Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced [Archive] - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums

: Service Traction/Service ESC/ENG PWR Reduced


ahbond2
07-15-2012, 07:12 PM
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.

Rodents
07-15-2012, 07:39 PM
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.

greenman
07-15-2012, 08:14 PM
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.

jkatzman89
07-16-2012, 07:41 AM
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?

BillD64
07-16-2012, 08:53 AM
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

jkatzman89
07-16-2012, 08:58 AM
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?

jkatzman89
07-16-2012, 09:00 AM
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.

ahbond2
07-16-2012, 05:19 PM
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.

Rodents
07-16-2012, 09:15 PM
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.

ahbond2
07-17-2012, 05:41 AM
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.

Carlton_fritz
07-17-2012, 05:48 PM
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.

http://i47.tinypic.com/2emoj74.gif

ahbond2
07-19-2012, 06:52 PM
I have had no issues 3 days following replacement of the PCM. I did a little research on this issue this evening and did find a service bulletin for issues similar to mine on 2005-2006 Malibus where the cause was a faulty PCM. I don't think this service bulletin specifically applies to my car because it doesn't fall into the parameters of this service bulletin (the bulletin was published in 2007). However, this service bulletin does give me a little hope that the PCM may be the root cause of my problems.

Here is the 2007 service bulletin:

#07-06-04-003: LSJ, L61, LK5, L52, LL8 Engine - Reduced Engine Power, MIL/SES Light, DTC P1516, P2135, P2138 (Replace PCM) - (Jan 19, 2007)

Subject: LSJ, L61, LK5, L52, LL8 Engine -- Reduced Engine Power, MIL/SES Light, DTC P1516, P2135, P2138 (Replace PCM)


Models: 2005-2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, Cobalt SS, Malibu

2006 Chevrolet Colorado, TrailBlazer

2006 GMC Canyon, Envoy

2006 HUMMER H3

2005-2006 Saturn ION, ION Red Line

2006 Saab 9-7X

with ECOTEC 2.0L, 2.2L I-4 Cylinder Engine (VINs P, F-- RPOs LSJ, L61) or

VORTEC 2.8L I-4, 3.5L I-5, 4.2L I-6 Cylinder Engine (VINs 8, 6, S -- RPOs LK5, L52, LL



Attention: The following bulletin information is only to be used if the customer has returned for REPEAT repairs for DTCs P1516, P2135 and/or P2138.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Condition:
Some customers may comment on engine operation in the Reduce Engine Power mode with the MIL/SES light illuminated. This condition may be repeated and upon investigation, the technician may find the following DTCs set as current or in history:

DTC P1516 Throttle Actuator Control (TAC) Module Throttle Actuator Position Performance

DTC P2135 Throttle Position (TP) Sensor 1-2 Correlation

DTC P2138 Accelerator Pedal Position (APP) Sensor 1-2 Correlation

Cause:
This condition of a repeat DTC P1516, P2135 and/or P2138 may be caused by an internal concern with the PCM.

Correction:
Important: DO NOT replace the APP sensor. Inspect the PCM build date first.

Before following the diagnostic information in SI on DTCs P1516, P2135 and/or P2138, an inspection of the PCM serial number year and Julian (PCM build) date will be necessary to determine if the PCM will need to be replaced to correct the repeat DTC P1516. Refer to Engine Control Module Replacement in SI in order to remove the PCM. Refer to the above graphic illustration (1) for the location of the PCM serial number.

The serial number is read left to right. The last digit of the year is the 9th character and the Julian date is comprised of the 10th, 11th and 12th characters and is used to determine the PCM build date. Refer to the example below to read a build date from the PCM serial number:

* 8 6 Y N AU K 1 5 3 2 5 0 R P N *

If the PCM year and Julian dates are between 5182 and 5304 , replace the PCM. Refer to the Part Catalog to order the correct PCM for your vehicle application, if necessary.

Vehicles with PCM built outside the dates should refer to SI diagnostics for DTCs P1516, P2135 and/or P2138.

greenman
07-19-2012, 11:36 PM
However, this service bulletin does give me a little hope that the PCM may be the root cause of my problems.

Apples & oranges my friend. The ECM hardware & firmware is under continuous revision. But I hope your problem is solved now.

Carlton_fritz
07-20-2012, 05:21 AM
I seem to recall back in '09 people complaining about this issue with the Saturn Aura from '07 and '08.

greenman
07-20-2012, 02:33 PM
I seem to recall back in '09 people complaining about this issue with the Saturn Aura from '07 and '08.

IIRC, there was a harness chaffing issue in the engine compartment that only involved the ecotec engine. It would pop multiple codes including p2135 & p2138.

ahbond2
08-02-2012, 05:17 PM
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.

You sir were correct! It made it 17 days this time before it did it again. It's back at the dealer. I'll let you know what they decide to do this time.

Chevrolet Customer Svc
08-03-2012, 08:35 AM
I'm sorry to read, you have had to take the Malibu into the dealership again. Please, let me know how things are going with this so I know what steps we may have to take to work towards a solution.

Considering the circumstances, I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

ahbond2
08-04-2012, 10:51 AM
I just got off the phone with the service manager at the Chevy service center and he informed me they replaced the wiring harness on my Malibu. The service manager is going to drive the car all weekend to see if he can identify any additional problems. Let's hope this fixes the issue.

