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Old 01-22-2008, 01:47 PM   #1
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2001 Cavalier

Well I bit the bullet and bought a 2001 Chevy Cavalier 2 door with a 5 speed and not much else. It has 79K miles on it and seems to be great shape.

I am getting tired of paying $400.00 a moth for gas. The Cavalier is rated at 33 on the highway so if I can get at least 30 I will be cutting my gas bill in half.

It has been a while since I have owned an american car but it was either this or one of the big 3 Japanense cars with 140K. I have been searching around local dealerships and the internet using Consumer Reports as my guide. I wanted something that was at least average reliability and was not on their 'cars to avoid list'. Which I believe the 96-96 and 2003 are on that list.

The car has its rattles and other noises but as long as it is reliable I will be happy. I will definately be listening to the radio alot more. The car should be easy to work on and the parts alot cheaper than a Honda.
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2001 Chevy Cavalier 2d 5sp Best MPG 43.94


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Old 01-22-2008, 02:20 PM   #2
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Thats a good car with quirks. Rattles, squeeks, and cheap stereos I can deal with. You've got the OHV 2.2 engine and an isuzu transmission. Which are both sturdy pieces when cared for. It is likely the A/C compressor will die at some point. Ours failed around 120k miles. Ours also hard a harmless lifter knock for a 100k miles, it was worse in cold weather. I had trouble keeping the brake rotors from warping(wife's car). I kept an extra set turned and swaped them every so often. There $16 each. Other than that it was dead reliable, never died, never failed to start for 6 years and 180k. My wife averaged 26mpg in rush hour commute using the A/C. It got around 33mpg on the highway. It had the 3 speed auto. I'd say you'll end up getting a good bit over 30mpg.
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Old 01-22-2008, 05:44 PM   #3
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yup i have the same engine, very reliable but has that pesky lifter noise( hydrolic lifters and 140 K miles of wear on mine). but starts in - temps and 100+ temps every time. i think you will be very happy with it, has decent pep to. might have to WOT it to get on insterstaes but eh. yea they squeak rattle and make odd noises but ignore them. parts are super cheap so when they break you only have to pay with pocket lint compared to arm and leg for jap cars...

oh and use delco plugs in those engines!!!! somehting odd with the engien and only likeing delco plugs....
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:45 AM   #4
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phleas seems to be doing OK with his 2003 Cavalier
see www.gassavers.org/garage/view/649
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:12 AM   #5
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My 1st tank was 28.9.
Todays fill up showed 31.4.

Only real difference was that I pumped up the tires to max sidewall pressure which is 35 psi. The backs were at 29 and the fronts were 26 and 27 or so.

In a couple of months when the temps rise I should be able to get mid 30's easily.
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:53 PM   #6
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I just bought a 2002 sedan from my sister. Has only 58,000. Unlike some peoples this one has had it's fair share of problems.
The fuel pump relay took a dump and stranded my sister in downtown New Orleans. Car sat there for over a week before I was able to start it. Swapped the fuel pump relay twice with the A/C's with no luck. Finally got it started after I shook the relay panel.
Bought a new relay and now the A/C's relay is stuck closed and the A/C will not shut off! Time for another trip to Auto Zone.
The starter is starting to die. Will pulse in the middle of turning the engine over. Never seen that before.
The dash is cracked in 4 places near the windshield. The dash rattles and so is something in the driverside rear door.
The brake warp super easy. There is a weird cracking binding sound coming from the rear suspension when applying the brakes while backing out of the driveway.
The valve caover gasket had leaking oil for quite a while. Bought a fel-pro and it doesn't fit right. Just used a lot of seal a gasket to stop the leak instead.
There are a few more things with the car but I can't think of it now.
The car was taken care of I swear! I do all of the maintenance on my families cars which consist of all Japanese. Non of them have issues and all but one has well over 100,000 on them.
I am not biased. I like Chevys and Fords just fine I have had 5 mustangs in the past.
Anyway, I'm finished just wanted to give another story about Cavaliers.
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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I've only had regular maintenance on my 02 Cavalier with about 83K miles on it now(bought used at 21K). The windshield is cracked but that could happen to any car. For the price it's not a bad car;just a struggle to get mileage like Japanese cars.
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brelandt View Post
I just bought a 2002 sedan from my sister. Has only 58,000. Unlike some peoples this one has had it's fair share of problems.
The fuel pump relay took a dump and stranded my sister in downtown New Orleans. Car sat there for over a week before I was able to start it. Swapped the fuel pump relay twice with the A/C's with no luck. Finally got it started after I shook the relay panel.
Bought a new relay and now the A/C's relay is stuck closed and the A/C will not shut off! Time for another trip to Auto Zone.
The starter is starting to die. Will pulse in the middle of turning the engine over. Never seen that before.
The dash is cracked in 4 places near the windshield. The dash rattles and so is something in the driverside rear door.
The brake warp super easy. There is a weird cracking binding sound coming from the rear suspension when applying the brakes while backing out of the driveway.
The valve caover gasket had leaking oil for quite a while. Bought a fel-pro and it doesn't fit right. Just used a lot of seal a gasket to stop the leak instead.
There are a few more things with the car but I can't think of it now.
The car was taken care of I swear! I do all of the maintenance on my families cars which consist of all Japanese. Non of them have issues and all but one has well over 100,000 on them.
I am not biased. I like Chevys and Fords just fine I have had 5 mustangs in the past.
Anyway, I'm finished just wanted to give another story about Cavaliers.

Oh yeah, you jogged my memory they do leak out of the VC gasket sometimes, I had the mechanic replace it the first time and ignored it after that. It sounds like there is a loose wire at the relay bracket or possibly corrosion on one of the contacts. I've used that relay swap trick many times on j bodies.

The weird noise your hearing while backing up might be the brake adjusters in the rear. Ours would get dirty and not work correctly. A friend disassembled and lubed them up for us once and the sound was gone for couple of years. Another friend of mine spent $1000 chasing a gremlin that turned out to be a bad TPS sensor on a 2001 cavalier.
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:09 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tip on the noise. I need to adjust the parking cable anyhow, so this will be a good time to take care of it.
Like others have said good car for the money. Just don't expect much. getting into my brothers 2000 civic HX right after driving the cavalier you can really see the short falls on the cavalier. Civic has NO squeaks or rattles. Idles smooth, drives great and as nice flat floorboards.
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