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Dashboard Dead & Stuck In 3rd



For about the last week my dashboard keeps resetting, it looks like you turned the key off and back on. The engine never loses power or anything. After this happened a couple of times, the dash won't even come on and the check engine light turned on.

The dealer doesn't have any ideas and the trans shop as well. Turns out the the codes indicate that EVERY selenoid in the trans has failed (yea right).

Does anyone have any ideas???

Do you mean the instrument cluster turns off?

Loose wire?
Have there been any electrical mods done in the last few weeks to your Av? After fishing a wire behind the dash a while back, I had similar results. Turned out a cluster plug was not seated in properly.
I'll second the loose connector line of thinking . . often the most common cause of an intermittant problem. Easy to verify too. . . .

Beyond that, I'd expect more from the dealer that "Huh, dunno what's wrong"
Not to make light:

The subject of this thread sounds like the title of a country song.

"My Dashboard's dead and I'm stuck in third
My Avalanche is being a damned old turd"

Hope you get it resolved quickly.

Sorry I can't laugh right now cause I'm living the pain...

Actually, the entire dash doesn't go dead, just the instrument cluster minus the amp guage. ?The trans shop is telling me that the trans is losing electrical power and the computer is detecting this as all selenoids failing. ?It then cuts power to a particular circuit to protect other circuits. ?This circuit includes the dash cluster and transmission, and no-power default in the trans is 3rd gear. ?Not radio, air, etc.

I have made NO mods for around 2 months.

Anyone have any knowledge on the subject?

This is actually a common problem on 95-up trucks, although I thought gm would have fixed it by now. In 95 they changed the design of the ignition switch. The contacts in the switch are about the size of a pin head and the current that flows on the circuit for the transmission, tach, gear indicator, is quite large. Everytime you turn the switch, there is a small arc, over time this would create a bad connection on that circuit. The fix was to replace the ignition switch, or what we do is install a relay to take the load off the switch. Have you checked the fuse for that circuit first? Also you might take a test light and see if you have power to the fuse, if not, I would suspect the switch. When you lose power to the transmission it will set codes for the A & B shift solenoids, tcc, pwm and 3-2 solenoid.
I'm not sure exactly, but the trans guy said that EVERY selenoid was showing dead / bad. Obviously that is no likely. Once the codes set, the dash won't come back on. It's not the fuse, once the codes are cleared everything works perfectly again. At least until it happens again...

The dealer wants to reset my programs and such before going any farther, understandable but painful. How do you suggest that I communicate this scenario to the dealer? Are there any service bulletins on it?

Seems kinda odd that a transmission code could kill the dash, but the computer does tie into just about everything these days. The only way I know off that it can set all the solenoids codes at once is if the connector at the trans was disconnected. Looking at you signature it appears that you have had your transmission out, you might want to double check to see that the connector is locked in. I can see where it would be painful to lose your programming, I've read about your no TM. I'm not aware of any tsb for this problem.
Thanks for all of the replies and sorry for the lack of response. We've been on vacation in HI for the last 10 days, only saw one AV on the last day there??

Well, I am supposed to pick it up tomorrow. I left it with them while I was gone. I'm hoping they have fixed it!

Actually, the reason the dash goes out is because the computer kills the circuit(s) that supply it along with killing power to the transmission when it gets the transmission failure codes. Therefore the dash is dead and the trans is left in limp-home mode (3rd).

I will re-post results tomorrow...