can take a hard hit. Apparently the windshield cannot.
Long story short, deer was hit with the bumper, fell over to the hood, hood bent the body into the condenser and radiator (killing both), and popped off both headlights from their mounts. Easy enough fix, probably less than $500 if I get the parts used or online, but after awhile I guess you just have to know when to call it quits.
But I must say, in light of all that, it is a WONDERFUL car when/if it is working.
2nd Apr 2008, 15:25
I bought my 97 Z24 for my daughter to drive back and forth to college. It had 106K miles on it. I have been driving it for 7 years and it has 202K miles on it and still running strong. I have done absolutely nothing to it except replace the brakes and keep the oil changed. I drive it hard, it scoots pretty good for a little car. I ride with Khumo directional tires and it hugs the road. Traction control front wheel drive is great. Automatic won't change gears until it gets into the red line, great!