Electrical issues with my 2003 Silverado

750

Asked by Jaidenspapa Jan 07, 2014 at 12:42 PM about the 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS Extended Cab LB 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I am having issues with my 2003 Silverado. it started out with the abs and parking brake light flashing with the audible chime. this happened briefly and intermittently. it progressed from there to my radio cutting off and on, my gas gauge, oil pressure, voltage, etc. dropping out, then coming back on. then progressed to the amber theft light coming on along with the airbag light. I have put a new alternator, ignition solenoid, ignition switch, and also switched the instrument cluster out to see if that was the problem(local gm service said that was the issue...didn't work). Also, from time to time, my transmission wont shift correctly. Had the transmission serviced and the downshift module replaced...it still happens from time to time. there really isn't a rhyme or reason that is consistent, just seems to happen when its warmer outside. I have had a certified gm guy look at it, but he's at a loss because it wont replicate these conditions while hes looking at it. he sees several codes (loss of communication and voltage codes) but needs to see it act up while he has his computer on it. Any ideas?

56 Answers

750

Also, I disconnected the ground on the frame below the drivers feet and also the ground from the battery. I cleaned the contacts and reconnected. I had read the ground below the drivers feet is sometimes a culprit for issues similar to this.

43 people found this helpful.
33,345

These have had many issues with the instrument cluster doing this and the wiring behind the dash to it.

34 people found this helpful.
33,345

Look at the wiring behind the dash to the instrument cluster, radio,etc. These are known to melt,burn where you can't see it without pulling the dash apart.

12 people found this helpful.
750

ive looked under the dash and around the steering column for frayed/melted or burned wires but haven't seen anything. What made me start looking for wires there is sometimes when I am turning to the right, especially exit ramps( why ramps I don't know) it has caused the chiming and abs/parking brakes to flash. When I want it to do it(when the gm certified guy is driving it) it doesn't do it! I will go back and look deeper on the wires though. Thanks

17 people found this helpful.
33,345

There have been many harnesses changed here with vehicles doing the same things as yours intermittently. Something about those year models.

12 people found this helpful.
750

Haven't had the dash light issues in a few weeks but the transmission is dropping pretty hard and wants to start in 2nd gear like before(check engine light came back on). I pulled the cluster, radio, HVAC controls, pulled the electrical tape off most of the wiring around those and around the steering column and the BCM. I didn't find any issues with any wires. Put everything back together, drove it, shifted properly and the check engine light went out. Crazy!

15 people found this helpful.
190

Could be the instrument cluster itself. You can have it rebuilt with a lifetime warranty. That's what I did a few years back. I think it ran around $150.

19 people found this helpful.
980

I have the same thing happening. There was a recall on this in 05 or 6. I had mine replaced. The replacement only had a one year warranty this one is on me and I got a $350 quote from my dealer. My tach, speedometer, fuel, temp, oil pressure and odometer will stay off for days and then come on for a short time. This is also putting a drain on my battery. Can anybody help?

98 people found this helpful.
390

I'm having about five of the similar problems you are having I have a 2003 Silverado and everything I've read is pointing to the body control module which controls almost everything inside the cab where you sit

39 people found this helpful.
270

My husband having the same issue - now none of the gauges work - we were told to get a new instrument cluster - called part store almost $500 - called local junkyard $150 used and have to return old one (like a core).

12 people found this helpful.
130

on the newer clusters 2003 and up can be rebuilt i have done two trailblazer clusters its pretty strait forward... normally just needs new stepper motors. here is the how to from the trailblazer forum that i used to fix 2 clusters. http://forums.trailvoy.com/showthread.php? t=48886 but if its not just the gauges working then i would think there is some other problem.

13 people found this helpful.
270

Thank you all for help and suggestions. We actually got one from junk yard for $150 - it says on back "re-manufactured" and only had 1630 hours on it. Beats the $500. Un-plugged old one and plugged in new one and boom all gauges even cruise control working again!! :)

10 people found this helpful.
270

Came out of a "Tahoe" working perfectly for over two weeks now.

3 people found this helpful.
180

Folks I need your help, same issues + so my cluster gages dont work not a big deal right i used the led read out of my trip miles to gage my gas. But now it dont work one day it just stopped some times it would chime and come back on then it would go off but now it looks as if it is in chinnese or something and now it will have one lil tiny dot lit ALL THE TIME even after its off and keys are out this is causing the battery to die i found tons of guys to rebuild the cluster but none of them say anything about the led read out any ideas, thoughts ? mail me sub line YOUR TRUCK smush these words together THE SHORT WHITE GUY G MAIL

18 people found this helpful.
200

You need to replace your ignition switch harness, i had the same problem transmition in second gear and cluster fail.change the igntion switch problem solved.it trows you lots of codes as well and after you replace your ignition switch you wont have that problem.

