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Help! I am stumped. So my wife's Traverse popped up the service battery charging system light, last week. Two days later it totally died on her. Took it in to the dealer, her said it was a bad alternator and it will be 1300 to change. I did it myself instead. Worked fine for two days then message came on again. Les Schwab said it was a bad battery. Put in a new battery and now the confusion begins. When she is driving with the air on, it will randomly drop the air flow and the battery gauge will drop way down. Lasts for a few seconds then comes back up? Anyone heard of this. I took it to the Auto Shop and they tested the Alternator and battery and said they tested out fine. I checked all of my connections and they are good and tight and clean. Don't know what to do next, and I don't want her to get stranded...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It is a 2012 Traverse. No other warning lights have come on, just the drop in voltage and the air reducing. Thanks
 

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the only times Im aware of AC fan lowering fan speed

--- is on the upper trim models- when phone call comes in- and lowers the fan speed- so you can hear your calls better....

or in all trims-
when the battery saver comes active- and turns off stuff to save battery.


The alternator you put in--- rebuilt or new?


also- what was the breakdown for the $1300 dealer repair?
 

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Just joined the forum as I have a similar issue and have been meaning to come on here for a few months for assistance. ryan - I have a 2012 LTZ with about 40k in miles as reference.

So last Nov the car inexplicably dies one day. Starts an hour later but engine light is on, I put gas in it as it was low and engine light is no longer on. Was super cold that day so we're thinking maybe it was a fluke. Nope, dies on my wife a few days later.

So she gets a tech from the dealer (10 min from house) to come by and jump it, they drive it in to the shop. Chevy dealer says it needs a new battery. So I replace the battery, myself, instead of having them do it. I was very skeptical seeing as the car is only 4 years old and the battery charged and held a charge.

Anyhow on our way. 3 weeks later I'm on the highway and the transmission misses shifting up a gear, as if it lost power, engine light goes on, but within 30 seconds the car is fine and the engine light goes off.

3 weeks after that the car dies again, while my wife is running errands in the winter with two little kids. I go to the car and it starts up again an hour later but no acceleration. Meaning I can't get the car to drive when in D and instead it is sitting idle. Try again 20 minutes later and it is fine, though engine light is on. I drive it back to the Chevy dealer.

They had it for 17 days (January) and said the issue was recurring. 17 freaking days we had a loaner. They ruled out alternator and other major repairs but thought it was a wiring issue and found loose wires near/in the fuse box. So that was the simple fix after 17 days. They charged us $200+ so not all that bad, but the charge was to diagnose the car which they got wrong the first time. So I flip out, the owner of the dealership is happening to walk by, stops over. He clears the charge, gives me his direct cell and the head tech's cell # to try and ensure the car is safe to drive as we were taking a road trip that weekend.

So now a month later it appears things are still good. I'm still weary, though. It seems the voltage meter which would drop a lot when we were having the issues is now bouncing from 13 V to 15V all the time. One light it's at 13, a few miles later back up. I still thing there may be an electrical issue in hiding. But then maybe I never paid attention to the volt meter and quite possibly that is normal.

In any case, if it happens again I think we may be done with the lambdas. I think at 4 years and 40k miles it will seem to be too unreliable for my wife with young kids. If, however, this tweaking of wires and plugs fixes the issue for at least several years than I'll be happier.

And FYI I'm a Chevy guy, own an SS and this Traverse now, just got rid of an old Blazer finally after years as a winter beater. But I can't say I'm too pleased with the unreliability at this point.
 

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if it makes you feel better. I have a 2010 and now at 124,200. Only Issue I had was a failed water pump. (and a leaking front motor mount at 101,000)


But yes, the voltage needle on this vehicle does move around more than other cars.
The alternator is computer controlled and if the battery is fully charged- and low load on the vehicle- the needle will move down to 13V or so...

If the battery is not fully charged, youre using fan, radio, seat heaters, window defrosters etc, youll see the needle move up to 15 V.

Ive started my car, with rear defrosters, heater blowing, and seen the needle go up to 15, then as I drive- and hop on the highway, turn of rear defroster etc.-- eventually it goes down to 13v as I cruise along.
 

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Same here with my '12. During drives the voltage will be anywhere between 15-13 though it's pretty steady depending on where it sits. It doesn't "jump" around or anything just over time it'll move one direction then stay there for a while then drift back the other way.
 

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I have a 2012 Traverse and had some weird power issues a few months ago that I was never able to figure out what happened.

I was driving in the morning taking my daughter to school and then heading to work. Car was running normal except I realized the radio wasn't working. I tried turning it on but there was nothing. Then I noticed my turn signal wasn't working in either direction. There was no warning light on the dash and no sound at all from the radio or the turn signal. I turned the car off and back on while stopped at a red light and that did nothing. I turned it off again when I dropped my daughter off at school (I have to walk her into the before school care) and when I returned and started the car again everything worked fine. I haven't had an issue since then but I did let the dealership know. But they just told me unless they can make the problem reoccur there isn't anything they can do.
 

