1996 Chevrolet Cavalier from North America - Comments

31st May 2008, 20:40

I have a 96 Cavalier that I bought in July of 07. It's a great car, but is giving me some issues at the moment. Started misfiring a month ago, so I replaced the valve cover gasket, put new plugs and wires on it, and new coil packs. Still runs a little rough, any ideas guys???

26th Jun 2008, 14:46

Have a 1996 cavalier that will start, then it stops and won't start. It turns over, but will not start up. Any ideas or HELP?

19th Sep 2008, 18:03

My 1996 Chevy Cavalier has 186,000 miles on it. I change the oil every 3,000 miles. Check your oil and you will see how it changes color as you drive it. I know my car and I can tell by the performance and the way it sounds that the oil needs changing and guess what? It's at about 3,000 miles. When oil is black it can't break down anymore.

Yes, my brakes wear out and my rotors warp, but that's because I'm a hard braker and an aggressive driver.

By the way I also have a 1996 CHEVY 1500 PICKUP 4X4 with 236,000 miles on the original engine. Guess what? I change the oil every 3,000 miles.

7th Oct 2008, 11:29

Just changed calipers shoes and brake lines, and am unable to bleed them. No fluid comes out of master or brakes.. any suggestions?

28th Mar 2009, 21:11

I bought a 96' Cavalier in August of 2008. I have had nothing but problems with this car.

First I noticed the A/C wasn't working, but I didn't mind that so much since it was going to be cold soon anyway. I soon discovered that there was a crack in my windshield wiper reservoir so it didn't hold any fluid at all. This wasn't cool, but it was tolerable.

The service engine light had been on since I purchased the car, but they told me it was a malfunction in the dashboard and to ignore the light as it did not pose as a problem. In November, I decided it was time to find the source, so I brought it to a mechanic. He told me that the reason the light was on was because the head gasket had a leak in it. Super.

Ever since then, the problems have been worsening. I have to replenish the coolant every week as there is a crack in the coolant reservoir, it's also leaking into the engine, which in turn is making my car hard to start.

I had to have the thermostat casing replaced, because the previous one melted and cracked one day, causing my car to overheat severely while I was in the middle of nowhere on my way home. I blame the place that sold it to me most since they lied and failed to tell me about all the problems with it. But I had a Chevy Beretta in 2004, and had a lot of problems with that car too. I will never buy another Chevy product ever. EVER.

5th May 2009, 21:57

I have a 1996 2.4 Z24. I HATE this car. I have had it since 2005.

At 115,000 the ignition went out on me, that was expensive, 3 weeks later the AC went out, a few weeks later... there went the water pump. 4 days later.. yeah you guessed it.. blown rod...had to replace the motor.. new motor was faulty... had to get another one.

It sat for a few months so I could save money for the motor, and when I got it fixed, the windows don't roll down!!

I have replaced the starter, muffler, catalytic converter, gas cap, tensioner pulley and belt all in the last year. Now the darn thing is leaking antifreeze again!!! It is the thermostat housing seal.

Oh and the slave cylinder is out on the clutch... but I can manage that by letting the air out once a week so I can shift. I have had nothing but trouble with this car, and have put well over $3,000 in it. Not worth it at all.

23rd Jul 2009, 15:51

I own a 1996 Chevy Cavalier. The car ran fine until I took it to a shop to have the oil changed. When I drove it off the lot, it immediately began to make clunking noises in the engine and on the passengers side of the car. I called the shop and they said bring it back. I was driving about 30 mph and heard this tick catching sound, and then there was a clank and a clunk as if something had hit the ground and the car died out. I'm told that it may be my timing belt, but I'm wondering what hit the ground because it sounded like a heavy piece of metal. I like my car and only want to get it fixed.

24th Jul 2009, 12:42

21:11. Let me get this straight, you purchased an abused 12 year old car from a used car lot and you expect no problems?

Please DO NOT blame the car, as you mentioned, you are blaming the used car dealer. You should blame yourself as well. If you go out and blindly buy a car, especially from a dealer, all you can expect is trouble!

2nd Aug 2009, 00:21

I bought my '96 Z24 Cavalier with the 2.4 Twin Cam 5 speed in 2002 for $1,300, with 94,000 miles on it. The only problems I have had with it, is with the stupid design GM put out for the ignition system.

I've now got 141,xxx miles on it, and it still barks the tires in first and second gear. (not recommended)

I see a lot of complaints from people that bought USED cars. And as an ASE/EVT mechanic, I think most of the posters are partly the blame, for not having the car checked out by their mechanic, or a well known service center/shop.

When I saw this car advertised for $1,300, I wanted to know why. They didn't need it anymore. OK, cool. I took it to my shop and went over it thoroughly, and only found that it needed front brakes, in about 3-6 months. That was it.

Bottom line people, is if you want to buy a used car, have someone check it out first. Spending the $30-$50 on an inspection can possibly save you hundreds in the long run.

27th Aug 2009, 19:54

My mother is having some issues with her car as well. The panel and fog lights will not come on. Not only that, her back lights will not come on at night! (she replaced bulbs and fuses but nothing works) Also, the windows will not go up!!! What's going on? And the alternator went out too...Jeez.

28th Aug 2009, 16:29

When you say "back lights" I'm assuming you mean reverse lights. And if you've tried replacing the bulbs and the fuses and it still doesn't work, try replacing your reverse switch. This is a switch on the transmission that turns the reverse lights on when the transmission is shifted into reverse.

31st Aug 2009, 08:47

I just recently bought my 1996 Cavalier. It has 143,000 miles on it, but I just got my license and I thought it would be a great car, especially since it belonged to a family friend. So far I love my car, no big problems, and I love the small size and the sleek, sporty look.