20 people found this helpful.
300

I'm having the same issue on my 2004 Silverado with 143K miles. The gauges turn off and the ABS, parking brake lights flash on with the audible chime then a few seconds or minutes everything returns back to normal. Sometimes it does it 1-2 times a day or whenever it feels like it. I remember taking my truck to the dealer when it was still under warranty to fix the speedometer acting up when it was a few years old. Did anyone ever find out what the problem was and how did you fix it ?? Many people say it's the instrument cluster and others say it's the ignition switch.

30 people found this helpful.
150

01 Silverado 202K miles.. No SES codes last 4 yrs. Noticed trans not going into first..taking off in 2nd. 2 days later while merging into x-way traffic;SES light illuminates.Code generated: P0751.(shift solenoid A). Replace shift solenoids A & B (sold in sets). Replace trans filter,fluid and gasket. Then I realized I never disconnected the negative battery cable. I then did the former for 15 minutes. Upon restarting the SES light stayed on. I then test drove and it is performing like a newer trans..auto shifting throughout all 4 gears and shifting into all gears on demand. the only code showing is in the history and its from before the fix. My questions for discussion are; 1) Should I have test driven before I attempted to reset the computer by removing the Neg. cable? 2) Will this reset on its own after some number or cycles? 3) Why did disconnecting the battery not reset the memory or is this a misconception; that it clears using the disconnect method? I should also add that for about 2 years my fuel gauge has been acting funny intermittently but will fix upon braking gear changing or generally sloshing fuel around in the tank. This has never generated any codes but the Low Fuel Light can also come on during these episodes. This also never happens above 1/2 tank. All this time I've been thinking bad ground on the frame or bad sending unit in the tank but the earlier discussion about instrument cluster and harness fails has been enlightening. ..

15 people found this helpful.
100

i had this issue when I replaced the factory radio with a after market and the wiring harness had a short in it, the abs would not turn off, the underscore on the PRDNL123 was gone, after I removed the radio and removed the harness it was all good.

10 people found this helpful.
200

Check for Ground wires that are bad mostly G104 and G103 along with the wires on the outside frame drivers side by your feel there should be 3 wires there and bolts get rusty causes all kinds of problems you will see many OBD errors and they can be related to bad grounds...

9 people found this helpful.
200

Check for Ground wires that are bad mostly G104 and G103 along with the wires on the outside frame drivers side by your feet there should be 3 wires there and bolts get rusty causes all kinds of problems you will see many OBD errors and they can be related to bad grounds... Also will get REDUCED ENGINE POWER warning due to bad ground replacing parts that show up on OBD reader will not fix bad ground problems new parts will also show up as bad expensive lesson to learn. The wires I mentioned are only just a few you could have others.

11 people found this helpful.
230

Need help please!!!! We have a 2005 Silverado flex fuel. A couple of weeks ago we noticed that after the truck was turned off, and the ambient air temp went down at night that the fans would come on by themselves overnight. We would start the truck, the fans would stop, all ok. Then 3 nights in a row the fans came on and drained the battery entirely so we replaced the battery. We checked and were told to replace the 3 fan relay sensors. Did that; didn't help. We also changed out the thermostat on the outside of the engine block. No help. Then a week ago it began doing really weird stuff. We began disconnecting the battery unless or until we ran it. Pain in the butt, however, only thing we could do until we figure it out. Now, in the middle of driving, the gas, battery, temp, etc guages will just drop. No reading at all, and the security system, check engine & check battery lights come on. Still have working tachometer and speedometer, but that's it!!!! Any help???? Please

23 people found this helpful.
150

Please check all battery connections, both ends, and find out how to reset the computer in your Car or Truck. this is now part of most repairs it is good advice to read all stuff on this page of problems The oldest way to reset the computer is remove battery minus then positive wait 5 minutes and hook em up positive first, key on.

15 people found this helpful.
940

What are G103 and G104 grounds? Where are they located?