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Just a heads up there have been a few weird electrical issues popping up on the other forums as well. The cause may be a loose connection in the fuse/relay box under the hood. Possible bad solder joints or wire connections is something to be on the lookout for.
 

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Also look at the fuse box behind the glove box. If your windshield leaks or the drain from the sunroof, if you have one, can leak into this area and cause all kinds of electrical issues. My windshield leaked and caused my check engine light to come. The whole fuse box had to be replaced, under warranty.
 

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Thanks for the responses, quite helpful. Sounds like I had a similar issue to what the OP is experiencing so didn't feel like starting own thread and just added to this.

As for the voltage running between 13 and 15V I read that online somewhere a week ago when I noticed it. Sounds like it's normal with the Traverse, as stated above, where more or less power can be directed to things like the heater, etc. If I have any issues where I seemingly lose power trying to accelerate, which happened a few times prior to finally getting the issue "repaired" then I'll start to worry again. For now I'm going to put it to rest and assume the dealership resolved the faulty wiring issue.

I'll update this thread if anything reoccurs.
 

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Beach_Bum said:
Thanks for the responses, quite helpful. Sounds like I had a similar issue to what the OP is experiencing so didn't feel like starting own thread and just added to this.

As for the voltage running between 13 and 15V I read that online somewhere a week ago when I noticed it. Sounds like it's normal with the Traverse, as stated above, where more or less power can be directed to things like the heater, etc. If I have any issues where I seemingly lose power trying to accelerate, which happened a few times prior to finally getting the issue "repaired" then I'll start to worry again. For now I'm going to put it to rest and assume the dealership resolved the faulty wiring issue.

I'll update this thread if anything reoccurs.
Next time your voltage is low, turn on your headlights or turn on the tow/haul if you have a tow package. Either of these will increase the alternator voltage. If you voltage goes up, I'd say it's working OK.
 

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greentraverse said:
Next time your voltage is low, turn on your headlights or turn on the tow/haul if you have a tow package. Either of these will increase the alternator voltage. If you voltage goes up, I'd say it's working OK.
He is correct.

Tow/haul mode- turns off the voltage control feature.
Its done this way- so that the item youre towing (which could have its own battery- gets charged while on the road).
 

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Well my worst fears occurred. Less than 3 months after the last repair, which lasted 17 days at the dealership, the car again won't start.

So it's now officially a recurring problem. It's been raining very hard the past few days in Chicago and when the car isn't in the garage over night it is outside being rained on. My wife ran some errands this evening and then it wouldn't start.

I went over there and tried and it won't turn over. All the electrical components work, the car sounds like it will start but it just never turns. It isn't clicking or anything as it would on a dead battery. The voltage is low, so no doubt I'm again having an electrical issue where the car isn't being powered properly.

Just don't know what to do now. She says she never wants to drive it again. It was bought brand new 4.5 years ago for $40k+ (LTZ), still under the oem warranty until November, but blue book only puts it at like $17k. Getting rid of it would be even worse than keeping it, just it's very scary to have my wife with two young kids be subject to potential for not starting.

I'm going to pursue warrantying out the fuse boxes, particularly the one by the glove dept as mentioned above. When they had it for 17 days a few months ago as I wrote above in this thread the ultimate resolution was tightening the connections to the fuse box. Clearly that was an improper repair. I even had their head tech guy call me assure me things were fine with the car.

Oh Chevy. You build these Crossover clunkers and don't know how to fix them just 4 years later. Any additional input or insight on the matter since January? Have others had this issue?
 

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Water inside these vehicles create all kinds of problems. How are your state's lemon laws? You are fortunate to have this problem under warranty even though it is a pain to get it resolved. Someone just had similar problems that you described, it wound up being a loose connector to one of the modules.
 

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Help! I am stumped. So my wife's Traverse popped up the service battery charging system light, last week. Two days later it totally died on her. Took it in to the dealer, her said it was a bad alternator and it will be 1300 to change. I did it myself instead. Worked fine for two days then message came on again. Les Schwab said it was a bad battery. Put in a new battery and now the confusion begins. When she is driving with the air on, it will randomly drop the air flow and the battery gauge will drop way down. Lasts for a few seconds then comes back up? Anyone heard of this. I took it to the Auto Shop and they tested the Alternator and battery and said they tested out fine. I checked all of my connections and they are good and tight and clean. Don't know what to do next, and I don't want her to get stranded...
 

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Did you figure out what the issue was? My 2012 traverse started having the exact same problem yesterday. Replaced the battery. Then relaxed the alternator and the warning indicator is now coming on when the air runs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Did you figure out what the issue was? My 2012 traverse started having the exact same problem yesterday. Replaced the battery. Then relaxed the alternator and the warning indicator is now coming on when the air runs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
My 2012 Traverse has hesitating while starting says servace battery charging system and is in power saving mode. While running theirs no issues. Weird right.
 
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