December 19, 2017

GM Changes the towing recommendations for 2010-17 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain

By: Rob Lowe

As many are aware, there has been an issue with flat towing some of these vehicles. During certain circumstances, while being flat towed behind a motorhome, these vehicles suddenly begin swaying violently from side to side making maintaining control of the RV very difficult and creating a safety situation. The only way to stop, what has become known as the ‘death wobble’, is to come to a complete stop, which can be difficult on some roadways. After many customers began reporting this situation to their dealers and GM, action was taken.

GM determined that the only vehicles that experienced this wobble were the ones equipped with four cylinder engines.  These vehicles all have electric power steering that is not powered while being towed. Those equipped with six cylinder engines did not experience the issue, since these versions come with hydraulic, engine-driven power steering pumps. Apparently, there is sufficient pressure maintained in the steering systems when not running, to keep the wheels heading in the direction that the vehicle is being towed.

GM determined that when following the instructions in the owner’s manual to remove the DLIS fuse that the power steering system was also no longer being powered and the wheels were free to rotate side to side. The product bulletin #4890214 (#17-NA-348) that was introduced November 20, 2017. Here is a link to it:  (https://www.rv-partsplus.com/upload/editor/documents/GM%20Bulletin%204890214%2011-20-17.pdf) This bulletin instructs the owner to no longer remove this DLIS fuse, however there is another fuse to be removed from the Underhood Fusebox. This fuse is labelled Antilock Brake System (ABS) Module and is either #15 on 2010 vehicles or #16 on newer vehicles. By removing this fuse, apparently the power steering remains powered while being towed and this will eliminate the wobble issue. Simply using our High Current RVing FuseSwitch™ (FSW-HD1) makes it as easy as flipping a switch to tow.   Here is a link to the installation instructions for your reference: https://www.rv-partsplus.com/upload/editor/documents/HD%20RVing%20FuseSwitch%20Instructions%20Equinox%208-12-17.pdf

The only drawback is that there will be some 12-volt power drain on the towed vehicle’s battery while it is being towed. The vehicle battery will need to have a charge line installed to maintain the battery while towing. Almost all newer RV’s have a charge line at the rear tow connection, so power is likely available from the RV. If the towed vehicle has been equipped with a 6-way round tow vehicle connector and a six wire cable extension is used for the towed vehicle lighting then it is a straight forward task to supply the power from the RV to the towed vehicle. We cover what is required in detail in Technical Tip #102.   While commercial systems are available, the parts required are readily available and if the RV owner has some basic electrical and mechanical ability, completing the task to supply power to maintain the towed vehicle’s battery is a straight forward process, likely taking less than an hour.



Thanks for your comment.It will be published after reviewing it.