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Dead infotainment screen (and it's COLD)

5087 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  QuandAns42
After work, I got in my Volt and the infotainment screen is completely blank (unpowered). The infotainment controls appear to work normally... they are lit up and an audible "click" is heard when they are pressed, I can change driving modes, seat heater controls work. But there is no radio, bluetooth doesn't connect to my phone, etc. Biggest issue is that I cannot control climate, and it's getting cold. I had it on Eco, which isn't cutting it for the polar vortex. Fan speed does change, I assume temp setting does too, but I can't change vents or to Comfort. Cycled car on and off a few times with no change.

Any ideas? Sounds like more than a dead display if bluetooth/radio aren't working. But a dead head unit wouldn't always blank the display (or maybe it would)? It's too cold to randomly check fuses right now, unless I know a specific one. I'll start checking my manuals for that, but appreciate any input.

Edit: fuse F4 (display) looked intact (not blown).
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12V is original, so it's a bit over 3 years old (which also means I'm just outside of my B2B warranty, sigh). No other weirdness noted so far, but display is still dead this morning. I tried using Auto to get heat, but it seems to choose different vents than I'd want, so it's making my windshield warm but not blowing much at me.

I'll try the 12V disconnect tonight, thanks for the idea.
Update: I tried the 12V disconnect for > 10 minutes and it did nothing. Car is at dealer today so hopefully I'll know more soon.

Fun fact: while messing around with the buttons on a recent drive, I could repeatedly get the doors to lock/unlock by holding down the large radio power button for a few seconds. This seemed to only work at lower speeds. I tried it again on a later drive and it no longer did this. Would love to know what the heck was going on there...
Ok, dealer just called me and said it needs a whole new radio unit, which costs $1200. That's insane. I assume by "radio unit" they mean the double-din sized thing behind the control panel... I see those on ebay for around $100. Does anyone know if this box "drives" the infotainment screen? So the diagnosis makes sense? I've replaced radios in other cars, so 'm sure I can handle swapping that out to save $1000... does it need programming once installed or is it just plug&play? I just want to make sure it's the right part and that it'll work w/o a dealer computer "blessing" it. I'll try to verify the part with the dealer when they call back.
With that price, they probably mean screen, box, and everything. AFAIK the box needs programming to your VIN to work.
I checked and nope, it's just the radio box. I have found some for 1/10th that price on ebay, I just need to make sure they can be programmed. There are a few reports of ones that were unable to be programmed for some reason. It's silly they designed it that way... it's a box with no screens or knobs, who the heck would steal it? Not like you could use it in any other car. Making it so you have to program the box when replaced is just dumb.
Thanks, I sorta tried that last week, asking their Service Dept if there were any used parts and they said no. So I called back to the Parts guy and got the part number and looked it up the exact number on ebay and found several, so I cancelled the order for the new part (the same parts guy was about to order it for me). Service wasn't real happy with me, and said I'd have to come back to get it programmed... if they had said "that won't work" I'd be more concerned I guess, but it sounded like they'd be able to do it. I've also been told that some car stereo places can do it too if they have the right equipment, which might be easier than going through the dealership.

The parts guy sounded a bit incredulous that I'd try to find a used one on ebay... I said "would you pay $1200 for a radio? Wouldn't you look around for alternatives?"
To anyone that may be experiencing this same issue....

I one morning had the exact symptoms described in the original post. Everything was fine when I parked one night, and in the morning the infotainment screen didn't come on, no radio activity, no bluetooth, no backup camera. My initial thought was the screen, but that didn't explain the lack of other functions. First dealership tried the usual fuses and such (exactly as I had told them I had already done), charged me for half an hour of labor, and said they would need at least another 2 hours to trace wiring and whatnot to try to diagnose it. I didn't like that idea, seemed unlikely to be wiring in my mind, and I picked me car back up.

I tried opening up the dash, disconnecting and reconnecting all the cables, and that got me no where. Finally found this thread that said it was the actual radio unit back there. Since that seemed likely, I found one of only 2 on eBay that matched my exact part number, installed it, and paid the dealership an hour to update/program it, and voila! Everything works again.

TLDR, infotainment screen not on, radio not on, no (used in my case) radio (with exact same part number as I pulled out of my car, there are many options) fixed my issue after programming at dealership.
OP here, glad that worked out for you. It's crazy the dealer couldn't quickly diagnose this... I'm pretty sure mine just hooked up their normal diagnostic system and it told them it was unable to communicate with the radio, and they charged me for one hour of time. Though I guess it could then be a dead box OR a bad harness and they wanted to be sure? I'd think their diagnostic system could narrow it down a bit though. Oh well, sounds like you're all good now.

Edit: Looks like I never linked to the thread with details on how this all turned out. All info is here (also in my signature).
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