pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
61,700 miles
Total Complaints:
31 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (24 reports)
  2. replace cable and (3 reports)
  3. ubec cable replaced (2 reports)
  4. replaced battery cables (1 reports)
  5. trying a new battery (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Chevrolet dealer.

problem #31

Sep 222021

Malibu 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

The vehicle began randomly powering off while driving, particularly when idling, at stoplights, or in stop and go traffic. It would restart on its own. I brought it to the dealership and they weren't able to determine the problem because there weren't any engine lights. They suspected an oil leak and kept the vehicle for a week to test for leaks. Once they ruled that out, they sent me home with a bill and still no idea why it was happening. Three months later, the engine died forever.

- Aj N., Minneapolis, US

problem #30

Apr 012019

Malibu LS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

Random total electrical system failure while driving...sometimes on the freeway, sometimes while stopped, all electrical shuts down, entire dashboard goes dark and power steering becomes disabled. Sometimes it goes dark and restarts itself in an instant. Sometimes it goes dark and wont restart, can't even take it out of park to push it, get the key out of the ignition and the hazard flashers won;t even work. I tried replacing the battery with no fix. Repair shops and dealer can't seem to diagnose the issue unless there is an error code (which there is not) or it is not happening at the time. Definite disaster waiting to happen.

Update from Dec 22, 2019: Finally got the car to act up near a Chevy dealer,,,,,,Dashboard lights were flickering when I turned the steering wheel...kept praying it wouldn't stall on the way.....told dealer not to shut it off as it would reset and the problem would vanish temporarily. It ended up stalling out anyway. However....they found GM memo #16-NA-303 which almost exactly described the problem. They found the positive battery cable had excessive resistance and replaced it. 6 weeks later and all is well. THANK GOD......

- mdietrich54, Canton, mi, US

problem #29

Nov 162018

Malibu LTZ

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

Over the last 4 weeks my car will suddenly just shut off mid driving. However, I have no warning lights on. I'm afraid to go pay $75-$150 for a full diagnostics just for them to say they haven't found anything. Luckily, I have not had this happen while I'm going highway speed. It usually happens when I'm idling at a red lights or moving through slow traffic. Either way, it supper annoying because there are no warning lights to indicate where to even begin to look for a solution!

- Abe H., Chicago, US

problem #28

Jun 292018

Malibu ECO

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Power loss while driving. Nephew was driving the first time it happened. First lost power steering while making a turn. Started back up and then happened again pulling them into the other lane (thank God no cars were coming towards them). Then left them stranded on the side of the road. They had AAA tow the car to a GM dealer where they said it was the battery. $211 to install a new battery to have my mom pick it up drive it 3 miles up the road and as she was turning into a parking lot the power steering locked up, the radio and air conditioning shut off and then it started giving error messages one after another on the dash. This time my mother almost hit a parked car. My husband and I I just left the day before vacation and we're very thankful we didn't take this car.

So we had it towed back to the same dealer who could not figure out what the problem was nor could they duplicate it. So I took to Google and found this site. I contacted them and told them about the battery cables that needed to be replaced and they told me that there was definitely a problem with the cables. Stating that the positive cable was "squishy when it should be tight and firm". Bruce at the dealership also stated "this is not wear and tear and appeared to be defective parts".

Because my nephew had my car while we went on vacation, the car was being fixed an hour and a half from where I live. Once it was fixed my mother picked it up and drove the hour and a half to my house and I have driven it for approximately 45 minutes since we returned and so far it appears that the issue has been fixed. These are definitely defective cables and GM needs to take responsibility for it before someone gets killed. I do have a case with them but have been playing phone tag with a representative assigned to it. I am considering contacting an attorney. The repair for the cables was $309 for parts and labor. I do not think that I needed a new battery but by the time we figured that out it was too late. So $521 later I am praying that the car is fixed. I am however going to continue to go head-to-head with GM about this. I cannot imagine what would have happened if we had taken this car on vacation with three children in the car and then pulled into another Lane on the highway.

