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Power steering failing, check engine light, radio going haywire, and more. Resolved

8345 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  obermd
Hello all,

I know a while back I posted in regards to my radio being a butthole.

I bought my 2012 Cruze LT in May, with 34,000 miles on it, and this issue came up where the radio would make popping noises when plugged into my iPhone, and any auxiliary connections, and occasionally it would shut itself off to where I couldn't turn it back on (the panel and screen was illuminated, but the buttons wouldn't do anything).

Well my radio ended up effing up two of my iPhones. My iPhone battery would die at like 30%, and I'd take it to the Apple store, and they'd replace it with a new iPhone (luckily for free since it was under warranty). After the second iPhone was replaced, the guy at the Genius Bar as like "What the **** are you doing to your iPhones?" because they'd never had this issue before.

Months later, I posted in regards to a check engine light that OnStar said their systems show the "Fuel Control Readings are not as expected, service in 7-10 days". I thought it was bad gas, but the light would go off, and twenty miles later come back on, and so on, even after several fill ups from different stations.

After my oil change 12,000 miles ago, I lifted up the the plastic cover to the conduit that sits over the positive terminal on the battery. It was severely corroded with acid. I took the battery off, cleaned it (the ghetto way using lots of sodawater) and got the crap off, but the red power line attached to that terminal was stuck/fused to the terminal. It was the damnedest thing. After I put it all back together, closed the hood, I started it up. When it started, the StabiliTrak light was illuminated, the Traction Control light was illuminated, My DIC was reminding my that those lights were illuminated, and my radio wouldn't work. Turned it off, then back on, same crap. Tried to put the car in reverse, it wouldn't move (the engine would try to move, but my differential brakes were locked, probably from StabiliTrak malfunctioning). Well I pressed my lovely blue button (I'd be so inconvenienced without OnStar, because I'd have to pull out my cellphone, and dial the chevy roadside assistance number, because that's so hard for a lazy 19 year old to do.) and they ran diagnostics. The only reading that OnStar's diagnostics reported was the transmission, yet I had no check engine light. I was like "what the f***?" So OnStar was trying to call up a tow truck, while I sat there thinking how much a new tranny would cost me, but then I got to thinking this is a load of crap. I turned the ignition off and on a few times, and voila, lights went off, car was normal. OnStar told me to take it to the dealer. After researching online found that the Cruze's computer systems are much like Windows Vista, I decided to not take it to the dealer, and save a hundred dollars for them to figure out nothing, since the radio issue was never found.(The SOB wouldn't act up for them)

Well after my last oil change a week ago (48,000 miles), I checked the terminal again, and that terminal was corroded much like it was last time. I took it out, got some solution for the terminal to get the corrosion off (not sodawater like last time). My assumption was that under that housing, the terminal gets moisture built up, and causes it to corrode, since we do live in Humid Houston, but the solution that is supposed to take away the corrosion turns red when in contact with acid, and the solution wouldn't stop turning red when there was no more corrosion (meaning I should've known it was leaking).

I connected the battery, and my power steering wasn't working (And the light illuminated, along with the smart-ass DIC telling me to service power steering). After turning the ignition on and off a few times, it came back on. I was driving home from my grandmother's garage, and it cuts off when I'm switching lanes. I pull over, turn it off an on a few times, and drive home. I ended up pressing my lovely blue button to speak to GM in regards to whether or not power steering is covered under the PT warranty. They said no, but they were concerned for my safety, and told me they are going to contact my dealer and pay for the diagnosis fees (How sweet! Chevy loves me!).
The power steering would fail off and on, but later I figured out that it would fail mostly when I'm traveling up-hill, when I'm making big turns, and when I'm accelerating (I don't usually call it accelerating, I call it turboing. :) so I took it to my dealer, whom my family has bought at least twenty cars from dating back to before this world was blessed with my existence.

I drove it there, and the car was behaving. No issues, (I think she likes to mock me. I hadn't ever given her a name, or a sex until now, but I've decided it a she, because girls can be complicated, and this car is complicated, and this is coming from a gay man.)

My lovely service rep told me she thinks it could be the battery, because when it's going bad the electronics tend to malfunction. Then I was approached by the owner of the dealership (His last name is the dealership's name) and told me about the email he received from Chevrolet. He acknowledged the free diagnosis, and asked me to drive the vehicle for him, but somehow he ended up driving. (I didn't object because I was still flabbergasted that this multimillionaire was helping me.)

Upon making turns in the parking lot, the power steering went off for him and the light came on. I explained to him how I was afraid she wouldn't act up for them, and he responded "Congratulations, you're not crazy!". I proceeded to tell him how I believe all of these issues are related, and he said they're going to inspect the battery.

I got a call tonight from him saying that the positive terminal is leaking acid badly. It's going to cost about $250 to fix, and hopefully they won't find any electronics damaged from the faulty battery, but he says sometimes the starter will go out from this issue.

This post is for those of you people like me who googled "2012 Chevy Cruze Power Steering Problems" and came up with no results like me.

If your battery corrodes often, get it checked!


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Butt Dragger,

Thanks for this write up.

I drove it there, and the car was behaving. No issues, (I think she likes to mock me. I hadn't ever given her a name, or a sex until now, but I've decided it a she, because girls can be complicated, and this car is complicated, and this is coming from a gay man.)

"Congratulations, you're not crazy!"
You probably are crazy - just not about this problem. :)
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