Saturday, March 15, 2008

Getting my Yukon XL fixed

About a month ago I went out to start my car and the battery was dead. And I think "crap, I left an interior light on." It might have taken my husband a couple of days (3) to get me a new battery which is not an easy thing when you have two small kids and a family of 6 to take care of. Sometimes you gotta go to the grocery store! (Never mind find some sanity in the bottom of a mocha.) It was deader than a doornail - I mean the remote key entry system wouldn't even work. So he replaced the battery on Saturday night and we dropped a teenager off at the movies and then went for Mexican. I didn't go anywhere on Sunday. On Monday morning I got up to go to the store and the car was dead again. My husband brought home a battery charger and got it charged up again. Somewhere in there he figured out that if you unhooked the battery the problem was eliminated so I carried a little wrench on my keyring to hook up the battery whenever I needed to go somewhere. Eventually my dh found the time (he's got lots of time everyday for baseball for the teenage boy) to take it to our aircraft business where he and the other mechanics did some bypass test to see if there was a drain on the battery somewhere. They weren't able to find anything. He wanted to take another crack at it but I just want it fixed. (See girlfriends entry from the other day.)
Yesterday, Cole and I got up early, gassed up the vehicle (pump shut off at $75! - figured I needed to fill it before gas hit $4/gal) and took it out to the Chevy dealer to have them service it. I explained to them that there is some sort of draw on the battery and that something that may/or not be related to the problem is the OnStar button on the steering wheel. If that button gets pushed you can not hang up and it ties up the radio. The only way to hang it up is to pull the fuse under the hood - I know so much about my Yukon! :)~ - and since it is an "older" vehicle (2003!) the OnStar system isn't digital and OnStar discontinued use on analog in the vehicles in February so I can't call them to have them hang up. Anyway, I told them not to necessarily fix the OnStar for now because I am not using the system but bear in mind that it might be part of the problem. I heard it is a simple fix and the dealer can install the digital system easily. So I shared the information with the service tech. I had them call my husband to share what they found.
They call him later to tell him it is a dead battery. Hello?! Did you not hear me? Yeah, the battery might be weak but it is new and something else is causing the problem. My DH corrected the service manager and told him about the test that they had performed at the hangar and mentioned the OnStar button. The manager said that he was told not to fix the OnStar. Does this seem difficult? The car is there for the battery and if the OnStar is the problem, well that's the solution. It wasn't there specifically for the OnStar system - I can pull a fuse now and then a lot easier than I want to pay who knows how much for parts and labor on a system I don't currently subscribe to. But don't not try to fix the car. I was pleased that everything I told them (on my own assessment) my husband told them but so irritated that they didn't listen. They weren't able to get the problem solved before they closed for the weekend. The service manager didn't have the huevos to call my husband back to let him know - he had the dealership owner do it. In the meantime I have a loaner (gag) until they get it fixed. I feel like a target in this little car and really don't want to drive my kids around in it. The loaner's gas tank was empty understandably because who wants to pay for someone else's gas these days but man, I just spent $75 on gas! The nice thing was that the Chevron guy came out and pumped it for me even though it was a self-service station. Thank you Chevron guy! Should be interesting to see what the service guys find if/when they find the problem. I have googled "battery draw OnStar" and do come up with some stuff. Might share it with the service techs on Monday. Idiots.


mike in ky said...

We have a 2003 Yukon and the battery is being drained by the analog onstar system. Do you know what the dealer did to fix the vehicle?

amy said...

The dealership did nothing. Just sent me home. Luckily they didn't charge me for searching for the problem. Did you disconnect your OnStar system?