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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,244 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Chevrolet Cavalier electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Jan 012007

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


My 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier ls has a malfunctioning speedometer, gas gauge, and sometimes temperature gauge and tachometer. The vehicle had not sustained any damage that could have possibly caused the malfunction; this problem is solely the result of poor manufacturing. After searching online and calling Chevy I confirmed that the problem is with the gauge cluster, an electronic component behind the dash. This cluster costs $500 to replace, presumably with one that works properly, a concept which is hard to imagine with the Chevy Cavalier. Somewhere in the manufacturing process General Motors must have decided to cut a few dollars and get some cheap parts, because the malfunction is widespread and consistent in all the reports I've read. This issue absolutely needs to become a recall so that Chevy is forced to pay the $500 replacement fee; and monetary justice aside, malfunctioning gauges could create potentially life-threatening dangers. It is not a recall yet, but is absolutely needs to become one.

- Usaf Academy, CO, USA

problem #14

Feb 022003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Since I purchased the vehicle the radio has turned off by itself it also erases any programmed stations. The windows don't always go up, it happens off and on, it happens to one window and not the other and then reverses.

- Hudson, OH, USA

problem #13

Jul 242005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact's daughter was driving the vehicle. While driving, all of the lights on the dashboard came on and then went off. About an hour later the contact's vehicle crashed because she could not steer it. The contact stated it was a clear day, there was not a lot of traffic, and no reason for her to lose control. There was a code found, B2625 for display dimming pulse. It appeared to be a problem with the lighting display. There no indication that there was power failure at the time of the accident. A police report was taken. The contact's daughter sustained bruises and had a backache. There has not been any repairs to the vehicle at this time. Updated 11/29/2005 -

- Woobury, MN, USA

problem #12

May 202003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I bought my 2003 Cavalier in Feb. 2003. Within months of purchase I began to have problems with my tail lights. My left tail light burnt out completely (both turn signal and brake light). It was brought into the dealership in which they replaced the socket, bulb and greased the socket. In the following months, my left tail light continued to fail. Two of those times I was pulled over by the local police. Also during the summer of 2003, my battery died, although no lights were left on; my car stalled while in drive waiting at a stop light; my window motors died and had to be replaced; my locks failed to work properly which also had to be replaced. This past year I've had even more problems. As of recently, both left and right tail lights failed, and both were replaced, and the right one went out yet again. The trunk was leaking, which caused mold to grow in my trunk and damaging personal effects, and also causing the right socket and wires to become corroded. The socket and wires were replaced again, and the leak was fixed, but dealer refused to replaced fabric in trunk. Driver's side window motor died yet again, and was replaced. Cd player stopped working. Dealership ordered and installed new system. Currently I have problems with my power steering upon ignition when cold outside, squeaking sounds over front tires while going over bumps and turning, and all air vents, except passenger side are not functioning properly. Dealership looked at vents but stated that they were "operating as designed." Over the past 2 years, my "new" car has been back to the dealership about 15 times. Way to go GM...another winner!

- North Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #11

Oct 102003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
Starting in October 2004, the dashboard lights in my 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier began turning off anytime I drove the vehicle with the headlights turned on. I took the car into a Chevrolet dealership four times regarding this problem and it has never been resolved. The first time I took the car in, the dealership informed me that they could not replicate the problem and were unable to conduct any repairs. The second time, the dealership still could not replicate the problem, but replaced the multi-function switch. The third time, I took it to a different dealership and they made a "highly educated guess repair." The fourth and last time, the dealership made no repair attempt and basically told me to not bring the vehicle in again unless I am able to bring it in with the dashboard lights turned off. At this point, I am driving the vehicle with a flashlight in the car so that I can see my speed and other gauges when the dashboard lights are off. While they do not turn off every time I drive with the headlights on, they are off quite frequently. At the worst, I fear this will cause an accident. At the least, I assume I will be pulled over at some point for driving with a flashlight on in the car. While I understand that the dealership has not been able to replicate the problem, it is very dangerous. I have a 5-year extended warranty and GM is required to warrant all electrical problems under it. From internet research, I can tell that GM has multiple problems with the electrical systems in the 2003-2004 Cavaliers and I feel this is one more manifestation of that manufacturing problem.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #10

Jun 062003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
While driving approximately every two months the brake light will illuminate the dash board. The fuel pump blew out. The heating a cooling went bad. The vehicle makes noise when making right turns. Consumer has not found out what it is as of yet. The vehicle has been into the dealer at least twenty times.

- Parsippany, NJ, USA

problem #9

Dec 032004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,033 miles


Consumer experienced electrical problems with vehicle. While driving, all the lights cut off including the interior lights. The consumer took the vehicle to be serviced three times within the last two weeks. They explained to her that they could not find the glitch and until they do she would have to drive the vehicle as it is. The theft service shuts down in the vehicle. The airbag light came on. When the defroster or heater is on the consumer smells a burning smell.

- Lakeview, OH, USA

problem #8

Oct 112004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 24,000 miles
First problem with my car was a short in the brake lights. Chevrolet repaired that. Then the horn would work randomly. Chevrolet replaced that. The A/C failed to work on the driver side. Chevrolet repaired that. Then the keyless entry randomly stopped working, Chevrolet told me they cannot find anything wrong the keyless entry still doesn't work properly. Then the car started turning off while I was driving. Chevrolet again told me they could not repair the problem due to nothing registering on the computer. My car turned off mid turn and I hit a brick wall. Chevrolet investigated the accident and told me my car didn't turn off. I got my car back last Tuesday and my car turned off again. I made an appointment to bring my car back to Chevrolet and its turned off again. I guess Chevrolet will never be able to repair my problem.

- Haledon, NJ, USA

problem #7

Aug 142004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
Tail/turn light bulbs constantly burning. Replaced them many times. When replaced can notice electrical fire smell and light bulbs plastic base is melted. Have made an schedule to take to dealer, but noticed many other complaints regarding the same matter, from other consumers. Is anything being done" is there a fix for it"

- Des Plaines, IN, USA

problem #6

Jan 202004


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
While driving at any speed vehicle stalled. Consumer restarted the vehicle, and took it to dealer for inspection. Mechanic that computer needed to be reset and reset it. However, the problem recurred.

- Elkhorn, WI, USA

problem #5

Nov 302003


  • miles


Problems with vehicle's turn signals being blown out. The vehicle's turn signal lights have blown on several occasions. Although the dealer continued to repair them, they continue to blow. The consumer believes she was sold a lemon.

- Owings Mills , MD, USA

problem #4

Mar 282003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,804 miles
My car has been dying at red lights and while I am driving it! it takes several tries before the car will restart. It is only 9 months old. My car dealership told me I can bring it in but the will probably not be able to detect the problem. Therefore, they will probably not be able to repair anything.

- Cedarville, OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 242003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,500 miles
The tires shake and vibrate around sixty miles/hr. So I took them to sam's club to their tire center in December of 2003. They rotated and balanced the tires. I drove the car for one month, then the tires started doing the same thing over again. About one month later, I went back to sam's club and they balanced my tires again. So here it is March of 2004, the tires are doing the same thing again shaking and vibrating around sixty miles/hr. I called Goodyear, they told me to bring the car in. They looked at the tires, and said that the rear tires were worn on the inside, and that I would have to take the car back to the dealership to get the tires fixed. They could not diagnose the specific origin of the vibration. Basically, for a brand new car, we should not have these kind of problems at 24,000 miles (as stated by mechanics from Goodyear, sam's club and Firestone). 5. cruise control switch- if right turn signal is used when cruise control is activated, the cruise control will automatically deactivate itself. 6. power failure- car all of a sudden lost power while at a stoplight. 7. A/C & heater- A/C and heater make loud noise. 8. rear turn signal light bulbs burned out 4 times on each side. GM replacement bulbs last only 1 to 1 1/2 month.

- North Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 062003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 300 miles
Within a week of recieving my car it began to stall when comming to a stop otherwise it would idle wrong. If it did not die it would idle high.

- Oak Run, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 122003


  • miles
The turn signal and brake light comes on and off intermittently and the cruise control doesn't work. The mechanic from the dealer ship noted that the electrical socket was melted. Fill in additional information.

- Cheswick, PA, USA

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