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:
45,000 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

Mar 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


My timing chain broke and my cavalier only had 30000 miles. Took good care of it. Still have some payments on it. This was confirmed by two mechanics regarding the timing chain. It cost $1500 to fix. The car was useless. I only used it for local shopping and my warranty was up last year. Quite a few people told me the cavalier was well known for this problem occurring and the timing chain was made of rubber. This is so wrong. Anyone else have this problem. GMAC sure did take a lot of people for a ride and then the govt. bailed them out and we are stuck with their neglect. I will never, ever, buy another Chevrolet. I hope that there is some kind of help for consumers who got stuck with this problem. Help!

- , Carnegie, PA, USA

problem #1

Dec 062008

Cavalier LS 2.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Absolutely the worst car I have ever owned!! Even the mechanic couldn't believe that the timing chain had broke this early! I bought the stupid car brand new, it only had 57 miles on it when I drove it off the lot!

- , Clarksburg, WV, USA

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