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Chevrolet Tahoe Electrical Problems



  • I have a 2003 Tahoe. My cluster panel went out about 2 yrs after buying the truck new. It took forever to get my dealership to fix it. Even at that time it was still under warranty. They replaced the entire BRAIN of the computer they said. At that time my dash board, the part that lights up when you start the vehicle, looked like pacman running across it. Well about 2 yrs ago my speedometer started going crazy. I looked down and it said 110 mph. As other post have said I without knowing just guessing would turn the key just enough so it would click and continue till it got back to 0 mph. Now that doesn't work. Regardless of the age of the vehicle or mileage. If Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Dodge have a mandatory recall on their autos, Chevrolet should be made to do the same. This is a very defective part. It could easily be a death trap if our vehicles are stalled, or suddenly decide they are going 120 mph. Its ridiculous to pay a 1000 dollars for something that obviously is a widespread problem. If it was 5 or 10 vehicles would be one thing but it seems to be alot of us with the same problems. Also I would like to say after looking over my receipt from the dealership where they installed the new computer mother board brain. That was under warranty at that time. States that it has no warranty on that service. Ha. Jokes on the consumer. I say we all contact Chevrolet and demand a recall on this issue. They need to fix our vehicles.
  • I have a 1999 Tahoe and my a/c and circulation buttons lights stay on when control unit is off, my a/c doesn't work I had replaced control unit and it worked for 2 weeks and now it stop working again. I checked ground and connections all ok, it does not have climate control. Also my lights come on when unit is off and when I turn the switch on the lights go off but my a/c doesn't work.
    I notice that my rear a/c works when the front switch is off, any ideas what it could be could it be in the computer and software? :confuse:
  • I am having the same problems... while driving my 2007 z-71 tahoe would completly loose all power, lights, stereo, EVERYTHING, but would power right back up on its own. the doors would unlock and lock on its own, and my dash says to service Stabilitrak. However tonight my tahoe lost all power while driving at night and didnt power back.... no brake lights or headlights or emergency flashers! Now it wont crank or do anything at all.... completly dead! the positive cable terminal got very hot so we disconnected it..... My Tahoe seems possessed!!! We bought this tahoe brand new and have not had a single problem one with it, until we added a after market stereo system and first the ignition would delay in starting and had to have a fuel line replaced and now the electrical problems! And no one seems to know what is going on with my car!! HELP PLZ!!
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    The good news is, that your problem is now consistently off. The dealership should be able to find/fix it.

    When a problem is intermittent (as in it comes and goes), then the tech might not be able to recreate the failure and see what's broke, so he knows what to fix. When the problem is solid, he can easily fix it.
  • i've had my tahoe at the dealership 6 times and so far they cannot determine why i loose all of the electrical power. they seemed to think it was due to the installation of an after market DVD player so they unhooked it but i still have the problem intermittently.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Nealphx,
    Have you had the vehicle looked at since you disconnected the DVD player? Have you taken it back to the place you bought it from and said that you are experiencing concerns? Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • Yes, I have taken it back two times since the DVD player was unhooked but they still can't determine why this is happening.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Nealphx,
    Because you are still experiencing the concern what I can do is set up a case with an agent for you. The agent would require that you take the vehicle to the dealership to be diagnosed for the concern. If the dealership is having a hard time finding the problem the agent can get the technical department involved. If you would like me to do this I will need you to e-mail me the following: contact information, current mileage, VIN, dealership and best time to contact you. You can get my e-mail by clicking on gmcustsvc. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • Mariah, Thank you for your concern. I believe I already have a case open with GM but so far, I haven't seen any results. In any case, I have since filed a claim with the BBB in hopes of getting resolution through that channel.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Nealphx,
    Thank you for getting back to me. I just wanted to make sure that you did get assistance. Because you filed with the BBB, they are going to do their own case and go from there. If you have any further questions please let me know. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • 2001 Tahoe LT -- Battery drains approx every three days. There is a short which repeated attempts to diagnose by a reputable mechanic have not been able to locate. The draw is @8V -- low amps-- and drains the battery slowly. There is an after market video unit (installed before original purchase in 2000) and a lowjack system (installed at dealer by lowjack when the Tahoe was purchased in 2002). No other electrical modifications have been made to the vehicle. Tips on troubleshooting the malfunctioning circuit -- or successes and lessons learned that led to correcting similar problems appreciated.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited September 2010
    The info you gave, doesn't make sense....electrically speaking.

    Everything is 12 volts, well actually it's more like 14volts, but they call it a 12 volt battery. Not sure who said something about 8 volts, but nothing would be 8 volts.