The comments here saying that does someone have to die before GM takes responsibility for this but my opinion is someone could have already been killed. I would be interested to know how many head-on collisions have happened with the 2013 Malibu and the driver didn't live to tell that the car shut down and was probably accused of distracted driving. If you need information on how to fix your vehicle, please contact Gusweiler GM Center and ask for Bruce 740-335-2200.

- Terri O., Marysville, OH, US

problem #27

May 012018

Malibu 2LT Ecotec 2.5L Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

As others have reported on this site I have had the same issues and am a nervous wreck. The first time this happened was this past summer (not sure of exact date). We were travelling on the expressway when the radio would black out ......then the car started shutting down on me (everything!)....the steering would go out, radio, lights, blinkers, etc. I was terrified. Luckily there were no vehicles behind me and I took it as slow as I could all the way home which was about a 2 hour trip. This happened over and over.

After it happened the first time I started shutting things off - removed the phone charger, shut the lights off, etc. It did not matter. Took the car in and they said they had to take out the drivers seat and replace some cables I believe. As I look at this site it looks like that fix may have been a recall and I was charged!! (I'm going to check into that). I was nervous about driving it again and they assured me it would not happen again and seemed absolutely positive.

Well.....it has happened again and again.....

Most times this happens to me I have a bit of a warning as my radio is usually the first thing to go out and the screen turns black. I then prepare myself. I look for an escape route - can I get off the road quickly, are there other cars around me, brace both hands on the steering wheel, slow my speed and pray. More than once the left blinker seemed to be the culprit. I would stop using the blinkers too.

So - radio goes out, steering is lost, blinkers don't work, I believe lights go out but I'm not sure, car looses power and winds down fast and sometimes cuts all the way off.

Well......it happened in September where it shut down momentarily. I thought if it happens again I'll take it in. It just happened a couple of weeks ago momentarily and then today was major! 2-10-2019

I was driving at 50+ mph. Luckily not on the expressway. No cars were around me. It was a fast radio out, fast wind down and out of power and the door locks went on and off (this was a first). Luckily there was a driveway for me to pull in to and assess the situation and take a breather. Engine then engaged and things were back to normal.

I continued home, had another issue on the road but I was going slower as I was aware this may happen again. I pulled over and continued. I had to stop at the store and was pulling into a parking spot and car was trying to shut down and steering went out more than once until I finally got in the parking spot.

Drove home, parked, I had the windows down and they eventually went up but took a bit. I came in and read the owners manual. Decided to go out and check the fuses. Hit my fob to make sure doors were unlocked and fob was not working. Got in car, put key in the ignition and car was totally dead. Key would not come out of ignition. My husband says he'll jump in the morning and take to dealer.

I actually love this car except for this major issue!!


Update from Mar 12, 2019: 3/12/19 - Car went to the dealer and they had it for a week. They said I needed a new battery ($380). I did not have them put one in....if that was all I needed before when I was having this issue then why did I have to pay more than $600 for that fix. Anyhow, drove it slow on back roads and kept having issues. Car would not start one morning and went to O'Reilly to get a new battery. It's been in about a week now and I have not had any further issues but I am too afraid at this point to drive on the expressway so I'll give it a while before venturing out on the highway. I just hope this takes care of the issue!

- dissatisfied, Chelsea, US

problem #26

Oct 062018

Malibu LS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

I have a 2013 Chevy Malibu LS. The car dies while driving and the service power steering light comes on. I have read several comments on this site that has had the same problem. I can take the ground cable off the battery and it will reset it, for a while. This has happened 5 times in the past two weeks. I have it scheduled to take to a dealership tomorrow.

