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Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon Electrical Problems

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  • "So, end result is that you and I are both right. A glitch can screw up a body computer and re-initalizing the computer straightens it out (at least untill it screws up again). "

    Well, I wonder if it is a "Chicken and Egg" kind of thing. What if there is something like a poor ground which causes current to backfeed to a different ground is what causes the BCM "glitch" in the first place. Perhaps it fries the BCM or just gets it to throw false codes. The dealers happily replace the $400 dollar item because it is "bad". Maybe it is, maybe it's just the bad ground and confluence of circumstances which fried the BCM but may not happen for another two weeks or two years.

    Possibly it goes the other way around. Perhaps these confluence of circumstances (poor programming code/errors) causes the BCM to not fully shut down sometimes and constant power is applied to the door module which burns it out and drains the battery. Maybe because of the dead battery the BCM "resets" in some way while someone tries one of the voodoo tricks like touching the leads together, cleaning all the grounds, sacraficing a virgin over the radiator or whatever and the window works, so whatever they tried becomes a 'solution'.

    I sure as heck wouldn't want to troubleshoot the electrical system and component computer code to find a definite answer... and apparently GM doesn't want to waste the time either. It's just more lucrative to claim "Hecky-darned, imagine that, it's a bad BCM again, bummer for you, here's the bill... again" and collect the fee. Obama needs those reelection donation dollars rolling in!
  • abczzabczz Posts: 1
    the politics in this post is incorrect. If you just post the problem generally on google, you would fined that other vehicles like toyota tacoma has similar problems as colorado. there is no escaping this problem. I am beginning to believe it,s a general problem throughout the industry. There is a lot of shared parts today.

    My power door lock,window problem corrects it self. It goes off and on with out me doing anything. It started just a couple of years a go,around the sane tine My right blinker shorted out. thats the only problem I had so far, however. I had changed the battery after 6 years and the problem went away for the better part of a year, but now it,s back.

    I love my truck an I plan on keeping it .I also have a 2010 toyota camry, that needs tires after only 20,000 miles and a lot of call- backs.
    when i bought the camry I watched as the toyota dealer changed the frames on the tacoma,s because of sever rot.

    After I was seeing how it comes and goes,i am thinking it,s a computer glitch .
  • How about even more generally that we acknowledge that as consumers the more 'gadgets' we want on our vehicles, the more things there are to break and cost us time , money and frustration, regardless of the manufacturer!

    Power windows, power doors, myriad vanity lighting and things have /always/ been sources of problems. Now we are demanding a whole new generation of problem-creators like bluetooth integration, navigation systems, drink chillers etc that will cause an additional layer of problems. If you want a more reliable, or less-costly vehicle to buy and repair, then buy them without all of the gadgets. Otherwire face the fact that they will cost you extra money eventually, no matter how well designed or reliable the component might be. Cars should have a body, seats, doors, engines, wheels and saftey lights. All else is essentially superfluous. :)
  • "the politics in this post is incorrect. If you just post the problem generally on google, you would fined that other vehicles like toyota tacoma has similar problems as colorado. there is no escaping this problem. "

    Ummmm, no. I don't agree with the "every vendor is the same" excuse. There is an obvious, reoccuring problem with the electrical system on the Colorados and Canyons that GM says "they never heard of" as they size up your wallet.

    Perhaps you don't mind paying for something and not have it work, or paying for repairs that don't actually fix the problem but this goes way beyond that. You expect tires to wear out. You expect an alternator or starter to eventually go bad. You don't "expect" to have intermittent electrical failures of critical components like the battery, brake lights, windows, wipers, headlights, panel lights, fuse block not to mention the CD player, blower, blower resistor. How many vehicles have you owned that required a head replacement because of poor engineering?

    True, every vendor can turn out a turkey product. What it comes down to is if they stand behind their product, not whether they stand behind Obama to stay in business.

    GM= :lemon:
  • fmagellanfmagellan Posts: 10
    Snap,

    Ever try to change the rotors in a Colorado or Canyon? You wanna talk about poor engineering. If I had known of the cluster**** they made of the wheel/braking assembly, I would have NEVER bought my Colorado. If you have never seen it, check it out online. It's a nightmare!!!
  • snaproll1snaproll1 Posts: 88
    edited April 2012
    Actually the truth of the matter is I had an Explorer before the Colorado. That had disc brakes all the way around. I thought the drums in the back on the Colorado were a little bit bush league and the lack of stopping power was noticable, but I just got used to driving it that way.

