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:
No data
Average Mileage:
32,556 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. check trunk gasket and pressure vent behind carpet (1 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 202003

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 112 miles


So I am the first and only owner of my 2004 Cavalier. I drove it off the lot with 112 miles on it. It never had a new car smell and it actually smelled musty. Then one day I went to put some stuff in the trunk, to my surprise the entire trunk and carpet was soaked. When I pulled up the carpet and the spare tire cover, there was more than 3 inches of water sitting in the spare tire wheel well. I took it to the dealership only days after having just driven it off the lot, they had it in their possession for about 3 hours when they said they couldn't find a leak but would repair the carpet. So they did...

Within two weeks it had reoccurred and I took it back because I had two issues now, the carpet they replaced the trunk with didn't match the original carpet and my spare and jack were rusting and now once again full of about 3-4 inches of water. So they took another look at it and discovered that and this is what they said to me, "your trunk was never welded to the rest of the car body, so it is leaking all around the trunk, we have used something like caulk to seal it up and you should not have any more issues...". I had them replace the carpet again but my car never smelled new, and the trunk carpet lining never matched the rest of the cars carpet.... Oh well, just hope I don't have to use the jack to change the tire it is orange in rust because they DID NOT replace that as they should have. One more reason of my many issues that I had with this Cavalier that I won't buy another Chevrolet let alone American made. I couldn't find one dealership to listen to me when I had issues with this car...

- , Sylva, NC, USA

problem #1

Feb 032009

Cavalier LS 2.2L Ecotec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Noticed wet carpet in Trunk, after finding 3inches of water in the spare tire compartment I took the whole trunk apart to look for problem. behind the carpet on passenger side is a pressure vent that is of very poor design and put in an even worse location right behind and above the rear wheel.

I can see water and sand under the carpet right by this vent. I plan of fixing it tomorrow by removing it and sealing it in place with some silicone. if that doesn't work I may try partially blocking this vent altogether.

- , Evansville, WI, USA

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