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1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance #4679897
02/27/18 07:19 PM
02/27/18 07:19 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 764
USA
97prizm Offline OP
97prizm  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 764
USA
Hi all,

The Pontiac vibe I had was totalled and am now getting a 97 cavalier automatic. It's rough with 143,000 on the odometer. New oil and stp filter. I detest automatic transmissions but need a car so. Anything to look for on this vehicle? No drain plug on the radiator and I can't find the atf plug. Thanks. Hope to get some money saved as the sister didn't take care of it.


If at first you don't succeed fail fail again. (Waldorf and Statler.)
1997 Geo Prizm
1984 Mazda RX-7 Spec 7
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4679902
02/27/18 07:22 PM
02/27/18 07:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,073
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,073
ME
Frame rust over the rear axle. I'd come up with more but "USA" is too general a location.

The 3t40 tranny in these is actually pretty good. Change its fluid and filter, adjust the TV cable, and you're mint. drive

Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4679917
02/27/18 07:41 PM
02/27/18 07:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,529
Central Maryland
HangFire Offline
HangFire  Offline
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,529
Central Maryland
Rather solid little cars. EGR Valve tends to freeze up at high mileage/age, and you get a code. They're not cheap about $150-$200, but they are right on top and easy to replace.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4679923
02/27/18 07:52 PM
02/27/18 07:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,180
Fort Worth, Texas
clinebarger Online content
clinebarger  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,180
Fort Worth, Texas
Didn't some of those have a 4T40E?


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/Auto
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: clinebarger] #4679940
02/27/18 08:21 PM
02/27/18 08:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 841
KS
FordBroncoVWJeta Offline
FordBroncoVWJeta  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 841
KS
Originally Posted By: clinebarger
Didn't some of those have a 4T40E?
Yes, 2001 it became standard.


17 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T
15 Honda CRV 2.4
12 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0
01 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4679943
02/27/18 08:26 PM
02/27/18 08:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 683
South Carolina
eyeofthetiger Offline
eyeofthetiger  Offline
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 683
South Carolina
If it was mine, I'd take a chance and service the transmission. I might even unplug the TCC and fill it with Type F. But don't do that. popcorn2


2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980
1986 Ford Ranger 2.0 - uhh
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4680028
02/27/18 09:48 PM
02/27/18 09:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,803
USA
slacktide_bitog Online content
slacktide_bitog  Online Content
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,803
USA
Unfortunately, Dorman does not make an aftermarket pan with a drain plug for the 3-speed auto.

Now, if you had the 4-speed auto 4T40E, then you could get a Dorman pan for it.

Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4680076
02/27/18 10:31 PM
02/27/18 10:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 558
MN
14Accent Offline
14Accent  Offline
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 558
MN
Maintenance?! It's a 2.2 cavalier! As long as it isn't rotten underneath (check the subframe and steering rack mounts CLOSELY), then you're pretty much good to go. Either a 3t40 or 4t40 will be bulletproof (the 2200 doesn't make enough power to hurt a fly), and the 2200 is almost impossible to kill. Just change the major fluids and call it good.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

2003 Cadillac Seville STS - The winter "beater", it uses the Volt's fuel
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 14Accent] #4680092
02/27/18 10:48 PM
02/27/18 10:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,180
Fort Worth, Texas
clinebarger Online content
clinebarger  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,180
Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: 14Accent
Maintenance?! It's a 2.2 cavalier! As long as it isn't rotten underneath (check the subframe and steering rack mounts CLOSELY), then you're pretty much good to go. Either a 3t40 or 4t40 will be bulletproof (the 2200 doesn't make enough power to hurt a fly), and the 2200 is almost impossible to kill. Just change the major fluids and call it good.


If it is a 4T40E, The shift solenoids sit above the fluid level & can burn up causing the trans to miss 2 gears. This can make owners think the trans is bad when it just needs shift solenoids & a internal harness.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/Auto
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4680136
02/28/18 12:04 AM
02/28/18 12:04 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,033
Phoenix
dishdude Online content
dishdude  Online Content
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,033
Phoenix
These things run forever with about zero maintenance. Keep oil, coolant and ATF in it and there isn't much you can do to kill it. The weakness is if you get the engine remotely warm, you'll kill the headgasket. Even if you do that, it's a 2 hour job. Buy a 6 pack and start drinking when you start, you'll have 5 left over when you finish!


2018 Challenger SRT
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: dishdude] #4680174
02/28/18 01:20 AM
02/28/18 01:20 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 17,122
Michigan
daves87rs Offline
daves87rs  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 17,122
Michigan
Originally Posted By: dishdude
These things run forever with about zero maintenance. Keep oil, coolant and ATF in it and there isn't much you can do to kill it. The weakness is if you get the engine remotely warm, you'll kill the headgasket. Even if you do that, it's a 2 hour job. Buy a 6 pack and start drinking when you start, you'll have 5 left over when you finish!


This!


Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Henry Ford
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: daves87rs] #4680255
02/28/18 06:56 AM
02/28/18 06:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,226
Central Virginia
Silverado12 Offline
Silverado12  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,226
Central Virginia
Originally Posted By: daves87rs
Originally Posted By: dishdude
These things run forever with about zero maintenance. Keep oil, coolant and ATF in it and there isn't much you can do to kill it. The weakness is if you get the engine remotely warm, you'll kill the headgasket. Even if you do that, it's a 2 hour job. Buy a 6 pack and start drinking when you start, you'll have 5 left over when you finish!


This!


Might have 5 left over if I started with a 12 pack lol.


12 Chevy Silverado ext. cab LS, 2WD 4.3 auto
18 Mustang GT 5.0 auto
07 Harley Dyna Street Bob 96 c.i. 6 sp.
00 Mustang GT auto
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4680261
02/28/18 07:03 AM
02/28/18 07:03 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 19,081
Sunny Florida
SteveSRT8 Offline
SteveSRT8  Offline
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 19,081
Sunny Florida
We had 3 different versions of these cars when my kids were young. Whether it's a Pontiac Sunturd or a Chevy Cavalier (Caval-ee-AY) it is an incredibly durable car. Parts can practically be found on the side of the road, driving dynamics are very poor, noises are unsophisticated.

But IME they run nearly forever and are very cheep to keep...


"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
J. William Fulbright
Best ET-12.79 @ 111 mph
4340 pounds, Street tires
Just like we go to Publix
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4683503
03/03/18 07:48 PM
03/03/18 07:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 11,194
Albany, NY
Nick R Offline
Nick R  Offline
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 11,194
Albany, NY
Most of the people in this thread are right, but I don't miss mine. I had to put so much money and work into it in the one year I owned it I was glad to see it go. Late 90s GM nickle and diming at it's finest (worst?)


2019 VW Jetta SE 1.4T/8 speed auto/Factory Fill 0W-20/<1,000 miles
Re: 1997 Chevy cavalier 2.2 auto maintenance [Re: 97prizm] #4684630
03/04/18 10:23 PM
03/04/18 10:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 8,598
Florida
artificialist Offline
artificialist  Offline
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 8,598
Florida
Sometimes a rattling noise will be caused by a failing timing chain and chain hardware. Good thing this is an OHV engine, SOHC and DOHC engines usually require more labor time to do the job.


2010 Lancer Ralliart Sportback
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