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HHR Electrical/Lighting Questions



  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    And when your Japanese import starts giving problems are you going German next?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    ...let's keep this topic to the HHR. There are plenty of discussions on American vs foreign brands in the Automotive News and Views Board.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • amyf2amyf2 Posts: 9
    I guess I havent been on here since they found my Electrical problems with the tail lights and internal console lights.......the service dept kept my car for A WEEK, and tore pretty much everything out of it. The guys saw the fuses blow right in front of them, and they couldnt find the problem. Finally, after tracing and retracing the wires from the front end to the back end, the technician finally found a SMALL SCREW THAT WASNT SCREWED IN behind the radio panel, and that's what was touching wire to wire, blowing the fuses. Once the screw was taken care of, I havent had any more fuses being blown. So finally, things are back on track. I love my car so far, havent had any other issues......knock on wood.
  • amyf2amyf2 Posts: 9
    I had similar issues, and it was a small screw not screwed in place behind the radio panel that was causing wire to wire interaction, blowing fuses left and right. Ive seen on here that others have had to replace fuse boxes... but mine was as simple as a tiny screw. Now, it took MONTHS for us to figure this out, and the technicians kept my car for a solid week to finally figure it out, but it was finally taken care of. They had to trace the wires from front to back, took out my seats, pretty much dismantled my poor car... and finally found the screw out of place.
  • amyf2amyf2 Posts: 9
    just wanted to report that my remotes quit working too... I saw on here others had the same post. I went to my dealership recently, and they had to replace both remotes and reprogram. So far so good, I just think the originals were of poor quality. The little metal piece inside wasnt soldered on very good, and popped up, thus, not keeping the battery in place.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Hopefully that was the issue with the remotes but I have read that if you carry a cell phone close to your key fob that that could erase the remotes memory.
  • michaelp6michaelp6 Posts: 5
    I use the rear power outlet to plug in a small fridge while traveling on weekends. Two weeks ago the power outlet stopped working. I checked the fuse, and it was fine. I replaced it anyway hoping this would correct the problem, whoever it didn't. I now need to remove the power outlet to determine what the problem is. Does anyone know how to remove the rear power outlet?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Did you check the refrig somewhere else to make sure it is working?
  • michaelp6michaelp6 Posts: 5
    Well of course. It works fine plugged into the front power outlet.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Have you tried something else plugged into the back one? I have had plugs quit working for what I thought was no reason only to find that the item just didn't fit it correctly. As you can see, I don't have your answer but am trying to at least give you some ideas. How about a tester that has 2 wires on it so you can at least test it to see if it is getting power to it.
  • michaelp6michaelp6 Posts: 5
    I appreciate your help. I did try plugging other things into the outlet and nothing works, although they all work in the front outlet. I can't figure out how to remove the outlet to see what the problem might be. I guess I will just have to break down and buy a Chilton's Manual on the car to find out how to remove the outlet.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Well you got me curious so I went out to my 08 HHR to see if I could figure it out for ya. I have the top on the line HHR with every option including leather seats and I don't even have a outlet back there. What year is yours? Also if you don't know about it there is a HHR at they have a forum there that will have your answers as that site is full of HHR owners.
  • michaelp6michaelp6 Posts: 5
    Mine is an 06 with all the options. The outlet is on the passenger side of the center console near the rear cup holder. I will go to and see if I can get some help. Thanks a bunch.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I didn't even think about that location as I was looking clear in the back. Yep, I have one there and took a second look. I don't know, it don't look like it would pop out but may. Only other thing I can see is to pull the whole console. Better give a look see and sign up. A great group of people and you may even want to join one of the local clubs in your area.
  • They should give you a loaner that is what the dealer did for me when they pimped my ride. Put a power sunroof in it and leather seats at no cost ot me. I drove it for a week and a half no problem. If they are doing that for you then they will be more prudent about the part.
  • Several times over the last few years my 2006 HHR LT has had a problem that the Chevrolet service department cannot correct. When driving or after just starting the car, it occasionally/randomly/infrequently chimes 3 times, the vehicle theft light on the dash lights up, all analog gauges perform repeated full sweeps, the information display cycles through bogus readings, the shifter clicks wildly, automatic shifting stops, engine stutters but keeps going and power steering goes out completely (this last one doesn't always happen). Brakes seem fine. This has happened about 6 or 7 times since I purchased the car used in July 2006. When it happens, I drive straight to the service department and leave it running for the technicians. They see the theft light on, and the lack of shifting, but by the time I get there the gauges seem to behave again. They have replaced various wiring but have yet to fix the issue. The last time it happened, the service department kept it for almost 3 weeks trying to repro the problem but couldn’t so they gave it back unfixed.

