Chevy Traverse Stabilitrak/Traction Control problems

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  • jwhittickjwhittick Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2016
    Seccond time in 6 days. Wirh the stabilitrak/power loss issue. This time I did lose power on the highway with a tractor trailer behind me. Luckily I escaped onto an exit without getting rear ended. Once again GM if you are reading these posts PLEASE CONTACT ME. [Phone number removed].
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    edited January 2016

    an incomplete combustion event

    Excellent. That portion of what you wrote is one way to look at a misfire.
    Here is more information.

    http://ilot.edu.pl/KONES/2001/JOK2001 NO 1-2/R39.pdf

    That's only fifteen pages, but it does a good job explaining what a misfire really is and how the PCM will see it if one occurs. (I could link some SAE white papers but you would have to pay for them). If I was presenting a class one of the leading questions would be does a crankshaft turn at a steady speed for any given RPM? The answer is no, it does not. That's why the "damper pulley"is attached to the center hub with a rubber coupling. On every compression event the crank slows down, and on every power event the crank speeds up. The PCM learns these changes in velocity as well as any variations in the crankshaft sensor profile and once that is done then it can detect if an acceleration event failed to occur. If you want to get real technical, the PCM watches the crankshaft accelerate between about 15 and 125 degrees of crank rotation after TDC on a power stroke for each cylinder. Since the PCM also knows which cylinder should be firing it can set either cylinder specific misfire codes such as a P0303 (cylinder #3) or if the misfires are counted on multiple cylinders then the P0300 might be appropriate. The system also is dependent on engine load, the greater the engine load, the more air and fuel that could enter the cylinder, therefore the hotter the catalyst might get to be if it had to clean that up. If the catalyst temperature could exceed 1500f-1800f then that would be a misfire that is scored as a catalyst damaging misfire and that results in the flashing MIL. If the misfire occurs at a low enough level (the 1000 rev counter and a light engine load) then it's more likely to only have an impact on the vehicle emissions and that misfire will generate a code but not flash the MIL.

    I suppose excess carbon could inspire some pre-ignition, also possibly interpreted by the PCM as a mis-fire, but this would require a hot engine, not a cold one.

    As I described earlier, you have this backwards. The carbon buildup does occur in the cylinder, but that's not the problem cold. Restricted airflow past the intake valve is a much bigger issue, especially since the injector will get all of the fuel into the cylinder since it sprays directly into it. If you get all of the fuel that the cylinder "should have" needed, but fall short of the air for that fuel, then you will be too rich and that causes incomplete combustion and a lack of push on the crankshaft, aka a misfire.

    If this is all overwhelming we haven't even begun to add in cylinder to cylinder Air/Fuel ratio imbalance and false misfires caused by anything external of the engine that can make the crankshaft slow down when it should be speeding up. A bad U-Joint (seized) can cause a PCM to set a P0300.

  • smedithsmedith Member Posts: 2
    On my way to work this morning Jan 27/2016 and the service stabilitrak message came on - 2011 Traverse went to less than 20km and so I drove it home. Called CAA and had them take it to Ontario Motor Sales in Oshawa. I have been reading tons of posts on this issue , is there a recall or a know issue that I need to talk to my dealership about? I have two kids that I run to hockey a lot and I can't have this crap happen when I'm driving. I do NOT like that feature ... nor do I want to use it .. now its causing issues all on its own... nice. Any advise from anyone else that has this issue ?
  • smedithsmedith Member Posts: 2
    OK OMS just called and said it was a throttle body issue what is under warranty - so no cost. Still would like to see people's comments on this - I really don't want this to happen again
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited January 2016
    Well direct injection engines have been known to deposit large amounts of carbon on the back face of the valves, so yeah, I could see that if a somewhat massive amount of carbon builds up, that could interfere with proper valve fit and cause a detection of a misfire.

    There are various theories about why DI engines are susceptible to this but the one that seems most logical to me is that after the engine shuts down, a small amount of fuel is left sticking on the valve--when this is combined with a new engine start, you get a certain amount of oil from the PCV system and this can create the carbon issue.

