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Chevy Tahoe Battery Problems



  • My 07 Tahoe has had it's battery completely drained overnight parked in the garage with nothing plugged in, nothing left on, and no key in. Twice. No aftermarket add-ons. No Nav system. No DVD player.

    Both times it was towed to the dealership who did a complete electrical system check, with nothing found to be wrong. Including the battery (After the first time they replaced the battery upon my insistence). Two batteries in two months on a three month old vehicle.

    Each time this occurred, I received an Email from GM Onstar telling me that my vehicle is A-OK literally the day before the dead battery. It's the Onstar feature that sends you updates on your vehicle. Could the communications that occurs up to the satellite be leaving something "on" that drains it overnight, I must wonder?

    The Hoe is in GM Goodwrench's hands and I mentioned this to them. They've very interested in this observation, claiming they've seen this in several others with no explanation, and they are keeping my vehicle a couple days to test out that theory. I'll let you know how that goes. In the mean time, has anyone else been experiencing this?
  • Chevy has a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) There is a software upgrade for the BCM (Body Control Module) that prevents battery rundown caused by the BCM staying awake and allowing the Navigation DVD, and other modules to run continuously. I believe that the TSB number is 06162. If your dealer failed to check for this TBS, you probably should look for a different dealer. Check WWW.MYGMLINK.COM enter your VIN number, click on maintenance, then recalls, you will see a list of all TSB’s related to your truck. Good Luck,.... George
  • Thanks George. I did as you say. No TSBs are listed.

    Got the vehicle home today. Mr Goodwrench says they can't schedule an add-hock vehicle system check from On-Star so we have to wait until the day before our next auto-scheduled On-Star check will occur. The dealership is gonna take the vehicle in the day before our next checkup to put it on monitors and see if the check up is what causes the sickness. They talked with the On-Star folks who admit this crazy theory is actually possible. Will update in a month, and let you know the TSB number this creates...
  • ltpetieltpetie Posts: 3
    We've had three battery replacements and ECM and BCM software upgrades and we just had to use our Mini to jumpstart our Tahoe. Diagnostics come out with flying colors, but the dealers still don't know why the battery keeps dying. I have figured out that the battery dies after not having been started or driven for a day (or after long trips). To me, it is obvious that something is draing it slowly. This has to be the most unreliable vehicle we have ever owned. Too bad we can't drive on the looks.
  • Spotboyko, have you thought of lemoning this Tahoe? I would think about it. What year is your Tahoe? :lemon:
  • It is a 2007, three months since purchase. Yes, Lemmoning is in the back of our minds if they don't figure it out next month, when it's next scheduled to die, on the 20th. If there was a constant drain on the battery, you would think that Mr. Goodwrench could detect that with their electrical system check. And ours dies overnight in the garage after being driven the day(s) before that, so it's draining in a period of 14 hours or less, but so far, only on the 20th of the month. At least I know what day to make alternate plans. BTW, if I thought it was just the crappy Delco battery as some others have pointed out, I'd replace it with a non-GM [gel] battery and problem would be solved.
  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    Yes, Lemmoning is in the back of our minds
    Make sure you document EVERYTHING relating to this problem. Write it down, everything, in case they try to fight you. Check your state laws to find out exactly what proof is needed. You can't be too careful on t his matter.
  • Battery died and I called roadside assistance. Tahoe was sitting in my drive way and I had left nothing on. Roadside assistance said let it run for 30 minutes after it is jumpstarted. Sorry to say, I lost it.. and said NO, tow it to the dealer. I want to know why the battery died.. it's called 'root cause analysis'. The dealer called and said there was a TSB on battery run down and did not know why I had not been notified. He said they'd charge the battery overnight and call me tomorrow. I am going to demand a new battery and insist that I speak with GM rep about this problem. Will update you when I know more.. FYI.. no aftermarket add-ons, but has factory NAV, DVD and other all electriconic gadgets on board.
  • See if you can get the TSB number. I've had my dealer check ,and they keep saying there are no TSB's that apply. I also checked online about a month ago and found nothing, so if this is a real new / recent TSB, I'll need to scream at them again.
  • It's actually not a TSB, but a recall. The number is 07007. There is also antoher one, but I don't remember the number. The recall only applies to certain VIN ranges. If it's not showing up on the GM Link page, call the dealer and verify. My dealer knew exactly what it was when I called to have mine done.

