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Electrical "problems" with 2008 Chevy Uplander LS extended van

Uplander 2005-2009
This sport-van offers a sporty feel and roomy interior, all in the body of a minivan.
Platform: U-Body
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Electrical "problems" with 2008 Chevy Uplander LS extended van

Old March 5th, 2009, 8:48 PM
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Question Electrical "problems" with 2008 Chevy Uplander LS extended van

Voltages (watched on vehicle dash) are up & down (vary between 12.3 and 14.9 volts), voltage detecting radar detector shuts off because of low voltage (book states: shuts off at 11.9 volts), cruise control kicks out, key doesn't always work correctly (dash lights come on but won't start until trying several times)and stumbling upon accerleration.
Has already had a new igntion switch installed, BCM replaced-along with wiring harness to switch AND unhooked my after-market remote start to be able to reset the factory security. Plus-they gave me a TSB stating that these low voltages are "normal"---3 pages of double-talk!!!
Was in 4 times for similar "problems". Last time, they put in a data recorder so I could "log" the "events" when they happened.
Had it over a week before it acted up again---then it was 3 "logs" in one day! No pattern to if/when it will happen again.
They removed the data recorder with 4 "logs" of incidents. Same thing happened 3 times since then though.
Service Dept. called after talking with Chevy Tech Assistance-supposedly, because the power is tapped into a 15 amp fuse this is what is causing this problem. SO---using cigarette lighter for radar detector. Same problem has occured already today since doing this! (Yes, I went ahead and completely unhooked the original wire for the radar detector.)
Tech also said the spot where the after-market remote start is getting it's power is contributing to this problem also. (But, it remains "unhooked"-for now!) Obviously they were wrong about that "problem"!!!
Went back again today for the Service Dept. to check if there were any codes "set". Yes---same as before---plus another one. (Don't know those numbers though.)
PLUS: the alternator is designed to NOT "work" until it senses the voltage is low---as a means to conserve fuel. (I was even shown the connector on the negative cable---by the battery---that controls all of this!)
Oh, by the way: "Nobody else is having these problems!" That is a direct quote from Service Dept. technician, Service Writer and Service Dept. Manager. (I did my homework and found about 20 or so other "similar" issues and gave them copies to read. I don't think they appreciated that!?)
I'm worried that I could get stranded somewhere with all of these electrical issues going on!
I have only owned this used van since late August 2008---has 40,000 miles on it now.
P.S. My sister has a 2007 Uplander---same issues. Only difference---she does NOT have the radar detector to help clue her in as to when this happens. BUT---I am going to loan her my radar detector to see if all of this happens with hers also.
Does ANYBODY have any "thoughts/solutions/suggestions" about all of this?
(Please don't tell me to sell it and buy something else. NOT an option!)
P.P.S. NEW PROBLEM: The radar detector shut off again yesterday (3-6) while I was out and about---two times actually! BUT---the second time, the radar detector did NOT turn back on before I needed to get out of the van!? (The voltage reading on the dash was at 12.6 or 12.7 volts---the whole day!!! But, at night, it stays at 14.0 volts.)

Last edited by G P Meyers; March 7th, 2009 at 7:12 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 8:37 PM
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Unhappy Charging System Failure Mystery, '08 Uplander having issues


I read your post, I have a 2008 Chevy Uplander with a 3.9 liter V6.

About three weeks ago, I was driving to work and the Odometer display, the battery symbol and then it displayed the 'Battery Saver Activated' message appeared.

I keep an eye ont he battery voltage and it ranged 11.5-14.1.

About 30 minutes after the last 'Battery Saver Activated', things got much
worse. The display now said 'Charging System Failure', followed by 'Service
ABS System', 'Service Traction Control', and 'Service Stability System.' At
this time the check engine, brake, battery, traction control, airbag, and
anti-lock warning lights were illuminated.

I was about two to three miles away from the service center so I drove the car to the service center. The had the car from 7-5 and the told me they could not find anything. So we took the car home.

The next three weeks we watched the voltage go up and down on the odometer and the car was not starting on the first turn of the key.

About a week ago we were out at a club my husband is a muscian. the car started and drive with with issues, but when it was time to leave the club the car would not start. So we got a jump which worked.

