Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Chevrolet Tahoe Electrical Problems



  • I have lodged a complaint with the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) via the website. This vehicle is just to unsafe to drive and the manufacturer needs to recall and repair. It's not my fault the vehicle is this way and we're obviously not the only ones having these issues.
  • I'm having some of the same problems with my Tahoe. Mines the same year and LTZ...the problem started after I took it to the dealership to have a cracked dash replaced. They ran my battery down so I had to replace it. In the last couple of weeks the screen has turned white 4 times. I have to restart the motor to get the screen to work, all my saved radio stations and all have to be reset. It's at the dealership now. They can't find the problem since they haven't seen it happen. After reading this I wonder if my saved addresses are still ther. I'll look at that tomorrow when picking it up. The tech said it wasn't showing a code so nothing is wrong. Why would the radio/navigation system show a code if they knocked a wire loose or something like that? I've never been more frustrated with them it's like they don't believe me!!!!! :sick: :mad:
  • ag75ag75 Posts: 8
    Do you have a reference number or anything for those complaints? Because I will gladly add my name to them. Just dropped my tahoe off at the mechanic again today. It was dead all weekend after an eventful saturday afternoon trying to drive home. sunday brought the same issues. today when the mechanic is open...doesn't do a thing. Still hopeful for resolution, but remain doubtful.
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Yes, my 2009 Tahoe is running great. No problems since the specialty auto electric shop worked on it.
  • Would it be possible for you tell all of us who are having problems, what the specialty electric auto shop did to resolve your issues?
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    The one thing that most of these electical problems have in common is the GMLAN system. Other than that, each problem will most likely its own unique solution although it will probably be related to correcting a GMLAN component problem. In my 09 Tahoe's case, it was several components that were either a mismatched component or components that needed a software update. The only way to find out is for a qualified technician with a Tech 2 scanner to spend the time to check each component in the GMLAN serial loop to make sure it is, first, the correct component and, second, has its latest software update. Most dealer mechanics are NOT going to go thru this kind of problem solving process. Of course we wouldn't even be having these kinds of problems if the GMLAN system was engineered properly and had better troubleshooting protocols for the "color by the numbers" technicians at the dealerships.
  • Hey T_Tex,
    I have been experiencing these same exact problems with a used 2008 tahoe I just got 3 weeks ago! It has been such a frustrating ordeal. Do you mind sharing what the name of the Electronic Specialty shop was? I live in TX and want to see if I cant get my dealership's service dept in contact with the specialty shop so they might be able to stress how important it will be to check all the components as you mentioned in order to fix the problem. I took it in last week and they called yesterday to say it was ready/fixed. All that they did was replace the negative battery terminal wiring. As soon as i drove off the lot the car started doing the same thing again! Argh #BeyondStressedOut
    If you could help me locate that shop i would sincerely appreciate it.
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Yes, the shop is Lone Star Auto Electrical in southwest Houston.
  • ag75ag75 Posts: 8
    To date I have a new BCM, alternator and battery. Got the tahoe back from the shop as it seemed to be fixed. Had it one day and the same issues started up again...door locks going up and down, gauges all over the place, lights flickering, radio on and off, goes into neutral, etc.

    Anyone have any new ideas? I can see GM really cares about the safety of their customers.
  • Actually, after my ignition switch was replaced I still had issues. That's when I took matters in my own hands and unhooked the battery overnight...and to be honest, I haven't had any issues since (knock on wood). To clarify, I unhooked both the positive and the negative and left it off for 16 hours. It has been running smoothly ever since.
  • ag75ag75 Posts: 8
    Thanks for the suggestion. It's worth a try. After the new battery was installed, the mechanic drove it for three days without an issue. Then I get it back and it's the same deal all over again.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Did you give the "unhook the battery overnight" solution a try last night, ag75? Did it resolve anything?

