Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

So a couple of weeks ago I posted on here that my 2010 Malibu was giving me problems with Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced messages. I took it to the dealer and they identified two problems a P2138 Sensor Short and a P2135 code. To fix the P2138 they replaced the accelerator pedal with position sensor assembly. To fix the P2135 they replaced the throttle body assembly. All was covered under the warranty as the car only has 32K miles on it.

So today... roughly two weeks and 200 miles later while sitting in a drive-thru getting some lunch the car does it all again. We have to turn the thing off about every 3 minutes so the system resets and we can drive above 20 mph. We just bought this car on May 16th as a Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle and not even 60 days into owning the car I'm thinking we probably made a big mistake with this car. Especially after looking in the manual we noticed the previous owner had highlighted and starred all 3 of the messages we are currently getting.

Does anyone have any advice for us? I'm going to take it back to the dealer again tomorrow, but my wife is 8 months pregnant and we bought this car so we would have something dependable for her and the baby and it's looking like we should've just stuck with the 2002 Dodge that we had.

I'm sure the dealer will try to fix it again but I'm afraid this problem is going to keep coming up... especially since I believe it happened to the previous owner... I'm very frustrated right now! And I see all these other posts on here about other owners having the same issues. You'd think Chevy/GM would identify the root of this problem and fix it.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 06:39 PM
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Re: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

Does this happen after a rain or a car washing? If so, there's a bulletin for possible water leaks on the left side of the car and it can affect a connector on the far left side of the dash. This would set code P2138. The codes you had are ones that generally don't fail and stay that way so finding their root cause isn't always easy. Like Greenman, I find it hard to believe P2135 and P2138 set at the same time. There's probably a wiring issue. It's not a big deal to fix, worse comes to worse, you ( the tech ) just restring the circuit. If the P2138 set, it's X206, a 22 way gray connector to look at for corrosion, if there's corrosion, there's a water leak that needs to be addressed. X206 is between the PCM and the accelerator pedal position sensor. The circuit between the throttle body and the PCM is a straight run, no connectors. I generally don't spend a whole lot of time trying to find an intermittent wiring issue. It's quicker and a more reliable fix to just restring the circuit terminal to terminal from where ever it starts to where ever it goes. Try to understand that at least an attempt was made to address the issue the first time you took it in. Sometimes, unfortunately this is how it goes. Throttle bodies, actually the throttle position sensors, have been an issue sometimes and are common to fail intermittently. I usually go that way myself when I get a P2135. If it comes back, I restring the circuits to the throttle body and that usually is the end of it. By the fact that there is a bulletin on the P2138 issue, GM HAS identified A possible cause for the code. Give the dealer a little bit of credit for what they've done so far, jumping down their throat won't help matters. As frustrating as it is for the customer to deal with the issue twice, most techs don't like it coming back either. A good deal of us take pride in our profession and do the best we can but we don't have crystal balls either.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 07:14 PM
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Re: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

I had a feeling you hadn't seen the end of those issues. They tried the easy way. Now it can get much more complex. The last time I saw those two codes pop together it was a low cranking voltage issue. But that's been a couple years ago & it wasn't on a Malibu.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 06:41 AM
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Re: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

I'm having "Service ESC" massages pop up on my Malibu too. I've got a 2010 Malibu LS, 3.5 V6, E85 Flex Fuel, 79,000 miles.

Sometimes when I start the car, my message center will say "ESC OFF" and then it will display a constant message that displays "SERVICE ESC." My traction control light stays on constantly (not flashing) while these messages are displayed.
This doesn't happen all of the time however, on three times in the past five days or so. I will drive the vehicle for long periods of time with no lights, or error messages. I don't know what it could be, or what it going on.

OnStar ran a onboard diagnosis, and gave me a C0710 code.

Any info?
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 07:53 AM
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Re: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

You have an issue with the steering wheel position sensor. If the car is still under the B2B warranty the dealer should be able to diagnose the problem and fix it for you. If you don't have access to a scanner that can read ABS codes it can get difficult to fix and verify the fix worked yourself.

Bill
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 07:58 AM
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Re: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

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You have an issue with the steering wheel position sensor. If the car is still under the B2B warranty the dealer should be able to diagnose the problem and fix it for you. If you don't have access to a scanner that can read ABS codes it can get difficult to fix and verify the fix worked yourself.

Bill

Bill, if your reply is to my post about the C0710 code, thank you. However, at 79,000 miles the only warranty left is my powertrain one. Hopefully the dealer will possibly do something for me?
Any idea the cost I am looking at for this?
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 08:00 AM
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Re: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

And, of course by cost I mean if I can't get the dealer to do something for me.

As of right not, Parsons Buick (dealer closest to me) says they will diagnose the issue for $96 an hour, but that they don't automatically charge an hour. So, as told on the phone, if it only takes them twenty minutes, I will only be charged for twenty minutes.

In any event, any time ESC or Traction Control things come up, I automatically assume it is going to be really expensive.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

So I just picked the car up from the Chevy service center. When I dropped it off the tech agreed it was probably a wiring issue, but after inspecting the wiring they found no issues. They tested the newly installed accelerator pedal/accelerator pedal position sensor and the throttle body assembly and found no issues.

So the technician told me a faulty engine control module was the only thing left it could be. So they replaced the ECM and now it's just wait and see I guess. Thank god this has all been covered under the warranty or else I'd be breaking the bank.

JKatz I think your issue is a little bit different than mine. My traction control light does not stay on constantly. And my messages never pop up when I start the car they always pop up while driving. When I turn the car off and back on the messages go away because the system resets itself. Also my codes were P2135 and P2138. As far as cost I have no idea. But nothing is ever cheap on cars. I'd probably call your service center and tell them the code your getting and get their thoughts on it.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 08:15 PM
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Re: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

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Originally Posted by ahbond2 View Post
So I just picked the car up from the Chevy service center. When I dropped it off the tech agreed it was probably a wiring issue, but after inspecting the wiring they found no issues. They tested the newly installed accelerator pedal/accelerator pedal position sensor and the throttle body assembly and found no issues.

So the technician told me a faulty engine control module was the only thing left it could be. So they replaced the ECM and now it's just wait and see I guess. Thank god this has all been covered under the warranty or else I'd be breaking the bank.
Best of luck with that. I'll put my bet you'll be back the third time and maybe then they'll restring the circuits. PCM's very, very rarely fail that way anymore yet techs just throw them at a problem like yours. Well, to each their own, I would have restrung the circuits terminal to terminal first. You had both codes again right? Only other thing I could think of and I just looked was a 5V reference voltage loss momentarily. Within the PCM there are two 5V reference outputs and there are multiple sensors fed from each of the circuits. If there were an intermittent short to ground for example in the fuel tank pressure sensor it would pull down the entire 5 volt reference 1 circuit and that would affect the APP sensor but at the same time it would trigger more codes, most likely, for the other sensors that share the same output. Keep us posted and good luck.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced

I'm not sure if both of the codes popped up again because I just took it straight back to them and did not run a diagnostic myself.

I'm with you I think they are just shooting in the dark at this point. I don't think the module was bad but since they can't figure out what is wrong with it they just threw it on there.

I'm about to head to work and I have a feeling its going to be an adventure this morning. Wish me luck.
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