Print this page


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,449 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Aug 262011


  • 3,400 miles


The engine keeps reducing power the engine light comes on after the car engine power reduces especially when the car sits idle warming up.the throttle body must be a defective component part of the car I took it to my mechanic he did a diagnostic tests and the codes said throttle body.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #36

Dec 232014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 72,520 miles
I was driving home from being out of town on 10/15/13 while driving on the freeway while driving about 80mph when out of no where the car started to shake and vibrate then the "traction light, service ESC, engine power turning off and car went from going 80mph to 10mph on the freeway, while a big diesel truck was behind me in which I was to be able to pull to the side to avoid being rear ended by the diesel, in which I had my 8 yr old daughter in the car and other family members. On December 23,2014, the same thing occurred while driving the car at 60mph it reduces speed to almost zero mph, shakes with the "traction sensor light and "service ESC engine power turning off comes on and the car stalls! leaving me stranded and having the vehicle towed again! the first time this occurred the dealership told me since the engine light wasn't on anymore it would be difficult to diagnose!? I continued to drive the car until the second incident! I called 2 Chevrolet dealers in fresno, ca I was told they haven't heard any complaints, which is astounding because after reading the numerous complaints on this website of others having the same issue with the same car is unbelievable until there's a law suit!

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #35

Mar 152014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Since March 2014, I had instances where the Chevy Malibu I was driving warned me on the dash that I needed to service the ESC. It would tell me ESC turned off and traction control turned off. This message would disappear when I turned the car off and restarted. It started doing it more frequently so I called GMC on August 2nd. I had to wait 2 weeks until they could get me in to the dealer. This whole time my car was shutting off my traction control. The malfunction indicator light came on solid and stayed on for 3 days on September 12th. They paid to diagnose and found that my 4th cylinder was missing and was leaking 45%. on September 17th, they suggested $140 for a carbon coil flush to see if it could possible fix the problem. On September 25th they did the coil flush at 10 am. At 1:06 I got the message that ESC active. I went on a 2 week vacation and did not drive my car. On October 12th, at 2:08pm ESC warning and shut traction control off. October 13th, at 5am the warning indicator light came on solid. On October 27th, they replace my intake/exhaust valve on the left side. I have not received any warning lights since then, but I drove from August to the end of October with the car shutting off the traction control. I can imagine trying to drive in heavy rain and dying because I didn't have traction control when I needed it most.

- Carthage, MO, USA

problem #34

May 132014


  • 101,000 miles


I am having problems with my 2011 Malibu lt. It will randomly read "service traction" and "reduced engine power" and come to a stop. It is unpredictable and very very dangerous. I cannot afford to keep taking it to Chevrolet. They have the codes but said they have to replicate it. If you google Malibu loses power, service traction. You will see many coming up with the same issue and no one can fix it. Very dangerous!!! why hasn't there been a recall or something to fix this problem? I have no choice but to drive it and wish I never bought it. I have had this problem since April or May. True lemon!!!!

- York, SC, USA

problem #33

Dec 092014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
2011 Chevy Malibu with 30,000 miles. Several times in the past week, I was at a red light or stop sign and the car just quit! this is a safety danger. Someone is going to get badly hurt or killed. The dealership doesn't find anything wrong. This is a huge safety issue!!

- Monroe, GA, USA

problem #32

Nov 282014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
I was driving my vehicle on at 50 mph and vehicle reduced to a unsafe speed with the error messages "service traction" "ESC off" and "eng pwr reduced". the unsafe drop in speed almost caused a car to hit me in the back. This is a very scary problem and if I was on the expressway and this occurred something very bad could have happen. A recall on the vehicle or the throttle body need to be made public before someone is seriously injure due to this flaw!

- Henderson, NC, USA

problem #31

Nov 222014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 76,867 miles


While driving down the highway, my power engine warning came on and the same as warning lights for ESC and traction warning. I just recently took my car into the dealer for fixing the recent recall problem and I wonder if it made my car worse?? will be stopping by Monday morning...if I make it home ok after I've had to stop and pull over twice to fix the problem.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #30

Nov 042013


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact indicated that the ESC sensor, traction control sensor, and the engine reduced power warning sensor illuminated several times. The contact mentioned that the failure mainly happened during cold weather. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The recall failed to remedy the failure. In addition, the contact stated that while traveling approximately 70 mph, the vehicle started to shake violently and drastically reduced to 10 mph which made operating the vehicle extremely difficult. The vehicle was merged over to the side of the road. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Robbinsonville, NC, USA

problem #29

Oct 012013


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 70 mph, the power engine reduced sensor light illuminated and the speed suddenly reduced to approximately 40 mph. The vehicle was merged to the side of the road where it was turned off and restarted. The vehicle resumed normal operation, but the failure recurred on multiple occasions and would only occur in colder weather conditions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 73,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #28

Sep 242014


  • 70,909 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the service traction warning light illuminated as the vehicle stalled. Also, the contact stated the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,909.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #27

Aug 132014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles


2011 Malibu was acting like it was not getting enough gas or bad spark plugs. Then the check engine light came and other indicator lights. Had a diagnostics ran and said that the fuel pump had a pin hole. Replace the fuel pump, got a tune-up ran good for a couple of days. Went to start the car again and it once again started acting as if it was not getting enough gas and engine light once again came on, service ESC, service traction. When driving on the highway it will sometimes slow down from the current speed. Found a recall concerning the service ESC, but the dealer said they do not think it has anything to do with that. This started when all of the code started popping up.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #26

Aug 062014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 70,450 miles
On August 6, , 2014 I had taken my 3 kids to the lake @ dreher island state park. Upon getting ready to leave I put on brakes to see what my son asked me.for no reason the car started moving forward & I couldn't get it to stop get the wheels to turn as it was very hard & pushed the emergency brakes & it kept going till it went in the ditch on a concrete terracotta causing it to bend a piece of what was told to me the a frame & under the front end! I called the dealership & told it wasn't possible. Before this happened I could park my car & the engine would act is if it was trying to go w/O me mashing the gas or anything then idled down repeatedly acted as if it was going to shut off! I've even had 2 buy 2 new batteries, fixing to buy another! they said a connection was causing the battery to be drained & cells killed. On the interstate 2 days ago I had the cruise control on, for no reason it started losing speed then would start catching back up on it's own & I turned it off! the motor made a screeching noise! I have no idea what's going on! even my tail lights wouldn't come on last night until I mashed the breaks a few times, cut off the lights, & restarted the car! my major issue is now I'm going to have to file a claim for the incident & I had no part of being @ fault & can't explain what happened! it still idles wrong & the cruise control light comes on @ times w/O me touching it! I'm beginning to worry about the safety of my children as well as myself, but especially my kids! what can I do? please help me as this can't be normal! so far the engine light has came on, power steering light, air pressure light, & @ one point a red light came on & went off before I could see what it was! if you could do anything@ all to help & assist me I would be truly grateful! all I'm told is parts aren't in to fix some kind of recall, but what I don't know! thanks & god bless!

- Newberry, SC, USA

problem #25

Aug 012013


  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the steering wheel seized making the steering wheel difficult to maneuver. The contact also mentioned that while shifting into reverse, all the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel and the engine stalled. The vehicle was able to be restarted. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact was aware of NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control) but did not confirm if the vehicle was included. The approximate failure mileage was 34,000.

