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Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon Electrical Problems

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  • I recently had to jump start my 2004 Chevy Colorado. After I did this, the battery was charged overnight, everything worked the next day, EXCEPT for the Driver's door "auto" up/down window (all other windows work) and the door locks toggle are both DEAD. Checked all the fuses, all OK. Has anyone seen this before.
  • snaproll1snaproll1 Posts: 86
    Guys, this is the EXACT PROBLEM that has been occuring in this truck from at least 2005 when I found this thread. Much of these 400 posts are about this exact problem.

    Possible fixes...

    Disconnect the battery overnight. Some claim this fixes the problem. It would make sense if there is some powered module that has tripped out with a software issue. Another poster recommended "shorting" the positive and negative cables (disconnected from the battery of course) to drain campasitors which resets whatever module is effected. Whether true or not, never tried this one. There definitely were some posts where disconnecting the battery fixed (at least temporarily) the problem.

    Bad grounds. There were several posts about bad grounds in the truck causing current to backfeed through other components frying them.

    Another thing that was kicked around is that the alternator is too small for the truck causing strains on the electrical system until something fries.

    The door module. The actual door module may be bad. This is what it was the second time on my truck. I took it to a competent mechanic who trailed the wiring to the door modue. That was replaced and fixed the problem.

    The first time around I read that if you disconnect the wiring bundles from the module that it sometimes fixed the problem. I'd jump the truck, disconnect and reconnect the door module and it would heal the window/fob problem. I've also read one post where the guy just shook the wiring bundle in the door and it fixed the problem. This appears to be only a temporary fix that would last for a couple of days.

    BTW the first time this window/fob thing happened, I was ASSURED REPEATEDLY by the Chevy service rep NOT to believe anything I read on internet; that the door module has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the problem.

    Well, the second time this happened I took the truck to a competent mechanic rather than to the Chevy dealer. He trailed the wiring and power to a dead door module. After that was replaced the truck has been fine.

    The first time around the Chevy techs just started replacing stuff that would fix the problem for sure... and when it didn't, would take another stab at replacing something else and assuring me whatever they already replaced like the $400 BCM was "bad anyway". After $800 bucks of replacing this or that, they finally got the truck running again.

    Was it the door module the first time? Who knows? They claim the didn't replace it, but it definitely was the problem the second time around.

    There is no question that there is something seriously wrong with the electrical on the truck. Whether it be one of the computers is "locking up" and needs to be discharged to be reset, or whether there are bad grounds or voltage spikes that randomly fry the gear instead, something is definitely wrong with the truck and its wiring.

    Also, if you are new to the Colorado/Canyon, don't forget to check into the head problem that requires the engine head to be replaced. Also don't forget the service bulletin on the fuse block that fries. Oh yeah and the latest service bulletin, the tail lights that may not operate correctly. You're not supposed to take it in for service unless "there is a problem". :lemon:
  • Hello snaproll1,

    Thanks for taking the time. I will try disconnecting the battery cables over night and see if that works. I'm at 69,000 and have an extended out to 75,000 ($100 deductable) so I will probably just bring it in if the deep discharge doesn't fix it.

    This 2004 (first year) truck has had serious electrical from day one. Every sopeaker has now been replaced (buzzing sounds), two BCM modules for the "other" horn relay (after horns did't work) twice! etc etc. I really like the Chevy trucks (switched from a Ford Ranger) but this one has been problematic since day one -- forced me to buy the extended warranty at 33,000 so I didn't have to pay. It was well worth it. Now I'm wonder whatt to do at 75,001 miles!!!

    Thanks agin for your time today.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    PLEASE do not put your phone number in a post... ever. We have no control who on the internet will record it or what they will do with it.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • Thanks for the info that worked great!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,005
    burnthecanyon,
    Have you spoke with your dealer?
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • I was dealing with a GM dealer two years ago with all the initial problems and jointly the truck had about $8,000 put in labour and parts. They said the whole time GM was following the truck and trying to help find the solution. Especially after I found this website and they started reading the posts too. But then they wanted to swap out more parts for another couple thousand bucks and I was at my breaking point so I emailed GM myself and started asking questions and they knew nothing of any issues with any canyon in mb. I changed dealerships who swapped out the alarm (that was required for insurance) at no cost to me (covered by CAA) and everything had been fine till Christmas. My original dealer refused to get the alarm checked. I now live in Fort McMurray and haven't been overly impressed with the dealer here. Basically I am waiting for it to quit completely and maybe I will be in the mood for a new hassle. Maybe it will easier to fix if it doesn't work at all.
  • snaproll1snaproll1 Posts: 86
    edited March 2011
    Just a bit of an update on the Colorado. Since getting the window module replaced I haven't had any electrical issues. It's been a couple of months now.

