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2004 GMC Yukon XL Denali Traction Control



  • I had both front wheel speed sensors replaced a couple of years ago and it's been fine since
  • After dealing with, what I believe, was a less than knowledgeable and honest dealer, I decided to part ways with my Yukon XL for good. Over the course of about 4 years and costing thousands of dollars in diagnostics and repairs, I continued to have intermittent ABS / traction control error messages. My dashboard would light up like a Christmas tree with error messages. We replaced speed sensors, steering wheel sensors and were looking at replacing the ABS and traction control module (very expensive!), but when I asked if THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE END OF IT that came with a "we can't guarantee that'll fix the problem". Couldn't see sinking another $1500 bucks into something that "might" not fix it. So, while I loved that vehicle, it was becoming a money pit and living in snowy, hilly Pittsburgh, I need to count on my ABS and traction control working ALL THE TIME. I'm done with GMC.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    Were you planning on have the vehicle diagnosed by a GM dealership? Please keep me posted on any information.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • I am having the same problem turnning left and the traction control system activates with loss of power. I just had my brakes replace and wonder if it was damaged there? Should they be responisble for repair?
  • I have the same problem but no all the time. Restart car works but getting tierd of having to do that. Did you get a repsonse on how to fix?
  • isiisi Posts: 16
    If you are able to do your own work, then please try removing the front sensors intact and FILE the hub where the sensor mounts. It will cost you nothing, except 1-2 hours of your time. I was having the same problems as you were (i.e. intermittent traction control activation), and tried all kinds of diagnostics, even driving the car down the street with a scope on the sensors! The GM people did not have a clue as to the solution. I even replaced the front sensors, but to no avail. Then I was speaking to another mechanic about this, and he informed me that this is a known problem on the Yukon, where corrosion forms under the speed sensors on the hub, which in turn interrupts the signal from the sensor to the computer. The simple solution was to remove the sensors and use a file. Then just replace the sensors. My Yukon Denali has been trouble free for the 18 months since I did this.
  • isiisi Posts: 16
    It is remotely possible that they damaged the sensor or wire while replacing the rotors or removing the calipers, BUT IT IS UNLIKELY, as the sensor is not close to the rotor or caliper. If the problem started right after the brake job, you may be able to get the repair shop to look at it as a freebie, as long as it has not been too long since the brake job. If all wires and sensors are undamaged, you can get them to try the fix in msg #38.
  • kim_g1kim_g1 Posts: 1
    Sorry. But could you tell me where the front sensors are located? Are they behind the caliper or inside the tire? I want to see if this is something my husband can swing or to tell a mechanic. I had front end work done recently, then had a flat. The repair shop drove the truck into the bay with a total flat and now also have probs with the "tire pressure sensor" message on. Wonder if its all related?
  • isiisi Posts: 16
    The tire pressure sensor is a different issue, and you can be almost 100% sure its failure was caused by driving the vehicle with a total flat tire. The way it works is that there is a tire pressure monitoring sensor (TPMS) on every rim, located inside the part that the tire covers (i.e. where the air is under pressure) and measures the tire pressure and transmits it to the computer. If the car is driven with a flat, it is highly probable that the sensor will be damaged. Make sure that the rim was not damaged as well. The shop that fixed the flat needs to install a new sensor (hopefully at their own expense).

    As for the front wheel speed sensors, they are located on the hub, not behind the caliper and not inside the tire. The hub is the stationary part where the drive shaft hooks into, and allows for the rotating components to be located. The wheel speed sensor will be easy to find as there will be a wire attached to it. It is located near the top of the hub (around 1 o'clock if I recall correctly). If they have not been removed in the last 2-3 years, they will be difficult to remove intact, but it can be done if one is careful. Good luck!
  • farmgrl22farmgrl22 Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    OK....same issue with my 2004 Yukon SLT 60,000miles. Just within the past 8 months or so it started with the traction active on beautiful days and dry roads. I called our local GM dealer today and they want $280 to do the cleaning and another $100 if the sensors would need replaced and another "couple hundred per side" if by chance the hubs would need replaced too.

