Chevrolet Malibu Stalling Problems

My 2000 Chevrolet Malibu has been having problems starting and stalling since I got it about a month ago. We replaced the crankshaft sensor (one of them, at least, the one under the engine near the oil pan) and the problem went away for a while, then came back. Found out there were some wires by the coil pack that could be moved to get it to work. Then had the car in the shop because I thought I had a head gasket problem, so I’m assuming all that stuff got removed during the compression check (btw, mechanic found a bad fan as the problem bad as in it didn’t engage at all). So got it back yesterday and all was well.

We drove it to school this morning, which is a good 15 mile drive and parked it. Pulled in too far and bumped my tires on the parking cement stopper. Put the car into reverse and the RPM’s shot up and went down and i backed out a bit, put it in drive and got back into the spot straightened out and the car is stalling. Messed around with the wires and got the problems to start up again.

My dad came and switched cars with me so he can mess with it and it died on him in the parking lot. He did the same thing to the wires and got it started but said felt them sticking to something. So is it possible heat from the manifold is shorting out the wires intermittently?

Yes, that harness you’re talking about is for the crankshaft sensor in the back side of the block. The wires run down behind the coil pack area and down the block, pretty much right along the engine/transmission mating area. Those wires can become chaffed, melted or just plain worn out. If by pulling around on them you can get the car stalling, you definitely need to either change that harness or rewire it yourself from connector to connector. That should take care of your problem.

The best i can do right now is put some insulation on the wires tomorrow afternoon. Any chance that would work?

Well, if the wires are frail due to back and forth movement over the years, insulation might not help. They are really probably just hanging on by a couple strands of wire and need replaced. You can try to insulate, or possibly secure the harness in a position that works for the time being, but eventually the wiring will fail completely and need to be fixed.

These problems are very intermittent. I can’t tell the condition of the wires since i can’t really see all the way down behind the block, but i do know that the problem usually arises from hitting bumps and stuff. Mechanic messed around with the wires and pulled them up a bit and tightened a zip tie on them and didn’t have anymore problems after that. Said he thinks they were sticking onto the manifold (it’s a 3.1l v6 engine), so they could have been grounding out into? Felt a click or snap when he was playing with the wires too. Almost like something up by the coil pack was loose and got put back into place. I do know for now that were gonna put some insulation on the wires and see if that works.

Yes, there could be a short condition due to them touching the manifold, and getting them away from that area can help. Good luck with the insulation of the wires, but just know you will need to fix it eventually!

Just informed me that after playing with the wires after the car stalled out on him he got them “tighter”. Not sure what he means by tighter, but apparently had no problems on the 15 mile or so drive back home in the car. Made an effort to go over bumps and what not. He thinks that that something was loose after it got taken off and put back on for the compression test, which is why he heard the sound of something snapping into place. But were still gonna insulate the wires as much as we can and gonna take the car to work and see if my Chevy Malibu is stalling out on the dirt roads and bumpy roads he goes down. We didn’t see any melted wires or anything, but apparently they were sticking to the side of the block a bit.

Ok, that info should just tell you what we already know is true. You have a problem with that harness. All of the messing around and pulling on them, trying to insulate them, secure them, etc….you could have had them fixed by now. If you want no more stalling problems, repair or replace that harness! Have a great night!

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