I have had the same problem while in Canada. I have a 96 Cavalier Coupe and it was cold out the first two times this happened to me. The first time it started right after the tow truck guy got there and the second time I waited for a bit and it started back up again. I have no clue what the problem is, but the tow truck guy had an explanation that made sense, something about the temperature outside causing the issue. I have not had this problem since then, knock on wood. I also have the problem with the popping noise coming from the back of the car and thought it was struts. I was a little surprised to read about the person who had that noise checked out and it turned out not to be the struts.
My muffler makes knocking sounds, mechanic said it's wearing thin and needs replaced.
My heat only works on high.
The ABS light didn't start staying on until I had the transmission replaced and it only comes on after I reach 55mph.
The water pump has been replaced once.
The fuel pump and fuel line have been replaced once.
I have the squeaking sound in my brakes which means it's time to replace the pads and such, again.
The A/C does not work. I was told the whole thing needed to be replaced.
I had a heck of a time with my rear view mirror not wanting to stay glued to the windshield.
I have 167,000 miles on this car and it still runs good and I travel long distances all the time in it.
I only paid $2,200.00 for it back in 03 and it had 88,000 miles on it then. I've put a lot of miles in that car in a short period of time and still happy with my Cavalier.
Responding to the last two comments.
Have the EGR valve checked out had a grand am with this problem. would just not start sometimes would start and chug for a while had it towed twice, and by the time it got back to the mechanic it would start. couldnt find the problem. finally took it to a different garage and they replaced the EGR valve and never had the problem again,
My 1996 Cavalier 2.2 4-cylinder automatic keeps on trucking.
Now it needs a new water pump, but it does have 160K miles on it. It has only ever needed normal type repairs.
For starting it, I have some advice. I have heard that these cars have bad fuel pumps that can't really be made right, so often they do not start. What I do is turn the key until all the idiot lights come on -- you can hear the fuel pump running when you do that. Then I turn it off. Then I repeat that procedure. I wait about 30 seconds and then, and only then do I start it. Works every time.
It has been a dependable car, although uncomfortable and noisy. It's been paid off since 2002, so I'm driving it now until it is ready for the junkyard.
My wife has had her cavy since about 2001. It now has 200,000 miles on it. It has the 2.2 engine.
I have replaced the injectors twice for a total of 8 injectors, due to leaky ac delco injectors.
I have replaced the front brakes twice.
I replaced the rear brakes once, the cause of the front brakes wearing out quicker.
I replaced the oil around 3k to 5k miles.
I have replaced the water pump and thermostat. It is very important to bleed the system completely. I work on heating and cooling systems and this car is difficult for me to bleed out.
I replaced the a/c system due to the compressors front seal going out.
The engine is a bit noisy, but a Mazda I had sounded worse and lasted more than some diesels.
Tonight my wife told me it was acting up. I went out and checked and it seems the B solenoid in the tranny went out, and it shifts hard 1 to 2, and 2 to 3, with no 3 to 4.
All in all, for the money this car has done everything I have asked, plus some. She has made it into an art car as a rolling canvas of quotes and art.
I will keep this car going until the frame wears out or until it is not feasible to keep putting money into it. Chevy Cavaliers are great cars.
Just bought a 1996 Cavalier 2.2L as my first car last summer with around 200,000K so I sort of expected some problems. So far, all I've had to replace were the front right bearing, and front brakes and rotors. Other minor problems are:
Gas gauge flucuates
Rattling noise near alternator
Heat only works on high
Battery light just came on, and stays on.
The last issue occurred when I decided to race my buddy's Lincoln Continental (bad idea). I'm going to have it diagnosed tomorrow, and I'm suspecting either a damaged alternator belt or misaligned pulleys. I'll let you guys know.
Other than that, a great reliable car (so far) that's definitely worth the $1,200 I spent!
Well, I just replaced the alternator and the battery light turned off when I first started the car! Yay! However, it now has a tendency to flicker on and off. Will have to go under the hood and re-tighten the bolts, which I hope will fix the problem.
Also, there is a horrendous rattling noise under the hood I suspect is coming from the serpentine belt's pulley system. It just sounds awful! Will have to bring it to a mechanic to have it looked at.
Wish me luck!
I ordered my Z24 in late '95 and picked it up at the dealer in January of '96. In a matter of weeks the water pump went out, the AC button got stuck and the driver's side mirror got so loose it was unusable. The dealer fixed it all in hurry and the car didn't give me one bit of trouble for the next several years and 45K miles.
Then the motor blew. The dealer and GM screwed me so I had an independent garage put a new engine in.
Now I'm at 117K and the only issues I have with it are the ABS light and the blower resistor.
I've got $20K into a stylish, zippy car that has lasted me 12 years. I like it and I'm going to keep on driving it till the wheels fall off.
I have a 1996 cavalier that I bought in 2006. It runs good and is a good car overall. I have recently had to pay for though a new compressor a new evaporator and a rear view mirror that falls off and does not stay on. Does any body know where I can get a new one cause those things are expensive.
I've had a 1996 2.2L Cavalier since 2003; my sister bought the car new.
I have replaced ball joints, tie rods, water pump, had the fuel injectors cleaned, several sets of brakes, and pads, Caliper and wheel cylinders, and probably more.
The car currently has 210,000 miles and is very reliable.
I have the window motor and heater resistor problems as well.
Most of the people here complaining about repairs appear to have their vehicles dealer serviced. The parts are very inexpensive. I do my own repairs, and in 120,000 miles I have put in $1500 to $2000 in repairs. It would have been much more had I not done the work myself.
I am continuously shocked at how good it is. I might just believe in the craftsmanship of the American car manufacturers after all. Now if only we could convince them to stop building trucks/SUVs.
Hard starting when hot: try replacing the fuel pressure regulator, as it is a very common part to go with time.