What does it mean when it says ESC maintenance Service Traction, Engine Power Reduced

280

Asked by Oct 18, 2014 at 11:29 AM about the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

69 Answers

68,895

It mean,s the traction control system need,s repairing,or bad sensor,

83 of 83 people found this helpful.
20,390

TST is correct. You need to get it to a Chevrolet dealership. That should still be under factory warranty. Unless it has over 100,000 miles.

20 of 20 people found this helpful.
280

Thanks! It's fixed now. I had a shortage in my fuse box.

20 of 20 people found this helpful.
20,390

Glad to hear! I'm hoping at no charge to you.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
280

It wasn't much $150.00. Thanks for your help!!!

8 of 8 people found this helpful.
20,390

That's not too bad. No problem

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
130

This has happened to me 3 times now In the last 2 month's.i had it towed to the dealership. All 3 times the dealership has said their diagnostic shows no codes. And when it happens again, drive it to their dealership and while its happening they can diagnose it. Yeah sure, they want me drive it 29 miles away as bad as its acting. I have to drive that far and damage my car then it'll be my fault . 44,000 miles.im really upset.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.
110

I have a 2009 LTZ that was having the same problem. I took it in for the recall on the wire connections on the Brake Control Module. They performed the recall work and it fixed the problem. Basically they disconnect the wire harness, lubricate it so the wires all have a good connection and then strap it to prevent the same problem from happening again.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.
650

I have a 2007 chevy malibu and the traction light is on and the esc light is on.the front right tire is huming

65 of 65 people found this helpful.
490

I'm having this same problem withy 2010 Malibu! I took it in for recall and it is still doing it!! I am open to any options for fixing this!! HELP!!!!

50 of 50 people found this helpful.
950

I have a 2012 malibu lt...45,000 and the light just came on today..traction and ESC!!!

95 of 95 people found this helpful.
130

2010 Malibu ltz 3.6l. Same here... Yesterday got the powerless... ESC and traction reading across the odometer display. Just got a tube of dielectric grease and applied it to some of the connectors I could get to easily. Mainly the throttle position and maf sensor. I'm kinda scared to disconnect the main ecu, so I,ll ask the dealership to get that one if it keeps running like dogpoo.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.
60

2012 Malibu. Took to dealer. Not under warranty and said it was a bad sensor. Cost: $1,350. Ugh! 70,000 on car.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
300

I have a 202 Malibu, used, and at about 50,000 miles it started this foolishness. The dealership said the code was for the throttle. Replaced the throttle, after a month it started again. Then they said the connector was bad, replaced the throttle connector. After another 30 days it started back. Took it back they said the connector was burnt out. Put a new one. That didn't fix it. Then they said they found it!!! It was a pedal sensor. Finally they got it. And here we are almost 6 weeks later and it has started again. This car is a piece of shit and needs to be recalled. I almost got hit in traffic twce because of this issue. I am going to call General Motors again for the 5th time. Now it's doing it everyday... I hate this damn car!!!

18 of 18 people found this helpful.
80

Bmoore38 you would qualify to turn it in under the lemon law, which means you'd get all the money back you've ever paid for the car plus whatever you've paid for repairs. If a problem can't be fixed after four times then it's considered a lemon. My 2010 has the same issue and I'm over it. Just waiting for it to do it for the fourth Time so I can turn it in under the lemon law. Chevy is a lemon!!

8 of 8 people found this helpful.
300

Dchic, they finally fixed it... It's was the computer throwing codes.. So they replaced it.. So far it's good, but I got the car used and from what I have researched online, Florida does not have a used car lemon law...I hope it's finally fixed but we are nearing the 30 day mark again so I will c what happens this car has been a nightmare..

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
300

Now it's doing it again... 2 months and I'm back to this bullshit

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
245

I own an '07 Malibu that has had this issue for a while. The Check Engine and Traction lights come on and it says "Engine Power Reduced" / "Service Traction" on the radio display. It started happening in the spring of this year (2015). It stopped after we did some preventative maintenance to figure out the problem. It stopped happening for several months and all the sudden back in October it started again... Taking it to the dealership tomorrow. Just praying the cost is reasonable as I'm going to college full time, and my mother doesn't drive, so it's my only way to finish school (45 min. drive / 4 days a week).

16 of 16 people found this helpful.
280

I have a 2010 chevy malibu LT and the traction control light came on.Also the message Engine Reduce Power. Well I press the brake pedal and it makes a weird sound but after that everything is working normal. Is my first time. Any suggestions?

28 of 28 people found this helpful.
68,895

This problem usually,is a bad traction control sensor,but if you have replaced the sensor,s and still have this issue,it will be in the wiring harness that is bad,chevy did not put heavy durable wiring to the sensor,s and it is a big issue with the Malibu,s.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.
245

T_S_T, Thank you for the advice. I will keep it in mind as I try to get my car fixed.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
40

I have a 2012 Chevy Malibu one way to describe it. CHEVY PIECE OF SHIT. Multiple problems. Runs like crap. Been to several dealership and get the same blank expression from another "tech" with the line of we can not find anything wrong. Several times service esc has come on. This time engine power reduced almost got hit. Shit it of let it sit that goes away but the engine light comes on. From day one taking slow turns and it activates the control system causing breaks to pulsate and jerk the car. Then it does what it's states it's trying to prevent. Loss of traction. Eats brakes up like you would not believe. Driving along suddenly the temp sensor quits working, AC quits working and engine fans kick in. But hey guess what. They say no problem found. Had one tech tell me "ah just disconnect the battery. Let it sit for a few then plug it all back together. " well it fixes it for a while but for the love of god that's the service level of Chevy? Disconnect a battery? Now the top end is making all kinds of noise. Who wants to bet they will say no problem found. It also runs like crap when the engine is cold. yhe genius told me it's because I need an oil change. I change it every three thousand miles. As a matter of fact the sticker was in the window showing I had just had the oil changed two days prior to his intilectial diagnosis. Four oil changes later and guess what it still runs like SHIT but no problem found.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
50

2009 Malibu. Have had this problem "fixed" several times and it's doing it again. They should have let GM go bust instead of bailing them out. How many #$%#$ sensors do you need on a car anyway? I'm going to sell this shit for scarp and buy something else.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
245

Dealership replaced a sensor and fixed the tie-rod. The cost wasn't too bad and there is a 90-day / 3000 mile warranty on any work or parts replaced. My car is running great now, knock one wood. Praying for the traction light / engine power reduced message not to come back, but if it does within the 90-day period I will bring it back for them to figure out.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
80

I have a 2012 Malibu. About 2 months ago it starting having some of the problems described in this thread. Service engine light, service esc, esc off, service traction control. When idling the car will jerk like its going to die. It misses bad. When they hooked it up to the computer the first time it said coil pack 2 was bad. They replaced it. Couple of days later it all started again. They put it back on the computer and again it said coil pack 2. They replaced the fuel injector on 2 this time. They test drive the car it runs fine. They leave it running in the parking g lot for about 30 minutes and when they go back to it, its missing and lights are on again. I drive 116 miles every day 5 days a week. This is the 3rd Chevrolet I have owned and I have had problems with them all. As for the wiring harness, mine has already been replaced. This mess started after it was replaced.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.
170

What Does It Mean When You Have A 09 Chevy Malibu And The Only Thing Popping Up Is Service ESC But Ain't Nun Of Your Senors Bad But My Car Won't Start At All I Have Ppl Looking At It And They Don't Even Know What's Wrong With It They Saying Its My Computer But I Don't Believe That's The Problem But My Car Won't Start At All And Its Making Me Mad Any Help Anyone ???

17 of 17 people found this helpful.
30

Have 2012 ltz with same issue car has been running fine chevy dealer says I have a blown cylinder wants $2200. Doesn't seem quite right to me

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
300

It's been a year.. Car still doing this shit.. General Motors is now fixing it for free. Too bad the dealership doesn't even know what the problem is. They have changed everything on my car... I'm about to call Mr General Motors...

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
10

@ jaja have u had any luck

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
630

I have a chevy malibu 2011. Esc traction serivce. What do i need buy to fix the problem...plz help me.

63 of 63 people found this helpful.
70

Geezus !

