2011 Buick LaCrosse Radio Display Screen Issue

Mrtallguy67

Buick Newbie
7
1
0
Buick
Hello everyone,

I was just out on vacation and had some issues with my new to me LaCrosse. Its a 2011 with 60,000 miles. I have had the car since 45,000 miles and haven't had any issues. I took it to the dealer to have it serviced and inspected prior to my trip (Tuesday) and everything came back with a clean bill of health. Well, Thursday the car wouldn't start due to a dead battery. I have aftermarket HID's in the car and noticed I lost a headlight, so I was doing some testing with different bulbs and ballasts to figure out where my problem was. I figured this was what drained my battery. I took my other vehicle to run the errands and hooked up my battery charger to the Buick and let it fully charge.

Not wanting to drive with only one headlight on my trip I removed the HID kit and went back to my stock bulbs. Everything charged up and we left Saturday morning for our trip. We drove for about 5 hours before we stopped for lunch, after lunch we jumped back in and headed down the road. We decided to stop at Walmart and refill the cooler with ice and other food about an hour down the road. We did out shopping and were back about 15 minn later and all the car will do is click. The lights and accessories still work, but not enough juice to start the car. I decide that its an old OEM battery and it needs to be replaced. I walk into Walmart and purchase a new one and some basic tools to change it out.

I am very mechanically inclined and have built/maintained various cars and bikes. So this battery swap could have been done in my sleep, but none the less I still took extra precautions and had my wife hold the positive lead that has to be removed from the distribution block on top of the battery to ensure it didn't touch anything. I also wrapped the ground and positive terminal clamps in cloves I had in the trunk. Out with the old in with the new. I then put new corrosion prevention discs on the new battery and sprayed the terminals to prevent corrosion building up later.

Now everything is put back together and I go to start the car. The car starts right up, but the radio goes black and I am prompted to roll up and down the front windows. I follow the prompts and turn off the car. I start checking fuses to see why my radio went dead. I actually physically check every fuse in the dash and under the hood box and none are blown. I decide to continue on as I'm in the middle of nowhere western Kansas. As I drive I monitor the battery via the on board volt meter. It started out when running @ 13.6 volts. as I drove the volts crept up to 14.3 to 14.6. The funny thing is, once the volts got up over 14 the radio display turned back on. It was still wonky as you can see from the picture, but it came on. I was able to see outside temp, inside climate control settings and the clock. I could switch from AM to FM and to XM, but no sound would come out of the speakers and I couldn't change the station or configure anything.

This continued for the last 3 days sometimes the dash lights up and the display kinda works, other times is all black (buttons and display). I also noticed that my rear parking sensors are not working and I don't get the audible click from the turn signals.

I haven't had much luck goggling the symptoms, Has anyone else experienced this issue? If so could you provide any insight as to what I need to look for or check?

Sorry for such a long winded first post. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

-Chris
 

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CarbonBlackCXS

Full Member
400
3
0
Out of the thousands of LaCrosses sold it's probably safe to say only a very small number of them visit this site so its unlikely you'll find someone with the exact same screen issue as yours thus silence.

I have a 2011 as well and at one time had the screen go blank but my car has the larger screen so it's not the same as yours. It was fixed with a recall for a radio software update. I've had a number of electrical gremlins since buying the car new but they've all gone away with a new higher capacity battery. Coincidence? Could be but I do know from experience low battery voltages can cause some weird issues for the electronics.

As for the car asking you to roll the windows down/up that's normal after a battery disconnect.

Have you checked for any recalls?
 

HMTJ6821

Full Member
478
9
18
Buick LaCrosse 2016
Be aware that a loose ground can also cause problems just as a blown fuse. There are many "single point" grounds under the hood. They look like threaded rods that are welded to the chassis--the single point. And, No, I do not know which one may be involved with your symptoms.
______________________________
 

Mrtallguy67

Buick Newbie
7
1
0
Buick
Out of the thousands of LaCrosses sold it's probably safe to say only a very small number of them visit this site so its unlikely you'll find someone with the exact same screen issue as yours thus silence.

I have a 2011 as well and at one time had the screen go blank but my car has the larger screen so it's not the same as yours. It was fixed with a recall for a radio software update. I've had a number of electrical gremlins since buying the car new but they've all gone away with a new higher capacity battery. Coincidence? Could be but I do know from experience low battery voltages can cause some weird issues for the electronics.

As for the car asking you to roll the windows down/up that's normal after a battery disconnect.

