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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
42,565 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. i unplugged the battery (1 reports)
  3. purchased new cd player elsewhere (1 reports)
  4. take vehicle to best buy, not back to chevy (1 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 012004

Cavalier LS

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,001 miles


This has happened to the car three times now. The past two times the dealership has eaten the cost on it. I have had the blue, tan and now light blue wires replaced. They are saying this is due to "environmental corrosion". These wires are related to my headlights - about once a year a headlight starts acting up and a "wire needs replaced" I have also had the instrument cluster replaced, driver side window motor replaced, back up switch and harness replaced. . Oh yes and after owning the car not even a month the radio started going haywire, it won't keep stations, if I am listening to a CD when I get out of the car I am listening to the radio when I get back in an vice versa (this is all very RANDOM) and the latest is I have gotten out of the car KEY in hand radio was off I get back in the car and the radio is on.And of course the dealership can never get this to happen when they have the car.

I also am having the ABS light issued that others are having.

Has anyone else had all these electrical issues?

I have called GM and they don't seem to think it's their problem

- , Charleston, WV, USA

problem #4

Aug 132008


  • Manual transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Cd player will play the current Cd in it but won't eject it. The same disc has been in there for over a year.....annoying! Not worth paying to replace it. Combine all of the other issues with this car that I have owned since it was at 11 miles, I just want to dump it and get some other kind of car completley.

List player, gauges not working properly (ie. speedometer, temp, etc.), heater makes a loud "ticking" noise that won't quit unless the fan is off. & most recently, last week, I brought the darn thing in and the fuel pump needs to be replaced!!!

Hard to believe as the only owner of this car that has kept up on all regular maintence that it should be as bad as it is.

Ridiculous....GM has got bigger issues & it's time to own up to poor products sold.

- , Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #3

Dec 152007

Cavalier 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

The music stopped..... I didn't know what to do. With L.A. traffic a cd player is a must!!!! The cd got stuck in there and it just wouldn't play. In an attempt to try to reset my gauges I unplugged the battery. To my surprise the gauges all remained wacky, but my cd was playing. It is a pain in the ass though. You cant get out in traffic to hit the cd reset button under the hood!!!! Hopefully Chevy is smart enough to have someone monitoring these complaints and make an attempt to fix their faulty wiring.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 042006

(reported on)

Cavalier LS 2.2L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,802 miles

After purchasing the vehicle from a Chevy Dealership in Kissimmee, Florida in August 2006, the CD Player failed as soon within the same day I purchased the vehicle. I was already disappointed with the fact the car was only two years old and had close to sixty thousand miles on it but after I put in my first CD into the player, the CD never ejected and the only thing that was working was the volume controls. There was no way to get the CD out and there was no way I could switch tracks or go back to the radio.

After three failed trips back to the dealer to get the situation resolved (they continued to act like their garage was full for the day and insisted I leave the car even though I lived thirty minutes away) I went to Best Buy and purchased a Dual audio system and a CD Playere with MP3 adapter. I have a very reliable ffive year warranty on it from Best Buy and I appreciate their business.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #1

Nov 042006

(reported on)

Cavalier LS 2.2L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,021 miles

The CD Player which came with the Cavalier failed the same day I purchased the car from COGGIN CHEVROLET in Kissimmee, Florida. I lost a CD in the process. The radio controls were not working either, only the volume controls were working. The CD was playing constantly for three days and it was not retreivable. After making two trips back to the dealership nothing was resolved. For some reason their auto-shop was conveniently full of cars to be worked on for the day each time. I just took it to Best Buy where I got free installation on a better player and a warranty that I could trust. Unfortunately I must warn all Cavalier owners that it will be necessary for the mechanic to tear up your dash board to reach the radio assembly on Cavaliers after 1992 and use a bypass harness on any Cavalier made after 2001.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

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