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Chevy Tahoe Stabilitrak Problems

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 3,613
    edited August 2015
    There are many different issues that can cause the stabilitrak system to be disabled. Virtually anything that can impact the PCM's ability to control engine power and torque to the wheels, as well as problems with the antilock brake control system, airbag system (yaw sensor) steering system (steering angle sensor), and the four wheel drive component issues can all result in the engineers having the software shut the stabilitrak system down. It all follows very clear logic to those who have made the investment in study time to be ready to troubleshoot the robotics in the car at that level. As part of understanding how it works it's a good exercise to examine it from the perspective that the stability control system on most cars doesn't exist as a stand alone item. It is software that is running in the background of a handful of vehicle systems working in concert with each other that creates the ability to have that system.

    Seems like auto mechanics lost in the court of public opinion decades ago.

    Yea, but blaming all of the techs of today for the sins of some others only serves to perpetuate the problems at a time when that's the last thing the consumer ultimately needs. When consumers and yes even shops can't find techs that can handle relatively simple systems like stabilitrak, they are reaping what they have been sewing.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 51,084
    Even more logical would be to have the PCM tell the owner (and the tech) just what module went flooey. Couldn't OnStar email or text that info to the owner?

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 3,613
    If it could, then it would be doing it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,732
    It's feasible but I don't think it's possible to do that right now while the car is "on the run". Perhaps a car could be designed to be parked and put into some kind of powered-up diagnostic mode and the PCM could do a series of pass/fails.

    Doc has a point. I mean, let's say in my part of the world (an area that can post $145/hr shop rates) that it takes the tech 4 hours to track down and remedy the Stabiltrak problem and by golly, it was a loose connector that got corroded.

    So the bill is $580 + $7 for parts. The consumer is not going to like that bill.

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  • We have a 2007 Chevy Tahoe LTZ that we bought used. Prior to owning it I have always bought GM products; however, I will probably never buy one again. Within a week of owning it the stabilitrak off/system off started. After spending more and more money on repairs I searched the Web to investigate the issue and learn that it is probably more uncommon for the 2007-2009 Tahoe to NOT have the stabilitrak system issue. I have also learned that the true resolution to the issue is never posted other than many completely different theories and a lot of wasted time by the dealers and money by the Tahoe owners. I have read many forum posts inquiring about a class action law suit. Anyone with the information about a true resolution  or the class action suit please help. Thank you 
  • Own a 2006 Chevy Tahoe and never had any issues with stabilitrak system until local and reputable shop replaced motor after 212,000 miles. Engine from Jasper. The stabilitrak system alert and T/C light intermittent and constant. Alert triggered 5 times last night after I picked up and shop. This was the 3rd, maybe 4th, time the shop has had it to diagnosis and it has stayed in the shop for as long as 10 days or more. Just dropped $1,200 plus on the last attempt as they replaced the ABS Control Module and Flash ABS Control Module. I started reading this post when it started but do not have the time today to go through all 10 pages of comments. Has anyone come up with a solution or is it hit and miss and simply changing out computer modules until the money is exhausted? I look forward to feedback. Thank you.
  • Own a 2006 Chevy Tahoe and never had any issues with stabilitrak system until local and reputable shop replaced motor after 212,000 miles. Engine from Jasper. The stabilitrak system alert and T/C light intermittent and constant. Alert triggered 5 times last night after I picked up and shop. This was the 3rd, maybe 4th, time the shop has had it to diagnosis and it has stayed in the shop for as long as 10 days or more. Just dropped $1,200 plus on the last attempt as they replaced the ABS Control Module and Flash ABS Control Module. I started reading this post when it started but do not have the time today to go through all 10 pages of comments. Has anyone come up with a solution or is it hit and miss and simply changing out computer modules until the money is exhausted? I look forward to feedback. Thank you.

