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Chevrolet Tahoe Electrical Problems



  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    I have a 2009 Tahoe with an intermittent but complex problem with the electrical system. I can go a couple of days driving short trips with no problems but then after driving a few days the problem rears itself. First the lights (intererior and exterior) will blink for a second and then the door locks will go up and down sometimes just once other times multiple times. Then the information center display (odometer and temp) will go out for a few seconds. Then the air conditioning system will start to sound like the fan air is being blocked and won't come out of the vents and finally the outside air temp indicator on the air conditioning display will drop to 55 and the buttons for passenger, rear will all light up and because the outside temp is reading 55 the air conditioning is set to auto it will switch to heat (it's 85 degrees outside) because of the false 55 degree reading on the outside air temp sensor indicator. Also on a couple of occasions the cd player kept cycling like it was trying to eject a cd but there was no cd in the player. I took it to Chevy and because it is intermittent they said that I should only bring it in when it's having problems otherwise they wouldn't find any error codes or see the problem. I did take it to a local certified shop to check alternator and battery and they scanned but didn't find any error codes or problems. I took a chance and had the body control module replaced on the advice of some mechanics and that didn't do the trick - so even though you may be desparate don't throw away money on guessing - it gets expensive. I've only had one time when the car died and then wouldn't start but it was scary because I was on a 4 lane highway divided by a center lane for turning and I just made it across the oncoming traffic to get off the road. I love the car but hate the uncertainty and can't let my kids drive it for sure. I've read some of the "fixes" which include checking a black wire with yellow stripe on the back of the engine and making sure connectors are tight everywhere and of course had the alternator and battery tested. I'm not sure what to do at this point because of the intermittent nature of the problem. For those of you who have had similar problems have you been able to have the problems properly diagnosed and identified/fixed?
  • I am at my wits end here. I purchased a 2008 Chevy Suburban about 6 months ago. Up until about 10 days ago, it ran like a champ. The last week in a half, however, it will not start. I go out in the morning, and the lights, radio, etc. all work, but the car just will not start. Once it is hooked up to jumper cables, it starts right away. However, when I get to my destination, I cannot turn it off, or it will be dead again. It has the backup camera, navigation screen, DVD players, heated seats, etc. Obviously something is draining the battery, but would the lights and such still work if so?

    One thing I also wonder about is the remote start. We just started using it about 2 weeks ago for the first time. Now all of the sudden, my car won't start.

    Has anybody ran across a problem like this with their car? I am at my wits end..I am a traveling photographer, and have gotten stranded at a handful of shoots because of this.

    Any help is appreciated greatly!
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Follow Up: I've been reading alot of similar situations to mine (electrical malfunctions with door locks, lights, ignition, radio,etc.)- all with GM vehicles and I can't help but think that maybe a component that is common to all these vehicle is the culprit - Onstar Module. Onstar controls door locks, can shut your ignition off, can slow your car to a stop, can affect lights, horn, and radio, and is circuited through all the electrical modules that controls these things. Even if you don't use your Onstar it is still connected to your communication bus and electrical systems. Onstar is disabled when you disconnect the battery, hence your car will start when you disconnect then reconnect your battery. I've got the same problems and I'm going to have Chevy look into this and possibly disconnect the Onstar or pull fuse to see what happens. For everyone who is posting with these same problems, PLEASE post back if you find a resolution to your problem. Thanks
  • Hi Christina...

    I have not taken it to a GM Dealer...from what I have read on the boards, this appears to be a problem with no solution. I cannot afford to have my vehicle in the shop for days on end, spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on a problem that according to some "GM knows about, but doesn't have a solution." And, of course, the vehicle is out of warranty. I have had it at a high-tech shop...they ran all the diagnostics and tests, but found nothing. Fortunately, I have a good relationship with the shop owner, and he didn't charge me anything, because he couldn't find anything wrong.

