New Vehicle time

I used my pickup truck several times on the interstate recently. The vibration I’ve noticed before got worse. I checked the U-joints and they were sound. That meant the problem was elsewhere. Looking at the bottom side of the truck I decided to trade it in.

I found a 2009 Chevy Tahoe LTZ with a lot of great features used at a dealer in Kingsport. It had been there quite a while and the price was down already. When I called about it the price dropped again.

This was still not going to be free so I filled out an online application for a used car load from Pentagon Federal and was approved. My plan was to get the truck emptied out and drive up on July 5th when I figured both the dealer and PenFed would be open. On the 4th first PenFed called to respond to a survey I filled out. They were open. Then while I was getting stuff out of the truck the dealer with the Tahoe called telling me deals on the 4th were better. I was off and running. I forced my poor wife to go with me. Good thing. First she caught that I didn’t have the truck title with me. Later she caught a number of other things for me.

This is what I was excited about:


Note that it fits in my garage. The front is amazingly clean.


Still pretty clean.


Yep, pretty much nothing to see here. I’ll add more pictures later. The outside is pretty good but it looks like the PO backed into a pole and did some damage to the rear bumper and part of the tailgate. There’s even some rust there and over the left rear wheel arch.

Clearly the PO had a flat at some point. The jack and tools were just dumped back into the compartment they store in. Then I realized there were pretty much 6 different lugs on the wheels. One wheels worth of lugs including the locking lug nut had been lost. One wonders how they got home.

The dealer decided a vehicle with 174000 miles wasn’t worth much effort. They rinsed the outside but didn’t do ANY cleaning inside. Part way through a bunch of cleaning I attacked the console tray with drink compartment and another small bin. The lid for the drink compartment was difficult to open and gummy to close. It had a chewed piece of gum wrapped in the wrapper jammed into the hinge somehow. In addition there was a lump of bluestone.

Under the tray was more of this sad tale.

The center console drink/sunglass trays were stuck and gooey. Under that tray was this.
The center console drink/sunglass trays were stuck and gooey. Under that tray was this.

This was a gum chewing family. There was gum stuck in odd places all over the truck. The right seat pocket on the back was full of gum. Some wrapped, some not, some chewed, some not. The other side had cough drops everywhere. I don’t think they liked soda though. Most of that seems to have been poured out on seats and carpets. Simple Green did a good job of cleaning stuff.

There are some mechanical issues as well. The Tire pressure monitors are dying. Those are on order. The cruise control doesn’t work. Reading a forum it turns out that’s a common issue most often related to a bad brake light switch. That’s on order too. When I open the passenger side door I can hear stepper motors humming. Don’t know what triggers them or what they’re trying to do. More research.


updates: 10/28/2016

It’s been a little while now but I got new TPMS senders installed fixing that problem. Also the brake light switch fixed the cruise control. The cheaply made but expensive wheels don’t seal the tires to the rims and leak air slowly so that I have to add air to the tires on the left side every other day. It leaks faster when I drive it. >sigh<

When I first got this I enjoyed the air conditioned seats. After a while I couldn’t tell if they were working but thought maybe they were. Fast forward to this past weekend and Nat was riding with me on a day when the temps outside were below 80 and she needed the heated seats. It didn’t heat on the passenger side. I tried mine and ditto. No heat.

Some searching all around, several false leads, then a post about a pin burning on a controller under the passenger seat. Hey, I need to clean out a bunch of food, gum, and soda under there anyway so I’ll look.

I’m not the first one working on this area. I found this totally legit looking repair:


Here’s the burned pin in the connector these wires are part of. Noting the gauge of the wire I’m not surprised. Sorry about the focus. The phone thought the seat cooling fan was more interesting.


Here’s the connector on the circuit board too.


It doesn’t look too bad. Someone on the forums noted that the burned pin and the one next to it are connected together. They added a jumper in the connector somehow and used two pins instead of one. My connector doesn’t have the connection in it so I think I’ll add a wire around the connector.

On another note I wanted to mount my trailer brake controller. I wired it all in and tried to mount it below the dash but kept hitting it. I decided to bite the bullet and cut a hole in the dash panel. it’s completely removable and the junk yards are probably full of replacements if I don’t like it.



I have a little cleanup work to do and can push it back in the dash a little more but not much to be able to reach the buttons.