Electrical issues with my 2003 Silverado


Asked by Jan 07, 2014 at 12:42 PM about the 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS Ext Cab Long Bed 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I am having issues with my 2003 Silverado. it started out with the abs and parking brake light flashing with the audible chime. this happened briefly and intermittently. it progressed from there to my radio cutting off and on, my gas gauge, oil pressure, voltage, etc. dropping out, then coming back on. then progressed to the amber theft light coming on along with the airbag light. I have put a new alternator, ignition solenoid, ignition switch, and also switched the instrument cluster out to see if that was the problem(local gm service said that was the issue...didn't work). Also, from time to time, my transmission wont shift correctly. Had the transmission serviced and the downshift module replaced...it still happens from time to time. there really isn't a rhyme or reason that is consistent, just seems to happen when its warmer outside. I have had a certified gm guy look at it, but he's at a loss because it wont replicate these conditions while hes looking at it. he sees several codes (loss of communication and voltage codes) but needs to see it act up while he has his computer on it. Any ideas?

36 Answers


Also, I disconnected the ground on the frame below the drivers feet and also the ground from the battery. I cleaned the contacts and reconnected. I had read the ground below the drivers feet is sometimes a culprit for issues similar to this.

20 of 20 people found this helpful.

These have had many issues with the instrument cluster doing this and the wiring behind the dash to it.

18 of 18 people found this helpful.

Look at the wiring behind the dash to the instrument cluster, radio,etc. These are known to melt,burn where you can't see it without pulling the dash apart.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

ive looked under the dash and around the steering column for frayed/melted or burned wires but haven't seen anything. What made me start looking for wires there is sometimes when I am turning to the right, especially exit ramps( why ramps I don't know) it has caused the chiming and abs/parking brakes to flash. When I want it to do it(when the gm certified guy is driving it) it doesn't do it! I will go back and look deeper on the wires though. Thanks

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

There have been many harnesses changed here with vehicles doing the same things as yours intermittently. Something about those year models.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Haven't had the dash light issues in a few weeks but the transmission is dropping pretty hard and wants to start in 2nd gear like before(check engine light came back on). I pulled the cluster, radio, HVAC controls, pulled the electrical tape off most of the wiring around those and around the steering column and the BCM. I didn't find any issues with any wires. Put everything back together, drove it, shifted properly and the check engine light went out. Crazy!

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Could be the instrument cluster itself. You can have it rebuilt with a lifetime warranty. That's what I did a few years back. I think it ran around $150.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

I have the same thing happening. There was a recall on this in 05 or 6. I had mine replaced. The replacement only had a one year warranty this one is on me and I got a $350 quote from my dealer. My tach, speedometer, fuel, temp, oil pressure and odometer will stay off for days and then come on for a short time. This is also putting a drain on my battery. Can anybody help?

53 of 53 people found this helpful.

I'm having about five of the similar problems you are having I have a 2003 Silverado and everything I've read is pointing to the body control module which controls almost everything inside the cab where you sit

27 of 27 people found this helpful.

My husband having the same issue - now none of the gauges work - we were told to get a new instrument cluster - called part store almost $500 - called local junkyard $150 used and have to return old one (like a core).

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

on the newer clusters 2003 and up can be rebuilt i have done two trailblazer clusters its pretty strait forward... normally just needs new stepper motors. here is the how to from the trailblazer forum that i used to fix 2 clusters. http://forums.trailvoy.com/showthread.php? t=48886 but if its not just the gauges working then i would think there is some other problem.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Thank you all for help and suggestions. We actually got one from junk yard for $150 - it says on back "re-manufactured" and only had 1630 hours on it. Beats the $500. Un-plugged old one and plugged in new one and boom all gauges even cruise control working again!! :)

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Came out of a "Tahoe" working perfectly for over two weeks now.


Folks I need your help, same issues + so my cluster gages dont work not a big deal right i used the led read out of my trip miles to gage my gas. But now it dont work one day it just stopped some times it would chime and come back on then it would go off but now it looks as if it is in chinnese or something and now it will have one lil tiny dot lit ALL THE TIME even after its off and keys are out this is causing the battery to die i found tons of guys to rebuild the cluster but none of them say anything about the led read out any ideas, thoughts ? mail me sub line YOUR TRUCK smush these words together THE SHORT WHITE GUY G MAIL

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

You need to replace your ignition switch harness, i had the same problem transmition in second gear and cluster fail.change the igntion switch problem solved.it trows you lots of codes as well and after you replace your ignition switch you wont have that problem.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

I'm having the same issue on my 2004 Silverado with 143K miles. The gauges turn off and the ABS, parking brake lights flash on with the audible chime then a few seconds or minutes everything returns back to normal. Sometimes it does it 1-2 times a day or whenever it feels like it. I remember taking my truck to the dealer when it was still under warranty to fix the speedometer acting up when it was a few years old. Did anyone ever find out what the problem was and how did you fix it ?? Many people say it's the instrument cluster and others say it's the ignition switch.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

01 Silverado 202K miles.. No SES codes last 4 yrs. Noticed trans not going into first..taking off in 2nd. 2 days later while merging into x-way traffic;SES light illuminates.Code generated: P0751.(shift solenoid A). Replace shift solenoids A & B (sold in sets). Replace trans filter,fluid and gasket. Then I realized I never disconnected the negative battery cable. I then did the former for 15 minutes. Upon restarting the SES light stayed on. I then test drove and it is performing like a newer trans..auto shifting throughout all 4 gears and shifting into all gears on demand. the only code showing is in the history and its from before the fix. My questions for discussion are; 1) Should I have test driven before I attempted to reset the computer by removing the Neg. cable? 2) Will this reset on its own after some number or cycles? 3) Why did disconnecting the battery not reset the memory or is this a misconception; that it clears using the disconnect method? I should also add that for about 2 years my fuel gauge has been acting funny intermittently but will fix upon braking gear changing or generally sloshing fuel around in the tank. This has never generated any codes but the Low Fuel Light can also come on during these episodes. This also never happens above 1/2 tank. All this time I've been thinking bad ground on the frame or bad sending unit in the tank but the earlier discussion about instrument cluster and harness fails has been enlightening. ..

