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This problem happens to me in my 2010 Chevy Malibu LTZ only when using cruise control. After I stopped using cruise control (on long trips), I have not seen this problem.
Being a computer nerd, I bet this is a computer bug. It has all the makings of one.
My hunch is a firmware upgrade is required to fix it.

Alternatively, I wonder if the accelerator pedal sensor is influenced by cruise control and therefore the root cause of the problem. In otherwords, maybe it's when the pedal is in a steady state for a long period of time, the sensor triggers a bug in the computer.
Happy Patching!
 

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My problem ended up being the throttle body. What was kind of weird was it only happened in February two years in a row. The first year they said they cleaned it and it went away for a year. The second time they replaced it and its been fine since. I guess I'll see in Feb if it happens again. I wouldn't be surprised.
 

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2009 4 cylinder doesn't want to accelerate

I have a 2009 that does not want to accelerate after coming to a dead stop. Usually when I stop at a red light or a stop sign, it has a hard time accelerating. The car seems to jerk back and forth and it gets up to 4000 rpms before it even hits 40 mph. I have a check engine light on. I took it to my local autozone and they ran the codes for me. It threw a total of three codes, P0101 MAF sensor, P0010 Intake Camshaft position actuator solenoid, and P0420 Catalyst efficiency low-bank 1. I have taken the MAF sensor out and sprayed it with a cleaner and replaced the air filter. I am not sure what else I should try to diagnose the exact problem.
 

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I am having problems with my 2014 Malibu LT. It just read "reduced engine power" with check engine & traction control lights are on. Taking car to the dealership tomorrow with 14,000 miles on it. Mar 7-16 from Michigan
 

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I am having problems with my 2014 Malibu LT. It just read "reduced engine power" with check engine & traction control lights are on. Taking car to the dealership tomorrow with 14,000 miles on it. Mar 7-16 from Michigan
It is possibly your throttle body. It is a known issue.
 

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I posted the below thread today and thought it might help you. I tried EVERYTHING found online and everything listed in this thread but nothing helped. It took a good while before the problem was bad enough where it does it all the time now, if the O2 sensor is installed. It's loud as h3ll but at least I can drive it until I convince Chevy that my car is still under federal warranty. It's really easy to take the O2 sensor and give it a try!

Federal Warranty: https://www3.epa.gov/obd/pubs/420f15035.pdf

2009 Chevy Malibu, 70,000 miles. I drove the car for a few months having problems accelerating, then it got as bad as the info panel displaying the message "Service EMS," "Service Traction" and sequentially, "engine power reduced" and when it happened, I was only able to drive 40mph. After letting it set over night, I could drive it again but hesitation while accelerating was random. The EMS and engine power issues kept getting worse and worse. I checked the codes and there was a code related to the emissions. After trying several things, I decided to remove the Oxygen Sensor from the front side. After doing that, it's loud, but has driven perfectly. In fact, it has absolutely no hesitation, where even at 7k miles it intermittently hesitated between 1st and second gear, during heavy acceleration. After a few weeks, driving with the O2 sensor out, I put it back in just to see what it would do and all of my problems came back immediately. SO, my question is, is there any indication that it could be something other than the $700.00 Catalytic Converter? Also, my local parts stores range from $500-700 but I saw one online, with no replacement bolts, for half that cost with free shipping. Does anyone have any experience with buying these? If so, what about the removal process... I would assume it's pretty straight forward - breaker bar for the bolts and maybe a torch to heat and free them up.
 

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My daughter is having this same issue on her 2012 LT. This seems like a serious issue with this platform through all years. GM better figure this out and take care of the issue. Has anyone received information on a recall of any sort or if this is something they are going to take care of? I have a 2014 Malibu and on our boards you see the same issue.
 

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Just an update on the cause of the reduced power issue. The codes that were thrown were P0171, P0131, P0101, and P0068. They (Chevy dealer) said it was a sensor internal failure and they replaced the mass air flow sensor. They charged $111.92 for the part which is a joke. I could of got the same OE sensor for $30 to $50. Then they charged $162.00 for labor and $24.30 for shop supplies. So the total was $306.40 for a mass air flow sensor. Wow!!!!! This car only has 50,000 miles on it, hope this isn't a sign of things to come. It's been good up until this point.
 

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I saw the same issue in my Chevy Malibu 2010 LT 4 cyl. I tried to clean the throttle body and it didn't work, then ,replace the throttle body it didn't work .After that I noticed this issue happened when the computer was sending the information to the cooling fans after reach the first increase in temperature to activate the second fan and stabilize temperature in the car, specially if you are using A/C. After troubleshooting I identified that the fuses/relays inside the fuses box are not settled properly causing miscommunication(bad signals) and damaging the car computer. Replaced the computer and fuses box fixed the issue. 100% sure.

