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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 Chevy Malibu LTZ - 4 cylinder

108,000 ( I drive a lot for work)

ESC/Traction control light comes on. Code 301 for cylinder 1 misfire
Things done to it to try to fix problem:
- New plugs
- Switched coils 1 & 2
- Checked wiring to coil and fuel injector
- Used dielectric grease on all connectors to cylinder 1

Each time something new is done the issue goes away for up to a week and then returns.

Please help! Thanks in advance.
 

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Inexpensive to swap fuel injectors. Compression check. New oxygen sensors are cheap.
You can always pay someone who has and knows how to use a good scanner.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Check the wiring at the fuel injectors for signs of distress which may be where the wire has separated inside the insulation. Also check for the wire being stretched too tightly as that may cause the same issue further down the loom.

Even though yours should not be suffering from it, some earlier Gen7 owners have had to get a ground strap added and/or the alternator wires moved farther from the ignition coils.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. We did take it to GM and had them hook it up to their reader. They didn't couldn't figure it out at the time because it is an intermittent issue. We will try some of the other things suggested. The engine light is now flashing and the service traction/ESC lights are both on, too. It continually shakes due to the misfire.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. We did take it to GM and had them hook it up to their reader. They didn't couldn't figure it out at the time because it is an intermittent issue. We will try some of the other things suggested. The engine light is now flashing and the service traction/ESC lights are both on, too. It continually shakes due to the misfire.
Let us know how everything turns out, Metcalf. If you notice the Traction Control light more frequently we definitely suggest swinging by the dealership and hopefully they can try to pull codes. If you need any additional assistance, just send us your VIN and contact info so we can reach out to your dealership.

Amber N.
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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With the engine light flashing and the ESC/Traction light on the dealer should be able to get some codes. Some auto parts stores can also get the codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We took it to GM and they were too busy to even hook the car up to their reader. We then took it to another local automotive shop and they read it. They told us it needed a fuel injector, had it installed and same problem. Engine light is flashing still and service traction/ESC light on. UGH
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Found a bad wire and the problem is now fixed. Chasing a wiring issue is not fun, but happy the car is running smoothly again.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Where was the bad wire, and what circuit was it in?
 

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Metcalf- can you provide any more specific information on your wiring issue? My 2011 Malibu LTZ is doing the exact same thing! The dealer and other auto shops keep saying they can't find the problem. I am starting to hate my car!
 

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I'm having the same problem on cyl #6. And info on which wire and where is very much needed and appreciated!
 

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Three quick items of business.
1.) I'm not a mechanic
2.) 2010 Malibu is step daughters car (in college) so I have driven it very few times
3.) I have never posted to any forum before

This car, since the time of purchase from a neighbor having 50,000 miles, has intermittently given the service traction and service esc messages. In the last 8 months or so she has complained about a minor hesitation during idle that has increased in intensity and frequency during idle, acceleration, and cruising, highway speed with no check engine light or codes So.....
1.) months ago she was in for the weekend and I changed the oil, air filter, spark plugs, and ran a tank of better fuel. No change
2.) I won't bore you with the details of why each step or order necessarily, but this week I did the following:
A.) new boots and fuses on spark plugs
B.) installed new CMP sensor
Problem got a lot worse. Very rough idle, persistent traction control messages that were intermittent, and p0201 and p0301 error codes (misfire cylinder 1). So.....in no particular order.
C.) new plugs again
D.) verified with inline light that spark plug was getting what it needed
E.) exchanged all spark plugs and coils from cylinder 1&2 and 3&4, verifying proper torque
F.) removed and externally cleaned all fuel injectors and exchanged them between 1&2 and 3&4,verified resistance of each fuel injector, and input voltage on cylinder 1
No change. Error codes cylinder 1, rough idle, traction control messages remain unchanged.
G,) compression tested all cylinders (dry test. Had uniform compression
H.) looked for vacuum leaks
I.) reset PCM

No change. Ready to throw in towel.

Read this post. Decided to get more aggressive on wiring. The black wire on the fuel injector for cylinder 1 was visually fine and passed voltage, but it was kinked and the internal copper was barely making contact in 2 places within 3 inches of fuel injector 1. I cut the wire,stripped the end and, and forced the stripped end into the harness as best I could. Fired the car up, smooth idle, smooth acceleration, no error codes and traction messages gone.

