Chevy 2007 Tahoe emergency flasher kill battery

miked26miked26 Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Chevrolet
I've discovered that when I turn on my Tahoe's emergency flasher my battery dies after they're left on for about 20 minutes. After my Chevy dealer couldn't figure it out, I filed a case with GM and the case worker came back a week later and stated that this is a "normal" situation with this vehcle. This stunned me, and my local dealer.
I consider this dangerous especially since I travel in the upper midwest. I hope i don't have any flat tires, etc, at night while i'm traveling!
is anyone else experienced this?
let me know.


  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I don't think a healthy, fully-charged battery would be drained in only twenty minutes of running the emergency flashers. Is it possible there is some other drain on your battery?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • miked26miked26 Member Posts: 2
    tidester, I agree but the dealership checked for ather possible power drains on the battery. They also set the flashers on one of their 2008 Tahoes and that battery was dead after 45 minutes.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    In that case, one would be tempted to conclude that the flasher system is defective and that it may be a design flaw.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    This sounds really weird. I haven't done my homework on this yet (as I'm just tripping into this and need to get to bed), but I would suspect the circuit for the the flashers is either a 15 amp or 20 amp circuit. It can't draw any more than that, or the fuse would burn out.

    Drawing 15 amp, for 1 hour, is only 15 amp hours. There's no way that should draw down your battery.

    Something else would have to be causing the problem, perhaps daytime running lights or radiator fan if you are leaving the key in the ignition. Or perhaps the body control module is sensing you are still in the car, and keeping everything powered up. Is the key out of the ignition, when you have this drain-down?
  • bochevybochevy Member Posts: 5
    Welcome to the wonderful world of Chevy electrical issues. I have an 03 Suburban that is on its 3rd battery. The first one was replaced with only 20,000 miles on it under warranty. My neighbor has an 07 Yukon XL and has had several times when she has needed a jump, as well. This has been a constant issue with these models and since they didn't do anything to resolve it with the new ones, I will try my luck with an Expedition EL when I am ready to trade my Suburban in. :confuse:
  • spidey3spidey3 Member Posts: 4
    I have had a similar problem with my 2007 Tahoe several times. When the car is in accessory mode with the radio or DVD on, the power goes out after 15-20 min. One service rep at the dealership said they had never heard of that before and it shouldn't happen, another said that it's normal and don't leave it in accessory mode for more than 20 min. They put a new battery in this time. A couple of weeks later, my automatic rear door release is not working.

    Other things that have happened since I bought it a year ago, pre-owned with one owner, but seemingly in perfect condition: Transmission went out in winter, got new transmission. Radio and blinker stopped working suddenly a couple of months ago, they replaced radio. Windsheild wipers went on automatically and squirted out all wiper fluid without stopping several times. I think the electronic stuff is all related but they don't know how to fix it. By the way, it only has 38,000 miles. I have been in the shop atleast once every couple of months for the last six months. I love the comfort of the ride and the look of the car inside and out, but it has been so unreliable. I don't know if I should trade it in for something else or if maybe this is the end of the problems? Any suggestions? This is the first pre-owned car I have owned. I saved $17,000 buying it this way but I am hesitant to buy used again because of these problems.
  • spidey3spidey3 Member Posts: 4
    Have had electrical problems with recent SUV purchase, a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, has not been reliable but love the ride. Ready to trade in for a more reliable SUV or minivan. I miss the storage space of the minivan but enjoy the comfortable cabin, smooth ride and look of the SUV. Any other suggestions of new or used reliable SUV's or minivan's that would be around $40,000 or less? I had a Honda Odyssey before and it was a good car but wanted something more stylish, so got the SUV. My garage can't handle a larger SUV like a Suburban. Have looked at pre-owned Cadillac Escalade's but worried the reliablility will be like my Tahoe. Any feedback on pre-owned Toyota Seqouia's? I know the new ones are out of my price range. May be too large if same length as Suburban. I need to have seating for 7 in most of the time and the storage space in the back of the Tahoe is slim compared to the Odyssey. I currently have leather, DVD, sunroof, so looking for the same in my new car. Hesitant to buy pre-owned because of poor performance of Tahoe, but know I will probably have to with my price range since I want those extra's. Any suggestions?
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    I'm going to shoot from the hip here a little, without looking things up or checking out in the driveway on my 2007 Suburban.

