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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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
64,350 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. brand new paint job for 2500.00 (3 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
  3. the clear shield need to be reaplied (1 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #6

May 292008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles


My 2004 Chevy has the clear coat bubbling up all over and in some places, it has come off all the way. The yellow now looks dingy, and dull. This car has only been hand washed, never through a mechanical car wash. Only soft sponges and approved soap have been used and it was hand dried with a chamois cloth. I have seen many other yellow Chevy cars with the same problem. I think that Chevy should fix this.

- Jacque D., Milwaukie, OR, US

problem #5

Dec 122010

Cavalier 4S ?

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

people think the car is much older than it is embarrassing to drive...the bad paint makes the car look like a junk affects the value of the car...

- Cathe W., Columbus, GA, USA

problem #4

Dec 212010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

green cavalier bad paint - all green cavaliers i have seen have this problem. they look veerrryy tackyyy.

why would a manifacturer let this happen. why have they not notified us on how to get this fixed.

- Janette H., Dallas, TX, USA

problem #3

Mar 012006

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 43,000 miles


I bought my 04 Cavalier as the first and only owner and drove it off the lot with only 112 miles on it within the first two years I began to notice some discoloration on the roof of the car around the sunroof. Before long it had spread to all over the car. Apparently according to the lovely dealership that Chevrolet has since shut down here in town (probably because of poor ratings and horrible service) that it was a known issue by Chevrolet that some Cavaliers made that year and the prior year had defects in the clear coat and would cause you to lose your paint job. How Freakin' wonderful! I just paid 18000 for a car and because it was not occurring with every Cavalier made that year they would not cover it! THEIR WORDS! So I am stuck with a car that now is 7 years old and has very little paint on it that is in good shape, and isn't even worth selling because of all the other issues I have had with it. Not only does my car have the paint problem but there are more than three others just like mine in the town where I live that have the same problem going on with their Cavaliers too. That is awesome by American, except they won't stand by their product at all!!! This is the second time owning a Chevy Cavalier the first one was a 99' Cavalier and I had no issues out of it. But I can guarantee one thing I will NEVER buy American made again! Not with the turn of the head attitude I have had from Chevrolet and the dealerships on this car. If I had found all of my issues before 20,000 miles I could have had a Lemon on my hands but no they were just beginning to happen by then....First time shame on you, second time shame on me, but there won't be a third time, I am done and so is everyone I know, they won't buy a Chevy vehicle because of the hassle and headache I have been given about mine.

- dedmonds828, Sylva, NC, USA

problem #2

Jan 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

the overcoat and paint has faded all over the car bearing metal. i reported this immediatly to mayhew chevrolet were i purchased it and was told to call a 800 number on back my window,WELL there is no 800 # on my window so guess that was a blow off

- Frieda M., Petersburg, WV, USA

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problem #1

Feb 062010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

this car have been maintained religiously and yet the clear gloss is peeling off. I have an old ford escort and have not lost it clear gloss and it's eleven years old.

- Arminda C., Harlingen, TX, Moldavia

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