Chevrolet Malibu Forums banner

Engine Stalling while driving

570 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mechfishy
I have a 2013 Malibu Eco 2.4L engine. The vehicle stalls while driving, no codes are present. I have replaced the VVT because it has done this before. Only this time I can drive for a few days and runs just fine but out of nowhere it will stall out when trying to accelerate and it sputters. It will start back up with no problem each time but after you put the vehicle back into gear and try to accelerate it stalls and shuts down. I can park it for a day or so and it functions fine, until it acts back up when ever it wants. Its not all the time it does this. I have read on the Malibu forum about similar situations and it suggest that it could be a fuel pump, fuel pressure module or simple as a fuel filter. History on this vehicle, I had this car since 2015 never had any problems until the instrument panel would black out like it was shoring out and it had a code of P0010 and P0011 and I replaced the camshaft positioning actuators (VVT) and the problem was fixed. Now I'm getting the stalling but no codes. I will be honest here, I have not replaced the fuel filter since I have had this vehicle and maybe that should be a start for me. If this does not fix the issue then here is where I need your input, maybe I am overlooking and not seeing this clearly. Thank you in advance for any suggestions you may have.


Jesse A
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Observe the tachometer when this is happening. If it tends to drop quickly to zero before the engine has come to a complete stop then the CPS [crankshaft position sensor] is likely faulty. Should you replace this sensor, it is recommended that a GM / AC-delco part is used.
Observe the tachometer when this is happening. If it tends to drop quickly to zero before the engine has come to a complete stop then the CPS [crankshaft position sensor] is likely faulty. Should you replace this sensor, it is recommended that a GM / AC-delco part is used.
Thank you for your response but I do have a question to your response. If the crankshaft position sensor is faulty, would it have a problem starting like crank but no start?
Yes it would and the tachometer might fail to rise at all. Often the car will start but run poorly.

This is just a guess over the internet so it could be many other things. If the RPMs fail to rise at all while cranking, this is a strong sign that the CPS is failing.

Thank you I will check to see if the tach drops.
Seems like a Crankshaft Position Sensor would throw a code if it made such a drastic effect on engine performance. But I could be wrong. It does seem like your problem does have more to do with fuel delivery. Bad fuel pumps usually throw a code though. And it seems highly unlikely that a filter would clog suddenly. So, unless you have noticed any slowly developing engine performance problems you have a mystery. But if it is a high mileage engine and the engine oil has been inconsistently changed so as to have ever gotten very dirty there is a chance that the dirty oil has had an effect on the functionality of any internal sensors without them actually going bad. So you might want to check to see if either of the Cam or crank position sensors are dirty. Or you might just want to ignore my bad advice and ask if what I said makes any sense to somebody who has more experience with your particular engine. I'm old school. So most of my experience is from older cars. I have experienced similar performance issues to what you are experiencing on a 1989 Ford Escort GT and it turned out to be a fuel delivery problem. It took awhile to solve. Because the GT fuel pump is different than the other models and requires a higher volume and higher pressure. So I went through a couple of fuel pumps before I found one that worked. Good luck.
See less See more
Thank you for your response and it makes sense what you have said. Back when this all started I did replace the crankshaft positioning sensor then it did not fix the problem. But reading in this forum someone mentioned about the crankshaft positioning sensors ( actuators ) and it fixed the blackout situation. Now a year or so later now I have the stalling when I drive. I can drive a few days then it stalls, it starts right back up no problem but when it’s put in gear and stalls all the time. If you let sit for an hour or park it, it has no issues for A few days again . Almost seems like it gets hot when driving for a bit then the stalling begins.
I would say that a problem of your type will require a more advanced scan that can do real time continuous checks and live data. Like an oscilloscope. That could be an expensive test that usually only advanced diagnostics shops have. And not all shops have those types of diagnostics tools. The more advanced portable diagnostics tools that you or I can buy will probably not work. Or will cost $350 or more. Some of the auto parts stores can rent diagnostics tools. But they don't always have the best ones. You might try a fuel pressure and volume test to see if you are having any fuel delivery problems. But you will have to warm it up to where it has the stalling problems. Sadly tools aren't always going to tell you what's happening. And the problem you are having can be the result of many things. But there are only a limited number of things that it could be. At first thought it sounds like an intermittent short. But after carefully thinking about what is happening to you it's not intermittent, but regular. Almost like a fuel delivery problem. Like your fuel pump getting weak, yet not completely failing. Thus not throwing a code. I believe that a fuel pump will only throw a code if it has completely failed. But most other electronic engine controls also don't throw codes until they have completely failed. So that just takes me back to anything that can be effected by dirty oil or a fuel delivery problem. Your car is too new to give up on. But I think that a shop would also have difficulty determining what the problem is. So it could potentially be expensive if you take it to a shop. I wish you good luck with it.
See less See more
Crank sensor needs to have a scan tool relearn procedure done whenever they are replaced. One can get lucky and it works but the relearn is necessary.
Also aftermarket sensors are not reliable, Genuine GM sensors and actuators only.
Sensors can be intermittent or running at the edge of their range yet not be bad enough to trigger the fault code threshold. Been there on other vehicles.
  • Like
  • Helpful
Reactions: 2
Thank you for this repairman54. Very good information to know. Should be helpful for Jesse A to diagnose his problem.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts