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2011 Sierra SLE 1500 Stereo Fan is Annoying

I bought a luxury truck from a GMC dealer. This truck had a $35k sticker price and came with leather, buttons, dual climate etc. Loved the truck for 1 day. The first morning in my driveway, I opened the driver door and this low irritating sound was coming out of the dashboard. Drove round trip Phoenix to Tulsa cringing.

First dealer visit- total mystery, not everyone can hear the sound, service bulletin appears and diagnosed as a transmission solenoid; normal noise; not covered. Second dealer visit- I’m hearing things, another service bulletin claims the sound is from the cd motor; normal sound; not covered. Last visit I had them pull the radio- sound went away; reattached the radio and the sound comes back.

Did an internet search “irritating sound radio GMC.” A lot of people have found this sound and the cause is said to be the radio cooling fan.

Dealer quotes me $2200 for the upgraded nav version and I lose the truck for 2 days.

Luxury trucks don’t make sounds that.

I and no one on the web has been able to get GM to do the right thing- what would you do?

Apparently you have a hearing ability that few others do, hence the designers of the normal operation of the radio fan would never have calculated for. ( my 7 year old covers his ears when he flushes the toilet yet none of us can hear the high pitch hiss the water valve makes. )

I thing DOWN grading the system to a simpler type that has no fan would be the answer in your unique case.

OR –
get GM to agree to future warranty of the unit,
then un-plug the fan ( remove unit from dash, open housing and un-plug fan or clip one wire to disarm it. )
Having their pre-approval would cover the possible overheating of the unit with no fan, but it might still work fine

You might try escrowing the remainder of your payments if it is a big enough irritation. Seems like quite an insult to hit a customer for 2,200.00 to fix an error let loose by their own engineering department in a “luxury” vehicle, no less. I have known folks, and have also noted here, folks who have had good results embarrassing a manufacturer into doing the “right thing”. One of my favorites is the lady who created an alternate Nordic personality, and then twittered about her troubles with her Volvo. She got results when it came to the attention of the right big wigs within that company. I have found in my 52 years that you won’t get satisfaction form any company until your complaint falls upon the right set of ears. Good luck!

A radio cooling fan that you can hear over road noise, and the music coming out the speakers is too loud. This is a defect. Since it isn’t safety related it won’t get a recall, but you must complain “loudly” to GM corporate. If the fix is an upgrade, then they should do it at No Charge. If they won’t do that insist the dealer pull the radio and send it to the radio manufacturer for a rework to quiet the cooling fan.

The first morning in my driveway, I opened the driver door and this low irritating sound was coming out of the dashboard

This doesn’t sound right. Why would the fan be running if the truck had been parked overnight?

I had a Trailblazer and the radio got alarmingly hot due in large part to the heating ducts running around it. If they went to the expense of including a fan you can bet it’s needed so disconnecting wouldn’t be wise.

First thing I would do is find another one for sale and go on a test drive to see if it was as loud. If it’s not you have ammunition to support your request to repair.

I would replace it with an aftermarket unit…but I was a Car Stereo specialist at one point…so I may be biased. You SHOULD have the dealer correct the issue. See what other units will fit in that dash that the dealer has access to…maybe there is another unit that can be used? All the wiring should be the same on the vehicles with that head unit. If the dealer will not step up…tell them that you want them to cover the costs to have an aftermarket system installed…

I’d let the dealer replace the head unit under warranty if they will. Hopefully you just got one built with a bad fan. I notice the cooling fan on the stereo/nav on my 2006 Chrysler, but only if I shut off the car in my quiet garage. This is a tiny fan and should not be noticeable. Maybe you can take another same vehicle on a test drive and see if this is a ‘normal’ issue with this unit or if yours is a problem child.

It’s a 2011, did you buy it new?
If so, is the noise a new phenomenon?
One thing that still concerns me is the statement it was running when you opened the door in the morning.

Fans are notorious for short MTTF. Most equipment designers avoid them like the plague for that reason. When they are necessary, they try to protect them as best possible against dust and run them only when needed. If yours has been running non-stop, it could be nearing the end of its life expectancy.

This doesn't sound right. Why would the fan be running if the truck had been parked overnight?

The only thing I can figure is that OP is in Phoenix, and it can be very hot very early there. It wouldn’t surprise me if the fan is on constant-on power and is set to come on when the temperature gets too hot whether the radio’s on or not to prevent component damage.

Contact the GM zone rep. Say you had this problem as you stated here. Three visits and no satisfaction with the dealer. There is not a radio cooling fan. That is straight up bs and put that in the message to the zone rep.

I have a 2006 GMC Sierra SLT 1500. Mine is the Bose system Mine has started making a noise from the dash and only the speaker over the driver. The sound is not coming thru the speaker, its just in that area. It started two weeks ago. It comes and go’s and sometimes I can hear it after I turn the truck off and open the door. For those of you don’t know the radio stays on till you open the door. I don’t think its the radio. Its not heat related as it was 45 deg’s and the noise started as soon as I turn on the truck. I drove it for about 10 miles and when I restarted the truck after about 30 mins it was gone. I am not sure were its coming but if I do find I will let you know.