If you are experiencing this issue a quick way to solve temporary the issue is stop the car, disconnect battery for at least 10 min to delete computer codes, wait a little bit for temperature reduction and then connect the battery back and start the engine. This action could help you to save time when you are driving.
 

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I guess i'll have to say ditto on most of this thread, "Service Traction" & "Reduced Engine Power". first I want to say I have had this issue in the past but is was when it was really cold and had been raining first. that is when I received the msg. no codes though. then it was time to drive my truck to work. but this time it was different, I noticed that the Malibu was not running quite smooth after I purchased gas. I think that may have been a coincident. I tried to clean the throttlebody, something I have to do to my truck every year. Well, maybe that fixed it, but I did have another problem crop up after that. I had a high idle, about 3K. tried to reset the ECM and then drove it for about 30 minutes, on highway and city traffic. I could not seem to get the ECM to recognize the new throttle position. I went ahead and replaced the throttlebody with the same results. I read on one of the forums that it would require a "scan tool" to tell the ECM to re-learn the throttle position. so I don't have the scan tool for that, I took it to a local service place that does my work for me, they reset the throttle position with the ECM and it is running ok, right now that is. 2 things that frustrate me as a long term GM owner. Why would an engineer decide that it would be a good thing to have your car basically shut down to 20-30 MPH for a symptom that has nothing to do with traction. to me that is a serious safety issue. and then of course the 3K idling issue I had, if there is a way to get the ECM to recognize the new throttle position, I would sure like to know what it was.
 

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Re: 2009 4 cylinder doesn't want to accelerate

I have a 2008 LS 2.4L that gave me a P0101 and a P0068 with the same acceleration issues that you have mentioned. I changed the spark plugs, wiring harness, air filter and Mass Airflow Sensor and I am still getting the same codes. Also, if I allow it to rev over 3000 rpms, I get the Eng Pwr Down and I have to shut off the car, wait and restart to allow it to go over 25mph, which is all I can do up a hill, 45mph on a flat road.

It has been to 3 different Chevy dealers for a diagnostics to no avail. I am going to flash my ECM/PCM next.
 

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I have a 2008 LS 2.4L Eco Tech 144k miles, that gave me a P0101 and a P0068 with the same acceleration issues that you have mentioned. I changed the spark plugs, wiring harness, air filter and Mass Airflow Sensor and I am still getting the same codes. Also, if I allow it to rev over 3000 rpms, I get the Eng Pwr Down and I have to shut off the car, wait and restart to allow it to go over 25mph, which is all I can do up a hill, 45mph on a flat road.

It has been to 3 different Chevy dealers for a diagnostics, resulting in the changes mentioned above, to no avail. I am going to flash my ECM/PCM next. This has become a money pit, with no one seeming to know what is wrong or how to fix it, yet from numerous postings and bulletins, this appears to be a common problem.

Would love to hear how you or anyone else has handled this
 

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I am having the same problem, "service traction control system and reduced engine power", with the following codes P0089 and P228C. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated or is this something that needs to be brought into a shop to fix. I'm no mechanic, but I am pretty mechanically inclined and have always been able to do most of my vehicle repairs myself. Any advice?
 

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I have a 2012 Malibu and today my car died twice and I had to have it towed due to reduced engine power. Codes for throttle body come up and GM says my vin isn't under the warranty or recall. How can my car have the same problem as all the others but not be covered??!! I have 97k and my car is now broken down at some random shop because I can't afford the dealer to fix it. Ready to turn the car back over and suffer the consequence as this car is NOT worth the thousands it will cost to fix! ?
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Search for "fretting corrosion" and see if that helps. There's a recall on certain Malibu models as well as other related GM models. Here's a link to a website that lists the affected model years, but yours still may not be covered. It would be best to call for more information.

http://gm.oemdtc.com/7366/16188-special-coverage-adjustment-brake-lamp-malfunction-2004-2012-chevrolet-pontiac-saturn

Thanks to @jsean for sharing it with me in this thread:

http://www.chevymalibuforum.com/forums/2-general-discussion-generation-7/93610-bcm-connection-coverage-update.html#post741738
 

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I am having the same problem, Wife was driving to work one morning and the reduced speed came on slowing her down to a CRAWL. About a month before this the service Traction control light was coming on only IF she was at speeds below 20 MPH. a few months later it has graduated up to 30 mph. Any ideas how to fix this charming problem?

