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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2017 Equinox LT.

A few days ago, the radio/display started taking longer to "boot up" when first starting the car in the morning. Took a minute or so, but eventually came up and everything worked fine.

Today, it stopped booting up completely.


  • HVAC controls all work fine, but absolutely no response from the radio controls, screen, etc. No chevy logo on the display screen at startup, etc
  • No rear-view camera display when in reverse.
  • Pressing the onstar/handsfree calling buttons, I still hear the audio from that.
  • Pressing any controls for the radio, gets no response (so it's not just the screen not working, I get no audio, etc)
  • I tried to reset things by unplugging the radio and display fuses (Fuses 9 and 15) for 10-15 minutes. No change when plugging them back in. Both fuses were good.
  • I tried a "Reset" procedure I saw that involved pressing the handsfree calling button, and then pressing it again to hang up. Didn't do anything for the radio.

I'm curious where the actual "brain" of the infotainment unit is. I see I can purchase OEM parts for the radio/hvac control panel, the radio itself, and the display panel.

If I need to replace the radio unit itself, I'll probably go for a used unit (which I think I understand will need to be re-programmed at the chevy dealer).

Any troubleshooting tips / suggestions appreciated. I was an electronics tech in the USAF, so I have a pretty good electronics/troubleshooting skills, just can't find any documentation about how the system is set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So I went out and messed with the equinox for a few more minutes.

A couple key on / off cycles, no radio/screen. Then one of the cycles, with the key removed from the car, and the drivers door opened, I pressed the radio power button, and it came on, operated normally.

Closed the door, turned the key on, radio stayed on. Turn the key off, radio shut off upon opening drivers door.

Turned the key back on, no more radio/display. Pressed radio power button, still nothing. No sequence that I could find would make it come back on again.


Definitely seems like some computer module is very confused.

Sitting with the neg battery terminal removed for approx 1 hour did nothing to change the issue..
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Followup: after a few more days, it stopped turning on completely. No signs of life from radio/screen.

In case anyone else has this issue in the future:

Ordered a radio off ebay from a salvage 2017 equinox, got it swapped out. The MyLink logo now comes up like normal, then shows "LOCKED". I'll be taking to the dealer tomorrow to have it reprogrammed for my VIN.

Nothing else displays on the LCD right now, but the rear-view camera shows up again.

Before buttoning the dash back up, I unplugged the replacement and plugged in the original one, still completely dead, no signs of life. So I'm very confident the radio unit was the issue.

Total repair cost ended up at $200 for the salvage radio, plus whatever the dealer charges to reprogram the replacement radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, after spending 3 hours on it, the dealer said they couldn't complete the update for the radio.

First tried to say this one must not be the same part number as my old one. I had the old and new, and looking at the labels, the new one is identical to the old one, and they were manufactured about a month apart. Both came out of 2017 equinoxes. Then decided it was because the radio firmware on the new radio must have been updated. I guess it's possible, but if so, it was done after the fact. Then they tried updating the BCM for some reason. That didn't help anything either.

So it drove away in the same state it arrived.

I've seen mention of several non-GM places I can send out my radio to have the vin number updated, so I'll be looking into that.
 

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Curious, did dealer bill you for 3 hrs labor ?
 

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Wow, you lucked out, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well, rather than try to mess with another clueless dealer, I went the hacker way.

Found information about disassembling the radio itself (the silver box), to get the EEPROM chip on the circuit board, and using a $10 USB eeprom programmer off ebay, was able to change the vin myself.

Got the EEPROM updated, radio reassembled, and reinstalled in the equinox, and it's working perfectly.

If anyone else ever has to deal with this, hit me up. Time to pull radio, disassemble, flash the eeprom, reassemble and reinstall in vehicle was about 3 hours.... That's actually less time than I wasted at the dealership only to have them not be able to do it.
 

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Hi, You claimed you got the EEPROM updated, but where did you get the software to update the EEPROM ?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
If you mean where did I get the software the dealer uses to change the vin, I didn't. I did not program the vin number thru the car's OBD system, or anything like that. As I said in the previous post, I disassembled the radio, and attached an hardware eeprom programmer directly to the eeprom chip. eeprom chips are pretty basic simple devices, and can be programmed using very simple hardware. The dealer's way to change the vin uses things like tech2, connected to the cars network while the car is running. Very complex, and apparently very finicky. Lots of devices all talking over the cars internal network can interrupt programming, etc.

The eeprom in question doesn't contain any software... it's just a 16kB non-volatile memory that contains the VIN number (along with some other radio info like the radio's serial number, and maybe things like presets, etc). With the EEPROM programmer, I just read the contents of the chip in the replacement radio, changed the 16 digits worth of vin number (it leaves off the 1st digit), and then wrote the data back to the chip.

Here's a screenshot of the eeprom editing software.. The eeprom programmer reads the raw byte values out of the eeprom. If you look on the right side, this radio's vin number is down at line 150, starts G1PG. Just changed that vin number to mine, wrote it back to the chip, reassembled radio, reinstalled radio, and it's all happy.

Also attaching a pic of the eeprom programmer connected to the chip.





 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
all told, this repair would have cost about $1200 at the dealership (including diagnostics, new radio, installation, programming, etc). My total out of pocket cost to DIY was $200 for the radio, and $10 for the chip programmer.

And my simple fix proves that the service guy was full of crap when he told me the replacement radio must have had some updated code that was incompatible with my vehicle. I did make sure to tell him the replacement radio was from another equinox of the same year and same options (at least as far as they relate to the radio). He just kept repeating his BS. I suspect the tech was trying to update the radio software, rather than just updating the vin. He did offer to sell me a new factory radio for like $900, plus labor of course.
 

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Thanks for the update, now I understand what you did, and you did a very nice job, and you save a lot of money.
If and when I do need additional help with the radio I will PM for more info. Thanks again
 

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Brilliant! I am a software developer and I have a dead radio in my 16 Terrain. I am going to use this technique and post a walkthru. (All credit goes to you!) I am so sick of GMC and their crap. The steelership tried to tell me it would be 130 to program a used replacement radio and doubted it would work.

Would you mind sharing which eeprom programmer you used? I'd like to buy this hardware.


all told, this repair would have cost about $1200 at the dealership (including diagnostics, new radio, installation, programming, etc). My total out of pocket cost to DIY was $200 for the radio, and $10 for the chip programmer.

And my simple fix proves that the service guy was full of crap when he told me the repl7acement radio must have had some updated code that was incompatible with my vehicle. I did make sure to tell him the replacement radio was from another equinox of the same year and same options (at least as far as they relate to the radio). He just kept repeating his BS. I suspect the tech was trying to update the radio software, rather than just updating the vin. He did offer to sell me a new factory radio for like $900, plus labor of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'd be careful to find a replacement radio that is as close to your exact vehicle as possible. The same radio part numbers were used for many vehicles / years, but contained many different software versions, which might cause compatibility issues. Two tips to find the exact radio used in your vehicle:

1) remove the current "silver box" radio. It's inside the dash behind the CD player if you have one, otherwise behind the cubbies under the audio/hvac controls, It'll have a part number on it.
or
2) Go to gmpartsgiant.com, enter your vin number, and search for "radio". It should be able to determine which radio unit yours came with.

That at least gets you the right physical box. Then search that part number on ebay, and look thru various auctions until you find one that is pretty close to your vehicle. Many of the ebay listings by salvage yards will include the VIN number of the donor vehicle, or even show the exact RPO code sticker of the donor vehicle.

I can provide details for removing the "silver box" from the dash (at least on my equinox, not sure if the terrain will be different), and on disassembly of the radio "silver box" itself. Taking the radio out of the dash involved use of some plastic trim tools, and a 9/32" socket. Disassembling the radio involved only a philips screwdriver.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Thanks for the info and links. I actually ordered a different RPO coded radio. Its looks identical except without navigation. I will give it a shot and post results. If it doeant work, i will buy a matching rpo coded radio and try again. Anything before giving GMC money to fix a car that Im still making payments on.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Looks identical to mine. Mine was part number 84064071

The eeprom chip is on the bottom of the board in your 2nd picture. To remove that board, you'll need to remove the heat sync and fan from the side, unplug the ribbon cable on the left side of the picture (lift the tabs on either side first, then cable just slips out), and undo 2 screws on the outside side panel holding in the XM radio box (the little box mounted sideways with the ribbon cable), then remove the 4 screws holding the board down, and one more on the back.


It'll be good practice if you get the eeprom programmer, to read the data off your old chip before messing with the new radio. Better to learn on something already broke! In my case, I was able to read the chip off my broken radio just fine. That gave me confidence that the reader worked.

Just saw this auction on ebay when searching for your radio part number:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Audio-Equi...-84026051-Fits-16-EQUINOX-433695/283400814120

Looks like its from a 2016 terrain, so it looks like a good match if the other one you ordered doesn't work out.
 
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