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2009 5.3 Stabilitrak Traction Control Problems

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#1 LuckRunsOut



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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:06 PM

Hello everyone, long time lurker, first time posting.

I have a 2009 Silverado 5.3 Crew Cab with the 6 spd tranny. Last February I got it tuned by Justin at a group meet up in Houston. Justin breathed new life into my truck and made driving it more pleasurable. I didn't want to tune it to necessarily race it and burn rubber all the time, I just wanted a better driving experience. Everything has been awesome until last night.

We got some very cold weather here in deep south Texas. It got down to the upper 20's. Sleet, ice and some snow. It never gets like this down here! The truck stayed in the garage throughout the duration of this winter storm. During the day, I went to get something i left in the truck and turned it on and I get a few warning messages. "Service Stabilitrak", "traction control off", "service traction control" and the little traction and engine light came on. I also immediately noticed that the engine was idling a little rougher than usual. And now when I put the truck on drive and let go of the brake, the entire truck starts shaking. I took it for a drive and also noticed that when I'm coming to a complete stop the truck shakes/buckles when downshifting.

What could be happening? I disconnected the battery, reconnected and it didn't help. I have 49K on the odometer. My concern about taking it to the dealership is the blackbear tune. Will they just turn me away? Anyone else have the same kind of experience? Obviously the problem was caused by the weather, but it was never driven during the winter storm.

Sorry for the long post, but as you could imagine, this is frustrating. I emailed Justin, but I got an auto response, saying he would be out of the office until Monday. Plus, I really wanted to know if anyone here on these message forums could give me any insightful advice.


#2 10YukonXL25004x4



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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:27 PM

I don't know what the problem is. This is why it's risky to modify your new truck. You might be stuck with the repair bill. If you want to play, you gotta pay!

Although they'd probably have to show your tune caused the problem to deny warranty coverage.
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#3 MikeNH


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:52 AM

I'd be real surprised if anything related to the tune could cause faults in the TC/ESC system. Get to an Autozone and have the codes read or call OnStar if you have a subscription to get code info.

#4 kdixer



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Posted 05 February 2011 - 06:53 AM

Try charging the battery. The cold weather could have caused a weak battery to rear it's ugly head. If the system is not getting proper voltage it can cause some freaky things.
The intention of my posts are simply an expression of my personal opinion. If they offend you, let me go ahead and appologize now. If that is not good enough, why do you care what i think? You probably don't even know me anyway.

#5 08AllTerrain



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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:00 PM

I just recently had a similar problem on my '08 Sierra with 5.3. I finally took it to the dealer after having talked to Onstar who told me it was a throttle position control sensor. That sensor apparently is apart of the throttle body so they had to replace the throttle body. They told they had seen it quite often and fortunately it was covered under the powertrain warranty. My truck is also tuned but I just swapped the units out. I also got a reduced engine power message so may not be the same thing but figured Id give my two cents..good luck!

#6 arctictwist



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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:05 PM

I just had the same thing happen at 35,000 miles as soon as the cold hit and we got bad storms. turns out i had a bad hub in the front driver wheel.

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#7 LuckRunsOut



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Posted 05 February 2011 - 04:27 PM

Hello guys,
Thanks for the replies. I recharged the battery and that didn't help. I also took the truck to my local mechanic. He hooked up his OBD II and he said it couldn't pick up anything because the truck has been modified. I then took it to autozone and they said the same thing. Their computer wouldn't read anything when they plugged it in.

I also realized that my factory remote start doesn't work either. It just flashes the headlights and does nothing. I've been doing a lot of research, looking up problems with the stabilitrak message and for many the solution was a bad throttle body. I thought maybe this might be whats happening to me, but I'm not getting the "reduced engine power" message like they did, so I'm not sure if thats my situation.

Arctictwist said he had the same problems when the winter storm hit and the problem was a bad wheel hub. That sounds a lot like what I might have.

At this point, I want to take it in to the dealership but as I mentioned earlier, I don't know what will happen because of the blackbear tune.