  • I have 06 chevy van 4500 miles with similar problem of batt not holding a charge. It has been starting fine since I personally replaced the ac delco batt with an old autocraft I had stored in my garage. I haven't had any problems since.
    Starts fine no matter how long it sits. I went thru the hole bit at 1200 miles when van would not start after sitting for a couple few days.Dealer had all day an said can't find problem. Says has state of the art equipment. I say do you have anybody knows how to use? Cause won't start. I had fully charged batt before taking to dealer and stopped at batteries plus on the way. I had him do free load test and said was no good then dropped off at dealer. What a hassle. After dealer said everythings fine I stopped at batt plus again and told him I need to check again , thinking might not have been fully charged first stop. he told me same thing that it should not be dropping so fast on load test and batt no good. So was total waste of precious time cause 2 days later she would not start again.It was such a hassle I decided to put this old battery in and did not have any trouble after about a months time. So i call dealer and told i want new batt and after a bunch of crap got a replacement of same kind ac delco and after several months had same problem again.Must be a bad lot of batteries from ac delco cause after i put that old spare 60$ battery in no troubles. My wife has no trouble with her ac delco and hers is 01 model. Called roadside assistance one time when would't start and he said to me you can throw all these delcos in the trash. Guess he's seen alot of bad ones. After thinking about it system draws can be very hard to diagnose. One cheap and easy way to tell if draw or batt is to make sure is fully charged and disconnect cable and leave sit if no juice when connect and try start it is batt. If starts must have been something drawing current. Or just try new battery. I am glad in my case that was problem . I hope thats all thats wrong with yours. service is terrible now days.Very few good techs.
  • My Battery would die after sitting for a day. I would charge it up and drive around to different places stopping and starting the Tahoe with no problems. But if I let it sit over night the battery would be dead in the morning. I got tired of this and just bought a new battery at Wal-Mart.

    I haven't had any problems with the battery since I put it in. I hope that the problem was just the old battery couldn't hold a charge. It was only about 3 years old.

    It's been a couple of months now since I put the new battery in and I haven't had any problems with starting.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    A battery won't "hold" a charge basically for one of three reasons: (a) it is old or defective (b) the alternator isn't able to provide adquate recharging or (c) there is some drain on the battery. With a little luck, your problem was (a). :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I have a 2007 Silverado LTZ and and went to start my truck Sunday morning and the battery was completely dead. I jump started it and everything seamed fine, but I made an appointment with the dealer to check it out due to the fact nothing was left on or added to the truck. I did notice some variance in my volt meter since the battery went dead. The dealer did a draw test after the 20 min system shut down time and had a 5 milamp draw which is like none at all. the did a load test on the battery and check the charging system and everything checked ok. Needless to say I started searching the NET and found this information in EDMONDs. Guess what my battery was dead Sunday morning and Onstar ran a system check Saturday. This make four incidents since the middle of August. I have called Onstar to see if they have any knowledge of the problem and needless to say the first tech person I talked with knew nothing and could only tell me to get in my truck and push the ONstar button and have them run another Diagnostic on it. Tried unsuccessfully to tell this person the dealer had already done that and all she could say was if I didn't do it she would put a note in my file the I refused. ( Like I wanted her to make my battery go dead again). I finally got her to give my a more technical person who put me on hold to see if Onstar had any information on this problem. They had no previous records on this issue. I am trying to get with the service manger at the dealership to see if they can get any information on this problem or run a test with Onstar. I think someone had a mad employee who planted a bug in the computer programs.
  • An Update on my original post. Remember my problem doesn't appear to be the battery (it's been replaced), I don't have a NAV system or ANY add-ons, has nothing to do with the Hoe sitting for a few days without being used, but does seem to correlate to the day after Onstar runs monthly diagnostics on it. This month we felt sure our dealership was going to catch it. Instead, they didn't call us to let us know we needed to bring it in, which would have been fine if our "prediction" as to what day of the month it was going to die (because it did so the previous few months on that same day) had happened. But it didn't, so we're waiting another month. here's my theory as to why we didn't catch it this month...

    On the previous few months, we woke up early in the AM on the 21st with a message from Onstar about the diagnostics. My suspicion is that they ran the test 12 to 14 hours before the email went out to us with results. At that time, those months, the Hoe was sitting in my garage not used. If "something" was left on, it had maybe 14 to 16 hours to run down before we tried to start it and found it completely dead. This month, however, we got the email from Onstar about 12 hours early: in the afternoon on the 20th. Well, because of that timing, I had the Hoe at work and a couple hours after we got the email (maybe 3 hours) I had to start the vehicle in order to drive home. If something was left on, it didn't have that 14 to 16 hours to remain on without the alternator charging it back up, or even more likely, for the starting of the engine to reset whatever was left on. So the problem didn't show up this month.