    The brakes were the first problem I had with the truck though. The truck was about 3 days old. I made a right hand turn and heard this horrible and loud metal on metal grinding kind of noise. Only when I turned to the right. So I take it back to the dealer. The tech that had to work on it was kind of miffed, he says, "You shouldn't even bring the thing back in unless it has at least a thousand miles on it". Huh? Not. I got the sales rep, raised hell, and I'm driving in circles in the parking lot with three guys in the bed and two listening from outside to the grinding. It turns out there was a big bur on the rotor that was grinding.

    The most amusing one these morons did was to the steering. I forgot what I brought it in for, maybe it was the head replacement. Anyway, I'm driving out of their parking lot, making a left turn onto the highway and the steering wheel locks up and I'm aiming back into the oncoming lane that naturally has a semi barreling down on me. I tugged the wheel. Still locked. I yanked it and it came free and I steered out of the semi's way. I do a 180 and head back into the dealer. Turns out the monkeys managed to get a wire wrapped around the steering column. When I turned left it tightened up and jammed so the steering wheel couldn't turn back to the right, (that is until the wire broke. At least they didn't charge me for repairing their stupidity that time).

    This was also a couple of years before the whole fob/window/battery thing began to manifest itself.

    I can't say it enough... GM= :lemon:
  • higgsriggshiggsriggs Posts: 3
    I know this an old post but I am now having the same problem with my door locks right after changing the battery. 04 Colorado The only thing I read in your solution was tapping a relay. Which relay? I happen to have a neighbor that has a 06 exactly the same and since I fix both his vehicles he allowed me to try his BCM and I also try installing his door controls. Still I do not have door that unlock with the FOB nor when you put into park.
  • higgsriggshiggsriggs Posts: 3
    I have a 04 colorado 5 cyl. When the weather is reasonbly warm I have noticed a whistle when I hit about 1800 RPM on a cold engine. It will go away once the engine warms up to toperating temp. It is not a squeal it is more of a whistle like when a pressure system is building up. Soon as I pass over the 1800 RPM it quits. then when I slow down again to 1800 RPM it appears.
    Any ideas ?
  • snaproll1snaproll1 Posts: 88
    One thing to try that has worked for some folks, is just disconnect the battery and leave the truck overnight. That has worked for some folks. The other is of course removing and replacing the window module in the driver's door. If neither of these easy fixes work, then you are just shooting in the dark, replacing the window module, checking bad grounds, kinked wiring lose of burned fuse blocks.

    Also the heads go bad, the alternator is undersized, the blower motor and resistor fries, the CD player fails, the list goes on. Your best bet is to sell the thing before you sink more money into it.

    It really is a shame because the truck is a nice concept. It really would have been nice if GM had engineered it like a vehicle rather than money maker for their service department.
  • higgsriggshiggsriggs Posts: 3
    Thanks Snaproll I have gone through the heater, resistor and alternator problems already. I will try what you have listed cause I am not ready to part with it just yet. it is a nice truck and I only have 150K on it so far. Thanks for your advise and will get back to you if any of these work.
  • bitsmasherbitsmasher Posts: 15
    Hi Higgs,
    I had tried that solution but there was too much magic involved to answer the question why it should have worked - didn't work for me. Check out my post #638 - this worked and the answer was a weak fuse clip in the fuse box. You may consider running a hot 12v line with an inline fuse direct to the drivers door switch to bypass the faulty connector. In any event, let us know how you make out.

    Good luck!
  • snaproll1snaproll1 Posts: 88
    "...there was too much magic involved to answer the question..."

    This is absolutely true. There is absolutely nothing that you can count on except that GM has no solution except to throw expensive darts at the replacement dart board.

    I've been active on this thread since there were about 50 posts, that was 600 posts ago. There have been many proposed causes and possible solutions. Some work, some don't, some work for a while. I can tell you though, there is nothing conclusive as to cause or repair. My guess it that there are multiple possible causes. Maybe it's a pinched wire or bad ground, and in amongst replacing the BCM the Chevy ape manages to bump the wire and it works and they declare the bad BCM is the $400 dollar magic bullet. Then two days later you hit a bump, the window goes out, you bring it back, they give you the song and dance that the BCM was "bad anyway", and replace something else. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. Maybe a voltage spike from the bad wire or defective fuse block burns the window module but the wire unkinks because it warms up and the obvious problem was the window module not the BCM... until it turns cold and the wire gets stiff...

