2003 Chevy Tahoe Electrical Issue?


Old 10-26-09, 07:28 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 1,067
2003 Chevy Tahoe Electrical Issue?

I have a 2003 Chevy Tahoe. Battery was running down several times over several days. Took vehicle to AA to have it checked. They said battery and alternator were OK.

Next morning battery was run down again and had to be jumped.

Tahoe was dropped off at local Chevy dealer where it was purchased. Service Dept called and said there was a short on the connection to the back seat AC/heat that was draining battery. Cost to repair was apprx $1000. I have to admit this did not go over very well so I just had this AC/heat function disconnected. After all I don't sit in the back seat.

So, I would like to hear from the experts about this diagnosis and cost. Is this plausible and is price reasonable-a complete re-wiring?

Thanks for reading and all advice.

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Old 10-26-09, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 109
Sounds ridiculous to me. Were there any parts that were going to be replaced? Normally if you have a short you would have to actually find it so I don't really know how they diagnosed it without being right at the actual problem. If that was the case your diag time that you paid should have been really high.
Old 10-26-09, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 105
For the most part, the Chevrolet Avalanche, Tahoe, Silverado, Surburban all shares the same wiring harness.

In my opinion - the wires in the harness are too small and the amount of draw on the charging system is too much for the wiring harness to handle.

I have had several 1999 - 2007 Chevrolet trucks, Avalanches, S - 10 / 15 Blazers / Jimmy's. A Equinox, Trailblazer, you name it - I have had it.

When figuring in any repair you have to look at what the shop charges for shop time. In your area it might be as high as $85 a hour.

To replace the harness, you will probably have to remove the entire interior out of the vehicle and all the seats. Buy a new / used harness, and still diagnose the problem before putting the new harness in the vehicle.

You have a switch back there that is probably $250 in the garage, along with a harness that might be $500 and another $250 in labor to diagnose the problem and put it in.

If the mechanic mis diagnoses the problem, I would see no reason why you would be liable to pay a second time for the repairs.

So let's say the garage makes $400 on this repair. If they replace the faulty parts and the problem does not come back, all is well and good.

If they replace the parts and it fails again and they have to buy the parts out of their own pocket and do it a second time for free, they might break even. Although if the mechanic gets paid flat rate, he is paid one time to do the work and the second time he has to do it for free.

If I told you that you have to come to work tomorrow and work for free because you made a mistake, you would probably laugh in my face and tell me where to go.

A shade tree mechanic might be able to get the parts for $300 and put it in for another $200 and feel like a thief, but if it doesn't work, you are still going to be out the harness - if it catches fire and burns and has to be replaced a second time.

Your vehicle is probably too old to still be under warranty and the only other option is to take it to a new car lot and trade it in on a new vehicle and keep your mouth shut.

$1000 will not go far towards buying a new vehicle these days, but will be cheaper in the long run to trade up then to repair what you already own.

You can put $5000 into your vehicle and it will still only be worth what the black book says that it is worth. So basically fixing a used vehicle is a loosing proposition.

Chances are, you just made your last payment not too long ago, so the thought of going $20,000 in debt to buy another one might not look too appealing right now.
Old 10-26-09, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: tulsa, ok
Posts: 48
Tahoe was dropped off at local Chevy dealer where it was purchased. Service Dept called and said there was a short on the connection to the back seat AC/heat that was draining battery.

a short in the connection? it is obviusly not a waire harness problem but a componant failure. the rear hvac is staying awake for some reason and needs to be replaced. If you have the roof mounted hvac controller the parts price is 175.00 plus an hour at the most to replace it. In 16 years as a tech I have only replaced 4 wire harnesses, most can be repaired much easier and cheeper.

If you would like send a pvt message to me and and I will do some more research for you, but i need some more info

85.00 a hour wow, we are the cheepest in town at 88.00, most around here are 90 to 105 for domestic and 130 plus for import

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