- Randy S., Nicholasville, US

problem #25

Jun 272018

Malibu 1LT 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,909 miles

Been dealing with this problem for a while. While I'm driving the radio, dash and anything electrical cuts off. Then jerks the car to the left or right almost either hitting another car on oncoming cars on the side of me. Then it comes back on and able to gain control again. It doesn't matter if I'm stationary with feet on the brakes it does it then too. I have been having issues with this car since I brought it. Check engine lights comes on every so often but of course never know why it comes on or if the problem is fixed. The statement I get when the engine light comes on is "engine power reduced". Can't accelerate to get going. Its loud and idles high but can't tell me why. I only had this car for 3 years almost and the dealer keeps telling me it's wear and tear. It can't be that. I don't care how much you drive a vehicle, the issues are too many and dangerous. I wish I never got the car sometimes. This is going to cause me to get in an accident or something. Nothing is ever done to avoid this. Putting in too much money to keep trying to fix the same issue constantly. Scared to even drive to work or around the corner. I have kids I have to drive around. So over it!

- tatkins40, Virginia Bch, US

problem #24

Nov 042017

Malibu LTZ 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,064 miles

Since February 2017, I have been dealing with electrical/steering issues with my 2013 Malibu LTZ. Whether stationary or in motion, the car loses all electrical power, power steering, radio, etc. All dashboard lights go out, come back on. Several times, my car has completely died after I put it in park. It doesn't matter whether I'm traveling 10mph or 55+ mph; the problem still occurs. It has happened while turning right or left, while parking, as well as traveling down the highway. It is dangerous, and I'm afraid to drive it more than a few miles from home. During the past several months, my car has been in and out of my local dealership numerous times, and they can NOT pinpoint the issue. They've "attempted" to fix it each time, but it continues to happen. I have also contacted GM corporate THREE times. I am shocked that nothing has been done after seeing all the similar complaints about the same make/model car!

- Kimberly B., Homer, US

problem #23

Nov 012017

Malibu LTZ V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

I picked my daughter up from practice today and on the way home my radio screen went black and the power steering locked and lost power to my car going around a curved road and it veered into on coming traffic and almost had a head on collision. The power came on and I was able to swerve and barely miss the car heading straight at us, I had to pull over to get myself together and calm my daughter down because it scared her to death!!.... My daughter and I were almost killed driving home today and so I called to schedule an appointment to have my car looked at in the morning, so I decided to look at the recall list to see if this was just some kind of a fluke but after reading these complaints frustrates the hell out of me to see that CHEVROLET has been notified about this problem and has not recalled these damn vehicles.. I guess someone will have to be killed before they take any action on this matter!! I don't feel safe driving my car now knowing others are having the same issues!!

- Karon E., Atlanta, US

problem #22

Oct 142017

Malibu LTZ 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,340 miles

Had vehicle serviced by a Chevy dealer-transmission flush, air, cf filters replaced, oil change with filter replaced, tires rotated. Less than three days later lane departure light comes on. I disabled and enabled. All seemed fine. Next day the Traction Control System warning light comes on, car has reduced engine power. Mechanic to work on it .

- paulinetap, Worcester, US

problem #21

Sep 202017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My DIL is having the SAME issue with her 2013 Chevy Malibu just shutting off while driving. Most days, the car won't even start and we have to call AAA and have even had the battery replaced. Taken into Ferman Chevrolet, Brandon, FL where the car was purchased and they look at it and say they can't duplicate the problem. The very next day the car would not start and after disconnecting the battery terminals and reconnecting, it started and was driven directly to the dealership where they say they won't work on it because the fuses are blown in the battery connector and want us to pay to fix THAT before they will even try to diagnose the original problem! Mind you, THEY were the last to work on the vehicle 2 days prior!


