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Discussion Starter #1
How’s it going everyone ??
Since I got my 2014 Malibu I have unfortunately had a lot of issues with it . I already had my transmission rebuilt, in shop two different times to get that right. Then back to the shop for a trans leak twice that the shop fixed under warranty. I’ve replaced all four coil packs, as well as the spark plugs. I also replaced the intake soleniod and the exhaust soleniod. As well as a oil change, filter and air filter. Just recently I had to put it in shop once again to get the famous vvt soleniod replaced which as y’all know is back ordered almost everywhere . So even with all that replaced on it, for the first time since I’ve had it I got no more check engine lights on ! Finally ! But oddly enough it still has the same issue as it did before i got the vvt soleniod replaced same stutter and misfire a little of a rough idle at times too. Especially when im cruising around 40 mph or up and go to hit the gas it acts like it’s bogged down and has slight vibration before it goes usually when I hit the gas harder to get through it . What could this be any ideas ? I have no check engine lights on at all but it still acts like that . I’m lost and don’t want to play the guessing game as to what this could be that could end up Being costly ! And so far I’ve already put maybe 4K into it and it’s still not right . Help please !!
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Yours is a Gen8 model. The thread was moved from the Gen9 section. It'll be more likely to get the proper attention here.

How many miles are on your car? It may be time to have a top-engine cleaning, mostly for the sake of the intake valves that get dirty as a result of being a DI engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay thank you and it got 133,000 right now but it’s not throwing any codes at all which is weird to me I feel like the way it’s acting up it should throw a code
 

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My personal experience, gen 8s are kinda picky about throwing codes when it comes to that rough idle. When you had the backordered vvt solenoid replaced did you also hwve your valve cover replaced? When the solenoid fails pieces break off and will get stuck in oil channels in the valve cover, requiring that to be replaced as well. I also second the top end cleaning, hope you figure out your issue :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Will try to see if I can get those cleaned on it . Today it had flashing check engine light and said to service stabilitrack or whatever it is ... so I guess that’s a whole other issue then what’s going on with my misfire I don’t even know anymore . No codes are staying on at all
 

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Flashing CEL is a active misfire. That is the first thing to solve / fix. Misfires kill expensive catalytic convertors quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Flashing CEL is a active misfire. That is the first thing to solve / fix. Misfires kill expensive catalytic convertors quickly.
It’s got brand new spark plugs and coil packs not sure why it would be misfiring that bad doesn’t make sense . It’s also got new exhaust and intake soleniods and new oil control valve soleniod and the mechanic said the valve cover didn’t need to be replaced cuz it didn’t break like some do when they are bad so he left it alone .
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Those are great new parts. The issue could be the wiring and/or plugs/connection points.
 

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Will try to see if I can get those cleaned on it . Today it had flashing check engine light and said to service stabilitrack or whatever it is ... so I guess that’s a whole other issue then what’s going on with my misfire I don’t even know anymore . No codes are staying on at all
Low voltage will also trigger the stability and abs lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Those are great new parts. The issue could be the wiring and/or plugs/connection points.
They told me that replacing the spark plugs and before I replaced oil control valve soleniod could have made the spark plugs bad so I will replace the spark plugs and see if that corrects my misfire issue . Will keep y’all updated thanks for the help as always !
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So today we changed the spark plugs out and still the same issue . Feels like it bogs down sometimes when you hit the gas plus some vibration before it goes so it’s still having the misfire issue and the check engine light flashes with a service stabilitrac notification . I’m familiar with the stabilitrac and the tone ring in the hub but I don’t see that being the issue for the misfire . None of my lights or anything seem to mess up or anything and it never had a issue starting up or anything so not sure if a battery is the issue either . From what the car states I’m usually stays around 12 to 13 volts . Not sure where else to go from here definitely lost
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Have all 4 of the code families scanned, not just the P codes. There are also B, C, and U codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So today we changed the spark plugs which made it worse , guess the guy at auto zone gave me wrong size they were gapped different then the AC Delcos I needed so after switching the spark plugs out for the right ones all my issues went away so far . No misfire no check engine lights and no service stabilitrac. Although at 133,000 miles I’m sure the stabilitrac is something I’ll eventually need to do it’s probably all original . But as of right now all my problems and CEL are off and car is driving fine . Will keep y’all updated thanks for all the helpful advice this is one of the best forums I ever been apart of for cars .
 

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No check engine lights? You had it scanned for all code sections and nothing came back (not all codes will trip the light)? Not even temporary codes, the ones that are waiting for certain parameters to be met before tripping the light? At a guess it sounds like you have an intake leak. This, depending on the severity will cause the engine to "bog down" upon initial opening of the throttle (at any RPM and which would cause the engine to "shudder") and then level off as RPM's increase.

To check this buy a can of Carb Cleaner (not brake cleaner or other such) start your engine, let it warm up (you did not mention if it does this from cold start or only when warmed up) and as the engine is running, spray the everything downwind of the throttle body. Work slowly and in stages, little squirts and LISTEN to the engine. Work your way toward the intake manifold, paying particular attention to sealed joints. Be sure to spray where the intake manifold bolts to the engine head(s) (a very common leak source). If the engine ever hesitates, even slightly, let it get back to speed and go over that area again, narrowing it down. This will narrow down where the leak is.

