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2016 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems: loss of power

Loss Of Power

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Chevrolet dealer.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
37,200 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. engine overhaul (3 reports)
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2016 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

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2016 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #11

Oct 192019

Malibu LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles


I have had a problem since I got my 2016 Chevy Malibu with the engine power reducing. I can be in the freeway and full speed traffic and suddenly my car loses power almost causing me to be hit from behind. It’s awful and it’s dangerous and I have asked the Chevy dealerships about recalls.. They want to charge me almost $500 just to check it out. I shouldn’t have to pay that when this is definitely an issue with the Chevy Malibu.. I wish I could sue them...This happens to me about 1x a week and it’s annoying!!!

- crystalmitchell, Katy, US

problem #10

May 122019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Good day! I have a 2016 Chevy Malibu and my daughter has a 2017 same model. Within the first 2 months of purchase I find it really strange that both of us have had to have the gas pedal replaced due to a sensor malfunction (Purchased cars at different dealers one under warranty one not). Surprised that the one NOT under warranty has the same exact issue one year later! Go figure! I have always purchased Dodges but decided to give Chevy a try-what a huge mistake ESPECIALLY since seeing the number of individuals with the same issue and Chevy is NOT offering recalls! #SHAMEONCHEVY!

- Michelle P., Minneapolis, US

problem #9

Oct 222018

Malibu LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

I got my vehicle in May of 2018. A month after having it I noticed a leak in the back window. Took the dealership 3 times to get it fully fixed. I went back a month after the leak was fixed because I was having loss of power in my engine. They told me it ran perfectly fine and was nothing to worry about. They lied.....I'm pretty sure they didn't even look at it.

I took it to a different shop a week later to have it looked at and they were able to figure out the problem within hours. There wasn't much they could do at that time to really know what the main problem was, all they could tell me was that the engine might not last much longer. A month later I was told I needed a new engine for my 2016 vehicle. As I'm sure many would be, I was furious. How can a 2016 vehicle need a new engine already?

Thankfully I purchased an extended warranty for the vehicle otherwise it would of cost me around $6,000 just to fix. Now that I have a new engine in, I am still having problems. It now sounds like there is a river flowing under my hood and my acceleration isn't the best. I will have to take my car back to the shop AGAIN.

I bought a newer car to not have to deal with these issues. All I can say is I am very disappointed with Chevy for not fixing this problem and putting out a recall for their engines. Chevy should recall all these vehicles back to the shop and fix all the issue with it because trust me there are many!!!!!


- Deanna K., Clearwater, KS, US

problem #8

Sep 202018

Malibu LT 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,600 miles


So here is my story about my 2016 Malibu LT. Since February of this year, I have had at least 5 engine check lights. The first time the Chevy dealer pulled code PO6DE. Invoice remark was, "it was that is has log engine pressure after major engine work. Note: I did loose engine power. This is exactly how it is written on the invoice. Also, said "has to come in for further diagnosis" Chevy dealer did not follow up on that! Also they replaced the oil pan? Between February and May of 2016 the engine light came on 2 more times. 1st one was a blinking light and stayed on for a few hours and went off. 2nd one in May check engine light came on but this time a steady light and loss of power. Took it back on May 16. They scanned for codes, again I had a loss of power, the code found was P2138 accelerator pedal position (APP). Paid for this service $354.78.

Now on to most recent. Check engine light came on September 20th constant light. Went to Chevy dealer and I asked for a loaner car, they did not have one available, so appointment was set for September 25. Service did not say that if this problem would cause any more problems. Afternoon of the 20th, received a phone call from service adviser, saying engine was leaking oil into cylinder # 1 and it needs to be replaced. All cylinders need to be replaced. Initial cost to me was $3,000.00. I could not afford nor did I feel I needed to pay for this based on previous check engine lights. I told the service adviser I wanted to pick up the car, but he said, Let me see what I can do. About an hour later he said the cost to me would be $1,900.00. I said no, I want my car back.

About an hour later I received a call from Service Manager and he said, " I called GM and because the car is 1600 miles over the warranty, they could now fix the car for $1,500.00. I asked if I could take my car back, still can't afford $1,500.00. His answer to me was, If you take the car back, you might have a catastrophic engine failure and the engine could blow. Well at this point I relented and agreed, yes I was stupid, but I really had no other choice? So now the car is still in service, I was told that some of the parts are back ordered etc. I have seen on this website many owners of the Malibu have had similar problems. I know I am 1600 miles over the warranty, but in my opinion, should the dealer taken the next step when the car was brought in to check the cylinder pressure?

