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:
Average Mileage:
140,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new engine (2 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 062010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Put another motor in an now after 5000 miles it has a blown head.

- , Ellijay, GA, USA

problem #1

Aug 152010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

My car has had problems with the gauges not working right. Of course they had been fine until the warranty ran out. The temperature gauge keeps breaking and even sometimes blocking the speedometer gauge so I have no idea how fast I am going. I just have to try to guess because if I am stopped and its stuck on the other gauge at 10mph I have to go 10 over my normal speed to go the right speed...anyway this is not safe at all. It is very expensive to have the gauges fixed so my mechanic said that it should not cause a problem and it fixed itself when I took it back in. Well unfortunately it did!!! My Mom borrowed my car and had no idea that the car was running hot because of course the gauge messed up again so the head of the engine cracked. Now because of the faulty gauges I now need a whole new engine, about a $2000.00 repair job!!! If your gauges are messing up I would say go get them fixed ASAP. I called and talked to the chevy people and there has never been a recall on the gauges even though I have been told by many many people that their chevys and GM's have done the exact same thing. Just be warned its not just the gauge, it will also ruin your engine!

- , Fredericksburg, VA, US

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