    As a sideline, I did notice the truck was idling rough and throwing a P506 code, "low idle". I got it in and the throddle body was carboned up and needed to be cleaned. That took care of the problem. I also had the plugs changed and it's running great. A couple other things on the "watch list", the rear shocks are leaking a little and the serpentine belt is still in good shape but starting to squeal a little. Other than that, I've had the brake and radiator fluid flushed back in January. The trans and transfer I did around 70K. I had the head job around then too. It needed U-joints once. Right now the truck has 136K and except for the weird electrical problems, it's still doing well.

    This isn't a bad little truck from a usage standpoint. I'd drive it until it dies if it only needed routine maintenance, but it is just downright creepy not knowing when one of these little electrical surprises that cost a grand are going to crop up. There just doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason. After following the 400+ posts here it's evident Chevy doesn't have a clue either, or a consistant and final fix. Perhaps it's just a weird combination of things or perhaps many sources like bad grounds, poor wiring harnesses etc. It would certainly be welcome to get some definitive answer from GM.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,005
    Glad to hear things went well at the dealership. If you have any other concerns please feel free to email us directly.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • snaproll1snaproll1 Posts: 86
    "Glad to hear things went well at the dealership. If you have any other concerns please feel free to email us directly."

    This is a joke, right? I didn't go to a dealership, I said I went to a COMPETENT mechanic. It probably helps to read a post completely.

    And yes, I do have "other concerns". I mentioned it before, if you really are concerned with helping people stuck with these Colorado electrical problems, why don't you get someone from GM that may actually know something to post a solution here? I will assume if you can't do this, it is a pretty good indicator that after 6 years GM still doesn't have a clue as to what the problems actually is and that the dealerships are still basically shooting in the dark replacing expensive components and hoping the problem goes way along with the customer (after they pay their bill of course).

    How about it? Get someone to post a solution to the problem rather than tring to drum up more business for the dealerships. Are you on commission or something?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,005
    If you have any other concerns I would suggest visiting a GM dealership. If you would like to do so, I would be happy to set up a case with GM Customer Assistance and they will work with you, the dealership and technical assistance to try and resolve your issues. In order to set up the case, I would need your full name, address, contact number, VIN and current mileage sent to me in an email. Or you can call Customer Assistance at 800-222-1020 hours of operation are Mon to Sat, 8am to 9pm ET.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • stingmanstingman Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with my 2006 Isuzu I-280 extended cab 4-cyl engine. If you don't know already, this is a Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon with a different grille. A couple of months ago my driver side window, door locks and keyfob remote stopped working. I went on line to this forum and was amazed at the number of GM made trucks with the same problem as mine. After reading a few hundred complaints, I came to realize that this issue shows up many times after a dead or weak battery problem. My 2006 I-280 has only 9K miles on it as I use it only for truck duties on weekends; especially as it gets only 12 to 14 miles to a gallon, but that is a different story.
    The short drives to the transfer station on Saturdays with a few stops for groceries or coal for my stove, were probably not enough to keep the battery fully charged.
    The first indication that something was wrong, came one Saturday morning in December. When I got into the truck and started the engine, I noticed the clock read 12:00. I thought this odd as the clock always read accurately before. It was when I cleared my throat and tried to put the window down that I discovered the next problem, then the door locks and key fob.
    I put up with the problem for three months until last Saturday when everything started working again. It was also the first day above 50 degrees in months here in NH.
    Earlier, sometime in January, I bought a C-TEK battery tender and let it bring the battery up to full charge and keep it there; hoping that a fully charged battery would solve the problem. It did not.
    I was about to try a few of the tricks that worked for others; bad grounds, intermittant connections, etc., but, as I said, I did nothing, but everything started working again.
    There are no electrical modules that heal themselves, so the problem has to be either intermittant connections at the BCM interface, drivers door harness connections or grounding issues that may be affected by expansion and contractions due to temperature extremes. I wonder how many perfectly good switches and BCM's were replaced at great expense when the real problem is at the connectors or grounds.
    I expect my problem is not yet permanantly solved and hope to trade it in on a Toyota shortly.
  • al6pndral6pndr Posts: 45
    I've said it once and I'll say it again....Wiring harness,wiring harness,wiring harness!!!!!!!
  • ptc06ptc06 Posts: 1
    edited April 2011
    Hi all. I have the many of the same problems with my P.O.S. '06 Colorado that everyone else has... blower motor, driver's side window, locking up rear brakes, ABS engaging (or not, pretty much at will). The people at Chevy should be ashamed of themselves. I suspect whoever designed the electrical system may have been an addict. This truck is terrible, and there's no getting rid of it, because dealerships know just how terrible it is. Sad day when I bought it.

