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2006 Chevy Cobalt LT 2.2L Automatic (just hit 222,222 miles)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had this 2006 Cobalt LT Sedan since Feb. or March of 2006. A few years ago, we started having issues with the fobs not wanting to work properly. Both had worn buttons (which we fixed) and one had loose battery clip. I ended up getting an aftermarket fob because the dealer wanted way more than I was expecting. Had a local locksmith reset the Fobs and other than the car always complaining of the battery needing to be replaced, it worked fine for another couple years. Then we started getting the old "knock, knock, knock, knock" from the blend door actuator. We replaced that and everything was fine for a while. About a year ago we stopped getting the battery notices and started having a weird issue. The fobs would work, but only if they were right next to the windshield above the receiver. Now, as of a week ago they don't work at all, and the plug at the trunk light is only getting 10.2 volts and barely lights up. The fobs are working fine, but the receiver can't detect them. I'm wondering if there's a wire loose or shorted near the RCDLR causing both issues. I've looked for a replacement RCDLR but I'm running into the problem of it being discontinued and no one having stock. My questions are: Is there some sort of antenna that may have come loose when replacing the blend door actuator that I could check? If not, can I replace the 21994227 RCDLR with a 25974373 for the 2007-2010 as long as I use the corresponding fobs (which I think is 15252034) or will I run into issues? I'm not looking for remote start, just want the keyless entry to work again. And what could be causing the low voltage issue with the trunk light? We recently switched to LED headlights which were supposedly CANBUS friendly, but I can't recall if the trunk light worked before then or not. Those seem to be the only issues, the keyless entry and that trunk light and both are vexing me. Sorry for the long post. I'm starting to pull out what little hair I have left.

Edit: 2006 Cobalt LT 2.2L Sedan no Pioneer System, no OnStar. (Vin # 1G1AL55F567702944) if that helps.
 

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2006 Chevy Cobalt LT 2.2L Automatic (just hit 222,222 miles)
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
No one seemed to have an answer. As a follow up I bought 2 new 15252034 fobs and a new 25974373 receiver. The fobs arrived first and the got the new receiver a few days ago. Turns out the new one has a different plug and won't work unless I hack wires, but I don't want to do that even thou it's too late to return the fobs because now I'm not sure it would fix anything. I ended up getting 2 receivers from a 05 and a 06 at LKQ and still have the same issue with all 3 of the original 21994227 receivers. The remotes work, but only if I'm practically touching the fob to the windshield right above the receiver. Today I got a new original GM remote 22733523 and was able to pair it with the car, but again had to be within 8-12 inches of the receiver for it to work. What would cause this lack of range, and how can I fix it? Neither my original receiver nor the 2 from the LKQ yard seemed to have any sort of coax antenna so I'm clueless how to proceed. I'm worried that the issue could be the BCM itself.

Edited for info about checking for an antenna
 

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First things first. How old is your battery and are the battery terminals clean?
That receiver is overly sensitive to its supply voltage. Then again after 18 yrs some of the internal filter caps may have aged out of specifications forcing you to look for a newer RCDLR unit.

look up the term. Patch antenna

try this experiment. Place your key fob on to the bottom of your chin while pressing the buttons and see if you get a little better range
 

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2006 Chevy Cobalt LT 2.2L Automatic (just hit 222,222 miles)
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The battery is brand new as of this weekend and the terminals are clean. Another problem that just occurred when swapping the battery, the 6-day new front passenger turn lamp isn't working, was too dark to pull it out and check to see if blown or just not working. I have an idea that my many issues may be caused by a little thing next to the battery called a current sensor, seems to send a signal to the BCM. They are cheap enough to replace, I just don't know which I need. There are 2 versions, 1 for 10-volt BCM signal and one for 5-volt and I don't know how to check which BCM came with this 06 Cobalt. I suspect it may be the cause as I can see it got wet at some point when the 3rd brake light was leaking. As far as using the chin trick, that was one of the first things I tried when I noticed the fobs still worked but at greatly reduced range. I remember doing that with an old Excalibur alarm I had on a different car long ago.
 

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2006 Chevy Cobalt LT 2.2L Automatic (just hit 222,222 miles)
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know it's been a while since my last post, but I want to give an update.

Warning incoming wall of text.

The turn lamp issue was solved. Turned out somebody hit a curb or something on the passenger side hard enough to rip off the front section of the fender splash shield and it took the fog light connector with it. Trunk light also turned out to be user error, it now works. Now, after Hurricane Ian hit, we learned the windshield needed replacing when the carpet was soaked through. Carpet has been taken out until I can get around to ordering a replacement and because it's easier to mess with the wiring with the trim and carpet out. While the carpet is out, we took out most of the trim and checked grounding points. The 2 behind the dash are tight, the one under driver's seat is tight and seems good and the one near the emergency brake the same. We did notice that the one near the passenger airbag seemed to have gotten hot. The cable and ring itself are good, but the metal the stud is welded to looks like it got pretty hot. Not sure if it's normal or not. I've replaced the dash wire harness that goes from BCM to radio / steering wheel area / DIC buttons / etcetera. I've replaced the engine / lights harness, replaced the negative battery cable in trunk and the current sensor near the battery. The car doesn't throw any codes, but now in addition to the keyless entry not working, the rear defogger doesn't work (which I'm convinced needs a replacement rear window / defogger), The radio controls on the steering wheel are flaky (as in some will work properly then upon next use will trigger a different function, i.e. the seek up will work once then raise volume the next time pressed, but the cruise control works fine, we replaced the switches just in case had no effect). The remote mirrors won't work at all, we've replaced the switch twice and nothing (granted both mirrors could have failed at once but that seems unlikely). Most recently we noticed the auto door locks that are supposed to lock when taken out of park don't work and the dome light flickers wildly seconds after the doors open. To date we've replaced 2 main wire harnesses, replaced the A/C control unit, replaced the main ground cable, replaced the current sensor, replaced the dome and map lights, checked all fuses and relays, and checked all grounds and connections in dash and most in engine compartment. I have a new radio that I've been holding off installing since July because I don't want to risk it being damaged with all the electrical issues I seem to be experiencing. I'm at wits end with this nightmare, but the Cobalt is paid for, and I can't afford a new vehicle. Any ideas? If I post photos of the grounding points can someone tell me if they look like they should? Does this sound like a failing BCM?

TLDR. We've replaced 2 main wire harnesses, replaced the A/C control unit, replaced the main ground cable, replaced the current sensor, replaced power mirror switch, replaced the steering wheel radio / cruise switches, replaced the dome and map lights, checked all fuses and relays, and checked all grounds and connections in dash and most in engine compartment. Still buggy as hell.
 

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2006 Chevy Cobalt LT 2.2L Automatic (just hit 222,222 miles)
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Never mind. I've come to the conclusion that it's just not worth it. I just can't deal with the aggravation and stress. The money I've already wasted could have gone towards a down payment on something new. I'm going to change the transmission fluid and filter and try to sell it to someone who can give it a good home or sell it as scrap. I'll probably get more out of it as scrap.
 
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