The next morning we tried to start the car again and it would not start. We also tried jumping it and it did not work. we then went and got a new battery and that did not work. we end up getting our old battery back, and just tried to start the car for kick and guess what the car started. We need again processed to take the car to the service center and again they found nothing. Now, I am just searching the web to find out if others had this problem and what was the solution.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 9:13 PM
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Reading this thread; this is nightmare for the owners of these two Uplanders. It is astounding that the Dealership and their Support Group of Technicians can not readily find and correct the problems.

You have to wonder about how the software is designed for the computer and how it is unable to readily diagnose a problem and tell the Technician what has happened; thus what to do to correct the issue. The software is only as good as the engineers who design it. Then again, maybe the Technicians themselves lack the necessary skills to resolve the problem.
There are no excuses for GM and this kind of scenario.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 9:58 AM
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katmiles123, I would like to direct message you about your issue. Thank you for your time.

Jeff Morris, Chevrolet Customer Service
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Old June 17th, 2010, 5:54 PM
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have they checked the alternator voltage regualtor .I had my 2006 voltage regulator replaced . My lights were flickering and it pays to no the tech,there is a sevice bulliten for the voltage regulator. no more flickering
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Default Charging system failure and battery saver issue as well..


I'm having the same issue. Charging system failure light came on about a month ago but didn't last long. A week ago it started with more frequency and battery saver came on while in park. Last night while on a long trip 150 plus mile, the Charging System Failure light came on again and then the Battery Saver light comes on. When that happens everything but the motor shuts down. A/C, Radio ect. Went to Walmart replaced the battery, and of course no change, issue still persists.

Please let me know if anyone has found a resolution. So far people are saying it could be Voltage Regulator or Alternator.
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Old June 23rd, 2010, 11:49 AM
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Sorry to hear others are having similar "problems" with their Uplanders. My dealership DID replace the voltage regulator and it helped! BUT---it specifically states in the owner's manual that there is QUITE A BIT of voltage swing that is "normal". I cannot see how that can be good for the whole charging system. I know it sure messed with my radar detector (which would shut off because it also senses the voltage readings and when it gets below a preset amount it just shuts off). Dealership response was that the radar detector was not a "factory installed" device so they don't have to figure that out for me!? I left my former dealership because the Service Manager would NOT answer some fairly simple questions I had about the charging system on these Uplanders. (Oh---by the way---I had to disable the voltage sensor on my radar detector so that it wouldn't just shut off and turn back on---repeatedly---while driving!) My BIG "problem" now is that I am having issues with the Service Stability System. Cruising along at highway speeds---with the cruise control on---all of a sudden the vehicle acts like someone has stepped on the brakes and slows considerably!? This last time I was in rush hour traffic (just past a construction area) and just about caused a big traffic accident! I haven't called or went to the dealership yet because of my disability---but, I will be doing so---SOON!
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Old June 28th, 2010, 5:13 PM
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Default Still Having issues.

Well after a week of here and there driving didn't experience the issue again and then this morning on the freeway all over again.

I have a feeling that this has everything to do with the voltage regulator but could just be a failing alternator.. This is just ridiculous, the vehicle is only 4 years old with 55,000 some odd miles on it. I have a 2001 Nissan Altima with 155,000 Miles on it and have not had to replace the alternator.

If anyone has any updates please post.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 4:45 PM
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Default Update to Issue

In speaking with someone who has the same issue but has an extended warranty.

The dealership service center replaced everything that could have caused the issue. Which is of course no help to anyone who wants to attempt to have someone other than the dealership repair the vehicle...
Although the fix seems to work we have no clue which part that was replaced was malfunctioning.

Here's what was done:

After first being told "Your problem is normal and to be expected for this make and model" and still having the issue the Uplander was brought back in because of a complete shutdown after battery saver mode.

They then replaced:
1. Alternator and Regulator (same unit)
2. ECM (Engine Control Module)
3. PCM
4. Battery

Then tried to charge them for the battery claiming its not under warranty even though the dealer previously told them that the battery went bad as a result of the ECM malfunctioning.

Sounds like an approach of lets replace everything in the system that may cause the problem from the people that are supposed to be the most knowledgeable about the vehicle....
I expected a precise repair story from the dealership not what was experienced above..

I have yet to decide whether I will take my 2006 Uplander into the dealership service center to even have it diagnosed which is a charge of $115.00
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Old July 17th, 2010, 8:46 AM
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Default Same Issue

I am having the same problem as most others I have read about, battery Saver light came on and now the A/C doesnt work. This just happened last night. Has anyone found an answer to the problem??
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