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Chevrolet Tahoe Electrical Problems

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Comments

  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Please do, and thank you for your service to our country! Our email is socialmedia@gm.com

    All the best,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    ck2012,

    If you haven't already, please send an email to socialmedia@gm.com (include your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership, as well as a description of the issue and any visits you have made to the dealer for it) and we will explore any options that may be available; however, I cannot guarantee any results up front.

    All the best,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • bran164bran164 Posts: 13
    Hi,

    I'm active duty Navy and just purchased a 2008 silverado ltz(last nine of VIN: 481124518) . It currently has 71000 miles on it. I was driving down the interstate when the interior gauges, radio, door locks and temperature indicator all flashed off and cut right back on. Anytime I would use the turn signal the radio would cut off and the 'Park Assist Off' would flash on. It continued to do this the whole way home (approximately 30 minutes). I parked the truck and shut it off. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then went to crank it up. Initially it acted like the battery was dead. I tried a second time and the truck cranked right up. I haven't taken it to a mechanic yet. Help please???!!!!
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Bran164 – Sorry to hear of your car’s electrical problem. But even more sorry is the extremely long line of GM car/truck electrical issues (from just this forum alone) that remain unsolved and correspondingly the enormous amount of consumer time and money wasted at the GM related dealerships and other repair facilities in pursuit of fixing these problems. Your vehicle, unfortunately, is most likely experiencing a failure of the GMLAN system. While the problem is not unfixable, GMLAN is very complex and so inadequately supported by GM that probably 95% the dealerships’ service departments have neither the expertise nor capacity to diagnose and properly fix these problems, in my opinion. You only need to read a number of the posts in this forum and you will begin to understand the frustration of consumers who have spent thousands of dollars as well as weeks and even months with their GM vehicles out of commission, all because dealer service departments have misdiagnosed the electrical problems and as a result, incorrectly replaced expensive electrical components that didn’t need to be replaced and ultimately didn’t fix the problem. I hope your vehicle’s electrical problem gets fixed soon and if it is please let the rest of us know what the problem was and how it was fixed. Click on the link to get a glimpse of just some of what can be causing your vehicle’s problem.
    http://www.autoserviceprofessional.com/article/92084/finding-gmlan-wiring-proble- ms (cut and paste into your browser if the link doesn't work)
  • bran164bran164 Posts: 13
    Tex,

    Thank you for your response. Have you had a similar problem with your Chevrolet? With your recommendations for possible remedies, am I able take those to a dealer or mechanic and ask them to trace those?
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Have an '09 Tahoe with same problems except no starting issues - door locks cycling, ipc malfunctions, chimes going off, park assist messages, limp mode, ac/climate control malfunction. Chevy dealer was useless. Took it to specialty auto electric shop they had it for 2 months and fixed. It ran fine for 6000 miles now its doing the same thing. If you can get a dealer to take the time to check those things listed on that link you would be lucky. You need to find a tech who will systematically go thru each component in the gmlan system to check for problems. That's the problem - no easy way to pinpoint the problem like with an engine or emissions control issue that will show up on as a diagnostic trouble code with a simple scan at the dealer or repair shop. It's going to take a class action lawsuit to get GM to own up to these problems and create a diagnostic protocol that can pinpoint these problems.
  • bran164bran164 Posts: 13
    ck2012,

    I was wondering if you ever got a resolution to your electrical problem on the suburban? Sounds like you and I have the exact same situation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • laytonicolaytonico Posts: 4
    edited April 2012
    Thanks Tex! Much appreciated. My Tahoe was at the shop for just over 2 weeks in total. Guess I mentioned this in previous post but will post my "start to finish" in case it helps anyone.
    After my vehicle started going haywire with the locks popping up and down, dashboard going dark and lighting back up etc while driving, key fob not locking/unlocking and random instances of not starting I took my car to a GM dealership to be looked at.
    1)They first replaced the negative battery wire/terminal and called to say it was fixed
    --I drove over and picked up my car but before even getting on the highway the computer and guages started going crazy again. So I had to turn it back in for more analysis
    2)A week later I went by to speak with the service tech and go over what they were doing.
    --he said that although they had replaced the negative battery terminal and wiring they hadn't reset the computer in my vehicle.(before they had only cleared the error codes but hadn't done a reset after battery wire replacement) They claimed that is the only other thing they did to fix my problem. Not a very comforting explanation but so far so good.

