If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.

Print this page


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
68,018 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (20 reports)
2005 Chevrolet Cavalier electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #20

Sep 052011

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles


Well, I guess I should join in on the bitching too..... I have an 05 cavalier ,with 96,000 miles on it i got it in 2009 it was used and it only had one owner and i love it but am quite angry considering ive changed the sensor for the speedometer and temp gauge and well low and behold those were not the issue ,who didn't know that. it was the freaking gauge cluster which priced at a dealership is 370.00 for the part not including the labor or reprogramming fee.of course my warranty like a lot of other peoples has expired ,and one year until paying it off this sh*t happens and well like a lot of people too i have busted my ass to pay this car off. even have had issues with rack and pinion,e brake not working, and the ABS is a huge pain in the ass in the rain cuz it don't work worth a damn, almost slid across a bridge and hit someone cuz it would not stop.even keep up with the maintenance of it ,considering there are mechanics in my family some of the issues they dont even understand.i even went so far as to call GM and they told me to pay 105.00 for diagnostic fee to get it checked and i asked if i would be reimbursed if it showed that the cluster was bad ,but you know i didn't get a straight answer for that question which didn't shock me.cant say what i was thinking on the phone considering i was told that my warranty had expired and of course i replied me and a whole bunch of other freaking people .maybe GM would not keep repeating that if they would get their sh*t together and own up to their problems.

- , Aberdeen, MD, USA

problem #19

May 092011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I purchased my 2005 Chevy Cavalier (manufactured in summer 2004) on March 30, 2005 with 17 miles on it straight from the dealership. Up until last week, besides common maintenance and repairs (i.e. - oil changes), it's been an excellent car, great gas mileage, etc. However, this past Monday (May 9), I noticed a problem was starting to ensue.

As I was driving home from work, going down I-75 (with a speed limit of 65) that I was going 75 mph, but it didn't feel like I was, plus, a lot of folks were passing me. I thought: "Surely these folks can't be all going over 75! That'd be a police officers dream come true!" Once I got home and parked in front of the house, I noticed that my speedometer had stopped at 20 mph (even though the car was parked and shut off). I waited for at least 5 minutes and the gauge remained at 20 mph. Then, I thought: "Ok, the car will be shut off for well over 14 hours until I have to go back to work, so maybe the speedometer will go back down and reset". Nope! When I went to work last night, NOW the speedometer permanently read 70 MPH but still the needle moved here and there, and at one point, was saying I was going 120 mph lmao.

This morning on my drive home from work, the speedometer was again at a stand still at 70 mph, but this time, during my entire drive home (roughly 15-20 mins), the needle didn't move at all. It remained on 70 the entire time, even when braking and coming to complete stops. This NEEDS to be a recall! I can't afford this repair right now. I'm afraid to take it to a mechanic for fear of how much he says it's going to cost to be fixed. I also noticed on here that the same happens frequently with the gas gauges in Cavaliers as well. This needs to DEFINITELY be a recall!!!!

- , Lima, OH, USA

problem #18

May 312011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

Obviously one of the most difficult things about being working class is finding affordable quality transportation. I purchased a 2005 Chevy Cavalier thinking I was doing so but so far I've been proven wrong. Within one month the instrument panel stopped working. It started first with the speedometer then moved to include the heat meter, now after an additional 4 months the gas gauge has stopped working. Obviously if I had 500 plus dollars to purchase a new panel and install it I would have done so by now however It'll still be another few months before I can come up with the money. I have been getting by relying on a cheap GPS I went out and purchased so I can still see my speed. I really wished I'd purchased an old Japanese Car like Honda Civic Toyota Carola from the 1990's since it would have been in the same price range. Shame on me for thinking I was doing wisest thing given my circumstances and buying an American car that was made within the last 6 years. Chrysler really needs to man up and issue a recall.

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #17

Dec 032010

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,180 miles


click to see larger images

speedometer is not accurate

I stopped and got gas this morning after picking up mail from the post office, then started heading up the road, about flipped out when I was in a 55 and just randomly looked at my speedometer and it said I was going 85....slammed on my brakes, and when my car slowed to 60 I realized I was about at a standstill and something was very screwed up. Pulled off in a wide spot, turned my car off, and it said 30 mph when I turned it off....have flipped it off and on about 50 times, and nothing is budging. You can't see it in the picture I took, but I only put 25.00 of gas in my car...so I should have between 1/2 and 3/4 tank since I was on E. However, my car says I've got about 2 tanks of gas in it now. I've had problems with the gas gage doing that, but it was only every so often, but now I guess everything decided to just screw up and die at once. The temp gage does seem to still be working, but God only knows how long it'll be before it gives out also.

