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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone experienced the following, periodically my car won't start on the first attempt but will start right away on the second try. Also there are times when it will start on first try but only at the very end of the cranking cycle.
The dealer has tried everything they can think of but are not having any success. I can't believe with all the Malibus sold in North America that I'm the only one ths is happening to.
 

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I did once, but not since then. It may be something with GM ignition systems because my wife's 2006 torrent does it quite a bit, but I know if you give it some gas while starting it starts fine so I think its something with the fuel pump.
 

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Maybe it is related to the fuel pump. Turn the key to the "On" position for a few seconds while the fuel pump runs (can hear it in some GM vehicles- I haven't noticed it in the Malibu) to let it build up pressure, then over the Start. See if that changes anything.
 

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I've had that a couple of times. But I'v noticed it only on the cool night like the mid 40's, I think it's related to the weather change. Just me 2 cents
 

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I've only had it happen to me when I didn't hold it on ignite long enough.
 

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is that related to any specific conditions? like on cold mornings or only after being off for a limited time like half ah hour?
 

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I've only had it happen to me when I didn't hold it on ignite long enough.
hold on....the Malibus do not require you to hold the key in start position like many other cars...I believe it will crank for certain amount of time and quit.
 

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?! If I didn't put it in the ignition position it wouldn't start?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It happens most often after it sits for 2 or three hours, less often with the 1st start in the morning. It seems to act up often in a short period of time then may go almost a week starting just fine. I just bought the car in August so it is summer conditions.
 

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?! If I didn't put it in the ignition position it wouldn't start?
What I meant to say that you don't have to keep it in the start position for long enough, you can put it in that position and release right away, the car will keep cranking for you for some period of time.
 

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It happens most often after it sits for 2 or three hours, less often with the 1st start in the morning. It seems to act up often in a short period of time then may go almost a week starting just fine. I just bought the car in August so it is summer conditions.
sounds similar to what I had with my 05 Vibe, it was called "hot soak", they had to put a new PCM in to alleviate the problem (it didn't solve it completely). It was a known problem.
However, it never did that the first time in the morning.
 

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Yep. That's why I was suggesting waiting a second or two in the On / Run position (don't go to Start) to give the pump time to get the fuel system pressurized. My 08 has so far fired up immediately every time, but it's a 3.6, and since you didn't say what yours is it's harder to compare. As far as I know the 2004 - present Malibus all had the electronic starter setup, where just bumping the key to the Start position and then releasing was all you have to do, since the car's computer actually controls the cranking.

With the 2004 3.5 we had, it sometimes acted like you say your 08 is- even with the remote start. The first attempt to crank would fail sometimes, but a second attempt would work. Even the remote start exhibited this. Interestingly, the remote start would try twice, so if the first failed, it would make a second attempt. :)

Anyhow, did you try my suggestion of waiting a few seconds in the On / Run position before bumping the starter?
 

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Has anyone experienced the following, periodically my car won't start on the first attempt but will start right away on the second try. Also there are times when it will start on first try but only at the very end of the cranking cycle.
The dealer has tried everything they can think of but are not having any success. I can't believe with all the Malibus sold in North America that I'm the only one ths is happening to.
I had a very similar problem when I got my '08. It was intermittent, sometimes it would be fine, other times it would really struggle. Also, the DIC would start displaying messages like, "Check Airbags" and "Check TPMS System" (or whatever the actual message is).

Turns out, one of the cells in the battery was bad.. Just one :\ So they replaced the battery, and it has been fine since. But the erroneous messages and the fact it was intermittent led them on a goose chase.

Might want to tell the Tech guys to check the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yep. That's why I was suggesting waiting a second or two in the On / Run position (don't go to Start) to give the pump time to get the fuel system pressurized. My 08 has so far fired up immediately every time, but it's a 3.6, and since you didn't say what yours is it's harder to compare. As far as I know the 2004 - present Malibus all had the electronic starter setup, where just bumping the key to the Start position and then releasing was all you have to do, since the car's computer actually controls the cranking.

With the 2004 3.5 we had, it sometimes acted like you say your 08 is- even with the remote start. The first attempt to crank would fail sometimes, but a second attempt would work. Even the remote start exhibited this. Interestingly, the remote start would try twice, so if the first failed, it would make a second attempt. :)

Anyhow, did you try my suggestion of waiting a few seconds in the On / Run position before bumping the starter?
The car is in the garage since Monday AM, I did pass your suggestion on to the service manager. Thanks for the tip! It is a 2.4L 4 cylinder.
 

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I had a very similar problem when I got my '08. It was intermittent, sometimes it would be fine, other times it would really struggle. Also, the DIC would start displaying messages like, "Check Airbags" and "Check TPMS System" (or whatever the actual message is).

Turns out, one of the cells in the battery was bad.. Just one :\ So they replaced the battery, and it has been fine since. But the erroneous messages and the fact it was intermittent led them on a goose chase.

Might want to tell the Tech guys to check the battery.
I will pass this on 1ST thing in the AM, Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #16
sounds similar to what I had with my 05 Vibe, it was called "hot soak", they had to put a new PCM in to alleviate the problem (it didn't solve it completely). It was a known problem.
However, it never did that the first time in the morning.
Apparently they changed this part 2 weeks ago, problem still exists.
Thanks
 

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Apparently they changed this part 2 weeks ago, problem still exists.
Thanks
They changed the PCM?

Interesting....Vibe/matrix is a totally different Toyota platform...Wonder if GM borrowed some parts for the new Malibu...

In any case, for the Vibe that fix was not 100%...it only got better, but the problem remained.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
They changed the PCM?

Interesting....Vibe/matrix is a totally different Toyota platform...Wonder if GM borrowed some parts for the new Malibu...

In any case, for the Vibe that fix was not 100%...it only got better, but the problem remained.
I think they called it an ECM, said it had the same function.
 

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Btw, several days ago I have seen an Equinox at my gym's parking lot. The lady got it and it didn't start on the first crank...Started on second one and drove away with a pretty unhealthy engine sound. I think I noticed a red light on the dash as she drove past me..
 

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I'm surprised there's no response here with an issue that's probably pretty common. I'm also having this starting issue on my '04 Maxx.

What I've noticed is if I give the shifter an extra push to ensure it's really engaged in park, she starts right up.

Any ideas of where to start?
 
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