Last but not least, One day I started the car and it was a rough idle. I was a hot day so I figured it was something that would clear up. It didn't. At stop lights I was hoping the car wouldn't stall. I then received a message from Onstar by text that the stabletrack had a problem. I called the dealer and they said "Not sure what that meant" The problem went away after about an hour of driving. But maybe the service adviser I called should have said. Please bring in the car so we can look at it. It was shrugged off.

I will press this issue with the dealer when the car is ready, I will refuse to pay the $1,500.00 and I will, if necessary go on social media as well as contact my attorney if need be.

I believe that GM has known about this problem and it looks as though there are many of us who feel GM has dropped the ball with this I-5 engine. So does 1600 miles make GM run from this problem?

- John P., Gaylordsville, CT, US

problem #7

May 072018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,003 miles

I am realizing that the 2016 Malibu cars really have issues. From day one with this car we bought in June 2016, we have been taking this car to the dealer. We heard funny sounds take it back to the car dealer, everything is fine. Get on the road and the engine powers down and the car is wobbling on the freeway and no power. It is a good thing that we were close to our exit to get off, we would of been in a serious accident if we were going any faster.

I have complained to corporate about there car that I was sold a lemon. They don't care. I have lost complete trust in Chevrolet the car is only 2 years old less than 30,000 miles on it and its like every 2 to three months were taking the lemon back to the dealership. This is ridiculous.

We had a Toyota 1998 almost 200,000 miles on it and never had to take to the shop as much as we have to take the Malibu.. Never again will I buy a Chevy!!!!! This weekend again the engine light came on so what now??? 08/25/18. Sick of it!!!! I wish I did get a lease so this could be my last year driving it...

- K N., Sourhfield, US

problem #6

Mar 012018

Malibu LT 1.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

We purchase a 2016 Malibu LT back in July 2017. Within a couple months we noticed we had lost some power and it would lurch from time to time when shifting. Going 65 down the freeway it lurched so bad I thought it was going to stall and then the check engine light came on. I made an appt to get it looked at but by the time I brought it in the light was off and their diagnostic didn't come back with anything. Another week went by and now the car is no longer auto-stopping or shifting well. We brought it back to the shop again with direction to not return it until they figure out why it's acting up, after 3 days I finally get told the engine has a cracked piston. Apparently this is a common problem. They had to completely overhaul the engine. NOT HAPPY!

- Shalaine L., Maple Grove, US

problem #5

Feb 252018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles


We have had this Malibu for less than 2 years. It has always ran a little rough and we were always told it was normal. On our way back from a family vacation 2 hours from home the check engine light came on and there was loss of power. Misfire in cylinder 1 multiple times.

Took the car to Chevy and it sat there for a week them saying they had no idea what it was and they need to take the engine apart to find the fix. Cracked piston, Chevy replaced the pistons and gaskets. The problem with this fix, it isn't a fix, its a band-aid till it happens again. How do I know this? I work for a car rental company who has over 3000 cars in the fleet, over 40 Malibu's have had this exact issue, 10000 miles later, it happens again.

The Chevy Cruze with the same engine, same exact issue. Chevy needs to come up with a recall for this issue, if it doesn't happen again within 12k miles, I will be up the road without wheels with this POS engine.

- Kelly L., Brookville, IN, US

problem #4

Jul 032017

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

So I'm visiting a friend for a couple days and on the day of departure my car engine light came on and blinking. Warning notification came on "Service StabiliTrak". I experienced loss of power as i reversed, accelerate and stopping at lights. The issue gets worst when i have the AC on. 07/03 I took my car in and gave me a loaner truck for locate driving. Had to call in for work being 4 hours away. Will keep updating on issues.

