Facebook Pixel



We’re a top rated local Chevrolet Malibu repair services shop in Fremont, CA. We also serve the greater East Bay Area, including Newark, Union City, Milpitas, and Sunol. Here, we will discuss some common Chevrolet Malibu problems including reduced engine power, steering problems, transmission, and electrical issues. If you notice any of these problems, visit our auto repair shop today.


$99.99 Full Synthetic Oil Change

STARTING AT $99.99. Motor oil and the parts needed for your oil change vary in price from vehicle to vehicle. Please call for an exact price quote for your vehicle make and model. Our technicians are trained to service just about every make and model vehicle, from engine repair to oil changes.

$190.00 Engine Light Diagnostic

Our technicians are highly skilled and experienced with just about every vehicle make and model. If your check engine light is on, you can bring it to our shop and we’ll diagnose what’s wrong with it. Any authorized diagnostic will be applied toward the cost of your repair, a $190.00 value.

Reduced Engine Power

This is a known problem on multiple GM models, including the 2016-2018 Malibu. The issue can be traced to the electronic throttle control and accelerator pedal sensor. Unlike older vehicles, which are controlled by a cable, this system uses a series of sensors. Unfortunately, they can become out of sync or fail completely, causing the vehicle to enter a reduced power mode. However, it has been reported that the vehicle may shut off and not restart. Should your Malibu feel sluggish and an “Engine Power Is Reduced” message appears in the instrument cluster, the throttle position sensor is a likely culprit.

Steering Problems

Another common issue affecting many GM vehicles had to do with the power steering. For the Malibu, this covers 2004-2013 models, with failures noted in the power steering motor, control module, and steering column. If any of them fail, you may suddenly lose power steering, meaning more effort will be needed to turn the vehicle. In extreme cases, the steering wheel may lock up completely. All of these are serious conditions that can cause an accident. Fortunately, they were corrected through a series of recalls. However, if you own a Malibu of the years mentioned above, it is recommended to contact Chevrolet to verify that the necessary work has been performed. In most cases, it will be done at no charge, even if the vehicle is out of warranty.


Probably not something that Malibu owners want to hear, but the 2009-2018 models had their share of transmission problems. For the earlier years, this was usually complete transmission failure, even on low-mileage vehicles. Since it involves replacing the entire unit, the repair bill will often cost several thousand dollars. While this was largely corrected by 2012, later models had their own, albeit relatively minor electrical problems.
The most commonly cited is the gear selector switch, where drivers were unable to turn the vehicle off when the gear selector was in park. This meant that accessories like the radio and headlights would stay on, draining the battery. Fortunately, it is an easy fix and was addressed through an updated factory technical service bulletin.

Electrical Issues

The 2009-2012 Malibu had its share of electrical system issues. The most notable are headlights that would frequently burn out. Here, a design flaw is to blame, as it allowed water to seep into the headlight wiring harness. The corrosion buildup on the terminals increased resistance and generate heat, which decreased the life expectancy of the headlights. In some cases, it could melt the wiring or harness. Fortunately, they are fairly inexpensive items to replace, although installing the headlight bulb is a hassle, given it involves removing most of the bumper cover. A similar issue occurred with the fuel pump relay, and like the headlights, it can be traced to faulty wiring. Excessive heat from a poor connection caused the relay to fail. Since it controls the fuel pump, the vehicle would suddenly die and not restart. Another had to do with the hazard light switch, which often went bad, allowing the lights to stay on permanently. However, this had more to do with the switch as opposed to the wiring.