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Fuel and RPM gauges not showing the right stuff

When I start the car the fuel gauge sometimes goes past F and interferes with the water temp gauge. Also noticed recently that the RPM is not reading correctly. Any ideas?

This Chevrolet Cavalier May Have Expired. What Is The “Freshness Date” ? In Other Words, When Discussing Automobiles And Seeking Advice, It’s Helpful To Reveal The Model-Year.


This is a 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier

A bad ground for the instrument cluster can produce these symptoms.

This Vehicle Is Still Within Its “Use By Date.” Although This Could Be Caused By A Number Of Things, There Are Many GM Models With Problems Of This Nature That Require Reprogramming Of The BCM Or IPC.

GM has TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) on instrument problems, although I didn’t spot one covering your vehicle, specifically.

Did both problems start together ? Has there been any “Check Engine” light illumination or any other clues in this mystery ?

You could chase after things almost forever or have “mechanics” chase after them, fixing things that don’t need fixing, making new problems, costing considerable money, and not resolving the issues.

I’d try rapping the top of the instrument panel with open palm to see if the gauges respond. Next, I would take the car to a reputable GM dealer and pay them to check it out. Although it could cost a little, the end result could be cheaper than the alternatives mentioned above.

Call a few dealers and speak with the service people. Explain the situation and ask what they think is going on and how they would proceed. Some shops may turn you off and one shop may inspire confidence in this matter. Go there.


It may be a good idea to have the alternator checked to make sure that there isn’t excessive AC ripple voltage coming from the alternator causing the trouble. You could temporarily disable the alternator by removing the plug in the back of it and then start the engine to see if that changes things. If the trouble isn’t with that then the cluster should be checked out.