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HHR Electrical/Lighting Questions



  • Didn't find anything obvious with the harness, battery checks out, and fuse box seems nice and tight.

    The GM corporate folks have recommended that I get a VDR (Vehicle Data Recorder) installed from the dealership so that the next time all these issues happen, it will log a bunch of additional info about the current state of the car.

    I'm hoping to get that done today and will keep everyone posted on what happens...
  • I'm going to call my dealer tomorrow and see if I can get it looked at again. I'll tell them to check the turn signal. Thanks for the suggestion and also letting me know I am not alone with this problem!! :)
  • This will be the second time I have had to change the heater fan speed control resistor.. I have found it on line for as little as $32. It is easy to replace, under the dash behind the glove box door. But I wonder why it fails at about 12 months.
    There is also a squeal in the motor bearing. I guess that will be the next thing to replace, found it costs about $120 but I don't know how hard that will be to get out.
    2006 HHR LT. :mad:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,046
    edited April 2010
    Without checking back to older posts in HHR or Cobalt, is that the problem where a cover that diverts water away that's under the plastic piece of the heater air intake leaks and lets water go down to where the resistor is? Others have replaced that or cobbled an effective fix.

    I noticed it because I own a Cobalt which is similar to the HHR in design.

    Edit: I found it in another topic with the HHR cluster.

    Here's a llink to the whole cluster. You can subscribe to the whole thing and anytime someone posts you'll have it as an unread post

    Good luck finding it. Sounds like the squeaking fan motor may be a result of a leak as well as the resistor unit.

    Report back and tell us what you find.
  • chevy_hhr_2006chevy_hhr_2006 Posts: 1
    edited September 2010
    I am relieved to find someone else out there with the same problem that I am having with my 2006 Chevy HHR LT.
    Tim146- My car is doing the exact same thing as yours. Mine is actually back in the shop for the third time for this issue in the last year.

    When I first got the car, within 3 months, I noticed that maybe after a minute or two of driving, when I came to a stop, the car would jerk forward, it would idle up and down, my foot was completely on the brake, but it acted as if it wanted to go forward. It would do this several times then stop. I immediately took it to the dealership where I bought it from. They installed one of those devices that records data from your car while it happens (you hit a red button on the device and it records for I believe 30 seconds) Everything came out clear.

    This problem has continued for the last 3 years. Recently in the last year, when I first turn on the car, all of the gauge lights flicker, the 'power steering' and "low fuel" light flicker on and off, the shifter knob clicks wildly, the motor idles up and down, the temperature gauge, gas gauge and mph gauge float up and down at random trimes (the car is parked and e-brake is up, the car is not moving when this happens)

    When all these lights are going off, I then try to shift into reverse and with each gear I go into, it makes a very loud "CLUNK" noise and the car jerks voilently. I drive it, then when I stop the car, it feels like its about to turn off completely, but at the last minute it turns back on again. As I'm driving and the transmission is switching through gears, the car "CLUNKS" again and jerks forward violently (almost like when you press the gas pedal too hard before letting out the clutch in a standard car and it jerks forward a couple of times) When I come to a stop, it feels like its about the shut off, then it turns back on within a quick second.

    The first time, they told me it was a belt to my AC that causes it, they replaced it and $1200 later, the car acted up again 2 weeks later. That time, they kept my car for 2 weeks, they even had master techs from GM come to look at my car. They concluded that it was electrical and my computer. They replaced my computer, 'rebooted' the car.....4 months later I'm having the same issue. I dropped it off this morning (its so bad they know my name at the dealership :( ) So more testing will be done.

