Dead battery/low voltage - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Dead battery/low voltage

Hello,

I just bought a new 2017 GMC Canyon diesel. I drove it home on Saturday and on Monday next time I tried to drive it the battery was dead. I had to jump start to get to the dealer...while on the way several systems were not functioning. It was explained after 3 hours of service that the battery had likely been drawn down very low due to a door or light left on while sitting on the lot. Made since I guess but the the next day I had the same issue. Its been at the dealer every since. I've only drove the BRAND NEW truck back and forth to the dealer twice for repair. Has anyone else experienced electrical issues similar where you experience no start or low voltage while driving? Electric power is so low that cruise, defroster, the DIC display, etc. doesn't work? I'm new to the forum/message boards here and also new to the GMC Canyon. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you!
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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 09:50 PM
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My truck shut down on the way home from delivery. Some Bozo at the dealer did not tighten the negative cable after doing the computer updates that were required by GM. Needless to say, they are no longer my servicing dealer.

Upon reading your post again, have the dealer do a load test on the battery, if it shows a weak cell have them replace it. If the battery was shorted out on their lot, it's up to them to replace it.
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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 10:37 AM
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Request a new battery and be done with it! once the battery is completely dead, you have just shortened the life by at least 50%. don't let anyone tell you any different!!!
I would say the battery was dead before you picked up the vehicle. They just charged it up, and sent you on your way!!!
The dealer will say just charge it up every time to save costs and labor, I know from experience!!! trust me...
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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mmdavidson0128 View Post
Hello,

I just bought a new 2017 GMC Canyon diesel. I drove it home on Saturday and on Monday next time I tried to drive it the battery was dead. I had to jump start to get to the dealer...while on the way several systems were not functioning. It was explained after 3 hours of service that the battery had likely been drawn down very low due to a door or light left on while sitting on the lot. Made since I guess but the the next day I had the same issue. Its been at the dealer every since. I've only drove the BRAND NEW truck back and forth to the dealer twice for repair. Has anyone else experienced electrical issues similar where you experience no start or low voltage while driving? Electric power is so low that cruise, defroster, the DIC display, etc. doesn't work? I'm new to the forum/message boards here and also new to the GMC Canyon. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you!
There are systems in place on these trucks that should turn the light out before the battery goes dead. The service manager should learn a little bit about modern vehicles and the protections built into the electrical systems. (My 2009 Wrangler has some of these protections, so you can bet a 2017 GMC has more of them.)
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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Likely View Post
Request a new battery and be done with it! once the battery is completely dead, you have just shortened the life by at least 50%. don't let anyone tell you any different!!!
I would say the battery was dead before you picked up the vehicle. They just charged it up, and sent you on your way!!!
The dealer will say just charge it up every time to save costs and labor, I know from experience!!! trust me...
This is certainly new information. I've never heard of that. But that doesn't explain why I am having power issues while the vehicle is running. I can't imagine that charging system cannot supply enough power to provide power to every electrical component on the truck and still charge the battery. So that tells me there must be something drawing or draining from the system that in cannot keep up with. What other explanation is there for losing function of various accessories while the truck is moving down the road?
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post #6 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mmdavidson0128 View Post
This is certainly new information. I've never heard of that. But that doesn't explain why I am having power issues while the vehicle is running. I can't imagine that charging system cannot supply enough power to provide power to every electrical component on the truck and still charge the battery. So that tells me there must be something drawing or draining from the system that in cannot keep up with. What other explanation is there for losing function of various accessories while the truck is moving down the road?

LOL....most modern vehicles cannot be powered by the alternator alone, probably not since the early 90's.

If the battery is weak, you have systems fail.
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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by robbpoe View Post
LOL....most modern vehicles cannot be powered by the alternator alone, probably not since the early 90's.

If the battery is weak, you have systems fail.
This exactly. My last truck had such a powerful audio system that I had to use a 2nd battery just for it. The dealer should have replaced it right there no questions asked, but they sound just like my dealer, Chris Myers GMC, terrible. I think it's time to call out these dealers who provide such (insert cuss word here) service.
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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 08:01 PM
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If the battery has a shorted cell in the battery, the truck will not run. Happened twice on my Tacoma. Both less than 2 year old batteries.