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

i had this issue when I replaced the factory radio with a after market and the wiring harness had a short in it, the abs would not turn off, the underscore on the PRDNL123 was gone, after I removed the radio and removed the harness it was all good.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Check for Ground wires that are bad mostly G104 and G103 along with the wires on the outside frame drivers side by your feel there should be 3 wires there and bolts get rusty causes all kinds of problems you will see many OBD errors and they can be related to bad grounds...

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Check for Ground wires that are bad mostly G104 and G103 along with the wires on the outside frame drivers side by your feet there should be 3 wires there and bolts get rusty causes all kinds of problems you will see many OBD errors and they can be related to bad grounds... Also will get REDUCED ENGINE POWER warning due to bad ground replacing parts that show up on OBD reader will not fix bad ground problems new parts will also show up as bad expensive lesson to learn. The wires I mentioned are only just a few you could have others.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Need help please!!!! We have a 2005 Silverado flex fuel. A couple of weeks ago we noticed that after the truck was turned off, and the ambient air temp went down at night that the fans would come on by themselves overnight. We would start the truck, the fans would stop, all ok. Then 3 nights in a row the fans came on and drained the battery entirely so we replaced the battery. We checked and were told to replace the 3 fan relay sensors. Did that; didn't help. We also changed out the thermostat on the outside of the engine block. No help. Then a week ago it began doing really weird stuff. We began disconnecting the battery unless or until we ran it. Pain in the butt, however, only thing we could do until we figure it out. Now, in the middle of driving, the gas, battery, temp, etc guages will just drop. No reading at all, and the security system, check engine & check battery lights come on. Still have working tachometer and speedometer, but that's it!!!! Any help???? Please

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Please check all battery connections, both ends, and find out how to reset the computer in your Car or Truck. this is now part of most repairs it is good advice to read all stuff on this page of problems The oldest way to reset the computer is remove battery minus then positive wait 5 minutes and hook em up positive first, key on.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

What are G103 and G104 grounds? Where are they located?

23 of 23 people found this helpful.

I just had similar issues in my 2003 Escalade ESV as all stated above. Stability lights, ABS, radio, all gauges on right side of cluster and windows wouldn't work. I started noticing the car starts fine and I have no issues if I was sitting down. Then as soon as I got in and sat down it would all stop working shortly after, doesn't happen all the time like that but most of the time. I read some where else someone that had a 03' Silverado had the same issue and he would punch his seat to get it working again lol! So I followed his fix, which was relocating a wiring harness under the driver seat that was pinching between the seat and the seat rails whenever sat down or after bumps in the road.. hope this helps others too

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Have you solved this I've replaced cluster cleaned all the grounds I could find and wiring to cluster plug in speed sensor still nothing


I have the same issue as you i was just wondering if you happen to have found the problem

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I need help also. About once a month or so, My electrical drops off when I come to a stop. I have to put it in neutral at the light and rev the engine to keep it running with the other foot on the brake. I had the alternator replaced and that didn't help. It last for a few minutes and is fine for another month or so.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Have you found out the issue with you dash electrical problem. If so please contact me at 419- 357-4556. I have the exact same issue to the T

Have you found the issue what your dash problem. I have an 06 with the same exact issue to the T. Please call at 419-357-4556 and she if you could assist. Names Mike.

It was the idle control module. It's right on the side of the inner air cleaner. Watch a utube on it and ordered a highly recommended one from Amazon. Haven't had a problem since.

James ginzel who responded to my question, did you have the same issue

What size engine Did you have

I had a response to a post about my electrical issue on my 06 Chevy and was told the idle control module which my truck doesn't have its either the control valve and far as it being on the side of the air cleaner, sounds like a map sensor or something along those lines I need some verification on what the idle control module may or may not be

I had gauge problems on my 2005 GMC and used "GM GAUGE REPAIR" for all 2003 to 2006GM Vehicles,same day service. I had this done 2 yrs ago and still works great. cost $125.00 complete. Go to: www.gmgaugerepair.com or call 608-304-0155. Hope this helps. ( It took me all of 7 min. to remove the cluster),and Fed -Xed it to La Crosse ,Wi.54603.I think it too a little over a week turn around. John

Jk having a lot of the same problems with my gauges stop working on and off also the radio Windows and interior ligh won't turn on sometime. Going. To try some of the suggestions hop one works. Im very determined to find the problem it's very frustrating. And would appreciate if somebody finds out what this problem is please text me at 412-302-1026 thank you very much. I have a 03 Silverado 1500


I found that I had to replace the instrument cluster. Apparently this is a common problem with some GM years. I purchased the rebuilt instrument cluster from Orielly Auto Parts. I believe it was approximately $125. It was very simple to replace remove dash trim {just pops off} and 4 screws hold the instrument cluster and one plug. That's it takes about 15 minutes to replace. Hope this helps Paul

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