2003 Chevy Cavalier problem with gauges

Tiny
DAKOTA5
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 105,000 MILES
Here are the details of what the car is doing.
While driving, the check gauges, service engine and theft system light will come on. Also at the same time temp gauge, speedometer and tach quit working. (All going backwards to zero, not jumping ahead)
If I turn off anything drawing electrical, (heater blower, radio, lights ect.) The gauges will immediately start working again. I can turn things back on and the gauges will continue working for a while but will eventually fail. Turning things off makes them work again.
sometimes braking for a stop causes the failure but that is erratic. It happens many times during regular driving and doesn't always happen when braking.
both turn signal lights seem to have a dim flash at the moment of the failure.
The theft system light and service engine light stay on through all this but do reset when the engine is turned off. They are ok again until the first incident while driving.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 AT 2:02 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Have the computer scanned for code/s-you have a problem within the engine management system that caused the CEL/SES to turn on-This is your starting point of diagnosis, finding out what's going on.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 AT 2:45 AM
Tiny
DAKOTA5
  • MEMBER
Took the car to a national auto parts retailer to have the codes read. They wouldn't read them because it is a SES light not a CEL light. They said the car has to be taken to a dealership. If I had extra money to pay just to have the codes read, I wouldn't be trying to do this. Anyway, since the problem seems to be generated electrically rather than mechanically, I hooked up my multimeter on an extension so I could measure voltage while driving. Because the altenator is located down low on the engine, I hooked the positive lead off the positive battery terminal and the negative lead to frame. While idling I show 13.6 volts. While driving with nothing auxillary turned on, I am showing 12.4-12.6 volts. While braking, still with nothing aux. On, the voltage drops to the low 11's. While driving with lights on, voltage reads 11.3 and if I then also turn on the heater motor, voltage drops to 10.5. Is any of this normal? Does the car have a voltage regulator or is it part of the altenator? Is any of this useful diagnostic information?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+2
Saturday, March 12th, 2011 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
KERB RITZ
  • MEMBER
Has anyone found a solution to this problem? I am experiencing the exact issues. Thank you
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Monday, February 6th, 2017 AT 8:29 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hey,

This is a problem with the instrument cluster going out and needs to be replaced or rebuilt.

Let me know how it goes, best, Ken
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, February 9th, 2017 AT 3:40 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides