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Rear Door Question


I’ve just gotten an old 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier (4 door model) from my parents and it’s in pretty bad shape. I’m headed over to the salvage yard tomorrow to look for some parts and one thing on my list is the driver’s side rear door. It is my understanding that the Cavalier received a facelift in 2000 and again in 2003. Will a door from a 1995-2000 or 2003-2005 model work on my 2002? From pictures I’ve seen the doors don’t look like they changed much and I’ve got the model with manual windows and locks.

Extra Question:
It’s been sitting parked since ~2014. What should I do before trying to start it up?


Remove the gas cap and sniff the odor of the gas.

If it doesn’t smell like gasoline, that’s just the beginning of your problems.


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I’m not sure what doors will fit. I’d try to start it before door shopping, though!

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The facelift in 2003 was mostly front end and back end fascia and bumpers. Ask the junk yard if they have a door that fits. They will have a database with parts interchangeability.

What you do is use Google and put in ( starting a car that has set for years ) and you will find articles and videos and you can use the ones that you can actually do. Also the part about not buying a door or anything else until you determine if this 16 year old low value vehicle is even worth the price of a tank of fuel.

The Cavalier is free, and many of the repairs can be done when the OP has money to do so. It’s worth around $1000 in clean condition, and maybe that could be used as a rough top end on the cost of repairs.

Hello everyone,

I looked on Google for a while last night and couldn’t find any info about the door, so when I went by the scrapyard today they didn’t have one from my year range, so I compared a door from a 1999 against photos from my door and everything looked the same with the hinges and shape. I just decided screw it and bought the door and setting next to the existing door it looks the same. I’ll try and bolt it on sometime next week and see if it works out.

Thanks for the advice

Don’t you think you should see if this free vehicle even runs first ?

The car had been in my family almost since new so I know the history of it. It ran just fine when it was parked but the brake pads had worn down and nobody bothered fixing it because the whole thing is in pretty rough shape generally. As far as I remember the car had no real mechanical issues whatsoever. It was going to be towed off to the scrapyard but I said I’d take it.

That means nothing. The fuel in the tank is worthless and the gas lines are probably clogged . The battery is dead to the world. The engine needs to be turned by hand to make sure it is not seized . The tires are junk . Also possible that the brakes are rusted shut.

Unfortunately, I have to agree. After sitting for 4 yrs, if it had no issues when parked, it probably will if/when it’s resurrected. If it was parked in a garage, chances are a little better for less issues. But the fuel issue would be my biggest concern. I think what Volvo is trying to say is that getting it back on the road in decent mechanical shape will no doubt pose some problems. So I’d definitely do that before worrying too much about the cosmetic stuff. Or at least get it to crank and idle first. An old car that won’t run with a bad door isn’t worth much less than an old car that won’t run with a better door. So my first priority would be getting it to start.


Just figured I’d do an update on this. The door from a 1999 does fit and seal properly (unfortunately not the right color.) As for the rest of the car, I pushed it out of it’s parking spot, jacked it up and worked for about three days. When I was done it cranked right up and drove right back to the spot it was parked. I got the license and insurance and it’s been driving great for about a month now. I did end up spending about ~$850 on parts, an expenditure I was willing to take as the vehicle has a lot of sentimental value to me.

Thanks for all the advice.


A Cavalier with sentimental value? Must be sentiment for the owners. Anyway, good job. I hope it serves you will for several years more.