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GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 15201
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
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2011 Chevy Equinox P2138 Stabilitrak problem. Just bought

Customer Question

2011 Chevy Equinox P2138 Stabilitrak problem.
Just bought this car and it through a code P2138 (I have a cheap OBDII scanner). I cleared the code, but it came back again after a day or two.
It goes into limp mode and then shuts off after driving a short distance. Initially it would let me drive in limp mode a longer period of time.
I then replaced the Throttle body and Pedal myself (I do all my own work) and had a local mechanic with a Tek2 sync the 2.
1 day later it came back going into limp mode again. Pulled over restart ok for now.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

here is a bulletin about water intrusion and this issue, I have seen several sunroof drains cause this but they say windshields and molding will too.

Subject:Intermittent Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) Illuminated, DTC P2138 with Reduced Engine Power (Repair Instrument Panel (IP) to Body Harness Connector)

Models:2005-2015 GM Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks

Attention:For 2014 Model Year ATS, refer to the latest version of Product Emission Bulletin 14176 before proceeding with this Bulletin. This Bulletin also applies to any of the above models that may be Export vehicles.

This Bulletin has been revised to add Model Years, update the Labor Operations to the Global Labor Code (GLC) and to remove the Warranty Information (Saab U. S. Models) section. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 07-06-04-019D.


  • Some customers may comment on an intermittent malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) being Illuminated with a message or an indicator that displays Reduced Engine Power.
  • The technician may observe on a scan tool DTC P2138 – Accelerator Pedal Position (APP) Sensor 1-2 Correlation set as Current or in History.


This condition may be caused by water intrusion into the instrument panel (IP) to body harness connector, which carries the APP sensor signals to the ECM/PCM. This water intrusion results in a voltage difference between APP Sensor 1 and APP Sensor 2 that exceeds a predetermined value for more than a calibrated period of time, setting P2138.


Note: Aftermarket equipment can generate DTC P2138 and/or other DTCs.

Note: Some examples of potential water leaks are: A-pillar seals, sunroof drain lines (if equipped) and windshield/cowl sealing.

  1. Verify that aftermarket equipment is not electrically connected to any of the APP sensor signal or low reference circuits or to any other ECM/PCM 5V reference or low reference circuits. Refer to Checking Aftermarket Accessories in SI.
  2. Perform the Diagnostic System Check - Vehicle.
    • If any 5V reference DTCs are set, refer to Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) List - Vehicle.
    • If any 5V reference DTCs are not set, proceed to Step 3.
  3. Locate the IP to body harness connector, which may be located in and around the left hand kick panel area or inside the IP. Depending on the vehicle and model year, refer to Wiring Systems or Power and Signal Distribution in SI.
  4. Inspect for a water leak in the area. If necessary use a water hose to determine the source of the leak. Refer to General Information > Water Leaks in SI.
    • If a water leak is observed, repair as necessary. Verify the effectiveness of the repair.
  5. Inspect the IP to body harness connector terminals for corrosion and debris. Refer to Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections in SI.
    • If any corrosion and/or debris is observed, repair as necessary.
  6. After completing the repair, verify the proper operation of the system. Depending on the vehicle and model year, perform the Diagnostic Repair Verification procedure or refer to Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) List - Vehicle in SI.

Warranty Information

For vehicles repaired under warranty, use the appropriate labor operation for the source of the water leak

Labor Operation


Labor Time

(###) ###-####/p>

Body Joint Resealing

Use Published Labor Operation Time

(###) ###-####/p>

Plenum Panel Resealing

(###) ###-####/p>

Windshield Resealing

Note: Time for removal of necessary components to gain access to the leak and connector repair must be submitted as Other Labor Hours and have appropriate authorization.

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.


Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

also use a needle and tighten the pins on the throttle body connector, I have had them fight me several times.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Explain how I can tighten the pins in the connector. I am not following you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, where is the connector that can get wet? I saw this bulletin already and pulled the panel to the left of the park break pedal and it was dry as a bone.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

look at x206 and x210 , also look at the IP fuse block for water intrusion, I have seen it mostly on the passenger side. there is a tang inside the metal pin on each wire that is what holds the female onto the male, with a needle you can bend it closed more to ensure good contact, they are small and its a pain but you would be supriised how often pin tension causes issues

Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

and disconnect the connectors to look for moisture once disconnected tap on them and look for green or black spots.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I know what you are talking about now. I have old Porsche's (944 and 914 don't get excited) and have removed the connector and bent the tab out more before. Guessing it is similar.In your attachment it would be #3 connector? In the PS left kick panel?
Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

whoops forgot to send the key for that image, yah its number 3 and number 1 sorry about that

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to make sure I do it correct. You disconnect the connector and push from the back and from the front push a needle to depress the tab. Then remove wire and bend tab out further and push back into connector. This is the way I have done it in my old Porsche's. Please let me know if there is a better easier way. The tab on my old cars can be fragile. Don't want problems.
Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

thats it but there will likely be a TPA which will be a peice of plastic that needs to move before you can release the pins, I would only worry about pin tension at the throttle body itself I would just inspect the other connectors, I have a big PDF that has a write up on it but its 15mb so i cant upload it here, if you have an e-mail i can send it to you if you want.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is my email. I pushed/pulled on the throttle body wires and they seemed tight. What else can cause this problem ECM/ECU or ???
Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

Almost always a resistance issue if its not the throttle body, did your rig have a sunroof? If you can clear the code you can go and wiggle the wiring around on the harness and see if you can duplicate it. check connector 1 in this picture also

Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

It can be the ECM but its really uncommon, disconnecting and reconnecting the ecm a few times may remove any fretting in its connectors so its worth a shot too. I sent that pdf its from***@******.***

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it has a sunroof. Will the code come up in Park? or only in Drive. My experience is it needs to be in Drive.
Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

normally it would throw in park but intermittent issues you might need someone to be sweeping the throttle while you do it to see if all sensors agree through the operating range, if you buddy will let you borrow his tech2 you can monitor the voltages and agree disagree parameter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was a power wire for a DVD player plugged into one of the spare fuse locations. Could this cause the problem?
Expert:  Ryan Schott replied 1 year ago.

It definitely could, remove that and test and see if it comes back, aftermarket devices cause hell.