pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
48,750 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. positive battery cable replaced (3 reports)
  3. a parasitic draw , not onstar but the factory radio (1 reports)
2012 Chevrolet Captiva electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Chevrolet Captiva Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 022014

Captiva Sport LTZ 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles


So this is the 2nd issue with this car. I bought the car in 2013 and replaced the Battery 6 months in. Here it is 2021 and I now have put in 4 batteries and not cheap ones. Recently battery is dead, no warning just dead, no seat belt bings, no click of the turn signal, no radio not even the clock, not sure about airbags. After replacing 3 batteries and the latest was only about 6 months old. I am thinking it has to be the alternator not working . I said Enough. I brought the car to my mechanic and they did the diagnostic test. First it was the computer wasn't telling alternator to charge. Correcting the codes still didn't fix the issues. Then they said it was probably OnStar and it has a parasitic draw on the battery. Called OnStar to suspend service to see if that worked. NOPE.... then it was Oh "you have to go to the dealer, it's electrical " Now this visit cost me $300 and another new battery. Got in the car and check engine light is now on...wasn't before. Now mind you there is only 64K miles on this car. Now in the driveway in a snow storm and left idle for about 4 minutes, open garage door and put it in drive. Nothing... Had to put in Manual shift and it moved forward into garage and closed the door. Next morning out I go and Battery Dead.. Battery pack on starts right up. Now I am not feeling secure in taking this car anywhere . Called dealer where I I bought it and set up an appointment. Since I wasn't sure if this would get me 40 minutes to the dealer decided use my AAA and have it towed. So they do another diagnostic test and 2 hours later got a call from dealer and said "You have a parasitic draw and it is the Radio Modular .. They pulled the fuse and the draw went away. Funny part of all of this I got a new radio for the car for Christmas and was going to install it the same day it was towed to dealer.. So they asked if I wanted to have them put in a new modular. I asked what it was and they said it was THE Factory Radio. That is the modular, . I told them no I have a new one . But could they keep it over the weekend to make sure it started up after this discovery. After sitting 3 days it started right up. Pulled the fuse for the radio and the car is now getting new radio installed. It ran great on the way home and check engine light off and all the warning sounds are back .. ALL OF THIS FOR A FREAKIN RADIO !!!!!!! Are you kidding me? So it is NOT the positive battery cable, NOT OnStar, NOT power seat stuck, NOT the glove box light on, nothing using USB or plug . These were all listed as possible parasitic draws. A FREAKIN RADIO THAT was GM installed ….

- vision810kw, TURNERS FALLS, US

problem #6

Aug 082018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,770 miles

2012 Captiva. 83k miles. Car goes dead. Removed positive battery cable and reseated it. Solved the problem for a bit. Installed new positive cable. Solved the problem for 3 months. Now today it's happening again. Dealer replaced central control computer for $700 in August. Wasn't the problem. Now after I reseated cables the car came alive. But now there is no radio. Fuse is good. Other issues I have had were melted headlight harnesses and headlight bulbs blowing every 3 months. Car needs a major electrical recall

- Bob A., Greenville, RI, US

problem #5

Sep 152016

Captiva LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

had car towed to dealership 4 times, finally looked up carcomplaints.com and took a copy in. they replaced the battery cable, after having it towed in 4 times.

- bartonsjcjb, Savannah, US

problem #4

Apr 182016

Captiva 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,500 miles


My car was surging, lights diming, parking brake light flashing, and several other inconsistencies. I complained but was unable to get it to do it for others. One night on the way home I turned on my bright lights. My car RPM's went up like crazy, the radio went off, the wiper came on, the lights dimmed, and the door unlocked. All this happened WHILE driving down the road. It was so freaky!! I turned off the brights and put the car in neutral. Things stopped so I put it back in drive and tried my best to get home.

Once there I turned the car off. Everything died. The radio, the interior lights, the open door sound, and the headlights all went dead. My key would not even come out of my car! I had to pry my door keys off the car key ring to even get in my house. I had to have it towed two days later because there was no change.

