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Jeromy Madison
Jeromy Madison,
Category: GMC
Satisfied Customers: 71
Experience:  Owner/Technician at Mad Auto Repair
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I have a 2001 GMC 2.2 std trans. 2 wheel dr Sonoma. About

Customer Question

I have a 2001 GMC 2.2 std trans.*****Sonoma. About Twice a year it would act like the battery was completely dead when I went to start it. No door chime, no cab or head lights, no dash lights. Then after a while (hour or two or next day) it will start like nothing happened. Last night it wouldn't start but it did this morning but all the dash lights were on and fluctuating along with the speedo and amp meter. I could hear a loud buzzing noise on the drivers side behind the dash ( I have always noticed a faint blue light behind the odometer when getting in the vehicle in the dark before starting I don't know if that's normal) anyway I drove the vehicle home, and took my other vehicle to work. When I got home from work I went out and it started and ran normal-no problems. Question is there a sticking or weak relay causing this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: GMC
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 1 year ago.

How old is the battery? I know this seems obvious, but it can be very easily overlooked and if it is newer have you had it tested? It really sounds like a battery with a bad or loose cell.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The battery is a few years old. When this happened last winter I pulled the battery and volt/load tested it and it tested fine. 99% of the time the truck starts fine but here lately since its been getting colder it's happened 3 times this week. I drive back roads to work (pot holes, frost heaves) that jarring must put a battery through a workout, I would think that would finish a weak battery off in "short" order ( no pun intended )
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For some history I think the vehicle originally belonged to a first responder..fireman ect. It had some switches on the lower left side dash panels which I took out and we're not connected (no loose wires noted) looked like cutouts for lights in the grill also. I have owned the vehicle for about 5 years. When I started it this morning (after it sat all night because it wouldn't start) I let it warm up and headed out. Before I got 10 feet I heard what sounded like a rapid clicking...almost like a ratchet sound but much quieter behind the dash on the drivers side. The lights in the dash were dimming and getting bright " flickering" the battery gage and speedo were jumping up and down, all system lights were illuminated. I parked it. Tonight it started no issues.
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 1 year ago.

That sounds like a very loose ground shorting out somewhere behind the instrument cluster. I would pull the cluster and see if I could find where the short is.

I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a short finder so I will have to plug it in to see if it detects a short back there. Which circuit do you suggest I check first? Gage/ inst cluster? Hopefully I will get some results. if not, I will have to pull the dash and take a look.
Another thing I have noticed in the 5 years I have had the vehicle, is there's always been a very small light blue illumination behind the left side of the odometer (same color as odometer digits) but not bright and it is barely noticeable even in the dark. it's more noticeable from the angle of looking from the passenger side. It is not on the top or just behind the gage surface of the cluster so to speak, but looks as though it is further down in the cluster below and to the left of the odometer. I can always see it In the mornings with the vehicle off, no interior light on and the key has not been inserted into the ignition yet. Have you heard of this? I have often thought it would drain the battery as the truck is seasonal transportation and sits 4-5 months of the year. I have never disconnected the battery but It has always has started when I have done so about once a month.
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 1 year ago.

That is very strange. I have never heard of that before.

I would start by checking the instrument cluster circuit.

I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Couldn't detect a short with my detector. The vehicle's starting/ running fine again. So to clerify, there aren't any circuit breakers or relays under the dash (or hood) that would cause these intermittent electrical issues? It acts like a main battery /power relay or something along that line kicking in and out and sticking. I will take the gage cluster out but just no time right now. Another thought....I replaced my tranny mounted reverse light switch a few years ago as the reverse lights did not work when I bought the truck. The switch broke again within the year. it keeps getting worn out and breaking as I think the 3rd gear shift gate or what ever is in there that contacts the switch ball is worn. It is a little tricky and tight shifting into third gear sometimes perhaps the shifter is over traveling into the contact ball on the switch breaking it internally. Do you think the switch may have a short internally and causing these problems?
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 1 year ago.

There is no circuit breaker or relay there that I am aware of. As for the reverse switch short causing this issue I think that would be very impossible. The issue you describe with the noise, sounds like a loose connection behind the cluster.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I plan on getting it in the garage this week during vacation since I will have the time and will thouroghly check it out. I will also disconnect the reverse light switch ( as its not working anyway) and see if the problem occurs again. As of last few days the truck is acting normal again. If you would like I'll try and get a picture of the dash light and add a file here if
to see what I was talking about. Other than that I guess I'm all set. I'll see how it goes. Hard to track down a intermittent electrical issue until something totally screws up. Guess I'm all set, Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 1 year ago.

Yeah, that sounds good. I am glad to help!

Please rate me if you can, thanks.