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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,089 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.

2005 Chevrolet Cavalier electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #55

Nov 202010


  • 79,000 miles


While driving home one evening in approximately 30 degree weather my 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier temp gauge began to soar far past the 260 degree mark on the dial and came to rest pointing at the 15 mph mark on the speedometer. This prohibited the speedometer from coming to rest at 0 when the car was not moving. This is causing me to have to use my gps to accurately determine the rate of speed I am traveling at. I have pulled overmany times to check whether or not my car is truly overheating and at no time has it been the case.

- Henderson, CO, USA

problem #54

May 012010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Speedometer, gas gauge and horn don't function or give incorrect readings.

- Goshen, OH, USA

problem #53

Sep 232010


  • 188,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that after driving the vehicle off of the lot she noticed that the speedometer displayed the incorrect speed. The gasoline gauge had also failed and the odometer had also malfunctioned. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed the contact that they could not assist her. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 188,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #52

Nov 102010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 97,860 miles


My Cavalier has over 97,000 miles on it. Last winter the speedometer started sticking at 0 randomly. During the warmer months, it seemed to work fine. Now that it is cold that speedometer is sticking again and doing it more often than last winter. I was sitting still at a traffic light the other day and it jumped to 110 mph and stayed there. I had no idea how fast I was going and what if something had happened. I can not afford the $300 to $800 that I have been told it would take to fix this. Also, I highly suspect that this might be connected, the car would refuse to start last winter also. All of the lights would come on along with the heater and fan. The starter wouldn't even act like it was trying... no clicking or any other noises typically associated with that. Please investigate these problems and issue a recall. I really like Chevrolet but, these problems are scary.

- Cynthiana, KY, USA

problem #51

Oct 082010


  • 83,000 miles
Temperature gauge stopped working and is stuck over 260 degrees, initially moved back but now remains totally turned to the right. Speedometer also stopped working, would turn on ignition and the speedometer would read 30 mph in idle and I would begin driving. To calculate speed I would have to take the speedometer speed-30mph and it would equal the actual speed. Then stopped at a red light, speedometer only decreased to 50 mph, by the time I reached home the speedometer read 95 mph in idle. Additionally cd player also stopped working. It occurs all the time and the consequences are not knowing true temperature or speed of the vehicle posing a danger to all on the road and myself vehicle not yet repaired.

- Southampton, PA, USA

problem #50

Nov 032010


  • 75,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cavalier that I have been having trouble with the temperature gauge reading hot when the motor is not. I've been told that the instrument panel most likely needs replaced and it's very expensive. The car has only 75,000 miles. I have been reading a lot of complaints about the panels going out of this model. Not being able to know whether the car is performing properly could pose a safety hazard driving. If the temperature gauge is reading incorrectly, I have no way of knowing whether to turn the car off or keep driving it.

- Bristol, TN, USA

problem #49

Oct 012010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


The speedometer in my 2005 Chevy Cavalier has stopped working. It won't register the correct speed at all, at any speed.

- South Cle Elum, WA, USA

problem #48

Oct 102010


  • 55,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cavalier with 66K miles on it. The speedometer, fuel gauge, temp gauge will at times have a mind of their own. I know I'm not really going 30 mph when stopped at a light. And how can everyone be passing me on the freeway when I'm doing 110?

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #47

Oct 062010


  • 124,800 miles
The speedometer on my 2005 Chevy Cavalier stopped working. The mileage is just over 125,000 miles. The speedometer would indicate a speed of 25 mph when I was stopped. On the interstate it would show I was over 110 mph when I was with the flow of traffic. It finally went so high off the scale that it stayed stuck. I took the car to a Goodyear service center and they charged me $220 to "fix" the problem. The speedometer was reading 5 miles per hour when I parked the car in my driveway after driving 3 miles home from the repair shop. It will be next week before I can get back to the shop and try to get some of my money refunded. Now I have to find a reputable repair shop that can actually handle the job and replace the defective parts in the instrument panel cluster.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #46

Sep 272010


  • 122,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that he noticed the temperature gauge seemed to move sporadically. The gauge indicated that the vehicle was hot but it was not. The gauge also became "hang up with the speedometer", according to the contact. The contact disconnected the temperature gauge. The contact planned to perform repairs himself; he purchased a motor that would be installed behind the instrument panel. The contact called the dealership who advised him to take the vehicle in for a diagnostics test. The current and failure mileages were approximately 122,000.

- Hazard, KY, USA

problem #45

Jan 012010


  • 110,000 miles


The instrument panel of my 2005 Chevy Cavalier has gone crazy. It started with my gas gauge staying all the way to the right which prevents my temp gauge from reading. Now in the past week the RPM gauge is doing the same thing. I have noticed the speedometer will stick as I accelerate. I am just waiting for it to go out. I have to judge my miles to make sure I don't run out of gas. Why hasn't Chevy recalled this problem? I also have had to replace both driver and passenger side window I believe it's an electrical problem that should be recalled!

- Danielsville, GA, USA

problem #44

Aug 312010


  • miles
The 2005 Chevy Cavalier instrument cluster works erratically(speedometer/tachometer).

