Service Traction light [Archive] - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums

: Service Traction light


scott37300
06-02-2011, 05:55 PM
Today we were stopped at a light and all of a sudden the service traction light came on and then check engine and then ESC and the chimes also went off. Then everything went away and all was fine before the light changed to green.

Searched the site and it looks like anything will set these lights off! Any suggestions on where to start looking or what to check to try and narrow this down a little. My first thought was a bad ABS sensor or something but after searching the site it looks like fuel injector wiring, throttle body issues, and just about anything else can set these lights off.

MalibuKen
06-03-2011, 07:18 AM
and just about anything else can set these lights off.

That might be because all those other things might make the idle speed drop to a point where the computer "thinks" the engine has stopped.

It also could be a general electrical malfunction developing......like your battery going bad.

Unless you have noticed a low or rough idle, I would suggest having the battery and charging system tested (really cheap or free) and then waiting to see what happens next.

If you have not done all the recommended maintenance, now might be a good time to catch up on that. ;)

scott37300
06-03-2011, 07:44 PM
Unless you have noticed a low or rough idle, I would suggest having the battery and charging system tested (really cheap or free) and then waiting to see what happens next.

If you have not done all the recommended maintenance, now might be a good time to catch up on that. ;)

All maintenance has been kept up with. I will check the battery and charging system. I think it's absolutely stupid that the traction light can go off due to electrical in the engine bay, and while I'm stopped. If the computer isn't smart enough to figure out that the car isn't moving so it doesn't have a traction problem then the lights shouldn't be going off. My local dealer is absolutely horrible and I will not take the car to them anymore.

MalibuKen
06-03-2011, 08:26 PM
I think it's absolutely stupid that the traction light can go off due to electrical in the engine bay, and while I'm stopped.

It is not so "stupid" if you realize that those lights come on every time you start the car. If the computer experiences a momentary loss of power, that would be a pretty much normal response when the power comes back on.

Lgndryhr
06-03-2011, 08:52 PM
Sounds similiar to a problem I had last year. See my post (http://www.chevymalibuforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=63699&postcount=2)

scott37300
06-04-2011, 07:10 PM
It is not so "stupid" if you realize that those lights come on every time you start the car. If the computer experiences a momentary loss of power, that would be a pretty much normal response when the power comes back on.

If the computer had a momentary loss of power wouldn't the car at least have studerd or missed? I would think if the computer had lost power even momentaraly that there would be nothing to tell an injector to fire along with many other things?

I checked the battery and it was 12.6 volts and then 14.5 at idle and then with lights, defrost, A/C on it droped to 13.6 which seems pretty low. Would this indicate a weak alt?

MalibuKen
06-04-2011, 07:39 PM
I checked the battery and it was 12.6 volts and then 14.5 at idle and then with lights, defrost, A/C on it droped to 13.6 which seems pretty low. Would this indicate a weak alt?

No. That sounds about right to me. At any voltage above 12.6, the battery is still charging a little bit. It doesn't start DIScharging until it gets below 12.6.

As for the computer thing, that was just an educated guess. Although I don't know for sure, I suspect that there is more than one "computer" running things.......and I suspect that the one for the traction control type stuff is seperate from the one that runs the engine.

If only that one computer....or section of the "main board", lost power, is my theory. Depending on where it is physically, it could mean a loose connector somewhere or a bad connection on a larger computer assembly. Like you said, it probably does NOT mean a general overall loss of power.

And then it is just a theory.

DrivenDaily
06-05-2011, 06:10 AM
Terms:
-CM - Control Module
TCM - Transmission
ECM - Engine
BCM - Body
EBCM - Electronic Brake

The TCM is in the tranny, the ECM is mounted between the battery and the headlight, the BCMs are under the front center console, and the EBCM is mounted on the left strut.

Traction control is a mix of ECM, TCM, and EBCM working together. Some of the logic takes place inside the BCM.

So, if the engine keeps running and the trans suffers no ill effects but the traction control light turns on, you might have had a power loss at the BCM or a portion of it.

bull-lee
06-14-2011, 07:12 AM
This happened on our Malibu too (2009 2LT 2.4L). My wife mentioned that occasionally when she was pulling to stop light the car would just start shuddering then all of the service indicators came on as you mentioned above. Just as soon as the shuddering started, it stopped until some arbitrary future time then it would shudder again. Turned out to be a cylinder 1 misfire caused by a bad spark plug. Dealership service found multiple cylinder 1 misfire codes when they did a scan. Hope this helps.

