2005 Malibu Maxx intermittent starting issue [Archive] - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums

: 2005 Malibu Maxx intermittent starting issue


revmedia
05-21-2012, 05:17 PM
We bought our 2005 Malibu Maxx about a year ago and it's been great so far. Over the last 3 or 4 months we've had a weird intermittent starting issue.

I've done a bunch of research regarding starting issues on these, so hopefully I can include enough info here to give you guys a firm idea of what is and isn't going on.

Turn the key, and the dash lights up. All lights on the dash light, and then go off, except the engine light which I think stays lit until the engine is started, then it goes off as well. No security lights stay on or are blinking.

I can hear the fuel pump hum and then click when the key is turned to acc. every time.

The car successfully fires up 9 times out of 10. When it doesn't, it'll crank over fast for about 3 seconds, then it stops trying. Turning the key a second time will almost always result in the same thing happening, the engine cranks fast for about 3 seconds and fails to start.

I have found that if I press the accelerator while it's cranking will force it to start.

One more thing, it seems like when I get gas, the rate of it doing this increases to about 50%. Not sure if it's related or not, just something I've noticed.

There are no error codes. Battery reads 12.98V. All electrical has tested good.

Any ideas where to start?

Thanks!

MalibuKen
05-21-2012, 06:13 PM
When it doesn't, it'll crank over fast for about 3 seconds, then it stops trying.

IF that means that it stops cranking, then what happens to the dash lights at that point ?

If the dash lights go out, it is likely that you have a bad connection at one end of one of the main cables going to the battery......or inside the battery itself.

If the dash lights stay ON, then you likely have a starter or solenoid problem.....or maybe an igintion switch problem developing.

What exactly do you mean by "All electrical has tested good" ??

The no-load battery voltage is pretty meaningless......until it goes totally dead.

The only "symptom" that is not consistent with an electrical failure somewhere is the bit about pressing the gas pedal seemingly causing it to start.

revmedia
05-21-2012, 07:02 PM
Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate the help.

By electrical, I meant the charging system was tested at a local auto parts store. Not sure if my battery could be the problem but it is pretty old.

The lights do stay on after it happens. I just put a pressure gauge on the injector rail and it shows about 55psi.

Once it does is its almost certain to do it a second time. Pressing the throttle definitely gets it to fire up on the second try.

I hope I'm explaining everything clearly. If anything needs to be clarified just let me know.

MalibuKen
05-22-2012, 07:04 AM
Not sure if my battery could be the problem but it is pretty old.

Pressing the throttle definitely gets it to fire up on the second try.



Probably time for a new battery but it doesn't sound like that's the cause here. Even with the dash lights on, it could be the problem though. At least check the connections.

It is possible that the throttle position sensor is giving a bad reading in the "closed" position. That's the only guess I have......except that maybe the throttle thing is just a coincidence.

revmedia
05-22-2012, 10:00 AM
Thank you again for the help. I will do some more investigating and report anything I find. I notice a lot of people come on forums and ask for help and then trail off and never reply, leaving everyone who comes behind and needs help pretty much up a creek. I try not to do that.

Thanks again!

Ryan62586
06-02-2012, 09:38 AM
Hello there, just curious if you've come closer to an answer? I'm having a similar problem. New battery and plugs. No codes, all lights go out like yours, and injector rail has the same psi. Mine just started with the not starting problem. Push the gas, it starts.

What's different, when my car starts it goes back dead unless I hold the throttle down a hair, then it'll stay running. As if whatever is telling it that It's a cold start isn't working. Even when this doesn't happen, the rpm still drops really low and come back up, unless it just keeps going down, ultimately going dead. In which case I push the gas and force the rpm to stay up at about 1000.

Drunken Elvis
06-02-2012, 09:50 AM
It would help to know what engine size you guys have. Mileage, do you have the electric throttle body, any work done lately, age of battery, anything you think might be relevant. When this is giving you problems, does the starter completely stop after a few seconds or does it slow down?

Ryan62586
06-02-2012, 10:05 AM
Sorry, brand new battery. Like a week old. 3.5L, electronic throttle body (I think, has a big "Delphi" plug in it) the starter quits, 108,000mi, and the problem I have is pretty random that I've noticed. But pretty frequent (on the going back dead) not as often with the starter issue. And there's been no work done.

Drunken Elvis
06-02-2012, 10:58 AM
It' s pretty well impossible to diagnose something intermittent like this other than checking the usual things, loose or cracked vacuum hoses, dirty wire connections, a frayed wiring harness etc. The only logical step is talking to a dealer.

Perhaps the computer is logging some failures that do not fire up the "check engine" light. Perhaps the dealer will suggest you bring it in immediately after one of these incidents. Maybe the dealer can provide you with a monitor that can be plugged into the OBDII data port and record what is happening during these failures. Sorry this is all I can suggest.

DrivenDaily
06-02-2012, 11:25 AM
The way to tell if you have an electronic or mechanical throttle body is to see how the gas pedal is hooked up to it. If you have a cable, it's mechanical. If there is no way to move the throttle plate from the outside it's electronic.

