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Discussion Starter #1
Nothing. Nada. Nil. Zilch. Here's a little back ground...

Truck Stats: 2005 GMC Canyon SLE Crew Cab 4x4 with Z71 package. It has an after market alarm and remote start system (from Avital), and the previous owner had installed (and removed) an aftermarket sound system and head unit. The stock system is currently installed (with aftermarket speakers). I also have a trailer brake controller installed. Other than those items, the truck is stock, and I've owned it since 2008.

I was driving home from work yesterday, stopped by my mailbox (one of those cluster mailboxes), parked my truck, and got my mail. When I got back in my truck, I inserted the key, turned it, and that's when it all went south. No power. No electricity. Nothing happened. As if my battery had been completely disconnected. I thought that was weird, so I turned the key to off and more weird stuff happened. All of the needles started to wiggle, as if they were vibrating, and there was a low buzzing sound coming from the dash. The key was in OFF. And removed.

I disconnected the battery, went and got my tools, and started troubleshooting, but I'm lost. I have a Haynes manual, but it's circuit diagrams are pretty crappy. I'm also not sure where to go now. I pulled the battery, had it tested, and it tested fine. I left it disconnected over night, then tried again this afternoon. Now, I have no indication of power at all. Even the needles stopped vibrating when the battery was connected. I've checked the fuses (and broke one, but swapped it with one for a component that I don't care about right now).

Could this be a BCM issue? Is there anything that could fail that would cause ALL electronics to not work? Whatever it was, it had to have had a sudden failure, because I had just parked it for less than a minute before attempting to restart it when this happened. I've not been able to find anyone else who's had this issue, or maybe I don't know what I should be searching for.

Any help you guys could provide would be greatly appreciated. I'm stuck.
 

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The alarm system would be one of my first guesses. I have had nothing but problems with those over the years. With my 07 Canyon the battery terminal clamps were inadequate and I had poor connection issues there. Have you checked the grounds? There are 3 or 4 I believe that tend to corrode and can make these trucks act funny. You could try cleaning the contact points there. Just a start. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was planning on removing the alarm system anyway, but I hesitate to think that it is the problem. I broke one key fob, and lost the other, and it cost more to replace the key fobs than it did to put in a new system, so I haven't used it since. It's been about a year since I've used it, and it's been on the truck since I've had it. Also, since I didn't put it in, I am not entirely sure what wires belong to the truck, and which belong to the alarm system. I have a pretty good idea (they didn't even try to make it look stock, just ran wires from point A to point B), but I'm not 100%.

I have not checked the grounds yet. The truck isn't at my house, and I don't get off work until late, so I don't have much daylight available for me to work on it. The grounds were another area that I was planning to look at.

Thanks for the tips, pittman!
 

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The description of the dash and needle response is what happens when you have a depleted battery... (Has happened to me a couple times when my headlights randomly turned on... FYI never figured that one out and hasn't happened in 4-5 months).

If it's easy, use a set of jumper cables to connect a known charged good battery? I have heard/read too often of batteries testing good but actually being bad.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Do you know if your battery was load tested?

You might need to clean the two ground points located on the fender panels under the hood.

Start out with a freshly charged battery and see what happens. Our trucks get finicky when they don't have enough voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I took the battery to AdvancedAuto today, and they put it on one of their battery testers. It said that the battery was good, but needed a recharge. I'm not too surprised about the recharge, because it was sitting there draining while I was troubleshooting. I have it on a battery charger in my garage right now, and will try again tomorrow with a fully charged battery.
 

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Do you know if they load tested the battery?

You have a bad cell if it takes a charge but won't hold that charge. A load test will hep determine that. To be honest, I don't know if they can load test a battery while it's not in the vehicle though.
 

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One more here for the battery being the number one suspect.

These trucks do some weird stuff when the battery voltage is low.
How old is the battery?

After that, as others posted check battery connections and then the various ground points.



..To be honest, I don't know if they can load test a battery while it's not in the vehicle though.
In theory, yeah you can load-test with the battery out of the vehicle, but it takes a large-ish test apparatus and almost none of the parts stores have that setup.
 

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My suspicions are as follows.

Cause
Previous owner had hi power aftermarket HU/Alarm wired into the factory HU harness.
Never installed a chassis ground to handle the higher current.

Problem
Driver side inner fender ground is bad or one or several wires leading to the ground are fried.

Fix
Disconnect negative battery terminal.
Remove driver side and passenger side inner fender grounding block (Plastic Box),
Inspect, clean and replace as needed.
Use anti oxidant grease on all electrical connections.
Connect battery.
 

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My suspicions are as follows.

Cause
Previous owner had hi power aftermarket HU/Alarm wired into the factory HU harness.
Never installed a chassis ground to handle the higher current.

Problem
Driver side inner fender ground is bad or one or several wires leading to the ground are fried.

Fix
Disconnect negative battery terminal.
Remove driver side and passenger side inner fender grounding block (Plastic Box),
Inspect, clean and replace as needed.
Use anti oxidant grease on all electrical connections.
Connect battery.
Smart.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I put my freshly recharged battery back into my truck yesterday. About a second after I reconnected the battery leads, it looked like all of the engine's electronics briefly energized, then shut off. I thought, "That's weird, but... maybe good?" Tried the key, but no cigar. Still nothing. Gauge needles no longer vibrate, and no buzzing sound. So, I removed the battery, and my buddy helped me tow my truck home. It's in my driveway now, but I have not had much time to look at it.

I also suspect that the aftermarket stereo/remote start has a hand in the problems I've been having. I also suspect the grounds, ignition module, and maybe the BCM. I do remember replacing the battery about a year after I got the truck, and the date sticker on the battery says, "12/09," so maybe the battery is bad. The battery tester that they used at AdvanceAuto looked like an electronic unit, about twice as thick as a laptop.

If the weather clears up some, I'll try some more troubleshooting. I'm also going to remove the aftermarket alarm/remote start and whatever else is in there from the previous owner. I had always intended to do it, but didn't expect my truck to force me to do it. Lol.
 

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Buzzing sound, loss of power, and needles jumped around twice to me before I realized one of my terminals was loose on my battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Problem solved!

Got to work on the truck today. I started disconnecting everything that did not come from the factory. First thing, the brake controller... and the truck started working fine. Turns out, the brake controller was grounded. I also traced all of the wires, and it looks like the "dealer" that I bought my trailer from used two strand house wire and shitty splices to wire it up to the fuse box. And this is why I don't like other people working on my truck...

Thanks for the help guys! I really appreciate it.
 
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