    PS...this issue started immediately after the rebuilt engine was installed.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 3,613
    I.P.C.O. Input, Processing, Communication, Output. Have them pull codes from every module on the car, and post them along with which modules are generating each code. Some codes will only be generated by one module, while others can be generated by several modules and all of that will need to be known in order to choose a starting point for the diagnostics.
  • ColoradoChevyColoradoChevy ColoradoPosts: 1
    I have a 2007 Tahoe LTZ/Z71 - just experienced some of the "classic" stabilitrak symptoms, especially the hard shifts, poor running, constant alarms. Decided to swap to E85 to maybe clean things up a bit - car had a terrible time making the switch. (It's important to wait to switch fuels when the other type is almost gone and then you have to drive enough to empty the fuel lines and let the engine sense the swap, then turn it off and on a couple times to let it re-map to the new fuel. Not as effortless a fuel swap as they lead you to believe. ) E85 didn't make much of a difference.
    Dealer did diagnostics (for free since I bought it there?) and discovered the fuel pump was under pressure and the fuel mapping had gone to extremes trying to maintain power when the pump couldn't deliver. Replaced pump, reset everything (several times) - now runs with no stabilitrak alarms.
    The mechanic said part of the problem lies in the architecture of the electronics. For physical reasons, several diagnostic circuits are channeled thru the same alarm pin on the chip and they can interfere with each other (probably oversimplifying here).
    So the engine timing was screwy because of the low fuel pressure (and the E85?) and it affected stabilitrak and the tranny (really? The fuel pump bothers the tranny?) and that gave multiple things a rash. In my case, fixing the FP and then resetting the chip (alarms and engine fuel mapping) several times seems to have solved the problem. Two weeks and 2 tanks of E85 later, so far so good.
  • I have a 2010 Chevy suburban LT currently with 140k miles. Almost 3 years ago I had a stabilitrak problem that was a computer misfire. It was under warranty and a new battery solved the problem. I rented a car while being fixed and sure enough a customer of the rental company was there complaining his stabilitrak went out. Fast forward to this week. The lights went on again Sunday morning with no recent issues at all. I had it flat bedded to the dealership and they just called saying they *think* it's the cam issue and want 5500-6500 to fix it. WTH? I have a close friend whose Tahoe had the same problem and they had to junk it. I paid way over 50k for this car 66 months ago. This is insane! I definitely want to start a lawsuit against GM. Has anyone gotten anywhere on that? Also: recommendations on what to have the dealership try before I blow 7k? 
  • mkfresnomkfresno Posts: 1
    edited December 2015
    Hi ..i my 2007 tahoe z71 has the exact same issue.i was driving on a high way when all of the sudden  the message "stabilitrak disabled"/ "service stabilitrak"/ "service traction control" engine light blinking and hard shift on the 2nd and 3rd, engine shaking when stoped...and NO one can tell me what the he'll is the fix...!!!!!NO GM can know what is causing this so at least I can fix this problem...and no I can't just pay and did pay the dealer so they will tell me we don't know. ...!!![Email removed]
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,732
    There is apparently no one single "fix", and that's the problem.

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  • Darknite132218Darknite132218 JacksonvillePosts: 1
    I have a 2007 Avalanche. A month ago I had to replace the ops, the tps, and injection cleaners and a few other things to take care of a check engine light at the dealership at the tune of about 3k. Today I go to start my vehicle and now I have the same issues as most of the other posters Stabilitrak needs servicing Traction control off. Rough idling and hard shifting from 1 to 2 gear. My question is has anyone been able to resolve this issue or do i need to park my truck? I'm hoping that someone has been able to get resolution to this.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,732
    There's no one answer to it unfortunately. What might solve it for truck A won't for Truck B.

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  • berriberri Posts: 6,242
    And I suppose GM is sticking with it's Stabilitrak for it's new or updated 4wd models they are revealing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,732
    Hopefully with new engineering so that a defective cigarette lighter doesn't set it off ! B) /sarcasm

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 3,613
    edited January 14
    berri said:

    And I suppose GM is sticking with it's Stabilitrak for it's new or updated 4wd models they are revealing.

    Yes they are. Pretty sure Toyota is keeping their VSC system too even though my daughters Rav4 which recently set a P0420 (catalyst efficiency) resulted in both the check engine and VSC lights coming on. Then again that's the way these systems work. If there is a problem with the engine controls, the VSC (vehicle stability control) system also shuts down as a reaction to the engine control problem. Diagnose and fix the engine control problem and the VSC system resumes normal operation. Stabilitrak works the same way. Off hand I can't think of any of the manufacturers who don't have similar systems and similar scripted failure strategies.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,732
    GM's system seems overtly sensitive. Do you agree Doc?