    GM Customer Service
  • I own an 08 Chevy Tahoe LT. When turning the car on in the morning, it hesitated, then reset all my radio stations/clock. I went to Auto Zone and they replaced the battery under warranty. I returned two weeks later to replace a second battery. I was driving on freeway when dashlights flashed off an on, door locks popped up and down and my radio/CD player began making funny noises as if it was loading CDs. I returned to Auto Zone and replaced battery again. This third battery is more powerful than the first two. A week later, pulled into my garage and turned off Tahoe. Went to use the key fab to lock doors and found that car was completely dead (no electrical power at all). Checked battery terminals - checked ok. A few minutes later, all power came back on and everything worked ok. Radio and clock had reset which confirmed that the entire car had lost electrical power. Three days later, the same incident took place when I parked the car in the garage. As soon as I turned off the car.... no electrical power at all. Popped open hood,checked battery cables,all checked ok. This time, it took a bit longer (5 minutes) for the power to return. What could be causing this?? My powertrain warranty expires in less than 3,000 miles. Would it cover these computer problems? Any help would be appreciated.
  • ag75ag75 Posts: 8
    I did, and no there is no improvement. The car is once again back at the mechanic. I am at a loss of what to do. I have taken every suggestion off this forum to the mechanic and we have tried all of them. The same problems persist.
  • ag75ag75 Posts: 8
    I don't know if your warranty will cover it, but I would suggest taking it to a mechanic or the dealership right away. As you can see from the posts, most of us have had to deal with this for quite some time. It has been occuring in my '09 intermittently for the last year and has only gotten substantially worse. It is dangerous when driving and the vehicle loses all power without warning.
  • I'm still experiencing electrical problems with my 08 Tahoe. Two days ago, while driving on freeway, door locks began popping up and down, dash gauges were going crazy and car appeared to be losing total electical power. I pulled into gas station who convinced me that my alternator was going out. (TEch gage Reading 1200 instead of the 1480... normal reading on a healthy alternator. I replaced the alternator. Now, last night. I parked the car and could hear the radio/CD making some funny noises for some time after I pulled the key out of the ignition. I started car but noticed that the radio hour clock had reset to 12:00 - meaning the electrical problems are still present. As I drove away, the Tahoe was running rough as if it wanted to die. I turned off the entire Vent/ A/C unit. Car headlights still flicking a bit. Has anyone thought about problems with a recall on the car's computer or electrical system?

    I found this recall online: 08 chev Tahoe:
    Recall ID # 74931 - ELECTRICAL SYSTEM Hide Details
    Recall Date AUG 28, 2008
    Model Affected Tahoe
    Potential Units Affected 857735
    Recall Date:
    AUG 28, 2008
    Model Affected:
    2008 Chevrolet Tahoe
    Potential Units Affected:

    Read more:
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Hello traveler2012,

    I can check to see if your vehicle is associated to this recall if you wanted to send us the last 8 digits of your VIN; our email is [email protected] if you would prefer to send it privately.

    Look forward to hearing from you,
    GM Customer Service
  • I've had no issues since removing the negative and positive battery cables for 16 hours. You should give that a try.
  • bvilchezbvilchez Posts: 1
    I was stationed in Afghanistan for a year and I come back to my wife telling me that our 07 Tahoe has been doing the same things as mentioned in all previous posts. The scary part about it is that she has been traveling with our 3 kids in the vehicle with her when the vehicle shuts off and keeps coasting until it turns back on again. At one point she was in a remote location getting gas and the vehicle wouldn't start for about 10 minutes. I have an extended warranty that I purchased when I purchased the vehicle but my GM Certified warranties are up as the vehicle now has 99,000 miles. I took it a the dealer today in VA. I gave him the 021F TSB. Hopefully something comes about this.

    Sarah, seeing so many vehicles are having this issue what is GM doing to rectify this situation? May I also send you my VIN to see if I am part of this recall?

    Thank you
  • ck2012ck2012 Posts: 1
    edited April 2012
    I have a 2008 Suburban LTZ I just purchased 2 weeks ago. My problems are very similar to the others listed here. First started when I was driving on the highway and used my turn signal, my radio powered down and back on by itself. Then my cruise control would just turn off while driving on the interstate. Now I am getting the total electrical shut down, all guages go dark and then vehicle seems to power back on at will. locks pop up and down, seat belt chimer starts chiming just as if I used the remote start and then inserted the key and turned it to the on position. I have had it at the dealer, tech even drove it home to try to duplicate the problem. They say they can't find a problem. I have noticed that the frequency of occurrences are when the temp outside is over 80 degrees, running the A/C and vehicle is warmed up. Also I have noticed the Volt guage at start up is reading over 14 volts and as long as it stays there it does fine but will drop down to around 11 or 12 volts after driving a while, thats when the problems occur. I just had a new alternator installed and as soon as I left the repair shop it started again.
    I had a similar problem with a Cadillac STS back in 2002 and they eventually had to replace the entire wiring harness after 4 months of diagnostic. They said there was a bare wire grounding out against the frame of the car.
    My vehicle has 77k miles and the factory powertrain is all that is active with the warranty.
    What are my options?
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Please do, and thank you for your service to our country! Our email is [email protected]

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    If you haven't already, please send an email to [email protected] (include your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership, as well as a description of the issue and any visits you have made to the dealer for it) and we will explore any options that may be available; however, I cannot guarantee any results up front.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • bran164bran164 Posts: 13

