Q: My electrics are all going crazy

asked by on October 30, 2015

I am having a ridiculous number of little electrical problems (gremlins) in my 2008 Chevrolet Equinox. The radio would randomly shut off at first, and the windows or locks would act funny. lights would stay on when I parked and kill the battery. Sometimes the car wouldn’t start on the first key turn. Crazy for a car with 51,000 miles on it! Very disappointed, no idea how to even start finding a cause. Where do I start?

There are numerous Technical Service Bulletins (TSB #PIT-4730A, #TB-080849017B, #4011, #07224) that address this issue and probably a few that you haven’t seen yet. These issues have multiple causes, from defective wiring, shorted fuse panels and in some cases defective computers. Bad grounds can also cause this issue, though these are difficult to diagnose. The problem is that it can be difficult to tell if you are having multiple parts failing at the same time or one issue that is affecting multiple parts. Diagnosing an electrical issue takes time, patience and unfortunately more often than not, a trip to the mechanic. The normal person will have no idea where to start, since in the design of modern cars the manufacturers often conceal the wires in large bunches, making an individual problem very hard to trace and it often becomes a time consuming mess. A qualified mechanic, such as those provided by YourMechanic, can often diagnose the issue, and those occasional trips to the dealership to receive a print out of TSB’s and recalls related to your VIN may be helpful as well.

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