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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m having acceleration issues with my 2016 Chevy Malibu LS. I have the 1.5L turbocharged with the 6 cylinder transmission. I purchased this car new and it currently has 88k miles on it.

I am intermittently experiencing an issue when accelerating where I presson the accelerator the engine revs but does not accelerate until the turbo kicks in and shifts really hard. When this occurs it’s mostly after I’ve stopped at a light or sign. There have been occasions where it has happened going up hill. I’ve tried to pinpoint when it occurs but it is sporadic. I live in the Midwest and have noticed that it tends to occur more in the afternoons and evenings when I’m headed home from work. Unsure if it’s temperature related or not.

I’ve taken it to the dealership but with no codes and they were unable to replicate the issue. Although, they did update the ECM/TCM software to the latest version based on the bulletin I showed them. Even then I’m still having this issue.

We’ve also have replaced the throttle body sensor, accelerator pedal position sensor, air filter, and changed the transmission fluid (Dexron VI). Earlier this year the head gaskets on the engine we’re replaced along with the spark plugs before this issue occurred.

Any thoughts on what to test, check, or replace would be helpful.
 

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The no codes is rotten. That gives you nothing to go on. Let me try and understand the behavior better. When this issue occurs you are stopped. You take your foot off the brake and press accelerator. The engine revs up to 2k, 3k etc then you start moving forward. If that is right, questions:

Is the stop an Auto Stop shutdown then restart or does that not matter?
When you press the accelerator pedal, before the turbo kicks in, does the car move forward really slow or not at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is correct. Occasionally it will occur when I’m driving up hill but it’s not nearly as often after being stopped. The auto stop shutdown doesn’t matter, it does it even if it’s engaged or not.

When I do press the accelerator the car does move forward very slowly. Can be dangerous if pulling out from a stop sign onto a highway or busy road.

I’ve also read that premium fuel may help and have tried that but it hasn’t made a difference. I’m really confused on this one.
The no codes is rotten. That gives you nothing to go on. Let me try and understand the behavior better. When this issue occurs you are stopped. You take your foot off the brake and press accelerator. The engine revs up to 2k, 3k etc then you start moving forward. If that is right, questions:

Is the stop an Auto Stop shutdown then restart or does that not matter?
When you press the accelerator pedal, before the turbo kicks in, does the car move forward really slow or not at all?
 

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There is an issue unique to 2018s that behaves this exact same way. The bulletin is 2018 only and update doesn't apply to 2016-2017. The problem in that year is related to a false signal at a knock sensor. I would be interested to look at live data and see if the car is pulling timing because of false knock detection.

I don't see battery replacement as something you did. If it were my car I'd replace it since it is 5 years and due anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’ve got a BlueDriver OBDII reader I can plug in and get data. Not sure which sensors I would need to pull in and look at.

The battery went out September of 2019. Replaced it with a EverStart Maxx AGM battery from Walmart that has a 5-year warranty.

I love the look and feel of the car, hoping to figure it out or might have to trade her off. I’ve been looking at Toyota Tundras and F-150s with the 5.0 V8 but the market is crazy right now. I don’t think it’s going to get better anytime soon.

I also shouldn’t of paid the car off. Paid it off last December and then it was at the dealership for three weeks getting the head gasket replaced (tech came down with COVID). The day I got it back, I got hit on the drivers side by a deer, was at the body shop for another two weeks. Had someone back into me after that. And now all this issue. I don’t know if it’s me or the car. LOL.
There is an issue unique to 2018s that behaves this exact same way. The bulletin is 2018 only and update doesn't apply to 2016-2017. The problem in that year is related to a false signal at a knock sensor. I would be interested to look at live data and see if the car is pulling timing because of false knock detection.

I don't see battery replacement as something you did. If it were my car I'd replace it since it is 5 years and due anyway.
 

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I've been looking at trading my F-150 5.0/10-speed. The dealer keeps sending me letters and calling trying to get it. The blue book has risen about $7000 and they are offering close the purchase price. They tell me on the phone they'll give me 45k as long as it drives in. I have a feeling I get there and the price drops but then again seeing the lots maybe not.

