Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

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CarComplaints.com Notes: Widespread instrument panel failure is a common and frustrating reality for many 2004-2005 Chevy Cavalier owners. They're often left in the dark when it comes to knowing how fast they're going, what their engine temperature is, or even how much fuel they have left in the tank.

The likely culprit is a series of bad "stepper motors" which control the gauges and are no longer covered under warranty. Think not being able to see your speed is a safety issue and should be recalled for all owners? We'd agree. Trouble is, apparently the NHTSA does not.

7.7

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$438.00
Average Mileage:
68,290 miles
Total Complaints:
57 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (24 reports)
  2. chevy should issue a recall (20 reports)
  3. new instrument cluster (13 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #57

Jul 102009

Cavalier BS 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

We bought this car used with 43,000 miles on it. About a year after purchase the gauges that measures car temperature quit moving. A few months after that the RPM gauge started malfunctioning (showing obviously wrong readings) and eventually stopped all together. 6-8 months after that the speedometer began showing that we were going 100 when we were going 35 or that we were going 15 on the freeway. Now the speedometer doesn't move at all. The gas gauge is still fairly accurate, but every now and then after filling the gauge goes so far to the left (as if the tank is extra full) that it would interfere with the other gauges (if they worked).

There are no recalls on this and the mechanic we took it to said it would cost almost $900 to fix. Since that is a little less than half of what the car is worth and too expensive for us we did not get it fixed. However, this can be a very dangerous issue, I think, since you can't know how fast you are going or how hot your engine is (until it's noticeably on fire). Please address this Chevy!

- , Riverton, UT, USA

problem #56

Nov 022014

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

Bought this '04 Chev Cavalier 4 door automatic in '05 with 25,000 miles. Fuel pump went out at about 100,000 miles (that's average), been fine since, gauges acting up last 2 years, getting worse. It's like a electrical gremlin.

Went to Chevy DEALER and they said 'oh it's the cluster'. Ordered a 're-manufactured' cluster, had installed at the tune of $625, driving home, got 4 miles away from dealer and it's NO better! Haven't gone back, knowing they want MORE $$$$ to fix. and probably won't fix the problem.

Gauges go on and off. Idiot lights flash on and off. Turn on the A.C and cruise control stops. Headlights go on and off. Radio comes on for NO reason!!!!!!!!!!!!

Driving me crazy.

- , Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #55

Sep 172012

Cavalier

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

My gauges either stopped moving all together OR work randomly.... It's so annoying not knowing my speed, temperature, gas level etc.... They stopped working one by one and sometimes don't move at all. Other times they won't go back to the starting position when the car is turned off, which makes it a pain in the ass when I get in.... How much gas do I have? How fast am I going? Will I overheat???..... Recall it already!

- , Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #54

Nov 012011

Cavalier

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Just irritated that so many people have this issue and it's not been addressed, as far as I know? Started with the speedometer, disconnecting the battery worked once, now it's never correct. Then went into my temperature gauge, and fuel. Only accurate one now "some of the time" is my rpms. Would be nice to KNOW for sure what speed i'm going. As I drive a route every night it is extremely difficult for me to get my car into the shop and back out in time to use it again. It keeps me in kind of a vicious cycle as driving through 5 small towns I need to have my gauges correct to avoid speeding, and over heating. --- frustrated.

- , Twin Falls, ID, USA

problem #53

May 272012

Cavalier

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

MY TEMP GUAGE WENT ABOVE NORMAL AND I PULLED OVER . SPEND MY NIGHT WAITING FOR THE ENG TO COOL BUT I NEVER DID . WHEN I STARTED THE CAR AFTER WAITING FOR 1 HR THE TEM GAUGE READ HOTTER THAN IT DID WHEN I TURNED IT OF WHEN I THOUGHT IT WAS OVERHEATING. THE GAUGE WENT CRAZY. I KEEP TURNING IT IGNITION ON AND OFF AND IT MOVES UP HOTTER. AND HOTTER. IT TURNED DOWN AND BLOCKED THE SPEEDOMETER AND THE FUEL GAUGE STARTED ACTING THE SAME WAY. I AM SO MAD! IM HAPPY THAT IT WASN'T OVERHEATING BUT I'M SCARED IF IT DOSE I WONT KNOW. THIS CAVALIER IS MY FIRST AMERICAN CAR OUT OF ABOUT 6-7 CARS I HAVE HAD IN THE PAST. THIS CAVALIER IS ALSO THE ONLY CAR PROBLEM I HAVE EVER HAD. FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING AND A LAST TIME !

- , Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #52

Dec 142010

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 154,782 miles

I rael hate it .. not only is it the instrument cluster but also when the gauges stop working or jump around on their own the heater/ A/C blower also stops

- , Woodruff, SC, USA

problem #51

Feb 152010

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,203 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

FIRST THE TEMP GAUGE STOPPED WORKING THEN THE SPEEDOMETER THEN THE GAS GAUGE DEALER WANTS 100.00 JUST TO LOOK AT IT COULD COST UP TO 1000.00 TO FIX

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #50

May 022011

Cavalier LS Sport 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Speedometer stopped functioning, followed by all other gauges. Now none of them work. I have been told the instrument panel needs replaced, approx 500-700 dollars total. I am not putting that much more money into this car. I have already had numerous electrical problems. Time to drive it 'til it stops......then junk it......and never get another Chevy!

- , Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #49

Sep 122011

Cavalier V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,382 miles

Honestly, with this many complaints about the same issue with the same model of car...I would think Chevy would do it's part to do a recall and/or help people with this issue. I have had this car since I was 16, I am 24 years old it has been a good car, but I am a single mom and I don't have the $485 they say it takes to do this nor do I have a car to borrow for the days it will take to fix. It's a dangerous problem if my speedometer and my temp gauge are not working...my gas gauge will probably be next. If they know this is a problem they should offer some kind of assistance to rectify the issue. I'm really upset.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #48

Sep 012010

Cavalier

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I bought this car used for my daughter to take to college. My first complaint is in regard to the transmission fluid. I taught her how to check her fluids, then we find out on this car the owner isn't able to check tranny fluid. WTH??? Why build a car that simple maintenance cannot be performed? We took it to have the oil change and asked the mechanic to check the tranny fluid. STUPID!

Next are the gauges...I thought we had an isolated issue, but after reading this apparently not. NONE of them are working. This should definitely be a recall. I'm having the exact same problem as everyone else and this is bullshit. The car runs well but all of the equipment needs to work. The fact that this is not a recall just show how much the consumer is really valued. So much for American manufacturers standing behind their product. I'm going to call and bitch to somebody regardless of the result-somebody should feel the pain!

- , Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #47

Mar 012011

Cavalier 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Gauges are malfunctioning (Speedo, Tach, etc.) and registering falsely. What a pain. Can't even tell how fast I'm going.

- , Omaha, NE, USA

problem #46

Jun 232006

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Bought the cavalier for the wife. WHAT A PIECE OF SH*T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The entire dash assymble went out. No speedo, temp. goes off the scale. Chevy needs to get on the ball and fix the problem !!!!!!!!!!!!! I drive a FORD, thank god.... Will never buy another Chevy.

- , Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #45

Mar 132010

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,500 miles

I have a serious problem with my dashboard gauges in my 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier,I have read the other complaints from owners of 2003-2005 Cavalier Chevrolet. And we all have the same problem with our gauges not working correctly. If it hasn't been a recall on this problem it should be. We as Chevrolet Cavalier owners need to rally together and do something about this! GM Motors got over on us and sold us defected car parts I spent thousands of dollars on my car and now if I WANT TO CORRECT THIS I WOULD HAVE TO SPEND HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS!!!! I think the normal wear and tear of a car is expected,but when you buy something and it is defected or just not right you should be compensated or it should be made right.LETS START A CLASS ACT NOW!!!!!!!!!

- , HENRICO, VA, USA

problem #44

Aug 282011

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

The speedometer stayed on zero. this would be dangerous. When I started the car again, it registered. I just bought this car.

- , Crestwood, IL, USA

problem #43

Aug 262011

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

Gas gauge always show empty. Even after a fill-up the needle never moves.

- , Crestwood, IL, USA

problem #42

Feb 012009

Cavalier

  • Manual transmission
  • 48,000 miles

My gas gauge, speedometer, heating gauge, tac, all go haywire whenever they feel like it. I never know if I'm driving the right speed limit, if I am on empty, or if my car if over heating. It's a real pain.

- , Dubuque, IA, USA

problem #41

Jan 032011

Cavalier

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

My temp gauge will not reset back to the level 0. It moves into the speedometer and cuases it not to read correctly. I have read all the other problems with this and agree it should be a recall. I wonder what it would take to become a recall. I'm thinking about drilling a whole in the plastic cover over it and inserting a nail to stop the needle from entering the speedometer gauge range. It seems GM should have thought of that as well, a lot of cars have a stop needle installed in the dash, or maybe they should have just went with a different manufacturer for the cluster. If I replace it am I going to have the same issue with the new one???

- , Milford, NE, USA

problem #40

Oct 012010

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

This 2004 Chevy Cavalier has been just awful. The gas gauge has not worked forever and now the speedometer doesn't work. I try to buy American but realize now why some people go the other route. This car is a piece of garbage. I can not believe that an american made car was made with this much negligence. I will never buy a Chevy again, no matter what the make. I am disgusted.

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #39

Aug 102008

Cavalier

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

I can't believe that so many people have the same problem that i do. Sometimes my speedometer works, but WHENEVER it wants to. And not just the speedometer don't work, but the RPM and everthing else (the gas one, the temp.) it sucks. It is pretty annoying.

- , Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #38

Oct 202010

Cavalier

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

The temperature gauge is jacked. It pegs out all the way over into the speedometer area. I've measured the temperature and it's normal. If I turn the ignition off and on several times I can get it to go back to normal a little at a time but then it'll just do it again tomorrow. I took it to the dealer and they said I need a new instrument panel for $400

As many complaints as I've seen on this, it should be recalled.

- , Albuquerque, NM, USA

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