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Neal, Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
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Experience:  Shop Owner and Mechanic on multiple makes.
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Chevy Malibu: LS..3.5L, V6 has a starter run on problem..intermittent

Resolved Question:

Chevy Malibu 2005 , LS, 3.5L, V6 has a starter run on problem and sometimes fails to start. Problem is very intermittent. I bought the car 2 months ago and it is happening on and off. Today after lunch when car was warm it took 3 tries to start .I read on-line that this is a problem with this model. What can I do ?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Neal replied 6 years ago.

I'm Neal and I am here to assist you. Only accept when you are happy with my assistance. If I can't help I will open your Question to other experts.


The run on condition is considered normal by chevrolet, It is because the starter is controlled through the computer. I will include the factory bulliten below.


If it is hard to start sometimes when the engine is warm then the PCM needs to be recalibrated by the dealer due to a programming issue with the EGR valve.


Bulletin No.: 03-06-03-001D

Date: August 02, 2007


Starter Cranks After Key Is Released (Normal Condition)

2003-2008 Passenger Cars and Trucks (Including Saturn)
2003-2008 HUMMER H2, H3
2005-2008 Saab 9-7X

This bulletin ONLY applies to vehicles with PCM/ECM controlled starters.


This bulletin is being revised to update the models and model years. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 03-06-03-001C (Section 06 - Engine/Propulsion System).

Some customers may comment that the engine starter will continue to run after the key is released.

For the 2003 through 2008 model years, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) or Engine Control Module (ECM) controls the starter relay based on input from the key switch. When the ignition switch is held in the start position for 0.4 seconds, the PCM/ECM start timer is activated. Once the start timer is activated, the PCM/ECM will continue to crank the starter until either the engine starts or a no start time limit is reached.

Occasionally, the fuel pump module will take one or two seconds to build fuel pressure. Often this will occur after the vehicle sits overnight. During some vehicle starts, the customer may release the ignition switch key before the engine actually starts. When this occurs, the engine will then continue to crank until the engine starts or the no start time limit is reached.

This is a normal condition and no repairs should be attempted for this condition.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Don't understand how they could consider this normal. It actually fails to start and today there was a smell of gas like it almost flodded. I thought I was going to have to call a tow truck. Then later it behaved normalled, started it about 3 or 4 times normally.
Expert:  Neal replied 6 years ago.

The hard start is not normal and may require the you pcm be reprogrammed.


The starter run on is the only part they consider normal.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can any auto repair shop re-program the PCM or do I need to take it to a Chevy dealer
Expert:  Neal replied 6 years ago.
That is a dealer only reprogram unfortunately.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Any idea of the cost. I purchased an extended warranty and then find out it does not cover electrical. $2000 big mistake, begining to think buying a Chevy was a bigger mistake.
I had an old 1999 Mitsubshi Mirage and did my own maintenance, was almost at 300 K when I got rid of it.
Expert:  Neal replied 6 years ago.

You won't get 300k out of the malibu, but it is not bad. This should run from $100 to $200 depending on the way the dealer bills it.


I am going offline but will be back tommorow if you have any more responses.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OK thanks for the answer. You said I wont get 300K out of the Mailbu so based on your experience what do you recommend I buy in the future based on reliability, Make/Model
Expert:  Neal replied 6 years ago.
You might get 300k but most don't. The best overall is my opinion that is comparable is the Honda accord.
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