92 people found this helpful.
70

I just had similar issues in my 2003 Escalade ESV as all stated above. Stability lights, ABS, radio, all gauges on right side of cluster and windows wouldn't work. I started noticing the car starts fine and I have no issues if I was sitting down. Then as soon as I got in and sat down it would all stop working shortly after, doesn't happen all the time like that but most of the time. I read some where else someone that had a 03' Silverado had the same issue and he would punch his seat to get it working again lol! So I followed his fix, which was relocating a wiring harness under the driver seat that was pinching between the seat and the seat rails whenever sat down or after bumps in the road.. hope this helps others too

7 people found this helpful.
70

Have you solved this I've replaced cluster cleaned all the grounds I could find and wiring to cluster plug in speed sensor still nothing

7 people found this helpful.
70

I have the same issue as you i was just wondering if you happen to have found the problem

7 people found this helpful.
80

I need help also. About once a month or so, My electrical drops off when I come to a stop. I have to put it in neutral at the light and rev the engine to keep it running with the other foot on the brake. I had the alternator replaced and that didn't help. It last for a few minutes and is fine for another month or so.

8 people found this helpful.
120

Have you found out the issue with you dash electrical problem. If so please contact me at 419- 357-4556. I have the exact same issue to the T

2 people found this helpful.
120

Have you found the issue what your dash problem. I have an 06 with the same exact issue to the T. Please call at 419-357-4556 and she if you could assist. Names Mike.

1 people found this helpful.
50

It was the idle control module. It's right on the side of the inner air cleaner. Watch a utube on it and ordered a highly recommended one from Amazon. Haven't had a problem since.

5 people found this helpful.
120

James ginzel who responded to my question, did you have the same issue

1 people found this helpful.
120

What size engine Did you have

1 people found this helpful.
120

I had a response to a post about my electrical issue on my 06 Chevy and was told the idle control module which my truck doesn't have its either the control valve and far as it being on the side of the air cleaner, sounds like a map sensor or something along those lines I need some verification on what the idle control module may or may not be

3 people found this helpful.
90

I had gauge problems on my 2005 GMC and used "GM GAUGE REPAIR" for all 2003 to 2006GM Vehicles,same day service. I had this done 2 yrs ago and still works great. cost $125.00 complete. Go to: www.gmgaugerepair.com or call 608-304-0155. Hope this helps. ( It took me all of 7 min. to remove the cluster),and Fed -Xed it to La Crosse ,Wi.54603.I think it too a little over a week turn around. John

9 people found this helpful.
70

Jk having a lot of the same problems with my gauges stop working on and off also the radio Windows and interior ligh won't turn on sometime. Going. To try some of the suggestions hop one works. Im very determined to find the problem it's very frustrating. And would appreciate if somebody finds out what this problem is please text me at 412-302-1026 thank you very much. I have a 03 Silverado 1500

7 people found this helpful.
940

I found that I had to replace the instrument cluster. Apparently this is a common problem with some GM years. I purchased the rebuilt instrument cluster from Orielly Auto Parts. I believe it was approximately $125. It was very simple to replace remove dash trim {just pops off} and 4 screws hold the instrument cluster and one plug. That's it takes about 15 minutes to replace. Hope this helps Paul

2 people found this helpful.
220

I have a 2003 Silverado 2500 hd,abs light and brake light comes on and the blower motor stops and transmission won't shift into high gear, any ideas

22 people found this helpful.
50

I have a 2009 GMC Sierra and when it's cold and I crank the truck I have no headlights no dash lights no brake lights the heater works and the radio works after I want it up for about 15 minutes and cut the switch off everything goes to working can you tell me what's wrong with it

5 people found this helpful.
105

2003 Gmc Sierra 1500. was sitting for 3 years because no one could figure out what was killing the battery, or why the dash cluster was going berserk. New battery, truck would not even crank. read on here about a ground connection on the frame below the drivers feet area. removed the 2 ground bolts and wire brushed everything. hooked up the battery and the darn thing started right up.. I hate electrical issues, we had pulled the dash cluster to check for corrosion, pulled the fuse block on the fender, found a mouse nest but no eaten wires.. pulled headlight switch, everything we read, we tried.. Today I saw the ground wire / frame story and finally back on the road..

10 people found this helpful.
30

Unplug ur aftermarket radio all the way to one harness.. I had issues after radio install I unplugged all after market stuff boom it worked

1 people found this helpful.
120

Eric my radio is stock. I noticed something especially when it's raining when I used my turn signal and hit my brakes my that light comes on as well as abs and brake lights and my guages drops momentarily and when I stop braking or using my turned signal at same time it quits. Thanks problem is vary sparatic

1 people found this helpful.
30

Try changing out your rectifier. It's a little thing that allows your engine to harness the full cranking amps of the battery only while starting. The rest of the time it acts as a resistor reducing the amps going thru the vehicle and extending the life of your other components. There's no way to test it other than replacing it with a known good one and driving it to look for improvement.