- Lori J., Brandon, US

problem #20

Jul 072017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

2 weeks ago as I was coming home, my radio went off, instrument dash lights went off, and power steering shut down. Just for a couple of seconds but did it 3 times by time I got home. Took to dealership very next morning and was told, "can't duplicate the problem" and was sent home. This morning while driving 65 miles per hour on highway, it happened again! Car does not stop but I have little to no control of the steering! I was able to make it home, called a tow truck to deliver the car to dealership, but just received call again indicating, "can't duplicate the problem" and to come get my vehicle! I am going to print some of the other similar comments and take with me to the dealership!

- Gwen G., Lee's Summit, US

problem #19

Jun 012016

Malibu ECO 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,887 miles

come up with the fix please so this thing can be corrected. hopefully before I go broke!!!

- James T., Baltimore, MD, US

problem #18

Aug 052016

Malibu LTZ 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,981 miles

I have a 2013 Chevy Malibu LTZ. While we are driving there is a loss of power. The car shuts off and turns back on,also the Electrical System completely shuts down while driving it.The gauges go crazy reading all kinds of codes.When experiencing car's loss of power the steering and brakes lock up, losing complete control of the vehicle. When the car shuts down the Radio shuts off & Wipers come on and different codes appear. This Is Dangerous while on the road with other vehicles!!! We have avoided being killed a few times! We Have sent it to the Dealership to have it diagnosed but they can't seem to find the problem...They keep replacing parts but it is not fixing the issues! I Have bought the car to the shop 4 times for the same problems,paying Warranty Deductible getting nowhere! This issue has happened to us 7 times in one day,every 2- 4 minutes apart.Though it seems to not show out for the Dealership Service Department workers. (Which they seem to know about the problem,but Chevy wont rectify the situation.) We have shown videos of this matter from our car. The car is a weapon on the roads!!!

- Tonia G., Lincoln, US

problem #17

Jan 012017

Malibu LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

the computer system shuts down, loose power steering - had to dealership 5 times, first time they sold me a new battery, not the problem, second time they replaced battery cable wires, not the problem, 3rd time worked on heating and air and radiator, why I have no idea, the last time it was in the replaced the power steering rack, two weeks later I am having same problem only this time when it shut down the windsheild wipers came on windows rolled down and car completely died. It is at the dealership again. Not sure what they don't understand that the computer is not working and shutting down and rebooting.

- Carolyn H., Yorktown, IN, US

problem #16

May 312017

Malibu 2LZ 2.0lturbo Dohc 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

Okay, I had already had my car in twice. First they repaired and wrapped wires under the front passenger seat that had chaffed. $55.45 and a 3 days no car.

3 days later at a red light sitting idle, radio just went off screen went black. So it was not fixed.

Brought it into the dealership and they said my car needs a new radio. But they had to order it. The day I got the call that my radio was in, they didn't have a loaner for me to get to work until next week. I was on my way home from work, rush hour. I was at a red light waiting for green, my whole car shut down/off. My car was dead, cars were honking and I was leading the pack.

Right now I was told today they put a new radio in. But they want to keep it because they have not diagnosed the problem. As soon I brought it in they plugged the BOX in. I asked them to google it and they would find a lot of complaint with the same issues I am having.

I don't feel safe in this car. It scares me.

- Wanda M., Grand Rapids, MI, US

problem #15

Nov 182013

Malibu 2LZ 2.0lturbo Dohc 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,132 miles

Bought the 2013 Malibu new in February. November the car started to act like I needed to give it gas or it was going to stall. Got the car to the dealer, first they said it was the head. They got the head in and covered it up, because they didn't have the pins. 2 1/2 weeks later. Yah the pins came. But it's not the head " We need to contact GM you need a new engine.

One month later. New engine. N/Charge. Several loaners. One week with no car. When I got a call to see how they did I said good. But I think they should also pay for one month car payment since I could not drive my new car. It took a month or two but the did.

* This was my first clue the car was a lemon* -Engine -Coolant leak -Excessive Crank no start -Both rear wheel hubs -Now electrical problem over a month now and 3 visits. Car stops while driving, dash goes, radio goes. Car goes dead, Steering locks.