Have you checked for any recalls?
Hey CarbonBlackCXS,

I have looked for recalls and all I could find is the one for the drivers seat bolt. I was hoping to find some answers here before I go to the dealer for the diagnostics. I might check all the single point grounds mentioned by HMTJ6821 and them take it in. Also, thought about pulling the whole head out of the car and see if it has a fuse on the unit, like aftermarket head units usually do.

Thanks,
Chris
 

douger

Full Member
341
8
18
Fort Wayne, Indiana
2012 Buick LaCrosse Touring
Hey CarbonBlackCXS,

I have looked for recalls and all I could find is the one for the drivers seat bolt. I was hoping to find some answers here before I go to the dealer for the diagnostics. I might check all the single point grounds mentioned by HMTJ6821 and them take it in. Also, thought about pulling the whole head out of the car and see if it has a fuse on the unit, like aftermarket head units usually do.

Thanks,
Chris
Allow me to save you some trouble. If you're thinking PICO fuses, GM radios don't have them. They're fused at the fuse block, and that's all of them.
 

Mrtallguy67

Buick Newbie
7
1
0
Buick
Update: Buick Owners log..... Day 62.... Still no resolution, but on the up side my singing voice is getting better without the use of my radio! Well I have been to 3 dealerships, 1 for a diagnostic as to what the problem is. They came back and concluded it was a faulty radio unit and supplied me a part number and offered to take $600 something bucks from me to fix it.... That seeming ridiculous for a standard OEM no frills radio. So armed with the part numbers and a will to save money, I searched for a donor radio on Ebay and locally. I found one that matched the dealer’s description and part number they supplied me. I purchased the donor unit and waited for it to deliver. Once it showed up I promptly removed my old radio and installed the new unit. The unit displayed LOCKED on the screen, but all my other symptoms and issues were back to normal. I did some research and found that the dealer is the only one that can clear the theft code stored in the radios long term memory and they would have to unlock it for me.

I called around and found that pricing for this unlocking service varied from $65 bucks to $150 bucks. I made an appointment with the dealer that charged the least amount for the service. After 2 hours in the waiting room the service tech comes to tell me they were unable to get the code to clear and that I would have to buy a new radio…… Then proceeded to tell me I owed them $65 bucks for trying! I laughed out loud and said I’m not paying you for a job you didn’t complete. He then tells me that he has to get something for his tech since he spent all that time on my car….. I told him I need to get something to for all the time I spent in the waiting room….. So if I can’t bill him for my time, then he can’t bill me for his. After a bit of an argument he decided to waive the charges. Displeased with the fact that the dealer couldn’t get it unlocked I started trying to figure out why. I found that the original dealer that diagnosed the problem supplied me with an incorrect part number for the radio. The new radio did not have the same GM Part number on it as my defective OEM unit. I assumed this was the issue and began the hunt for a new donor with my OEM part number.

Fast forward a few days and the new donor arrived. I made an appointment with another dealer to get the service done, as I was positive the previous dealer would not be willing to try to unlock another radio for me . I gave the new dealer a full run down and explained the issue I have and what I needed done. He assure me he could unlock it and to come on down. Well 60 miles and 1.5 hours later this dealer fails as well. They tell me they can’t get it to clear the code and I need a new radio, starting to sound familiar and then he proceeds to try and get me to pay for a service he didn’t provide….. (What’s the deal with stealerships trying to commit robbery?) Needless to say we argued again and I walked away without having to pay.

Frustrated and confused I starting looking for a different solution. I found a company that specializes in unlocking GM OEM Radios. I called this company and explained my issues and the gentleman said he could reprogram it to my VIN number and it would be a simple plug and play fix. I just needed to send him my donor radio. We settled on the price of $75 for the repair and $20 in the unlikely event that he fails to deliver. I express my hesitation and lack of faith in his ability as I have seen two different big dealerships fail, but decided it’s worth a shot. I sent him my unit for reprogramming, two days later I have the unit back and guess what…………………………………. Still shows LOCKED! As you can imagine I’m not to happy, but he is a man of his work and didn’t screw me over, but now I’m back to square one and have lost all faith in finding a solution. In fact I don’t even know that putting a $600 dollar OEM unit into it will solve the problem. I wish I could just drop in a aftermarket one, but the dang integrated dash makes that nearly impossible!

RANT OVER! I welcome any and all ideas anyone might have, sorry for the wall of text. Buick if you’re reading this, your car and dealerships suck fat balls!
 