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
70

I have a 2011 malibu, same thing has happened to me. this being the second time. So far it has coincided with the rain. first time after about a day and dry weather the lights turned off and car went back to normal. Seriously hoping that happens again this time.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
80

I have a 2009 Chevy Malibu and I have the same problem mine says drive5 Line2

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
80

Has a cold p1682 does anyone know what it means

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
80

For ranman0531 i have the same problems I took it to the dealership and they could not figure it out. A diagnostic my own car and it was the ECM computer your car is doing the same thing as mine

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
20

What Ron said. Mine started doing this 2 days ago, I have a 2011 malibu. We have had monsoon like rain for 3 days. I am hoping also it will go back to normal because I don't have thousands of dollars for trial and error. If it doesn't, I hope that I can find an answer in these forums. My brake fluid light goes on, then service esc, then service teaction, then they all go back to normal.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
20

I HAVE A 2010 MALIBU LTZ , THE SERVICE TRACTION, ENGIEN POWER REDUCED NOTIFICATION POPPED UP YESTERDAY WHEN I WAS HEADING HOME . I STOPPED BY A SHOP WHICH WAS INFORMED THAT THE SENSOR NEEDS TO BE REPLACED . THERE ARE TWO , ONE IS UNDER THE GAS PEDAL AND THE OTHER IS UNDER THE HOOD. IN MY CASE THE ONE UNDER THE GAS PEDAL IS THE ONE THAT NEEDS TO BE REPLACED. I PURCHASED ANOTHER PEDAL WITH THE SENSOR HOPEFULLY EVERY THING IS FINE ONCE ITS REPLACED.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

My car (2009 Chevy Malibu LT 2.4) had similar messages popping up (esc service, esc off, esc traction) as well as the check engine light. Luckily, I had my very knowledgeable mechanic friend try to find the root of the issue. We replaced the spark plugs, checked the coils, checked the injectors and ohms, checked the wiring, saw that cylinders 2, 3, and 4 have power and signal from the PCM. Injector 1 has no power and signal from the PCM. I am adding fuel injector cleaner once my gas tank empties, but he was extremely confident that the main problem after diagnosis would be that the PCM is not sending a signal to fuel injector number one. Next step is to take it for a repair which I expect will be in between $300 and $400.

50

I have a 2010 Malibu and since the moment I pulled it out of the dealership parking lot the service ESC and service traction lights have been going on and off. This issue is very annoying in itself, however, the worst part is that my brake lights are going off when I break and staying on as I drive!! Very scary and dangerous, so after many attempts of getting my car serviced to no avail, GM finally recalled the parts for my car! I figured at that point I would no longer have to worry about my sensors going off/ driving in fear of causing an accident due to faulty brake lights… Boy, was I wrong. I don't think I've gone a month without this issue arising, and now that the recall is over I get to pay out-of-pocket again! I have called Chevrolet customer care and will continue to do so, this problem is just so frustrating! The last time I was at the dealership the repair man told me the sensor comes loose which is located on the passenger side of the center counsel and that all they can do is use zip ties to tighten it back up and that's how they "fix" it for $200. If anybody knows how to to take off your center counsel and find such sensor, let me know! At this point I much rather try doing it myself

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
90

I have a 2008 Malibu Ltz and hopefully this will help some people that have been experiencing the ESC service/ traction control, engine stumbling, high rpm and slamming when shifting delema... I've been experiencing all of these issues and figured out that it was all stemming from a 15A Fuse under the hood in the driver side fuse panel that you access after removing the battery cover. The prongs that the 15A fuse push down into had been spread too far apart so when the fuse was pressed in it was not making good connection which in turn was compromising signals for the ignition coil. The fuse slot in question is labeled 43 or 44 ignition coil.immediatly after correcting this I started the car and whala all issues completely went away. After correcting this issue you will have to unhook your negative cable to clear all BS codes that have accumulated during this nightmare and this will also eliminate your check engine light. Hope this helps to ease your stress and get you back on the road! Good luck

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
10

I have a 2009 chevy malibu and the service esc service traction control eng reduced power and check engine light come on at same time randomly going down road. I have replaced the timing valve sensor camshaft position sensor oil change new spark plugs tps and its still doing it. Im at my witts end oh dealership says they have no clue what to do now. Any suggestions?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20

I have a 2011 chevy Malibu and this morning driving to work (live in upstate ny so idk if the cold is a factor) the esc service traction control and reduced engine power came on. Started shaking and going slow on a dark spiral road. I freaked out and call my fiancé who is in Kentucky at he moment. Waited a few mins, started it back up and it was fine and headed home. About 20 mins later the same thing happened. I'm annoyed and petrified at this point and just want to get home. Let it sit a few more mins and finally just made it home! Anyone know what this could be and how expensive it is? I leave for Kentucky in a few days to get married!!! And don't want to have this happen on the 12 hour drive there

