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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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Discussion Starter #1
So my wife just called me as she is leaving work and something has managed to entirely **** itself up on the car. This morning as she went through one of the roundabouts on the way to work (so not right when she started the car), all of a sudden the Airbag light and Traction control lights both lit up and gave her "Service Airbag" and "Service Traction Control" messages on the DIC. Then they went away shortly thereafter and the rest of the drive in was uneventful.

Coming out of work, and putting the key to on should have given her the light for the glow plugs, but it did not, and starting the car - none of her gauges work. The fuel gauge is sitting at zero, neither the analog tach or speedo work, the digital speedo doesn't work, and all the DIC tripodometer and fuel economy readouts are dashes. The only thing working is the odometer. Her turn signals don't even work, nor the radio, or her heated seats. It has lit up the Traction Control and Airbag lights again and gave her "Service" messages on the DIC for the Airbag, Traction Control, TPMS, Parking System, and maybe one other I'm forgetting in a slight rage. The car starts and drives, but she has absolutely zero readouts. Her HVAC is working (again, not the seat heaters) - who knows if the brake lights are working.

Any idea what in the **** is going on? I'm pulling the battery cable the second she gets home.
 

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Negative battery cable maybe?

My Volvo did similar things when the ignition switch wasn't exactly in the right position.
 

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I'd check grounds and fuses first as well as voltage. Possibly a BCM issue, could also be a bad/corroded battery cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm hoping it's the negative cable, since that is covered. We're going out in a few minutes to try a few things. I'll try wiggling the **** out of it and see if it comes and goes (with my wife inside). And if not, I'll pull the negative cable for a bit.

I have to imagine since it came, but only partially, this morning and then went away, and then came back full force...just feels like that should be a cable issue. But who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
All right, so considering its dark and then decided to start sleeting (when it was in the high 50s earlier today), I didn't go too crazy - but I tried wiggling the 35,000 grounds right there by the battery while my wife sat inside the car (with the ignition switched to on) to see if any of the cables caused it to all of a sudden work. No luck there. So I pulled the negative cable off for about 15-20 seconds and put it back on. Still nothing.

I had a seat inside and worked the key so I could see first hand. The one message I didn't remember from the first time was Service Anti-Theft Deterrent System, that was there earlier. Now, she did not mention the Service Power Steering one I saw just now, so whether or not it was there when she left work, I'm not sure - but she didn't have any issues with the power steering. I did see the glow plug light come on, but also then would watch the whole cluster go dark, and then come back on with the messages (like it reset itself, almost), but still no gauge readings.

When you turn the ignition to on, when it normally does the gauge sweeps, you can see the gauges wanting to move, but they don't, almost like they're stuck on their lowest point (0 rpm, 0 mph, Empty, Cold). I was able to get the radio to work just fine by turning it on with the power button, but it was not on by default. Turn signals DO work outside the car, but absolutely no indication inside other than where the stalk is at.

No CEL. TC off, Stabilitrack off and Airbag off lights are all on.

Guess we'll be taking my Cavalier tomorrow, because you know 18 year old cars with 255,000 miles should be more reliable than your 3 year old 55,000 mile car...nothing I love more than having the new car parked in front of the house because it's broken again. If this isn't something that is fixed under some kind of warranty, that'll be strike two towards us buying a new car again.
 

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I'd check grounds and fuses first as well as voltage. Possibly a BCM issue, could also be a bad/corroded battery cable.
That's too many modules to all fail together. I agree with Chris Tobin. What's the voltage at the battery terminals with a volt meter with the engine off after 30 minutes. Less than 12.6 charge battery. What's the voltage on the multimeter after your wife cranks the car to start.

May want to also disconnect the battery from the car and have it load tested.

I'm guessing on a voltage drop issue. If there's a voltage drop issue it could be causing the modules to shutdown. Blinkers though? Kind of surprised that they would be controlled by the Body Control Module, but I guess it's possible with todays design.

I'd be checking for power and voltage drops before assuming it's module failures.
 

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With the engine running measure the voltage between the negative terminal at the battery, and the other end of the negative wire that attaches to the ground point at the frame. If there's a high voltage reported on the meter this means there's high voltage drop between these two points, or high resistance in the wire.

I realize this is a diesel and not a 1.4l, but I'm safely assuming that the negative battery cable goes off the battery to the front frame for a connection and is easily accessible.