HMTJ6821

Full Member
478
9
18
Buick LaCrosse 2016
My philosophy has always been that the frugal person spends the most. Your story is a perfect case study. If you had spent the $600 dollars initially, you would have had a working radio a long time ago and much less aggrevation for the dollars that you have spent with no results.
______________________________
 

Mrtallguy67

Buick Newbie
7
1
0
Buick
My philosophy has always been that the frugal person spends the most. Your story is a perfect case study. If you had spent the $600 dollars initially, you would have had a working radio a long time ago and much less aggrevation for the dollars that you have spent with no results.
I too generally agree with this statement. I am not above spending the $600 or even $1500 bucks if this was a broken part such as a transmission or other critical component. I have been wrenching on cars and bikes for years and I always buy quality parts and tools because like they say "he who buys quality only cries once". This is a silly problem with an over inflated price tag, for a non essential component. That's why I searched for other ways to fix it. Currently I have only spent about $100 bucks, but after the refund from the Radio repair guy I'm out less than $50. Honestly I think the thing that frustrates me the most is the fact that the dealership are so confident they could fix the issue, yet fail and still try to take my money for services not provided. At this point I am not sure even putting a brand new OEM (un-married to any VIN#) will solve the problem. The radio repair guy reprogrammed the donor unit with my cars VIN and the system is still locked. I am buying a factory new unit from my dealership in the hopes that it resolves my issues, only time will tell.
 

Raggums

Full Member
51
2
0
Buick
When it comes to your turn signals and sensors being silent, I had that problem too however it turned out to be the vehicle not properly communicating with my remote so I simply replaced the batteries in my remotes and haven't had it since. I too had a battery go dead and I replaced it with a new AGM battery and have not had any issues since.
 

Moona1818

New member
1
0
1
Lacrosse
Hello everyone,

I was just out on vacation and had some issues with my new to me LaCrosse. Its a 2011 with 60,000 miles. I have had the car since 45,000 miles and haven't had any issues. I took it to the dealer to have it serviced and inspected prior to my trip (Tuesday) and everything came back with a clean bill of health. Well, Thursday the car wouldn't start due to a dead battery. I have aftermarket HID's in the car and noticed I lost a headlight, so I was doing some testing with different bulbs and ballasts to figure out where my problem was. I figured this was what drained my battery. I took my other vehicle to run the errands and hooked up my battery charger to the Buick and let it fully charge.

Not wanting to drive with only one headlight on my trip I removed the HID kit and went back to my stock bulbs. Everything charged up and we left Saturday morning for our trip. We drove for about 5 hours before we stopped for lunch, after lunch we jumped back in and headed down the road. We decided to stop at Walmart and refill the cooler with ice and other food about an hour down the road. We did out shopping and were back about 15 minn later and all the car will do is click. The lights and accessories still work, but not enough juice to start the car. I decide that its an old OEM battery and it needs to be replaced. I walk into Walmart and purchase a new one and some basic tools to change it out.

I am very mechanically inclined and have built/maintained various cars and bikes. So this battery swap could have been done in my sleep, but none the less I still took extra precautions and had my wife hold the positive lead that has to be removed from the distribution block on top of the battery to ensure it didn't touch anything. I also wrapped the ground and positive terminal clamps in cloves I had in the trunk. Out with the old in with the new. I then put new corrosion prevention discs on the new battery and sprayed the terminals to prevent corrosion building up later.

Now everything is put back together and I go to start the car. The car starts right up, but the radio goes black and I am prompted to roll up and down the front windows. I follow the prompts and turn off the car. I start checking fuses to see why my radio went dead. I actually physically check every fuse in the dash and under the hood box and none are blown. I decide to continue on as I'm in the middle of nowhere western Kansas. As I drive I monitor the battery via the on board volt meter. It started out when running @ 13.6 volts. as I drove the volts crept up to 14.3 to 14.6. The funny thing is, once the volts got up over 14 the radio display turned back on. It was still wonky as you can see from the picture, but it came on. I was able to see outside temp, inside climate control settings and the clock. I could switch from AM to FM and to XM, but no sound would come out of the speakers and I couldn't change the station or configure anything.

This continued for the last 3 days sometimes the dash lights up and the display kinda works, other times is all black (buttons and display). I also noticed that my rear parking sensors are not working and I don't get the audible click from the turn signals.

I haven't had much luck goggling the symptoms, Has anyone else experienced this issue? If so could you provide any insight as to what I need to look for or check?

Sorry for such a long winded first post. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

-Chris
Doll mines is doing thsame thing someone said maybe the needs radio to be reprogrammed
 

Sortiz100

New member
18
1
3
2011 Buick Regal CXL
20200509_172510.jpg same happening to my 2011 buick regal just started today I'm bummed about it since I was going to sell it
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