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Mr Bill
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2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:03 pm

To paraphrase I get these symptoms: while driving. Usually right after a mild bump... the dreaded “ding ding” sound followed by security light coming on dash, gauges go wonky (speedo, fuel and rpms drop to zero) Power Steering Loss notification comes and goes, sometimes loss of power steering and also the power brakes. I've had it to the dealer and to my mechanic a couple times. They can see the fault codes occured but cannot find the problem. I've done a bit of searching and there are a lot of youtube videos that suggest its a ground problem (e.g. 2006-08 Chevy Cobalt TCM FIX! Easy! BCM Problem, Connection issue).

So, I did this fix, the car runs OK briefly.

I decided to use my OBDII connector with bluetooth to the torque app on my cell phone to reset the code faults. Hooking up the connector and trying to link and the problem reoccured. But here is the interesting thing. There is a little module the size of a cell phone battery connected in to the wiring harness and taped against the harness right behind the OBDII connector. It looks like the tape is oozing with oily fluid. I think its the coming from the tape. The phone says there are two OBDII devices present! I think this little module might be one. My first thought is that its for talking to the key fob? My phone was trying to talk to it and when I forced it to forget this other device, the OBDII started working and the car stopped misbehaving.

So, my hypothesis is that this module or the connection to it, might be faulty and that this is causing my 'ding ding' symptoms. Any thoughts?
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:24 pm

Security system (keyfobs, etc.) shouldn't operate via a dongle attached to the OBD2 port. It is usually its own unit located somewhere in the dash or center console. The fact that your phone is seeing two OBD2 devices (bluetooth?) suggests that a previous owner installed an OBD2 scanner, it's been there the entire time you owned the car and it has developed a fault in it that causes a temporary short in the OBD2 system when the car hits bumps. Somehow that's shorting things out and causing systems to reset.

I have never had a car with more than one OBD2 port. That makes me think that your car has some kind of splitter or passthrough device. I would remove it and figure out what it is and whether it's necessary.

The goo coming out of the tape is usually just electrical tape that has gotten so hot that it sort of liquefies the adhesive.
 
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:19 pm

BSandLies wrote:
Security system (keyfobs, etc.) shouldn't operate via a dongle attached to the OBD2 port. It is usually its own unit located somewhere in the dash or center console. The fact that your phone is seeing two OBD2 devices (bluetooth?) suggests that a previous owner installed an OBD2 scanner, it's been there the entire time you owned the car and it has developed a fault in it that causes a temporary short in the OBD2 system when the car hits bumps. Somehow that's shorting things out and causing systems to reset.

Sounds about right. A BT OBD2 scanner linked to a phone app is a cheap-and-cheerful way of collecting performance metrics from the vehicle while on the road. And also the first place to look for trouble if the installer didn't make a clean job of it.
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Mr Bill
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:39 pm

Thanks for the input. I'll take it off and see what happens.
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:03 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
To paraphrase I get these symptoms: while driving. Usually right after a mild bump... the dreaded “ding ding” sound followed by security light coming on dash, gauges go wonky (speedo, fuel and rpms drop to zero) Power Steering Loss notification comes and goes, sometimes loss of power steering and also the power brakes. I've had it to the dealer and to my mechanic a couple times. They can see the fault codes occured but cannot find the problem. I've done a bit of searching and there are a lot of youtube videos that suggest its a ground problem (e.g. 2006-08 Chevy Cobalt TCM FIX! Easy! BCM Problem, Connection issue).

So, I did this fix, the car runs OK briefly.

I decided to use my OBDII connector with bluetooth to the torque app on my cell phone to reset the code faults. Hooking up the connector and trying to link and the problem reoccured. But here is the interesting thing. There is a little module the size of a cell phone battery connected in to the wiring harness and taped against the harness right behind the OBDII connector. It looks like the tape is oozing with oily fluid. I think its the coming from the tape. The phone says there are two OBDII devices present! I think this little module might be one. My first thought is that its for talking to the key fob? My phone was trying to talk to it and when I forced it to forget this other device, the OBDII started working and the car stopped misbehaving.

So, my hypothesis is that this module or the connection to it, might be faulty and that this is causing my 'ding ding' symptoms. Any thoughts?



I had a normal Cobalt, base model years ago... I think it was an 06 maybe? Anyhow, I lost power one day coming home. A lot of people were complaining of the same symptoms. They had to do a mass fix for this, having to send my car in to the specialized dealer in the area equipped to handle this specific issue. Had something to do with the power steering column, but mine did the same as yours, total loss of power steers, all the electrical start acting janky, and I have to restart the car. They had sent me a warning in the mail that I failed to notice just am months prior.
 
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:15 pm

Mine did this. They ended up replacing the entire electric steering assist under warranty. Never happened again.

IIRC there was a recall for it, but you're likely beyond the end date to have it done unless you find a sympathetic dealer.
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:27 am

Sounds scary! I'm concerned about the lifetime of the electronics in newer vehicles. And the availability of people with the know-how to fix them - since in your case it sounds like the dealer told you to shove off.
 
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:47 pm

It did not occur during the 2400 mile trip at thanksgiving nor a 500 mile trip over the Rockies and back last weekend. It seems to happen in hot weather. Gonna start carrying a can of freeze spray to try on the car computer next time it happens.

I checked just before these trips and the local dealer says this can be caused by out of spec resistance for the battery cable (battery is in rear trunk). Says the spec is 200mV but service tech omitted to say how this applies to the guy at the service desk. I suppose this is the maximum allowable drop over the distance? Guess I should measure the voltage across the battery terminals and then do the same measurement across the terminals at the car computer.
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:56 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
Says the spec is 200mV but service tech omitted to say how this applies to the guy at the service desk. I suppose this is the maximum allowable drop over the distance? Guess I should measure the voltage across the battery terminals and then do the same measurement across the terminals at the car computer.