    I have no problem taking it to a GM dealer IF THEY HAVE A SOLUTION and can fix it once and for all.
  • Please post if you find anything out...that sounds like a possibility. I hadn't thought about the On-Star module...
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    I see that you have already visited your dealer and they encouraged you to return when the concern arises again. I’m sorry it wasn’t able to be resolved at that point, but thank you for your patience! Please keep us posted, of if you would like Customer Assistance, email Christina here.

    GM Customer Service
  • t_tex

    GM has a TSB that related to some of the problems that you list, I have posted part below.

    If you call BBB Industries tech line (Go to for phone number, they should be able to get you a copy.


    Reference Number(s): 08-07-30-021F, Date of Issue: May 26, 2011
    2007-2010 Cadillac XLR; 2007-2011 Cadillac Escalade Models; 2009-2011 Cadillac
    Escalade Hybrid; 2007-2011 Chevrolet Avalanche, Corvette, Silverado, Suburban,
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Thanks TR BBB - I took the Tahoe back in to Chevy on Monday and this time I left it with them. Haven't heard anything yet but I did give the service man who wrote up my repair ticket a copy of the TSB you referred to. I had found a really good copy at It's very detailed and I'm sure the techs at Chevy will run their diagnostics by protocol but I thought I would give them the document with a check by all the problems that were relevant to my 09 Tahoe. I just hope they come up with some codes so they have something to go on besides my listing of all the intermittent problems.
  • t-tex, Did the dealership solve the problem?
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    It was there for one week and when I picked it up they said that they did find a couple of wires under the dash that were chafed and they repaired those and rerouted some other wiring but they never could replicate the problem. I drove the Tahoe for about 130 miles and it started the same problems all over again. The problem was that when all the lights start coming on/door locks start cycling up and down it then goes into limp home mode and I have to pull over, disconnect and reconnect the batter and then it runs fine for another 100 miles. So now they are just driving it until the car act up and hopefully it will be close enough to the dealership so they can drive back in limp home mode.
  • We have a late model 2000 Tahoe. Our most recent issue is the other day the truck had NO POWER at all. No door locks, radio, lights.... So since door locks did not work, had to do it manually. (We know it's not the battery, starter or alternator) After opening and closing the driver side door, everything worked again. ? Now a couple months ago we had issues where the truck wouldn't kick over. We narrowed it down to either the fuel pump, fuel pump relay or short. Found out the 40amp fuse kept blowing out. To jump to the end of that story, we found out that part of the heat shield was too close to the starter and by removing the shield and cutting an inch or 2 off the heat shield and then putting it back on, everything was fine. Wasn't easy or cheap to finally figure that out. Bought a lot of unnecessary fuses and also paid a guy 100 who got it running for a day until it did the same thing. Now we are sure this current problem has to be electrical. Anyone ever have this happen? The truck started fine when we checked periodically yesterday and also on the way to work this morning, BUT when leaving work, it did it again. I unlocked the doors with the remote. Got in turned the key and then NO POWER again until I opened and closed the driver side door. Also the passenger window has not been working for a few days. Has done this before but usually eventually will work again. Only hear a clicking sound but no window movement. I have been going through a lot of these older forums but there are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO many.
