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Ignition won't work. And, is my warranty voided?

Discussion in 'GM Electrical Tech' started by JRD761, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. JRD761

    JRD761 Rockstar 100 Posts

    I have a 2012 Silverado that I purchased last November. It has about 20,000 miles on it now.

    I've had no problems with it, until today.

    I went to drive the truck.. Opened the doors using my keyless entry, got in the truck, put the key in the ignition, and turned the key.. but nothing happened. Nothing turned on (IE Radio, Fan, any lights on the dash) when it was in the "On/Run" position, and the truck didn't turn over when it was in the "Start" position.

    Thinking I had a dead battery, I went and hooked a battery charger up to it. Still had the same result.

    After playing around with it, I found that if I moved the adjustable/tilt steering wheel up a little bit and held it there with the key in the "On/Run" position, everything works. The truck will start up, and the radio/fan/everything else works. However, as soon as you move the steering wheel again, it all turns off as if you took the key out of the ignition.

    Also, same thing with the hazard lights. They only work if the steering wheel is in that one position.

    Now unfortunately, the position that the steering wheel is in when everything works isn't one that the adjuster will "lock" into. So I can't drive the truck at all..

    What I'm thinking is there's wiring inside/along the steering column that is loose.

    Has anyone seen any trucks with this problem?

    Now my main reason why I've posted here: I know the truck has a 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on it, but I have two concerns:

    1) Shortly after getting the truck, I installed a new Stereo head-unit and 4 new speakers. When I installed the stereo, I know it was installed correctly.. I've been working with automotive electrical all my life and it hasn't given me any problems. I installed the new stereo using an "install kit", which gave me a new module that had the door/key chime built into it, and a new wiring harness that plugged into the existing factory stereo connector (except for one wire: the steering wheel controls. That wire had to be cut at the back of the stereo connector and connected to an interface module for the wire to work with my aftermarket stereo). Will any of this void my warranty?

    2) I've installed LED work lights in my truck. This was also installed around the same time as the stereo.. and it's on its own circuit (goes from the battery, to a fuse, through the firewall to a switch I mounted in the glove compartment, back out of the firewall to the bed of the truck). Will this void/mess with the warranty?

    Thanks for your help guys!
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  2. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Member 1 Year 500 Posts

    I wouldn't think the stereo would void the warranty, but it definitely sounds like time to have it towed to the dealer
  3. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    That's an interesting one. Since it affects multiple circuits in the steering wheel and is an intermittent connection, I'm going to guess there's a grounding issue in the column. Depending on where the column derives its ground, it could be anything from a pinched/severed wire to a mechanical issue in the column that's preventing a good ground path. In the older trucks, the ignition switch wiring went straight through with no grounds involved, but I'm not sure if that's the case in the newer trucks.
  4. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Yeah, that's a very tough call. I know that in years long-ago, you could get a truck w/o a radio and then add one in yourself and it would never affect your warranty on the rest of the stuff. However, now that everything is so integrated with stuff like anti-theft systems, navigation built-in, etc. I have no clue is that's considered to be part of the electrical system and if swapping it out will void your warranty.

    We can wait for [MENTION=37117]GM Customer Service[/MENTION] to come around, or I can drop a note to the folks at GM Communications and see what they have to say about it, that might take a week or so to get through to the right channels but you'll have it from the very top that way.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ... I've dropped a note to the GM Regional Communications office and hopefully I'll hear back from them in a few days time with some type of guidelines for what modifications can be made to a pickup (or any newer vehicle) without voiding the warranty.
  5. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    The only things in your warranty that would be void would be things that are directly effected/caused by your aftermarket equipment. It is called the massey ferguson act. Many dealers claim to not even have knowledge of the act. It basically says that if you put in Aftermarket hid headlights and your rear differential blows out then you are still covered under warranty. Now if your headlight dash switch melts then you are on your own. Do you tilt the wheel up every time you get out? then back down when you get in? I used to see wires break in the column all the time from people doing this. The harness that we replaced would be #26 in the diagram

    [​IMG]



    http://www.gmpartsclub.com/parts-ca...ex/steering-column/shroud-switches-and-levers
    [​IMG]This part fits your 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  6. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    thanks, I have fixed it
  7. JRD761

    JRD761 Rockstar 100 Posts


    I read online about that act. But seeing how I've spliced into a wire that goes to the steering wheel (the steering wheel control wire that I previously mentioned... But it was cut no where near the steering wheel, it was spliced at the connector that would have plugged into the back of the factory stereo) has me a bit concerned about all this. I guess best thing to do is put the stock stereo back in? Then they probably wouldn't even know that the radio was replaced?

    I very rarely move the steering wheel. But it does seem like there is a loose connection or ground somewhere. I really don't see how replacing my stereo could have effected that wiring or caused any damage to it, but who knows with the dealer. And unfortunately I won't be back home for a week to get the truck to the dealer.

    I did do a generic Google Search and found two Technical Service Bulletins from one website (TSB # 342073 and TSB # 342074). I wasn't able to find any more information other than what this website says... But it does say there's a loose ground that causes other problems with the controls on the steering column and doesn't describe my situation. But maybe it could be the same issue?

    - - - Updated - - -

    And also just for info, the LED work lights that I installed are on it's own completely separate circuit. The power wire comes from the battery, to a fuse, then into the cab through an existing grommet through the firewall. From there it goes under the dash (completely away from any stock wiring), over to the glove box where it's at a toggle switch. Then back out the same grommet, under the rear of the truck to the lights in the bed of the truck.

    I called my local Chevy dealer that I'd be taking it to repairs and told them about the problem and the lights (not the stereo). The service advisor said that if the problem was caused by the lights/wiring then it would not be covered, and there's no way to know unless they look at it... but from how I explained it to him, he doesn't see how it would be a problem and I should be fine with leaving the lights in when I take the truck in.
  8. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I would take it in and let them look at it. some service managers will look at your situation and say, "no that did not cause that issue, we will fix it" others will say that you pulled the wire that you spliced too far and damaged it. You could talk to gm customer service if they deny your claim. Eventually you would probably win. that being said, if it is that harness that I pointed out it is only $86. But, you sound like you have a good dealer on your hands. I mean if your radio installed caused the issue then I think that you should have to pay for the repair. I don't think it did though.
  9. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    So I reached out to the GM Communication office and they sent the question back to Detroit. This was the response that they got, and I am including it here as a blockquote exactly as it was sent to me.

  10. JRD761

    JRD761 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Great, thanks! I'll have the vehicle towed into the dealer as soon as I get back into town and I'll let you all know what they say.

    Thanks everyone for all your help.

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