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10

Is it the fuse box under the hood because I'm having the same issue

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
60

I'm having issues with my 2009 Malibu LTZ saying powersteering, ESC OFF, AND SERVICE ESC????? Anyone know why it keeps doing this and check engine light pops on with it then next day gone and keeps randomly doing it

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
30

I have a 2012 Chevy Malibu, and while I was on the highway my car suddenly jerked and lost a lot of power it felt like. My power steering went and about 5 service lights came on. It also read service esc, service traction control etc... my ABS light, brake light, trac controL light, engine light, and battery light came on. Luckily I was close to a rest area. Any help with this one?

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
300

Two years now, warranty done.. the dealership is now saying rodent damage and they need to replace all the wires for only $3700... they will never get my money.. it's stop and go.. sometimes I get months with no issues but today it did it 6 times on my way home.. it just started up again this weekend after 2 months ... time to trade this shit in .. I will never ever ever buy another Chevrolet..

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
30

I don't have an answer but a question , do you have any updates on how the car is running now and what did they replace to fix it . Thanks .

10

I have an 05' Malibu Maxx and it does the same thing. My traction control light comes on and then engine shuts down. It's very dangerous.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

We have a 2010 Malibu and it's popping up the same thing. Wife went out to her car and the car wouldn't start. I go out there and it pops up "Service ESC, Service Traction and Reduced Engine Power". Seems like running through this entire thread the problem is either 15A fuse under the hood (slot 43 or 44), Accelerator Pedal Sensor, Throttle Position Sensor, Traction Control Sensor or Wiring Harness. It also seems that GM is crap and they should have never been bailed out to sell us crap cars. I am start with the cheapest fix first and will repost when I find what is going wrong...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

SelSmith84 do you have a conclusion yet? Thanks

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

Took it to the dealer , they replaced the Fuel injector , Ignition Coil , new Spark Plugs and did what they called "Decarb" since I have the extended warranty it was only $200 .They told me I need to try to use Top Tier fuel . I have the car for 3 weeks so far, running good , nothing popped out yet ....... I will let you know in 3 more weeks .

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

After years of driving foreign cars decided to give chevy another try...BIG MISTAKE....my 2008 malibu is a piece of shit it's constantly in the shop...now the display is saying traction control reduced engine power...I should've bought a Toyota camry...I will never buy a chevy vehicle again

30

Well..my son started his 2011 Malibu brown in color and it has the same symptoms that I'm reading about in other posts. Stay tuned we will have it towed in the morning. We have a certified mechanic so we will see!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
25

my car is due to go in for the 4th time (July 11, 2017) for the ESC problem (trying another dealership). Mine seams to only be an issue in warm weather months in Ohio. I will post if there are any solutions. GM customer care hasn't helped one bit.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
300

It's been two years and I'm still having this issue.. warranty done.. nobody can fix it .. it just comes and goes .. I'm just gonna have to learn to accept it until I can trade the car in. it's just fucked up wiring .. I keep hearing fuse, but what fuse and how come the dealership can't find it.. I give up, and I suggest y'all do the same. Chevrolet sent me a check for $1000, towards a trade in, they can't fix it. I have stalked the corporate office. It's a wrap. Good luck, I will be reading to see if anybody ever figures this out..

09 Malibu lt 3.6 with the 6 speed. Always was proud to wear my bowtie and mage the mistake of making my first new car this steaming pile. Trans went out at 60k miles, windshield laminate separation after 3 years, a.c. works when it wants to,left front speaker that also Controls audible warnings went out while the others still work. Brake lights on the blink, had seals on the half shafts go out, excessive brake wear in short periods, head lights that burn out every few months,replaced the battery 5 times. now the dash is lighting up every warning there is ,reduced engine power ,shuddering ,service air bags, esc,traction, then it will turn off at freeway speeds.open the driver for and close it again and hey it'll start up and run fine a few more minutes. When this pile started doing the seizure routine it also developed the front end whine as previously mentioned. Oh damn almost forgot the coolant leak on the passenger side /top of engine.it's the most expensive lawn art I've never wanted. Waiting on Chevy to come out with another special warranty so I can get rid of it in drivable condition. Might just accidently wrap it around a light pole since I have full coverage. Never again will I buy a new Chevy. F.u. gm ! The safety ratings that car got is why I bought it and i won't let my wife and kids near it now.

