Engine starts but then shuts off right away with other weird things?


Asked by Jul 18, 2011 at 12:20 PM about the 2001 Chevrolet Malibu LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The other day I went out to my car to find that my key fob thing didn't work, which didn't surprise me at all. So I unlocked the car with the key and flipped the lever to unlock all of the doors and it didn't work either. So I thought maybe I killed the battery or something so I tried to start the car. The car fired right up and then shut off right away. Some of the other weird things that I started noticing is it takes a few seconds for the dash to light up and they come slowly and not all at once like normal. Also, the interior lights did not work, nor the dome light, the trunk release also does not work. The radio worked as it was on but after we shut it off it now will not turn back on. Last night my land lord knocked on my door to tell me that my interior lights were on in my car. What??? They did not work?? I went out to my car and they were on and would not shut off, I had to pull the fuse to get them to shut off.

Another thing that I found was after some serious rain that morning there was water on the floor on the passengers side. The rubber thing around the windshield is coming off on the bottom.

I just had the Throttle Position Sensor replaced a couple of days before that. After having that replaced the car ran better than I can even remember it running before.

Could something have gotten wet??? Would that effect the car starting and shutting off right away?? My mechanic thought it might be the Theft deterant system failing. My dad told me maybe a dead cell in the battery. Any other ideas??

19 Answers


body control module? this is the first thing i would check BUT you should call a chevy dealer.. cuz it sounds like you may have more then that and they can diagnose it with a computer..

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I agree with your dad,replace the battery,a bad one will cause all kind of weird things to happen on todays computer cars.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I talked to the Chevy dealer here in town and that is the thing that they mentioned was the Body control module which is tied to the theft system. My dad tried to pull a code off it with a code reader but it wasn't putting one out. So looks like it will be towed to the chevy dealer. It is crazy to me how the day before I got such great performance out of it to come out and find it in this condition..like it was nothing!! Ugh!!! Oh and we checked the battery, the battery is fine. I am guessing you are right on the money with the BCM. Thank you for your help! :)

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

i would have the alternater tested bc if your alternater is going bad then the whole car shorts out..that happend to me going down the road..everything electrical stopped working...radio shut off lights didnt work...it was running off the batttery.. when i came to a stop i had to drive on the shoulder to get up to speed well got home and as i was coming down the hill it died....so im for an alternater replacement...go to adv auto and theyll test it for you

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I had the same problem and my mecanic find the answer so it was the fuse for the computer.

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

Have your thought of an exorcism?

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

BCM is wet for sure.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

My car 2001 Malibu is doing the same thing, bought it for my daughter and it ran out of gas, And the lights were left on, So it needed a charge. SAME symptoms. No key fob working, No dome light, No radio working, and will start up beautifully EVERYTIME. but then shut off. did you find out your cars issue.

24 of 24 people found this helpful.

2011 Chevy Malibu, died while at stop sign and red light. Pushed to side, then wouldn't restart. Had it towed, Chevy dealership hooks to computer and they show nothing wrong. Sell $300 things that MIGHT help. 3 days, drop son off at school. Went to restart, car won't start. Towed to dealer, this time they claim needs Fuel Pump. $700 and it is NOT covered under warranty. FINE. car home 3 days, same exact thing happens. Dealer has not had my car 2 days and they swear they cant get computer to find anything wrong. However, each tow truck driver mentioned fob. ALL state there is an issue. Dealer states they are not techs and are clueless. Now I want the $700 back it surely wasn't the fuel pump. Still clueless in AZ. Hours of missed work and a 2 year old car that dies and wont start. ANY advise???

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

Contact GM customer service. NOT the one at the dealer. There is a GM representative that at times monitors these postings an suggests any issues with a GM vehicle, especially a two year old one, to contact GM Customer Service. Your good dealer has their number to the representative in your area. You are being taken advantage of big time. Any chance you are a female and the service writer is a male? There may be your problem. I would not take this laying down. (No pun intended). You can get your money for all repairs that did not fix the problem in small claims court if GM does not fix you car. Also check on lemon laws in your state. You may force the dealer to take back your car and replace it with a similar one that works. Last avenue it to find an attorney specializing in product failure. Not one that advertises after 10 PM on TV or early Saturday mornings on TV.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Did all put change bcm. Car cranks runs. Then kills. Puzzled

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Same happen to me today, after i replace door speakers in my 350z i start car to check if speakers work there was no problems, but i didnt have all electronics and AC controll connected i only check radio and both speakers. I turn off engine, hook up everything, put radio back in dashborad and try start the car.It fired right up and then engine shut off after 10 sec. I try several times... I'm going to check computer fuse tomorrow... Its frusrating.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

I have had the same problem with my Chevy Malibu

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I've had the same problem my Chevy Malibu it cranks up and runs for 2 seconds and then dies security light stay on flashing red so I bypassed the ignition module sensor still cranks and runs for 2 seconds come to find out I change the fuel pump and that is not the problem the problem is the fuel regulator up under the hood right there by your intake manifold you pulled the vacuum line off and tap on it with a screwdriver and if it cranks up then you know your fuel regulator is bad or if you pull the vacuum line off and gas pours out the top of it you know your fuel regulator is bad and you need to change it cost me $68 in my car runs with no problem now

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

I have a 03 Malibu and for some strange reason It starts and runs for 6 hours before going dead and won't start back up until it cool off for 30 minutes. Then it would start and run for another 10 minutes and dies again. I changed every sensor,fuel pump, and battery but still the samething.So I'm going to try BCM next and hope this solves the problem.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Hi Malcolm_125, I believe your car needs new camshaft position sensor. Had same problem on mine!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I know this is an old post but i really need help. My 98 malibu 3.1 is cranking and then dies. I put a now camshaft sensor, icv, and tps. Still wont stay running. If i unplig the tps it will run but then dies as soon as i plug it back in.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

I have a 2000 Chevy Malibu replaced the battery had thermostat and shifter replaced along with a pulley and serpentine belt all that added to 1,309$ In repairs a new key made at dealer to see if that was the issue and my car dies after a few hours sometimes minties kicks off as I'm driving shuts off

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I had the same problem ,it was a security issue , i had to reset the security system . you can do this by using the key .. Turn the key to the lock position then to the unlock position then back to center ,get into car put the key in and try to start it if it does not start turn it off and retry it should start and run ok

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