Now with the throttle body, the service engine light was on I got 3 codes one was for a cylinder 1 misfire, 2) was for the MAF sensor and the third had to do with the throttle body. I took off the engine cover and found that part of the rubber coupling had wedged itself in the throttle body holding it wide open. (no wonder when I cranked it it sounded like crap) I was able to get the piece out of the throttle body but now the car runs rough at idle. I am trying to find a replacement coupling with no luck. I have ordered a new throttle body as well. Will I need to have the system re-learn the position of the throttle body? and If I do where can I find the procedure to do this?
 

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I want to share a little information that may or may not be of help to some people. Back when I bought my Malibu, I wasn't aware of any sort of issues until it rained. My car sits outside all the time because I have no garage to put it in. :( Anyway, the first time it rained, I turned a corner and all of a sudden, my leg got all wet. I'm like what in the heck?? At first I thought it came from the speaker on the left door. Being new to the car, I didn't know, but that's where it looked wet. So this kept going on and finally I took it to my body shop and told him what was going on with it. They took the car for the day while I walked across the street to where I work. After work I walked back over there and luckily they had discovered what the issue was. There was a seal on the top of the car that was failing. I'm assuming under the black strip that goes along the roof. They had fixed it, for free even, which was a huge win for me and since then it's never leaked again.

Now why is this relevant you might ask? Well, when I bought the car, it actually was displaying the whole service traction and blah blah blah as it was being demonstrated to me so I asked the salesman why it was like that with the check engine light on because the remote start wouldn't work which is what led us that there was an issue. He was baffled so they took it into the garage and apparently either it was the TPS that was a bit corroded or something like that. They cleaned it up and it was good to go. However, this happened again maybe a month or two down the road. I had no time to take it to the garage. It had been raining as well and of course, water came from the driver's side of the dash again. I don't drive very fast so I didn't notice too much that the car didn't accelerate as fast as it should. There's this one spot I had to pull out of that's extremely difficult because of how much traffic there is, I figured eh, I can make this. So I gave it the gas and I moved, but not very fast. And there's this car barreling down the highway at least 55mph right for me and I'm barely moving. I thought for sure I was going to get smashed but luckily I got out of the way in time. So anyway, fast forward to when I got the seal on the windshield fixed. I never had the leaking issue again, nor have I ever had the engine power reduced thing either and this has probably been a good half year or better since then.

So I'm just throwing that out for people. Maybe some people have leakage issues and don't know it? Mine I did just because of the amount of water there was that came from under the dash but I've read that some people have this water issue as well and most of the time it talked about a plugged sunroof drain, but that is something I don't have. But when I took my dashboard apart while painting, I noticed a good amount of rust color under the steering wheel, it was on some sort of metal bracket, of course on the knee bolster panels, and even on the left dash vent you could see rust color evidence. So it just might be worth double checking your seals to make sure you have no water intrusion that could be causing havoc with your electronics.
 

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so, I am going to have to say, I am pretty sure I had my "Service Traction" & "Reduced Engine Power" problem, or at least is went on for about 6 months without having that issue any more. I did replace the throttle body after cleaning the old one, and that may have fixed it but then the other issue with a hi-idle came up. you can read about the thread that I posted if your so compelled. after spending about $800 on a fuel pump replacement, $120.00 on replacement of the headlamps, and what ever I paid on the throttle body, 300 I think, I have come to a final conclusion that I needed something else and traded it off. when the Malibu ran, it ran well, but the maintenance costs did not justify keeping it any more. I would have been money ahead to just keep driving my truck.
 

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My 2011 with the 2.4 gave me the same issue. After the throttle body replacement, still same thing after 1000km.

Ended up looking at the timing chain and it was loose, the bender not able to thight it enough.

It skipped the timing.

Got it replaced and bingo! Back to normal.

I have now 185k km.


so, I am going to have to say, I am pretty sure I had my "Service Traction" & "Reduced Engine Power" problem, or at least is went on for about 6 months without having that issue any more. I did replace the throttle body after cleaning the old one, and that may have fixed it but then the other issue with a hi-idle came up. you can read about the thread that I posted if your so compelled. after spending about $800 on a fuel pump replacement, $120.00 on replacement of the headlamps, and what ever I paid on the throttle body, 300 I think, I have come to a final conclusion that I needed something else and traded it off. when the Malibu ran, it ran well, but the maintenance costs did not justify keeping it any more. I would have been money ahead to just keep driving my truck.
 

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I have a 2013 Malibu 2.5 LT reduces engine power and traction control comes on. Took to shop put new high pressure fuel pump and high pressure fuel sensor. Didn’t fix it now put new throttle body and it will run good one day and do it again the next day! These parts and labor is adding up,and this car not safe to drive. Car be running fine and go to pull out on highway and and it just stops. This is unsafe and I want to know why there has not been a recall on these cars? So many and so many different years. Why hasn’t GM step up and took care of this? Now shop saying it’s the computer in the car. Smh
 
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