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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I was hoping my first post wouldn't be something like this but here goes.

I bought a 2016 Colorado gas Z71 trail boss and started having issues with it not starting after sitting for 8+ hours. The dash was giving me a ton of weird messages like "SERVICE 4WD SYSTEM SOON" and "ONE OR MORE HEADLIGHTS NOT FUNCTIONING" and "ROLL DOWN DRIVERS SIDE WINDOW THEN BACK UP" the list goes on...

The dash lights are coming on, my link is active, onstar is powered all seems normal but hit the start and everything goes dark..normal but no click on the starter at all. nothing. release the start and everything comes back to life in the dash.

I noticed the negative battery terminal was very loose and just sitting on the battery terminal, that must be it I think as I know lack of proper ground really does strange things to the VCM and BCM. It's got about 800 miles at this point.

I tightened the terminal and no start, same messages. I unhook and let it sit for 15 minutes then reconnect, no start. My links shows -40 outside but it's like 45 above zero, time is wrong so I think it reset. Still no start though. I call for a ride and tow, hour later I try it again and it starts fine...cancel the tow, cancel the ride drive home. Time and temp back to normal, everything is normal.

I drive it for a week having tightened up the battery cable with no issues, I think it's cured. nope. I got about 1800 miles now on the odometer.

It does this if I use remote start AND if I just start manually. Doesn't seem to be a difference. One headlight comes on and the opposite blinker glows then I know it won't start. One reverse light comes on, one tail light comes on it's like half the vehicle is dead.

I get stranded at work again, hour goes by of me first trying to jump it with battery cables off a coworkers car to no avail. Then I try a plug in charger and it fires up. Something about the plug in chargers kick starting the vehicle computer??

Strands me again in a hospital parking lot, call road side assistance. Tow truck tries to jump it with battery, nothing. Tow it to dealer. Dealer tries to start it and it fires up...figures. I let them sit on it for two days trying to duplicate the problem but it keeps starting every morning when the open and couple times during the day. Dealer is like...ummm...it starts up dude we don't know :-? Only time I've ever wished for a truck not to start.

Anyways they want me to come get it, I don't want to be stranded again in the middle of the night. I live rural and GM only covers 40 miles towing, I'm almost never 40 miles from a dealer or tow company.

I'm leaving a lot out of this post, a lot of run around I've gotten from GM and the dealers. A call to the GM service line seems to have cured a lot of the run around though and dealers started being more helpful. Tired of hearing "GM won't pay for that", living in the mountains driving back roads to work I need a reliable vehicle. I carry tow straps, saws, tire plug kits and high end 12v air compressor just to get home from work in the middle of the night after some storm. I have very little cellular coverage so on star was a big selling feature. Plus I really dig the truck. Well used too...

Google isn't turning up a lot of problems like mine on the 2016's
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm going to ask the dealer to check the vehicle starter connections and grounding straps, there should be a couple to the body and engine? I know they hooked it up to diagnostics and there's no codes.
 

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I was going to suggest checking the grounds and the main power cable at the fuse block.
 

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Along with the grounds, they should test your battery. There were a couple of guys who received bad batteries in their 2015s. I know the techs give up if they don't see a trouble code, but testing the battery should be troubleshooting 101. That loose ground on the battery could have been wreaking havoc on the internals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I asked to test the battery, told me that if the battery was bad it wouldn't start all the time. I say's it could be a bad cell or shorting.... but I'm not certified mechanic.

When I hook and unhook the ground -having found the ground not connected properly during one of these fail to start events- (vehicle off, key out) there is an arc so it's pulling power for sure.


edit: Another note on the disconnected ground, why would that be? Did the dealer have starting issues with the truck while it was on the lot? I can't imagine they didn't... Is it normal for a truck to be shipped with the negative terminal off the battery and they missed it in the PDI? I'm leaning towards this dealer had starting issues with the truck on the lot and were disconnecting the batter to reset the vehicle computer then knowingly sold me a faulty vehicle. Unless someone else can explain why it would be that the negative terminal would be just sitting on the battery terminal so you could take it on and off by hand quickly without a wrench. It was very loose I didn't even need to twist, turn or apply pressure it just slipped off..
 

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I asked to test the battery, told me that if the battery was bad it wouldn't start all the time. I say's it could be a bad cell or shorting.... but I'm not certified mechanic.

When I hook and unhook the ground -having found the ground not connected properly during one of these fail to start events- (vehicle off, key out) there is an arc so it's pulling power for sure.


edit: Another note on the disconnected ground, why would that be? Did the dealer have starting issues with the truck while it was on the lot? I can't imagine they didn't... Is it normal for a truck to be shipped with the negative terminal off the battery and they missed it in the PDI? I'm leaning towards this dealer had starting issues with the truck on the lot and were disconnecting the batter to reset the vehicle computer then knowingly sold me a faulty vehicle. Unless someone else can explain why it would be that the negative terminal would be just sitting on the battery terminal so you could take it on and off by hand quickly without a wrench. It was very loose I didn't even need to twist, turn or apply pressure it just slipped off.
Wasn't tightened during truck assembly and missed during dealer pre-delivery inspection?
 