    I really liked the truck, no question about it, but... trust me, it is NOT worth chasing. You are much better off selling the truck and getting something else... unless you don't mind a window you can't roll up in the winter, or a five cylinder engine that has no compression because of the defective head, or tail lights that may not work, or a CD player that can't play CDs or... you get the idea. It's a personal choice... my money, I hate to say it, went to Toyota. I wish it hadn't but I've given away enough of my money (and Obama has too), to a company that does not support their products.

    GM= :lemon:
  • den052den052 Posts: 27
    My module has been working for over 2 years now. I removed the door module and used dielectric grease on the connectors. Replugged them in and worked fine. Also I ran into an issue with a 2006 Gmc Envoy. The door module caught fire and burned a spot on the board. Door locks were inoperative and the drivers window inop. Other windows would work by themselves. Installed a new module and took it to be reprogrammed. Software wouldn't recognize the door module to be programmed. They found a POWER fuse for the module burned out caused by the fire. Reinstalled a new fuse and then reprogrammed the module with no problem. Therefore as an observation; If you somehow lose power to the door module, these things will occur also. Be aware that this module has a power source and to troubleshoot that before replacing the module.
    Dennis Tomlinson
    Licensed ASE technician with electrical troubleshooting skills.
  • snaproll1snaproll1 Posts: 88
    Dennis I think you are right on target. or at least on the trail for one problem. Both times the window module was involved in my truck. The first time it would correct itself when I disconnected and reconnected the window module. The GM service guys emphatically told me the window module has nothing to do with it as they replaced the $400 dollar BCM... and the window unit failed again the next day. Then they replaced the battery and called it 'solved'. Two years later when it failed again, the competent techs that I took it to replaced the window module and it was fixed.

    I remember them saying that there was something odd about the circuitry with the module, like the driver's window was on a separate power run or something. In any event, they trailed it down to power coming into the module and nothing coming out. I guess there is some sort of circuit chip in the module that directs power. Perhaps power surges, or more likely low voltage causes it to fly or flake out, draining the battery and malfunctioning.

    It's an expensive piece to replace, something like over $300 bucks, but I'd be worried about trying to get one second hand or from a junk yard because there is no telling if that piece is bad.

    After all these years you'd think GM would have a definite solution. It's a shame because the Colorado is a good concept for a small truck. It's just a shame GM does not support their products as much as Obama's reelection funds.
  • den052den052 Posts: 27
    The door modules can be bought on GMpartsdirect.com for cheaper. They also can be found on Ebay or Amazon for a little over $100. As far as calling the computers faulty (ECM, BCM etc.), it is almost never that they are actually bad. 95% of them returned to the factory for rebuilding or reconditioning are found with nothing wrong. Technicians are too quick to replace them when they don't know or don't troubleshoot the system enough. In todays cars, with all the connections and electronics, it is fairly common to have a wiring connection failure or wiring problem. My module problems were fixed with a little dielectric grease. It had stopped functioning 2-3 times before I removed it and cleaned the contacts with electrical cleaner and put grease on them. So far so GOOD. I can disconnect the battery and re-connect it till I am blue in the face and there are no issues except resetting the clock on the radio!!!!!
  • warchild1warchild1 Posts: 1
    I resently began experiencing problems with the passenger power window. It seemed the motor was going bad, if I was to push the back of glass down the motor would labor to roll window up or down. So I took the window motor out and disassembled the motor from gear assembly. I cleaned out the debris from both sides using a electrical cleaner. I then lightly sanded the copper armature where the brushes contact. Then on the brushes side I removed the spring holding the brushes and removed the plastic notch (that was holding the wire attached to the brush) that notch was not allowing the brush to make good contact with armature. The window did need a new motor, but for now it will work till I can buy another one. I this helps anyone else out there then it was worth it.
  • gthfishgthfish Posts: 8
    edited June 2012
    Aloha warchild1,
    After reading your post, I couldn't believe that I had exactly the same problem,
    the motor would struggle to drive the window up or down and that's on days when the motor wanted to run. On bad days you would only hear a clicking sound when the the switch was used in any direction. Anyways, I did what you did, cleaned motor as much as I could, put everything back in their place, and it worked!
    I am so happy, I have been dealing with this problem for over a year and your post hit the jackpot.
    Thank, gthfish
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning gthfish and warchild1,

    I'm so glad to see that you've been able to find a way to solve the issues you had been having with your power windows, especially with the hot summer months on their way!

