I have a 2004 Chevy Cavalier with 70,000 miles. I bought it new and have maintained it very well. It began having intsterment gauge problems about 6 months ago. My spedomiter would read about 5-15 mph faster than I was actually going. On other days it would read 5-15 mph slower than I was actually going. (I know its a gauge problem because my car's governed at 106mph and even when my gauge is messed up the power still cuts out at exactly 106mph) The problem was on and off. Recently the problem has migrated to my engine overheat gauge and my fuel gauge. They both read wrong. To the point that when I turn my car off. My fuel gauge will be sitting on 1/2 tank. But when I turn it on it will read off the chart and actually hit my heat gauge. I consulted a local mechanic shop and there only fix would be to replace the whole cluster for around $500. Do I have any other options?
On the left side end of the dash you'll see a fuse block behind it is the BCM and 3 connectors check for a tight connections there- the 3 problems mention other than the Tachometer is control thru there then to the PCM.
Might want to inspect the BCM fuse while there checking connections on BCM>
November, 3, 2007 AT 4:20 PM
Check all connectors, they are ok. Tried to check bcm. Something rattling around in it. How do you remove the bcm to check it. Seems to have a cable behind it and in a very tight spot.
November, 27, 2007 AT 7:31 PM
2003 - 63000 miles Car's Fuel gauge, rpm gauge and windshielD wipers are erratic. When tank is full fuel gauge reads 1/2 tank more than what is in there.
March, 19, 2010 AT 1:15 PM
I had intermittent gauge problems and various dash lights coming on for no good reason. I thought it was the instrument cluster at first. I was lucky enough to have a buddy that had a spare cavalier cluster to try! It didn't help.
I eventually discovered that I had a bad ground.
It finally made sense that it seemed to happen more when reversing or turning. What happens when we reverse or turn. A reverse or signal light turns on! Big current draw from the lights over a bad ground (high resistance) causes a large voltage drop. This means the electronics in the cluster don't have a high enough voltage to operate correctly. (Can you tell my background is electronics!)
Anyway, check the negative battery cable. The main cable had another cable crimped to it and bolted to the chassis. On my car the crimp had broken and was only resting on the cable.
I soldered the cable to where it was crimped and I haven't had any problems since.
I hope this helps someone!
April, 8, 2010 AT 3:10 AM
I have the same car same problem. My father in law is an expert mechanic. Said its called a level sensor and its either on or in the gas tank. Now I have no idea how that throws the gages off but he is the expert and sure could explain it. Its all gibberish to me. Basically your instrument panel is fine but your car thinks its on a hill or something. IDK just telling you what I know. Its a level sensor.