The reason for Carb Cleaner is that it does not burn very well. If there is a leak it will get sucked into the intake and the engine idle will drop because of the engine's inability to efficiently burn the cleaner. If it is an intake leak it does not sound like it is a very large leak as the engine would probably die when you hit the gas as too much air will cause an extreme lean mixture, starving the engine of fuel and would certainly trip one or more codes. A small leak can run "under the radar" so to speak.

Now let's move on to another area. Modern day electrical connectors suffer from what is called "fretting" a type of corrosion that comes from rubbing. Older, larger connectors did not suffer this issue as they relied on the vice-like action of the terminals to hold the connectors together (ever try to unplug a connector on a 73 Dodge and how much blood did you lose when it finally broke free?) and modern connectors use plastic clips to hold them together which allows the very tiny male and female metal terminals to rub against each other, causing the fretting. This has the effect of lowering the voltage drop across the circuit, leading the computers to think there is a problem and shutting things down, like the Traction Control. The computers use voltage measurement as one of the tools for checking integrity of various circuits. GM has more than one bulletin out on the issue and they recommend the following (paraphrasing of course):

I purchased a large can of dielectric silicone paste, about the size of a tub of bearing grease (get good quality, don't go for the cheap, I spent about $25, shipping and all), removed all the connectors from my body computer, sprayed then out thoroughly with electrical contact cleaner, let them dry and then, using an acid bush completely coated the male metal terminals. Using my fingers i rubbed the silicone into the female side of the connectors (like I was packing an old style wheel bearing) and then plugged them back together. I was generous even wasteful with the silicone grease. On one connector that I thought was getting water dripped on it, I coated the entire exterior of the connector as a waterproofer. A host of issues went away and never came back. It is now my policy when encountering a new connector, give it the treatment, no questions asked. I even have pulled the relays and did the same for them. I will enthusiastically recommend this regardless of the vehicle, just as a routine maintenance precaution.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes it was just the spark plugs thankfully guess these things are real picky with what brand they run . Great advice about the other things as well though we had thought it was a intake leak initially but decided to try the spark plugs first
 

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I posted this a couple of days ago, it sounds like you got your problem fixed but you may want to be proactive.

I drove my car on Monday and noticed a bit of a hesitation, stumbling & bucking it felt almost like I ran across some rumble strips I didn't think too much of it but it happened a few more times I could just about duplicate it, it happened at low speeds just speeding up. I thought if I give it some gas it might clear out whatever it was but for the most part it didn't make it any better.

I remember reading about this type of issue on this forum so I already bought the GDI intake and vale cleaner, I took off the hose connecting the air cleaner to the manifold and emptied the can with my beautiful wife revving the engine to about 3k rpm it hesitated, stumbled and died a couple times but the "treatment" went as expected, I left it soak for an hour. I asked my son to go with me for a 15 minute drive per the directions and even he noticed the car was stumbling and not running right but by the time we got home the issue was gone....

I followed the directions (mostly) and it worked to perfection just as advertised, it has been a few days now and the car runs great.

Thank you all for the great advice, I'll do the treatment again in 5k miles and from here on out every 10k.
 

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I posted this a couple of days ago, it sounds like you got your problem fixed but you may want to be proactive.

I drove my car on Monday and noticed a bit of a hesitation, stumbling & bucking it felt almost like I ran across some rumble strips I didn't think too much of it but it happened a few more times I could just about duplicate it, it happened at low speeds just speeding up. I thought if I give it some gas it might clear out whatever it was but for the most part it didn't make it any better.

I remember reading about this type of issue on this forum so I already bought the GDI intake and vale cleaner, I took off the hose connecting the air cleaner to the manifold and emptied the can with my beautiful wife revving the engine to about 3k rpm it hesitated, stumbled and died a couple times but the "treatment" went as expected, I left it soak for an hour. I asked my son to go with me for a 15 minute drive per the directions and even he noticed the car was stumbling and not running right but by the time we got home the issue was gone....

I followed the directions (mostly) and it worked to perfection just as advertised, it has been a few days now and the car runs great.

Thank you all for the great advice, I'll do the treatment again in 5k miles and from here on out every 10k.
Just for the record, GM doesn't want people doing the top engine spray cleaner for direct injection carbon build up. If the carbon is that bad, you're better off having the engine opened up and getting the ports and valves cleaned manually. It'll cost a good $300, but it'll be good as new and the spray alone can't do that.
 

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Just for the record, GM doesn't want people doing the top engine spray cleaner for direct injection carbon build up. If the carbon is that bad, you're better off having the engine opened up and getting the ports and valves cleaned manually. It'll cost a good $300, but it'll be good as new and the spray alone can't do that.
That's interesting I'll have to look into that it's well worth it if I can get another 100k miles, I just hope that they don't do what I just did and charge me $300.

Whats that service called?
 

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Yes it was just the spark plugs thankfully guess these things are real picky with what brand they run . Great advice about the other things as well though we had thought it was a intake leak initially but decided to try the spark plugs first
Glad that you fixed it and did so using a rule that most people ignore: Do the cheapest, easiest fix first! In all my years of automotive I can't count the customers who had replaced hundreds of dollar worth of parts, problem still not fixed, only to give me the deer in the headlights look when I asked if they had checked the fuse. You also did the right thing in not assuming that since you replaced the plugs initially, that they weren't still at fault. Kudos!
 
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