You can also measure the resistance of the wire with the engine off. The resistance of my 1.4L wire is about 0.3 ohms. That's low enough for me to confirm the connection is tight.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Since it was dark and starting to snow, I wasn't going to be able to get under the car (in the street), but maybe I'll have some time tomorrow before it is dark, but I'm not sure about that.

The turn signals do work - but you just cannot tell inside the car, as the indicators don't show up on the cluster, and I don't think the sound played through the speakers.
 

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Since it was dark and starting to snow, I wasn't going to be able to get under the car (in the street), but maybe I'll have some time tomorrow before it is dark, but I'm not sure about that.

The turn signals do work - but you just cannot tell inside the car, as the indicators don't show up on the cluster, and I don't think the sound played through the speakers.
Did you do the simple things and check fuses and such yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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I was going to, but the sleet picked up and my wife was cold, haha.
10-4 I understand that... I'd go over all of those simple things before getting too worked up about it. Have you ever had the dash apart on the car where a connection would be loose?

I'd honestly lean toward a ground/voltage/corrosion issue as the #1 possibility, with a blown fuse a very close second then the BCM going bad a distant 3rd...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yep, I'll probably handle that when we get home from work tomorrow.

Nope, never had the dash apart.

I'm thinking something along the same lines, which would be great.
 

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10-4 I understand that... I'd go over all of those simple things before getting too worked up about it. Have you ever had the dash apart on the car where a connection would be loose?

I'd honestly lean toward a ground/voltage/corrosion issue as the #1 possibility, with a blown fuse a very close second then the BCM going bad a distant 3rd...

After taking my gauges out a few times, the blue connector and harness don't just wiggle their way free. Other items I can't speak for.
 

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I'd honestly lean toward a ground/voltage/corrosion issue as the #1 possibility, with a blown fuse a very close second then the BCM going bad a distant 3rd...
Since this is a 2014, I'd put a bad battery in at #2 or higher. Lots of strange electrical issues when the battery fails at it's job of smoothing out the power from the alternator. Three years on the factory battery seems to be about the norm on the Cruze. I know other diesel owners have changed batteries already.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Since this is a 2014, I'd put a bad battery in at #2 or higher. Lots of strange electrical issues when the battery fails at it's job of smoothing out the power from the alternator. Three years on the factory battery seems to be about the norm on the Cruze. I know other diesel owners have changed batteries already.
Wouldn't that cause starting issues as well, though?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
All right. So I did a voltage test on the battery, having it sit overnight and through today, and it showed 12.7 Volts. Testing between the negative terminal and the grounds right nearby, I had nearly 0 resistance, but I did not test them all, since they're all right there. I started pulling a bunch of interesting fuses (things relating to the ECM, BCM, etc) and all looked good.

Anyway, I figured I'd look inside and see if it was still an issue and to my surprise, it was working - though it had a message telling me to open the driver's window all the way and then close it completely. Did that, that message went away, and all seemed to be good. So I actually took that car to go get my headers welded (O2 bungs), figured that would be a good test drive to make sure it was all good.

It must've gone off and on probably 70-80 (or more times). It really seemed to heavily favor when I would be braking coming up to a light (or slowing down for the typical slow person in front of me), and during medium-speed turns (roundabouts, but not necessarily turns in a subdivision). Rarely did it turn off and on when I was sitting still at a light, if at all. It DOES turn off the HVAC (though the radio would stay on), it would sometimes turn on various lights, but not always the same thing, and sometimes you would get the DIC messages, sometimes not - depending on how long the cluster was "off", and every time it would do that, it would turn off the rear defrost as well (and since it was snowing on the way back, I had to keep turning the **** thing back on). Had one time it was real bad where it did it probably 5 or six times, and it would "freeze" the turn signal indicator on, and off.

The car drives totally fine, seems to be completely ignorant of the issues going on inside the car, but holy **** is it crazy. It will be sitting in front of the house again, and my wife and I will carpool once again.

Trying to determine what I want to do next.
 

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Wouldn't that cause starting issues as well, though?
Depends on how it fails. If it's opening up while driving, the results could be pretty entertaining. The Cruze is a big computer and the battery is the main filter cap.


though it had a message telling me to open the driver's window all the way and then close it completely.
Standard message if the battery has been disconnected. If you didn't disconnect it, then you need to find out what's opening up. Keep in mind that whatever it is can test fine one moment and fail another. I'd check the voltage on the battery ground cable with the car running - and wiggle it to make sure it doesn't change.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah, it probably was one of the fuses I pulled to check. Oddly, it did not do that last night when I actually disconnected the negative cable.
 
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