Chevrolet Customer Svc
06-27-2011, 12:33 PM
Dear scott37300,

How are things going with the traction light coming on in your 2009 Malibu? Did you happen to find a different dealership to work with?

I am curious as to where you are at with your situation.

Sincerely,
Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

BillD64
06-27-2011, 01:24 PM
Traction control is a function of the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM). When it detects a traction problem it sends a message to the Engine Control Module requesting a torque reduction and the ECM sends an acknowledgement back to the EBCM which may decide to apply a brake to the spinning wheel if the torque reduction isn't enough to stop the wheel slippage.

The CEL tells you what happened. There was an issue with the engine that may have been intermittent but that issue affected the ability of the engine to perform its part of the traction control function. If the engine computer can't control the throttle properly due to a failure in one of the control circuits it will send a message to the Electronic Brake Controller saying it can't do its part of the function. The EBCM then sets the traction light and displays the Service TC message on the DIC.

The engine misfire mentioned in a previous post is one of the faults that will set off this very simple string of events.

The cause of the CEL may have left a history code but that may be gone by now if the failure hasn't come back in a month.

Bill

scott37300
06-27-2011, 10:33 PM
Dear scott37300,

How are things going with the traction light coming on in your 2009 Malibu? Did you happen to find a different dealership to work with?

I am curious as to where you are at with your situation.

Sincerely,
Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

Michelle,

I haven't done anything about this and it hasn't happened again. As far as the dealership issue I have another one about 10 miles away that I am going to try next time I need something, I have lost all faith in bergstroms and will never take another vehicle there or buy anything from them. I'm reluctant to take it to any dealer after my very poor experiences with bergstrom, they broke an O2 sensor while changing the oil and then billed chevy under warranty.

Honestly we are just driving the car for now, doing the maintenance, have kept up with oil changes(now do them myself because the dealer can't even change oil right without breaking anything), did the front brakes, coolant service, brake fluid service, trans fluid service. But we are going to drive this car for a while and trade it in, it's almost paid for. We tried to do right by taking the car to the dealership to have ALL service done but after a few bad experiences we stopped taking it to them because the are incompitent. We still have the engine warranty so will use the new dealership for that but other than that I have lost all faith in chevy dealerships due to the very poor experiences I have had at bergstroms.

I'm not sure if I will buy another chevy or not but I am very sure I will never give bergstroms one more cent for anything.

DrivenDaily
06-28-2011, 04:33 AM
I don't want to hijack this thread, but scott37300 brings up a very good point, and the subject of this interruption. (With apologies.)

When I bought my '09 at Bob Hook Chevy it was my first ever new car and I resolved to have the dealership service it, even buying a 3/36 service contract for oil changes and tire rotations. Almost every experience I had with them was atrocious. Aside from losing a 1/4 tank of gas at every change, there was oil dripped on the engine and inside the passenger area (yes, INSIDE!), oil smears on the hood and outside door paint and chrome, oil on the inside door handle and the steering wheel (and it was leather!!!). Then, when they "serviced" it, I got to the point of taking pictures inside and out to have before pictures. Why? Because they either broke what they worked on and left it, or reassembled it incorrectly.

Why did I continue to go there? Simply because I thought I could talk common sense to them and get them to improve. My reward? They told me to take my car elsewhere. Huh?

Well, here's the point of this interruption, and again apologies for the hijack. We, as customers, should be able to contact GM and let them know what's going on. We can, and I did. Then, GM needs to actually act on that information and let us know what the outcome is. They didn't do diddly! It seems they'd rather deal with upset customers at one dealership who run to another and let the locals suffer with the fallout. My response? If I ever buy another car (I intend to keep this one) I will be over at another dealership for sure, but it'll be Ford, Mazda, or Subaru, or maybe even Honda. GM needs to listen to us because we're the ones with the money and our votes count, dammit!

Returning you to your thread. Thank you for the time to vent.

Chevrolet Customer Svc
06-28-2011, 09:48 AM
Dear scotts37300,

Thank you for the additional information. I apologize that you have had suck horrible experiences with Bergstrom. I do understand your fear that you are experiencing after going through the unpleasant things at the dealership.

