1998 Chevy Cavalier Car stopped

Tiny
FRIENDLYCAROWNER
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 117,200 MILES
My cavalier was running perfectly on Friday, but on Saturday as I was on the highway it gradually came to a stop. I had it towed to a mechanic, and after checking it and having to pay over a $140 fee, he told me the engine was gone due to a compression problem.

What could have gone wrong? Also with the cavalier I often find something wrong with it. I just paid for new cooplant tube, radiator hose, tailpipe and muffler, battery and other things in February. Then in October the engine dies and I was told that a replacement engine would be over $5,000.

What could I have done to prevent this from happening? I think I have been takeing this in for regular maintenance?
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Monday, November 16th, 2009 AT 11:46 PM

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Tiny
KNOWYOURAUTO
  • MEMBER
Sometimes a car is just a lemon. We call that engine being built on "beer Friday." On the topic you asked, good maintenance is a combination of exactly what the manufacturer suggest and a little extra.

I owned a brand new Dodge Dakota when I was a teenager that only recommended replacing the engine oil filter every OTHER oil change. Any mechanic will tell you that is just a bad idea.

Besides doing EXACTLY what the maintenance schedule suggests for the severe driver schedule, do a complete oil and filter change no more than every 4,000 miles. Spark plugs, even if it calls for platinum or iridium no more than 50k miles. (Copper style every 24-30k)

Either use a reputable gas company like Exxon, Chevron, Texaco or any other big name every time you fill to avoid stale fuel and carbon buildup. And every other year have a fuel injection service performed. Gas treatments are a fine alternative but must be performed more often as they are severely diluted in the gas tank.

Regards.
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Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 AT 12:45 PM
Tiny
FRIENDLYCAROWNER
  • MEMBER
Thank You for the response.
The manufacturer's handbook that came with the car recommended an oil change either every 12 months or 7,500 miles under highway conditions.
The dealer and every other place I went to have repairs told me that I should have my oil changes every 3 months or 3,000 miles(the Short trip/City schedule in the handbook). Most of my driving was to drive to work on the highway and so I thought following the highway schedule was the thing to do. Now that my car died and you have given me this advice, I plan to get my oil changes for my new car more frequently.
Thank you for enlightening me!
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Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 AT 9:21 PM

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