    One solution that you can buy and add-on is a capture device that traps oil from the PCV and "captures" it for later removal. That requires a bit more maintenance on the part of the owner of the DI engine, but seems to me a small price to pay if it solves the problem.

    If it turns out NOT to be the throttle body but rather an actual carbon buildup, the only real fix is to remove the intake manifold and clean it (maybe even with a blast media). That's not a cheap fix if the owner has to pay for it. Additives are a waste of money for this problem, once the carbon has deposited.

    Even if the intake is cleaned, you still have to worry about it happening again in another 40K miles or so. Some say that top tier gasoline additives and occasional shots of Seafoam will mitigate this buildup, but I don't think it can stop it without some further engineering interventions.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Sounds to me like GM DI is the typical put it in use before it's ready for prime time. What does DI give you for the hassle; a mile or two mpg, maybe a bit less pollution and a bit more acceleration (until the deposits foul). I'm not seeing the lifecycle cost value here???
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think most DI engines have this issue--I know VW does, in the TSI 2.0L
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    DGI engines require more maintenance than PFI engines. As far as the causes for the intake valve deposits, it is a combination of issues that cause them. To explain all of the factors would require that we spend time discussing exhaust gas reversion due to the extensive use of variable valve timing. Stratified air fuel ratio's which have a very rich carbon producing pocket surrounded by a very lean area. Combine that with the blow-by gasses that are picked up by the PCV system and a few other issues and you have engines that are going to produce carbon deposits that will require periodic servicing.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    I just think car companies are doing some dopey things for minimal improvements that can end up costing their owners a lot more money long term: DI, umpteen speed trannies, turbo's, etc. We've talked DI, now 8-9 speed trannies seem to be almost constantly shifting, turbos run at noticeably hotter temperatures and really don't seem to get any significant real world advantage over a conventional V6. The turbo matter may be a matter of under sizing the replacement engines though.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    berri said:

    I just think car companies are doing some dopey things for minimal improvements that can end up costing their owners a lot more money long term:

    There is nothing about any car that has ever been built that doesn't ultimately cost its owner money one way or another. Or said another way, there is only one way to not have a car cost you anything, and that is to not have a car.
    berri said:


    DI, umpteen speed trannies, turbo's, etc. We've talked DI, now 8-9 speed trannies seem to be almost constantly shifting, turbos run at noticeably hotter temperatures and really don't seem to get any significant real world advantage over a conventional V6. The turbo matter may be a matter of under sizing the replacement engines though.

    An eight or nine speed transmission will be constantly shifting. The engineers are trying to keep the engine in a very narrow rpm and load range to get as much out of the system as they possibly can.

    Turbo chargers have always run hot, its raw exhaust gasses that drive them. The turbo takes the energy that is still in the hot exhaust gasses and uses it to force more air into the engine, creating more (and hotter) exhaust gasses. With forced induction, the engineers can take a small engine and produce a lot more power when needed, and still have the advantages of the smaller sized and therefore lighter weight engine when a lot of power isn't required. The change to turbocharging as we see it today isn't about being cheaper for any individual but taken on a whole its a real game changer. The use of turbo chargers BTW also brings with it the requirement for very precise servicing. Any skimping there can easily yield even greater expenses for the vehicle owners.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    DI is nothing new. Mercedes used it 60 years ago! (62 to be exact). And it worked very well, too.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    It works very well now too. It just demands more service to keep it that way.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The original Benz system would load up the spark plugs and foul them if you didn't drive aggressively. I dont' recall if they had heavy carbonization issues on the 300SL.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    It works very well now too. It just demands more service to keep it that way