    I saw someone that posted was in Pittsburgh area.....anyone want to offer information where they took their vehicle for this repair and got good service and reasonable rates? We are located in the New Castle PA area. I have read a lot of the posts on here with detailed directions and my husband is going to try cleaning the hubs himself. (I would like to have a back-up though)

    We also have a few other issues with this truck. The dash has gone out a few times resetting the radio and idea why this happens. The airbag light came on a few months ago - probably a sensor. We also have the tire pressure message.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
  • I just had the front drivers ABS sensor replaced (part cost $50 at Napa Autoparts) and it stopped the warning lights and loud beeping noise. It also fixed the problem when i was turning left and traction contraol comes on. However now the traction control activates when I come to a complete stop (at red light) and I have a 2 second loss of power then it releases and truck runs great until I stop again. Wondering if the computer needs to be reset now that I have replaced the ABS sensor? Any thoughts?
  • All of this, sometimes individually and sometimes all at the same time, happened over the course of 2 years with my '05 Yukon XL. I had it serviced at Wright Pontiac/GMC in Wexford, which is where I bought it.

    I had the ABS light come on, the traction control light come on and also experienced the lost of acceleration when pulling away from a complete stop, such as a red light. I was nervous turning left in front of oncoming traffic from a standstill because of this.

    WRight wanted to change the ABS sensors and the steering wheel position sensor, which I did and the problem continued to come and go, albeit not as frequently. When driving in the snow, if the tires did slip it would immediately kick on the ABS light and traction control light. Sometimes those lights stayed lit up for weeks and wouldn't shut off, emitting a loud pinging noise for a minute every time I turned on the vehicle. When the ABS light is on, that means you DO NOT have antilock brakes working and there were a few times that I skidded and fishtailed a bit on wet roads and also had to be especially careful in the snow.

    Then they wanted to replace the ABS/traction control module which is housed under the body of the vehicle. That part plus labor was over $1000. There were no guarantees that the problem would go away because it was just an educated guess on their part if that was the sole source of the problem. It seemed like too much money to throw at a "guess" with no guarantees. At that point, with the leaking fuel line, need for new brakes and four new tires I decided to not throw any more money into the Yukon and got rid of it.
  • isiisi Posts: 16
    Remove BOTH front ABS sensors and file and clean the hub where they mount. Although the shops are supposed to file/clean the surface when they replace sensors, most of them don't do it. Your "traction control" issue at a stop light / stop sign will go away after you have done this.
  • I have a 2005 Yukon XL with the same issue your having. After several times taking it in for service a local mechanic finally found the issue. Prior to him finding the issue, I was told it was a wheel sensor, then it was the pump, which the pump was replaced. It was neither of these. What he found was that you have a sensor on the steering column that if it gets out of adjustment, it will cause the issue your having. Have them adjust this sensor.
  • hjimenezhjimenez Posts: 2
    I am also having the same problem. Could you please tell me where to locate these sensors and remove them?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  • hjimenezhjimenez Posts: 2
    Where are these sensors located?
  • The ABS speed sensor is located on the back of the HUB assembely (behind the tire). It is a black cable the plugs in to the HUB assembely and runs behind the black wheel well. The part should only cost $50 online. Hope this helps. ml">
  • I've had my denali for about a year had have had it in the
    Four times so far over $1200 so far and I still have the same
    Problem the truck won't move when the traction comes
    On!!! The want to replace the sensor in the steering wheel
    That I just had replaced 6 months ago that cost $500
    Then the computer on and on it goes its a money
    Pit I'm getting sick of now there replacing the wheel sensors
    If it don't work this time I'm contacting DMV !!!
  • I have a 2004 yukon xl Denali. Had the traction active message coming up. My Mechanic replaced both wheel speed sensors to start with and it was still showing a problem on the right passenger side. Replaced the hub on that side and the truck is working fine. My mechanic done a great job and it was less than two hundred dollars. What a great mechanic.
  • isiisi Posts: 16
    For $200 you did well!
    However, you did not need to replace the hub. Remember this when the left side shows the same problem. All that needs to be done is to remove the wheel speed sensor and file the area where it makes contact with the hub. This area tends to rust over time, and if filed until shiny, the sensor will work properly! Tell him to put some anti-seize on the area before he replaces the wheel speed sensor.
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