All throttle bodies have a TPS - throttle position sensor. The mechanical TB will have a TPS on the other side of the TB from the cable (usually), whereas the electronic TB will have one as part of the throttle control module.

MalibuKen
06-02-2012, 11:39 AM
Sorry, brand new battery.

the starter quits,

Was the battery charged BEFORE installation; that's important.
Were the posts clamps checked and CLEANED for the new battery.
And have the OTHER end of the man cables been removed, cleaned and re-tightened? Those big connection points can look good when they are not.
The negative one at the engine block or frame is probably most likely culprit.

There may be more than one gremlin at work here but finding what causes the starter to quit and the lights to go out will probably solve the whole mess.

Ignition switch ??

Rodents
06-04-2012, 06:48 PM
Clean the throttle body real good and see where that gets you. Not enough air getting past the throttle plate.

Ryan62586
10-15-2013, 08:07 AM
Hello all. I was wondering if any of you have found what the problem is with this?

I have a 2004 Malibu MAXX 3.5L and it has A LOT of problems starting. Sometimes it will start up fine, other times the starter just keeps turning and gives up. I have to give it throttle for it to start every day. When it does start without me giving it throttle, it just goes back dead. When I give it throttle, I have to keep tapping it to keep it running until I hear this real faint click, then it runs like normal.

Thanks in advance!

Rodents
10-15-2013, 09:44 AM
Hello all. I was wondering if any of you have found what the problem is with this?

I have a 2004 Malibu MAXX 3.5L and it has A LOT of problems starting. Sometimes it will start up fine, other times the starter just keeps turning and gives up. I have to give it throttle for it to start every day. When it does start without me giving it throttle, it just goes back dead. When I give it throttle, I have to keep tapping it to keep it running until I hear this real faint click, then it runs like normal.

Thanks in advance!

Did you clean the throttle body yet? Dirty throttle body will do this, as will other things, like a leaking injector, a leaking fuel pressure regulator. Your car may need the ECM programming updated, there was a bulletin for this, the bulletin number is 06-06-04-049. Opening the throttle is the key for me to say the throttle body is where to start. You can do it yourself, it costs nothing, so if it doesn't fix it, you're not out more than your time.

If the throttle body cleaning doesn't do it, then it may be a good idea to check with your dealer or a good independent shop that does programming to see if the ECM calibration is the latest available. Past that, I don't know what to make of the click, I'm not sure it is anything related.

South65Films
10-16-2013, 04:53 PM
Hello Everyone,

I have a 2004 Malibu Maxx also that also has this problem, a few details i have noticed is if its parked at and incline or decline in any way it will do this, it doesnt do it after you have been driving it for a while and stop somewhere for a brief time and get back in to start it up it works fine then. yes you have to pump gas when you start it i dont know why but you do (Makes me feel like i have an old school vehicle lol). I will try to clean the TB and report back!

South65Films
10-17-2013, 09:23 AM
NHTSA Vehicle Safety RecallsRecalls current as of 09/27/2013Visit Safercar.gov for all vehicle recall information.

Malibu MAXX
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:DELIVERY:FUEL PUMP
Recall number: 11E009000
Recall date: 02/28/2011

Problem Summary:
TI AUTOMOTIVE IS RECALLING CERTAIN FUEL PUMPS, PART NUMBERS TU456 AND TU303, SOLD UNDER VARIOUS BRAND NAMES AS AFTERMARKET AND REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT FOR THE MOTOR VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE. THE DEFECTIVE FUEL PUMP MAY SEIZE, STOPPING THE FUEL FLOW TO THE ENGINE CREATING A STALLING CONDITION.

Consequence:
A VEHICLE CRASH COULD OCCUR SHOULD THE ENGINE STALL WHILE IN USE.

Corrective Action:
TI AUTOMOTIVE WILL NOTIFY OWNERS OF RECORD AND WILL REPLACE ANY DEFECTIVE FUEL PUMP WITH A NEW OR REWORKED FUEL PUMP FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MARCH 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT TI AUTOMOTIVE AT 1-866-867-3759 OR LOG ON TO WWW.RECALLRESPONSE.COM.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MAYBE THIS IS OUR ISSUE?

Ryan62586
10-20-2013, 08:18 PM
Alright, I finally got the time to really clean the throttle body. I went ahead and took it all the way off, cleaned it really good and also cleaned the opening to the intake manifold. They were absolutely filthy. The last few days it has started like it's never started before.. Nevermind that I bought it used only a year ago lol. It runs much better all together.

05 Maxx
12-31-2013, 03:43 PM
I'm having a similar issue. All my lights work but nothing happens when I turn the ignition. The starter was tested and good the battery is new only a few moments old. I have an 05 maxx with the 3.5 V6 with 207k on the car.

DrivenDaily
01-01-2014, 04:15 AM
I'm having a similar issue. All my lights work but nothing happens when I turn the ignition. The starter was tested and good the battery is new only a few moments old. I have an 05 maxx with the 3.5 V6 with 207k on the car.

Check the ignition switch itself. A search on this forum will reveal that it is a common failure. And you'll be able to find instructions from member Rodents on how to check fuses to determine if it's the switch or not.

05 Maxx
01-02-2014, 04:30 AM
Thanks Driven Daily I'll check it out.