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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 08:06 PM
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Mine ended up being a bad fuse block in the engine compartment. Its been starting to get glitchy again...

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post #10 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 12:31 AM
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there are some very generalized statements going on here but yes you really should have a good battery. Yes a truck can run and charge a battery at the same time (usually). Some kind of weird short in a battery could cause it not to run I guess but not very common. It would be more common for this new truck to throw messages at you because of a bad battery I suppose. If you have gone home with your truck and it TWICE now has been dead in the morning and those cheap bastards won't give you a new battery, then check everything else, I would go to a different dealer if possible. This is even a brand new truck right?

Sure have heard a lot of stories about moron techs at dealers on this forum lately. Did you read about the one that put an axle seal in backwards? OMG! In the good old days techs at dealers were highly trained by the factory they work for, I guess that isn't true anymore. I guess training cuts into profits too much right? Sheeesh........

Good luck, sounds like you'll need it.

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post #11 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by robbpoe View Post
LOL....most modern vehicles cannot be powered by the alternator alone, probably not since the early 90's.

If the battery is weak, you have systems fail.
Not true at all, the battery is really only there to start the thing (basically). If it couldn't be powered by the alternator alone, (and needed the battery power also to run) the battery would eventually die.....think about it.......
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post #12 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mmdavidson0128 View Post
Hello,

I just bought a new 2017 GMC Canyon diesel. I drove it home on Saturday and on Monday next time I tried to drive it the battery was dead. I had to jump start to get to the dealer...while on the way several systems were not functioning. It was explained after 3 hours of service that the battery had likely been drawn down very low due to a door or light left on while sitting on the lot. Made since I guess but the the next day I had the same issue. Its been at the dealer every since. I've only drove the BRAND NEW truck back and forth to the dealer twice for repair. Has anyone else experienced electrical issues similar where you experience no start or low voltage while driving? Electric power is so low that cruise, defroster, the DIC display, etc. doesn't work? I'm new to the forum/message boards here and also new to the GMC Canyon. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you!
I am not positive but i think the trucks computer will turn things off to save power if there is a problem (like a dead battery or weak alternator). Most likely just a very dead battery in your case. Seams like it would leave the DIC on so it can tell you the battery is low though.....hmmm not sure. I guess i could read the book to find out but I'm too lazy. you too? LOL

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post #13 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 02:04 AM
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LOL....most modern vehicles cannot be powered by the alternator alone, probably not since the early 90's.

If the battery is weak, you have systems fail.
Wait what? If this were true, what charges the battery? Mine didn't come with a recharge port or place to plug it in.

Not only can the vehicle be powered by the alternator, but the alternator can recharge the battery at the same time.
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post #14 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 02:12 AM
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Wait what? If this were true, what charges the battery? Mine didn't come with a recharge port or place to plug it in.

Not only can the vehicle be powered by the alternator, but the alternator can recharge the battery at the same time.
sure it does, that what the usb ports are for... LOL

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post #15 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 05:15 AM
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Wow, The amount of false information being posted here on this topic is unbelievable.

The battery in your truck does NOT generate power. It is a storage device for power generated elsewhere. All electrical power is normally supplied by the alternator. Some of that generated power will be stored in the battery for later short term use by other truck electrical devices. The main short term battery power user is the starter. Other electrical devices can also used stored battery power on a short term basis, but all of the power used has to be replaced by the charging (alternator) system.

So on your dead battery problem, you have one of three issues.

1. The battery is defective and will not store the power.

2. The charging system is not charging the battery correctly. This is usually low charging voltage caused by an alternator or computer problem.