    So DI is being brought back to pad dealer profits with expensive engine carbon build up cleanings. ;)
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    They didn't, and for several reasons. First that was back in the days of leaded fuel and valve and valve seat wear was normal. That's why everyone could and would do a valve job in house which was a normal routine for any car back then. Any carbon deposits were just dealt with when someone needed "a valve job".
    Now combine that with how far people drove each year as compared to now. Then we have the last pieces of the puzzle. They didn't use variable valve timing like we are today so exhaust gas reversion wasn't a concern. They also didn't even have PCV systems and nobody cared one bit about what was coming out of the tailpipe.
  • jwhittickjwhittick Member Posts: 4
    See my post from Jan 26th. I cleaned out the throttle body and air intake (there is a blow back oil trap in the air intake full of oil) Called the Chevy Dealer and was told the part is covered. They said to bring it in right away. Fortunately during the 30 mile trip the Stabilitrak issue did not repeat itself, but I had previously made a cell phone video of the issue to show them. Dropped off on the 27th. Waiting to hear back. The dealership (RK Chevrolet in Vineland NJ) was very courteous and understanding and even gave me a loaner car (brand new Subaru Forester). I have a few other recalls to be taken care of as well. Will repost with final outcome.
  • gotmediagotmedia Member Posts: 1
    Add me to the lengthy list. I bought my 2011 Traverse almost a year ago, had minimal problems until this month. Same bag: Traction Control off, Service Stabilitrak and reduced engine power. That was a week ago. Since then, I've had my gas pedal replaced (due to the sensor, as that was the code that came up). It's been back to the shop twice since, and is currently awaiting the arrival of a new throttle body for replacement. Out of curiosity, I thought I'd see if anyone else was having this problem. Eleven pages and three years of complaints later, here I am, and I'm (nearly) speechless. (Nearly is relative, in this case.)

    Like many of you, I'm a mom of two awesome boys. When your car loses power like that, it's dangerous to their well-being, not just mine. (I'm petrified of driving on the highway, for fear that it'll happen there, and with more serious consequences!) This is compromising their safety, and that is a BIG problem for me.

    I'm also a new creative/media business owner, and this situation has me suffering the woes of having to cancel or reschedule client appointments. Now I'm losing income needed to PAY for these expenses, on top of everything else! (Two boys eat an awful lot, too...)

    I just want my car fixed, a rental issued during repairs, and at no more expense to us (or my insurance company, for that matter) whether in the form of money paid for repairs or in income lost. I just want the car that I paid for less than a year ago to be worthy of that price, (yes, yes, minus depreciation, I get it) as well as the safety rating that supported its selection.

    So fill me in? (11 pages is A LOT to read, bear with me.) I see these GM "social media" folks requesting info from various contributors to this thread. Do they actually get anything accomplished? Is there a way to get this handled quickly? (Or has anyone "mysteriously disappeared" after responding?)

    Beyond that, there is more than "ample fuel" for a class-action lawsuit available (or at the very least, an epic yet highly entertaining social media nightmare). Would that fulfill GM's prerequisites for a recall?

    Any input, suggestions, or further fuel for this fire is greatly appreciated & highly regarded - thanks in advance! :smile:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited January 2016
    I think ultimately this problem is aggravated by a) being related to multiple possibilities and b) being mis-diagnosed more often than not.

    Given that tracking down the cause of the reduced power can be tricky, it requires patience all around...from the owner, from the technician, and from the dealership with the whip who wants his technicians to hurry up.

    Is it fixable? Absolutely. Is it likely to be fixed the first time? Apparently not from what we're reading here. Of course, we don't read about the successful first attempts, as those are rarely posted.

    Short Answer: There is no one reason why this happens.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483

    I think ultimately this problem is aggravated by a) being related to multiple possibilities and b) being mis-diagnosed more often than not.

    Keep going with that line of thinking and you just might understand not only why that happens, but just what it is going to take to start correcting the situation.



    Given that tracking down the cause of the reduced power can be tricky, it requires patience all around...from the owner, from the technician, and from the dealership with the whip who wants his technicians to hurry up.

    On another thread a few weeks ago you made a comment that I'm going to paraphrase a bit. The discussion was along the lines of how much time a tech might have to invest to solve a given problem and the fact that the majority of the time, the techs don't get paid for the time that they invest. Your comment came down to, "If the tech legitimately spent that time then he/she should be paid to do so." I'm roughly quoting that here because if the techs were trained correctly, and paid correctly to do diagnostics then most of these problems would be solved the first time. However, the first thing that happens when the repair get's good willed which is what everyone with a problem that has posted on this forum wants, is that the tech will get paid .3hrs (eighteen minutes) to do the diagnostics, no matter how much time they actually spend. Most of the reported issues here in this forum require driving the car longer than that just for the symptom to occur.


