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Denali Yukon Traction Active Readout on Display

tomkasnertomkasner Posts: 6
edited May 14 in GMC
I own an 03 Denali and have had some problems. The latest, which has lasted 18 months, thanks to an incompetent dealer (Toth Akron, Ohio) is a Traction Active message read out on the display. This happens when accelerating - usually from a stop sign. When the vehicle shifts from first to second gear the vehicle pulls up lame, motionless and leaves you a sitting duck in the middle of an intersection. TOTH GMC looked at my Denali three times and had no clue as to what was wrong. I finally felt I wasted enough time with them and went to another dealer. They knew it was a stabilitrak problem, spent some time diagnosing the problem and found the wheel sensors had carosion and were not reading properly. It was a $468 repair, but at least my $50,000 vehicle now makes it through ab intersection safely. I am due for a new vehicle next year. I want to buy another Denali but I couldn't get 50,000 miles out of this vehicle without spending major cash on repairs. I also had to have my front diff rebuilt. GM is doing everything they can to keep me away. I am thinking about going Infinti or Lexas and saving myself the service headaches and expenses.


  • Hi, Tom: my 2003 Yukon (SLE) with about 40K miles also just started giving me the exact same problem. It, too, is when I am accelerating from a stop. I will be taking it to the dealer next week and will post what I am told. I hope it is less than the $468 you encountered! As far as your next year's purchase, the 2007 GMC SUVs and trucks are supposed to come with a 100K powertrain warranty (see, so that may help ease your concerns. Even with that, however, who wants to have the things sitting in repair shops even for "free" warranty work.
  • That was about when mine started acting up. I think the dealer I was taking it to knew what the problem was but also knew they would be opening up padora's box with me. The correction of cleaning and recalibrating the wheel speed sensors is actually a recall if it activates your ABS but not if it avtivates the traction control. GM told the dealer that did repair my vehicle to refer to the following document and follow the repair procedure:

    Document ID#1819672 202 GMC TRUCK GMC K SIERRA 4WD

    Good luck with yours. Having this information will save your dealer time and you money.

    Unless GM steps to the plate, covers the repairs and admits that have a faulty product, I will go with a Japanese vehicle next year. GM needs to offer a 100K warranty to sell product, becuase their's stinks and they know it. They fail to realize the US Big 3 are the only car co.s hurting, I don't see Toytota, Honda or Nissan with any problems. They are on the fall and I will be watching out the windows of my new [non-permissible content removed] SUV next year.
  • Sorry I haven't posted my dealer response sooner. Well, even being aware of the wheel corrosion possibility per Tom's experience, they looked everything over, ran every diagnostic possible, even took a drive w/o incident etc. and said "everything looks fine." I didn't have the product safety document you've referred to, but I'll now call them with that. I'll also file a notice w/ NHTSA [link title] folks so they at least have my experience on file... you may wish to do the same (or have already?). Thanks for the added info.
  • What you experienced was what I did for 18 months and three dealer visits. After the second near miss of an accident, I took the vehicle to another dealer, where GM recommended the repair. The referenced safety document is actually an ABS braking recall for the corrosion to be cleaned from the wheel speed sensors. I feel the dealers know what the problem is but don't like to share the information because the repair is a recall to a similar problem. They also want to wait until the vehicle is far enough out of warranty that it is beyond a "good faith repair". I spoke with GM customer support after my repair and they said it was too far from warranty to consider compensation. The bite in the shorts is that my first dealer visit was at 37,000 miles. I previously worked for an mfg of heavy equipment and they too would handle problems the same. Don't think what the "dealer says" is always the right thing for you. It is the right thing for them.
  • After doing an on-board diagnostic and getting the power disengagement & 'traction active' readout problem to occur while driving, the local Chevy dealer isolated my problem to a left front wheel defective/corroded wheel sensor, part FP# 15233108. Labor & a new sensor ($134.06) for ONE wheel totaled $278, plus tax. The fix worked. I just hope none of the others go bad! YIKES
  • Thanks tomkasner.
    Just bought a used 04 Denali and noticed the problem right away. I was afraid to take it in to a dealer because I could just imagine the run around. Googled the problem and voila!
    Printed out the response and heading to the dealer with solution in hand.
    Can't thank you enough.
  • Dealer has tried to fix several x's with NO SUCCESS. Has anyone done the lemon law yet? Has GM made them any kind of respectable offer? What a position to be in.....I have 2 denali's that can't be repaired, can't be sold outright with this problem, and the dealer has offered abit more $'s towards trade for my inconvience. I really would like GM to admit there is a problem out there. I noticed old posted messages. Were your problems fixed?????
  • The wheel speed sensors need cleaned. This will correct your problem, they are corroded. This happens in areas where salt is used on the roads. It is expensive to have done but it works. On some previous vehicles it was considered warranty work. Have your dealer follow the procedure in this warranty document:

    Document ID#1819672 202 GMC TRUCK GMC K SIERRA 4WD

    By the way, my Denali was fine when finished and the dealer service mgr claimed warranty and GM paid for the repairs. You need to make some noise with the service mgr. I sold that vehicle and bought a new 07 Denali.
  • driller5driller5 Posts: 1
    Thank You Tom Kasner for sending this in. I've got a 2004 Chevy Suburban and I've had the same problem going on for the last year and 1/2. I thought I was reading my autobiography in that I've been through the same thing. Replaced the front end and had them do several things but to no avail. It dumfounds me that Chevy doesn't keep a database of issues like this that they can draw from and that I Google "Traction Active" on the web and get your hit the first thing. Unbelievable. Guess it tells you why GM is in trouble. I sent your reply to my tech @ Rydell Chevrolet in Waterloo, IA and we'll see if it gets fixed. Thanks again----to be continued.
  • isiisi Posts: 16
    Thanks for the explanation Tom.
    I posted the same problem on 2/25. You have provided the answer I need. I will clean my sensors and see if that makes a difference.

    By the way, for anyone that has the problem and still has not had it fixed, when the truck dies in the middle of the intersection, simply press the "Traction" button to disable the traction control and you will be on your way again. Another alternative is to floor the gas pedal, that works too, although it's hard on the transmission and maybe unsafe if there is someone in front of you.
  • clatlaclatla Posts: 1
    Its amazing how finding these posts helped me out. My expierence is similar to all of yours but my Traction active just recently started. I removed the sensors to check and clean them. The passenger side looked great the driver side come out with out the plastic cover. I could see all of the windings. I thought here is the problem. I went to my local chev dealer and got a new sensor for $42.00. Which was $65 less than the cheapest parts store. After installing it the problem got worse. I started doing some more digging on the internet to find specs for testing the sensors. Also found a post about bad wheel bearings. Went out to the garage to check some things and found the driverside wheel bearings were shot. I can't believe I did not feel it in the steering wheel they were so bad. Needless to say a new wheel bearing assembly and the problem is gone. To bad I already bought a new sensor. I assume the plastic came off of the old sensor because of overheating with the bad bearings. Luckily I just got back from a 2,000 mile trip. So first check to see if your bearings are good before any thing else. :)
  • Good morning,

    I have a 2003 yukon denaili and like many of you My traction control kicks in while doing a left turn or accelerating. Like all of you pressing the disengage button or letting go of the gas pedal and accelerating again gets rid of the problem. The only difference I have seen that I dont think anyone has mentioned, is that when i turn to park or sometimes just doing normal breaking my BRAKE pedal starts VIBRATING as if the abs system is kicking in. I have not had a problem yet while turning to the RIGHT.

    second problem is my A/C the first time the belt broke i replaced it and the A/C worked fine. Now the a/c went out so i figured the belt broke but its still on and it is working properly and not slipping. I cannot hear the compressor turn on and im afraid its that because just for the compressor im talking about 360 dollars. any other ideas. I have tested the freeon and everything seems to be fine.
  • 03pimpnali03pimpnali Posts: 1
    i got a 2003 denali and i was told before i put it on jackstands i need to "disable" the shocks so they dont over expand. How is disabiling them done? :confuse:
  • rshtrsht Posts: 277
    Hmmm, not sure I understand why your were told to disable the shocks...?
    I could be wrong, but below is my thinking out loud on why I can't see that is necessary.
    Just thinking out loud :
    1. You must have one of those OEM Auto-Ride systems.
    2. In the event that you need to change a tire due to flat (or raise the vehicle for a tire rotation), you have to first jack-up one of the wheels, does your Owner's manual says you need to disable the auto-ride system (in my 2007's manual, it does not; but if for your model year is Yes, then most likely you just found the instruction on how to disable the auto-ride system).
    3. Skip the #2 thinking above. The auto-ride system is to pump air in to the shocks when they are compressed by the carrying weight/load to your vehicle, the pump stops when the vehicle reaches back to the specific/normal ride height (distance between the axle and chassis/frame) via a position sensor/switch (for example, normal vehicle ride height is 8" apart between the frame and the axle, now with load its down to 7", so as you turn-on the ignition, the auto-ride system triggers the compressor to pump air in to your shocks until the ride height is raised back to 8").
    As you raise the vehicle on to jack stands, if you rest the axles on stands then you have nothing to be concerned with as the ride height/distance between the axle and the chassis is the same as if the vehicle is sitting on its 4 tires. Agree?
    Let's say you rest the vehicle on the stands by its frame, that means the axles will drop down (longer distance between the axles and the chassis than normal), as your turn on the ignition that should not trigger the pump to turn-on, would it? I would think not...