    My question is: Why on earth does my front passenger side turn signal light up when I hit the brakes? It happens about half of the time. It's driving me crazy. Does it have anything to do with the brake switch recall?

    I know this topic has been discussed here before, but there are so many posts about Colorado electrical problems that it's hard to weed through them all. I was hoping someone could give me the definitive answer to save me all of the searching through posts.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,696
    I would suspect it's your multi-function switch since the brake light wiring does run through it, I believe. Possibly the current is bleeding through the directional light contacts.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,005
    This could be the result of a number of things. We would recommend taking the vehicle into your local dealership to be diagnosed. They should be able to assist you further and have a plan for addressing the issue. We can also look into this issue further. In order to do so, we will need some more specific information from you. If you could please send us your full name, address, phone number, the VIN for the vehicle, and current mileage via private message, we will be able to take further steps. Thank you again and we look forward to hearing from you.

    Tricia, GM Customer Service.
  • al6pndral6pndr Posts: 45
    Please see post prior to yours about wiring harness? I had an 07 P.O.S. colorado had a c.b. radio in it, every time I "keyed" the mic to transmit my head lights would dim. If I stayed keyed too long they would get bright then the dash board lights,blower motor, and head lights would GO OUT!!! STOP WORKING!!! after running several test on my equipment I even tried to run my radio off of a seperate battery that was fully charged up and not attached to the vehicles electronic system in any way. Still had the same out come! now if I took antenna OFF my truck and placed on another vehicle ( so there was no ground from antenna) there was no problem.

    When I spoke with a service manager his question was.. Did you have the radio proessionaly installed? No . Well that must be your problem,he responded. I said that the same radio,and antenna had been on both my ck1500 and my s-10 both set up the same way and with NO problems.. His response to that was.. "Well this is a colorado not a ck1500/s-10.

    I must agree with you sir G.M. KNOWS what kind of P.O.S. they have out there but they just DON'T CARE!!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,005
    al6pndr,

    I apologize for your concerns, are you currently still experiencing issues with your vehicle?

    Thank you and have a great weekend!
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • snaproll1snaproll1 Posts: 86
    edited April 2011
    What happened to "Christina"? She's the one that normally tries to gin up business for the local GM dealerships.

    Welcome to the forum thread Caron, perhaps you can offer some help to the folks in this thread and post some actual answers and solutions to the numerous problems that GM dealerships have never heard of and just guess at by replacing random and expensive parts.

    Boy these trucks have really been a money maker for GM! It's got to be "the gift that keeps on giving" for their service departments. And it keeps on giving, and giving... BCMs, blower resistors, batteries, instrument panels, brake lights, cylinder heads, fuse blocks, door locks, cruise control, radio, fobs, wiper motors... did I forget anything? Just keeps giving and giving... to the service departments.... $... $$$$...... $$$$$$........ $$$$$$$$$$.

    Is there anyone reading this thread that would actually buy another GM product given the experiences they've had with their Colorado or Canyon?

    GM= :lemon:
  • I located the door lock problem on my Canyon. It turned out to be a poor connection where door lock fuse #21 (20 amp mini) slides into its slots in the engine compartment fuse box. I dabbed a bit of Anti-Seize on the fuse contacts and sprayed a bit of WD-40 into the slots. Since I did this the locks have failed, but only a few times. Still, the culprit is definitely the contacts in the fuse box. In my case it is the 12 volt battery side for fuse #21. I jammed some fine strands of copper wire into that slot and than shoved the fuse in with it and it works OK now. If it fails again I may make up an inline fuse with some lugs to jump from the +12 from an unused fuse slot to the downstream side of this one.
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