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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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,321 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 292009


  • 78,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle stopped in the middle of the interstate without warning. The vehicle was towed to a repair shop and the mechanic stated that the fuel pump failed. The dealer was not notified. In addition, the contact heard a tapping nose in the heater and the cd player does not work. There were also two motor swtices repaired in the windows. The vehicle is currently being repaired at the contact's expense. The failure and current mileages were 78,000.

- Cincincati, OH, USA

problem #2

Nov 012008


  • 51,862 miles
I have a 2004 Chevy Cavalier ls sport. Well lets first start off with my drivers side window motor. It went out about a year and half ago and we fixed it this summer. Apparently it is a huge problem but of course no recall on it so paid almost 300 dollars myself to fix it. Then after that when I would start my car and put it into drive, the car would sputter and the ABS and trac off lights would come on. Next about 5 months ago I noticed that my gas gauge was fluctuating a little. Didn't give it much thought but then 2 months ago my temp gauge was going haywire. Called the dealer and they said that there was no recall and we would have to pay to have it fixed. Well we all know money is tight so I have left it. Low and behold late last week, the mph gauge said I was going 100 mph in a 35 zone. I had to take a double look. Dealer again says no recalls. After speaking to a friend, he said that his truck did the same thing along with another co-workers truck (GM trucks) and that they took it in because it had a recall on the "instrument cluster" and there was no charge. How come Cavaliers are having the problem and nothing, but there trucks have it and there is a recall. I cant tell how fast I am going. Now I am probably going to have to just go with the flow of traffic since I cant afford to fix it. Come on GM own up to all of your mistakes please..........there are tons of logged complaints on here about it, obviously it is a real problem GM. This is why we are going foreign with our cars now.

- Germantown, OH, USA

problem #1

Dec 102003


  • 100 miles
A strong fuel odor entered the inside of the vehicle when the vents were used. This odor caused nausea and headaches to any one riding in the vehicle. At any temperature, the vehicle took a very long time to crank up. Also, while driving at 50 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated and bogged down. The vehicle would eventually pick up speed and act as if nothing ever happened. These problems occurred eight times. There was rattle in the drivers side door panel due to the regulator, there was also an intermittent noise on the passenger side rear, the vehicle would not start due to the power train control module, the engine was hard to start at times and was unable to be duplicated, the engine would lose power, the driver door made a rubbing noise, the floor area was buckling, and the A/C displayed a burning smell.

- Sumter, SC, USA

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