The "knuckles popping" sound when you turn is definitely your CV joints
having gone bad. Whoever changed your CV shafts did a horrible job. Get
under the car and check the inner and outer boots for the CV shafts (they
are the ones that run from the transmission into your tires), without doubt
you will see the boots are cracked and there is no grease inside of them.
If you are willing to do the job yourself, it is a fairly easy job if you
have basic mechanic skills and rebuilt axles are cheap from the autoparts
store (for a Cavalier the price is probably around $150 for both sides).
Rebuilding the axles yourself is time-consuming and messy (lots of grease)
and, in my opinion, not worth it.
I am not sure about the odometer. Is it digital or analog?
I have the same problem with my 99 Cavalier odometer, I read some places
both the 98 & 99 have the problems, they fix it but you have take the whole
dash board and sent it in.
Here is my problems:
* First it displays some broken segments, it does not show the whole number.
* Then it starts to display some numbers, then alternate the other numbers.
my car has about 65432 miles, it would display numbers 6 blank 4 blank 2
first then about a minute later it would display blank 5 blank 3 blank and
keep switching back to the other.
How about your?
PS. I tried to look for a recall but no luck
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