    What can we do about this? There has to be more people out there with the same issue? At this point, I'm concerned about safely, or my car possibly shutting down completely as I'm driving. I plan to get rid of the car soon, with only 9 more months of payments, I hate to do it, but at this point, if this is going to be a 4-6 months issue (The car only has 40,000 miles on it) I can't afford to keep up with this.
  • This is exactly what my HHR does, it has been going on for six months and I had to have it towed to the dealer again today. I get the standard answer every time from them: Well it's not doing it now so we don't know what it is. This was bought as a certified used car in 2008 from Chevy and I purchased an extended warranty. I have three more years to pay for this piece of junk and it isn't safe to drive. Between the electrical/computer problems and the vibrating brakes, despite 2 sets of pads and 3 sets of rotors, I want this car fixed or gone. Did they ever find a resolution to the others that are facing the electrical issues???
  • bigred32bigred32 Posts: 1
    We own a 2009 hhr and the other day I got in it as normal ready to go and had no radio, no turn signal chime or seatbelt chime, and the speedometer and gas gauges would be normal then drop to zero, back up to my current speed and the gas guage from empty to half where it was....anyway I never lost power or anything just the weirdness of no chimes or tunes, then when I was on my way home I pushed eject on the cd player just out of frustration and everything was back normal again? We replaced the keyless entry key fob battery because I thought maybe that had something to do with it? It is ok as of today everything is normal but does anyone have a clue as to what caused this? I have not taken it to a dealer yet should I? :confuse:
  • I would check the fuse box to see if all of the fuses are seated. I heard this sometimes works. there are two actually, One on the right side of the console and one under the hood. under the hood, it looks like a battery is in it, it's not. That's in the back with the spare tire. [TIP] Also, don't jump the car using the rear most red terminal under the hood as a neg. It's not and you can damage the car's electrical. :sick: Use the metal of the car as ground. :shades:
  • I have experienced this problem for over a month. I left the car at the dealership for one week and they profess that they cannot duplicate the problem.
    When driving and making slight adjustments for curves, etc., the dash lights, speedometer, rpm, radio and turn signals go dead momentarily. This only happens when making a turn, even a slight turn.
    If anyone can tell me the problem, I can inform the mechanics to fix it.
  • wytchwoodwytchwood Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    I have a problem with my 2008 HHR where sometimes I have to be driving 5-10 minutes before my instrument panel and radio lights come on. This is usually in daytime and my headlights are always set to auto. After reading all these posts I'm now concerned that I may not have brake lights so will check. Yesterday I drove a bit, they had come on shortly after I started it up, but not right when I started it up. Drove a bit running a few errands. After the last errand got in and started car to drive home and noticed I had no instrument panel or radio lights at all, got all the way home and still no lights. Took it to dealer once before about this, said they'd have to keep it a few days. Picked it up and didn't think to check it before I left the dealer, drove it home in a downpour so I'm watching the road cautiously then realized I had very dim lights on my instrument panel when with the downpour and lack of bright sun, they should have been bright. Then noticed they had turned the instrument panel brightnes switch all to the way to the brighest setting, and IP lights were dim at that. I was so mad, I called the dealer right away and told him it wasn't fixed and that switching the IP dimmer switch to the brightest setting wasn't a fix for the problem. He said, "Well, you'll have to bring it in so we can take a look at it." I was livid, they just had my car for 2 days. This was a certified used car and I bought a 5-year extended warranty in 2009. I'm so fed up with this dealer. They had stripped my lug nut covers which caused my wheel cover to loosen and a thin strip of metal came out from underneath wheel cover and was banging around inside my wheel well.. that was the beginning of my problems with the dealer, so now I take the wheelcovers off before I take the car in and when I get home I put them back on and tighten them myself with a hand tool. Anyways, thanks for letting me rant. I'm going to check the fuses tomorrow morning and see what I can find..then I guess I'll have to have a talk with the servcie manager....again. I love the car but it's getting to worry me with all the problems I see others having.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,233
    Just a thought on the lighting. I see this question every year in various forums and for various vehicles as we get into fall and sun angle and brightness lowers as we move into fall /early winter. When in auto mode the sensor thinks its getting dark out and switchs from daytime running lights to regular headlights. For the IP and radio this means dimmer setting for night-time mode.
    The solution is to take it out of auto-mode (do without DRL's in daytime and remember to turn lights on at night), or, as the dealer did, turn dimmer switch on bright so the change is not so noticable. It can happen in sumer also if you enter a dark area for long enough (as in getting stuck under a underpass for a bit).
  • hhr_lemon1hhr_lemon1 Posts: 1
    Just got an 09 HHR (Lemon) :lemon: your comment about being concerned about safety and the possibility of the car shutting down completely, struck a note w/me. I am having that problem. :sick: The last instance was while on the interstate. I was lucky enough to be able to pull off to the shoulder but had I been in the inner lane, I'd have come to a complete stop and I shudder to think of the possibilities. This has happened several times and of course, no reason for loosing power or for the dash lights shutting off or the brakes not working (which caused me to rear end a car at the car wash) GMC opened a case file and has told me they will do what is necessary to find the cause of these the mean time can I hitch a ride? :lemon: :confuse:
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Hello hhr_lemon1,

    I'm glad that you made it safely through the most recent incident on the interstate you described! It looks as though you have a case going with us already, which is great. I wish you all the best during the repair process, and look forward to an update on how everything goes.

    GM Customer Service
  • gjweinertgjweinert Posts: 2
    Hi There, I bought the HHR LT2 in 12/06. A year later both one of the key fobs stopped working. I opened it up to replace the battery. I also noticed the metal clip to hold the battery in place lost its soldered point. Put in a new battery and used scotch tape to keep it in place. The piece of tape had be long enough to stick out of both sides when you snap the plastic cover back in place. Then you can trim off the excess tape. The same problem occurred with the second key fob and I did the same simple repair. Saved the ridiculouse quote for a new fob and programming it. Chevy should take ownership of a bad quality product and replace them free of charge to the customer!

    Hope this helps for a simple fix. Jerry
  • gjweinertgjweinert Posts: 2
    Hi Sarah, In October of 2010, we started the drive from Portland OR, to Phoenix AZ. The 2006 HHR LT2 had a check Engine Light come on after about 5 miles, called the selling dealer service dept. Said to open the gas cap and screw it on tight. The engine light turned off and all looked ok. Drove about 250 miles to Grants Pass OR. Next morning check engine light came on. Did same thing with gas cap, no joy. Turned car off and on 3 times. Check Engine Light turned off. Drove over the pass into California going downhill and all the lights on the dash started flickering on and off, warning lights flickering on and off. Car shut itself off while on the freeway at 65 mph. No Power Steering. Fortunately, coasted off an exit. Called Redding CA Chevy Dealer and he said to come in, no appointment needed. After waiting 1/2 hour, Car started and cautiously drove to Redding Dealer. Explained the problem. Turned on the car and only check engine light came on. Turned it off and on. Check Engine light went out. Excellent Technician found CHEVY TSB for all the error codews that showed up, that said to check all electrical connections with computer processor modules, ECM, many others. Use some kind of "jelly" not sure what it was, on the connectors. The TSB said to do this with no guarantee it would fix the problem. There where about 12 error codes from the main diagnostic module. After 4 hours of unplugging and plugging all of the connectors, the problem seems to have been fixed. Have not had any electrical problems since. Loosing all power while on the freeway was extremely scarey and unsafe. I called Chevrolet and they conferenced the dealer and I was informed that Chevrolet would not reimburse me for the expense because only a diagnostic was performed in accordance with the TSB from Chevrolet. Since no part or fix was performed, I was out of luck. Safety did not concern the rep from Chevrolet and the case was closed. Since a TSB was issued, and its a known safety problem, why has Chevrolet not done something about this safety issue?! Jerry
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