How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Brendan Block Your Own Question
Brendan Block
Brendan Block, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  BMW Technician specializing in engine conversions, braking upgrades and race car prep.
Type Your Car Question Here...
Brendan Block is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

the gages were all flipping back and forth all at once. It

Customer Question

the gages were all flipping back and forth all at once. It was making a grating/chattering sound. Now it er,ers when turning ignition on and the honk when locking it with remote is just a tiny sound. When the gages and grrring took place, the clock went back to 12:00 and the trip odometer when set doesnt stay on till trip is over or when shut off it resets itself instead of staying on the trip miles. AC doesnt cool as well. Seems everything is at half power.

Submitted: 3 years ago via
Category: Car
Expert:  Brendan Block replied 3 years ago.
What kind of car are you having this problem with?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

2004 Trailblazer xlt. wasnt sure you were going to answer. Asked the question around 3am. When you click the remote twice to lock the vehicle the horn would honk on the second click. The tack odometer resets itself when I turn the vehicle off. The clock does also.

Expert:  Brendan Block replied 3 years ago.
Hi Marlene!

The battery should be putting out 12+ volts with the engine off and at least 13.5 volts with the engine on. Turning on the headlights and the blower fan should only cause a small drop in voltage and it should not go below 13.5v for much more that a few seconds.

It sounds like your alternator has failed or is failing but I would also plan on installing a new battery for peace of mind.

Thanks and good luck, please let me know if you need any further information! Please leave me a positive rating when you get a chance!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The battery gage shows 14, right in the middle. The parts guy said it registered at 10. So I buy a battery for it. Do you think that will solve the problem? Why the grating, chattering noise and why the reset of the odometer and clock. will this happen when the battery is low? He checked the alternator and they said it was fine. I dont have a lot of money....When the car is running down the road it seems to be ok. I dont want to get the battery and find out it is a switch or wiring. Are you sure it would be the battery/alternator?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Didnt explain why a failing battery would cause the gauges to go wild and sound like gears grating. Had the alternator checked. They said it was good. Not comfortable buying a battery if it could be a switch or wiring. Explain why it would affect the gagues etc.
Expert:  Daryl replied 3 years ago.

Hi new expert here. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your problem. This problem is usually caused by bad battery or connection problem but if it seems to be starting ok I would say the battery probably is not the problem, although most auto parts stores will test them for free so that may be a good place to start. While I had the battery accessible I would also take the battery cables off and be sure there is no corrosion, if there is that could be the cause of this problem. If all of this checks to be good it will take quite a bit of diagnosis to determine the problem, it does sound like a connection problem but it could be on the positive or negative side that feeds the systems you are having a problem with. Let me know if you have more questions on this I am always willing to help, Thanks.

Expert:  Brendan Block replied 3 years ago.
Hi Marlene,

Everything electrical on your Trailblazer is designed to operate at 12 volts or more, usually around 14 like I said in my previous answer. If the battery is only putting out 10 volts that is not enough power and things like your gauges will start freaking out and either not reading at all or jumping around like you experienced. The grating sound could be the motors for the gauge needles or odometer trying to function on such low power.

Even if there's another issue you won't be able to find it with a bad battery so you'll have to start there. Make sure there's no corrosion on the cables and that everything is securely fastened when you install the new battery.

Thanks and good luck, please don't forget to leave me a positive rating!


JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
< Previous | Next >
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • Excellent reply, and also very quick. Really sounds like the Expert knows what he is talking about. I will be back to use your service when I need more help with my RV. Dutch USA

Meet The Experts:

  • Chris (aka-Moose)

    Chris (aka-Moose)


    Satisfied Customers:

    16 years of experience
< Last | Next >
  • Chris (aka-Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka-Moose)


    Satisfied Customers:

    16 years of experience
  • Ted G.'s Avatar

    Ted G.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
  • George H.'s Avatar

    George H.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE Master Tech 15+ yrs, AAS Automotive Technology, Factory trained Asian specialist
  • GM Tech (Cam)'s Avatar

    GM Tech (Cam)

    Auto Service Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
  • Amedee's Avatar


    Former ASE Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
  • Jerry's Avatar


    Master Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE master, 30+ years. All makes and models. Trouble shooter, shop forman, service manager
  • Richard's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    12 years Ford Lincoln/Mercury Jaguar dealership as a technician and shop foreman reparing all makes