    Wishing you many happy and cool miles,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • Wow, no posts since May. Must mean most of the Colorados and Canyons have been junked, (which I'm sure GM would be happy to hear).

    I wonder how many people will never buy another GM product because of it and the horrible GM service and policies for the unsuspecting customers that bought them?

    GM= :lemon:
  • wes0110wes0110 Posts: 6
    I got rid of my Canyon ASAP. Traded it in on a Toyota. I could not believe how many electrical problems it had. My last straw was when the radio would not turn off after removing the key, and exiting the vehicle. I could still hear it playing outside. My biggest complaint was actually the air conditioning vents. I remember seeing broken ones in a corvette back in 2000. So many yrs. later and Chevy/GMC still could not fix that vent problem. Never gonna buy from them again!
  • Oddly enough my '05 has been running great since the dealer replaced the cylinder head a year and a half ago. I figured out and fixed the problems with the window and blower moter myself, so I'm a happy camper. I think the big satisfaction factor with any vehicle is how well the dealer does by you after the sale.

    Sorry to hear you are still angry about your experience even after dumping the truck :(. Could be folks don't want to post here seeking helpful advice because they can see all they get is a spew of gloom and doom from you. They want solutions - not to get more depressed.
  • den052den052 Posts: 27
    BTW how did you fix your window and lock problem? Mine has been working fine (going on the third year). I greased the module connections with silicone. I also cut and soldered new wires on the fan speed resistor module and spliced it back into the harness. I do have a problem once and a while with the dome lights. The actual dome light in the roof is a cheap receptacle and the contacts to the bulb are weak. However the dome lights completely stop working from time to time. Even the under-dash lights. Haven't had time to trace the wiring diagrams and probe the circuit, but am guessing the dome light fuse will need grease because of fuse block issues with this vehicle.
    A good site to have with this vehicle is "EAutorepair.com" Or search for "Mitchell online". You can subscribe to this website for all the wiring diagrams and repair info for a full year $29.00. You can also subscribe for 1 week ($11.99), or 1 month ($16.99). They have all the wiring schematics for this vehicle and you can print them out for your records.
    Thanks, Den052
  • Hi Den,

    Check out my post to Lucrio (#638) where I detailed this. It was a quick fix (unelegant) but it's still working so I'll let it be.

    Thanks for the tips on the other web sites too!
  • den052den052 Posts: 27
    Thanks Bitsmasher, the thread has gotten so big that it is hard to find previous posts without the message #. Yes, that is the way to fix circuit problems by testing the circuit with a load. So many people just probe the connection and verify 12v without operation or load. Seen it time and time again being a auto-mechanic. You have to load the circuit to test connections and voltage availability.
    Thanks
  • wes0110wes0110 Posts: 6
    I just traded the truck in after fixing several problems myself. I was fresh off of a new vehicle purchase and saw a post from another. I came to this website originally to find a solution to problems with a truck that I really loved. I certainly have not spread doom and gloom. I have merely expressed my concern with others purchasing Chevy/GMC products. Some people have Chevy/GMC vehicles with no problems. But most have had the same issues that all of us have experienced. Many ignore the weird electrical problems, due to the cost of repairs. My point being, if I or no one else complains, then no one will hear the issues and the companies will continue to sell bad products to unsuspecting people. No one should have to research and find solutions to problems that should be fixed by manufacturers. Please don't take my posts personally and attack me, when they (Chevy/GMC) are at fault.
  • I have a 2007 colorado and I have had nothing but problems with the electrical system. The first was my blower motor speed control on the a/c. I replaced the module under the dash behind the glove box. That worked for a few days and then it quit working again. Then I ordered a new wiring harness that connects to the module and runs on up under the dash. It came with a new module. That has taken care of that problem. Then two days ago, I replace the original five year old battery and when I put the new one in, the drivers door window would not go up or down and the doors wouldn't lock or unlock with the key fob or using the control panels on the doors. I tried to reprogram using the manual and that didn't work. That's when I got on hear and found the same problem had been fixed by removing the control panels and puting the bioelectric grease on the plugs and re-installing everything. I thought no way is that going to fix anything. Tried it and it works. It may have even gotten rid of some other little gliches I was having like my tire pressure monitor flashing on the messages. I did have the truck reprogrammed about six months ago and it has never been as responsive as it is now. This little truck runs like a scalded cat and will slip the tires when it shifts from first to second gear if you stay in it and don't back off the gas. I love these little trucks, I just wish they didn't have so many elec. problems. I now have about seventy four thousand miles on it. G.M. obviously is not going to help us, so we just have to help each other. Thanks for all the info. that everyone put on here because it sure helped me out.
  • al6pndral6pndr Posts: 45
    I also had a chevy colorado that I loved as a matter of fact it was also an 07. Had 2 chevys befor it I loved even more, BUT with all the problems with this truck (Mine was the stripped down version, NO electrical "doodads") and NO help from the JERKS at the dealership (Randy Wise Chevrolet Milan Mi. THE WORST DEALERSHIP ON THE PLANET!!!) AND even less help from G.M. (Govt. Motors) It will be a LOOoong time befor these folks see ANY of my $ again!!!
  • You must be like the last human being on the planet that had a Colorado, the rest are in the junk pile on their way to China to be sold as scap to Toyota so they can be turned into reliable vehicles.