I've been laid off work for almost a year now, and am currently going to school. Needless to say, money is tight, and everything I've read on here so far says this is VERY costly....FML!!!!!!!

- , Belington, WV, USA

problem #16

Nov 112010

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I purchased my car used in December 2005 and got an extended warranty. In February 2007, I noticed that my speedometer and other gauges were acting up. I took it to Car Max (which is where I purchased the car) for them to repair it. They replaced the instrument cluster with a new one (at least that's what the invoice said). Near the end of 2008, I had the same problem. This time they replaced the cluster with a used one. Now again in 2010 I am having the same issue. Chevrolet said there is no recall on this part and this part should last the lifetime of the car. If I let Chevrolet repair it, it would cost me almost $500. I was told by the Service Department at a Chevrolet dealer to insist that Car Max repair it even though my warranty has expired. I'm trying to work with Car Max to get them to fix it. I hope I get some satisfaction or I'm going to contact Car Max and Chevrolet's headquarters because this is ridiculous!

- , Nashville, TN, USA

problem #15

Dec 012010

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 117,000 miles

I purchased a used 2005 Cavalier LS a couple months and almost immediately

started having a problem with the temp gauge not working, it was "hung" on the low end of the gauge. Then, in a day or so it started working. Then it went over to the red zone and even went over to the speedometer 10 mph area. I just replaced the temperature sending unit ($26) and it worked for one day. Now the gauge just goes where it wants to go in a 360 degree "pick a spot".

The more I search on line, the more I find that this is a common problem with several of the cavalier year models. The replacement of the gauge cluster ranges from $350 to $500 depending on where one goes. One would think that the Chevy folks would pony up and if not a recall, at least give us the gauge cluster for free and let us get it installed.......... or even better, make all auto dealers (new and used ones) issue a written warning that this make of car has potential gauge cluster problems with a $500+ fix. This way we could make an informed decision on the purchase. The dealer in Jonesboro, Ga (Don Jackson) made me a 'hellofva' deal, $3500. It was way under book, the car was in perfect condition, but as usual sold 'as is'. I will always believe that the folks knew more than they were willing to reveal......... but, then again, I should have got on the internet before making the deal.

- , Williamson, Georgia, USA

problem #14

Mar 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,777 miles


not only does my 2005 have the speedometer problem, wait till you get to the 94000 mile mark. i have 2 windows that are electric that don't work, my speedometer wont go under 60mph, and my windshield wiper is broke on the drivers side ( small plastic washer) Chevy has told me that it is a proto type and the whole assembly needs replace. what kind of B.S. is this? American company selling American junk to Americans. ban Chevy!!!!

- , Colfax, CA, USA

problem #13

Apr 012009

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

WOW, I am really suprised at the amount of complaints on the Chevy Cavalier insturment cluster (IPC). My speedometer is messed up just as I have read on here over and over.. by so many CUSTOMERS of chevrolet.. I thought well instead of airing my complaint on a public forum, i will go to the chevy website and air my complaint with the maker. Which means i was trying to be polite about the whole thing. News Bulletin!!! When contacting the Chevy people you must put the make/model of the car or the complaint will NOT be seen, heard, filed, whatever.. I think i looked 30 minutes for the model cavalier. They no longer allow that as a choice. I was floored by this. Its like "lets just pretend we never made this car." Its things like this that let me know why the big three are having to accept money from the government to continue operating. Bad choices, and a poor product.

Chevy your IPC on the cavalier is faulty to say the least... And I will be contacting the AG, my government representatives, because this is just wrong. And your lenders are your customers now! I wasn't mad about this til I read that this is happening to ALOT of cavalier owners. I thought it was just an idiosyncracy with my car. How wrong I was again. Its a IPC how can you mess that up?? I not only want answers, I want a solution. i dont like getting in my car and not knowing something as basic as my speed... its basic for a car kinda like breathing as a human! And from what i read, there is more to come. i will never own a chevy again.. NEVER. This is basic too as to why.. very very poor customer service.. and a very poor product. And I thought chevy had a quality product... after all its Made in the USA..

