Question about 2003 Chevrolet Malibu

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I have a 2003 Malibu, 3.1 V6, 120K miles. Normally when I turn the ignition switch to on, all indicator warning lights and gas gauge work in the ip cluster. After a few seconds only the battery, check engine, theft system and gas are still operating. Also the heater fan and radio are operating since they were on previously. I can turn the switch to start and the car will start. Here's the intermittent problem: Sometimes only the theft light operates (along with fan and radio) when I turn the switch to on. The car won't start when I turn the switch to start. After 10 seconds or sometimes 60 seconds, all of the lights and gas gauge operate. I can then start the car. On two occasions, the lights and gauge operated only momentarily. I waited a little while and then everything operated and I was able to start the car. Do you have any suggestions on what is causing the problem and how to fix it? I don't think the battery and ignition switch are causing the problem.

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Well Gary , you should have it checked for DTC'S - diagnostic trouble codes . Not at a part's store , thier diagnostic tool only checks engine computer codes ! Your vehicle has a number of control modules , PCM/ECM - engine , BCM - body , ABS , Air bag , the instrument cluster has a microprocessor inside , an can set DTC'S as well. But the only way to read codes in most of these modules is with a professional type scan tool . The warning lights come on when you turn the key on as a bulb check an to let you know those systems are functioning . Could be your instrument cluster is defective or a communication network problem , do you know what a serial data bus or communication network is ? This is what the control modules share information on . Your 03 chevy has the IPC bus for data transfer from the BCM to the IPC . U codes are communication error codes .

Faulty electrical connections or wiring may be the cause of intermittent conditions. Refer to Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections in Wiring Systems.
The IPC determines that the BCM transmitted data to the IPC is invalid for greater than 12 seconds. The IPC sends a message to the BCM via the SPI serial data in circuit indicating that invalid data was received.
The BCM determines that the IPC transmitted data to the BCM is invalid for greater than 5 seconds.
The BCM detects that the SPI serial data in circuit is less than 1.2 v for greater than 5 seconds.
The BCM detects that the SPI serial data in circuit is greater than 4.5 v for greater than 5 seconds.
The BCM detects that the SPI serial data out circuit is less than 1.2 v for greater than 5 seconds.
The BCM detects that the SPI serial data out circuit is greater than 4.5 v for greater than 5 seconds.
The BCM detects that the SPI serial data clock circuit is less than 1.2 v for greater than 5 seconds.
The BCM detects that the SPI serial data clock circuit is greater than 4.5 v for greater than 5 seconds.

Your vehicle also uses class 2 data bus .

Class 2 Serial Data Link
The class 2 serial data link allows the following modules to communicate with each other:
• The body control module (BCM)
• The electronic brake control module (EBCM)
• The integrated radio chassis (IRC)
• The powertrain control module (PCM)
• The Remote Control Door Lock Receiver (RCDLR)
• The inflatable restraint sensing and diagnostic module (SDM)
The class 2 serial data link allows a scan tool to communicate with the above modules for diagnostic and testing purposes.

Posted on Mar 08, 2017


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You might have a problem with the body contro module, have it tested for codes.

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SOURCE: theft system passlock on 2003 chevy malibu. theft

yr gonna have to get the passlock key and punch it into the radio so u can solve ur problem most chevy dealships can assist you with that.

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SOURCE: intermittent starter operation, sometimes it starts fine,

First step is to clean the battery cables and battery posts next drive it to an auto shop and have them to test the battery and alt. output, this will eliminate those issues, next on the list is to test the battery cables to see if they are bad but that you need a test meter or strip off a half inch of insulation off the neg and the positive cable and see if you see white or green powder, if you do replace the cable, if this does not fix it you need to do a amp draw on the starter to see if the bearing are freezing up if that does not solve it let me know and I will help you fix the issue.

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It likely had water on the ignition system. The check engine light will flash for misfire. The VSC light is on just because the check engine light is on. You likely have it dried out now and its fine. You just need to clear the codes. Autozone will do this for free.

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Given the complexity of your vehicle , all the control modules , serial data communication network. Having the vehicle scanned for DTC'S - diagnostic trouble codes , not a code reader or at a auto parts store . A professional type tool is need to pull codes from BCM - body computer , Instrument cluster .

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