Rodents
08-05-2012, 09:24 AM
Just be aware, GM frowns on replacing the entire wiring harness in almost all circumstances. Not to say it's not done, but not very often. We are supposed to repair the harness. Restringing the affected circuits terminal to terminal is what is the best and most economical repair. Complete harnesses are generally not stocked by GM and wait times up to 26 weeks are possible. Make sure you are clear on what exactly was replaced for your own info. I believe if they replaced the affected circuits terminal to terminal, you will be okay. It just doesn't pay to try to find some small short or break in a circuit, it's quicker and more probable to have a successful repair to replace the wires. Done correctly, it will last as well as the factory wiring.

greenman
08-05-2012, 02:25 PM
It it turns out to be an intermittent Vref issue it could be a real pain in the patoot to find the source.

ahbond2
08-05-2012, 08:09 PM
I'll find out exactly what they replaced when I go to pick it up. I'm sure they restrung the affected circuits as they finished the repair in 1 day. What do you all think the odds are this will fix it (assuming they did everything correctly)?

Rodents
08-05-2012, 08:26 PM
Assuming they ran the whole circuit terminal to terminal and not short cut it, I'd say you should be good to go. If they didn't run terminal to terminal, all bets are off. Really, there isn't much left.

ahbond2
08-06-2012, 05:44 PM
The service manager drove the car all weekend without incident so I picked the car up tonight. They said they ran the whole circuit and are 99.9% sure this will fix it. Hopefully... this is the end...

Rodents
08-06-2012, 07:59 PM
'Whole circuit' would be terminal to terminal in the average persons mind and it is how I look at it. I've seen fellow techs restring a 'whole circuit' and have butt connectors two inches before the terminal on each end and the car comes back with the same issue. Hopefully your dealerships tech did it the right way and if so, your problems should be gone. If we don't hear back from you soon we'll figure no news is good news.

jarhead90
08-07-2012, 05:38 PM
I was getting Service Traction & ESC OFF messages in my DIC when I would
get up to around 50MPH and my steering wheel would shake. I dropped my car off at the shop this morning at 9:00am they found 2 cracked spark plugs. They replaced the plugs and checked the wiring, I think im ok. My Malibu has a little more "oomph" when I give it a little gas.

Chevrolet Customer Svc
08-10-2012, 08:24 AM
I was getting Service Traction & ESC OFF messages in my DIC when I would
get up to around 50MPH and my steering wheel would shake. I dropped my car off at the shop this morning at 9:00am they found 2 cracked spark plugs. They replaced the plugs and checked the wiring, I think im ok. My Malibu has a little more "oomph" when I give it a little gas.
The warning lamps are staying off as well?

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

greenman
08-10-2012, 04:13 PM
I was getting Service Traction & ESC OFF messages in my DIC when I would get up to around 50MPH and my steering wheel would shake. I dropped my car off at the shop this morning at 9:00am they found 2 cracked spark plugs. They replaced the plugs and checked the wiring, I think im ok. My Malibu has a little more "oomph" when I give it a little gas.

The brake control module disables the traction control & electronic stability control features & pops those messages for a long list of different criteria. They are secondary symptoms of a primary problem. For diagnostic purposes, they don't tell you very much.

jarhead90
08-11-2012, 02:39 PM
The warning lamps are staying off as well?

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

Yes Michelle. The DIC warning lamps have stayed off so far.

jarhead90
08-11-2012, 02:47 PM
The brake control module disables the traction control & electronic stability control features & pops those messages for a long list of different criteria. They are secondary symptoms of a primary problem. For diagnostic purposes, they don't tell you very much.

Thanks for the additional info. I hope nothing else goes wrong. I know it's
not going to last forever, but after having a blown head gasket ( warranty)
drivers door lock replaced (270.00) and this engine trouble ($670.00) I dont think I can keep shelling out money for my ride.

Rodents
08-11-2012, 03:19 PM
Thanks for the additional info. I hope nothing else goes wrong. I know it's
not going to last forever, but after having a blown head gasket ( warranty)
drivers door lock replaced (270.00) and this engine trouble ($670.00) I dont think I can keep shelling out money for my ride.

2 cracked spark plugs were 670 dollars? I know OE plugs aren't cheap but seriously? What else was done?

jarhead90
08-11-2012, 04:07 PM
2 cracked spark plugs were 670 dollars? I know OE plugs aren't cheap but seriously? What else was done?

I had all the Spark Plugs replaced & they said 2 of my tires were worn out,
so i got 2 tires. Gotta replace the other 2 soon as I can.

Rodents
08-11-2012, 06:08 PM
Okay, still sounds expensive but at least you got something more than spark plugs.

Spune77
08-24-2013, 01:57 PM
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.

Hey i just had the same thing happen to the pedal in my 2012 Malibu. They said it wasn't covered under warranty!!? Which warranty was yours covered under??

Mattingly
09-21-2014, 08:32 AM
Same thing on my car 2011 chevy Malibu 55k miles. Went to the dealership they said it was accelerator pedal with position sensor assembly. Cost me $400 to fix. 2 days later, this morning fire up car same thing. Sitting out at dealership for them to work on Monday morning. Just a pain to buy a car 2 years ago and can't drive it. Especially with my wedding being. 2 weeks away I was planning on driving my car to Florida. I had a Honda Accord 96 and I am completely regretting trading it towards this Mailibu. I love my car when it is running but right now not too thrilled. This is why I lose faith in American made cars. You would think chevy seeing this post would investigate the problem.

Chevrolet Customer Svc
09-22-2014, 12:17 PM
Hi Mattingly,

I completely understand your frustrations. Was the dealership able to diagnose your vehicle concern? Feel free to contact us to discuss this further.

Jennifer T.
Chevrolet Customer Care