1992 Vauxhall Cavalier L 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


A good family holdall


Dashboard lights failed at 40K.

Even after servicing car vibrates in gear at rest.

Water pump failed at 70K.

Rear parcel shelf hangers tend to snap.

Fuel pump leaked oil - continued to function satisfactorily, simply made the engine smell of hot oil.

Head gasket failed at 97K. Quite expensive to repair.

General Comments:

The car was originally a "mobility" car and immaculate when I obtained it from a non Vauxhall dealer. It is the only Cavalier I have ever come across that is not fitted with either a sun roof or central locking, although I do not miss either and they are two less items to go wrong.

I tend to keep my cars for some years and the Cavalier has performed well and reliably, often very heavily loaded with everything for a family holiday in Cornwall, including a roof rack mounted luggage box.

Having an automatic gearbox and power steering is a boon, although the car has always vibrated when in gear and held on the footbrake. I am told that this is a characteristic of the gearbox fitted.

I use a local non franchised mechanic to carry out major repairs and carry out everyday maintenance myself. Unfortunately only Vauxhall dealers have the computer equipment to tune the carburettor.

The suspension is quite firm and with age tends to crash over bumps.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th January, 2003

1992 Vauxhall Cavalier L 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Cheap, cheerful and very reliable car


My Cam belt Snapped at 93,000 miles, there was no damage to the engine whatsoever, replaced belt and it was back to normal.

Gear stick covers seem to wear badly.

Engine temperature sensor light kept illuminating, replaced and everything ran smoothly.

Getting sluggish now at 162000 miles.

Speedo internal lamp x1 failed at 130,000. Although there are approx. 3 fitted.

General Comments:

This car has been very reliable.

Wouldn't think twice in considering another purchase of a cavalier.

Not a sports car, but can do 100mph no problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th June, 2002

1992 Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 16v 2.0 litre twin overhead cam from UK and Ireland


A wolf in sheep's clothing


Alternator went a week after I bought it.

A week and a half later, the alternator tensioner pulley was replaced, due to bearing failure.

Shortly after, I started losing water at the rate of 1.5 litres per week. Couldn't find any visible leakage. Turned out to be the water pump bearing. I was terrified at the thought of having to take the cam belt off, but went through with it anyway. Could not accurately time camshafts. i.e. alignment of cam pulley pointers.

Every thing was fine until a year later, when on the very first cold morning of 2000, I got 50 foot to the end of my road when it made a sound like ball bearings falling onto granite. The car stopped, and so did my heart. Turning the engine over, I noticed the cam belt was moving. To cut a long story short, the right hand cam belt idler pulley decided to shed its plastic outer casing, losing about an inch of cam belt tension. Rendering both cams a good few degrees out of sync. Bending eight inlet valves and cracking eight valve guides. Cost me near a grand to sort. Ended up getting it gas-flowed at the same time. Should have thought about idler pulleys when I replaced water pump.

Driver door electric window gets very stiff when in dry weather.

The rear silencer has fallen to bits internally.

General Comments:

Bought this car as an upgrade, as I previously owned a 1990 SRi 8v. The 8v I found had much more torque low to mid range.

I find the 16v very strong between 5 and 7 thousand RPM. And I think is faster on the motorway than a previously owned 325 SE. It also seems to pull sideways slightly under max load, probably due to frame stress. I am going to fit a brace between the tops of suspension struts. Also had trouble using an induction kit; the engine stalled nearly every time I pulled up. Reverted to standard air box until I find someone who can supply a proper fitting performance panel filter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd June, 2002

1st Jan 2003, 09:29

I've had the same problem with electric windows. A little light oil (3 in 1) worked into the runners should do the trick.