    I have had my Tahoe back since 3/20/12 and have not had any of these issues come back up (crossing fingers)...
    I do still have my 'Park Assist Off' message display about 50% of the time but I will take that any day over all the headache of the guages/computer problems that I was having.

    Hoping this info might be helpful to one of you.
  • Yes, I finally fixed the electrical problems in my 2008 Chev Tahoe. 94,000 miles

    A bit of background on the matter. This electrical problem had been going on for over a month now. I'm unemployed so I wasn't about to take the car to the dealer and get raped with a giant repair bill.
    Here's was my summary of repairs and eventual sollution to the main problem.
    A. 3 brand new batteries over a month period,
    B. One new alternator
    C. One Loose starter cable
    D. Loose battery ground cable wire in pre-clamped factory cable.
    E. Small battery posts - sollution: Sanded/grinded clamps to allow for better grip on battery.

    I drove out of town. Six hours into the trip, the electrial problem began (at freeway speeds 65-70 MPH), power door locks kept going up and down, dash gauges flickering and reseting, radio in and out. Basically - complete electrical failure during freeway driving.

    We (family) safely pulled off the freeway into a Shell station which had a repair shop. The mechanic convinced me that it was the alternator. His meter was showing a reading of 1200 and it should have been showing a reading above 1400... blah, blah... lies, lies, lies...and yes- I bought a brand new alternator: $287.00 delivered to the shop and $45 to install it. My daugther paid for it with her college money. The mechanic did show me how the bearings on the pully of the old alternator Tahoe were also going out. Whatever!!! One day later, I'm still out of town- far from home....same electrical problem on the Tahoe. I noticed that the battery charge gauge on my dash would begin at 14 volts in early drive, then drop down to 9 to 12 volts over 30 minutes of driving. I took the Tahoe back to the same repair shop by the Shell station.

    I had read some of the previous comments in other online posts...and asked the mechanic to raise the car and check the starter for a possible loose cable connection. Sure enough: He found that the starter cable wire was loose. After tightening the cable, we went to reconnect battery and the starter would not shut off. Hmmm....scammer mechanic tried to sell me a starter? Nope... .turns out that there is a specially-made metal washer on the connector to the starter with a little metal piece that needs to sit or fit in a groove on the actual starter. We took starter out, readjusted the metal pin, put starter back and took car for a test drive on the freeway.

    I told the mechanic that I wanted to go on the test drive and did so. Guess what? Same electrical problem again. The Tahoe eventually died once we stopped at the back of the Shell station. The mechanic turned the car off and when he went to turn the car back on... Nothing! No electrical current. Then, we open the hood, Voyla!!- we jiggled the ground battery cable and all of the electrical juice comes back on. Mechanic figures that the problem is my battery posts (too small) and ground battery cable is a bit loose.

    Then, the mechanic tries to measure the posts on new Interstate batteries that he is selling at his shop and suggests that I should buy a new battery. His new battery's posts are obviously thicker...blah, blah.... Aaaahh....NO! I'm not buying a fourth battery... Sooo....

    Yep! You guessed it, the battery terminals on my (Third) and new Auto Zone battery were in fact too small in diameter. We took the Tahoe's black ground battery cable apart, un-screwing the tightening bolts and removed them. The mechanic sanded down the clamp's edges with a small electrical grinder so that it would close and grab the smaller battery posts with lots more strength and it fixed the entire problem! Before re-applying the black cable back on the battery, at my request, the mechanic smashed/hammered the metal factory pre-clamp area around the actual cable for a better connection. We found that even though the cable came pre-clamped from the factory, it was a bit loose and corrosion could possibly be preventing a stable electrical connection.