Back to your thing. I also have bluedriver and honestly cant remember what it has in live data. I know torque pro has it and I sometimes use that too. I'll check if I get a little time tomorrow. You don't pull any U codes with the bluedriver? Also, 2 weeks in the body shop after the deer is a big wildcard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only U code it has pulled is U0420 which is “Invalid data received from power steering control module”. The bulletin that I found states that this is related to using the remote start function. Once I cleared the code it hasn’t came back, but I also haven’t used the remote start since.


I've been looking at trading my F-150 5.0/10-speed. The dealer keeps sending me letters and calling trying to get it. The blue book has risen about $7000 and they are offering close the purchase price. They tell me on the phone they'll give me 45k as long as it drives in. I have a feeling I get there and the price drops but then again seeing the lots maybe not.

Back to your thing. I also have bluedriver and honestly cant remember what it has in live data. I know torque pro has it and I sometimes use that too. I'll check if I get a little time tomorrow. You don't pull any U codes with the bluedriver? Also, 2 weeks in the body shop after the deer is a big wildcard.
 

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I sometimes get ''ghost'' U codes in my Tahoe even though there is no issues with that particular code / system. If they are repeatable then I'd would look into them. It has 41 readable modules in it also.
 

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I've been looking at trading my F-150 5.0/10-speed. The dealer keeps sending me letters and calling trying to get it. The blue book has risen about $7000 and they are offering close the purchase price. They tell me on the phone they'll give me 45k as long as it drives in. I have a feeling I get there and the price drops but then again seeing the lots maybe not.
Yeah good money on trade in's but nothing to replace it. I would not bite until at least the spring. I get mail offers from my empty lot, new or used, dealer also.
 

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I have the same model Malibu as you and my problem sounds almost the same as yours. I have acceleration issues after coming to a stop, as well as when just driving down the road. I’ll press down on the gas pedal, hear the engine and see the tachometer go up, and then have a sudden burst of energy like ten seconds later. I live in Michigan, and I experience it in all seasons and times of the day, but more so in the summer, and especially when I have the air conditioning on.

I bought the car used in 2018, and have had the issue occur since probably July 2019. In that time my mileage has gone from like 36-37mpg down to around 28-29mpg. I’ve taken it to three different dealers and all they do is plug it in and tell me that there are no error codes. I’ve even reached out to GM directly and received no help. Just the usual “we value you” and “make an appointment so we can investigate further” crap. The first time I took it in to the dealer, they replaced the gas pedal and that did nothing to help the situation.

If the market wasn’t so crazy right now, I’d unload it in a heartbeat. I’m even starting to get an error when I shut the engine off telling me to shift into park when the car clearly is in park. I have to turn it on again (sometimes multiple times) and shift back into drive and then into park to make it go away.

Good luck getting it fixed. I’d be curious to know if you ever have any success getting it diagnosed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Haha. I laugh because our experiences are so much alike. It’s very frustrating and a safety issue. Based on the amount of other posts this is quite common. GM is going to get someone killed

I am also getting the shift to park error. I had this “corrected” under warranty but it has since came back. They issued a service bulletin about it and there’s also some videos on YouTube. I’ve been too lazy to take it in or correct it myself, the trick is to push the shifter all the way forward and click it three or four times.

Let me ask you this, what other issues or work have you had done to your car? Have you changed or flushed the transmission fluid?


I had the head gaskets replaced earlier this year, I fear that it could be some compression issues with the engine or fuel injectors. I’ve also wondered about the TCM going bad or torque converter going out. I’ve wondered about the turbo having carbon build up or something. I’ve also wondered if the fuel filter/pump or gas cap need to be replaced (felt like that may be a reach). My mind has really started to wonder on what the issue is, especially since it’s intermittent and doesn’t throw any codes.

Hopefully pulling some live data will help point me in a direction.




I have the same model Malibu as you and my problem sounds almost the same as yours. I have acceleration issues after coming to a stop, as well as when just driving down the road. I’ll press down on the gas pedal, hear the engine and see the tachometer go up, and then have a sudden burst of energy like ten seconds later. I live in Michigan, and I experience it in all seasons and times of the day, but more so in the summer, and especially when I have the air conditioning on.