    I'm active duty Navy and just purchased a 2008 silverado ltz(last nine of VIN: 481124518) . It currently has 71000 miles on it. I was driving down the interstate when the interior gauges, radio, door locks and temperature indicator all flashed off and cut right back on. Anytime I would use the turn signal the radio would cut off and the 'Park Assist Off' would flash on. It continued to do this the whole way home (approximately 30 minutes). I parked the truck and shut it off. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then went to crank it up. Initially it acted like the battery was dead. I tried a second time and the truck cranked right up. I haven't taken it to a mechanic yet. Help please???!!!!
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Bran164 – Sorry to hear of your car’s electrical problem. But even more sorry is the extremely long line of GM car/truck electrical issues (from just this forum alone) that remain unsolved and correspondingly the enormous amount of consumer time and money wasted at the GM related dealerships and other repair facilities in pursuit of fixing these problems. Your vehicle, unfortunately, is most likely experiencing a failure of the GMLAN system. While the problem is not unfixable, GMLAN is very complex and so inadequately supported by GM that probably 95% the dealerships’ service departments have neither the expertise nor capacity to diagnose and properly fix these problems, in my opinion. You only need to read a number of the posts in this forum and you will begin to understand the frustration of consumers who have spent thousands of dollars as well as weeks and even months with their GM vehicles out of commission, all because dealer service departments have misdiagnosed the electrical problems and as a result, incorrectly replaced expensive electrical components that didn’t need to be replaced and ultimately didn’t fix the problem. I hope your vehicle’s electrical problem gets fixed soon and if it is please let the rest of us know what the problem was and how it was fixed. Click on the link to get a glimpse of just some of what can be causing your vehicle’s problem. ms (cut and paste into your browser if the link doesn't work)
  • bran164bran164 Posts: 13

    Thank you for your response. Have you had a similar problem with your Chevrolet? With your recommendations for possible remedies, am I able take those to a dealer or mechanic and ask them to trace those?
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Have an '09 Tahoe with same problems except no starting issues - door locks cycling, ipc malfunctions, chimes going off, park assist messages, limp mode, ac/climate control malfunction. Chevy dealer was useless. Took it to specialty auto electric shop they had it for 2 months and fixed. It ran fine for 6000 miles now its doing the same thing. If you can get a dealer to take the time to check those things listed on that link you would be lucky. You need to find a tech who will systematically go thru each component in the gmlan system to check for problems. That's the problem - no easy way to pinpoint the problem like with an engine or emissions control issue that will show up on as a diagnostic trouble code with a simple scan at the dealer or repair shop. It's going to take a class action lawsuit to get GM to own up to these problems and create a diagnostic protocol that can pinpoint these problems.
  • bran164bran164 Posts: 13

    I was wondering if you ever got a resolution to your electrical problem on the suburban? Sounds like you and I have the exact same situation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • laytonicolaytonico Posts: 4
    edited April 2012
    Thanks Tex! Much appreciated. My Tahoe was at the shop for just over 2 weeks in total. Guess I mentioned this in previous post but will post my "start to finish" in case it helps anyone.
    After my vehicle started going haywire with the locks popping up and down, dashboard going dark and lighting back up etc while driving, key fob not locking/unlocking and random instances of not starting I took my car to a GM dealership to be looked at.
    1)They first replaced the negative battery wire/terminal and called to say it was fixed
    --I drove over and picked up my car but before even getting on the highway the computer and guages started going crazy again. So I had to turn it back in for more analysis
    2)A week later I went by to speak with the service tech and go over what they were doing.
    --he said that although they had replaced the negative battery terminal and wiring they hadn't reset the computer in my vehicle.(before they had only cleared the error codes but hadn't done a reset after battery wire replacement) They claimed that is the only other thing they did to fix my problem. Not a very comforting explanation but so far so good.

    I have had my Tahoe back since 3/20/12 and have not had any of these issues come back up (crossing fingers)...
    I do still have my 'Park Assist Off' message display about 50% of the time but I will take that any day over all the headache of the guages/computer problems that I was having.

    Hoping this info might be helpful to one of you.
  • Yes, I finally fixed the electrical problems in my 2008 Chev Tahoe. 94,000 miles

    A bit of background on the matter. This electrical problem had been going on for over a month now. I'm unemployed so I wasn't about to take the car to the dealer and get raped with a giant repair bill.
    Here's was my summary of repairs and eventual sollution to the main problem.
    A. 3 brand new batteries over a month period,
    B. One new alternator
    C. One Loose starter cable
    D. Loose battery ground cable wire in pre-clamped factory cable.
    E. Small battery posts - sollution: Sanded/grinded clamps to allow for better grip on battery.

