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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, all! My son is driving a 2008 Malibu, 160,xxx miles. Two days ago it started dying at completely random times, something I have seen in various places on the internet for Malibu’s of almost every year. One time the TCS and engine reduced power glowed in warning, the other two times just died without warning. The check engine light has been on forever for reduced catalyst efficiency, but the code recently came up for camshaft sensor which was replaced two years ago (by me) and several months before that (by mechanic). I just replaced it again and the engine light hasn’t had time to come on again and give more codes. Battery, alternator, starter are all good. Any suggestions? People with this problem don’t seem to come up with a consistent solution 😟. Does anyone happen to know if enough people have complained to Chevy to get a recall or other process started??
 

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2017 SS Sedan 6.2L
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The MAF sensor is a common issue in the 4-cylinder that can result in the symptoms you describe, either the sensor itself or the wiring in the connector can fail. It would be a good place to start by taking care of existing problems like the cat.

What are the exact codes you're seeing?

Also we need to know what engine you're having problems with.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for entering this discussion! It’s the 2.4 engine (hope that’s the number you need). Since replacing the camshaft sensor, the check engine light has not yet relit. The only other thing we did at that time was pop off the connection to the ecm and look for corrosion or whatever (looked fine). We did pop off the MAF a couple weeks ago to see if it was dirty, it looked fine so we didn’t mess with it since our cleaner wasn’t handy at the time. We’ve also replaced a totally dead starter within the last month, and swapped out spark plugs. The engine has now been on driving slowly for almost 2 hours and the CEL remains off. Only other thing of note is it’s had a check tire pressure light on ever since we’ve owned it so there’s something screwy with that sensor/system but that’s been 3 1/2 years at least. Another nice feature is the entire wiring harness got ripped out a couple years ago due to mechanic error and another harness was installed. There were minor glitches after that including camshaft and crankshaft, but it got back to “normal” with just the cat code afterwards. The oxygen sensors have tested OK and the “real time” reading showed both sensors having varied readings (downward one not stable). Thanks again for weighing in and for any thoughts! I will go ahead and clean the MAF and see if I can test the wiring there somehow
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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This is kinda out of left field, but make sure the throttle body plug is fully engaged.

I unplugged mine a few weeks ago when I was doing something and forgot to plug it back in. I got all sorts of messages, plus it went into limp mode. Plugging it back in removed all those issues.
 

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A good code reader is needed for DIY repairs. Even if CEL is not on there still can be codes set in the system to help track down issues.
Tire light issues are usually a bad sensor in the tire. The battery in the sensors do go dead over the years/miles and sensor replacement is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone!! Checking on all things mentioned. Drivendaily, the friend who recently ran codes for me noted it indicated the throttle was at 30% as we were just idling there looking at various systems...no codes popped up for that but he thought it was strange. Possible the sensor is wonky and starting to mess with other things?
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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If he says that it was reporting as being at 30% open, then yeah, that's not right if it's just idling. It's drive-by-wire, so you can't open it or even move it when the key is on.

Ask him if he can take a look at a setting that says how much it has compensated for seeing a dirty TB. It'll be a percentage figure. I forget the setting nomenclature, but it continues to rise until it's reset by a proper Tech2-level scan tool. I had a slightly dirty TB a year ago and a buddy of mine who works as a dealer service tech not only cleaned the TB, but reset the compensation to 0% to let it start over. He explained it to me and I thanked him profusely for resetting it for me. I think it was around 20% at the time. (I've slept since then...)

You may also want to monitor the commanded throttle via an OBD-connected app. I have a BlueDriver dongle that can read all 4 families of codes and reset them. The app is free, the dongle is around $100. I felt it was worth it to me. YMMV.
 
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