- , Arlington, TX, USA

problem #12

Jul 022009

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,311 miles

I completely agree with all the posts here. Not really sure how long my gauges have been having a mind of their own, but it is really annoying when on the highway. The worst was when driving on the highway and have not only the speedometer decide not to work but the tach decided it didn't want to work either. I'm sure the person behind me on the off ramp was using some rather colourful language at how slow I was going but most of the off ramps off the highway are curved. I was keeping up to traffic so had to be going around the 110 km, then had to slow down to 30 km for the off ramp. Only problems was I didn't know what speed I was going so I slowed right down. Come to think of it I may have said some colourful things at that point myself! I've had numerous other times when one or both gauges have decided to stick.

I've owned 3 other cavaliers and have had none of the issues I've had with this one. I shouldn't complain though, as I have incured new problems since the stuck gauges and all I can say is I am so thankful that my Dad had the sense to teach me a little about cars.

Update from Jan 19, 2010: An update from my dealership...the service department has told me that the trucks with the instrument cluster problem was indeed fixed by GM. The cavalier's on the other hand will not be. Of course me and my big mouth asked if that was because they were still making the trucks and the cavaliers are a thing of the past. I got a bit of laughing from the other end of the phone. For my fellow Canadians I was given a verbal estimate of approx $300 to $400 for the cluster and another $100 or so to reprogram and install the cluster. I still do not think that I should have to pay for this repair but I do have to have a sensor in the door fixed to hopefully stop a battery drain that I might as well get this fixed at the same time. I'm a little disppointed to say the least that for all of us repeat buyers that this is the thanks we get for being loyal to GM.

Update from Feb 2, 2010: Here's the latest update to my saga. Not trying to add fuel to the fire but I just got off the phone with GM customer service. Or should I say lack there of !! I didn't need to call them to be told that my warranty was up 2.5 years ago. Won't repeat what went through my mind after being told that at least 3 times in the 20 min phone call. Was told that that GM will not do anything for me until I take my car in for a diagnostic test. Even then there are no guarantee that my issue will be fixed without it coming completely out of my pocket. I even asked them why they recalled certain models of their trucks for the same problem. I was told that only certain VINS were recalled, still didn't answer MY question, but guess it's one of those need to know questions and I didn't need to know. I have escalated this and said that I want management to call me. My big question is why do we have to wait until something unthinkable happens before we get this issue fixed. I wonder what people at GM would think if they were to search the web and see what their loyal customers really think about some of these issues.

- , Kingston, Ontario, Canada

problem #11

Jan 032009

Cavalier LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles

This is just f*ing ridiculous.....there are as many complaints about the damn speedometer and GM wont do a thing about it. I bought my car from an elderly couple, with it only having 24.000 miles on it, who bought it brand new off the lot..Only one owner...no problems....my warranty went up just 10,000 miles ago....its a 2005 cavalier with only 39,000 miles on it....you would think you couldn't be asking for a better car than that...but damn was i wrong....first, fortunately i still had a warranty on it but had problems with the heater making loud obnoxious noises, i got it fixed and haven't had problems yet. But my latest bitch, like the last several people is the speedometer. It just keeps going up and down and getting stuck at random mph like 60. then will stay there for a while, and all of a sudden it will be at 40, and next thing i know it will be at 90...it is constantly getting stuck at random places and knowing i could have to replace the entire gauge cluster costing no less than $400, i refuse to do. so if i get pulled over for speeding cuz i don't know how fast i am going. i think i may just send my ticket to GM and tell them they need to pay it cuz they wont fork out the money to fix the car or just recall it. maybe they could just get some more money from the f*ing government, then they would be able to afford to fix THEIR DAMN problem.

- , Sundance, WY, USA

problem #10

Jan 122009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,346 miles


well I guess im a little late to join the f*cking club but I just got my 05 cavalier pos about 2 years ago and now it seems that it is doing the same sh*t right around the same millage as everyone else go figure. My cousin tried to worn me of cavaliers but I was desperate for a car and that was all I could get at the time so I took it. He had a 90 cavalier and drove it for 2 months before it died, but anyway yes my car is just starting to do all the mess you all have dealt with. I also agree that Chevrolet should do a recall and have this fixed. I mean some of us can only afford to pay the monthly note let alone pay to fix a 800.00 problem that we did not cause. My speedometer just quit working one day and now jumps up and down then stops working again or will sometimes work fine. I have been having problems with my temp gauge as well and now i am starting to think that all this is the gauge cluster all together due to all the diff. problems you all are having so this sh*t deff. needs to be fixed by Chevrolet and i mean quick before someone gets killed.