    What drains a battery is 'currrent', which is measured in amps. Perhaps you are mistaken, and the drain is 8 AMPS. That would be a large current drain.

    What you need to do, is to put in a meter which measures amperage, and then start pulling the fuses until you see the amperage drop. That will give them an indication which circuit the problem is on, and you can hopefully narrow it down from there. The problem with modifications, is you really don't know where they may have connected those devices to.

    You will need a shop that is good at troubleshooting difficult electrical problems, as well as they will need access to the electrical schematics for your vehicle.

    It could be many things causing the problem. I have seen on my own vehicles over the years:
    - a bad relay on rear A/C fan, causing the fan blower to be continually on.
    - a bad switch on drivers power seat, causing the seat motor to be energized all the time.
    - a bad switch on trunk light, causing the light to be on all the time.

    It really could be anything.
  • Ok so I found my problem with my 2007 Z71....... believe it or not it was the positive battery cable that fused itself to the frame and actually was arching everytime the car lost power!!! It did blow a fuse and had to replace the cable and harness for the cable, but easy fix for a problem I thought was very major!!!!
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    This wear was vibration caused? The insulation wore thru?
  • What year is your Tahoe?
  • The past few days my gauges, radio, A/C, everything would drop to zero upon acceleration & come back on to work like they should. The engine did not stop or stutter. It started ONLY when I would accelerate in gear, not in neutral! When I was stopped yesterday I noticed a small burning smell so I turned off everything & tried to find where it was coming from. At first I though it was from the fuse panel area under the hood but when I turned the key back on to recreate the smell, I seen smoke coming from the driver side dash/air vent so I proceeded to rip off the front dash to put out the fire with my drink.. I could not see exactly where it was coming from & today I really DON'T want to remove my entire dash. Any ideas? Could it just be the gauge cluster? Fuse panel? Please help! Thanks!!!!!
  • I think I found my problem... The main power wire AT THE BATTERY has shorted on the battery box. I moved the wire & now no more gauge/power loss but i'm still worried about the dash.. was this my problem??
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If the short was at the battery to the battery box, then 'most likely' your vehicle wiring wouldn't have been necessarily in the shorted circuit path. Battery plus terminal, to battery box, to frame ground, to engine, to ground strap back to the battery.

    Now having said that, IF the engine was running at the time, then in addition to the battery getting shorted, the alternator (because the battery voltage would drop), would pump up it's voltage and current to try and drive the battery voltage back up. So the charging circuit 'may' have also been energized. I would think however that if this was a problem, you would have either blown the main alternator fuse, or the diodes in the alternator.

    If it was mine, I'd just watch it closely and see if everything continues to appear okay. Watch to make sure your alternator is charging.

    The smoke in the vents, could have come from the outside air draw by the windshield, sucking smoke from the engine compartment, into the duct work and then push it into the passenger cabin.
  • Have you gotten your Tahoe fixed yet? I am having some of the same problems! I would love to know how to fix it! Thanks!
  • No, it's not fixed yet. Right now, it's at the chevy dealership for the 8th time but I believe it is a bare wire touching metal and I think it will be difficult for them to find it.
  • I've tried searching several sites and this one with no luck finding the exact same symptoms my 99 tahoe is displaying so Im looking for some help.

    About a month ago I tried starting my tahoe and and everything went heywire.
    The instrument cluster seems to react then die lights would come on breifly then die, headlights would not though, once everything died a loud clicking noise would start and it was coming from behind the headlight/dome switch. I would turn on and off the headlight switch and turn on and of the dome override button a few times then it would start.

