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2013 Chevy Malibu with intermittent hesitation and stalling (P0106 and P2227 codes)!
I realize that 2013 Malibu LTZ in the US is equipped with either 2.5L ecotec or 2.0L turbo charged engine. My Malibu LTZ is equipped with the 2.4L ecotec similar to the one in the 2012 MY as well as the 2013 Malibu ECO because it was manufactured in South Korea's GM plant.
I am somewhat mechanically savvy and I wish to share my experience with you all.
At around 55,000 miles, my very well maintained 2013 Malibu LTZ hesitated and gave me a warning on the dash Message Center "Service ESP". The problem lasted for a few seconds and it went away as quickly as it happened and my family and I were able to go on our way incident free.
This problem started to become more and more frequent in the few months that followed, until one day the car started to jerk and it stalled. This jerking and stalling became a frequent event on all trips. The car would drive just fine when I would disconnect the MAP sensor. Of course, based on the readings of the scanner and the normal engine operation once the MAP sensor was disconnected, I replaced the MAP sensor, but that did not fix anything. Then I replaced the following:
1. Spark Plugs (AC Delco 41-103).
2. MAF sensor.
3. Cleaned the CAT and O2 sensors.
4. Cleaned Throttle body (which looked very clean to begin with).
5. Replaced the battery.
6. Replaced the fuse box.
All was for nothing and I was left scratching my head thinking how to get rid of this car until I noticed that the TPS in the freeze frame data was at 33.7% at 0 RPM. So I went ahead and replaced the Throttle Body and the car was back to normal operation without any further incidents.
I hope this can help someone who is suffering from the same problem that I suffered from for 4 months. If you receive a P0106 or P2227 code in your GM car, make sure to check the Throttle Body first!
P.S. The dealership was completely helpless and hopeless and it was based on their suggestion that the fuse box, battery, and battery cable were replaced.
Update from Aug 18, 2019: A quick update,
Replacing the throttle body seemed to have worked at first but the same issue returned again after about 20 days, keep in mind this was an intermittent problem to begin with.
After further research and diagnosis, and considering that this is an internal injection engine, the problem was due to large carbon deposit on the intake valves. Once the valves were cleaned the car was as it was the day it was driven off the car lot.
Update from Dec 2, 2020: A quick update,
As of today, Wednesday, December 2, 2020, the problem has not reoccurred since the intake valves were cleaned.
Current vehicle mileage is 74,000 miles.
- Hassan H.,
Sareen, Bekaa, Lebanon