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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I'm new to the forum. First, thanks to all, for coming up with the forum. I've found out a lot of info so far. Now, my question:
Right side gauges are hosed. Voltmeter and Engine temperature gauges are pegged at 3 o'clock position when I start the vehicle. Actual check of alternator says it works fine, but voltmeter needle sits at 5 o'clock position (been running this way since last year sometime). The temp needle does the same now. Last week, got the SES light, code checked was P0128. Light went out but replaced thermostat, will replace ECT next weekend. No coolant leaks, hoses good, system full. Can the guages be bad? How do I replace them if they are (how do I check them?)
I do have the notorious "low cooling" of A/C at idle, and am not in the mood to pay upwards of $600 for a new fan clutch and new software updates, I just live with it. These fancy schmancy computer controlled engines are loaded with bugs -wish I still had my old '71 350 to fiddle around with...
 

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Bad Guages

My voltmeter on my '03 Envoy does not work either, and hasn't been for about a year. Alternator checks out good. I have a neighbor who owns a speedometer shop. He says that GMC/Chevy instrument clusters are known to fail, and there is no way to replace just one guage of the set. You are lucky, I hear of people who have there speedometer fail and they have to have it replaced. The dealer gets over $700 and my neighbor says he only charges about $400 so you should find a reliable shop.

PS. I had a '79 GMC pick up with a 350, I miss that too.
 

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2004 gmc
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Right side gauges are hosed. Voltmeter and Engine temperature gauges are pegged at 3 o'clock position when I start the vehicle. Actual check of alternator says it works fine, but voltmeter needle sits at 5 o'clock position (been running this way since last year sometime). The temp needle does the same now.
Happens a lot. Gauge cluster has bad stepper motors. You can change just the bad ones, or send the cluster off for a cheap repair. Run a search here for "stepper motor" and read about all the success stories.

Last week, got the SES light, code checked was P0128. Light went out but replaced thermostat, will replace ECT next weekend. No coolant leaks, hoses good, system full.
Why change the sensor? Did the light fail to go out? It takes a few successful drive cycles to reset that code. If you had a scan tool that could look at the real ECT data, you would probably see good coolant temp.
Can the guages be bad? How do I replace them if they are (how do I check them?)
Run a search for "stepper motor" and change them yourself, or send off the cluster for a refurb that will get rid of all the poorly designed steppers for just over $100.
I do have the notorious "low cooling" of A/C at idle, and am not in the mood to pay upwards of $600 for a new fan clutch and new software updates, I just live with it.
Since aftermarket fan clutches are now $150-200, it all depends on whether you're a DIY'er or not. Agreed, only the dealer can reflash your PCM with the 2005 fan clutch update, unless you're getting a tune from PCMforless at the same time, then they can do it. Trailvoy almost always has the cheaper way. Are you handy?
These fancy schmancy computer controlled engines are loaded with bugs -wish I still had my old '71 350 to fiddle around with...
Do you remember what mileage that thing got - designed for $0.35/gal gasoline as it was?

My voltmeter on my '03 Envoy does not work either, and hasn't been for about a year. Alternator checks out good. I have a neighbor who owns a speedometer shop. He says that GMC/Chevy instrument clusters are known to fail, and there is no way to replace just one guage of the set. You are lucky, I hear of people who have there speedometer fail and they have to have it replaced. The dealer gets over $700 and my neighbor says he only charges about $400 so you should find a reliable shop.
I believe your neighbor is a goof. You can tell him the Roadie says so, so he doesn't hit you. $400 is a total rip. He needs to find a new line of work that doesn't involve piracy.

If you can solder in a $10 stepper motor, you can fix just ONE GAUGE. Yes, there was a bad design, and the Ebay vendors who do gauge repair for $120 are using the newer ones. How can a speedometer shop owner NOT know the most trivial thing that we at trailvoy have been discussing for years?

http://forums.trailvoy.com/showthread.php?t=48886

Sounds more like an ignition switch.
Ummm, if it's an ignition switch with this precise set of symptoms I'll hang up my diagnostician gloves. ;) Am I missing something about how gauge clusters work?
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
:thxThanks to all for the input, I'm not so worried now. I'll get AutoZone to do another OBD code check just to see if there is anything hidden - I doubt it - and will go from there. A little piqued to hear about the guages and the "replace the whole arm to fix a finger" philosophy - but it was the same way with a cracked tail light lens... But I'll look into the stepper solution and see if I can swing it. I'm always game to learn how to fix something else. I do miss my old truck...


Quote:
These fancy schmancy computer controlled engines are loaded with bugs -wish I still had my old '71 350 to fiddle around with...

Do you remember what mileage that thing got - designed for $0.35/gal gasoline as it was?

I had a '71 C10, 350, with a 4 barrel carb, turbo 350 tranny - not sure what the rear end was. I had it in Oregon, then Michigan so srtripped out the A/C and ran plugs a notch hotter than OEM called for, I got the same mileage (no cruise control) as I get with the Trailblazer (17/23)! OH, and the tailgate was rusted off, so I didn't have that drag. Certainly not as comfortable as the Trailblazer, but for a 21 year old, it was lots of fun and easy to work on. It became a victim of Icy Michigan roads (then it started on the first crank after sitting in -15 degree blizard weather for 5 days...Imagine!:))
 
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