3. Something in the truck is drawing power when the truck is not running.

As a side note on this one, when I first got my Colorado I had this problem. My BCM was not going to sleep and was drawing excess power while parked. My research found that the GM design point is the system must draw less than 20 ma. (.020 amps) when shut down and the vehicle must be able to start after being parked for 30 days.
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post #16 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 09:50 AM
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Wow, The amount of false information being posted here on this topic is unbelievable. ...
As a side note on this one, when I first got my Colorado I had this problem. My BCM was not going to sleep and was drawing excess power while parked. My research found that the GM design point is the system must draw less than 20 ma. (.020 amps) when shut down and the vehicle must be able to start after being parked for 30 days.
Nice information on the 30 days.

I pretty much agree with everything you stated, but I would also add a poor ground connection to be another possible culprit. This may actually be considered as one cause of your poor charging, but it could manifest itself in other ways while still allowing a good charge to the battery.

I had a short one time in a circuit and I was able to basically disconnect everything until I found the short. With these new fangled vehicles, I am not sure I would know where to start on that task.
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post #17 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 11:44 PM
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Not true at all, the battery is really only there to start the thing (basically). If it couldn't be powered by the alternator alone, (and needed the battery power also to run) the battery would eventually die.....think about it.......

Yes, but typically you drive at high and low speeds so it evens out and does charge the battery some.
In most modern cars the alternator is, under some conditions and especially at idle, not capable of supplying the full electrical demands of the vehicle. Just the way it is...can you drive 55mph on your alternator alone....maybe....through the neighborhood at 15 with your lights on..no way.

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post #18 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 11:53 PM
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Well I'm going to disagree. I once attended an event in Chicago. When I came out to my car in the parking lot at about 10:30 PM I found that someone had stolen my battery. Without the battery I got someone to jump start my car and I drove it home without a battery installed at night. It ran entirely on the alternator in stop and go, and freeway speed traffic. It was about a 50 mile trip that lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Most alternators will put out 20 to 25% of rated capacity at an idle.

While I did it with no side effects, I do not recommend this as the alternator puts out very noisy 14 vdc. This noise is usually filtered by the now missing battery. I would be worried about potential damage to the BCM or ECM/PCM. In my case it was a fairly new car and I knew if it broke I could take it in under warranty after replacing the battery myself. I was also stuck in a neighborhood that I did not want to be stuck in after dark.
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post #19 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:11 AM
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Well I'm going to disagree. I once attended an event in Chicago. When I came out to my car in the parking lot at about 10:30 PM I found that someone had stolen my battery. Without the battery I got someone to jump start my car and I drove it home without a battery installed at night. It ran entirely on the alternator in stop and go, and freeway speed traffic. It was about a 50 mile trip that lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Most alternators will put out 20 to 25% of rated capacity at an idle.

While I did it with no side effects, I do not recommend this as the alternator puts out very noisy 14 vdc. This noise is usually filtered by the now missing battery. I would be worried about potential damage to the BCM or ECM/PCM. In my case it was a fairly new car and I knew if it broke I could take it in under warranty after replacing the battery myself. I was also stuck in a neighborhood that I did not want to be stuck in after dark.
yes, agreed by me.

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post #20 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:30 AM
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Yes, but typically you drive at high and low speeds so it evens out and does charge the battery some.
In most modern cars the alternator is, under some conditions and especially at idle, not capable of supplying the full electrical demands of the vehicle. Just the way it is...can you drive 55mph on your alternator alone....maybe....through the neighborhood at 15 with your lights on..no way.
I get exactly what you mean. yes, at idle it is possible that the alternator can't keep up. Maybe if you had lights on, AC on high, wipers on, heated seats on, ect....

But cruising around at 15 mph with the lights on is not a problem. Not even close. A modern alternator is very capable of putting out enough amperage to power headlights, even at idle. It wouldn't surprise me if the alt on our trucks put out 50 amps at idle. Not sure though, never tested it. A good example for your defense would be years ago when alternators sucked you could easily see the headlights dim at idle, not anymore.......

Of course a bad battery can change things too. I've seen bad Optima batteries take all the amps you can give them. Then when they get hot they off gas some kind of stinky, acidic gas. nice huh?....lol

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