    Anyway, to play it safe, there seems to be two ways to disable the system:
    1. remove the auto-ride system relay from the fuse block in the engine compartment
    2. or by disconnect the Auto Level Control (ALC) Air Compressor connector in the rear of the vehicle. You first need to locate the compressor and follow the wiring and you should then locate the connector (most likely via those plastic anchors anchored to the back of your rear bumper close to the spare tire...
    Disconnect either, then turn on the ignition for 45 seconds and make sure the compressor is disabled before put it on stands. Be Safe!
  • My wheel bearings were replaced so that should not be the problem but if it pulls and makes a loud sound when the traction active comes on for a brief moment then leap frogs and the noise and display goes away is it more likely cleaning or replacement? Thanks. We went on a long trip and did not have the problem. Before and after the trip in town we do have the problem. Would an uneven tire pressure have anything to do with the problem?
  • rshtrsht Posts: 277
    For having a difference in the tire pressure to cause this problem, it will have to be quite a few PSI difference between the left/right tires... (I am assuming all tires are all the same size). Assuming its not the bearing and you are one of the DIYer, have you checked the condition & level of the axles fluids and also the transfer case fluid? I would start from the basics and not too dirty at the speed sensors at each corner before spend the money to replace anything.
  • mxmama101mxmama101 Posts: 1
    No wonder GMC is in trouble--they never admit thier mistakes and make consumers upset! In the last month our Yukon's speedometer cluster dropped off the reading and other instruments in the cluster (step motor) Got that fixed for $200 in Toronto; this week more surprises before our holidays to the OBX. The traction active started; took it to the GMC Dealer JACK MAY in Ottawa--they charged 200 to clean the contacts plus 100 to UPGRADE the software which accidentally tells the computer there is a problem when there isn't. Leaving their shop I almost got totalled by a truck as I tried crossing the highway! $350 and still the same issue! At the same time our Rear Hatch window fell off the hinge on the right side. We have MAYBE used the window 5 times since we bought the truck! The Dealer told us it is a $1400 fix, that we need a new window! All three issues are well documented with users. They are all SAFETY issues. I never mind paying to replace worn parts but this is unbelievable! We can put men on the moon but cannot reattach glass to the hinge like they did in the factory. Has anyone found solutions for any of these? I am going to try the JB Weld posted here but would like more details. Thanks.
  • I've had the same problem for the past year. Thought I was going crazy. Manual and dealer said it was normal. Started occurring every once in awhile at around 70,000 miles and has now grown to be a constant problem. First only Traction Active came on with power loss as everyone else experienced. Now effects the ABS regularly as well. Anyone have any luck getting it fixed as part of the recall?
  • Hello! I have an 03 denali that does the same thing and I'm wondering if you have figured anything out?! Traction contraol constantly kicks on and abs seems to kick on when im stopping to park and hit the breaks. PLease let me know if you have figured out how to fix these probs as its driving me nutso!
  • i have fixed the problem. My wife is the one who took it in and got the job done let me ask her what was wrong and give you a price estimate of what it cost me. it works perfect now no slippage or anything. email me if youd like penasoccer at Y
  • Thank you! I would love to know what the problem and the price was. Like I said it is doing the EXACT same thing as yours so I'm sure its the same prob! Thanks again
  • Your wheel speed sensors need to be cleaned. It is a pretty simple repair by the dealer but time consuming. The dealers don't seem to like making the repair though. I found out It was a recall on some of the vehicles but not the Yukon. It costs about $500. I paid for the repair and then wrote a complaint letter to my dealer. The service mgr at the dealer was able to get the zone service mgr from GMC to cover mine.


    RE: 2003 Yukon Denali Vin XXXXXXXXXX

    I recently had my vehicle in your service dept. for an on-going problem of which XXXXXXX GMC could not repair. From a standstill, when I would accelerate, the vehicle would lose power and not move after about 20 feet or so and a “Traction Active” message would appear on the display. This was a very serious safety concern as the vehicle would end up in the middle of the road with loss of power. It was an intermittent problem but would happen when I would drive through a stop sign or red light. To regain power, you had to let off on the gas peddle and the drive would re-engage. This left me twice in the middle of an intersection almost causing an accident at State Route 18 & Heritage Woods Drive, only one mile from my home. I would no longer allow my wife drive the vehicle due to safety concerns.

    I explained my situation to your Service Advisor, XXXXXXX. She immediately knew there was a problem with the Stabilitrak System and scheduled me in for service. Your Service Technician spent about a day and a half with the vehicle and did a great job diagnosing and correcting the problem, which was cleaning and recalibrating corroded wheel speed sensors. This repair cost me approximately $495.00.

