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Voltmeter died on Buick Rainier

On my 2004 Buick Rainier, I looked at my guages about 10 miles into a trip and saw my voltmeter showing only about 10. It soon dropped to 0, then was normal at 12-14 when I restarted it, soon dropping to the bottom again. Everything seems normal, lights are bright and battery must be charging, but what’s up with the guage. Anyone with this same experience on a late model GM suv or truck?

Sometimes, a bad gauge, or wiring, is just a bad gauge, or wiring. These things happen.

Thanks for responding. I read your comments to another guy and planned to write you if I got no help. I think it probably is a bad guage, but am so untrusting of shops. Not that they’re inherently dishonest or incompetent, but that they often end up making a lot of guesses on someone else’s money. Any suggestions on how to be sure one knows what he’s doing? How to check for whether it’s the sending unit or the receiver?

I would be tempted to purchase an aftermarket gauge from an auto parts store and install it. These gauges usually come with a bracket and can be mounted under the dashboard. I know that I am a cheapskate, and this won’t look like the original equipment, but it’s an economical repair on a 5 year old vehicle.

See if a multimeter (some are very cheap,and come in handy)comfirms the inside the car meters readings,check directly at the battery,clean up any corrosion,remove cables to do this(the clean up,not the voltage test)

This generation GM truck has had big problems with defective instrument clusters. The gauges act erratic, sometimes including showing an incorrect MPH readout. GM extended the warranty on some models to 80k, yours may be included.

Thanks to all, especially TXdealer. That is the most hopeful thing I’ve read(which translates…“probably too good to be true.” I’ll check that first. The system is obviously charging, or I’d be dead in the water by now. I also recently lost the speedometer, but not the odometer. Again, nothing else is changed. It shifts correctly and all else seems normal. I have been thinking it’s a bad sensor, but maybe it’s the guage itself. The speedo went nuts for a day or two, then pegged, and hasn’t moved. Are you a Texas dealer, as your user id suggests? I’m in central Texas. Maybe I need to bring it to you.

I am in central Texas, however I would recommend you check with your dealer and see if you are covered. If you are not covered, an independent shop can send your cluster out to have it rebuilt, there are several companies that rebuild them.

Thanks again. I called the service dept and gave them my vin, which he said was not included in the extended coverage. He had a Tahoe with the same problem going out the door as we spoke and said the bill on that was $536. Since you are in Central Texas, do you have any shops to recommend? I am thinking about appealing their exclusion, since their determination of which vehicles they cover and which they do not may be according to the incidence of repair. There not being as many Rainiers as some of the others, if it’s the same circuitry panel as the others but just under-reported, I wonder if I can build a case. I assume such an appeal goes to a regional service rep. Any opinion on this?

$500 is about right for the repair. That price is competitive with what an independent shop would charge, I would probably go with the dealer. You can try and appeal, however from what I have seen GM is not extending any coverage other than the specific models they have already selected. Your truck is basically a Trailblazer, which is widely know for this problem. If you get it done at the dealer, you can apply for reimbursement if they ever extended the covered models.