    This only happened a few times to begin with but became more of an issue over time until two days ago and haven't been able to start sence. It seems to me that at some times i'm getting the right voltage to everything and at other times I'm not. battery tested fine along with alternator. I have heard of problems with the positive cable but not sure if thats where I should start.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • After reading forums, realize lots of us have similar problems. We got our car in 2006 and the first day bringing it home it wouldn't start. The dealership said it was probably because it had been sitting on the lot for a while... so we had it jumped. It is now 2010 and we have just put our fourth battery in, this time not getting the battery at the dealership but using a Sears Diehard because the guy who keeps coming out to jump it said the one that Chevy uses isn't strong enough, he gets these calls frequently (and from us, constantly). The day after the new battery we got stranded after just shutting the car off after a day trip in Tahoe, we stopped to get coffee and when we returned to the vehicle - stone dead. Anytime we leave the doors open, tailgate down, to vacumn the car (approx 20-30 minutes) the car won't start and needs to be jumped. Sometimes it is just putting the tailgate down. If we let the car sit for more than a few days without driving it, it won't start. The battery is always stone cold dead - nothing in the car will light up and usually having someone try to jump it with their car will not work, requires the tow truck driver's equipment. The other issue that has now come up is the door trim is discoloring, like rust - we've heard that they are recalling the 2008+ models to replace, but we haven't been included. We also lost our transmission at just under 50K miles - though the dealership repaired it under warranty. We love our Tahoe - WHEN IT RUNS! Hasn't anyone been able to get to the root of this eletrical problem? Does it require a class action lawsuit to get satisfaction? Has the GM gal, Mariah been able to give anyone the answers to these problems?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Carcurious54,
    I apologize that you are experiencing concern with your vehicle. Do you currently have a case with GM? Can you please e-mail me your VIN and current mileage? You can get my e-mail by clicking on gmcustsvc. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • ghoskghosk Posts: 1
    Hello gmcustsvc,
    I found this post when trying to determine what is happening with my 2007 Tahoe. I am experiencing the same thing and now it will not start at all. Is there a solution this problem?

    2007 Tahoe LTZ has an issue of not starting. Battery has been checked and is good. Will hear clicking noises in the door and have been told that this is a security system failure. Sometimes after waiting for 10 or more minutes it will start back up. At other times jumper cables have to be used to get it started. Grounding has been checked and is find. When the issue happens the remote won't work and none of the lights will work.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Ghosk,
    Have you had the vehicle scanned for codes? How long has the concern been present? Can you e-mail me your VIN and current mileage? You can get my e-mail by clicking on gmcustsvc. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • Here is :cry: my dilema, 2001 4WD tahoe has been sitting in my drive way since August with no prior problems. I just got another car and have been driving the new one. Since August I had only driven it 7xs since, but periodically turning on the engine and letting it run so my battery wouldn't die.

    Heres my problem. i went to turn it on one day and it was no go. The dashboard lights would turn on but the ignition or engine would just give me a clickling noise. Me assuming it was the battery, I gave it a jump and started right away. I drove it atleast 50 miles same day to visit family with no problem and on the way back from visiting the engine shut down on my on the road. I tried to turn it on, but nothing. (Emergency light and dashboard light were still working. Battery gauge was at 10 volts. Bought new battery, turned on with no problem but shortly after it did it to me again. Bought new alternator with new battery. It turns on with no problem but after letting it run for about 20 mins, it shuts down again. What could it be? Is it a bigger problem or possible electric problem? Please help. Oh may I add that my
    keyless remote also gave up on me same time as the battery , could it be related? Appreciate all suggestions.
  • cfr3cfr3 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Tahoe with an overnight batt drain problem. I have found that by taking the BCM /BATT fuse out the car will start the next morning. After finding this out I searched the web for info on that problem and found there was a recall that seemed to fit the problem it required reprogramming the BCM. I took it into the local dealer and they agreed and started the work. an hour later the tech came out and informed me that they had a problem. he tried putting in the new program 3 or 4 times and each time about 3/4 of the way thru it would kick him out of programming. he then looked a little deeper and realized that the recall was not for my truck as I did not have a steering position sensor. I took the car and left on my way home I noticed that my batt guage was on its lowest reading so I stopped at a friends garage and used his meter thew batt& alt where operating properly. I took it back to the dealer. When I got to the tech he said " I was afraid I might have fried the BCM. It is now several days later and I still don't have the car back. at one point they could not even get the car to run. they told me they had to put the BCM in another car to program it then re-install it in my car. Now they want me to take the car. Can anybody give me some advice.,
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    You may have had a bad BCM to start with, causing that battery drain. Since it was draining everynight, you'll know within a night or two whether the problem is potentially fixed.
  • Were you able to get anything resolved with your electrical problems. I am experiencing some same issues. We have come out to a dead battery at least 4 times and we have only had the vehicle for 3 weeks with a whole week in the shop. If we leave the key on to listen to the radio it is dead in less then 5 minutes. They have already replaced a fuse block that was causing the rear lights to stay on after exiting the vehicle.
  • After a $350 bill at the dealership, their conclusion was that it was a bad negative cable to the battery. Huh? It's been replaced, and so far we haven't been stranded, but then again, we are really careful to not do anything to use the battery when the car is parked. I don't know if this is really the cause or not...they were talking about corroded battery posts, etc... but again, it died the first day we brought it home (brand new) and it's been nonstop since then - so I'm not buying it...I guess it's a pretty cheap fix to replace the battery cable yourselves and give it a try - $350 was pretty darn steep in my book!
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