- loneeag1e, Kayenta, US

problem #3

Nov 162016

Malibu LT 1.5t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,548 miles

I bought this car 2 months ago, last wednesday while driving really slow in the morning in heavy traffic the car suddenly "reduced engine power". Apparently the car was off just in the middle of a highway. A police drag me out of the track. After one hour a wrecker pick me up and take me to the GM dealership. Being there the car started normally with check engine alert on. They read the codes and a "vacuum sensor" was reason of the problem, but since at that moment it was working normally, they asked me to test it for some days. They haven't been able to reproduce the problem yet (4 days after). I've read more cases, some of them with the throttle position sensor problems and others. To me it seems that particularly this problem in the car won't be fixed, nobody is able to reproduce the failure, I'm thinking seriously that the only way to fix the problem is sell the car and buy another one from the competition. I'll try to keep you informed of there is a fix for this

- Julio C., Guadalajara, Mexico

problem #2

Jul 012016

Malibu LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 700 miles

In June of 2016, my husband and I purchased a brand new 2016 Malibu LT. about 3 or 4 days later, I started the car and began to pull out of the parking spot onto the road and had almost no power. It felt as if I was towing a huge boat. It lasted for about 3/4th of a block and it stopped and acted normal. I let it go, figuring it was a brand new car and maybe needed to work out some kinks. (I have never owned a brand new car before). About 2 weeks later it did it again, and there was also a loud rattling noise. Almost like a piece of sheet metal being drug on the ground. I took it into the dealership and they could not "duplicate" the problem and sent me home with it. It wasn't until about 3 weeks later that it did it again, then it went another almost month before it did it again. I figured if it did it again, I would take it back again. Well 10 days ago, I was coming home from work in the morning, driving up a highway mountain where the speed limit is 55. I lost power again. I couldn't go anymore than 12 mph. I had nowhere to pull off at on this single lane. I had to continue to drive it for another mile or so, which by then I couldn't go anymore than 7mph. Just as I got to an area where I could pull off, a tractor trailer came flying around the turn and almost hit me. He was obviously going at least 55 mph. It was the scariest thing I have ever been through in my life. I did manage to just get out of the way at the last second. I was only 3 miles from home and after I calmed myself, I drove the rest of the way home. I immediately contacted GM (I already had a case open with them from before), they advised me to take it back to the dealership. I called the dealership and told them what was going on, I told them this brand new car with now less than 5,000 is a death trap and I am not driving it until it is fixed. They did come pick it up and brought me a loaner. A week later, the salesman I dealt with, along with the service tech called us. They explained that it was not bringing up any fault codes on the computer, GM has no other complaints of this, and they have put around 150 miles on it and it has not done it to them. I again explained to them that it will sometimes go 3 or 4 weeks where it will not do it then it does it out of no where. They asked what we wanted them to do. I told them to keep it for a few more days and see what happens. Today, 10/24/2016, the service tech calls me and tells me that it still hasn't done it for them and they need the loaner car back because it was sold. He also told me that he "tweeked a few things in the engines turbo and MAY have inadvertently fixed the issue"

I asked if he was serious. Yeah he was. I contacted the sales manager who gave me the same run around. They cannot duplicated it. I expressed how it normally goes anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks without doing it. He said there was nothing further they can do. If it does it again to bring it back and they'll test it out again. I told him I do not feel safe driving it and will not drive it or put my children in it. He had nothing to say. I asked if it was his wife would he feel comfortable with her driving it? He again had nothing to say. The conversation ended with me telling him my husband would be dropping it back off to him this evening and I hung up. I then contacted another manager who put me into contact with one of the owners of the dealership. I explained the issues and my concerns. Now they will be coming to get the car again tomorrow and "putting a couple hundred more miles on it" to see if they can figure out the issue. This is exhausting and stressful!

- Nicole H., Williamsport, PA, US

problem #1

Jan 182016

Malibu LT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles

engine loses power and will not go over 2 mph

Vehicle was purchased from BiCal Chevrolet in Valley Stream Long Island NY it has been driven a total of less than 50 miles by me has been in for service for 3 days so far with NO solutions of today 1/20/2016. This is a brand new car and the dealer has it longer than i have. they say it's the STARTER and are replacing it and will keep checking for malfunctions, meanwhile i own an unreliable vehicle for $32,000.00...will keep updating as solution progresses

Update from Jan 21, 2016: Got my Malibu back from service 1/20/2016 4;PM Starter was replaced. Seems to be working right now. Will keep a post open just in case... Thank You for the opportunity to vent

Update from Feb 21, 2016: same problem 2/21/16......Engine loses power and will not start,just a whirring sound like it is trying to connect towed to dealer on 2/20/16...not a reliable vehicle

Update from Feb 25, 2016: got the car back on 2/25 service says>> the FUSE BLOCK was bad and was replaced.and everything checks out OK Time will tell seems like a fishing expedition so far will keep the post going

- speedseekerc6, Oceanside, NY, US

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