1996 Chevrolet Cavalier from North America - Comments

15th Feb 2005, 23:25

I own a 96 Cavalier and up until today I have had no problems with it. I got it with 67,000KM and it's now at 105,000KM now. Around 100,000KM I noticed the engine coolant was always low (sensor light was on), but never noticed any coolant on the driveway or in my engine. Reason why - Head gasket leak. The coolant gets so hot it evaporates so you don't see the mess. It's going to cost about $1000.00 to fix, which isn't too bad, but if this is such a common problem with 96-98 Cavaliers, why wouldn't it be a recall? Oh ya, and I get a really annoying (and LOUD) rattling noise coming from the engine. When my fan is on, I hear the noise. When I put the A/C on, it goes away. Apparently it's the A/C crank shaft? Not too sure about this one, but apparently it's a $200.00 dollar fix. This is a good 'first car' for people in high school or college, but I definitely wouldn't spend the 3-6 grand (Canadian) to get a cavalier with over 75,000KM on it.

2nd Jul 2005, 21:39

My Fiance and I have recently purchased a '96 Cavalier and at first thought that it was going to be a great car. We have had great gas mileage and the car has run great. We have owned the vehicle for a little over a week now and the problems are stacking up!

Upon trying to start the vehicle, we noticed that there was nothing. We had power to all of the dash lights, the radio and even the door ajar warning. We replaced the starter and still no fix. We noticed there have been a lot of recalls for the '96 Cavaliers and are really wondering why we didn't check this website before purchase! If you have the chance to buy a '96 Cavalier, don't!

6th Jul 2005, 19:01

I've been driving a 1996 Chevy Cavalier for about five years. When I purchased the car in 1/2000, it had about 58,000 miles on it. Unfortunately, it has just died on me. I tried to start it and nothing happened. I have always gotten the oil changed about every two to three thousand miles. I had no major problems until it didn't start this past weekend. The water pump has been changed prior to this and that's about it. The car worked pretty good. I think it's a great car. Now I think I have to replace the head gasket on it. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I just replaced the compressor, accumulator, and orifice tube for the A/C. Cars don't last forever. Have to use them/it while we have them.

24th Aug 2005, 16:28

I bought my 96 Cavalier in Jan. of 1998 when it only had 28k miles on it. I've only had a few problems with the car. I had to replace the fuel pump system in Feb of 1999, right after the warranty ran out. I've had to replace the starter once and the water pump once. I have a persistent knocking noise in the engine and the passenger side air bag rattles quite loudly when my speed reaches over 70 mph. Oh, and the air conditioner went out in to a year ago (and I live in Texas). I think its just a leak in a hose, but it's still a pain in 105 degree weather. But hey, cars don't last forever and even the best need repairs (major and minor) now and then. All in all, I would say that this is good little car, it's lasted me for over seven years and I bet it'll last a bit longer.

9th Sep 2005, 21:08

As I write my son's 96 Cavalier is at the garage where it has spent the better part of the day. The mechanic wants it to spend the night jacked up to "work out a possible air bubble." The car started overheating and was taken in and they found that the water pump needed replaced. Today I was suppose to bring it in for service and it overheated again. I tried to put water in the reserve, but it seemed full. I told them to check the thermostat which they also replaced. They have no clue what is wrong,just that it continues to overheat and the coolant runs out. Not happy with this car design.

27th Nov 2005, 09:45

I have a 95 cavalier 5 speed. I also have to change the brakes every 5 months The clutck went out on it and at the same time the timing chain broke. it is 26 degrees outside. the dash rattles and the trunk key doesn't work so I have to climb through the back seat to open the trunk. I has NOS installed last year and didn't even get through one 10lb bottle and I burnt a hole in a piston and melted a valve. the rockers taped so I got roller rockers they don't tap, but they still make noise. I don't leak oil, but I still put a quart a month in it I don't leak antifreeze, but I still add a gallon a month. the car is junk don't buy one! well I have to go install a timing chain... slayer.

15th Dec 2005, 20:38

I have a '96 Cavie and bought the car for $300 with 145,000 on it and didn't run. I installed a new fuel pump and the car has given me no problems except for leaky head gasket. Great mileage and is reliable if maintained.

19th Dec 2005, 14:48

For the guy that put NOS in your cavalier: What the hell are you thinking? It's not Chevrolet's fault that you are stupid. Your car doesn't leak, but burns up oil/antifreeze because of your stupid NOS escapade. It's OK if you wanted to blow up your cavalier, but don't put it down because it's not built to undergo the pressures and temperature associated with NOS.

19th Jan 2006, 12:47

I've had my 1996 Chevy Cavalier for 3 years now. I paid $2,000 for it and I pretty much think I got my money's worth. The car worked very well in the beginning it was great on gas, and even though I purchased it with 92K miles, it never broke down. Unfortunately the car is now starting to fall apart, even though I only drive it locally - my biggest complain and concern are the car doors. They either get stuck and don't open, or lately the doors have started flying open when I'm driving. For the safety of my kids I've had to manually lock it inside with the lock (not the switch) in order for the doors to maintain locked.

3rd Feb 2006, 21:11

I own a 1996 2 door z24 cavalier.. I loved it at first until it needed to be inspected and since then it seems all there has been is problems.. I needed a ball joint replaced, the horn had to be fixed twice, my gas gauge will not go past the half tank mark, the power windows broke, the windshield wipers stopped working, and recently the low beams will not turn on the actual knob to turn the lights on is broken. I would not recommend this car to anyone.. It is a complete waste of money.

1st Mar 2006, 08:48

So I have a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier which I have owned new since 1996. About a month ago, I drove the car out of my garage for about 5 minutes, parked it for an hour, and then came back to the car. It turned over, but did not start. I called the tow truck and while waiting, the car decided to start. My mechanic replaced the spark plugs, valve cap and gaskets. About 2 weeks later, same thing happened. I drove for about 5 minutes, parked for about 2 hours, came back to the car, and it wouldn't start. While waiting for the tow truck, the car decided to start. The mechanic could not find anything, but put in dry gas. The car worked fine for 2 weeks and once again, the same problem happened. The mechanic claimed that they need to replicate the problem in order to diagnose the problem. Has this happened to anyone here and do you have any ideas because my mechanic seems to have no clue.