That sounds about right. I'd also make sure the computer has a good path to ground as well; grounding issues can be really annoying.
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:05 pm

So Intel is not the only company having electrical issues with Cobalt!
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Mr Bill
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:11 pm

Well, the ground fix did not work. We had a hot day yesterday. Got in and the ding ding started. No power steering, no AC, no instrument cluster. Managed to get home. This morning, nice and cool started up and everything is fine again. So, somehow this is temperature related. Either body expansion interrupting the ground or a component in the computer is failing at high temperatures. Grrrrr%! :evil:
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:38 am

Mr Bill wrote:
Well, the ground fix did not work. We had a hot day yesterday. Got in and the ding ding started. No power steering, no AC, no instrument cluster. Managed to get home. This morning, nice and cool started up and everything is fine again. So, somehow this is temperature related. Either body expansion interrupting the ground or a component in the computer is failing at high temperatures. Grrrrr%! :evil:

Stupid question: Alternator and battery have both been checked right?
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:51 pm

I had a Granada in Florida that started failing to start when it was hot. I grabbed my trusty can of freeze spray and made the computer box frosty. It fired right up. Replaced the computer box and no more problem. In a pinch you could use a can of air duster held upside down.

If this has already been tried, never mind.
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:16 pm

Sorry to be Captain Obvious here, but it certainly sounds like something is shorting. Am I correct in assuming that your discovery of a “cell phone battery-size device” indicates that you are not the original owner? I know firsthand that people do some incredibly stupid things when it comes to interior electrical systems in cars. So long as you’re certain it isn’t somehow a stock item, removing that device (and any associated wiring) would be the first order of business.

Were it my car, before considering replacing anything, I’d have damn near that whole dash disassembled, looking for any further signs of asshattery.
 
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:10 am

farmpuma wrote:
I had a Granada in Florida that started failing to start when it was hot. I grabbed my trusty can of freeze spray and made the computer box frosty. It fired right up. Replaced the computer box and no more problem. In a pinch you could use a can of air duster held upside down.

If this has already been tried, never mind.
This is exactly what I am going to do the next time this happens.
The Egg wrote:
Sorry to be Captain Obvious here, but it certainly sounds like something is shorting. Am I correct in assuming that your discovery of a “cell phone battery-size device” indicates that you are not the original owner? I know firsthand that people do some incredibly stupid things when it comes to interior electrical systems in cars. So long as you’re certain it isn’t somehow a stock item, removing that device (and any associated wiring) would be the first order of business.

Were it my car, before considering replacing anything, I’d have damn near that whole dash disassembled, looking for any further signs of asshattery.
The last time I tried bringing it in to the dealer they said it was a connector termination and was supposed to be there. They were able to see the faults. e.g. power steering failure; but were unable to find the problem.

Is changing out the computer a touchy job? I assume one would disconnect the battery of course before doing anything. But can I swap in a computer from a junk yard or do I need to have a factory new, considering this is the supercharged SS version, is this a dealer job only?
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:01 am

Mr Bill wrote:
Is changing out the computer a touchy job? I assume one would disconnect the battery of course before doing anything. But can I swap in a computer from a junk yard or do I need to have a factory new, considering this is the supercharged SS version, is this a dealer job only?

Well, having the factory service manual will definitely help. I'd also think that any SS in a junkyard had its computer yanked for resale about 15 minutes after it rolled in.
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:19 am

Mr Bill wrote:
Is changing out the computer a touchy job? I assume one would disconnect the battery of course before doing anything. But can I swap in a computer from a junk yard or do I need to have a factory new, considering this is the supercharged SS version, is this a dealer job only?

My first car was a late-80's F-Body (Firebird, Camaro); a higher-end model which had an electronic 120mph speedometer (I guess that was fancy at the time). I believe it was the first year for that speedo, and only on a handful of trims. The interior of the car was beautiful (for its age), but the previous owner had installed a cheap CD player, and there was some definite strangeness going on. The speedometer also didn't work.

My teenage self bought the car anyway. Upon digging into the stereo, I found such unbelievable stupidity that I can't even begin to imagine what he was trying to accomplish. 18" pieces of wire of all different types, colors, and gauges twisted together, lamp cord, uninsulated connections, wire laying loose, just a nightmare. I tore it all out, and with some effort got the stereo system sorted. I could never get my speedo to work though, despite taking it in to multiple places, asking on enthusiast forums, and trying everything imaginable (including a new VSS Buffer).

Turns out all that effort was for naught. Previous owner had blown up the ECU, and replaced it with a junkyard model. The junkyard ECU was close enough that the car otherwise ran great, but it didn't know how to handle the electronic speedo. So yeah, that was 30+ years ago. Not only does it have to be exact, but who knows what new sorts of nonsense complications are added with a modern vehicle.
 
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:44 am

Mr Bill wrote:
But can I swap in a computer from a junk yard or do I need to have a factory new, considering this is the supercharged SS version, is this a dealer job only?

There's a security relearn procedure if you swap the ECU (to communicate with the BCM properly and let you start the car). If you swap the BCM, you need to get a dealer to reprogram it to match the car before it'll start.

I don't recall if the ECU is VIN-locked, many modern ones are. That would be a dealer trip too. :(
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Re: 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged Dreaded Ding Ding

Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:51 pm

If you type "Cobalt SS ECU" in eBay, you get quite a few hits in the $100 range claiming they will also VIN-code it for you prior to shipping. How well that works when you install it yourself afterward is anyone's guess, as I've never had to do it. Cheap enough to be worth a try. If it at least runs afterward, you can tear down your old one looking for bad capacitors or dodgy terminations.
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