How do I Locate the VCIM on a Silverado?by Richard Rowe
The Vehicle Communications Interface Module is kind of like your GM truck's cell phone. For OnStar-equipped vehicles, the VCIM dials out to GM's OnStar assistance center and turns your car's in-car entertainment system into a giant speaker-phone. GM uses two different types of VCIM; the basic one dials out only to OnStar and the upgraded Bluetooth module accepts a radio signal from your cell phone and sends it to the car's speaker system. On some vehicles, the VCIM also enables the satellite radio system and navigation system. GM does a pretty good job of hiding the VCIM/OnStar/Bluetooth module, but it's not terribly difficult to find on trucks like the Silverado.
Slide your flat-bladed screwdriver (or butter knife) in between the dashboard and the top end of the instrument panel trim just over the radio and give the screwdriver handle a gentle twist to pop the panel free. Work your way around the panel trim to pop it completely free and expose the radio bolts.
Remove the four bolts that secure the radio to the dashboard and very gently pull the radio out of the dash just far enough to expose the wiring harness in the back. Use your screwdriver to lift the locking tabs on either side of the harness plug and pull the plug out. Unplug or unscrew the antenna cable from the back of the radio and pull the radio out.
Remove the bolts that secure the heater/AC controls to the dashboard and swing the panel controls out. Do not disconnect the controls. You'll have plenty enough clearance to access the VCIM.
Identify the VCIM box. A standard non-Bluetooth VCIM will be a gray, metal box measuring about 8 inches tall, 6 inches wide and about 1.5 inches thick. It will have a white, laminated tag on the top or front (opposite the two harness plugs) that give the box's part number next to a number of bar codes. Bluetooth-enabled boxes look more like a wireless cable modem than anything else. Bluetooth boxes are all black, have an antenna sticking out of one side and have an oval-shaped plastic window on the top. Under the viewing window you'll see one red, one blue and three green LED lights indicating which if any of the VCIM-controlled functions are active.
- "Chevrolet Silverado GMC Sierra: 1999 through 2006 2WD and 4WD - Haynes Manual"; Haynes Publishers; 2008
- "Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra, 2007 thru 2009 - Haynes Manual"; Haynes Publishers; 2010
Things You'll Need
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Ratchet and metric sockets
Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.