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Old 05-30-2016, 07:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 448
GM Tow/Haul mode fix

A few years ago I posted this on another camping forum. I thought that someone on JOF might benefit from it, so here it is.

*** *** ***

Yesterday I got the trailer out of storage, and as I'm pulling it home, I notice that no matter how many times I hit the tow/haul mode button, the light never came on. So a quick Google search, and a look at some truck enthusiast websites, determined that 99% of the time it's just a broken wire. I watched some YouTube videos that show the procedure, and I'm posting my experiences here so hopefully anyone else who has a GM vehicle and encounters this problem can do the same thing, and save some time and money.

The steering column has to come apart. Removal of the knee bolster and instrument panel makes this a lot easier. Keep an eye out for hidden screws.

See the orange wire? That's the culprit. It goes to the tow/haul button on the end of the shifter. This is just a momentary switch that tells the PCM to switch to the towing profile. Inside the orange wire are two smaller white wires.

Here's a closeup of the orange wire. In my case, both white wires were broken; one was held together by just the insulation. I spliced a patch between the two parts using some speaker wire. Since these wires don't really carry any serious power, that will do. The 4" of wire I added will also add a little slack into the wire so it won't happen again. (Sorry about the dog hair; I didn't notice it until after I took the photo. When you have a husky, it gets everywhere.)

I spliced the wires together, soldered them where I could, then used heat shrink tubing and covered the entire repair area in electrical tape. Turn the key on, press the button and success!

Overall, I'd say the difficulty of this repair would be 3/10 for anyone comfortable with working on cars. The button and wire aren't available on the market, so the only other way to repair this would be to replace the entire shifter lever.

Geoff & Jill
& Sierra, the little white monster
2013 Ford F-150 XTR SC Ecoboost
2015 Jayco Jay Flight 24FBS
Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:21 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Saskatoon Sask Canada
Posts: 8,772
Nice fix... but I was really hoping you had found a way to keep it in tow/haul instead of having to push the button after each engine stop... (I keep forgetting)

2004 Chev Silverado Duramax optioned past the max. 2009 Jayco Eagle 308 RLS 765 watts of solar, 6-6 volt batteries (696 amp hour), 2000 watt (4000 surge) whole house inverter.
140 days boondocking in 2016
211/2015, 196/14, 247/13, 193/12

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Old 06-02-2016, 01:39 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Virginia`s Eastern Shore
Posts: 13,889
This is a common problem on the older GM trucks. The wire breaks in time after X amount of shifts. Has not happened to mine yet but others have reported this problem. From several years ago on this forum:


2004 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab 6.0l, 4.10r

2010 Jayco Jayflight 28BHS
Reese Strait Line with Dual Cam
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