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.

Print this page 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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,167 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 252014

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • miles


Car will not start consistently. Have to wait a couple of days, then it may start or not. But if it starts, it will not start again until days go by............ ignition shut off on one occasion when operating on a public road. Loss of power, engine and power brakes.steering wheel did not lock but coasted vehicle off the road.

- Brownsville, TX, USA

problem #5

May 012006

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
When driving the vehicle and hit a bump the ignition switch will cause the interior light to come and on occasion cause the car to shut off.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #4

May 162014

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 152,000 miles
2004 Cavalier, 2.2L DOHC, 5-speed manual transmission. While driving at 60 mph vehicle felt as if cruise control was engaged. Rpms would not fall off as fast as usual when foot taken off gas, and when I depressed the clutch (which was just replaced last week due to another known issue that Chevy refuses to recall) rpms went above 4,000. Tapped gas pedal thinking maybe it was stuck and it only revved higher and did not come down on its own. Rpms continued to climb as I came to a stop, around 6,000 by the time I pulled over. Shut the car off and immediately back on, no problems for the rest of the trip home (another 8 miles). I cannot risk my car revving at 6,000 rpms in stop and go traffic which I'm in every weekday and I can't shut it off and turn it back on to fix the problem, so I have to find out what causes it and fix it asap. Thanks for another spendy repair, Chevy.

- Farmington, MN, USA

problem #3

Mar 092011


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact restarted the vehicle and the vehicle was able to function properly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was unable to be replicated. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 133,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #2

Jan 212014

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Car shut off no power steering gauges shut off everything turned off but lights stayed on and flashers worked.

- New Baltimore, MI, USA

problem #1

Jun 222012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the vehicle stalled and no warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local shop, who diagnosed that the timing chain guide bolts broke. As a result, the cylinder head, oil pump, and transmission were damaged. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 80,000.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

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