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Update: Car was in the Chevy dealer shop for over a week. They test drove the Tahoe until would act up again and it finally did for the tech. They couldn't see any DTCs stored even after it went into a total malfunction episode - chimes ringing, warning lights illuminating, service messages in the DIC, door locks cycling multiple time and then finally ending with car in limp mode. So the diagnosis was going to be slow going. They tried replacing the fuse block but that didn't fix anything (they didn't charge me they just put my old one back on). Finally, after over a week in their shop (second time in shop over a week at Chevy) I had the car towed to a specialty Auto Electrical shop yesterday that I'm hoping will properly diagnose and fix the car. The problem with the Chevy dealer is that in order for the techs to make any money they have to FIX cars. So my car's tech couldn't afford to just stay working on my car full-time - he had to take on other cars that could make him money, while he was working on my car. At least they are honest about that. So my only choices were to leave at Chevy indefinitely with tech working on it part time or going with the specialty shop with the tech's undivided attention - an obvious decision. I'll keep you posted.
  • Have an 07 Tahoe that has had intermittent and what I thought were just isolated freak things happening, but once I read everthing here I'm thinking they are all related and long running. On occasion I've had problems with door locks not working, windows not working, and various error messages that were wrong. Then went out to take my kids to school two days ago and it wouldn't start. Assumed it was the battery but all the dash was lit up and the radio worked. The exterior lights worked but not the interior lights and the door locks and key fob didn't work. Had my inlaw replace the battery and still wouldn't start. He checked all relays and fuses and still nothing. Had it towed to our mechanic and hoping he can find something, but this car seems to have been plagued by small weird problems since we got it. Hoping to find a solution and avoid the dealership on this...
  • I have an 07 GMC that has had intermittent electrical issues since day of purchase starting at 16 miles. As I read everthing here I'm thinking they are all related and that GM has an Electrical issue they are covering up. On occasion I've had problems with door locks not working, windows not working, and various error messages that were wrong. It wouldn't start. Assumed it was the battery , replaced 3 times. replaced batter cable $400 . 4 fuel pumps, all main board computers replaced twice and problem still existed. All the dash was lit up and the radio worked. The exterior lights worked but not the interior lights and the door locks and key didn't work. Had dealer in Austin drive vehicle to see issue but GM still not aggreeing to electrical issue. The dealer checked all relays and fuses . This truck seems to have been plagued by small weird problems since I got it. The Dealer found that the main fuse block was Bad this cost me $1089. GM refuse to pay for it. The dealer lied and said that part failed due to age, but this vehicle has always had the issue. If you find that bthis is your issue by the part and replace it yourself the dealers price is inflated part can be purchase for about $150-200. The GM Service manager and Customer care tried to convince me that these electrical issues are not related. If you have the basic understanding of electronics and wiring you could see this as an issue. At this point I am testing to see if problems return and will send the old part out to have a FA done. GM should cover this but again business politics and Greed is more important than Consumer safety and Quality products.