#8 ujtruck



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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:02 PM

you need a good OBD II tools to tackle this issue - One that from Snap-On will work

check your Wheel Speed Sensors
Check your ABS System

you will know your issue in no time


#9 Super Stealth

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:12 PM

This has nothing to do at all with ABS/trac control etc

The problem is this...you have a severe engine misfire. When the pcm recognizes your truck is not firing on all 8 cylinders, you go into a limp-mode. ABS,trac control,stabilitrak is DISABLED because of the misfire.

Also your remote start is inop because of the dtc's in your pcm

Get your engine fixed...then all other systems will return to normal.

What really sucks for you now is that you can't retrieve codes...so you are stuck.

Edited by Super Stealth, 05 February 2011 - 05:13 PM.


#10 javzh



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Posted 05 February 2011 - 08:37 PM

that is complete BS about not being able to retrieve codes.
i have a blackbear tune as well. i recently installed longtube headers and had the same stabilitrak message you have. but it was because i cracked a spark plug when i did the install. i had a rough idle and misfires.

So i plugged in my friends OBD-II reader and retrieved the codes. if your check engine light is on then you should also be able to retrieve codes.
code said i had a misfire on cylinder 8, i replaced the cracked spark plug and the stabilitrak message never came back.

check your plugs and wires.
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#11 Grebbler



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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:52 AM

That is freaky. Justin's tune should not impair reading codes.

A bad PCM causing bad engine running / loss of code retrieval - causing other issues to cascade?

As far as i know, Jason uses used/traded PCM's. They are expensive and that's fine.
This is not a knock against Jason, but I elected to keep my stock PCM as a spare just in case I have an issue like you are having.

This way if the truck acts the same after swapping the old one in I can rule out the PCM and look to other modules or wiring. If swapping solves the issue then I can send Justin's PCM back and still drive (although not nearly as much fun) until the problem is found.

I hope it turns out to be silly and cheap. I am a big fan of cheap.

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#12 LuckRunsOut



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Posted 08 February 2011 - 07:23 PM

Hey guys, just wanted to give you all a quick update.

I took the truck into the dealership (or stealership lol) this morning. I was kinda nervous because of the blackbear tune, but I rolled the dice and left it there for service. A few hours later, I get a call from the service dept. Turns out that a mouse had chewed off one of the direct injectors. They found the dead mouse in pieces...They then said that it couldn't be covered under the powertrain warranty because it didn't result in mechanical failure. $292 for the repair. And I guess it makes sense because like i had mentioned in my first post we got a winter storm in Texas and I guess the mouse was looking for a place to keep warm. They didn't mention anything about the tune, and I was happy to get my truck back. Thanks for everyones input and advice. This truly is a great website!

#13 agrats84



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Posted 08 February 2011 - 07:36 PM

Wow. You lucked out in the scheme of things. I had a cat do the same thing, but the smell when I turned the heat on gave me a clue. A pretty cheap fix for what it could have been. I have been researching getting my truck tuned by Justin, but am going to opt for the AutoCal for the reasons you were concerned about with the dealership. However, it gives me new confidence that they didn't mention anything to you about it.

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#14 AirSkeeter



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Posted 09 February 2011 - 08:32 AM

This has nothing to do at all with ABS/trac control etc

The problem is this...you have a severe engine misfire. When the pcm recognizes your truck is not firing on all 8 cylinders, you go into a limp-mode. ABS,trac control,stabilitrak is DISABLED because of the misfire.

Also your remote start is inop because of the dtc's in your pcm

Get your engine fixed...then all other systems will return to normal.

What really sucks for you now is that you can't retrieve codes...so you are stuck.

You are spot on with this comment. The truck that I traded in yesterday had alll of the same issues. It turned out to be a dropped cylinder and possibly a warped head. Apparently the 2007 5.3 has some of these issues. The SM told me that the computer shuts all of those systems off and goes into limp mode, as you said.
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#15 ChevyTech77


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Posted 09 February 2011 - 09:10 AM

The stability and traction system will default to off with any engine/trans driveablility issue. Get the check engine light/driveablility concern fixed first and the rest will be history.
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