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 3,613
    Not really, and especially not after Toyota's alleged run away issues when everyone was pressing for them to make changes to disable the engine if the brake and throttle are pushed at the same time (among others).

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,732
    Yeah but that was unproven. This is a bright light shining in your face.

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 3,613
    edited January 14

    Yeah but that was unproven. This is a bright light shining in your face.

    What??? You do realize that proven or not Toyota had to make changes that cause the engine to depower much more aggressively than originally designed as a safety feature, right?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 3,613
    Just posted..... What were the odds of that?

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b15_1452781371
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,732
    Toyota just wanted to get out from the mass hysteria, and I don't blame them. But these GM owners with Stabilitrak issues are not hysterical. They have a real problem.

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 3,613
    Haven't found one yet that I couldn't figure out and repair.
  • tahoebentahoeben Posts: 1
    Been having the same issue with 2008 Tahoe. 130K miles. "Stabilitrak disabled" "service stabilitrak" "service traction control." Reduced power. Tried restarting and that didn't do the trick. Kept driving it home on reduced power and then the power went back to normal but engine light stayed on. Just took it to mechanic. Trouble code was P0304. They traced it to a cylinder plug wire not on properly, causing arching down the side of the plug. They installed a new spark plug in cylinder eight. $223. Drove home...so far so good (knock on wood). I'll report back if it happens again. Good luck.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,732
    Well at least you got a pretty good hint with a P304--once you know it's cylinder #4 you can find out what's missing from that cylinder---spark, fuel or compression.

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 3,613
    edited March 2
    There are some details that aren't quite adding up here.
    tahoeben said:

    Been having the same issue with 2008 Tahoe. 130K miles. "Stabilitrak disabled" "service stabilitrak" "service traction control." Reduced power. Tried restarting and that didn't do the trick. Kept driving it home on reduced power and then the power went back to normal but engine light stayed on. Just took it to mechanic. Trouble code was P0304.

    It's good to this point. As stated many times the Stabilitrak system shutting down is the result of a failure in one of the sub-systems that it relies on, and the Stabilitrak warning itself should not be the main focus of attention. A misfire would cause the PCM to not be able to control engine torque correctly so the result is the system warning as commonly described. But this next part needs to be investigated closer.
    tahoeben said:



    They traced it to a cylinder plug wire not on properly, causing arching down the side of the plug. They installed a new spark plug in cylinder eight. $223. Drove home...so far so good (knock on wood). I'll report back if it happens again. Good luck.

    P0304 is a misfire in cylinder #4. If the plug wire wasn't on correctly and caused arcing the correct repair isn't to just put the wire back on like it might have been years ago. That arcing causes a carbon track to form on both the plug and the wire that reduces the strength of the insulation. Today's lean burning engines take a lot of voltage to fire the spark plug. Any compromise in the secondary insulation can allow spark to jump outside of the cylinder and that results in a misfire, even if it is just random for now. It's important to understand this because misfires destroy the catalytic convertors, so you want to avoid them as much as you can. Always make sure that the car is properly serviced when it needs a repair, which leads to this detail.Spark plugs and wires (coil boots on coil on plug systems) should be replaced together as complete sets when service is required. Trying to do just one or the other leads to carbon tracking that damages both components. That results in misfires, which of course can then result in catalyst failure.

    Lastly. If the misfire was cylinder #4, what was going on that they replaced the spark plug in cylinder #8? Is that a misprint?



  • 4x44x4 Posts: 114
    I'm having this issue now..I've had throttle position sensor replaced, throttle body cleaned, gas pedal sensor replaced, brake sensor replaced, new cats installed and truck still will suddenly lose power. Last thing I'm trying is replacing mass air sensor...I cleaned it yesterday...

     Did it to me today on I-10 and shut down me down speed wise..had to pull off the road ..cranked truck 4 times in a row to rough idle and loud- rattle with no acceleration possible...5th time it cranked and ran fine...

    The door locks will click when it's about to shut down...my mechanic said maf was next on the list but I feel like it's the harness going into tps...I hate problems like this 





  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,732
    Your mechanic might be in over his head here---and yes, this type of problem can be tough. Seems like a lot of guesswork is going on here, which might end up costing you more than if you went directly to a specialist in auto electronics who could track this down first time.

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