The Chevy dealer told me it took them two days to figure out it was the Positive Battery Cable. The car is there being repair as I type this. I am supposed to pick the vehicle up in the next two days.

I am praying that this will fix the issue.

- Molly A., Muscle Shoals, AL, US

problem #3

Jul 252015

(reported on)

Captiva 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,500 miles

I have owned my 2012 Captiva for 3 years. The electrical issues actually started last year while I was driving from OH to CO. If I plugged my phone or another device into the USB port the radio went off, and a 'device not supported' message would appear. When I turned my blinkers on the radio would go off and so would the cruse control. The headlight would dim when I opened or closed the windows. When I got back to OH I took the car to the dealer for an oil change and mentioned what happened to the service guy, he said there was nothing he could do unless it happened while the car was there.

The car seemed fine until a few days ago. I noticed the radio would go off when i turned the car off, then a few seconds later would come back on. The radio is suppose to stay on up to 10min or until you open the door. Then I noticed the lights on the dashboard would flicker, the parking break service light would go on and off intermittently, so would traction control service warning. One day I went to the store, when I went to start the car it was completely dead and the key was stuck in the ignition. After a few tries the car did start up.

A few days later I went to start the car it was completely dead again and the key was stuck in the ignition, this time car would not start. I let the car sit over night and tried to start it again in the morning it was still dead. My husband checked the battery, and noticed the positive post was hot to the touch. So with the knowledge he has about cars he was 100% sure there was a short somewhere that was killing the battery. He jumped the car and it started right up.

I Googled electrical problems with Captiva's and found this website and a Chevorlet forum website. There are 7 pages of complaints on the Chevy website with the exact problems I was experiencing. I also found a website called safecar.gov where there are more complaints about the electrical problems with the 2012-2014 Captiva. Chevy does know there is an electrical issue with the Captiva, they have issued a service bulletin on it. Service Bulletin No.: PI-1235 Component(s): ELECTRICAL SYSTEM. Now I'm out $900+ for repairs. Thanks Chevy. The moral of this story is: the Captiva is a piece of crap and I would not recommend this vehicle to anyone. I will ever again own Chevy or GM product.

Update from Jul 31, 2015: The problem has not been resolved. So I spent over $900 for what????

- ka411sav, Chagrin Falls, OH, US

problem #2

Jun 042015

Captiva LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,233 miles

I purchased 2012 Captiva used in March 2013. Last week service traction control light comes on and off. Radio the same and interior lights and panel. Battery was reading normal. Go to the store and car died with no warning and key stuck in ignition. Wish I had this information before I purchased the car. I've gone to various sites and every complaint seems to be the same. Battery died with no indication. Called Chevrolet to let them know of the problem. Can't believe no recall has been done about this electrical problem. I don't recommend this vehicle to anyone.

- addy , St Joseph, MO, US

problem #1

Jun 162014

Captiva Sport 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

Third time for dead battery, can't get keys out of ignition.

No warning, went to start car and battery dead.

Did not get it jumped this time as last time dealer said have it towed in while battery is dead, our diagnostics will be able to determine problem better.

Called dealer, they brought me a loaner car as I have no other vehicle, was 4 miles from home and live alone so there is no other way for me to get around. Also, car windows were down and keys would not come out of ignition.

Dealer called Roadside Assistance, their time estimate was 3 hours later. It's the next morning and car is at dealer, hope they determine the problem for good.

If anyone has any ideas, please speak up. Very discouraging, I am afraid to leave town. Don't want to be stranded. I paid about $18000 for this used car in Nov. and I got headaches. I have owned many Chevy's this might be the last. 2 problems keep recurring, battery (3 times dead battery), driver seat outer panel trim on its 3rd trim. After I have gone to the dealer today to pick up car, I will update this info with VIN # and solution.

- maryboytz, Ashtabula, OH, US

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