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.

7.5

pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,784 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.

2004 Chevrolet Cavalier electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 202006

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,000 miles

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

I bought my car, a 2004 Chevy Cavalier with 21 miles on it. Since then I have tried to return it and now the minor but frequent issues are much bigger and more frequently! first my trunk latch broke a week after purchase. The cd broke the next week, cigarette lighter broke, and passenger seat wouldn't move. This was the first two months of ownership. A few months ago the fuel gauge broke, temp gauge and ac. They couldn't verify it so couldn't repair, until it completely failed this month. Also, I was left stranded at 2:30 am with my 3 year old son when the clutch fell through the floor. It was repaired and now the rpms shoot up to 6000, is unresponsive to any pedals, and requires turning the engine off. This happened in san francisco on highway 101, I am truly afraid for the safety of myself. Son, and others driving this car or near one. There are many other unmentioned things that have occurred, too many to tell in this summary. They of course can't duplicate this major problem and therefore can't "correct." Also they state it doesn't fall under lemon, but what is at stake our lives.

- Paradise, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 102006

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
I have had problems with brake grinding since I bought my 04 Cavalier. It has been into the dealership 3 times and each time I was told there was only rust build up and it was sanded off only to reccur. The last time in the dealership, I was told my car was no longer under warranty and if I wanted a brake job done it would be in excess of $140...this...was for the same problem the car was in for the previous 2 times and no new brakes installed..only the rust ground off. My check engine light periodically goes off and on and the dealership cannot determine why. I no longer have any lights on my radio/cd player..I can play cd's and use the radio but have no idea what station etc I am on. Shortly after this occurred in like 2 weeks, I lost my speedometer...it works briefly and then sticks at 90 mph ( the odometer works however) the dealership checked fuses and said all was fine. They said it appeared to be a cluster module and even though the part was not that expensive, the labor would be the most because it entailed them removing the dash board. The cost factor of over $400 was verbally given to me. I live on a fixed income and cannot afford this. They said there were no recalls and given my car is off warranty, I would need to absorb this cost myself. I bought this car brand new and feel that after less than 2 years of owning it, these problems should not have happened. I gave an estimated account of dates of incident been they have been on going and can be verified through the dealership I bought it from as I have taken it no where else for service. I am registered with carstats and there have been several complaints of the same things I am experiencing.

- Breckenridge, MI, USA

problem #5

Aug 102004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Bought a brand new 2004 Cavalier approximately April 2004. Since purchase date, car has been into dealership due to loud grinding noises in brakes 3 times. First time to best of my knowledge within 6 months of ownership. Every time I have been the noises are rust buildup on shoes and pads. The remedy was to sand the rust, it worked but temporarily. I had the car in again November 2005 for this same thing & my check engine light stayed on. My car was still under warranty. The tech told me I had rust & the rotors were " a little out of round". he told me the car had 30,000 miles on & they couldn't do new brakes as warranty it would cost me about $140. The check engine light was attributed it to having some floats in tank from gas that affected a sensor. Wouldn't cause problems they said & it still happens. The 2nd visit to the dealer they fix a side mirror & defroster..didn't work. 1 week ago, I have use of radio & cd player only no lights/radio now. The next day I started car up my & speedometer says 35 mph idling. Going with traffic flow it registered 105 & is now stopped there. Mileage gauge, gas and other lights still work as does gas gauge. I called a local Chevy dealership near me & inquired as to an aprox. Cost to have radio & speedometer fixed/looked at. Warranty now is off. I was told labor be the expensive part..looking at $400 or more. I live on a fixed income & can't afford this. Brakes/radio/speedometer are nothing I caused. I was never offered to have brakes replaced. Speedometer issue is very dangerous. I have checked websites to see if there were complaints like mine& there are. I have guessed the incident date I cannot recall exact date I took car in for the 1st brake issue.

- Breckenridge, MI, USA

problem #4

Sep 012005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

The contact stated the dashboard light kept going out. The vehicle has been in repair shop four times for the same problem. The contact was on her way to the dealership to pick up the vehicle and was unsure if the problem had been corrected.

- Yakima, WA, USA

problem #3

Sep 012004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My 2004 Cavalier has the dash cluster going out. Therefore, my speedometer is not working correctly. There have been several times that I have had to slam on brakes because I was going around a curve too fast, but thought that I was slow enough. The dealer has told me there is no recall because it is not a safety issue. Well, I feel that it is. This is a manufacturer's defect, but yet they are charging people to fix the cluster. The cost run up to $350 if not more. I am also at risk of getting a ticket. I have E-mailed GM, but have not received a response. I do know for a fact that this is happening to other 2004 models also from speaking with the local dealerships. Please help in this issue before somebody possibly is hurt.

- Bay Minette, AL, USA

problem #2

Aug 082005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving home from work with my 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier, 4 dr sedan, VIN #[xxx]traveling about 45 mph on Monday, 8/8/05 during daylight hours, I looked at the speedometer and lo and behold it registered zero. The zero reading continued for up to 20 minutes before it began to record speed. I brought it to lou bachrodt Chevrolet the same day at 5500 N state rd. 7, coconut creek, fl 33073, telephone #(954) 247-3000, invoice [xxx]. today, 8/9/05 and was told that they couldn't find anything, and therefore could not replace or repair the speedometer components and related equipment. Therefore, nothing was done and I was sent on my way. I feel my safety and the safety of others are at risk if this happens again which it probably will since there is no explanation for it. If I am going through a school zone and not know what speed I am traveling at, this could lead to a dangerous situation for the children, myself and other motorists. Updated 07/19/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Margate, FL, USA

problem #1

Apr 132004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,491 miles
Consumer stated that the wiring harness behind the dashboard went bad, and then there was a clicking noise from the front end. Consumer stated that there appeared to be an electrical problem with the vehicle because the radio had to replaced 3 times, and the alarm went off at random. Also, dealership replaced the body module control unit. The front end had a service bulletin on the wheel covers and the clicking noise was a result of this. They have fixed the problem with the wheel covers twice.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

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