    It happened again last week and it’s quite scary when it happens while on the highway. It's back at the service center but they're ready to give it back again without fixing it. I've contacted corporate to see if there's anything they can do, but beyond asking if I still have a warranty (no) they haven't been able to do much.

    Anyone else have a similar experience or suggestions on what might be causing this?
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    Really nice mess of troubles you have there :( One thing I remember when the 06's came out was some people noticed fuses in underhood fuse box were not tightly seated, an easy thing to check and correct (and while there, perhaps a check of connections to fuse box would be in order). For whats happening inside of cabin, one thing that may be common is BCM which controls a bunch of stuff inside, loose connections, water intrusion from leaky sunroof can cause troubles in that area. (may as well check fuses inside cabin as well). Going back to big picture, a questionable level of electric suppply can reak havoc with electronics and engine stuff. Loose battery cable (at either end) or shaky condition (sometimes works, sometimes doesn't) alternater could cause this.
  • Thanks Ray80. This has been my little slice of fun for a while... ;)

    The Chevy service guy (their top electrical troubleshooter) did do a bunch of tests and replaced parts of the harness so I would think he already checked these things, but who knows. I'll ask when I pick up the car today - they still haven't found the problem but don't know what else to do. I'll also try poking around over the weekend to see if there's anything obvious.

    Thanks for the ideas. If anyone happens to think of something else, please let me know. I like the car and would like to keep it, but only if I can get this issue solved.

  • I have a 2006 HHR that I bought new Jan 2007. I have had very little trouble with it. A few problems were mentioned here in the blogs, but has anyone else had their headlights go out on then for a second or two? Mine has done this twice. I was driving at night and was turning right. I gave my right turn signal and brighted my lights so I could see the driveway better and the lights just went out for a second or two! My husband thought I did something screwy to it to make it happen then a few weeks later it did it to him!! We took it to our dealer and they had not heard of the problem and could not figure it out. Does anyone have any ideas? Also, we went to the mountains this weekend and our brakes now make the car shimmy. My husband thinks it might be cheap thin rotors. ??
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    Yup exact same problem with the lights sometimes, high beams on, turn right signal light on and everything goes out. It is most likely something in the turn signal/ light switch.
  • Didn't find anything obvious with the harness, battery checks out, and fuse box seems nice and tight.

    The GM corporate folks have recommended that I get a VDR (Vehicle Data Recorder) installed from the dealership so that the next time all these issues happen, it will log a bunch of additional info about the current state of the car.

    I'm hoping to get that done today and will keep everyone posted on what happens...
  • I'm going to call my dealer tomorrow and see if I can get it looked at again. I'll tell them to check the turn signal. Thanks for the suggestion and also letting me know I am not alone with this problem!! :)
  • This will be the second time I have had to change the heater fan speed control resistor.. I have found it on line for as little as $32. It is easy to replace, under the dash behind the glove box door. But I wonder why it fails at about 12 months.
    There is also a squeal in the motor bearing. I guess that will be the next thing to replace, found it costs about $120 but I don't know how hard that will be to get out.
    2006 HHR LT. :mad:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    edited April 2010
    Without checking back to older posts in HHR or Cobalt, is that the problem where a cover that diverts water away that's under the plastic piece of the heater air intake leaks and lets water go down to where the resistor is? Others have replaced that or cobbled an effective fix.

    I noticed it because I own a Cobalt which is similar to the HHR in design.

    Edit: I found it in another topic with the HHR cluster.

    Here's a llink to the whole cluster. You can subscribe to the whole thing and anytime someone posts you'll have it as an unread post

    Good luck finding it. Sounds like the squeaking fan motor may be a result of a leak as well as the resistor unit.

    Report back and tell us what you find.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • chevy_hhr_2006chevy_hhr_2006 Posts: 1
    edited September 2010
    I am relieved to find someone else out there with the same problem that I am having with my 2006 Chevy HHR LT.
    Tim146- My car is doing the exact same thing as yours. Mine is actually back in the shop for the third time for this issue in the last year.

    When I first got the car, within 3 months, I noticed that maybe after a minute or two of driving, when I came to a stop, the car would jerk forward, it would idle up and down, my foot was completely on the brake, but it acted as if it wanted to go forward. It would do this several times then stop. I immediately took it to the dealership where I bought it from. They installed one of those devices that records data from your car while it happens (you hit a red button on the device and it records for I believe 30 seconds) Everything came out clear.

    This problem has continued for the last 3 years. Recently in the last year, when I first turn on the car, all of the gauge lights flicker, the 'power steering' and "low fuel" light flicker on and off, the shifter knob clicks wildly, the motor idles up and down, the temperature gauge, gas gauge and mph gauge float up and down at random trimes (the car is parked and e-brake is up, the car is not moving when this happens)

    When all these lights are going off, I then try to shift into reverse and with each gear I go into, it makes a very loud "CLUNK" noise and the car jerks voilently. I drive it, then when I stop the car, it feels like its about to turn off completely, but at the last minute it turns back on again. As I'm driving and the transmission is switching through gears, the car "CLUNKS" again and jerks forward violently (almost like when you press the gas pedal too hard before letting out the clutch in a standard car and it jerks forward a couple of times) When I come to a stop, it feels like its about the shut off, then it turns back on within a quick second.