    Three hours of labor and I made mechanic feel pretty bad for mis-diagnosing first problem with a new alternator that we probably didn't need. I asked him how much I owed him and he said $40.00 should do it. WOW! I felt like I won the lottery! The local chevy dealership wanted to charge me $120.00 per hour and that it would take at least two hours to diagnose the problem. Plus, a new black ground cable for my Tahoe was $96.00 plus tax at the Chevy Dealer. I priced a similar cable at auto zone and they wanted $15.00.

    So far, driving the Tahoe for one week and a half without any electrical issues.

    It's amazing how such a simple problem caused so many electrical problems. My wife thinks I got screwed on the alternator, but hey - the Tahoe was built in 2007, sold in 2008 and so, the old alternator lasted five good years. The new one I installed is original GM parts so hopefully I'll be okay for another five more years.

    If your 2008 Tahoe is having similar electrical problems, it would behoove you to read my success story and do your best to avoid letting the mechanic take the car out for a drive by himself or herself. In these tough economic times, you should not trust anyone to drive your car by themselves! Don't lose signt of the mechanic near your car either. Although there are lots of honest mechanics, the few that aren't honest will drain your pocket books in the blink of an eye.
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    edited April 2012
    Congrats laytonico - thanks for sharing your experience. Everybody benefits when posters relate their vehicle problem/repair experience - especially the solution. Hopefully, your vehicle's fix will be lasting. As I related in my post, 6000 miles and 3months after my 09 Tahoe appeared to be fixed, it's acting up again. I'll definitely look into the battery connections issues. Thanks. Also, thanks to traveler2012 for his post and the thorough description on problem through the fix.
  • ut_texanut_texan Posts: 6
    Let me first say I love my Chevy's. I have had 3 and never a major problem. A 97 Silverado with 150K miles that I traded in for a 2003 model that I still have after 9 years with only 62K miles.

    I also have a 2007 Tahoe, bought it new and only have about 32K miles on it. About 6-10 months after having we did seem to be coming to a dead battery a few times. We thought maybe the son was leaving the interior light on or leaving his DS plugged in or something like that. After a few times of this happening we finally took it to the dealer. They looked at and didn't find anything wrong with it. Perhapas they updated some of the software at that time because we never had the problem again.
    It was a typical Sat. morning today. Went to get my haircut and while in the barber chair my wife came in to tell me the battery was dead. I sadi sure it is. Low and behold when I went out there it was as dead as a doornail. Not thinking about the battery, I left the key on for the wife so she could listen to the cd. I even think the ac was on low speed. The doorlocks on the fob and interior locks wouldn't work. Rear door won't unlock either. We had someone try to give us a jump but it did nothing. It didn't even put a drain on the other car. I figured it was the battery and it had finally died since during the winter it was a little sluggish/slow when cranking up the tahoe. We pulled the battery and went to Autozone, got the battery and installed it. Now everything was working from what I could tell except the door locks and it wouldn't crank or even turn over. I did notice that when we would open a door or tried the fob sometimes we would hear a click sound somewhere near the engine. We had it towed to the local dealer since their service dept was still open. The service guy did hook up his little scanner somewhere under the steering wheel and told us there were no codes. They said they would look at it Monday morning.