- , Orange, TX, USA

problem #9

Nov 202008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

i bought my car in 06 with less than 10,000miles on it and have had several problems in the last year or two.. I commute an hour to school and one day I looked at my speedometer and it read 105. I freaked cause a cop was parked in the median so I exited and my speedometer was stuck. It is not only chevy cavaliers doing it. My fiance and his cousin both have 04 chevy silverados and theirs have done the same thing. The only difference is a recall was sent to them to get theirs fixed but nothing has been done yet for the owners of cavaliers who have the exact problem. I believe that chevy should have to pay for this default not the owners. I was steered to buying my car due to the noted reliability of the cavalier and now everything is messing up at once....another warning. be careful - my cruise control got stuck one day and I couldn't slow down until I finally got my button to work now it doesn't work at all.

- , Pickens, AL, USA

problem #8

Jun 262005

Cavalier 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

It was my first car. I had it for 3 weeks. I was driving in a residential area and panicked because I was supposedly driving 85 mph. I slammed on my breaks and the speedometer stuck at 40 mph. With some extreme methods of persuasion, the dealer sent it off to have it fixed for free. I got lucky this time!! This problem however is really prevalent in these cars and it should be GM paying for all of it!!

- , Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #7

Nov 072006

Cavalier V4

  • Manual transmission
  • 72,150 miles

Hey, driving down the road at about 70 miles per hour, all of a sudden I look down at the speedometer and the damn thing registers 0 miles per hour. I'm 750 miles from home, with a state trooper beside me. I don't know whether to speed up our exit. Thanks alot Chevy!! engineering!!

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #6

Oct 202008

Cavalier 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I have only a little over 25000 miles and the speedometer does not work!!! It shows 110 sometimes when I'm going more like 20 mph & 60 mph when completely stopped. Even though I've had my car a little short of 4 years, with the mileage SO lOW-- & 2 more years to pay on it- I can't believe the dash could be going bad so soon. The warranty was over after 3 years or 36000 miles- so my 3 years came first. Since this seems to be a common problem with this car- I think GM should fix it at no cost. I have been a Chevy owner for 20 years and would like them to fix this as I think this should be classified as a Recall.

- , Oregon, Ohio, USA

problem #5

Oct 012008

Cavalier V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Speedometer stuck/fluctuations...had speed sensor changed. Not the problem. Mechanic is working from cheapest to most expensive to fix; but he believes speedometer is bad. I've had many problems with this car and alot of money spent out of pocket for repairs in last 18 mos. Car sucks - auto makers build cars so cheaply these days.

- , Ponchatoula, LA, USA

problem #4

Aug 132008

Cavalier 2.2L I 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,594 miles

Feel free to read my earlier gripe. The temperature gauge needle has swung around to the 3 o'clock position pegging my speedo needle down. So now, in the interest of efficiency Chevrolet has ensured that not one, but two gauges are not functioning.

- , Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada

problem #3

Jun 062008

Cavalier LX 4cy

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

There should be a recall for the speedometer problem as it is widespread on the Cavalier.

I decided to give an America made car a try again after several years of staying away. I've been spoiled by the superior quality of Honda's and Toyota's.

No wonder GM is is the shape they are in... they continue to build and sell junk and won't stand behind it.

- , Terry, MS, USA

problem #2

Sep 012006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

My cars speedometer would occasionally get stuck at 70mph, that happened for about a 2 months all of a sudden it stopped and stayed at 70mph.

- , Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #1

Dec 092006

(reported on)

Cavalier 2.2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

people.. beware of after-market warranties.. my problem is 2005 a cavalier 52,000 miles.. speedometer cost 800 bucks to fix and was not covered under warranty.. think about it.. one year old car and this product is a factory fault. GM solution is i fix and GM will only reinburse a % of what the 800 dollar bill is. consumers, lets get even

- , Florence, KY, USA

Not what you are looking for?