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:
75,647 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. run new power line for fuel pump (1 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 042010

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,940 miles


it was my mother in laws car and I traced wires for 8 hours. this is how it started, she drove the car home from work (20) miles or so. she shut it off went in to the house for 30 min came back out and it would not start. I checked all fuses and relays and I looked at it and i thought it was a fuel pump when you turn the key to on position the fuel pump did not kick on. so i replaced the fuel pump. Put it back together and did not work. so i had to pull back seats, trim, and dash board and found that the wire chaffed right by the steering column. it had melted 4 different wires.

- , Lancaster, OH, US

problem #2

Apr 112009

Cavalier 2.2L Ecotec

  • Manual transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I have a 2004 Cavalier (has 2.2 Ecotec, its a 5 spd) and it will NOT start! The battery is good, the starter is good but it wont start unless I use a 200 amp boost OR use a screw driver to connect the solenoid. Here's the best part .... NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHATS WRONG WITH IT!!!! I have talked to the dealership, an autowrecking place, 4 parts stores and 2 shops and NO ONE has any idea whats wrong with it or why it wont start! All the wires and everything tests fine but there's nothing. Needless to say the car is still sitting and i cant drive it.

I am thoroughly disgusted with my car as well as the fact that the people that work at the dealership cant even give me an idea of whats wrong with it, however, amazingly enough they want me to bring it in the shop for them to look at. HELLO, are you kidding me! You cant even give me an idea of what it could be, why in world would i bring it to you and pay you hundreds of dollars to do the same thing you are already doing by staring me in the face like im making this up ... i know what you are going to do ... NOTHING.

This whole situation has been absolutely absurd. I use to be a very very loyal Chevrolet person. I have never owned anything but NOR have i thought about it, but i can tell you what ... after this i will NEVER own another Chevy!!!!!

I would also like to add that I am very disgusted with the way men have treated me through this ordeal. Yes i am a 23 year old female but let me tell you something I'm not stupid! I have been rebuilding engines and transmissions, doing brake jobs, changing starters and everything else you can think of since i was 14 and i do NOT appreciate being talked to and treated like im the biggest moron that has ever walked the face of the earth, just BC YOU DON'T THINK I KNOW ANYTHING JUST BECAUSE IM FEMALE!!!

- , Fowler, OH, USA

problem #1

Jul 112008

Cavalier LS Sports Coupe

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,000 miles

I bought this car in May of 2004 and in May of 2006 I was out shopping and when I started the car I had no radio, no air, windows would not work and I had nothing on the dash, when I got home i could not shut the car off. I could turn the key but it would not shut off. So a friend unhooked the battery and pulled a fuse to shut it off. I had it towed to the dealer where i bought it and they replaced the ignition switch. Well the other day I started it and had nothing on the interior but I could shut it off, then the next time I got in it, it wouldn't start I turned the key and finally after the third or fourth time it turned over. Now it won't start again. I know its the ignition once again cause its acting the same way. You can't tell me that an ignition switch only lasts two years. I also knew it was going out again because after driving the car for a while and you took the key out of the ignition the key would be so hot you couldn't touch it. The first time it was under warranty but I bet they won't touch it this time. I'm actually thinking about getting rid of this thing if I have to replace the ignition every two years. Thats just unreal to me. There has to be something else wrong with this car. The only way to start it is to pop the clutch and I can't be doing that all the time. I think Chevy ought to check this out maybe there is something that ought to be recalled. I've had other cars and never had to replace the ignition switch and in four years this thing has already gone thru two thats nuts.

- , St Thomas, PA, USA

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