    Is it fixable? Absolutely. Is it likely to be fixed the first time? Apparently not from what we're reading here. Of course, we don't read about the successful first attempts, as those are rarely posted.

    Short Answer: There is no one reason why this happens.

    You do read however about the policies that are in place in shops that try and support the techs who have the training and discipline to approach these kinds of problems the right way, and the first thing that is often said is along the lines of "They want $$$$ just to hook it up to a machine". There has never been a more inaccurate portrayal of what it takes to analyze vehicle problems and its about time that a real effort be made to start to reveal what it really takes to be a technician and work with the electronics, computer controls, and robotics that make today's cars work.

    There are techs that make easy work of the problems described in this forum and many of the others, only to be treated in such a manner as is demonstrated by comments like "They don't hire techs with IQ's above room temperature". When it really comes right down to it, you shouldn't wonder why it's hard to find good techs that can handle this work easily. You really should be wondering why there are any at all.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    A local shop near me had a bear of a problem, an electrical "ghost" much like what we're seeing here. They couldn't solve it, so they called in, AND paid, an electronics specialist to come to their shop and "get it done".

    I don't know how the costs were spread out between shop and customer, but the next day, the car ran great and has continued to.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    edited January 2016
    That is a routine that will work for as long as we are around. When we aren't there anymore for whatever reason, that will put a very swift end to the practice.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Just seems to me that if you're going to keep it longer than 3 or 4 years, GM AWD is maybe best avoided as a longer term prospect as long as they keep Stabilitrak as it is right now. I know all the blogs I've read in various places kept me (luckily apparently) from buying a new Acadia.
  • afoor85afoor85 Member Posts: 3
    afoor85 said:

    I own a 2011 Traverse and have been having issues with Stabilitrak/traction control and power loss. Of course the power loss occurs on the freeway at a high rate of speed in heavy traffic. Thanks for almost causing a major wreck and it quickly slowed from 75 MPh to 25mph over 3 lanes of traffic. I shut it off and waited for 15 seconds. Started it back in and was able to get back on. Luckiky, I was almost home. Stabilitrak error came back on just as I was exiting the freeway. Rough idling between 0 and 1 rpm. Made it home using hazards. Tried to start it this morning and the same issue...horrible idling and Stabilitrak error. This morning I purchased throttle body cleaner and cleaned the throttle body out. I noticed some oily gunk back up into my air outflow hose. Cleaned that out also. With the results from these postings, I'm not convinced that did anything. It is drivable now, but will keep the forum updated on the condition. Also checked power steering fluid which was low. I'm not happy with the response from GM on handling this issue. It has been a recurring issue with several Chevy's.

    So after several ongoing issues with attempting cleaning the throttle body, I signed up for on star for a promotional offer. This offer included the advanced diagnostics. I had them run advanced diagnostics the last time the issue popped up. They went through a whole slew of stabilitrak issues and traction control issues. The last diagnostic code was the throttle body unit which they listed the malfunctions that coincide with a faulty throttle body sensor. A day later, I purchased a brand new throttle body unit with a replacement gasket. The part was with the gasket was under 200.00. I installed it myself which consisted of 4 screws. It has been 2 weeks and so far no issues. The check engine light is also now off completely. For those who have onstar, I recommend doing the advanced diagnostics. As always, if anything changes I'll update. But, so far, so good.
  • mountain_mommymountain_mommy Member Posts: 4
    Add another one! I bought my used 2011 Traverse 4 MONTHS ago!! Last week, with only 62,500 miles, the horror began :( Traction Control off, Service Stabilitrak and reduced engine power - dropped down to 15mph trying to climb a PA mountain (highest peak on specific interstate east of the Mississippi) in the middle of a snow storm with my 3 young children in the car. Because I have a crazy schedule and my husband and I both travel a significant amount, I don't have time for multiple garage trips - especially in the middle of a nasty winter. So, I figured I'd do my own online "diagnosis" before going to the garage. I'm sad to see that it may not help :( Just like the other disappointed mom, I'm eleven pages and three years of complaints in and totally speechless.

