7th Jul 2003, 09:25

I have a 96 cavalier, coupe. First of all, the tapping sound of the motor, happens when it's cold, because the piston is not long enough. When the car is hot, the piston takes all the places in the cylinder and the car runs well. I got 90000 miles on my car, regular maintenance on it and I never had any real problems with it. I ride my car hard, power shifting at 7000 rpm. Burning up my tires, and I never had problems, with my bearing or transmission. I change the oil every 2000 miles and the fuel filter every 9000 miles to avoid any problem with the gas pump.

22nd Jul 2003, 07:05

I have a 1996 Chevy Cavalier. The Heater fan only works on high speed. This could be the Blower motor relay under the hood, the switch or resistor block. Can't find out what the problem is. Also, the AC has died on me and this could be the result of the blower fan only on high. I refuse to put it in the shop because I've spent over $1000 in repairs already from having a head gasket replaced to having the rotors & bearings replaced. Those annoying hubcaps that do not fit snuggly against the rims constantly shift and move creating a bad squeak & rattle noise. The repair shop could not fix this. For some reason the dashboard loves to sing a noisy song as I'm rolling down the road. Engine noise is loud during acceleration and yes, that tapping sound from the engines valve train is enough to wakeup the dead. BTW, the car has 105k on it. Time to go buy a better car.

29th Aug 2003, 16:03

I have 96 Cavalier that I bought brand new. It now has 160,000 miles on it and I haven't really had any of the major problems that I have read about in the other opinions. I did have the Blower Resistor Network go out, but that was very easy to fix once I figured out the problem. I also replaced the starter a while back, but that is not unusual for the age and miles on the car. I do change the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles and have been using a synthetic blended motor oil. I also use the rather expensive Teflon oil filters, though I don't know that this explains the longevity of the car.

My engine is starting to get tired now, and I am looking for an engine to rebuild and/or a a parts car to keep my car going. If anyone wants to sell a 96 Cavalier to me for parts, I would be interested.


8th Oct 2003, 08:21

Has anyone heard of test pistons being used in some of the 96 Cavaliers? Someone told me this was the case, but I can't find any info about this on the web.

14th Feb 2004, 21:02

I have had my cavalier for 2 years. Up until this past month I had no real problems with it. It sucks in the snow, because the ABS is so touchy, but other than that it is a good car. My coolant light has been coming on. I have flushed the coolant and was always adding coolant. My boyfriend replaced the water pump, because it was leaking. It ran with the new pump and serpentine belt, because it was totally worn out, for 4 hours when the head gasket blew and one of the pistons blew through the spark plug. Other than that I love my cavalier. I am sorry, but cars don't last forever neither do people. Get a grip and realize that we put our cars through a lot and eventually something has got to give. if it didn't we wouldn't need car dealers or mechanics and that would be millions more without jobs. that's not exactly what this country needs. My advice get a grip and by American keep our country thriving!!!

Amy (Wisconsin)


8th Mar 2004, 13:23

I have a '94 Cavalier. It's got 176k miles and still runs great. Not too many problems with it.

14th Mar 2004, 22:03

I bought a Cavalier Convertible new in 1996. This is one of the best cars I have ever had. The only major problems with it were the alternator and the water pump. Other than that it has been a really fun car to drive. The 2.4 L Engine gives it plenty of go. It now has 28,000 miles on it. I wouldn't trade this car for anything!

24th Mar 2004, 15:50

I recently traded my 1996 Cavalier for a '92 Plymouth Grand Voyager (BIG MISTAKE!!!) because I thought the Cavalier was too small for me & my 3 kids. When I got it (the Cavalier),it had approx.290,000 kms. on it.Now I know I was taking a chance getting one with that many kms. on it, but it seemed to work fine. The only problems I had with it was that it needed a new right front bearing, one of the back doors would'nt open at all & the window would'nt roll (yes, manual windows!!) down. When I tried to sell it, no one would buy it because of the high kms. (apparently these vehicles are known for blown head gaskets).I had no idea if it had a new engine or not (dealer did'nt know-my mistake should have done research on the car).

Shortly after I traded the car, I talked to the new owners,& the car broke down on them-altenator.How they are doing with the car now-I have no idea. But I'm glad I got rid of it before the engine went!!!

P.S I did own a '92 Chev Cavalier Wagon a couple of years ago & when I bought that there where 179,000 kms. on it & 2 months later the engine went in it-$800.00Cdn.But I wish I kept that car!!!

20th Oct 2004, 10:08

Hi! I just purchased a 1996 Chevy Cavalier and it has the tapping noise too, but it has excellent pick up and fuel mileage. I also have some friends who have one to, and they love it. I really like my Cavalier and plan on standing behind it 100%. Thank You DIXIE.

11th Nov 2004, 20:22

My 98 Chevy Cavalier has developed a ticking/tapping noise under the hood. I have heard lifters/cam/crank/bearings in the past few days from different people. Today a guy said he has replaced "a ton" of timing chains on these cars. Does anyone have a similar experience?

18th Nov 2004, 10:50

I have a 1996 2.4 liter Cavalier. Bought it with 18,000 miles and now it has 60,000. The car has worked great except for a few minor problems with the engine coolant. Recently I had a remote start install on the car, and now every time the ignition is turned on, it turns right back off. Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a problem with my crank Sensor?

11th Feb 2005, 07:40

I own a 1996 Chevy Cavalier Convertible Coupe. I have been smelling gas for a few weeks now and after reading these comments I now know what is causing it. Thank you!...Now, my problem is this light came on.. ETS... what does it mean? Also, the back window is glass, factory glued to the fabric top.. it has now come loose at the bottom of the window. I have been noticing several in my town that have this problem also. Has anyone else incurred this problem and if so did Chevy fix it for you?