3 people found this helpful.
205

Something worth checking...a friend at work told me to check this because of electrical issues with my 99 sierra. The wiring under the drivers door along frame. (where the grounds connect to frame) It runs between the box and frame and sometimes gets pinched or broken wires etc. I checked mine and there is actually a small bolt coming out of frame that worked it's way into the wiring. I'll try to put a photo on if someone wants. Hope this helps someone. If anyone has repair tips for this they would be appreciated.

13 people found this helpful.
205

Some of the electrical issues I am having are gas guage all over the place, abs light, ebrake light and ding, and a few more.

7 people found this helpful.
120

GuruWXPGH if you have pics that would be great. I f you want call or text at 4193574556. I'll be more available after 3:30 today Eastern Standard Time

3 people found this helpful.
60

I have a 2003 chevy silverado as well, and when i use my right turn signal, my hazards come on. The left turn signal however works just fine. I put a wiper switch in to see if that fixed it, it did not, i was going to try the flasher relay, but i am also having issues with the cluster and my battery voltage gauge is sporadic and my speedometer has died twice. Im a broke college kid with little to no money to play around with, PLEASE help!

6 people found this helpful.
50

I have an 03 avalanche with similar dash and gauge problems. After replacing the BCU, rebuilding the dash with Mr. Whizard and replacing the ignition switch the problem still existed. I could change things by tapping the dash above the radio. Most of the time this would help. I tore into everything methodically trying to find the problem again. I found that when I installed the heater control module things would act up. The two harness’s from the heater control contacted the bottom of the radio flexing the bottom cover up slightly shorting something in the radio causing all the problems I was having. I routed the harness away from the radio bottom and so far so good.

5 people found this helpful.
30

i have a 04 Chevy z71 4x4 and the speedometer drops to zero and stays in second gear. All other gauges stay working. Has anyone had this problem and what do I do to fix it. I have a problem with the truck staying in driver 1 it wants to go back to unkown driver. please help

3 people found this helpful.
20

Chevygirl, I have a 2004 Z71 and have had both problems you describe. Chances are the speedometer dropping to zero and staying in second gear are separate problems. The step motors that move the needles on the gauges are defective on those model trucks. The speedometer was the first gauge to go on my truck. Also fairly common for the solenoid that shifts from 1st to 2nd gear to go bad and require replacement. Mine went out around the same time as my gauges started to fail. A deal will charge $500-600 for the solenoid. Multiple options for the gauge cluster repair depending on your soldering skills and can cost $20 for a self repair up to $150 for a rebuilt cluster.

2 people found this helpful.
20

Richard: my instrument gauges stopped working so I ordered the 6 step motor kit from Rock Auto for $50.00, took the cluster out (4 7mm screws and i electrical plug) after disconnecting the neg. ground on the battery (check the youtube video on replacing step motors) desoldered old step motors and replaced them with the new ones. Plugged cluster back in, hooked up neg. (ground) to battery and all gauges worked.

2 people found this helpful.
40

anyone ever found a fix for this

4 people found this helpful.
80

ive had mine repaired twice n am bout to throw it in the dumpster. it works but its draining my batery. it is not working properly hell one time i went in my truck n the hazard light lights wer stuk on(not blinking) jus on the cluster not the lights outside. u no sumthin aint right with the cluster

4 people found this helpful.
20

@Jaidenspapa what did you do to correct your issue?

2 people found this helpful.

My 2003 GMC Duramax was doing like every ones was, I swapped out the BCM had it towed to the Chevy Dealer in town ,to have it programmed to the vehicle worked for less than a week , started same exact problems ,It's back at the Dealer again . Two mechanics told me it's the BCM . the Dealer mechanic are scratching heads as if they had fleas. it could very well be battery cables or batteries themselves.

I have almost the same problem my 04 avalanche half my cluster doesn't work my power windows and locks don't work today my cluster went completely dead and everything else worked fine for 2 minutes then herd a loud click niose from under dash then everything stopped working and my cluster came back to life meaning only my rooms n speedometer work everything else says zero n all the lights are on even my 4×4 switch won't light up any help on what can fix this would help

Your transmission is hesitating to shift in warmer weather due to a vacuum leak in the valve body. A new valve body is only $250 but to pay someone to pull your transmission out to put it in is. Going to cost at lleast $500 in labor alone if you can even find a mechanic honest enough to tell you thats theproblem and not that you need a rebuild or remanufactured transmission.

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