My 2002 Chevy Malibu LS 3.1 suddenly will not start


Asked by Jun 11, 2012 at 09:19 PM about the 2002 Chevrolet Malibu LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2002 Malibu LS 3.1 was running fine. I pull up to house turn off car, come out few minutes later to leave and car won't start. When I roll key forward I get all dash indicator lights for 2-5 secs then just oil, battery, and check engine stay lit after. Car cranks but no fire. All fuses and relays have been checked in both the interior as well as the engine compartment fuse blocks. I have no pressure in the fuel lines and where you could clearing hear the fuel pump priming before, you no longer can. Ordinarilly I would just say it is the fuel pump, but what is making not jump to dropping my tank so fast is the fact that I’m not receiving any voltage to the rear fuel pump connectors. Also when checking for voltage I grounded to the body to make sure it wasn’t an issue with a ground. Plus I find it hard to believe the fuel pump just died without any signs and regardless I should have 12 volts to the fuel pump with key in the ON position whether pump is bad or not. Never had an issue with the passlock before and the light is not now nor has ever been blinking. 68k miles, new battery, as well non-factory key. One weird thing is on several and very random occasions I’ve turn the car off and walked away and the car has honked the horn and locked the doors as if I used a keyless entry, for which I do not have.

I have tried the relearn process in the 10 minute increment and the 30 minute increments, both with 1,2, and 3 cycles. no luck

pulled the ignition switch and lock cylinder from the car. I have a Haynes guide that has a diagram for continuity testing the switch but the connector displayed does not look like mine. So in curiosity I disassembled the ignition switch further only to find the contact pads underneath all burnt up minus 1 or 2. I'll attach pictures below. Not sure is this is normal or if the burns even make a difference but cleaning pads had no effect after reinstall.

30 Answers


the fuel pump primes with key turned for the first 2 seconds then turns off untill cranking , so if your checking voltage at pump connector with key on it will be zero volts afer 2 seconds of turned key

5 people found this helpful.

You're god sent, I have power from engine priming at the 12-volt rear connector for the fuel pump. Only thing left in the equation could be a bad pump or clogged fuel filter. Either way, virtually same issue. I'll update in day or two after I try changing out pump.

2 people found this helpful.

Someone in another forum suggested this, ""Try tapping the tank with a rubber mallet and see if it starts. Fuel pumps can die without any warning. I had one do that on a Pontiac 6000 that I had years ago. You say it cranks, but there's no fire, though, which leads me to believe it could either be a crank position sensor or cam position sensor that's crapped out on you. Check your Haynes manual, there should be information as to how to check them and the voltage that you should read. I don't have a manual on your car."" What do you think about his suggestion of the sensors? In my opinion, in regards to the two sensors I don't think they would effect the fuel pumps ability to prime though, pre-cranking. On key turn to on position, not crank, I normally hear the fuel pump priming loud as shit. I don't get that now. the crank position sensor would not stop the start from getting fuel pressure, only mess up the order in which the motor is supposed to fire. Similarly with the cam position sensor. Don't get me wrong I'm not certified mechanic, just going on deductive reasoning.

1 people found this helpful.

I think the fuel pump packed it in man.


Hey Man, I know this was a year ago, but I am having the same problem and I already changed the fuel pump and it didn't help,unless the new pump was bad. If you get this message, would you tell me what happened in your situation?? Thanks.

5 people found this helpful.

Indy1000, I'm in the same position you are. Mechanics changed out the fuel pump and gave me a new filter and the car still did the same thing. They tried the cam and crank sensor switches also to no avail. They gave up after 3 weeks with no explantion and no fix. Next door neighbor (backyard mechanic) looked at it and said clogged fuel line. Trying to figure out now how to tackle that......

7 people found this helpful.

Hay guys so i realized reading all these different web pages that no one ever tells what ended up being wrong. Our car has been down for 3 weeks and it came down to the COMPUTER!!!!! They replaced it and it starts every time now. I hope this can help someone save time and a boat load of money.

6 people found this helpful.

...okay, computers do not go bad....ground to them causes problems if it's not there solidly...I'd start by un-doing the Black battery cable that attaches to the chassis and wirebrush that one till shiny....the chassis as well so the computer's got a reliable 12.5 volts to work with....also batteries will degrade after five years don't take a charge too good anymore~....get a NEW one~

2 people found this helpful.

it is some stupid anti-theft device...leave your key in ignition tuned to ACC for at least 10 minutes. then turn key to off, then turn it over to start. happens to our Malibu once every 6 months or so, this fixes it everytime

31 people found this helpful.


3 people found this helpful.

if you have a 2012 malibu you have a factory faulty connector under the engine fuse block, this is a common problem on a majority of the malibu vehicle's, if you experience this no start issue report it to the NHTA so a recall can be issued A.S.A.P. this will help to identify and fix this problem, thank you, you can comment on their web site directly, GM is claiming no fualt as no one is reporting this issue, we need 200 complaint's to force this recall, on LS, LT, and LTZ model's

3 people found this helpful.

it is the anti theft and no-mechanic had it right but instead of putting it in the acc mode turn it to the ON position and wait for 10 min I usually give it 12 min and if your anti theft light was blinking it will go out or solid then you turn the key in the off position (I pull my key out) wait for 10-15 seconds and try again after your fuel pump primes (2 seconds or so). They also recommend only using your car key with no other keys or fob on it. I have this problem with my car and I spent a lot of money trying to find why it wouldn't start. Hope this helps

10 people found this helpful.

This has been happening to me to off and on for 6 months I couldn't figure out what it was. It wouldn't start. again today I just went out turned key to accessories waited 10 minutes the antitheft light was blinking it shut off after 10 minutes, I then turned the key to off and then started the car. It started right away! it is defiantly the recall. My car is 2002 Chevy Malibu LS THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!

12 people found this helpful.

This has been happening to me for the past 8 months, I have had the fuel pump and filter replaced, a fuel injector port, and failed smog for electronics not smog. I just read these possible fixes after I was stuck at a store and had to call for a ride. I went back and put my key on ACC until the anti theft light stopped flashing turned key off and my car started right up. KAM

3 people found this helpful.

Hey everyone. Just wanted to say this site just saved me a bunch of money. I had the same problem with the Malibu not turning over and the people I called all said fuel pump or filter or clogged fuel line. I googled the problem came here tried the anti theft thing and it worked!!!! Only thing I will add is someone told me to repeat the process 3 times to re program the anti theft to prevent it from happening again. I'm not sure if it did reprogram it but I did the process three times and it's working now so I'm very happy. Thank god for the Internet. Thank you guys. I hope more people with the same problem read this and save themselves the money and the stress! FUKC ANTI THEFT lol

7 people found this helpful.

This is currently happening to me. It happened the first time six month ago. It's currently in the AAC position. I'm waiting... And it works. (time lapsed post)

4 people found this helpful.

I found out that my oil sensor was not working right and that it would have an effect on my tach as well who would have known.Now the car starts ever time.

1 people found this helpful.

So mines would start after 15mins or so, now it takes up to 3 hours! Mechanic fixing a bunch of parts and racking up a bill, that I can't afford.. Still no avail.. SMH I'm just going to sell it and never buy a chevy again. Because I took it to a alarm shop, they said it was something else since the anti-theft light doesn't come on or blink, took it to a mechanic and they say its the anti-theft. I don't have time for the back and forth

1 people found this helpful.

If it's the anti theft will the car cut off on you while driving?

8 people found this helpful.

So I paid $700... and it was a defective sensor that gives a good read on the computer call CHEVY to get it repaired please!!! I suspect mine is going to go out again in a few months

1 people found this helpful.

The anti-theft reset worked. Thank you for saving us a loss of money!!!

3 people found this helpful.

Anti-theft suggestions worked to a T!!!! Thank you so much!!!

2 people found this helpful.

I want to thank you all, I just had this issue. I luckily looked and found this and tried it, bam cars running, THANK YOU ALL!

Having all the same problems as joshscott84 including the mystery horn door lock thing. My mechanic initially stated it could be the computer but next day said he's almost certain it's the crank shaft sensor. I would love to know the outcome of the car not cutting, the horn and the locks. 2002 Chevy Malibu

The reset worked. Turned key to ACC, waited 12 minutes, turned off, counted to 3, and it started right up. AMAZING!!!! THANK YOU!!!!


my anti thierf is not blinking my car dont start i change all sensor

3 people found this helpful.

So, same symptoms as above. Used swapology and switched relay for the fuel pump. Worked great for a day. Purchased new relay, all is well. Thnking fuel pump is going and causing relay to stick. Donut

Having same problem here! Car wont start. Would die while driving. Changed plugs and distributer cap, put in new fuel pump. Going to try the anti theft reset and if that dont work. Gona try a new coil block. Thanks for the tips!

thank you all just bought a used 2002 malibu LS, within a week it would not start took to local chev dealership got taken for a $1000. next day same problem, found this site tried the anti theft reset ...... worked like a charm. cheers

did all of what every ones saying to do and still nothing. i put in new fuel pump and idler control motor. then everything worked for a day. this morning i left my house and went to the pond to do some fishing and i went to leave and it wasn't starting.

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