I highly recommend that you keep your receipts of the maintenance that you are performing yourself. I am sure that you are doing this already, but I wanted to put it out there.

If you would like me to document your complaints about Bergstrom further just let me know.

In the future, don't hesitate to contact me with questions and/or concerns.

Sincerely,
Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

l024308
07-21-2011, 08:00 AM
My car with this problem is fixed. I will quote the invoice.
"Customer states Traction Control light on and ESC light on and rear brake light on all the time. CK codes c0131 ABS/TCS system pressure circuit malfunction. Perform bulletin 08-05-22-009c to correct."
The TSB says --Disconnect the C2 or X2 connector, Add dielectric lubricant and reconnect the connector.
Check it out....
"http://www.justanswer.com/chevy/45h6u-2004-malibu-maxx-when-using-cruise-control-not-reset.html"
Dealer serviceman said mine was the second car this week to have this problem.

BillD64
07-22-2011, 12:01 AM
I don't want to hijack this thread, but scott37300 brings up a very good point, and the subject of this interruption. (With apologies.)

When I bought my '09 at Bob Hook Chevy it was my first ever new car and I resolved to have the dealership service it, even buying a 3/36 service contract for oil changes and tire rotations. Almost every experience I had with them was atrocious. Aside from losing a 1/4 tank of gas at every change, there was oil dripped on the engine and inside the passenger area (yes, INSIDE!), oil smears on the hood and outside door paint and chrome, oil on the inside door handle and the steering wheel (and it was leather!!!). Then, when they "serviced" it, I got to the point of taking pictures inside and out to have before pictures. Why? Because they either broke what they worked on and left it, or reassembled it incorrectly.

Why did I continue to go there? Simply because I thought I could talk common sense to them and get them to improve. My reward? They told me to take my car elsewhere. Huh?

Well, here's the point of this interruption, and again apologies for the hijack. We, as customers, should be able to contact GM and let them know what's going on. We can, and I did. Then, GM needs to actually act on that information and let us know what the outcome is. They didn't do diddly! It seems they'd rather deal with upset customers at one dealership who run to another and let the locals suffer with the fallout. My response? If I ever buy another car (I intend to keep this one) I will be over at another dealership for sure, but it'll be Ford, Mazda, or Subaru, or maybe even Honda. GM needs to listen to us because we're the ones with the money and our votes count, dammit!

Returning you to your thread. Thank you for the time to vent.

I don't think there is anything GM or any other manufacturer can really do about those issues. Those dealerships are separate companies and protected under state laws which vary from state to state. They can't fire the dealership, hell they tried to do that with the bankruptcy and got forced into taking some back. They can't fine them. They can't send a goon squad to beat the owner to a pulp. All they can do is send them a letter stating their Customer Service sucks. From what I see the dealership advertises itself as having an A+ Customer Service rating so some (maybe a majority) of their Customers like them.

Going to a different brand leaves you with finding a dealer that will treat you the way you want to be treated. At least with the brands this dealer carries you have already narrowed down the field by eliminating him from future business. With any other brands you haven't eliminated any of the dealers and any one of them could be as bad or worse then this one.

Bill

DrivenDaily
07-22-2011, 05:11 AM
Bill,
I don't doubt for a minute that what you say is correct. It's just sad that that's the way it is. I'm the kind of person that if I had a business with franchises, they'd have to keep a good reputation or suffer, including litigation or dismissal from the group.

Too bad GM doesn't have that kind of clout.

I guess when I got tired of Bob Hook breaking my car and treating it badly I should have traded it for another brand. But at least Bachman has been good to me and my car.

renee52764
11-04-2011, 06:21 PM
Mine has gone off/on at least a few times in the last month; a couple of times when I've had cruise control engaged - freeway speed 65-70 mph; Other times when I am just driving on surface streets 40 mph or so. Haven't had it go off in idle. Car is a 2008 - 33k miles but 3.5 years old so out of warranty. At this point in time I won't bother going to the dealer since everything in this thread seems to indicate a variety of causes....:confused:
Not having any other problems with the car.:D