Many dollars thrown into repairs, on a car that is 4 years old. Besides making payments. I don't trust GM anymore.

4 years later I don't trust my car, sounds like many other people don't either. If our car doesn't kill us it may kill someone else. Then what?????

- Wanda M., Grand Rapids, MI, US

problem #14

Jun 052015

Malibu Chrom 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

I have had this car for two years when I first purchased in May 2015 it ran fine but, after two months I started having problems. The car loss power three times. Once a car cut me off and I hit my brake and the steering column locked and the car lost power. Fortunately I was still able to avoid the accident.

I took the car to a Chevy dealer and they couldn't anything wrong with the car. As a courtesy they changed the battery. I had purchased an extended warranty when I bought the car :( I have occasional glitches after that and then last fall I would use the auto start on the car and it started losing power again. When I would drive the car it would just lose power, everything would shut down for like a second and then power back up again. So I stopped using that feature and the problem stopped.

The week before last I was driving in a curve and the steering wheel locked and the car lost power and started going into the other lane. When I hit the brake all power came up and then it stated the alternator error and second key error. Which I only have one key. I had my mechanic look at it and we looked on here for the fix. I bought the positive battery cables and he installed them and all was well until yesterday. IN 5 am traffic my car lost power. When I turned on my signal light it lost power. When I put it in park it lost power, everything went black and the engine shut down.

If anything happens to me I have to my kids and my family to sue the pants off of Chevy/GMC because I am a single mom and that car is my only means of transportation. And if any thing happens to my kids when they are in this death trap I promise if it takes me every dime I can find I will sue GMC because they will fix the sunroof free of charge but, will not take electrical problems that makes a car lose power while driving on the freeway and that can make steering columns lock so you can't avoid a crash is more serious then I will make it my life's mission to make sure they won't make that same mistake again.


- Tina D., Humble, TX, US

problem #13

Feb 022017

Malibu LS 2.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,233 miles

As many others I have found out from this page have a very similar problem with the radio flicking on and off multiple times, interfering with steering by slight locking (very uneasy almost scary on the highway) and multiple other things controlled by the electrical system. Chevrolet here is acting as though this is a problem. The problem has gotten worse and my mother is at her wits end being scared that if she signals her steering is going to cut out. I find it astounding that not only could I find hundreds and hundreds of people that had the same problem and that the one user even provided the solution and part numbers right on this page, I believe it was complaint #8. Very disappointed as they are giving her problems because it is just out of warranty. I believe as do others it should be considered a recall issue and that the consumer should not have these issues with a car that now only has 41 000km that's approx. 30,000miles. Absolute garbage. Because of all the helpful reviews and youtube videos and videos I've taken on my tablet she or I should not be paying for this. Is it going to take someone crashing and having lawsuit bigger than they can handle to have morals?

Update from Apr 7, 2017: Again, like many of the dealership "not having any clue about this". I didn't believe him and wondered how it only took me 10 minutes and this site which seems fairly reputable and genuine having the problems down to every last detail. Of course I got the well we certainly don't want you in an unsafe car so they provided a courtesy vehicle for free but said they would not pay for it out of their pocket but they will talk to GM and try to get it recall status or fix it for free. I'll update again when their "advanced technicians" confirm the problem with the UBEC and fuse leads being poor quality and after those cables were replaced it worked fine. If I have to pay for it out of my pocket when the car only has his few miles on it, I will fix it, sell it, and kiss GM goodbye.

- Derek M., Kelowna, BC, Canada

problem #12

Oct 102016

Malibu LS 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

So the car randomly loses power and of course I cannot steer the car during these times. I took it to the dealer who replaced the negative cables just like some other people have had done. Did not fix the issue. It has been in the dealership 3 times and is now back with GM. They have had my car for 9 days. This ought to be a recall and have someone find the fix.

- Paul E., Peoria, AZ, US

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