    Which gets me thinking about all those who don't see this problem: could it be that the timing of when the test is run as it compares to how long the vehicle sits after the test before being started. Surely Onstar has to stagger their tests. Maybe our first few months were plagued with problems due to timing of the test and how long it sat idle afterwards? Maybe we won't see it again until the natural cycle of timing comes back around to them running the tests after I get home from work for the night? Certainly if they ran the test during a several day long period of vehicle inactivity, this would fit the mold too.

    And more importantly, can't I (and possibly you) avoid this all together if I cancel Onstar? I mean, if they aren't running checks in the middle of the night, it doesn't seem like I have the problem. After all, if I need an email to tell me when it's time to change my oil, well, maybe I should be driving a Mercedes.
  • have called Onstar to see if they have any knowledge of the problem and needless to say the first tech person I talked with knew nothing and could only tell me to get in my truck and push the ONstar button and have them run another Diagnostic on it
    Onstar will never admit their diagnostic tests have anything to do with your battery going dead. Cancel your Onstar service and your problem will go away.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    These postings regarding On-Star potentially causing battery run-down, certainly are interesting.....having just replaced my Sub with a new one that has On-Star. I was beginning to like the On-Star concept.

    I have not had my first monthly diagnostic and email, so I will be on the lookout and will track when these things occur. I've also put a set of jumper cables in the back, just in case.

    Thanks for the 'heads up' on this potential problem.
  • I am going to run a test the weekend by having Onstar run a diagnostic test manually this weekend. I have talked to the dealership and if this does not work they will try to do a test with Onstar running the diagnostic with their automated system. The automated system program for the diagnostic is probably different from the manually activated system. Please note that if the diagnostic is run while you are driving or on a day you are using the vehicle you probably won't have a problem. This is the first time they have run the diagnostic on a weekend and I hadn't driven my truck after the diagnostic. (Please note this is just a Theory at this point) On the other hand I do have Onstar and the dealer engaged.
  • I ran 2 test this weekend. Friday afternoon I had Onstar run their diagnostic manually with the truck running and left it parked over night and the next morning I checked the battery and it was at 12.6 volt(perfect). So Saturday afternoon I again had Onstar run their diagnostic manually with the key in the on position and the engine not running. Sunday morning everything was OK. Talked with a onstar Tech Friday and it was a lost cause, he knew basic trouble-shoot and the basics for Onstar and tried to tell me the command for the manual test was the same as the automated test. The man was clueless and had no knowledge of current GM systems. Told me there was no way they could run and automated test and that I would have to wait for the date it was set to run. Waste of time!
    Called GM customer service and asked for a tech person and was told I could not be given straight to tech so I had to give this person that couldn't speak english all the information I had gathered only to be told he couldn't help and would have to transfer me to a tech. The Tech got on the line and told me he was sorry to hear my truck was cutting out on me. (The fist guy also couldn't understand english) This person was very helpful and concerned, check history for other onstar problem and found nothing! Told him about the test I was going to run and he told me he would call me Tuesday for the results of my testing and what further action my dealer would be taking. Talked with my service manager today and they are going to call GM and Onstar and we sat and made up a list of questions and concerns for onstar to include the content of the commands and the systems effected. I recommend everyone call onstar just to let them know you have a problem and call GM customer service 800-222-1020 GM tech 866-790-5600. I am real pleased with the efforts my dealership is putting into this (Whitlow Chevrolet in Richmond, VA.) Have also Though of possible bad batch of Onstar interface Modules.
  • jch2jch2 Posts: 3
    We too had a battery issue. 2007 Tahoe LTZ with Nav and DVD plus DVD in headrest. 2 months old and thing died in parking lot. Dealer replaced the battery. Hasn't died since but I get a popping noisy sometimes when I turn it on (like an amp popping) and my kids are going to loose their hearing because out of no where the headsets will screech/scream with interference noise. Doesn't matter which system they are using or if only one child is in the car watching a DVD. Dealer says no electrical issues and points to headrest DVDs (although the factory system with factory headsets will do it too). Aftermarket place says no issues with their system, must be electrical in car. The volt meter shows a different voltage everyday and within each day. Dealer said this is normal for Tahoe. I had 3 Navigators before this Tahoe, all with DVD and Navigation systems and none had issues like this.
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