DrivenDaily
11-05-2011, 06:16 AM
Mine has gone off/on at least a few times in the last month; a couple of times when I've had cruise control engaged - freeway speed 65-70 mph; Other times when I am just driving on surface streets 40 mph or so. Haven't had it go off in idle. Car is a 2008 - 33k miles but 3.5 years old so out of warranty. At this point in time I won't bother going to the dealer since everything in this thread seems to indicate a variety of causes....:confused:
Not having any other problems with the car.:D

Before you give up completely try doing a search on the forum for "fretting". That's when the contact point of two terminals corrodes at a microscopic level and eventually causes issues with the passing of the electrical signal. It's most troublesome on low-voltage and/or low-amperage signals, such as the kind used in many cars these days that have computers receiving signals from switches and sensors. Generally, the higher-amperage circuits don't suffer as badly because the degradation isn't as high of a percentage of the total draw as it is with the lower-amperage circuits.

A fix could be as easy as removing a plug and plugging it back in a few times! :)

Chevrolet Customer Svc
11-08-2011, 11:57 AM
@renee52764,

I certainly understand your frustration regarding the situation with your Malibu. Have you noticed a message in your Driver Information Center (DIC) concerning your traction light?

Katie, Chevrolet Customer Service (Trainee, Assisting Michelle)

renee52764
11-25-2011, 10:30 PM
Mine has gone off/on at least a few times in the last month; a couple of times when I've had cruise control engaged - freeway speed 65-70 mph; Other times when I am just driving on surface streets 40 mph or so. Haven't had it go off in idle. Car is a 2008 - 33k miles but 3.5 years old so out of warranty. At this point in time I won't bother going to the dealer since everything in this thread seems to indicate a variety of causes....:confused:
Not having any other problems with the car.:D

Fast forward to 11/25 and the Service Traction Control & ESC has come on/gone off several more times, now today it went off again followed by the SERVICE ENGINE Light. The Traction control light is not on, but Service Engine is on constantly. *Sigh* .. I guess it's dealership bound later next week. Car doesn't seem to be running badly it's had an oil change, air filter changed within the last 6-8 weeks... so it's kept maintained. Low miles.. 38k and I've had it almost 4 years.

renee52764
11-25-2011, 10:33 PM
Before you give up completely try doing a search on the forum for "fretting". That's when the contact point of two terminals corrodes at a microscopic level and eventually causes issues with the passing of the electrical signal. It's most troublesome on low-voltage and/or low-amperage signals, such as the kind used in many cars these days that have computers receiving signals from switches and sensors. Generally, the higher-amperage circuits don't suffer as badly because the degradation isn't as high of a percentage of the total draw as it is with the lower-amperage circuits.

A fix could be as easy as removing a plug and plugging it back in a few times! :)

Yeah, if I only I knew how ! Unfortunately I am not mechanically inclined, and not sure how to do much except check fluids................. I leave the rest to the experts.
Thanks for the tip, though :)

DrivenDaily
11-26-2011, 05:55 AM
If you're anywhere near Louisville, KY, send me a PM and I'll meet ya somewhere and show you where it is and how easy it is. Explaining it here might work, but since you're not mechanically inclined you might not feel comfortable trying it by yourself.

Please keep us informed of your progress!

Chevrolet Customer Svc
11-28-2011, 07:02 AM
@renee52764, thank you for the update of your situation. I can understand all the emotions that you might be experiencing with this.

Please, let me know how your visit to the dealership goes next week. If you are not satisfied at that time, I will research further for you.

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

renee52764
11-29-2011, 01:59 PM
If you're anywhere near Louisville, KY, send me a PM and I'll meet ya somewhere and show you where it is and how easy it is. Explaining it here might work, but since you're not mechanically inclined you might not feel comfortable trying it by yourself.

Please keep us informed of your progress!

Thanks for the offer, nowhere near Kentucky - though I have been there a few times (beautiful state,btw):D

I have an appt with the dealer on Friday (12/2) and we shall see what they say. I am getting 2 different messages on the DIC - SERVICE TRACTION and SERVICE ESC - and now randomly the service engine light illuminating. I still don't notice any degradation of performance on the vehicle.. just the dash lighting up:confused: I will report back with the findings. :D

Chevrolet Customer Svc
12-05-2011, 09:30 AM
@renee52764, how did things go at the dealership this past Friday?

Michelle, GM Customer Service