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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I recently had to replace my battery because I was getting a difficult start and determined the battery was bad with a volt meter but after taking the battery out and over to walmart and installing the new one my car won't even try to crank when the key is turned - all the dash lights go out and I hear a relay from the BCM area but otherwise nothing when the key is in the "start" position. Everything else electrical works fine and I was able to use the factory remote start to start it twice (so not a starter issue) but when trying to put it in gear the alarm goes off like it's not recognizing the chip in the key. Someone gave me a tip that sometimes the chips get damaged in the key so I bought a new one (I needed a new spare anyway) but when I put it in the ignition to program, even though everything I see says that with a blank key the anti theft light should come on when turning the key but it never does. I tried the 3x10 minute re-learn anyway a few times with both the original and replacement key and still no crank and never did the anti theft light come on. I picked up a CRP123 scanner (this one) to see if I could spot anything useful and I noticed that in the datastream options the following things jumped out to me as potentially suspicious:
  • Engine Control Module (ECM) Challenge Status: Invalid
  • Engine Control Module (ECM) Authentication Status: Unknown
  • Generator L-Terminal Circuit Low Voltage Test Status: Malfunction
Did I somehow fry my ECM and/or BCM when I replaced the battery? There are no actual trouble codes though so I don't know if those are just something that might get fixed or tested out if I can ever get the car to start and I'm able to get data back on the scanner so it seems unlikely but I don't know what else it could be.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Wow, that is almost the same thing that happened to me recently!

I have a 2011. A couple weeks ago I had to take my other vehicle to work when the car just wouldn't start. Like you, it all turned on, but no start. I came home that night, tried it, and it started.

Fast forward to Wednesday, 2 days ago. I left my buddy's place and stopped for gas on the way home. After getting gas, I turned the key to ON, then tried starting it. Nothing. No click, just like before. So I figured I'd wait a few minutes and scroll through the DIC and write down the data on the gas receipt. Guess what? The steering wheel buttons weren't working, either.

I popped the console cover for the BCM (lower, right, front), and wiggled the blue connector on the left. It moved a bit, so I unsnapped the bail, then rotated it out and back into place and locked it. The car started and the buttons started working.

Try that. It's free and takes only a minute.
 

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That BCM connector connection is a common issue in Gen 7 cars. May be just coincidence with the battery change.
Like DD said, unplug it, spray some electronic component cleaner in the connectors and try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips, I tried just re-seating the BCM connectors and re-tightening the grounds just to be safe but no luck. I'll pick up some contact cleaner later today and see if that works, hopefully it was just a terrible coincidence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the tips, I tried just re-seating the BCM connectors and re-tightening the grounds just to be safe but no luck. I'll pick up some contact cleaner later today and see if that works, hopefully it was just a terrible coincidence.
Picked up some contact cleaner and cleaned both blue harnesses and pins and let it dry thoroughly but still no go. No crank on either key and no security light on the brand new one like I would expect. Any other ideas?

Edit: googling around points to maybe my lock cylinder? Looking at the AutoZone website it looks like the lock cylinder is just a solid metal standard lock cylinder, does it really have some kind of sensor in it that could go bad somehow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited by Moderator)
So I did some more digging in my scan tool and found the immobilizer info and it looks like the ECM is for whatever reason not accepting the security code? I also don't know what the ECM Challenge Status (Invalid) and ECM Authentication Status (Unknown) are indicating but I'm guessing it's all related. I feel like I keep seeing the solution online is the 10 min x3 trick with the key but they all say that the security light should be on during that procedure but mine never comes on. I even subscribed to alldatadiy and I did notice that they say the 10 min x3 trick only works when you replace the TDM and otherwise you need a Techline Terminal (of course) to re-learn the password between the ECM and TDM. Since it seems the TDMs are discontinued and not one place online or offline will sell me one, I wonder if I'm just up the creek unless I take it to the dealership and hope it's just a re-program that's needed?

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I would try a battery disconnect first for a 1/2 hr. When reconnecting battery do not fumble the final connection, the negative terminal so it does a ''zit zit'' connection creating a spike but on fully at once. Posibbly it may clear up before having to use the dealer.
I ran into a wierd issue when I changed the battery in my Tahoe. The power running boards would not work, they went into the shipping mode like when first built. I tried a dozen times to reactivate them but no good. Finally took it to the dealer and they had a hard time but finally reinitilized them. The didnt' charge me as I bought it there as a good will since I use them for tires and have bought a few vehicles.
Sometimes this electronic crap happens.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So just to follow up, I tried disconnecting the battery for 1/2 an hour and re-connecting the negative terminal without fumbling it but unfortunately that did not solve the issue. I had my car towed to the dealer who first made me buy a whole new battery for $200 before they would diagnose claiming the existing brand new battery was bad, then they claimed it was the starter and quoted me $800 but said if they were wrong and that did not solve the issue I would still be on the hook for the $800. Sensing foul play since the starter worked just fine with remote start (before the computer locked it out from anti theft), I had it towed to an independent shop who tested the starter and (surprise, surprise) it was just fine. They said they noticed there was some anti theft issues blocking start in the computer and they tried to clear it up by reprogramming with their equipment but their efforts weren't working so they are having it towed down the street to them to what they called a computer specialist to take a look at and hopefully fix. I'll update again when I hear back on that. I did not yet have them test the "old" new battery but from my experience with the dealer and the starter I have a strong suspicion that there is indeed nothing wrong with it and they were just trying to throw parts at it in hopes I would pay; thankfully I still have the receipt from that one so hopefully I can just take it back to Walmart and get a refund.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So just to follow up, I tried disconnecting the battery for 1/2 an hour and re-connecting the negative terminal without fumbling it but unfortunately that did not solve the issue. I had my car towed to the dealer who first made me buy a whole new battery for $200 before they would diagnose claiming the existing brand new battery was bad, then they claimed it was the starter and quoted me $800 but said if they were wrong and that did not solve the issue I would still be on the hook for the $800. Sensing foul play since the starter worked just fine with remote start (before the computer locked it out from anti theft), I had it towed to an independent shop who tested the starter and (surprise, surprise) it was just fine. They said they noticed there was some anti theft issues blocking start in the computer and they tried to clear it up by reprogramming with their equipment but their efforts weren't working so they are having it towed down the street to them to what they called a computer specialist to take a look at and hopefully fix. I'll update again when I hear back on that. I did not yet have them test the "old" new battery but from my experience with the dealer and the starter I have a strong suspicion that there is indeed nothing wrong with it and they were just trying to throw parts at it in hopes I would pay; thankfully I still have the receipt from that one so hopefully I can just take it back to Walmart and get a refund.
Finally got my car back and they ended up having to replace both the PCM and the TDM on the key cylinder. They had a super hard time finding the replacement TDM since it's a discontinued part and ended up having to get a junk yard one as a last resort, otherwise they said they would have to get one made (somehow?) and that would be an extra 2-3 weeks at least. Most expensive battery swap i've ever had lol but at this point I'm glad it's done and over with.
 
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