I bought the car used in 2018, and have had the issue occur since probably July 2019. In that time my mileage has gone from like 36-37mpg down to around 28-29mpg. I’ve taken it to three different dealers and all they do is plug it in and tell me that there are no error codes. I’ve even reached out to GM directly and received no help. Just the usual “we value you” and “make an appointment so we can investigate further” crap. The first time I took it in to the dealer, they replaced the gas pedal and that did nothing to help the situation.

If the market wasn’t so crazy right now, I’d unload it in a heartbeat. I’m even starting to get an error when I shut the engine off telling me to shift into park when the car clearly is in park. I have to turn it on again (sometimes multiple times) and shift back into drive and then into park to make it go away.

Good luck getting it fixed. I’d be curious to know if you ever have any success getting it diagnosed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I was able to capture some data with the BlueDriver device that I have. I'm unsure what I needed to pull in so I pulled in all of what I could. I had five different recordings. The first one (tab#1) was an hour long and there was no issues from what I can recall. The second recording was shorter but this is where I experienced the issue I described in my original post. There were two major instances that occurred between 6 (360 seconds) and 9 minute (540 seconds) mark. I'll be looking through the data to try and identify exactly when it happen and try and draw some conclusions. Thanks for the help.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5L BlueDriver Data 8-29-21.xlsx
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was taking some data on the way home today. After the issue occurred I cut off the recording so I knew to look at the end of that. Maybe it’s supposed to happen or just a coincidence, but the fuel rail pressure (PSI) spikes from mid 400s to a little over 2000, the commanded evap purge went from 0% to 63%. Not fully certain what I’m looking at but throwing stuff out there for those who might know a thing or two.
 

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I just saw you updated that link. I will take some live data on mine tomorrow and compare to yours. The fuel stuff fluctuates especially with a high pressure fuel pump. I am interested in those timing advances of 4, 6, 5, 12, 14 the suddenly -20. I have to look through mine to compare what is different.
 

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I did capture some data on my 2016 1.5 to compare to your data. It will take me some time as I have work for the next few hours. So far, I believe I found your two incidents. In your spreadsheet I see it starting from row 112-117 and 150-155. Let me know if those are the areas you began to experience the problem. The problem here is I/we/anyone is wading through data that even GM hasn't programmed as out of acceptable range to throw a code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Appreciate you taking the time to look at it. I would say that the first instance occurred between rows107-110. The second instance I would agree with the 150-155.

I know there’s quite a few lines there. I’ve also uploaded the data from yesterday’s drive which is much shorter. I’ll convert this and add it to the original link when I get home. Here’s the raw version:

DataLog-Aug_30_2021_5-09-12-PM.csv

I did capture some data on my 2016 1.5 to compare to your data. It will take me some time as I have work for the next few hours. So far, I believe I found your two incidents. In your spreadsheet I see it starting from row 112-117 and 150-155. Let me know if those are the areas you began to experience the problem. The problem here is I/we/anyone is wading through data that even GM hasn't programmed as out of acceptable range to throw a code.
 

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OK agreement on 150-155 which looks like loss of power/hestitation from a stop. As for 107-110, this was a loss of power while cruising - right?

One oddity not part of those is that commanded and actual fuel rail spike to 27000 while idling (2919s row 791). I have yet to see that on mine. By spec, that is out of spec which is 290 to 2,900 PSI. Other oddities happen in that same row like intake air temp dropping in half, fuel rail temp also dropping more than half. Looking further, up one row (790) on that fuel rail pressure, you see commanded=1726 fuel rail A=1734 (good) fuel rail b=423 (no response to command). In the following line it commands the 27191 and gets fuel rail A=27384 fuel rail b=133. All other lines match within a couple percent like they should.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
107-110 would be while accelerating. Column M and AB has the RPMs and Speed if your referring to sheet 2.

On sheet 1 I don’t recall having any noticeable issues. It was more noticeable on sheet two. I’m working on organizing this data where the columns make more sense and are consistent sheet to sheet.
OK agreement on 150-155 which looks like loss of power/hestitation from a stop. As for 107-110, this was a loss of power while cruising - right?

One oddity not part of those is that commanded and actual fuel rail spike to 27000 while idling (2919s row 791). I have yet to see that on mine. By spec, that is out of spec which is 290 to 2,900 PSI.
 
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