- Sugarhill, GA, USA

problem #24

Nov 052013


  • 60,000 miles
I had my 2011 Malibu serviced at marty feldman Chevrolet for rotors, brake pads and all fluids changed because of mileage in July November 2013, I began hearing the same noises that lead me to have my rotors replaced on the driver's front side. I went to serra Chevrolet who stated I need rotors and brake pads. I explained I had just had that work done. After proving with my paperwork that I had the work done, serra Chevrolet stated they could replace the rotors and brake pads because the parts were still under warranty. Marty feldman Chevrolet sales manager stated I could bring it back there; however, due to convenience I allowed serra Chevrolet complete the repair work. A week later my engine light came on. I took the car back seven times before they were able to correct the problem. In the meantime; in February the noise from the rotors returned. Because I had to drive over 40+ miles back and forth (seven times) to have the engine light repaired; I was told my rotors were not under warranty. After contacting GM consumer complaint and not settling for a no answer; serra Chevrolet stated they gave me new rotors and brake pads. However, in April, the noise returned and no-one is willing to address my problem or concern. I had my attorney prepare an official letter to send to serra and marty feldman Chevrolet. No comments as of yet. I am pursuing other means to get the problem before the public and to GM headquarters. I pay my car note each month and I have had car problems since July 2013.

- Clinton Twp, MI, USA

problem #23

Mar 082014


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the service engine, ESC, and traction control indicators illuminated intermittently on numerous occasions. A mechanic replaced the spark plugs, cleaned the oil sensor screen, and stated that the failure code indicated a misfire. The vehicle was repaired, but the failures recurred. The service engine indicator blinked and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 72,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #22

Apr 042014


  • 78,000 miles
I was driving on hwy 35N on my way to my sister's house and the engine light came on saying engine power reduced. Out of nowhere, my vehicle would not go faster than 5 mph. The speed limit on that part of 35 is 70 mph. It was dark and I had my two year old daughter in the car with me. With cars speeding past me I put my hazards on and pulled onto the shoulder. My daughter was very shaken as was I. called my brother in law to come pick us up. He basically coasted it back to his house about 20 miles away. If it weren't for my quick thinking and driving ability, I might not even be here to talk about this. Very bad feeling.

- Angleton, TX, USA

problem #21

Dec 302013


  • 77,400 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated when she started the vehicle the engine power reduced warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle lunged forward and stalled. The dealer replaced the throttle body. The failure recurred and the warning light (ssible) illuminated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 77,400. The VIN was not available.

- Merrinett Park, IL, USA

problem #20

Dec 202013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
This has happened to me 6 times now. The first time this happened, I was about 70 miles outside of atlanta going 70 mph on the highway surrounded by 18 wheelers. Suddenly my traction light and service engine light came on and the reduced power notification came on, the car slowed to about 10 miles an hour very suddenly and the car was shaking violently. The 18 wheeler behind me could not stop fast enough and the only reason I was not hit was because I was able to veer onto the shoulder. Terrified, I sat on the side of the road for several minutes after turning the car off. I started it again and it began driving normally, but the service engine light stayed on. Since I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere and it was extremely dark, I got back on the road again to get home. I made it to atlanta, but the same thing happened again when I was entering the city on the loop. I basically coasted home. Since then, this has happened 5 more times. My car is currently at jim ellis Chevrolet in atlanta where I left it last night. Need immediate help. My entire story can be found on this forum. my posts are under [xxx]3. I am hoping for some sort of resolution so I will not have to retain a lawyer.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #19

Feb 012014


  • miles
2011 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle goes into "limp mode" while driving. Engine light, low traction warning and engine power reduced light would display. The consumer stated the vehicle would automatically and instantly lose power down to 25 mph. The vehicle would shake rather violently. The incident occurred over a period of 2 weeks. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and a diagnosis revealed 2 error codes. The throttle body and the screen on the exhaust camshaft position actuator solenoid valve was restricted and needed to be replaced.

- Wilmington, OH, USA

problem #18

Feb 172014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
While driving on the highway the display showed low traction, service ESC, and engine power reduced. The engine power was reduced and I was almost rear-ended by a truck. After pulling over to the side the engine began shaking at which point I turned off the engine. The same issue happened again a couple of days later.

- Barrington Hills, IL, USA

Read the next 17 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?