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Strange electrical problem, ESC, gauge pointers, cruise control etc.

1962 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Oxalainen
Hey everybody! I've had a small electrical problem in my Cruze since last winter and I was wondering if anyone had an idea where to look for solution!

Here's a video of the problem:

In a nutshell, I get some false alarms on the dash every now and then:
-ESC warning lights up permanently with an audible beep, disappears after restarting the car.
-Gauge pointers drop to zero for a fraction of a second.
-Reversing sensor warning light blinks once or twice.
-If the cruise control is engaged, it shuts down (back to grey light from green) and the CC memory is cleared.

The problem occurs only when weather is cold and very damp. Not tied to any specific appliance, the engine temperature has no effect on this, nor the speed, rpm range or gear selected. I have already had the negative batt cable (95281536) replaced, but no help. Been to service twice over this issue, the official dealership wasn't keen on investigating and the other garage just started with the basics. I'm pretty sure this is just a loose connection or bad cable somewhere, just don't know where...

Oh, and my Cruze is 2012 model, 2-litre 163hp diesel with automatic transmission and LTZ trim level. It now has 122.000km on the clock, that's about 76.000 miles, right? My car no longer has factory warranty active, here it ends after 100.000km.

Thanks in advance!


And for the record, I still love my Cruze, despite this minor issue.:)
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Thanks for the reply!

No, nothing in diagnostics port. I have a cheapo OBD2 dongle and I tried to get some readings once (via an Android app), but got nothing and removed the dongle. I could try this again later, now that the problem occurs more often again (rainy autumn weather).

Good idea, I'll look into that at some point. Is it a specific ignition relay? Do you have a part no. or a picture of it?
Hey fellas, thanks for the replies!

-No other gadget affected, radio works all right, as does climate control, seat warmers, windows and such. The infotainment display blinks on occasion, but I've always thought it's just auto adjusting to daylight. Either way, no clear power outages or issues in other systems.

-This problem occurs only on cold and damp weather. Last summer here was rainy, but I only got this problem a few times, tops. Now that the temperatures outside are colder again, this problem is almost daily event. The first time I got the ESC light this way, about a year ago was when I took the Cruze to car wash in the morning, let it sit on my workplace's parking lot for the day and in the afternoon the temperature dropped below 0C (about 32F, right?), plus it started snowing wet sleet.

BTW, this morning I had the car on engine block heater for about 90 minutes AND I have an extra space heater to warm up the cabin too, the problem didn't occur at all during my 25-minute drive to work. Thus, I'd say the dry and warm would help.
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Bumping this topic!

Sadly, I haven't had much time to investigate this problem further. And I managed to keep the issues minimal by using the engine block heater (even though Cruze has the useless radiation heater) and an extra space heater inside the cabin, before starting up the car during winter.

But, last Thu my Cruze did not start. Here's what happened:

Fortunately, I have very generous insurance (my Cruze is out of factory warranty), so I had the car towed to the nearest authorized service. Unfortunately, the service had their Chevy tester busted and they only had an universal tester for reading the DTCs. But the fellow at the service assumed the ECU was faulty, suggested I'd contact the next authorized service and have the ECU checked with actual Chevy tester. He said reprogramming the current ECU would be worth a try, but new one costs 1.700€ (=around $1.900 at current rate). Needless to say, I'm a bit reluctant going that route yet.

I contacted a local shop where they fix ECUs, but the guy there figured the ECU in Cruze is too new model and hard to reconfigure, so he wasn't making any promises. What make and version ECU the Cruze has? Is it really hard to fix and do I need fresh one? My Cruze is 2012 model, 163hp diesel with automatic transmission.
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