    Testing and hoping for a fix
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    I apologize for your frustrations. Did the dealer involve Technical Assistance? Can you email me your VIN and current mileage? I look forward to your response.
    GM Customer Service
  • If you like, poolkitasd, I can look into your vehicle's information to see if there are any open recalls associated to your VIN. Please email me the last 8 digits of your VIN and we'll do that!

    GM Customer Service
  • Hi all,

    I see that alot of you have experienced unexplained electrical problems in your GM vehicle 2006 or newer. How ever I am in the process of purchasing from a private party a 2002 Suburban that seems to have a drained battery every time I go to turn the truck on and while driving I have experienced the door locks on/off symptom along with a quick "Safety" light that flashes on/off on the dash and interior lights on/off as the door locks lock and unlock. I have not experienced any power loss and the truck keeps driving fine it's just that very quick door locks and lights thing that happen very fast and everything continues as normal. The guy I'm buying the truck from is getting me a new battery any day now but from reading the prev messages I'm thinking this is more than getting a new battery in the truck. I love the truck other than that electrical issue but I have second thoughts now. If someone can post a fix for this I'll be so happy buying this truck if not I might have to return it. Might be that guy im buying from knows of the problem and is dumping it on me?

    That OnStar theory by T Tex makes sense to me,.... any luck with that T Tex?
  • I have this exact same problem with my 2007 Chevy Tahoe. Cycling gages, intermittent chimes, transmission etc. Did you get the problem solved? I have had my vehicle in the shop probably 8 times or so in the last 7 months for this issue and it is not yet resolved. It is going back into the shop tonight. PLEASE PLEASE HELP!!
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    No, the dealer had it two different times for over a week each time. The dealership tech I think was just overmatched with this problem and wasn't motivated to work on a vehicle that required alot of research and possible technical assistance from GM while generating very little repair billing. It takes a very experienced and well trained tech who is willing to follow some very intense diagnostic protocols to be able to solve intermittent electrical problems - and I think if you read enough of these blogs you come to find out that there are very few of those kind of techs out there - in dealerships or independent shops. I have it at a specialty auto electric shop right now and we'll see what they can do - they drove it for about 300 miles before it malfunctioned on them so it's slow going. I did receive an email from Christina (GM) asking for my VIN and mileage which I replied to but I haven't heard anything back. My biggest complaint with GM is that they have developed very complex electrical systems (GMLAN) that provide a very advanced vehicle but there is not enough well trained, experienced techs who can fix these vehicles when the electrical systems start going haywire - especially the intermittent kind. I would prefer to use my Cheverolet dealer to work on this problem but they are not prepared (through training or experience) or motivated to properly diagnose and solve my Tahoe's intermittent electrical issues.
  • Yeah, I think you are spot-on with your assessment of Tech capabilities (and availability). I just dropped my truck off at the dealership again last night. We'll see what happens. Let's stay in touch. I'll let you know if anything noteable happens. Please do the same.
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Yes, I will definitely post the results the 2009 Tahoe ongoing saga. Just to be fair to GM, I have to say that I also have a 2007 Tahoe with 73,000 miles and never had an instance of a problem - its been one of my all-time favorite vehicles. Cars are machines and machines break, I understand and accept that. The problem I have with GM is that when we pay the kind of money that these vehicles cost, we have a right to expect that GM will provide service facilities that can fix problems in a reasonable amount of time at a reasonable cost. If they are going to equip vehicles with highly complex and intelligent electrical systems then they need to be prepared to stand behind their product with trained techs who can fix problems without taking your car for weeks on end with no real solution. I would hate to see people get into accidents, take off of an inordinate amount of work or even lose their jobs, or just have to deal with the ongoing stress of being worried about whether your car will work right today or will it leave you stranded tomorrow because of lack of trained techs in shops that are just not committed to getting it right. I don't think any of us are asking to get something for nothing - just straightforward competent service in a reasonable amount of time so we can all drive safely alway from the dealer happy.
  • notsohappy5notsohappy5 Posts: 1
    edited December 2011
    We have a 2007 Tahoe, didn't have any electrical problems until we brought it in for a oil change at a shop on a road trip before returning home. They said there was a update on the computer so that was done. Worst thing we did. Ever since the air bag light comes on, now my engine light comes on, anti skid light. What is next? The vehicle just hit 40 k miles and has 4 payments until it is ours. Lovely. The question is to attempt to fix- which it looks like nobody has really had any success and chevy doesn't care or to get rid of? The vehicle is great besides these issues. It is the most comfortable and would recommend if there wasn't this issue. But, now I may second that thought. Don't want my friends to go through this. Unhappy..
