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Chevy Tahoe Battery Problems



  • james0258james0258 Posts: 1
    Just confirming the very real problems described in the previous 227 posts. I lived with it from summer 2010 (65,000 miles) to May 2012 (103,000 miles). I traded for new 2012 Suburban rather than invest more time in a futile effort to make the vehicle dependable.

    First time, nearly got stranded in the desert of Utah with mystery no start problem; forced to stop in Tucumcari, NM on the way back to Dallas, or risk being stranded on the highway. Warning lights flashing, door locks popping up and down, ignition glitches; while running I40 at night.

    Tucumcari GM mechanic "discovered" positive terminal wasn't properly torqued. I assumed my bad since I had replace battery myself several months earlier. Back home, one week later, problem came back. I started playing with positive cable at the terminal; found that if I twisted on the cable, contact would change, and auto would "come back on". I mean from completely dead to completely alive. Well I showed this to my local dealer, and suggested a defective positive cable. Hard to believe, but copper cable into a lead alloy terminal can have a poor contact resulting in voltage drop. Enough to fool the electronic sensor into "dead" behavior.

    Paid about $300 to replace the cable ... the problem went away for about 9 months. Then the problem came back. Replaced the cable again (same symptoms) under parts warrenty at about 80,000, and THEN AGAIN AFTER 12 MORE MONTHS AT 100,000 miles. Don't know if I really had warranty coming, but the local dealer (small town) really wanted to make it right. Did any of this help? No. Toward the end, replaced the battery, and still had intermittant shut downs; where only solution was to fritz with the positive cable. An undependable vehicle is almost worse than no vehicle. Stranded at home is one thing; getting stranded on the road or in a desert will get you hurt or killed.

    Final note, I nor the local GM mechanics ever this figured out. But I think that it is likely that there is poor design/manufacturing on the positive cable for the '07; and the voltage sensor is too sensitive, going into shutdown on minor voltage drops. Some GM engineer is probably totally aware, but not about to announce it to the world. My new 2012 Burb has a very different looking positive terminal, with secondary contacts on the battery. Hope this helps anyone with the same problem.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    I'm sorry that the electrical concern you had been having with your Tahoe was unable to be resolved; I hope that your new Suburban is a different story! If we can ever answer any questions or look into anything for you, please be sure to get in touch with us at
    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • rf_fanat1crf_fanat1c Posts: 1
    I recently bought a used 07 Tahoe LTZ. Two times now I've had the vehicle off but the radio on and go to start it 15 minutes later and it won't start. Clock resets to 12:00 and cd changer and locks go bezerk. The other time this happened, my wife parked it for 4 hours with the key out and everything off. She came out to the vehicle and it was dead again and wouldn't take a jump start. The other two times it took a jump and started.

    I've taken it to the dealership and they said the 07033 service bulletin (BCM Flash) has already been done and they then re-flashed the rear heated seat module. They also did a test on the battery and said it was fine, had almost all of its original cranking amps and only had a 0.1 amp draw when off.

    I went out to the vehicle today to do a test and just turned the radio on and sat in the car for 15 minutes and the voltage gauge eventually dropped to just above 9. I went to start it and it was dead, lights and radio worked but it wouldn't start. Just before I tried this, the Stability Track light came on and it said the system was off. I turned the key, no start and the the radio reset to 12:00 and the cd changer went nuts. I've researched this to death on the issue and no one can seem to give me a clear answer. Thanks for any help anyone can provide. I'm going to try a new battery tomorrow but don't have high hopes.

    Another strange thing I noticed was that when I bought the vehicle 2 months ago, I saw the engine hours were reset to 0. I didn't think this was possible and the dealership things it was from a cluster replacement. Thanks for any help.
  • sarcasarca Posts: 9
    Seems like my battery prob is fixed. I took it in and they said that the fix was what you had done: reflash back seat heaters and bcm. I also had them put in a bigger battery, the largest one AC Delco makes for this veh. it has slightly more power. I wanted everything to be done at the dealer so they couldnt say that it was my battery etc. Anyway, when I picked up vehicle I just sat in the lot with veh off and radio running. When it turned off I turned it back on. I also had all seat heaters going at same time. I started up no prob. It's been 4 months now and no prob with battery. Just a bunch of other things. Doing oil consumption test, now they going to fix piston rings and seals, I guess they found oil pooling. Well hope I figure everything out before my ext warr comes to an end.
  • Just like the rest of the posts on here I bought my 06 tahoe a year ago and its been doing fine but in Jan of this year I went to meet some friends and turned it off and it did not start back up so we jumped it and its been running fine until about a week ago. I got up one morning to go to work and noticed a major lag when starting and its been doing this every since and several occassions it wouldn't start. I was going to get a new battery but reading all of these posts im not sure it will fix this issue. Is there an answer to this problem or is everyone in the dark like me???
  • Good afternoon 2forty,

    Your vehicle does have a Voltmeter that you can use to see your battery's charge status. When your engine is not running, but the ignition is in RUN, this gauge shows your battery’s state of charge in DC volts.

