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Chevrolet Cavalier Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Chevrolet Cavalier based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

A door window may move slowly or stop in mid travel due to a failing power window motor. The affected window may start working again after the motor cools off. Replacing the faulty window motor will commonly correct this concern.

The turn signal switch in the steering column may fail causing the turn signals not to work on one or both sides.

The ignition module or an ignition coil may fail, causing an engine misfire, the Check Engine Light may or may not illuminate. Diagnoses will be required to determine the cause and needed repair.

The timing chain tensioner and guides are prone to wear and may develop an abnormal noise, requiring replacement.

One or more of the fuel injectors may short out electrically causing a rough idle condition.

Illumination of the Check Engine Light may be the result of a loose or worn gas cap.

The ignition coil housing may fail causing an engine misfire on one or more cylinders.

The fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart.

The 2.3L 4 cylinder engine can be prone to head gasket failure. This can result in coolant loss and engine overheating.

The 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier has a known issue with the air pump check valve which causes illumination of the check engine light. There are no notable symptoms, but the vehicle will not pass state inspection or smog testing. 

When the valve fails, it sticks closed, and the computer sets the code P1416. Replacement of the check valve is the only fix, as the valve is not serviceable. 

This page can provide more information about the air pump check valve. 

The serpentine belt tensioner can fail; it may become noisy and/or the belt may jump off. Replacement of the failed tensioner will be necessary.

It is not uncommon for the power steering rack to develop a fluid leak requiring replacement of the rack assembly. Loss of power steering fluid may also cause an abnormal noise and damage to the power steering pump

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The engine vacuum hose to the MAP sensor may crack resulting in a vacuum leak causing the engine to run rough and/or stall.