    The safety is such a concern for me and my family. We travel some of the worst winter roads in PA that also have heavy tri-axle truck traffic. We have no family in the area to assist with shuffling the kids around and really
    I just want my car fixed, a rental issued during repairs, and at no more expense to us. I just want the car that I have only made 5 payments on to be worthy of that price as well as the safety rating that supported its selection.

    Is there a way to get this handled quickly?
    Thanks
  • mountain_mommymountain_mommy Member Posts: 4
    Oh, I also am getting the "Park Assist" Error message - is it related? from some of the posts, looks like it could be?
  • mountain_mommymountain_mommy Member Posts: 4
    is somehow disconnecting the Stabilitrak a safe option to avoid the issue?
    Thanks!
  • kbfisherkbfisher Member Posts: 9
    Didn't know about the recall on the power steering. Already had it replaced. Could you(Mountain_mommy) provide the details of the recall? Hopefully I can get reimbursed!
    Also, just had the Stabilitrak alarm for the 3rd time on 2-15-16. Only 800 miles since last alarm.
  • dragun_xdragun_x Member Posts: 1
     know this thread is 2 yrs old. But just bought a 2016 traverse, it has 2100+ miles on it. love car and no issues with it...... until took up to the dealer after my remote start came in have put on. Drove off lot 1.5 hours later started. Traction control kicked off, info center said check stability acknowledge system, abs light If rpm's went above 2100 jumped jerked. So so obviously there something still wrong area. Such shame as such wonderful car. can't help but wonder if had do cuz won't work either regular basis. It started one out of 7 times tried since picked from yesterday
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    One has to wonder if there is a connection to the remote start installation. Seems awfully coincidental, especially on this new a car.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    It's OK to wonder that, but not OK to allow that to influence the diagnostic routine. The assumption that the remote start is the cause of the problem can cause a different starting point than what otherwise would be used. If the remote start installation is at fault, the proper routine will lead the tech right to the failure anyway. If it is not at fault and the diagnostics are started assuming that it is, then lots of time will be wasted until the tech finally finds his/her way back to the correct path.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited February 2016
    Just something for the tech to keep in the back of his mind. Are you saying Doc that you wouldn't automatically wonder about the coincidence of it?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483

    Just something for the tech to keep in the back of his mind. Are you saying Doc that you wouldn't automatically wonder about the coincidence of it?

    Only for a moment while the symptom interview is taking place. Then that information has to be "forgotten" during the actual diagnostic routine until such a point that the routine leads you to the actual circuit failure. Then it can be judged as to whether it was valid information or not.
    Lets try and break down exactly what was written.
    dragun_x said:

    know this thread is 2 yrs old. But just bought a 2016 traverse, it has 2100+ miles on it. love car and no issues with it...... until took up to the dealer after my remote start came in have put on. Drove off lot 1.5 hours later started. Traction control kicked off, info center said check stability acknowledge system, abs light

    Based on this description, the first step is to check for codes in all of the vehicle's modules, with no assumptions. The ABS light on, suggests two possibilities. Either a failure has occurred with the ABS system, which would of course cause the Stabilitrak and Traction control systems to be disabled, OR there is a communication issue not permitting the instrument cluster to see information from the ABS module. Even that means very little until some actual information gathering (the discovery phase) has taken place.
    dragun_x said:

    If rpm's went above 2100 jumped jerked. So so obviously there something still wrong area. Such shame as such wonderful car. can't help but wonder if had do cuz won't work either regular basis. It started one out of 7 times tried since picked from yesterday

