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:
48,173 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 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #4

Nov 232000


  • 107,200 miles


The trunk latch on my Cavalier won't latch. This is the second time it has broke with the same problem. I replaced the trunk latch about three years ago I rarely use my trunk. Also the defrost, vent knob quit working it turn but won't switch to defrost or the different vent settings. The cd player won't take, or play cd's. there was a fly on my windshield right around a year after I bought the car and I barely tapped the windshield and the windshield cracked all over.

- Arlington, OR, USA

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

Aug 202006

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,000 miles
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 #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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