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
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,412 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #7

Jun 042015


  • 63,087 miles


The garnish molding-windshield pillar-driver's side fell partly off blocking my visibility while driving home from work. It was never touched and for no reason it fell off and to this day I am unable to reattach it..

- Margate, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 152015


  • 125,000 miles
I left the vehicle running in driveway for less than 5 minutes. Vehicle was full of black smoke and within minutes was totally engulfed in flames.

- Constantia, NY, USA

problem #5

May 082013


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated while the mechanic was changing the oil she was notified that the entire frame was completely corroded. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician verified the failure and stated that the frame needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 130,000. The current mileage was 139,000.

- Lebanon, PA, USA

problem #4

Jul 312013


  • 77,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the hood failed to remain closed and struck the windshield. As a result, the windshield wipers failed to operate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis but they were unable to duplicate the problem. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 77,000.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #3

Sep 022008


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that water was leaking into the interior of the vehicle. As a result, there was a mildew smell in the vehicle and corrosion started to develop. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 66,000.

- Carnegie , PA, USA

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problem #2

Sep 192005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,800 miles
I have a 2004 Chevy Cavalier which has been in no accidents and is very well taken care of. The paint on this car, and other cars like it, is peeling and chipping all over the place for no reason. The door edges, bumpers, hood, and fender all have chips of paint missing or about to fall off. The clear coat on the car is also very bad and is scratched very easily and washing the car sometimes does more bad than good. I have also noticed that the rotors and drums warp very easily on this car. I have had to replace the rotors and might have to replace the drums soon. I am not the only person with such a problem that I have talked to.

- Shohola, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 012005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
The sun visors do not have the snap to keep them in place. This allows them to slip down while the consumer is driving. This is the only problem with the vehicle. This first started happening around 6-1-05.

- Vion, IL, USA

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