    I drove out of town. Six hours into the trip, the electrial problem began (at freeway speeds 65-70 MPH), power door locks kept going up and down, dash gauges flickering and reseting, radio in and out. Basically - complete electrical failure during freeway driving.

    We (family) safely pulled off the freeway into a Shell station which had a repair shop. The mechanic convinced me that it was the alternator. His meter was showing a reading of 1200 and it should have been showing a reading above 1400... blah, blah... lies, lies, lies...and yes- I bought a brand new alternator: $287.00 delivered to the shop and $45 to install it. My daugther paid for it with her college money. The mechanic did show me how the bearings on the pully of the old alternator Tahoe were also going out. Whatever!!! One day later, I'm still out of town- far from home....same electrical problem on the Tahoe. I noticed that the battery charge gauge on my dash would begin at 14 volts in early drive, then drop down to 9 to 12 volts over 30 minutes of driving. I took the Tahoe back to the same repair shop by the Shell station.

    I had read some of the previous comments in other online posts...and asked the mechanic to raise the car and check the starter for a possible loose cable connection. Sure enough: He found that the starter cable wire was loose. After tightening the cable, we went to reconnect battery and the starter would not shut off. Hmmm....scammer mechanic tried to sell me a starter? Nope... .turns out that there is a specially-made metal washer on the connector to the starter with a little metal piece that needs to sit or fit in a groove on the actual starter. We took starter out, readjusted the metal pin, put starter back and took car for a test drive on the freeway.

    I told the mechanic that I wanted to go on the test drive and did so. Guess what? Same electrical problem again. The Tahoe eventually died once we stopped at the back of the Shell station. The mechanic turned the car off and when he went to turn the car back on... Nothing! No electrical current. Then, we open the hood, Voyla!!- we jiggled the ground battery cable and all of the electrical juice comes back on. Mechanic figures that the problem is my battery posts (too small) and ground battery cable is a bit loose.

    Then, the mechanic tries to measure the posts on new Interstate batteries that he is selling at his shop and suggests that I should buy a new battery. His new battery's posts are obviously thicker...blah, blah.... Aaaahh....NO! I'm not buying a fourth battery... Sooo....

    Yep! You guessed it, the battery terminals on my (Third) and new Auto Zone battery were in fact too small in diameter. We took the Tahoe's black ground battery cable apart, un-screwing the tightening bolts and removed them. The mechanic sanded down the clamp's edges with a small electrical grinder so that it would close and grab the smaller battery posts with lots more strength and it fixed the entire problem! Before re-applying the black cable back on the battery, at my request, the mechanic smashed/hammered the metal factory pre-clamp area around the actual cable for a better connection. We found that even though the cable came pre-clamped from the factory, it was a bit loose and corrosion could possibly be preventing a stable electrical connection.

    Three hours of labor and I made mechanic feel pretty bad for mis-diagnosing first problem with a new alternator that we probably didn't need. I asked him how much I owed him and he said $40.00 should do it. WOW! I felt like I won the lottery! The local chevy dealership wanted to charge me $120.00 per hour and that it would take at least two hours to diagnose the problem. Plus, a new black ground cable for my Tahoe was $96.00 plus tax at the Chevy Dealer. I priced a similar cable at auto zone and they wanted $15.00.

    So far, driving the Tahoe for one week and a half without any electrical issues.

    It's amazing how such a simple problem caused so many electrical problems. My wife thinks I got screwed on the alternator, but hey - the Tahoe was built in 2007, sold in 2008 and so, the old alternator lasted five good years. The new one I installed is original GM parts so hopefully I'll be okay for another five more years.

    If your 2008 Tahoe is having similar electrical problems, it would behoove you to read my success story and do your best to avoid letting the mechanic take the car out for a drive by himself or herself. In these tough economic times, you should not trust anyone to drive your car by themselves! Don't lose signt of the mechanic near your car either. Although there are lots of honest mechanics, the few that aren't honest will drain your pocket books in the blink of an eye.
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    edited April 2012
    Congrats laytonico - thanks for sharing your experience. Everybody benefits when posters relate their vehicle problem/repair experience - especially the solution. Hopefully, your vehicle's fix will be lasting. As I related in my post, 6000 miles and 3months after my 09 Tahoe appeared to be fixed, it's acting up again. I'll definitely look into the battery connections issues. Thanks. Also, thanks to traveler2012 for his post and the thorough description on problem through the fix.
Sign In or Register to comment.