2012 Malibu Fuel/Start Issue - ECM?

10

Asked by Mar 08, 2017 at 08:54 PM about the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu LS FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2012 Chevy Malibu. In June of 2016, the
car would occasionally struggle to idle, but would
always start and run fine otherwise. In August, the
vehicle started having issues cranking. It threw a
code "fuel pump circuit failure". Mechanic friend
told us to change the fuel pump, so we did. Ram
fine for a few weeks, and then wouldn't start again.
Checked the relay and it was HOT. Changed relay
and seemed to solve the problem. 2 months later,
and the vehicle started having problems cranking
again. Discovered that a slight tap on the fuse box
(located in the trunk) would solve the problem and
the car would start fine. A few weeks ago, the
vehicle started dying out while driving, but would
pick back up after a couple of seconds. Last week,
the fuse box trick would not work, and it took
nearly 30 minutes to get it started. Any
suggestions before I sell my left arm to have the
dealer replace the ECM?

62 Answers

7,505

I think you have wires grounding out that shouldn't above the fuel tank , did you do the fuel pump or did the mechanic ? The cars not that old to have corrosion at that fuse box but maybe you should take a close look.

10

@beatupchevy We changed the fuel pump ourselves. Would it still explain the problems happening before the pump was changed? All connections in the fuse box look clean.

7,505

I would think a bad ECM would show up some how with a code scan ,scan again even if the light isn't on , anti theft can give similar problems but the way to fix it is to find out what the problem is first , the original fuel pump was probably O.K. the code said fuel pump circuit , you may need a technician ,

30

I've been experiencing the same problems with 2012 Malibu. Swithched the relay, bang on the fuse box but now it's getting worse. Did you ever figure out the problem?

3 people found this helpful.
10

Any resolution. I too have this issue (2012 Malibu 101700 miles)

1 people found this helpful.

And now I have the intermintent dying problem. Codes p0230, p0615, p0645, and b1325. Do these codes have a particular common point?

170

I'm not certain if it's just crappy wiring or when a fuel pump ages, it draws more and more power, thus overloading the relay and the effected connections. My wife's 2012 Malibu wouldn't crank, I replaced the fuel pump and it ran great for three days. Replaced the pump AGAIN and it started cutting out, shuttering, acting crazy in general. When it does, I pop the trunk, twist the relay and it works fine. I'm removing the fuse box this weekend for repair. Saw629 had a similar issue, and the dealer found a burned connector and a defective clip in the fuse panel: https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-t2017_ds544085 He was even kind enough to post a picture of the old connectors. I would HIGHLY suggest that you replace the fuel pump relay and inspect the fuse box in the trunk for overheated wiring and bad connections at the fuel pump relay. GM should be ASHAMED of themselves for using such small wiring: for years electric pumps in their early fuel injection systems used 14 maybe 16 gauge wiring; on many pumps they came with a new grounding connector. Now, they use cheap,cheap,cheap 18, 20 or even 22 gauge wiring that WORKS GREAT WHEN THE PUMP IS NEW. Unfortunately, when the pump motor gets older and draws more amperage, it begins to overload the system and burns up relays, thin wires begin to overheat and lose their connection at important junctions. I'll never forget the words of a service manager (I don't recall if he was a GM service manager or not) to my dad once, "Yeah, it's not built very durable, but it will make it out of warranty." MAKE IT OUT OF WARRANTY. Let those words sink in. I think that if enough people get a gut full of this mediocre manufacturing that will "make it out of warranty" and bull crap like having to practically remove an entire fender to replace a FREAKING HEADLIGHT and quit buying from car companies with this attitude, they will finally change their ways. To be frank, I was going to buy a slightly used truck or maybe even a new GMC or Chevy truck, but both of my Malibus have fixed that idea. Nissan or Toyota, here I come.

3 people found this helpful.
170

Saw629 was right! Well, actually his mechanic. Pulled the fusebox out of the 2012 in the trunk, and the wire was burned going into the connector! The wire (using a VOM) runs directly to 37a on the fuel pump relay. Call and thank GM for saving a few bucks on wire and costing all of us hundreds! My theory: as the fuel pump gets older, it draws more power (amperage) and heats up and eventually overloads the circuit; but not bad enough to pop the 15 amp fuse! The emaciated wire used by GM overheats at this critical junction and gets a faulty connection. I pulled the connector, installed a new one and SOLDERED the 16 gauge wire I installed (the original was either 18 or 20 gauge.) Car seems to be running fine; I drove it 150 miles last night and it ran fine, no glitches. I would suggest to everyone to check this connector if your fuel pump goes belly-up.

3 people found this helpful.
10

We stumbled upon the fuse box suggestion about 4 months ago. An $80 replacement fuse box seems to have solved our issues that no mechanic could figure out!! Order the entire fuse box (often called the BCM) and swap it out. It takes 4 bolts and is probably the easiest fix ever! 4 months after replacing it, and we haven't had one hiccup!! Car starts and runs like new!

170

Abercrombie716....did you check the tan wire (third slot from the bottom) for burns?

10

TheBugGuy - we checked every wire and connection for burns and discoloration. Everything looked to be in perfect condition aside from 1 or 2 connections being a little discolored (not black/burnt).

10

Ambercrombie716 . Where did you get the 80.00 part to fix it at ? can you email me at brianrivieraauto@gmail.com please

1 people found this helpful.
20

This sounds almost exactly like my 2012 Malibu issues!

2 people found this helpful.
10

I've had same problem with mine. Ran fine for 14 months now its doing the same thing again. Go General Motors website and send them an email. I already have a complaint started but need more people with same problem to complain in order for a recall.

1 people found this helpful.
20

I have a 2012 Malibu ltz same issues as u all. I replaced fuel pump twice thinking I got a faulty one no luck...replaced fuse box in my trunk as well as all the fuses and relays no luck...the other day my check engine light came on i took it to get the code and it says power failure to the fuel pump. And now it is getting worse shutting off while idling at a light I'm thinking it's the wires from the fuse box down if I tug on them car starts and usually dont cut off while it's running but that has changed too...really probably will not buy another chevy very irritating

7,505

all i"ll say is that 40 years ago there were cars that would literally fall apart with age but they still ran , today I'm hearing about cars less then 10 years old with all kinds of problems that can't be figured out , are we going backwards ?

1 people found this helpful.

Bought my 2012 Chevy Malibu a year ago 5 months in I've been having the same problem that you're all having. Took it to 4 different machnics and no one could figure out what the problem was. Finally got a chance to take it to a chevy dealership and my connector in my junction box is fried along with the wire.

20

Is the junction box the fuse box in the trunk? Is so I replaced that already but now I'm on to the wires coming from that box to the fuel pump and wherever else they go it's at the mechanics now hopefully it's not a lot to fix

30

Yes, the fuse box in the trunk is often called a Body Control Module (BCM) or junction box. Holly, I don't remember exactly where we got the part, but it was an online retailer. It actually came directly from a Chevy dealership service department in Texas - apparently they have a sidea hustle going on as well, just selling parts! They had to order it directly from GM, so it took about 2 weeks to receive, but it was the easiest and cheapest fix we've ever encountered!

30

I'm also not sure why CG didn't publish the correct username,but this was my original post :) Abercrombie716

20

I did the box already that didnt solve the problem well it did for a few months then it started again but now I'm doing those wires I'll let u guys know if it works

170

Our 2012 started acting stupid again (I had to hot-wire the fuel pump to get it home!) So I COMPLETELY bypassed the fuse-panel in the trunk. I went to O'Reilly's and begged them to print up the wiring schematic for me (they did) and I cut the computer feed wire to the relay, and the fuel pump wire and directly wired them to a relay. Then I soldered in a new ground wire, and tapped into the main power wire going into the junction box and soldered a in-line fuse to the relay. NOT A HICCUP SINCE.

1 people found this helpful.

Im having the same problems with my 2012 malibu. TheBugGuy how did you solve that problem? Or any body can help please.

20

All I know is its wiring dont not her with the fuel pump or fuse box that's not the problem it's the wires going to the fuse box from the fuel pump

1 people found this helpful.

Did you change the wires? If so did you doit yourself or pay and how much?

20

I'm doing the wires now not sure how much it's in the shop now my mechanic is checking each wire it's cheaper than buying the harness they only have one harness available apparently that is the small harness that's like $80 is the other harness I'm told is very very pricey so my mechanic is trying to find the correct wire that is burnt out without replacing the whole thing the only issue is my car intermittently does not start it starts when it wants and dont when it wants I do know if you took on the wires that are on the fuse box in the trunk when it won't start it does allow your car to start but that only lasts for a while little while and then that starts not working too used to be when you tap on the fuse box that would work that's stopped to

170

I soldered a in-line fuse (15 amps) between the main power wire and the relay, then I soldered in a new ground wire, and I cut the computer feed wire and hooked it straight to the relay, then the 4th wire to the pump. I completely bypassed the fuse panel for the fuel circuit.

1 people found this helpful.

Ok my 2012 malibu ltz is getting worse. I would just pull relay off and put it right back on and it would start. Now it takes a few time switching relays. Also it has stop on complete stops. Is it fuel pump or do i satart with replacing fuel pump? Any info please help

20

Its not ur fuel pump my car did the same thing try messing with the wires coming off that fuse box I bet it works u can try but I'm telling u it cost me 800 for the fuel pump 350 for a new fuse box and my car still does it it worse now it's been cutting off while idling at a light n I have to get out in traffic and mess with the wires a few time n it will start find someone who can test ur wires from ur fuse box to ur fuel pump my check engine light had came on I took it to get the code it comes up power failure to the fuel pump

20

As soon as I am able I'm trading it in to many issues to only b 6 yrs old its ridiculous I had to replace fuel pump fuse box radiator wheel bearing and back shocks plus something with my muffler

Maybe a stupid question but what tools needed to remove fuse box?

20

Not sure I pd a mechanic to do mine I think it's just 1 or 2 bolts holding it in there I still have my old one in my trunk I can look

30

There are 4 bolts. You'll just need a socket wrench (don't remember the size). The front panel with all of the relays just plugs in - you'll pull it off and plug your new panel in, and replace the bolts. 5 minute fix! I would replace this before I'd start messing with the fuel pump (5 minutes and $80 versus a couple of hours and $200). My replacement panel also came with all brand new fuses.

How do i remove this 4 thing holding junction box or how to remove it? Please help! Thank you for your feed back

30

Once the 4 bolts are removed, everything unplugs as a whole, just like an oversized relay. The 4 bolts are the only things holding it in.

30

Sorry, Just checked with my husband - there are plastic releases at the top and bottom holding it to the frame. Lift those and the unit should slide to the left and lift off.

I removed it i dont see anything burnt. Am i suppose to split the box open? Now what am i lookung for?

30

Mine wasn't burnt either. I went ahead and replaced the entire box and haven't had a hiccup since.

1 people found this helpful.

Where how much and how long agodid you replace it Cnabercrombie716. And thank you for your help

30

It's been 8 months since I replaced mine. I ordered it online and it actually came from a Chevy dealership service department out of TX. I can't remember the exact company but I'll try to find it.

1 people found this helpful.

How much was it? I would appreciate if i can get that webite. Thank you

30

This is what I found when I went back through my inbox. May want to double check to be 100% sure it's correct, but it states that it's the entire junction box (links change over time so I'm not positive it's the same part - I haven't looked at the description). It was $120 with taxes and shipping. https://www.gmpartsgiant.com/parts/gm-block- 20997645.html

20

This is supposed to be grey

You took that of tje junction box? Then what?

