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Old 11-02-2017, 04:50 PM   #1
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GM "Death Wobble" Fix

Hello,

I have received word from General Motors officials that GM engineers have developed a revised flat towing procedure for 2010 through 2017 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain vehicles equipped with 4-cylinder engines. GM developed the new procedure to eliminate the wobble that sometimes occurs when flat towing these vehicles behind a motorhome.

I’ve been told that a service bulletin has been distributed to GM dealerships advising them of the revised towing procedure. The service bulletin says this about the wobble, or instability: “This condition may be caused by fuse 32 being removed from the instrument panel fuse block as outlined in the owners manual.”

In the revised procedure, it is no longer necessary to remove fuse 32. However, fuse 16 must be removed. Engineers determined that these changes should keep the vehicle’s electric power steering activated during flat towing. Another important aspect of the revised procedure: An auxiliary battery charger must be installed to prevent the battery in the Equinox/Terrain from losing its charge while the vehicle is being towed.

Please read closely the attached service bulletin, which details the complete revised flat towing procedure for 2010 to 2017 Equinox/Terrain.
As for the 2018 Equinox: GM officials say that because its electrical architecture is different, it is not necessary to pull any fuses. However, just as with 2010-2017 models, a charger will be necessary to keep the towed vehicle’s battery charged. I’ve been told that the current owners manual for the 2018 Equinox will be revised to reflect the need for a charger.

In July, when I spoke with Larry Milhalko, GM’s crossover vehicle performance manager, he said the first step in developing a fix was to replicate the wobble during testing. When we spoke again this week, he said that despite testing that encompassed a variety of conditions and scenarios, engineers were unable to replicate the wobble. Nevertheless, he said, “we’re pretty confident” that the revised towing procedure will solve the wobble problem. “We think we have a good solution.” Along with all of you, I hope that is the case.

I told GM officials that I would relay to them any problems that Equinox/Terrain owners encounter when following the revised flat towing procedure. So, if you experience the wobble when using the revised procedure, please contact me, preferably by email, so that I can forward your comments to GM. Here’s hoping that won’t be necessary, and that the problem has been solved.

Best regards,

John Johnston
Associate Editor, Family Motor Coaching
Family Motor Coach Association
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:53 PM   #2
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Subject: Dinghy and/or Flat Tow Procedure
Brand: Model: Model Year: VIN: Engine: Transmission:
from to from to
Chevrolet Equinox 2010 2017 LAF, LEA
GMC Terrain

Involved Region or Country North America
Condition Some customers may notice instability when using a dinghy to tow a vehicle during certain towing conditions.
Cause This condition may be caused by fuse 32 being removed from the instrument panel fuse block as outlined in the owner manual.
Dinghy tow procedure affects the steering system stability.
Information Leave fuse 32 installed. Remove fuse 16 from engine compartment fuse block. An auxiliary battery charger will need to be installed on to the tow vehicle and the charging leads connected to the battery of the vehicle to be towed. This will prevent discharging the battery on the dinghy tow vehicle.
⇒ Example Product: https://rvibrake.com/products/towed-...ant=8804388741
Additional Information
Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles may be dinghy towed from the front. These vehicles can also be towed by placing them on a platform trailer with all four wheels off of the ground.
For vehicles being dinghy towed, the vehicle should be run at the beginning of each day and at each RV fuel stop for about five minutes. This will ensure proper lubrication of transmission components.

Towing Procedure
To tow the vehicle from the front with all four wheels on the ground:
Important: If the vehicle is towed without performing each of the steps listed under “Dinghy Towing,” the automatic transmission could be damaged. Be sure to follow all steps of the dinghy towing procedure prior to and after towing the vehicle.
Important: If 105 km/h (65 mph) is exceeded while towing the vehicle, it could be damaged. Never exceed 105 km/h (65 mph) while towing the vehicle.
Note: It is no longer required to remove fuse 32.
1. Position the vehicle to be towed and secure it to the towing vehicle.
2. Remove fuse 16, the Antilock Brake System Module fuse, from the engine compartment fuse block and store it in a safe location.
3. Turn the ignition key to ON/RUN, and shift the transmission to D (Drive). Note: disregard “Service Steering” message on IP cluster display.
4. Shift the transmission to N (Neutral).
5. Turn the ignition key to ACC/ACCESSORY.
6. Turn all accessories off.
To prevent the battery from draining while the vehicle is being towed, connect vehicle battery to auxiliary power.
Destination Procedure
Once the destination is reached:
Important: Do not tow a vehicle with the front drive wheels on the ground if one of the front tires is a compact spare tire. Towing with two different tire sizes on the front of the vehicle can cause severe damage to the transmission.
Important: Use of a shield mounted in front of the vehicle grille could restrict airflow and cause damage to the transmission. The repairs would not be covered by the vehicle warranty. If using a shield, only use one that attaches to the towing vehicle.
1. Set the parking brake.
2. Shift the transmission to P (Park).
3. Turn the ignition key to LOCK/OFF.
4. Install fuse 16, the Antilock Brake System Module fuse.
5. Start the engine and let it idle for more than three minutes before driving the vehicle.

Parts Information
No parts are required for this repair.

Version 1
Modified

OK EPL 10/30/17
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:54 PM   #3
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Folks,

To clarify the email I just sent: The 2018 GMC Terrain is not flat towable; however, the 2018 Equinox is flat towable.

Best regards,

John Johnston
Associate Editor, Family Motor Coaching
Family Motor Coach Association
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:06 PM   #4
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Are all versions of the 2018 Equinox towable? The owners manual we saw indicated that only the FWD gas and the AWD diesel were dinghy towable.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolK55 View Post
Are all versions of the 2018 Equinox towable? The owners manual we saw indicated that only the FWD gas and the AWD diesel were dinghy towable.
The Owners Manual is correct.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:51 AM   #6
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So how does a person install an auxiliary battery charger ?
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monacojim View Post
So how does a person install an auxiliary battery charger ?
You need to insure your have a +12 volt line in the 7-blade motorhome receptacle. Then you need a 6-round connector on the front of the toad. ( 4 wires for the lights + 1 for the +12 volts)

Then connect the +12 volts line to the auxiliary battery charger which also has a wire to the Positive battery terminal. In the case of the RVI Towed Battery Charger, there is also a wire from the charger to the Negative battery terminal.

A critical element not specifically stated in the RVI instructions is that it is important to have the Ground (white) wire from the motorhome receptacle go to either the Negative battery terminal or to the body frame.

In some cases, this ground is supplied by by the tow light modification, but not always. The ground is needed for voltage reference.

For our 2018 Equinox, we are installing a battery disconnect to isolate the car electronics because we have been racking up miles on the odometer when we have "everything" off according to the directions.

I would believe that GM is not concerned about not adding miles to the odometer while being towed.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:06 PM   #8
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Looking at a 2012 4 cylinder Equinox for toad and read about issues with the steering.
Can anyone verify the procedure above is a fix?
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:11 PM   #9
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does this apply to Buick enclaves?
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