    Without driving the car and experiencing the symptom myself, this part if the description doesn't help at all. It's a mistake to attempt to guess what this means and do anything with it. Even if this was worded more clearly the tech still has to replicate the concern. The tech is going to have to rely on the seat of the pants feel that takes decades to acquire in order to start narrowing the focus to the system that is encountering an issue. This is something that cannot be taught in a classroom and is easily lost by people who stopped being techs for what-ever reason (if they ever learned it to begin with). That's one of the biggest problems with non-technicians running the shops. Today the odds of finding anyone in management that can do this is about as likely as one of them figuring out that Jeep I posted on the other thread. That's why they don't pay the techs correctly for diagnostics, they really don't know what it takes even though they work in the same building. The pay plans they run pay the techs better to flush brake fluid than they do to figure out what's wrong with a car that is genuinely broken.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    So he has a Stabilitrak warning, an ABS light, and an engine misfire or engine interrupt from some default mode.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    Go with the ABS light first, beyond that only questions that need some discovery to lead to answers.
  • mamamindymamamindy Member Posts: 1
    Add a 2014 Chevy Traverse with 24,000 miles to the list. Saturday my car became a rock in the middle of the road, stabilitrak error, traction control error. Just 3 days later it happened again. I took it into my dealership, they said they tried to recreate the error, ran diagnostics, and nothing came up. I'm in tears, terrified of driving this vehicle. What am I supposed to do if they can't even find a SINGLE THING?
  • _momma_sweet_momma_sweet Member Posts: 2
    I bought a certified pre-owned 2012 2LT Traverse with 24k miles in Oct of 2015. I was informed on the car fax that there had been 3 transmission silinoids replaced. (3rd time the problem should have been resolved I thought) The car ran great for 5 months until one morning on the way to daycare with my 3 little ones the "traction control off, service stabili track, park assist off" sensors flashed at me and the car bogged down and would barely gas out of first. We made it to daycare and when I got back in the car and cranked it up everything acted fine but the check engine light was on. Left it at the dealership for a week, they put 80 miles on it and it never acted it up so I took it back as is. Next week it happened again WITH KIDS IN THE CAR so I drove it straight to the dealership without turning it off so they could read codes while it was acting up. They replaced the ECM after a few days and said all was good. 4 days later on the way to daycare AGAIN the "traction control off/ traction control on" sensor flashed again with check engine light on. It's back at the dealership, 3rd time in one month with no resolution so far. I also found out this is the FOURTH ECM my car has had with only 35,500 miles on it. LEMON
  • _momma_sweet_momma_sweet Member Posts: 2
    I also am in utter shock that the cars full history was not disclosed to me and that GM would consider a car with this history as CPO - I was fooled. Going to look in to what legal action can be taken.
  • another1bitesanother1bites Member Posts: 1
    2012 low mileage traverse owner with industrial electrical and electronic troubleshooting skills on complex multiple plc systems. I am experiencing the stabletrak, parking assist, low-power problems many here are having. Repeated trips to the GM service department has not helped, they have no clue what the underlying issues are. this intermittent problem has been occurring in my vehicle for about a year. I have had ECM codes, transmission control codes and lan codes which I believe points to the various computers on this car not having good communications with each other. could it be noise generated in the com bus being interpreted as bad data? are these signal paths shielded correctly? Are all the computers grounded properly so not to have multiple ground loops? Is there actually a failed sensor or controller?

    The GM service department on the multiple times that they have looked at and kept the car (several days at a time) has not been able to duplicate the problem. They have the code reads but no device to blame. GM should take the time and isolate once and for all the problems plaguing their product line, understand intermittents are not easy to track, but with a determined persistence approach an organization with the resources of GM can come up with a solution if they wanted too.

    I understand the complex nature of diagnosing such problems, as a customer I have a right to a safe and maintainable product that does what its designed for.
    I ask GM to correct the defect with this products controls.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483

    2012 low mileage traverse owner with industrial electrical and electronic troubleshooting skills on complex multiple plc systems.

    What's a plc system? You have to watch acronyms. What might be obvious to you might be meaningless to someone else. But since you have some technical skills, lets see if we can explain this automobile issue for you and other readers.


    I am experiencing the stabletrak, parking assist, low-power problems many here are having. Repeated trips to the GM service department has not helped, they have no clue what the underlying issues are.