  • Well, 3 more days in the shop (8th visit overall) and they still have no clue. This time they sent me home with a 10-page "conditions checklist" to complete the next time that it happens. This is BS. I am ready to escalate.
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    My 2009 Tahoe is still in the auto electric specialty shop here in Houston. They are making progress. They have found some damaged wiring in the dash and are methodically checking each module on the GMLAN system to make sure each module is working AND has the most current software update. It's slow going but very methodical and necessary. All auto electrical problems can be fixed - it's just finding the right shop that has techs who are trained and willing to take the time to properly diagnose and repair the more complex GMLAN system issues. As I mentioned before too many dealer shops just don't have techs with proper training in complex GMLAN troubleshooting and definitely have a financial motivation for finding the quickest solution and sending you on your way so they can get to the next throttle body replacement or other simple but high dollar repair.
  • 80-90 percent of the time when I open a door, the back hatch pops open at the same time. Sometimes after I close the hatch and then close the door that hatch pops open again. This can go on repeatedly but sometimes it's just once. My concern is that if I don't remember to close the hatch the battery can die, which it has once. Would changing the battery help? Any other ideas? Thanks!
  • I have a 2007 tahoe ltz. It has 56000 miles on it and just started having the electrical problems. However reading some of the other posts I am realizing this is a major issue. The tahoe started acting up a year and a half ago with the tire presure monitor not reading but it was intermintent. Now it is doing what the others are doing all my dash warning lights go on, door locks go crazy, all my gauges die, service trans message, loss of power, its bad. I am taking it in next week and praying they can fix it. I have found that it happens when I hit the brakes. The other day I was just sitting in front of my house and slowly moved forward and lightly pushed the brakes and everything went haywire. My wife came up put my daughter in her seat and slammed the back door and everything went back to normal. Then she got in the passanger side and closed that door and everything went crazy again. Weird, but seems like it must be the wiring is loose or has a short. Remember the recall for the wiper blade fluid they supposedly fixed by turning off, the letter I recieved said it could cause other systems to malfunction. Looks like it did. I am not happy. This is an expensive vehicle with barely any miles. I am giving them a chance to fix it other wise I will tell them to keep it. Its not safe anymore, my family my life rides in that car and now its giving me anxiety every time my wife drives it. Not worth it at all. I refuse to pay for something that i cant trust. i feel like i went to a shady carlot and bought the cheapest thing piece of crap I could find. If GM wont own this problem I will NEVER by another GM vehicle. Time to go with the Toyota.
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    edited December 2011
    You're right about the safety concern - it's not safe. GM must definitely know they have a problem with the GMLAN system. Whenever an apparent small wiring problem or short can throw a vehicle into the kind of electrical chaos that we've experienced with our GM vehicles, something is just not right - it has to be poor engineering. Unfortunately, GM does not want to take accountability for the design flaw. So far it's probably been cheaper to pay lawsuit settlements on lemon law claims and injury/death claims from accidents caused by these issues than have to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles but these complaints are starting to get traction with consumer groups and consumer advocates/attorneys. They are just not going to be able to sweep a problem this big under the carpet.
  • erw3erw3 Posts: 6
    I have a 2009 Chevy Tahoe with the same cycling problems that are listed throughout this forum. Has a vehicle ever been fixed? I brought my Tahoe into my local dealership and they put some electical grease on the wiring, strapped the wires together...basically put a band-aide on the problem. They did print me out a service bulletin about this very thing that GM issued: Document ID: 2665828 #08-07-30-021F: Loss of HIgh Speed GMLAN Communiciatons, Intermittent No Crank, IP Gauge Fluctation, Intermittent Door Lock Cycling/Chime Operation, Various IP warning Lamps Illuminated Trans May not Shify (Sept 14, 2011) my question is if they know about this problem to put out a service bulletin and the technicians have tried the 'fixes' and they still don't what? I am really starting to get frustrated and all I ask is to have a vehicle i paid a lot of money for to work!
  • erw3erw3 Posts: 6
    I received this bulletin from my local GM is well aware of the problem...Document ID: 2665828 #08-07-30-021F: Loss of HIgh Speed GMLAN Communiciatons, Intermittent No Crank, IP Gauge Fluctation, Intermittent Door Lock Cycling/Chime Operation, Various IP warning Lamps Illuminated Trans May not Shify (Sept 14, 2011)
  • Sorry to hear about your problems. No, my vehicle has not yet been fixed. I dropped it off again this morning (8th or 9th visit?). I have no reason to believe that they will any more successful today than they have been in recent months. I now have the name of our District Manager. I am going to escalate and see what happens. Oh, and my auto-ride suspention decided to stop working. The compressor kicks-on but the vehicle does not raise. I regularly tow horses around and the nose of my truck now points toward the sky. I hope that they can figure it out in short order.

    I have owned over 20 GM vehicles in my lifetime and this is the very first Dud that I have had.

    I'll post status on my repairs. Please do the same on yours.
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