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I asked to test the battery, told me that if the battery was bad it wouldn't start all the time. I say's it could be a bad cell or shorting.... but I'm not certified mechanic.

When I hook and unhook the ground -having found the ground not connected properly during one of these fail to start events- (vehicle off, key out) there is an arc so it's pulling power for sure.
You could get an arc with very little juice available.

If you have it back in your hands, do a simple test. With it running, test the voltage across batter terminals. I would expect to see it around 14 volts. Have someone kill engine while you are measuring voltage, should drop off to 12.5 to 13 volts perhaps.

Have assistant start truck while you are checking battery voltage, see how low it drops, but then it should come right back up.

Your first issues would have made perfect sense with a loose ground. Continued issues suggest something more or still have a loose ground. Service tech should have some ideas of what to check on grounds. If they are all good, I would start to think it was in the BCM, Body Control Module or ECM.

All of these things are things a decent service tech should be able to figure to try without needed a computer to tell him what to look for.
 
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Man, this thing is under warranty, you shouldn't have to be troubleshooting this yourself. And if the dealer is refusing to troubleshot anymore then you need to contact GM again. Disappointing to hear people having trouble like this with a new vehicle and GM isn't helpful, might be time to pursue your states lemon law.
 

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Could it be a wire chaffing?

Engine Wiring Harness Chafing Conditions

Engine Wiring Harness Chafing Conditions

July 30, 2016
A number of conditions regarding engine performance and air conditioning operation on some 2016 Colorado and Canyon models may be due to the engine wiring harness rubbing on other components. These conditions may include the air conditioning blowing hot air, a fluctuating engine oil pressure gauge, an engine no start or misfire, and several illuminated warning lamps or Driver Information Center (DIC) messages.

Complete the diagnostic instructions in the appropriate Service Information for any symptoms or DTCs found. If the diagnosis does not lead to a resolution, check for chafing of the engine wiring harness in the following areas, perform any necessary wiring repairs and reroute the harness.
 

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I asked to test the battery, told me that if the battery was bad it wouldn't start all the time. I say's it could be a bad cell or shorting.... but I'm not certified mechanic.

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Yes it can start with a weak battery. You have a loose negative connection that can cause the truck to start and not start depending how the cable has been jostled around. Tell them you don't want to hear their BS and test the battery like you told them. God I can't stand dealership service departments.
 

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If you're dash is lighting up like a fricken X-mas tree, then the thing is throwing codes galore.
At the very least, the dealer can retrieve those codes and go from there.
You need to ask them about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
If you're dash is lighting up like a fricken X-mas tree, then the thing is throwing codes galore.
At the very least, the dealer can retrieve those codes and go from there.
You need to ask them about that.
I got a print out from the dealer that say's they ran diagnostics codes and none were present. The driver information center messages aren't the same as "codes", the check engine light hasn't come on. I get emails from on star from the driver information center DIC and they range from "CHANGE OIL SOON" to "ROLL DRIVERS WINDOW DOWN THEN BACK UP" and "CHECK 4WD SYSTEM" might not be those exact words but the gist is the same.

Here's some examples:
(keep in mind this vehicle has 2000 miles total)
 

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I got a print out from the dealer that say's they ran diagnostics codes and none were present. The driver information center messages aren't the same as "codes", the check engine light hasn't come on. I get emails from on star from the driver information center DIC and they range from "CHANGE OIL SOON" to "ROLL DRIVERS WINDOW DOWN THEN BACK UP" and "CHECK 4WD SYSTEM" might not be those exact words but the gist is the same.

Here's some examples:
(keep in mind this vehicle has 2000 miles total)
Ahhh..so you're just getting bizzare messages in your DIC... I thought every idiot light(including the CEL) was going off.
That's bizzare, but I know a GM heavy line tech really well. I'll present this to him and see if he has any guesses/suggestions
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for asking, I shouldn't have to be doing any of this.
1) it should be flawless upon delivery and;
2) anything wrong should be addressed by a dealer service immediately and made perfect.
Or is that just too much to ask for?? I should be scouring google for a solution to present to a GM service shop?

update:

I went to fetch a couple grocery items and in leaving the store parking lot the truck started fine, everything seemed normal but then as I entered the highway it died before I could reach traffic speeds. I lost power steering, brakes and the dash started chiming up like a Christmas tree. Luckily, I was able to whip it into a safe spot out of traffic but now it's hazardous to drive.









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Just curious why you would tag that thread? That person didn't have your problem. Your problem sounds pretty bad. Did you have it towed to the dealer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The problem might not be relevant but the solution sure is. I hope I don't need to go that route but I do like to plan ahead. I really like this truck and although we got off on the wrong foot if they fix it I'll keep it. If it keeps dying and/or failing to start I'll seek arbitration or hire an atty.

It was towed to the dealer once and I took delivery back without a resolution or anything being done to the vehicle as they couldn't replicate the problem (not starting).
Now I'm figuring out how to get it back to the dealer where it was purchased which is a 2 hour drive (will it die on the way? will it cause an accident?) it's a much larger dealer and has more interest in getting it fixed.

They will not tow it that far so I will attempt to drive it.
 
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