    - accessories turning off, I believe that is normal to keep the battery from being drained down. That's controlled by the BCM (body control module) which is the computer that controls all of the lights and internal body electricals. I believe all of my vehicles do this (I know for certain a Ford and a Toyota I have both do). I've never sat in the Sub that long after stopping. I'd check the owners manual, I'm pretty sure this is working as it's supposed to.

    - I don't know what you mean by "automatic rear door release". If you are talking about the rear tailgate, and it not raising when you push the overhead button, you must be in park for that to work. Read the manual. Keeps you from ejecting the kids or your luggage while driving down the interstate.

    - Windshield wipers going on automatically. I believe this is trim level specific with the higher trim levels having automatic wipers (I know my LTX has this), is that there is a sensor on the windshield above the mirror. If the windshield stalk switch is turned on to one of the slower positions, the windshield wipers will come on when the windshield sensor detects water on the windshield, or something passes over the sensor (like your hand, or a squeegie). Check the position of the switch. I don't know that the washers come on though, I don't remember that happening.

    - What trim level is your vehicle? LT, LS, LTX, etc
  • spidey3spidey3 Member Posts: 4
    Do you mean that the battery is supposed to die and need to be jump started every time the flashers, radio or DVD is on for more than 20 minutes? I can understand the DVD draining down the battery, but I have never had a car that does that simply because the radio is on or the flashers are on. If the flashers are on it means that you are in an emergency situation and need help. That doesn't seem very safe that after 20 minutes you would also need your battery jumped.

    I have a 2007 LTX and yes the windshield wipers are supposed to come on automatically when they detect moisture but not so long without stopping that they drain all the windshield wiper fluid. As far as I could tell, along with the passengers in my car, there was no moisture on the windshield. Since they fixed it this has not happened again, but I'm not holding my breath.

    I was talking about the rear tailgate that opens with the press of a button. It is always in park when I use it, and it was working fine until recently. Now when I press the button nothing happens. At first when this stopped working I did hear an electronic hum but the hatch would not automatically open as usual. Now the noise is gone and it is just like any other rear hatch that you have to manually open.

    I really don't think there should be this many problems with a car. I don't have time to take it in every month and even though it's under warranty not everything is covered, such as the battery.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Check to make sure the rear window isn't popped open. If the window is popped open (as in depressed the rear window pop with the keyfob), then that overrides and prevents the whole rear tailgate from electronically opening. If that is not your problem, then have the dealership check the motor and the arm in the rear left side. Perhaps the linkage arm somehow came loose.

    I don't believe the flashers are turned off after a period of time, just the non-essential items and lights. Again, I'm pretty sure this is all described in the owners manual.
  • spidey3spidey3 Member Posts: 4
    The rear window isn't popped open but the whole problem did start when I tried to open the tailgate with the keyfob. Maybe there is some connection there. I know I need to check the manual but I just can't believe the battery would die after having the radio on for 20 min. That just seems unreasonable. I have two teens who like to listen to the radio when we are stopped sometimes and I go into a store. I literally just had the car in the shop a couple of weeks age and I hate to bring it in again for the tailgate. I feel like the car is a lemon.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    I don't think anyone ever suggested that the battery would go dead after 20 minutes of playing the radio. What many of the manufacturers have done, is set their body management computers to turn off power when the key is turned off....after some 'reasonable' period of time. So somebody then defines 'reasonable', and picked whatever they picked (and I'm taking your word for it that it's 20 minutes). I haven't gone out to pull the manual.

    I know in two of my other vehicles I've sat and waited in the vehicle and both of those have turned off the power after some time limit. I've never been sitting in the Suburban that long to notice it turning off. I think you'll find this pretty standard in many of the newer vehicles (it's been in every vehicle I've bought since 2004 model year). I don't exactly remember anymore, but I believe my '97 Sub shut the power off immediately when you turned the key off.
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