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Special Coverage #14311: Negative Battery Cable (includes Holden)

331922 Views 279 Replies 106 Participants Last post by  Blasirl
Just got notified of another special coverage. I don't have the details yet but it's to resolve the loose Negative Battery Cable some people are experiencing. We have had many members report problems with this cable and its connections. I'll post more information when I receive it.

#14311: Special Coverage Adjustment - Negative Battery Cable Loose - (Dec 3, 2014)
Subject:14311 — Special Coverage Adjustment – Negative Battery Cable Loose
Models:2011-2015 Chevrolet Cruze
[HR][/HR]ConditionOn certain 2011–2015 model year Chevrolet Cruze vehicles, the negative battery cable terminal clamp may have an insufficient crimp at the battery negative terminal. Over time, the internal resistance increases and vehicle electrical systems do not receive adequate power.
With this condition, the following effects are possible: the Radio/HVAC Display may turn off and on; the Antilock Brake System, Service Traction System, Service Stabilitrac and Steering vehicle messages may come on and off; the turn signal sound may not be heard; “Battery Saver Active” and “Service Steering” may display in the Driver Information Center (DIC); and the interior and exterior lighting may flicker. Power steering assist may also be lost, and greater effort may be needed to turn the steering wheel at low speeds or while the vehicle is stopped.
Special Coverage AdjustmentThis special coverage covers the condition described above for a period of 10 years or 120,000 miles (193,000 km), whichever occurs first, from the date the vehicle was originally placed in service, regardless of ownership.
Dealers will replace the battery negative cable, which will now require a bolt to fasten the small regulated voltage cable. The repairs will be made at no charge to the customer.
For vehicles covered by Vehicle Service Contracts, all eligible claims with repair orders on or after December 4, 2014 are covered by this special coverage and must be submitted using the labor operation codes provided with this bulletin. Claims with repair orders prior to December 4, 2014 must be submitted to the Service Contract provider.
Vehicles InvolvedAll involved vehicles are identified by Vehicle Identification Number on the Applicable Warranties section in GM Global Warranty Management system. Dealership service personnel should always check this site to confirm vehicle involvement prior to beginning any required inspections and/or repairs. It is important to routinely use this tool to verify eligibility because not all similar vehicles may be involved regardless of description or option content.
@gyrfalcon found the link at NHTSA for this coverage adjustment. It's a PDF with more detail. Thank you.

Another Link: TSB #14311

EDIT: Adding 2011-2015 Holden Cruze Service Bulletin for similar coverage:


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Jim, I don't have all the details yet.
I agree. I'm waiting to see when they come out with one for the in-cabin coolant smell.
PI-0935 if it's in the cabin only and not under the hood.
Thanks ChevyMgr - I just copy/pasted your post into the thread start so people don't have to dig for it.
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Ah, loose, as in "loose connection", not loose post clamp! I wonder how many replaced cables engineering looked at before identifying what the problem was? Still wondering if this is a design flaw or a manufacturing mistake?
Probably some of both. The new cables "bolt" to the battery terminal. I wonder if the issue wasn't so much with the cable as a connection that wasn't long term mechanically and electrically sound.
Just reread the post from ChevyMgr:

insufficient crimp
What idiot in their right mind would weaken a main power cable with crimp? No wonder these things are failing. This is a cost driven design flaw that will now cost GM more to fix than if they had done it right the first time around. I guess this falls into the "not enough time/money to do it right the first time but plenty of time/money to fix it later."
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This notice originally was issued in May 2014. Reissued in December 3, 2014.
The reissue extended the warranty on the negative battery cable.
Driving last night and I start to hear a chime. Any and every "Service _______" message cycles through the DIC and I lose power. Pull over and turn the key, chimes, service messages and nothing... I had just read the beginning of this thread the other day, so I open my hood in the dark and check the battery cables. Negative is tight and won't budge, positive is under that plastic cover so I just grab the cover and move it slightly and hear a 'click, click, click'. Get back into car and 'theft attempt detected' is on the DIC. Turn the key and it starts but "Service theft detection system" comes on and the theft lock lights up. Could this be related to this issue?
Possibly. It could also be a bad battery or faulty alternator.
I'm glad you found the problem.
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After having many of the same problems I took my Chevy Cruze into local dealership to have a negative battery cable replaced. After doing so all of the problem still exist!!! They now say that they ran a voltage power drop test and everything past. Now they want to charge me $400 to change the longer of the two positive cables (I changed the shorter of the two on my own as well as a fried battery"). I don't see how changing the positive cable will have any impact if it has passed the power test. Any ideas? Thanks
Check and clean the ground points on the frame. This was a problem with some 2011 and 2012 Cruzen.
So, it turns out my dealer is pretty lame! After talking with GM corporate yesterday morning I got a call from the service supervisor at the dealership. After I asked he said it's not possible for the resistance in the defective cable to cause any other component damage (ecm, circuits, voltage spike, etc...). He then said he will have his guys continue to try to resolve the problem and I would here back by the end of the day....After not hearing from them all day I called at 5:00 and talked to my service writer...He said they have been waiting to hear from me regarding the 10% off they offered me to change the $400 dollar positive cable (never heard such a thing from them). I then asked if they followed the bulletin specs referring to the ground contact locations, torque and cleaning that Jim Frye mentioned. He then went on to say he just printed the bulletin and there is no mention of any of that and GM is paying them to change the neg cable ONLY and nothing else. After a few minutes on hold he told me that the supervisor had just authorized him to have and ground contacts cleaned and they will pay for it out of their budget. He then went on to tell me that it is not uncommon for voltage spikes in all cars to dim head and dome lights periodically when new instruments are introduced (turning on radios, windows, etc...). Again, my lights don't dim, they flash on and off!! It baffles me that they will do and say anything in order to deny that my problems are related to their defective equipment.
I don't know what's in the bulletin. I just know that when I joined here there were several active threads about paint covering the primary ground points on the frame which of course resulted in bad electrical connections. I wonder how the new negative battery cable compares to to Terry's "Big 3" cable enhancement for effectiveness. As for lights dimming, it's been a common problem for at least a decade as high beams and ABS combined draw more power than a 12V battery can supply.
We just bought a 2014 Cruze RS 1 week ago today 24k miles. My wife was just out and said she was sitting at a stop light and the radio went off and service stabilitrak came up. It then went off and everything was back to normal.

It sounds like this may be the issue. This is the only time it has happened. Should I be concerned enough to schedule service with the dealer? I still have factory warranty left. What would I tell them happened? I guess it can not be easily replicated to make it do it again.

I'd give them a call and have them replace the cable. As far as I know everyone who has had these issues has needed to have the cable replaced.
My understanding is that all you need to do is take the letter in (some dealerships are staffed by idiots who don't read the notices GM sends them) and tell them you're having odd electrical issues. These special notices are slightly different from regular warranty work - the dealership doesn't have to duplicate the problem to ensure payment - they just have to report the special coverage number.
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I just went to the dealership to make an appointment, showed them the special adjustment, and was told that they would look at it when i bring it in but that special adjustments are used when the car won't start. Pulling out of the parking lot I lost power steering, they won't look at it until Wednesday. Will they replace the cable if they can't duplicate the problem?
Private Message our Chevy Customer Care account with your VIN and dealership info. Your dealership doesn't know what they're saying.

Personally, if I had a Cruze in my shop (I don't own a shop) and it had any sort of electrical problems at this point I would start with the Negative Battery cable swap simply to remove one possible source of the problem. This is troubleshooting 101 - eliminate any possible known sources of the problem before further diagnosis even begins.
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I just had this replaced after 15 months. They also said my battery is cranking 254 (rated for 600). Would this have caused this issue, since the connection isn't working correctly?
You also have a bad battery. Are you still under the B2B warranty? If so get your dealership to replace the battery as they have already identified it as bad.
So even weirder turn of events I went to Walmart to have my battery replaced with a new one after my dealership wouldn't help with the replacement of it and they say there is nothing wrong. Me not being a true believer that they knew what they were talking about then went to NAPA and he tested it and everything works as it should. Any ideas what would have caused this low reading (254) at the dealership but 606 at Napa? Guy at Napa said it was starting and charging correctly and gave me the print out from the machine. I just want to make sure there is t anything else I need to investigate before I find out the hard way stranded somewhere.
Was the low reading before or after replacing the negative battery cable? I should have asked this in my first reply. If it was before did the dealership then retest after replacement?
The low reading was before the defective cord was replaced, but they never retested just told me I needed a battery. I just didn't want another junk one that would burn out after 14 months. But I just wanted to put it out there in case people were being told to replace their battery along with this faulty connector cable.
Depending on how your dealership tested the low reading could have easily been caused by excessive resistance in the test loop. High resistance reduces amperage.
One tactic you may want to use: tell the service writer your complaint, but don't mention the bulletin. (It's an internal bulletin, not for the public. You may get push back from the writer.)

Print out the first post of this thread and leave it on the passenger seat in a otherwise clean car for the tech to "discover".
This bulletin shows up in your GM owners account if you create one. The details don't show however.
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