- Madison, OH, USA

problem #43

Aug 142010


  • 100,000 miles
Horn contact behind airbag was recently crazy glued, to restore horn, and speedo & cluster requires replacement of entire cluster by Chevy, or removal & rebuild of gauge stepper motors through ebay motors. Use and enter"repair Cavalier speedometer" to search. My speedo only on my cluster erratic for 20K miles. I use my tachometer to guestimate highway speeds,2,500 RPM is 55. I have 120K now on the car, otherwise bulletproof. Just tossing out brake rotors now, that's it. I used synthetic oil from the start, very smooth car, @ normal speeds.needs intake and wheels for speeding, over 65. Engine has plenty of go over that, but base brakes, wheels and intake aren't speedworthy, but it is a base model so ok. Keep the tie rods greased, air filters changed after winter as they are easily serviceable unlike most that aren't.

- Warwick, NY, USA

problem #42

Jan 052010


  • 30,000 miles
Instrument cluster failure on 2005 Chevrolet Cavaliers. I own two of this year models and both have failed. I have read reports that it is a known failure and GM refuses to recall. This is very hazardous as the failure includes failure of speedometer and temp gauges.

- Pasadena, TX, USA

problem #41

Oct 152009


  • 85,000 miles
Around October of 2009, the temperature gauge in my 2005 Chevy Cavalier started acting funny. My car was not overheating I had it checked. Over the course of the next couple of months the gauge needle started going all the way to the right into the speedometer thus effecting the speedometer's accuracy in telling me how fast I am going. The needle now rests below the 0 mph mark on the speedometer. At the time I did not have the funds to get it fixed. Now just yesterday August 1, 2010 the gas gauge started acting funny, which I started noticing about a month ago. Now the needle is resting in the temp gauge area so I have no idea how much gas I have. To me all these sound like safety issues to me.. not knowing how hot your car is running! not knowing how fast you are going! and not knowing how much gas you have. I did some research and turns out I am not the first Chevrolet Cavalier consumer with this problem. Their have been recalls for Tahoe, Silverado, ect but not for Cavalier which has the same thing happening that these vehicles have had. I am taking it tomorrow to have the whole instrument panel cluster replaced at the GM dealership and it will cost me $500 approximately. This is unacceptable for something that is clearly not my fault if multiple vehicles are having the same problem. And what happens if the same thing happens again because Chevrolet puts faulty equipment in their vehicles and doesn't take responsibility for it and tries to call it normal wear and tear?? I will have to pay 500 again to have it repaired again. I want to know what kind of wear and tear causes this problem to occur.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #40

May 072008


  • 33,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cavalier 2.2L, 33K miles, shortly after purchasing my car the speedometer stopped working. My mechanic told me the gauge cluster was faulty after replacing the speed sensor. I of course called the dealer and they forwarded me to Chevy customer support. I told them about the problem and they denied any help with the issue and told me to take it to a shop. I was not pleased with this but I came to accept it and scheduled time and tried to set aside around 400$ for the repair. Before I could get paid and take my car into the shop I exited an off ramp or exit ramp that was 30mph limit. I had been following a car to work so I'm not speeding hoping that they are not, and I began to slow down for the turn and began to exit but at this point I really didn't know how fast I was going but I thought I had slowed to what I thought was 30mph but I ended up taking the turn too fast and slammed into and up over a curve and into a wall which deployed the air bags and shattered the windows out on my passenger side. I unfortunately got cut up pretty bad by the glass on the left side of my face leaving me scarred. I feel lucky to be alive. I have read online about the speedometer problem and I've read over 100 out of the 1000S of complaints/reports of people loosing the speedometer shortly after purchasing their 2005 Chevy Cavalier and many of them report feeling scared or uneasy about driving their cars and I don't blame them. I feel the car is dangerous with out a speedometer or any vehicle for that matter and I feel truly sorry for people who simply can't afford the 400$ - 600$ repair to fix this and are forced to drive with the fear and anxiety of not knowing how fast they are going. I could have died and believe people probably have died as a result of this but I doubt there have been any investigations regarding the functionality of the speedometer or gauge cluster before the wrecks. Please help.

- Beverily Hills, CA, USA

problem #39

Jul 032010


  • 62,000 miles
The speedometer quits working. As im sitting still its saying 85 mph as im driving says 110mph. Then it will start working again and the next time I drive it stops again and says a high speed as im sitting still and a very high speed when im driving!

- Mill Hall , PA, USA

problem #38

May 042008


  • 100,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cavalier that has never been modified in any way and about a year and a half ago, I noticed that the instrument panel was acting faulty. It would act up sometimes and when the engine was turned off, the gauges would stay stuck and when you restart the engine, they would rotate even more further pass their normal idled position. It just got worst and worst. Now it's not even working. I can't really tell when I am low on gas until my gas checklight comes on nor can I tell how fast I am driving. That's my worst concern. My temp gauge sometimes works and sometimes not. Speedometer and RPM don't work at all. This is faulty and think that Chevy should either have it recalled or replace for free. It was bought in having faith in reliability that the car and parts would last a little longer than 4 years, especially interior parts/instruments.

- Anderson, SC, USA

problem #37

May 152009


  • 45,000 miles
Power window failure, windows stuck, replaced window motor 2 times, failure again, unable to open or close windows, gas gauge and speedometer not working.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #36

Feb 012010


  • miles
1. the speedometer on my 2005 Chevy Cavalier ls does not work. Started in February when needle stuck at 10mph when stopped... it was an extremely cold day, which led me to believe it was weather related, but not the case. 2.speedometer has gotten worse; sometimes doesn't budge at all and sometimes reads way too high. It is quite unpredictable, and occurs every time I drive. I do not feel safe, and would like to replace asap, but as a single mom it is not easy to come up with the amount of $$ needed. 3. I've researched problem and see that several other Chevy owners have had problems with the speedometer; seems a recall should be in order.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

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