Thursday, August 9, 2012
2007 Yukon Denali Throttle Problems
I met a multi-tasking accident waiting for a place to happen yesterday. I’ve written about the texters out there before humorously, such as texting Tina one cold morning blocking my shop entrance with her little thumbs moving at light-speed. Tina had nothing on my stop in. A 2007 GMC Yukon Denali pulled into the shop. No one beeped, which is a nice change. I left the Toyota I was working on to go over and greet my prospective arrival. The lady driver did not even look up at me. I saw her complete riveted concentration focused on attempting to wear the skin off her thumbs. She will be Yukon Lil for my blog. In these lean blog subject days, I have a sixth sense for prime blogging material, so I waited for a few minutes until I knew for sure she was not going to look up without prompting. I said a few silent prayers for the unaware motorists on the road with Yukon Lil while I waited.
I cleared my throat finally. “Hi, may I help you?”
Yukon Lil looked up at me, startled, as if she had to wait a moment before recognizing where she was. “Oh… hi… sorry about that. My check engine light came on, and my truck started hesitating and running weird.”
Lil had shifted to glancing down every few seconds, and reduced her output to one thumb. I decided to do a quick check with my scanner, because I was figuring with a 2007, it might be a pattern failure.
“How about letting me do a quick scanner check and see what set off the light?”
“Uh…” Yukon Lil did an extended one thumb SOS or something on the gizmo in her lap. “Sure… that would be fine. Can I wait?”
“You can wait. It’ll only take a few minutes.” I opened the door for her so she could dance text her way over to the side. I went and retrieved my scanner for a reading. It turned out she had multiple throttle codes – PO121 (throttle position sensor malfunction) PO2119 (throttle closed performance) and a PO2135 (throttle position sensors 1-2 correlation).
I knew I would have to research this one for Tech Service Bulletins and do a thorough inspection of the wiring, ground connections, and sensor connections around the electronic throttle body. Lil was in a texting trance again, so I unhooked and walked over in front of her. I thought of waving a hand in between her furrowed brow and the gizmo, but I didn’t want to cause a stroke or anything, so I simply started addressing her in a louder than normal voice.
“I believe your electronic throttle body is acting up. If you’d like, you can leave the GMC off with me while I do a few more checks.”
Yep, that’s what I thought, but I had her attention again, so I repeated my offer. Yukon Lil accepted and we filled out her invoice for the estimate. I also confirmed with her there was no extended warranty on it, and she already had over 85,000 miles which took her out of the regular warranty period. It turned out she only lived half a mile from the shop so she walked home. I of course peeked around the shop corner to watch her trek down the sidewalk, thumbs flying. I closed my eyes as she walked right through the 4 stop sign intersection without even glancing. I then went to work. Wiring, grounds, and connections were all good, as was all other data related to everything else but the throttle. GM was having trouble with multiple throttle codes, which I scanned through on my Tech network. Like Ford’s Expedition problems with electronic throttles, Yukon Lil’s GMC was going to need an electronic throttle body replacement.
After she okayed the estimate, I ordered the part, which they had in stock (always a sure indicator Lil wasn’t the only one having throttle problems). After the replacement and test drive I called Lil. She arrived, stopping just inside the shop, where my motion detector didn’t pick her up. I have no idea how long Yukon Lil stood there in the middle of another texting Armageddon, but I hurried over once I noticed her. She paid the bill, and believe me folks, I made sure I put her GMC on the street for her. A few more silent prayers for motorists sharing the road with Yukon Lil, and I had to go back to work.
Anyone else frightened by this use of technology? :)