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Check Engine Lamp DTC P059F (Active Grill Shutter fault)TSB# 16-NA-203

105635 Views 76 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  Sdeck
CEL came on. Onstar tells me it's code P059F, Active Grill Shutter.
Anyone else experience this on a GM car?

I have an appointment for Wednesday, but kind of annoying...
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Got this code a couple of days ago and has not gone away. just about to book car into dealership for a service .... also need them to check why my remote start has also stopped working from both the app and also the key fob the last couple of days (just when I actually needed it). Will also be asking them to check any outstanding TSBs like the chuggling and axle creak stuff ....
FYI, a check engine light or MIL will most likely prevent a remote start.
 

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FYI, a check engine light or MIL will most likely prevent a remote start.
This is what I sort of guessed as there were no issues with remote start before ... but will ask them to check it anyway. should be an easy 2-for-1 fix if that's the case! seems to be a pattern emerging with this code being thrown out in cold weather spots though !
 

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Went to the dealership. They tested the shutters (I saw it moving) at different levels. Everything seemed fine. They cleared the code and washed away the dirt that could have caused trouble (it should not since it's in the front of the car, exposed to a bunch of dirt). Went home. Got back in the car later. CEL. Damn. Called OnStar. P059F. Dealership visit again next week ! 😩
 

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Ok, so dropped the car off at the dealer yesterday to get the P059F code (and a few other niggles) looked at and it turns out to have a low tech solution to a problem which might explain why many users in northern regions are experiencing it.

The tech phoned me in the afternoon to explain that the code was thrown because the active grill shutters were not moving when they were supposed to. He had checked them and found that the mechanism that physically moves the shutters had ice on it which had not melted because our temperature has not gone above freezing for a while. The solution - use hot water to melt the ice.

Unfortunately I have no idea where the mechanism is as they told me this over the phone and the tech was not around when I picked up the car, but maybe it will save someone else a trip to the dealership ....

After driving a different car yesterday, I was so happy to get back in my Volt !! Enterprise has an office right inside the dealership so they send you over there. They offered me a Sonic (which I refused) then offered a Buick Verano which I reluctantly took. bad move. hated it. went from my Volt with all its safety features, low noise, nice screens and infotainment to a POS hunk of junk that didnt even have bluetooth and had screens that looked like they came out of the 80s !!!! Good job it was just one day and getting me from A-B and back to A !!!
 

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Ok, so dropped the car off at the dealer yesterday to get the P059F code (and a few other niggles) looked at and it turns out to have a low tech solution to a problem which might explain why many users in northern regions are experiencing it.... He had checked them and found that the mechanism that physically moves the shutters had ice on it which had not melted because our temperature has not gone above freezing for a while. The solution - use hot water to melt the ice....
This is a defect. Obviously this element was not well tested if it's happening this easily for end users.

Best,
Rick
 

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This is a defect. Obviously this element was not well tested if it's happening this easily for end users.

Best,
Rick
I just emailed my Volt advisor regarding this minor flaw in the hopes that he can forward this to GM and a fix can be made.
 

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Since we had the P059F code, I have put some Anti-Rust oil (Krown) on the Shutters, it should help keep the water/snow/slush away for a while, hopefully until the winter is over. :)
 

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I just emailed my Volt advisor regarding this minor flaw in the hopes that he can forward this to GM and a fix can be made.
Well, there seem to be a lot of minor issues occurring. Some folks here may be comfortable diagnosing the severity of these issues, others not. Which CEL's does one ignore? How many times do we call OnStar? How many times do we bring the car back to the dealer?

So if I get the Grill Shutter issue, do I ignore it and drive with the shutter frozen in one position or another? What are the ramifications of that? I have no idea?

I consider myself very lucky because I have only had a "silent" P040B issue (no CEL but OnStar report revealed the code). Maybe I will never have the shutter issue or any other issue. Highly possible and I hope highly probable. I love this car, I love driving it more than any other car I have ever driven. But I don't want to be bringing the car in to the dealer every month to clear a minor issue.