    Exactly what codes were setting each time, and what repairs if any have been attempted during the last year? Did any of those repairs demonstrate repair of an immediate symptom that hasn't been described here?
    Can you describe what the symptoms were other than just what lights came on each time if there were any?


    this intermittent problem has been occurring in my vehicle for about a year. I have had ECM codes, transmission control codes and lan codes which I believe points to the various computers on this car not having good communications with each other.

    Intermittent issues are pretty tough to solve. On top of that, imagine you dealing with an intermittent failure with one of your "plc" systems and not getting paid for the majority of the time that you have to invest while you are working through it.

    LAN is Local Area Network, and any "U" codes setting are in fact communication codes that modules will generate against other modules if they don't receive the data that they have requested. Most transmission codes, some of the engine controller codes, and just about any codes from the antilock brake system when generated will result in the stabilitrack system shutting down. Stabilitrak as a component doesn't really exist, think of it as software running simultaneously in a handful of systems that all have to be working correctly as well as together in order to create the functions referred to that assist the driver with traction and stability control.



    could it be noise generated in the com bus being interpreted as bad data?

    Probably not, but that cannot be ruled out at this time. If you could get a PICO scope capture of pins 6 and 14 from the ALDL during a failure event you could see if the scope can read the data or not.. The data network utilized is a twisted pair CAN bus. (Controller Area Network). CAN uses two 120 ohm termination resistors for a total bus resistance of 60 ohm. Breaking down the entire architecture of the network you will find a module responsible for the 5v power supply, and the first bias resistor. Then you have the termination resistors in parallel, (with the second one residing in a different module) and then the second bias resistor which connects the network to ground. So the communication network runs at 2.5 volts and the respective signals go up and down approximately 1v from the bus bias for communication. This design is very resilient and resistant to external noise.


    are these signal paths shielded correctly? Are all the computers grounded properly so not to have multiple ground loops? Is there actually a failed sensor or controller?

    The data bus does not require shielding because of the design. (Which is mandated by SAE). Ground loops are also not a concern, this article explains why. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_loop_(electricity)

    As far as a failed sensor or controller, that cannot be determined without testing while the problem is occurring.


    The GM service department on the multiple times that they have looked at and kept the car (several days at a time) has not been able to duplicate the problem. They have the code reads but no device to blame.

    So the problem cannot be duplicated reliably. It doesn't get any tougher than that. But at the same time, should a tech be lucky and have the problem occur and stay long enough, most top techs would locate the failure easily.


    GM should take the time and isolate once and for all the problems plaguing their product line, understand intermittents are not easy to track, but with a determined persistence approach an organization with the resources of GM can come up with a solution if they wanted too.

    The nature of machines doesn't make this plausible. There isn't a finite number of possible failures that can occur, and even if there was scores of failures could result in identical symptoms and codes. The only routine that is going to work is that the technician gets to prove what is going on while the symptom is occurring.


    I understand the complex nature of diagnosing such problems, as a customer I have a right to a safe and maintainable product that does what its designed for.
    I ask GM to correct the defect with this products controls.

  • rayrae15rayrae15 Member Posts: 1
    This just happened to me today after I left the dealership after getting an oil change. My truck just stopped & cut off & when I cut it back on I got the traction control/stabilitrak error. I called the dealership and they said it wouldn't have anything to do with my oil getting changed & it was probably sensors in my tires, or something else. Should I call the GM customer service number 1st and report it or go to the dealership first? 
  • jflrn05jflrn05 Member Posts: 1
    I have encountered this problem on a 2016 Traverse with 3,550 miles. It began last week, I did a reset per owners manual and it was OK for a day. After making an appointment with the Chevy dealer and having to wait 2 days it happened 2 more times. Both times while making a right hand turn at under 25 mph. When I went to my scheduled appointment, the service rep looked at me as if I had a 3rd eye. The result was that they could not recreate the incident, but they did "recalibrate" the steering sensor. Why was that done when they couldn't find the problem? A day later the Service Stabilitrak, Service, Traction Control and Traction Control Off messages were displayed , as well as the Traction control Idiot light. A prescribed reset cleared it. It happened twice the next day, the last was while getting on an Interstate at rush hour. Accelerating beyond 35 mph was not possible. Not appreciating that sort of excitement, I drove the car home, dropped my wife of and drove to the dealership. I left the car running to prove that I, in fact did not have a 3rd eye and that there was a problem with this vehicle.
    I just received a call from the dealership and was told that it is the steering sensor and that part is on "Extreme Back Order". Must be a popular item. The person then said that they would try to get the part from GM but it may take a few days.
    The questions raised by this experience are: If the Operators Manual included with the vehicle instructs you on how to reset the failure, why is it that the Service Dept. personnel tell me that they have never heard of this happening? And if this alleged failure does not happen, why is the suspect replacement part so difficult to obtain?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    jflrn05 said:

    The questions raised by this experience are: If the Operators Manual included with the vehicle instructs you on how to reset the failure, why is it that the Service Dept. personnel tell me that they have never heard of this happening?

    The answer to this is really simple. There is always going to be a first time for someone to encounter any given failure. It's impossible to train technicians to know what every failure that could ever occur is. The techs have to react to events and each and every one needs to be dealt with on its own merits. The idea that anyone (everyone?) knows any given failure is gross misconception. Even very similar symptoms can have completely unrelated causes, that is just a reflection on how complicated the technology really is.
    jflrn05 said:


    And if this alleged failure does not happen, why is the suspect replacement part so difficult to obtain?

    You can start listing any and all possible reasons from supply and demand, to having the actual vendor that supplies the part for GM realizing that one of the parts in their supply chain to create the replacement part has a quality issue and that could be impacting the entire supply of not only new vehicle parts but replacement parts that were originally acquired as well.

  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Let's be honest, the Stabilitrak system appears to suck. You don't see anywhere near these number of issues on other makes similar systems.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,483
    berri said:

    Let's be honest, the Stabilitrak system appears to suck. You don't see anywhere near these number of issues on other makes similar systems.

    Yes we do.

  • suttoncesuttonce Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2012 Chev Traverse and I'm experiencing the same Traction Control off, Stabilitrak error, ABS, and Brake lights. Additionally my air conditioner blows harder on its own! Has GM found a solution?
  • jwhittickjwhittick Member Posts: 4
    edited July 2016
    Chiming back in a few months since my last post about the stabilitrak/loss of power/abs light on the dash (see pages 10 & 11). The dealer replaced the throttle body and valve cover/PCV valve and I haven't had any issues since then (7 months). The parts and labor was covered under warranty. It has been extended from the 3yr/36k warranty.I believe it started due to the oil blow back which gets put back into the air intake causing the throttle body to gum up. My suggestion to possibly prevent this from happening again, with every oil change remove the air intake tube and clean out the puddle of oil which accumulates in there.
  • 1soccerdad11soccerdad1 Member Posts: 1
    The reduced engine power "feature" put me and my family of five at serious risk. While passing on a two-lane highway in the mountains, the the same Stabilitrak, traction control, and reduced power occurred. As I was going up the mountain, I rapidly lost acceleration. Fortunately, the car I was passing recognized I was having an issue and slowed to allow me to reenter the lane to an avoid oncoming vehicle. I had experienced this issue once before and took it to a dealership for repair - $645.40 at McCarthy Chevrolet in Olathe, KS to replace a fuel rail pressure sensor. I had read this same blog prior to that service, but they were not familiar with an extended warranty on the throttle body. I guess it was not the fuel rail pressure sensor that I paid $645.40 for, but feel fortunate that my family and others were able to narrowly avoid serious injury.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    edited July 2016
    Sad that they kind of force people to buy a Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot for safety. Bad enough that it is a much spoke and complained about issue for quite awhile now. But maybe worse that dealer's often can't fix it right.
  • ndemossndemoss Member Posts: 1
    2013 traverse, just over 60,000 miles and while driving down the interstate in a construction zone and the motor lost power with no where to go. I nearly caused the largest pilet up ever. Half way to vacation destination, labor day weekend, so no parts until Tuesday or Wednesday.  What terrible timing. Ma and pa shop said all codes point to fuel pump even though the traction control/stabilitrack coded were going off. It seems this is an ongoing issue with GM, yet I am guessing this isn't covered under warranty. 
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