30

Ok.. I'm back. We had the 2011 Malibu/ brown. The mechanic replaced the throttle body and reprogrammed the computer. He said he done some other preventive maintenance as well. Tow and everything he charged me $600. So far so good!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
300

I changed my throttle body too, and got a new cord and everything... car still fucked up.. it throws the throttle body code when they put it on the machine to see why the service engine light on. It's always going to say throttle body. I hope u have better luck than me. I just had to replace the lower control arms .. it's running fine.. this week..maybe it was the control arms this whole time .. I doubt it .. keep u posted

15

Grease/lubricate all wiring connections. We had this problem for a year and almost stopped driving it. Also check if you have a sunroof because the tubing was undone and had been leaking water into wiring. Runs like a dream now. Cant believe my husband fixed it for free after even replacing the ignition switch with no luck

25

I will give that a try. Its a shame they sell you a car, but then you have to fight to get it fixed and pay for their guess work.

15

Just a update car running great, but also make sure you remove the negative battery to erase any codes. Will update monthly to make sure all is good.

15

Check the drivers side dash panel when you open the door, it pulls right off. There are 2 wiring connectors, grease both of them with some sort of bearing grease or electrical lubricate, we used plain bearing grease. Also under the hood there are many wiring connections, 2 connected to the computer next to the battery and one connected to the firewall above the battery, apply just enough grease to cover the holes not plug them. Please update if this helps anyone.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

The service ESC light came on and the power steering on the dash. Does anyone know what that means and where to take it to be fixed

It means gm found another sucker.don't feel bad this room is full of em myself included.if u have a malibu it means u are gonna deal with people in india telling you there's nothing they can do.get ready for a long hard tooth and nail fight.sell it, learn from it, buy a Honda or Toyota. Good luck

Our 2012 is doing this same crap. Started about a month ago at 96k miles after our local dealership repaired a bad connector in the airbag system. Service ESC, service traction control, reduced engine power, etc. It runs so rough when this happens, that it cannot be driven. It's funny how it never had any issues until right after they messed with it. I've never been more upset with a car in my life. My 07 silverado acts up a little, but it's got nearly 220k on it. I've always been a Chevy guy, but I won't buy another of their cars. The trucks are ok, but the cars suck. I don't want to spend another dime on this thing. If I could go back, we'd have a Camry.

25

UPDATE (9/14/2017)..my ESC saga. ESC was happening in the warm months -started in 2015. Dealership said it was the brake sensor- so replaced Aug 2016. Month later it came back. Two more trips to the dealership- could not diagnose issue. I let it go as it stopped during cold months. Back again 2017. I still ignored. Found out there was a brake light service bulletin (which I was having issues with) - had that fixed. BUT during that service they said "hey we noticed your BRAKE PEDAL SENOR isn't working" At that point I handed him the work ticket from a year ago. They replaced it as it was under the 1yr part warranty (barely). So one month with the new part and no sign of ECS. of course now the tire pressure sensor stopped working but I can live with that. Time to think about a new car..and not another Chevy ever.

enjoyed all the feedback as I find brake recall and steering recall sprinkled in. I had this happen and the reduced power setting causes the misfire/throttle body codes to appear. Ignore them and reset codes. Don't fall for carb/throttle/cylinder repairs until we solve the basics for less...again issue is Traction control not the engine. A major wire harness is just under / next to drink holder.. also there is well documented water leaks causing similar problems with corrosion or water present. norskygrl is correct - use grease to insulate it from moisture and prevent shorts.

My wife's 2011 malibu LTZ had the loss of power and traction control come up along with the check engine light. Sometimes the plastic cover on top of the engine comes loose and doesn't have a good seal on the air intake. This resolved that problem twice now. Just press down on the cover on top of the engine to seal it. Should have a better way of keeping it tight, but I haven't had time to Jerry rig something together together keep this from happening.

i have a 2013 chevy malibu it's happen to be 2times. i went home next morning i turn it on and the engine light was still on but it ran like nothing had happen. it has 114000 miles and i wonder how i will have to pay to get it fix

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