    Hope this is helpful in some way! Have you seen any warning lights come on?
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • There are no warning lights. It seems to be getting worse because I put it on the charger last night and when I took it off this morning it was very hesitant to start.
  • 2forty,

    I'm sorry to hear that it seems to be getting worse. I am unable to do much troubleshooting, but I hope that you're able to get some great feedback from the members of the community. If you decide to work with a GM dealership to get this resolved, please be sure to let us know. We can be reached at

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I have a 2003 Tahoe, recently went to body shop for repairs..hood flew up and wrapped around windshield during storm. When I got the car back, drove home parked, went out to start and nothing. Had a friend jump it, when I turned it off wouldn't start. Now I'm told it's a defective battery, I have to take the negative wire off every time I stop then car and reconnect when I want to start it. Could it be a short somewhere or possible a fuse? Help
  • I have checked the alternator, pulled every fuse and still something is daring the battery. Does anyone have any suggestions before I take it to the dealer
  • Try another battery of a different brand (used will be cheapest, or loaner) and see if symptoms are the same. If so, then it ain't the battery! probably some loose connection, perhaps right at the battery terminal lug connector.

    For the record, I had experienced a bad defective battery (Bosch brand from Pep Boys) , replaced it with the exact same model..... unfortunately the same results... battery completely dead overnight. Removed that 2nd Bosch and replaced it with an AC/Delco brand.... never had the problem again.. it's been 2 years now !!
  • My personal experience with 2004 Suburban... battery going dead.
    1st battery lasted about 6 years. 2nd battery (Bosch brand from Pep Boys Auto Store) lasted about 1-1/2 yrs. 3rd battery (Bosch brand from Pep Boys) went dead about 3 days. (I have a battery charger at my house where I was recharging it... which would last about 3 day max) Finally took to Chevy dealer to diagnose. ($90) They couldn't find the problem, said they were sorry but all seems to be working fine. They charged the battery overnight and sent me on my merry way. Went to a local auto repair shop, they kept the vehicle overnight, called me the next morning, said I had a defective battery. They replaced the Bosch brand with an AC DELCO. Problem SOLVED !!!!!! It's been 2 years now an no more dead batteries!

    Final analysis: For some reason the local Pep Boys Auto Store sold me not 1, but 2 bad defective batteries. I'm not sure, but perhaps that store is being supplied with batteries from a questionable source, probably at higher discount rates for more profit margin!! I will never buy a battery from that store ever again. Because, maybe it's not only the Bosch brands, but others as well !! In this day and age, I don't trust anyone anymore, even if a product is brand new with a shiny new label...... (might be manufactured overseas somewhere !! You never know !!
  • I bought a used 07 Suburban LTZ with 113k miles. Within the first 30 days, it would not start for my wife and needed a jump. I figured she left something on, jumped it and off she went. when it happened 3 weeks later, I took it to Les Schwab to have the battery and charging system tested since it had one of their batteries in it that didn't look that old. All tested good and down the road it went. about 3 weeks later and again, no start needing jump. This is getting old. Took it to a local battery/alt shop and tested all good again. At this point I went to the web and found how common this issue seems to be. I have no idea what all BCM flashes or anything the previous 2 owners had done. The local stealer wanted $100 to hook it up and test, then another $100 for an overnight test if the first test showed nothing. I decided to do some testing on my own.

    checked battery VDC was at 12.35. removed negative terminal and placed DMM inline on amp setting between neg. wire and battery terminal. meter showed about 4 Amps!! However after about 30 sec or so, it dropped to 1.5A then down to about 30 ma, which is acceptable. But, when you touch the car like open the door for example it spikes back to 4A for a min. or so then slowly drops back to 30 ma withing about 2 min. Even with the dome lights off, it draws 4A every time you do anything. So from this it seemed there was no parasitic draw and all the modules were going to sleep correctly. I tried to open the motorized lift gate but my meter only goes to 10A and it spiked the meter at 16A and would not even try to open the gate which means it pulls quite a bit of current. So, I hooked the battery back up and walked away. 2 weeks later another jump start.

    Time to play some more...VDC still showing 12.35 with vehicle off. while running its 13.9 so alt is charging. Still not showing any drain per previous test performed again. The vehicle has a 10 min timer on the headlamps, and most times it has gone dead, the wife has mentioned that she did sit at the park for 10 min with radio on, or kids got in and out a few times. So, battery at 12.65V, headlights left on and went inside for 15 min. came back and the lights were off. battery now showing 11.6V and it would not turn over. A good battery should not go dead in 10 min of headlamps. Ran to sears and replaced the 650CCA les Schwab battery that had been tested good by 3 different shops at this point with an 850 Die Hard Platinum. Went home and slapped it in. VDC now reading 12.65V, turned on headlights and went in for a beer. came out 15 min later, headlights off, VDC reading 12.65V and it cranked over no problem. I did not start it, just cranked over quickly to see. again turned on lights and went for beer #2. 15 min later, reading 12.65VDC and again cranked no problem. one more test of 10 min of lights and beer #3. So after 30 min of head lights the battery had dropped 0.0V and it would still turn over no problem. For my 4th attempt I really stuck it to it. I turned on the headlights, opened all doors and left dome lights on, plugged in the IPOD to the power port and played music through the car, and opened and closed the lift gate 15 times. waited for the 10 min timer to hit and shut down the lights. measured battery at 12.64VDC and fired up the rig no problem. Case closed.

    Very frustrating problem and even though the battery tested good 3 times by 3 different places, it was the culprit. This is a very power hungry vehicle and since the new battery in October 2012, we have not had a single issue. I came back now to post this because of how may people I saw on the forums with the same problem, and never really found anyone that actually posted a real fix in the end. I'm sure that some people do have a drain for whatever reason, but if you can us a DMM and check for that and you don't have one, it's probably the battery. I saw plenty of people that had replaced the battery but moslty with the same brand. I know everyone has their likes and dis-likes of certain brands and that's fine. Seeing this thing draw 4 Amps every time you touch it is a huge draw. I personally would highly recommend higher CCA battery like the 850 I put in and I personally really like Die Hard and have never had an issue with one.
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