My 06 malibu ss got an engine swap, 3700 miles. My car runs great when it is running. Then when I turn it off, it will not turn on till the next day.

Fernando Gallegos

Asked by Aug 12, 2013 at 10:09 PM about the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu SS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

06 Malibu SS Engine swap runs great with 3700m. Then after I turn it off, it will not turn
on till the next day. Before the next day, engine light turns on and data link scanner will
not read check engine light. When I pull the PCM Ignition Fuse from fuse box, check
engine light turns off. Again... the next day my car runs great!

5 Answers


When the ignition is in the "run" position but the engine is stopped the "check engine" light will be on. This is normal. Are you saying the PCM won't communicate with the scan tool or that there are no trouble codes? When you pull the PCM fuse and the "check engine" light goes out, again, normal. This is because by removing the fuse you're shutting down the PCM. When the engine refuses to start, check the basics. Are you getting fuel? Are you getting spark? Then go from there. HTH. -Jim

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Fernando Gallegos

All the basics were checked, tested, and replaced. PCM will not communicate with scanner. Fuel pressure is good, starter and alternator good, fuses and relays good. I am thinking that my PCM is bad... I took it to a CHEVY Dealership and they told me that they needed more time to find the source... I asked if it could be the PCM. They are not sure. Where can I buy a trusted refurbished PCM? They had it for three weeks.. and nothing!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

When you changed the engine did you "flash" the existing PCM using the vehicle identification number from the doner vehicle? This may be the problem. On an OBD II vehicle when a PCM is replaced it must be "flashed" (programmed) using your vehicle identification number for it to work. I'm just guessing here but it may be the same with an engine swap. Now judging from your symptoms and the fact that the 20 year old "techs" at the Chevy dealer can't figure it out I'm also thinking vapor lock. Vapor lock, which has pretty much been unheard of since the '60s, is when the fuel in the fuel line gets so hot it boils away before it reaches the engine. Have you checked the fuel lines for proper routing? Away from the hot exhaust manifolds? One other thought is if the battery wasn't disconnected first, before any work began, the PCM may have been fried by a hot wire touching metal during the engine swap. You can easily buy a replacement PCM at your local auto parts store but it must be "flashed" in order to work. Check with the person doing the "flashing" to see which vehicle identification number (yours or the doner vehicle) needs to be used. HTH. -Jim

Fernando Gallegos

I do not have the vin to the engine swapped motor. Can I still flash with MY VIN? Haven't checked fuel line in conjunction with manifold heat, but will do. Battery was disconnected when working on the swap, thats not to say that complacency didn't settle in after a long frustrating day of swap and accidental short happened. One more thing. Do I have to take my car to CERTIFIED, KNOWLEDGEABLE mechanic while they perform the programming (FLASH)? Also... I have heard of vapor lock.. But of all the forums out there, Your explanation of VAPOR LOCK is now a second nature term for me. THANK YOU!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You're welcome. Most repair facilities can flash the PCM. You'll want to tell them about the engine swap. I really don't know if you need to use the doner vehicle's VIN or not. Earlier today I was looking for something else and stumbled across something else that may help here. A guy with a Chrysler product was having the same problem as you. He finally discovered that his timing chain tentioner was bad. What was going on was the PCM, using erroneous info from the crank and cam sensors, "thought" the engine had jumped timing. Concequently the PCM shut down the engine, only after being driven and shut off, to prevent serious engine damage. I'm wondering if that's what is going on here. If that's the case I suspect the flashing of your PCM should fix it. HTH. -Jim

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