    The first time, they told me it was a belt to my AC that causes it, they replaced it and $1200 later, the car acted up again 2 weeks later. That time, they kept my car for 2 weeks, they even had master techs from GM come to look at my car. They concluded that it was electrical and my computer. They replaced my computer, 'rebooted' the car.....4 months later I'm having the same issue. I dropped it off this morning (its so bad they know my name at the dealership :( ) So more testing will be done.

    What can we do about this? There has to be more people out there with the same issue? At this point, I'm concerned about safely, or my car possibly shutting down completely as I'm driving. I plan to get rid of the car soon, with only 9 more months of payments, I hate to do it, but at this point, if this is going to be a 4-6 months issue (The car only has 40,000 miles on it) I can't afford to keep up with this.
  • This is exactly what my HHR does, it has been going on for six months and I had to have it towed to the dealer again today. I get the standard answer every time from them: Well it's not doing it now so we don't know what it is. This was bought as a certified used car in 2008 from Chevy and I purchased an extended warranty. I have three more years to pay for this piece of junk and it isn't safe to drive. Between the electrical/computer problems and the vibrating brakes, despite 2 sets of pads and 3 sets of rotors, I want this car fixed or gone. Did they ever find a resolution to the others that are facing the electrical issues???
  • bigred32bigred32 Posts: 1
    We own a 2009 hhr and the other day I got in it as normal ready to go and had no radio, no turn signal chime or seatbelt chime, and the speedometer and gas gauges would be normal then drop to zero, back up to my current speed and the gas guage from empty to half where it was....anyway I never lost power or anything just the weirdness of no chimes or tunes, then when I was on my way home I pushed eject on the cd player just out of frustration and everything was back normal again? We replaced the keyless entry key fob battery because I thought maybe that had something to do with it? It is ok as of today everything is normal but does anyone have a clue as to what caused this? I have not taken it to a dealer yet should I? :confuse:
  • I would check the fuse box to see if all of the fuses are seated. I heard this sometimes works. there are two actually, One on the right side of the console and one under the hood. under the hood, it looks like a battery is in it, it's not. That's in the back with the spare tire. [TIP] Also, don't jump the car using the rear most red terminal under the hood as a neg. It's not and you can damage the car's electrical. :sick: Use the metal of the car as ground. :shades:
  • I have experienced this problem for over a month. I left the car at the dealership for one week and they profess that they cannot duplicate the problem.
    When driving and making slight adjustments for curves, etc., the dash lights, speedometer, rpm, radio and turn signals go dead momentarily. This only happens when making a turn, even a slight turn.
    If anyone can tell me the problem, I can inform the mechanics to fix it.
  • wytchwoodwytchwood Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    I have a problem with my 2008 HHR where sometimes I have to be driving 5-10 minutes before my instrument panel and radio lights come on. This is usually in daytime and my headlights are always set to auto. After reading all these posts I'm now concerned that I may not have brake lights so will check. Yesterday I drove a bit, they had come on shortly after I started it up, but not right when I started it up. Drove a bit running a few errands. After the last errand got in and started car to drive home and noticed I had no instrument panel or radio lights at all, got all the way home and still no lights. Took it to dealer once before about this, said they'd have to keep it a few days. Picked it up and didn't think to check it before I left the dealer, drove it home in a downpour so I'm watching the road cautiously then realized I had very dim lights on my instrument panel when with the downpour and lack of bright sun, they should have been bright. Then noticed they had turned the instrument panel brightnes switch all to the way to the brighest setting, and IP lights were dim at that. I was so mad, I called the dealer right away and told him it wasn't fixed and that switching the IP dimmer switch to the brightest setting wasn't a fix for the problem. He said, "Well, you'll have to bring it in so we can take a look at it." I was livid, they just had my car for 2 days. This was a certified used car and I bought a 5-year extended warranty in 2009. I'm so fed up with this dealer. They had stripped my lug nut covers which caused my wheel cover to loosen and a thin strip of metal came out from underneath wheel cover and was banging around inside my wheel well.. that was the beginning of my problems with the dealer, so now I take the wheelcovers off before I take the car in and when I get home I put them back on and tighten them myself with a hand tool. Anyways, thanks for letting me rant. I'm going to check the fuses tomorrow morning and see what I can find..then I guess I'll have to have a talk with the servcie manager....again. I love the car but it's getting to worry me with all the problems I see others having.
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