    This thread has been dead for about 6 months.

    Just about everybody that was on this forum loved their Colorados or Canyons, but the stories are pretty much the same, endless reoccuring electrical problems, no help from the company or dealerships (with the exception of them helping themselves to your credit card). Pretty much everybody that was here moved on to other vehicles and manufactures.

    Give it time though, you'll get Sarah, Camron, Hewy, Dewy and Louie from the "GM Customer Care Club" or whatever it is to try and steer you into a dealership so you can get your wallet cleaned out and they get their commissions.

    My advice, get rid of the truck before you have other expensive surprises like the tail lights not working, the head neading to be replaced, the radio failing etc.

    It really is funny, the one reoccuring theme with the truck is when the battery is disconnected or drained. After that, the electrical problems with the vehicle are endless.

    Best of luck to you. If you don't already, sooner or later you will understand...

    GM= :lemon:
  • stevep75stevep75 Posts: 1
    It's not a coincidence. I have an 05 Chevy Colorado also and had to disconnect the battery. When I hooked it back up...no power door locks and the driver side window would not work. If you search this on the internet (I'm a master internet surfer), you'll see it appears to be a common problem with the 05 Colorado specifically. Everyone says it's the BCM and suggests "tricks" to fix it by disconnecting wiring harnesses, touching battery cables, waiting several days, weeks, months, etc. None of it worked for me. Taking it to the dealership to be fixed or driven through their showroom window.
  • den052den052 Posts: 27
    This door lock and window issue is all over this thread. Disregard all the general "don't know what they are doing comments". There are basically 3 ways to fix this issue. Remove the plugs off the door switch module and apply di-electric grease to the plugs. Replug back in and see if the problem is resolved. Check for a good 12v feed that powers the door module. You may have to test this by applying a 12v load such as a headlight (2-3 amps), to the circuit to make sure you can pull a good 12 volts through the wire. There have been problems with the fuse block fuse connection for the door module loosing power at that point. If the previous 2 methods don't work, replace the door module (on ebay or amazon for about 40-60 bucks.)

    Disconnecting the battery and or touching battery cables together don't do a thing even though it may appear to resolve the problem as it is an intermittent problem. I fixed mine 2 years ago with di-electric grease.

    The body computer is NOT corrupted or anything as every other function of the body computer still functions. All other methods of weird stuff are just "Shade tree mechanics" that don't know what is going on.

    Licensed Master Mechanic Light and Heavy Vehicles (trucks and Semi's) GM mechanic for over 40 years.

    Dennis Tomlinson

    Finally sold my Colorado as I couldn't get good mileage around town. Was able to pull 23-24mpg on highway, but might as well drive a full size pickup that gets that TOO.

    When sold, everything functioned like factory new with no check engine light either. I was happy with the vehicle except for poor stop and go mileage for a 4 cylinder engine. In my opinion, the 4 cyl engine had adequate power. Some people [non-permissible content removed] that Colorado's were underpowered but it didn't seem all that bad to me.
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