    When you spend that amount of money on a repair, you like to know what the problem was, especially when another dealer had the vehicle twice and was not able to correct it or stated as
    XXX GMC did, “there is no repair for your problem”. GM recommended a repair procedure be followed from an ABS recall document ID # 1819672 of which the subject is “Product Safety – Front Wheel Speed Sensor Corrosion #05068B. In this recall it states the follow condition:

    “ General Motors has decided that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in certain 1999-2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, 1999-2002 GMC Sierra, 2000-2002 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL vehicles located in areas listed below (which includes Ohio). These vehicles may have a condition permitting corrosion to occur between the front hub/bearing assembly and the wheel speed sensor. If the brakes are applied while the vehicle is traveling at a speed of greater than 3.7 mph but less than 10 mph, the corrosion may cause an unwanted anti-lock brake system activation. If this condition occurred where stopping distance is limited, a crash could occur.” (Continued on Page 2)

    Page 2 - 2003 Yukon Denali Vin XXXXXX

    Now, it seems rather clear to me that I had a safety issue that a crash could occur, as it almost did twice. And, it seems rather clear that the problem was the corrosion of the wheel speed sensors that caused the Stabilitrak to malfunction which activated the “Traction Active” which caused my vehicle to stop in the middle of an intersection. What does not seem clear to me is why General Motors would not pay for this repair as it is caused by the same corrosion of the wheel speed sensors as in the recall for the ABS.

    Yesterday the GM customer service people called me and we had a very frustrating conversation. They said that the repair I needed was not related in any way to the recall even though the correction was the exact same as in the recall. They said they would conduct further research before a conclusion is drawn. It was very troublesome knowing that GM had customer service people making decisions regarding mechanical repairs that did not understand what they were saying. They have no mechanical background to understand what the sensor is or how or why it works. I told them to look on their computer screen to see the vehicle repair history and compare it to the recall. They said they do not have access to a computer. I said I’ll fax you a copy of the repair order and it says the same thing as the recall. They said we have no access to a fax. I said I’ll fax it to a Kinko’s close by and they said that was ridiculous that I would expect them to pick up paperwork from a Kinko’s. Obviously their call was not made to satisfy the customer.

    If GM chooses not to pay for the repairs, it is apparent they do not care about me as a customer and I will take my future business elsewhere. I don’t care to drive a Japanese made vehicle because of the line of work I am in, but, GM will make that decision for me.

    I would like you to know that I am very pleased with your service department and you have gained me as a service customer through-out the remainder of my lease. I am hopeful this issue can be resolved so that I can continue on as a future GMC Denali owner.

    Also, just to let you know, I did end up buying a new Denali in 2007 and absolutely love the vehicle.
  • On mine it turned out that the front left wheel hub was loose and needed to be replaced. Once it was replaced the problem was fixed. Dealers want about $450 for the hub and another $200 for labor. It was interesting that my rear brakes were worn as well and needed to be replaced, however the fron still had over 50% of the pads left. The problem with the wheel hub was kicking in the ABS shutting down the front brakes so the rears were doing all the work.
  • aaronwiaaronwi Posts: 18
    I have an '06 with the exact same issue. I'm out of warranty so they won't pick up the bill, but my service manager just told me it's a $70 repair (per axle) to fix the corrosion. That sounds fair to me!!!!!
  • Have had the corrosion issue with my '99 on 3 separate occasions now, so am familiar with the cleaning procedure.
    I went to remove the R/H sensor, but the plastic body cracked off, and is still stuck in the bearing. Main body and coil/magnet assembly is out, so just the remaining shell is left in the bearing/hub.
    Am looking for suggestions on how to remove the shell without introducing debris into the bearing/reluctor. Any ideas? Thanx!
  • And another case where this occurred and the dealer was not able to fix or figure out. Hours spent researching. $400 later a new $149 Steering angle sensor was replaced and problem happened again 20 miles out of shop...luckily not in a dangerous intersection. Going back to dealer today to see if they can figure it out. Glad to have found this forum and info. Pretty good confidence that it is simply cleaning the wheel speed sensors?
  • gman68gman68 Posts: 10
    I needed to replace my rear air ride, self leveling shocks. I did so with arnott equipment. Shortly after the rear passenger shock stopped working. Shortly after that the drivers side went out as well. I have a lifetime warranty on them so that's not the issue. My questions is what would make them go out when they are basically new?
  • gman68gman68 Posts: 10
    Where does my air ride compressor draw it's power from?
  • gman68gman68 Posts: 10
    Can over adjusting the Torsion on my vehicle make the auto ride / self-leveling shocks/ system fail?
  • godmudder1godmudder1 Posts: 12
    I have a 2006 Yukon Denali which reads traction active on the display and the car loses power when I am driving and the dealerships are telling me if they cannot duplicate the problem, they cannot fix is an intermittent problem and I referred them to the document listed above and the mgr insists that only applies to the older models up to 2003 I believe...anyone have any suggestions..
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