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Brendan Block
Brendan Block, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  BMW Technician specializing in engine conversions, braking upgrades and race car prep.
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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!