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Had same problem with my 2000 dodge stratus 2.4 liter and transmission would not shift out of 1st gear. Solution was ignition fuse under the hood was blown, one side of fuse working, replaced 10 am fuse everything works, tach, speedometer, gas gauge and transmission started back to shifting.
If you have a multimeter, set it on x10 ohm scale. read resistance between engine and body, then negative terminal of battery to body. should be zero ohms. if not connect a ground strap from engine to body (make sure metal is clean at connection points) then one from negative of battery terminal to body. check again with meter should be zero ohms.
Jess, Make sure you don't have the ground and sender level circuits crossed at the gauge. If the needle is pegs to full it indicates an open circuit, if the needle pegs to empty it is indicating a short to ground.
Let me know.
From 2003 to 2006 GM - chevy , pontiac , buick , cadillac , had bad step motors inside the instrument clusters , causing gauges to no work or sporadically . Happened to my 2005 chevy cavalier , went to automotive salvage yard ,got a used one for $20.00 buck's . That was two year's ago , now problems ! How to repair GM Instrument Cluster Speedometer Gauge Stepper
Or you can buy the up graded stepper motors on eBay an fix it .
Dashboard gauges have a wiring problem. Most Sunfires have these especially late models. It's a common defect. While the gauges will run fine most of the time, the primary instigator is heat. The more the car heats up inside the cabin, the more the gauges will stick. So keep the inside cool, and you'll be fine. Trying to replace with Chevrolet Cobalt gauges. I'll tell you if they work.
I have the same problem.. i installed a toggle switch for the fuse so at least I can reset it while driving.. its still a pain so Im thinking my next step will be to drill a hole through the plastic and put in a small metal post to stop the tach from going past 7