Replacement wiring harness for fuel injector 1 should be here today at noon. It may be coincidence that the traction control messages stopped, but I'm confident that the rough idle, hesitations, and error codes are resolved by removing the bad portion of the lead wire on fuel injector one.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Wow, what an ordeal! Thanks for sharing what you figured out. I hope the new harness results in continued smooth operation and that it never returns.
 

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Harness arrived. I installed and it is running great. No error codes of any kind. Again the removal of the two traction control messages may be coincidental, but I will keep this forum updated over the coming months. I read a lot of open ended stuff over the last week about this type of issue with this malibu. Hope this info helps some people get their car fixed and save some money.
 

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I remember reading somewhere about injector harness breaks on the motor harness.
 

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2009 Malibu 2.4 L 80,000 miles had a very intermittent misfire/stumble in park/drive/idle/70 mph. While at the dealer for a recall they tell me it has a #1 cylinder misfire but not enough to set a code. Afterward, the situation gets worst + ESC/Traction control fault, so I change all 4 plugs and al 4 coil packs and no change. I know the Malibu has all kinds of fretting (light corrosion) problems at the electrical connectors, so I inspect, clean, and add dielectric greases to all the connectors and check for continuity and while all seems ok I have the same problem. I check all the connections again and afterward the engine is only running on 3 cylinders so I inspect JUST #1 injector connector and SLIGHTLY bend the pins so it makes better contact with the plug and all is fine and its running like new. It appears that you cannot determine if a connection is bad just by a visual inspection and while GM would like to think so, dielectric grease is not the answer. It running ok now but its only a matter of time until another connector sends the computer into a frenzy. After 42 years of being a GM man, its time to change horses and bid GM a fond farewell.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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@redbu

To whom shall you run away to? Everyone else who builds an affordable car uses the same or similar suppliers of parts. Something's gonna fail on every car at some point.
 

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Hello. I am new to the forum and I want to thank all who have posted for this issue. I had been having the following issue with my 2012 Malibu:
  • Intermittent ESC disabled notification
  • Intermittent P0201 and P0301 codes
  • Intermittent missing with and without the codes
  • On 11/14, the missing became steady, and the ESC, P0201 and P0301 codes came on consistently
Thanks to this forum, I had the insights to troubleshoot as follows:
  • Check the continuity between the main connector to the fuel injector wiring harness and the two wires for fuel injector 1.
  • Found continuity at the pink wire, but nothing at the black wire.
  • Removed the flexible corrugated harness cover from the main connection on the fuel injector harness to where the wires split off for injector 1.
  • Removed the tape that covered all wires from the main fuel injector harness to the connector for injector 1.
  • Found (2) breaks in the wire. One break was under the area where the wire was exiting the bundle the main harness. The second break was approximately 1" from the connector to fuel injector 1.
  • Cut the broken sections, spliced the wire, re-taped the harness and reinstalled the conduit.
  • Car is running great. No error codes
On a side note, I went ahead and ordered a new fuel injector harness. Interestingly, there are many dealerships that sell the OEM part online. I noted that the wire on the harness appears to be relatively heavy strands. Typically, it is my understanding that if wire is expected to need to flex in use, the wire will use a greater quantity of thinner strands. I am speculating that this harness tends to work harden either during use or when it is initially manufactured. It will be interesting to see if the new harness has the same type of stranded wire.

Summary: If you are getting intermittent or consistent ESC, P0201 and P0301 OBD II codes, it is definitely worth checking the wiring to fuel injector 1. Hope this is helpful.
 

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I have a 2011 Chevy Malibu LTZ - 4 cylinder

108,000 ( I drive a lot for work)

ESC/Traction control light comes on. Code 301 for cylinder 1 misfire
Things done to it to try to fix problem:
  • New plugs
  • Switched coils 1 & 2
  • Checked wiring to coil and fuel injector
  • Used dielectric grease on all connectors to cylinder 1

Each time something new is done the issue goes away for up to a week and then returns.

Please help! Thanks in advance.
Where was the bad wire, just bought a used one and it’s doing the same
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Where was the bad wire, just bought a used one and it’s doing the same
Don't be disappointed if you don't get an answer. That person posted 4 times in the same week of August 2014, 6 years ago, and hasn't posted since.
 
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