    So hear starts our story. I will definitely wait to see what the dealership says first but I will definitely tell them to make sure the software is up-to-date, inspect the wiring harness, look closely into the GMLAN wiring system. I have also read that it could be the starter relay or the GM High Speed LAN Resistor. I hope I don't get stuck with some large bill that doesn't even fix the problem permenantly.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    ut_texan,
    I hope that everything goes well with your dealership! Please post an update on the progress there with your Tahoe, and if we can be of any assistance we can be contacted at socialmedia@gm.com
    Best,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • ut_texanut_texan Posts: 6
    They say it is the BCM and want to charge me $545 for it. they said everything else tested fine. they have been looking at it for 2 days. Headed there now to review the diagnostics and check to see if they updated the sw for the tahoe and perhaps try to get them to replace the resistor.
  • ut_texanut_texan Posts: 6
    Service foreman said this was the next logical step. the BCM wasn't communicating so it is at least fried. I still feel like they are grasping at straws at this point and hoping this fixes the problem but they won't know until they replace it. So far the toal bill will be $545 plus tax.
    He told me the BCM was solid state and nothing could be replaced in it when I mentioned the terminating resistor for the GM Hispeed LAN. He also said there were like 4 resistor modules. I didn't really follow what he was saying or necessarily trusted it.
    My biggest fear is that this isn't the real problem and that I don't wany my family to be in danger because the vehicle might fail again but this time fail while it is in operation.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    ut_texan,

    I understand why you're apprehensive; have you decided to have the BCM done? Please keep in touch with us in regards to how your vehicle operates after the replacement. If this doesn't turn out to be the root of the matter, we'd be happy to look into this further.

    Best,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    edited May 2012
    ut texan - The service foreman telling you that replacing the BCM was "the next logical step", is a good illustration of how poorly GM techs are trained and equipped to diagnose and electrical problems in their line of cars and trucks. That was the first thing replaced in my Tahoe and it wasn't the problem. In fact as I later found out the BCM is rarely the problem - it is the "gateway" to the gmlan system and handles most of the low speed lan functions although there is a high speed lan port that interacts with this module. You could get lucky and this could be the problem. However, this is the problem that is so frustrating with GM - there is no quick and definitive way to diagnose what the real problem is, if there is an electrical problem that is affecting mechanisms and processes that are linked to the gmlan system. It takes an immense amount of diagnostic work to peel the onion back to find the root problems of electrical malfunctions in vehicles equipped with gmlan. And I also have another Tahoe (07) besides my 09 and it doesn't have and never has had an electrical problem, so I assume that the majority of gm vehicles don't have gmlan problems but the ones that do have a problem seem to be almost "unfixable". Or at the very least, it takes an immense amount of time and money before the dealer tech gets lucky and stumbles on to the solution to the problem.
  • ut_texanut_texan Posts: 6
    thanks, that is my main concern. He tried to talk around me in circles and tried to make me feel like I had no clue as to what I was talking about. I know my way around a vehicle pretty well. I have replaced intake manifold, carb, head, pulled an engine, put one in, replaced axles, rear gear, drive shafts, starters, etc and I know when it comes to a problem in the eletrical system it could be almost anything like a bad ground, bad solder, pinch in a wire, short, and so on.
    To me this is like having a problem on your computer and the technician tells you to re-install the operating system. It is a hail mary pass that is a huge cost when other components are much cheaper and could be the problem.
    This is my family vehicle and luckily this happened when it was parked and I was with them. My wife will freak and be very upset if this happens with her and our son.
  • ut_texanut_texan Posts: 6
    Yes, they are replacing the BCM and said my Tahoe would be ready this afternoon IF they don't find other issues. I was very concerned when he told me he has seen issues where a battery drain or dead battery could damage the BCM. I don't have a deep wallet to have a $545 service done everytime this happens if it continues to happen. Like all the other posters I don't believe this is an isolated issue and believe GM should be covering my repairs under warranty. We had this battery drain issue after we got the Tahoe (within 10 months) and took it in to be checked.
  • ut_texanut_texan Posts: 6
    They replaced the BCM in the tahoe for a total of $569. So far so good. I am a little considered about my battery gauge because it has bounced around from about 12 to 14 during identical situations and things running or not running. I will continue to monitor things over the next few weeks.
  • fixmycar13fixmycar13 Posts: 4
    Just spent 3200 bucks to fix suburban. The instrument panel went out. Brakes, steering, water pump. Seems like a lot of dough.
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