2005 Chevy Cavalier Speedometer and Temperature Gauges

Tiny
CAMLMULLINS
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 75,600 MILES
I do not think that the problem is electrical, it appears that the temp gauge is stuck - it is below 0 and will not move. The speedometer gauge is on 41 MPH even when the ignition is in the off position - appears to be a calibration issue. My questions are:
1) Does this make sense, e.G, is the logic here correct?
2) Where is the best place to take it for repairs.
3) How much should I expect to pay for this type of repairwork, e.G, what is reasonable?
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Sunday, April 4th, 2010 AT 4:03 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
Don't know if it can be considered a calibration issue, meaning a software upgrade can cure it. It sounds like an internal cluster issue, stepper motor fault. The fact that you don't have a check engine light(or at least none mentioned), makes me think this. The information for the gauges concerned, comes from the PCM on the communications circuit. If you had perhaps, an open coolant temp sensor, or open vehicle speed sensor, you would have other symptoms, and a malfunction indicator light. This is a simple test to confirm, but requires a scan tool to perform it, and I am not sure if aftermarket scan tools have the capability. It is a function called a gauge sweep test. If the gauges in question, don't respond, you need a cluster. Aassuming you have no relevant faults or communications faults. If that were the case though, I dont believe you would have any functioning gauges. As far as price, I would estimate a cluster to be around $250, and labor time to be 1-2 hours including diagnostics, this would be at your shops rate, and there is some variance by region but $100/hr is about average.
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 AT 10:24 AM
Tiny
CAMLMULLINS
  • MEMBER
Since I posted, I used a PDC reader which came back "no codes"; also, the speedometer issue resolved itself when the vehicle was driven again - reset to "0" miles and indicates correct speed now. So the temp gauge is now an isolated issue. There is, buy the way a "check gauges" idicator light on. The needle seems to be stuck below the "0" reading - it is actually below the frame surrounding the gauge panel. I thought maybe it had become lodged there, and tried inserting a piece of wire in through the space between the trip set and the clear plastic dust cover, manuevering it over to push the needle up slightly and releave the tension, if that was what was holding it up, but there was resistence holding it down even when this was done. Any thoughts?
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 AT 3:48 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
It is possible that if the PCM had any loss of communications codes, you would have saw them with your reader. That is about all it's capable of interrogating. The check gauges light, is just that, it's alerting you to the temp gauge light. The fact that you say it is below the zero stop tells me that it has spun completely around. Here are the two causes for check gauges light.
CHECK GAUGES
The instrument panel cluster (IPC) illuminates the CHECK GAUGE. Indicator based on a class 2 message from the body control module (BCM). The BCM will command the CHECK GAUGE. Indicator ON when the following occurs:

" The fuel level falls to or below 5%

" The engine coolant temperature is hot and exceeds 107 C (225 F)

The CHECK GAUGE. Indicator displays in the IPC whenever any of the above listed conditions are present. If the CHECK GAUGE. Indicator illuminates when the fuel gauge and coolant temperature are operating normally, check for the proper operation of the BCM.

I took a look at the diagnostic chart for temp gauge inaccurate or inoperative, it just refers to the gauge sweep test I had mentioned earlier. That would be the next step in the diagnostic process. Here is the chart.

Engine Coolant Temperature Gauge Inaccurate or Inoperative
Step
Action
Yes
No

Schematic Reference: Instrument Cluster Schematics

1
Did you perform the Diagnostic System Check - Vehicle?
Go to Step 2
Go to Diagnostic System Check - Vehicle in Vehicle DTC Information

2
Install a scan tool.
Turn the ignition ON, with the engine OFF.
With the scan tool, perform the Coolant Gauge Sweep Test.
Does the engine coolant temperature gauge move up and down when commanded?
Go to Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections in Wiring Systems
Go to Step 3

3
Replace the instrument panel cluster (IPC). Refer to Control Module References in Computer/Integrating Systems for replacement, setup, and programming.

Did you complete the replacement?
Go to Step 4
--

4
Operate the system in order to verify the repair.

Did you correct the condition?
System OK
Go to Step 2
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Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 AT 10:25 AM

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