20

My fuse box was replaced in July of last yr mu car started messing up again last month...good luck I hope that solve ur problem but my experience it just masks the problem for a little bit then it starts again....btw mine was a dealership part bought from diane sauer Chevrolet with new fuses n relays ...I have it professionally fixed because I'm not mechanically inclined my dad is a mechanic for 40 yrs n neither one can figure it out I would appreciate if u update n tell what u did if u do something other than the use box I'm at wit's end

Krevon2 did you also change fuel pump?

20

Sorry I posted everything but I don’t see it now. So yes I changed the fuel pump. The only reason I did so was because they have to drop the tank to change this wire from the fuel pump relay to the fuel pump. I figured with all the problems and this wire being burnt I did Norbert want to take a chance that it could have messed up the fuel pump. I have to say my car has never ran better. I feel like I got all my power back in the pedal. What a great feeling to know that this crazy problem is over.

1 people found this helpful.

Austin good morning. How long has it been that you replaced everything and been running good with out a problem?

20

Yes did the fuel too did the tsb repair on it too checked all the wires can't find nothing wrong I have another guy this weeked who deals with electrical problems hes going to give it a go I'll let u know what happens

20

Just had it fixed yesterday. I’ll post once a week just so everyone can keep up. When I had the fuse box changed my car still didn’t run this good. But it did fix my starting problem for about 4 months. I posted a link in one of my post above to a ton of people with this issue. Two of them did the wire and it has also worked for them. I still think this is GM problem and they should be fixing this issue with the wire. I think it he gauge is wrong.

1 people found this helpful.
30

So that wire is running from the relay to the pump?

20

I agree that this is a GM problem and I'm saving all receipts because when they put a recall on this I want all my money back

170

I disagree with replacing the fuse box. There is no indication (that I'm aware of) that the new box has been upgraded (beefed up) to handle the load any better than the old one. I completely bypassed the fuse box, installed a inline 15 amp fuse, re-used the old relay (it works fine) and soldered all the connections. While it looks a bit weird, I KNOW THESE CONNECTIONS WILL HOLD UP. I even taped a diagram inside the fuse box panel in the event someone else needs to work on it.

1 people found this helpful.

TheBugGuyAny chance i can get a illustration or a pic of your diagram? I would really appreciate if you could help me out im so tired of it

10

Krevon2 they are not going to do a recall. I've talked GM and they need more people to call and complain. Please call GM

20

I did file a complaint online with highway safety something I cant remember exactly what it was called I tried to look for a place on gm site to file a complaint that's how I ended up where I was at

10

Krevon2 I went to chevrolet.com find email us and that hiw I got some one to call e back within 24 hours. She stated that they need more complaints and we need to take these cars to dealerships before they can do a recall. Not everyone can pay dealership prices. The only problem with this is if they don't fix it right the first time they will want to charge you every time.

20

Yes I know I'm already 1500 in and my problem still exists it annoying I have a guy this weekend supposed to be good with electrical hopefully he can find the problem I called a few dealerships here just to see if they had any ideas or issues like mine and they all said it's the fuse block in the trunk I told them that I already replaced the fuse box in the trunk and the fuel pump and all the fuses and relays in my problem still exists and their answer was I have a different issue then then what their customers had that I would have to bring it in and let them look at it in the car would have to not start for them to diagnose the issue is that my car does not start intermittently so we could go a couple days and it'll start and then we'll go a couple days where you have to mess with the fuse box in the trunk to get it to start and recently started stalling at the red lights when my car is stopped and idling which is a big problem for me I was becoming accustomed to juggle in the wires in the fuse box to get it to start can't deal with the stalling

20

I'm also not paying the dealership $100 + an hour to look at my car and when we have no idea when it will and won't start

20

I will go to chevy.com today and file a complaint and hopefully we'll be able to get somewhere soon with this issue it's ridiculous

1 people found this helpful.
10

This is getting very annoying that more and more people are having this problem and GM doesn't want to fix the problems. Everyone PLEASE email or call GM.

1 people found this helpful.
170

I'll get the wiring diagrams...can't post them (copyrights), but I can tell you which wires need to be connected to the relay; the relay's terminals are numbered. Give me a little time to get everything together and I'll post it.

1 people found this helpful.

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