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Intermittent Electrical Issues


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I'm having a very intermittent electrical problem. It started with just the radio being effected (turning off and on by ...

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Old 03-11-2013, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default Intermittent Electrical Issues

I'm having a very intermittent electrical problem. It started with just the radio being effected (turning off and on by itself) but has developed into more (described below) and can be more frequent.

Summary of the Problem -
The radio and instrument cluster flash on and off which can happen at random or be tripped when using features like turn signal, brakes, windows, rear defrost, etc. Warning messages and lights that flash on the cluster vary between StabiliLink, security, traction control, power steering, etc. - when the power steering warning comes up (not as often as the other warnings) the car actually loses power steering for a brief second and and jerks the steering wheel if turned.

Additionally, any or all of the following can develop if the above is let go for a while without attention - (1) When the car is shut off, the radio will cycle off-and-on once OR the car completely "dies". All electronics, including the radio, shut off the instant the key is removed from the ignition and then the car will sometimes not lock remotely with the fob - like it falls into some "dead" state. (2) The car will not lock or unlock remotely with no response at all from any button on the fob. (3) The car will not start plus no response when turning the key to the "accessories" and "on" positions - as if the battery is completely dead. Key is then stuck in the ignition. If given a few minutes, a noise from within the dashboard starts and the cluster needles shake slightly, which continues for a few minutes then, lights, radio and all come on and the car can be started normally, like nothing was ever wrong. In this situation, a 2-5 minute wait is common to get any response but rare cases I've had to wait well past that, up to 25 minutes. (4) There's a hesitant start - delayed response of 1-2 seconds when turning the key to start the car.

Timeline -
Feb 2013 - Problem first appears (to myself) - only radio for a while but eventually includes the instrument cluster as described above.
Mar. 12, 2013 - 1st time into dealership; dealership cannot duplicate problem.
Nov. 10, 2013 - 2nd time into dealership; problem active upon arrival so dealership sees problem first hand - disconnects powers and grounds, cleans and reinstalls, resolves problem.
Jan. 12, 2014 - Problem starts again and gradually increases frequency and severity within 2 weeks.
Jan. 26, 2014 – 3rd time into dealership; again problem active upon arrival, dealership narrows problem down to battery cable with higher than normal mill volt drop causing concern - replaces cable #13291347, resolves problem.
Apr. 13, 2014 - Problem starts again and within 3 days becomes very frequent, up to every time the car is driven.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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Believe it or not, but there's a GM TSB on that issue, PI0758A, which entails geting the ECM reprogrammed.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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Oh wow so at least there's something to that. Easy enough but I can imagine it's probably not cheap to get that reprogrammed?

Thanks CUDA.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06mistreSS View Post
Oh wow so at least there's something to that. Easy enough but I can imagine it's probably not cheap to get that reprogrammed?
...should be covered under the GM bumper-to-bumper.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70AARCUDA View Post
...should be covered under the GM bumper-to-bumper.
Yes I am covered under that right now so when I get some time I'll have to take it to the dealership.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
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I have yet to take the car in for this because I have not had the time to do so. Recently with this issue, I am also starting to get a "service StabiliTrac" and, more recently, a "service power steering" warning message and corresponding warning light when the radio cuts out. Again, not all the time, just once and a while. Seems like when I have the issue and turn the car off and restart it, the car resets itself and the issue will go away.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:34 AM   #7
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I took the car to the dealership the other day hoping for a resolution to the problem. The dealership had someone drive the car around for a bit to see if it would do what I told them. Well, at that time, the car did not act up for them, or throw any codes, thus they could not figure out what is wrong. However, we discussed and came to an agreement that when the car acts up again, and I'm in the area, I will stop into the dealership, leave the car running, and they will look at it then as it is acting up.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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Intermittant problems are a b!tch to troubleshoot.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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After a pretty long period with no real problems with this, the issue is starting to become more frequent again as of the past few weeks and especially the past few days.

So this morning I go out to leave and (a) the car will not unlock with the fob; I have to manually insert the key into the door lock to unlock it, and (b) I go to start the car and get absolutely nothing; no response at all as if the car is completely dead and I cannot turn the ignition back to off to remove the key. I sit there for about 5 minutes with the key at the on position. I start hearing something working, somewhere in the area down behind the dash, and I can see the speedometer and tachometer needles shaking slightly; this goes on for about another minute. Finally, lights, radio and all come on and I can start the car normally.

This same scenario, when starting, has happened a few previous times as well but I've never had to wait as long as 5 minutes.

Oh electrical issues.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:35 AM   #10
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Also, I can say this issue does seem to be related to colder temperatures (even though I can't say that for sure) as it didn't really act up during the summer.
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