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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,136 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Apr 142005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 34,000 miles


While shifting out of gear and stopping, the car on its own it revved up to 5000 rpms. At first I thought the acclerator was stuck and attempted to lift it up with my foot, and found out that was not it. About 15 seconds later it stopped on its own.

- Twentynine Palms, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 042004


  • Manual transmission
  • 2,000 miles
Intermittently while consumer's foot was on the brake pedal vehicle experienced sudden acceleration. When this occurred the vehicle was put in neutral. Engine continued to rev for 5 minutes, then it suddenly died down. This failure almost caused two rear end collisions. Vehicle was taken to dealership 8 times, but they only worked on it 5 times. They also test drove the vehicle for 44 miles, no problem was found.

- Leon, WV, USA

problem #1

Jan 302004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 100 miles
With less than 100 miles on the car it began to rev up on its own. It has been to the dealer on 9 different occasions. They even installed an on board computer and were able to see the problem that occurs. The mechanic says he believes it is a glitch in the computer and is unable to fix it. It has now begun to accelerate on its own while driving, and the only thing you can do is push in the clutch and hope the engine blows up. This is now a real safety issue. GM refuses to do anything to correct this problem. We filed a lemon law case with them and they said they are unable to do anything.

- Polk City, FL, USA

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