Death by a thousand cuts.....

Best,
Rick
 

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The problem with this is that the check engine light is playing the role of the boy who cried "Wolf!". If you get repeated indications for some trivial problem that can be ignored then some day when the mechanic fails to tighten the oil pan drain plug and the light comes on because all the oil is gone, you'll ignore it, trash your engine and strand yourself in the middle of nowhere.

The car has beautiful huge display screens and any number of intelligent computers - IMHO instead of relying on a single "Idiot Light" there really needs to some supplemental information about what the problem is so that you can decide for yourself what to do about it.
While being all in favor of better instrumentation, STOP NOW faults result in a FLASHING CEL, and, in your example an oil pressure light. From the 2016 Volt Owner's Manual:

"If the light is flashing :
A malfunction has been detected that
could damage the emission control
system and increase vehicle
emissions. Diagnosis and service
may be required.
To help prevent damage, reduce
vehicle speed and avoid hard
accelerations and uphill grades.
If the light continues to flash, find a
safe place to park. Turn the vehicle
off and wait at least 10 seconds
before restarting the engine. If the
light is still flashing, follow the
previous guidelines and see your
dealer for service as soon as
possible."
 

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I just went out of the dealership. They told me that they ordered a part (i have to go back next thursday). Hopefolly GM has revised the sutters to make them more resillient to ice/snow. We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I just went out of the dealership. They told me that they ordered a part (i have to go back next thursday). Hopefolly GM has revised the sutters to make them more resillient to ice/snow. We'll see.
Please keep us updated on this part!
 

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Volt advisor has emailed me back and forwarded our concerns to the GM engineering team. I shared this thread and also mentioned the similar complaints regarding P059F that surfaced on the Chevy Volt Owners facebook group.

I share the same sentiment. I hope that in the end, they can revise this mechanism/part sometime down the road.
 

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They are closed... the shutters are closed.

The engine ran today a few times and it smelled 'heat'. I examined the shutters at home and they are closed. As far as I know, they should be open at low speed, closed at high speed. I did not stop the car at highway speed to leave it in my driveway... Another visit to the dealership next week. Tomorrow it's supposed to be a bit warmer (2 Celcius). I'm gonna wash the front end and see if something is stopping the sutters. Obviously something is broken since it should throw a CEL if they are not able to move... I suddenly miss my trouble free 2012...
 

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They are closed... the shutters are closed.

The engine ran today a few times and it smelled 'heat'. I examined the shutters at home and they are closed. As far as I know, they should be open at low speed, closed at high speed.
It seems more likely to me that they would be opened and closed in response to coolant temperatures rather than being speed-controlled.
 

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It seems more likely to me that they would be opened and closed in response to coolant temperatures rather than being speed-controlled.
I honestly don't know... The only time i saw them open (outside of today) was when the dealership was testing them... Every time I hand washed my car, they were open... Might just be luck...
 

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You're right.

The 2016 LT of a friend has them closed also. It also confirms that the LT do have the shutters (don'T know if it was confirmed by somebody else before).

No CEL yet, so it must be normal for them to be closed in the below 0C tempratures, while using the battery and a bit of the ICE. I will try to see at what tempratures they finally open this spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I got P059F CEL again this morning. Shutters are closed. Could be the snow/ice that is packed in the grill, though. Have cleared the code and will see if it comes back...
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Does anyone know at what temperature the Active Shutter closes? Also, does it go by the ambient temp, the battery temp, or the coolant temp?
 

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Does anyone know at what temperature the Active Shutter closes? Also, does it go by the ambient temp, the battery temp, or the coolant temp?
Given that you'd only need to open the shutters in order to provide more cooling it sure seems to me that it ought to be governed by coolant temperature. Otherwise you might get into some situations where the ambient temperature is low but you're still not getting adequate cooling due to load or speed factors.
 
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