Mechanics

CHEVROLET MALIBU IGNITION SWITCH PROBLEM

2000 Chevrolet Malibu • 75,000 miles

Hi,
I have a 2000 Malibu 3100 with an electrical issue. I get error codes P0443 and P0449.

Starting a few months ago I was having issues getting the fuel pump to come on; the gas guage would go up and down for 10-30 seconds or so and finally when the pump kicked on the gas levels would come up. This prompted me to bring it to a garage try to get it fixed. They supposedly replaced ignition switch (not the key portion) and we picked it up and they charged upwards of $300. A day after we brought it home I started it up and while the fuel pump did indeed come right on, the gas guage didn't work, there was no gear selected on the dash panel (miles and gears were there but no gear was highlighted), no power is seemingly going to the HVAC system as not even the recycle/non-recycle lights are on (nor does the blower work). This is when the engine light came on (engine light was not on before we took it to the garage). Also, the idling RPM is up to 2000 and slowly comes down to normal, which is close to 1000. In addition, the headlights are not coming on while in the garage (in the dark) like they should be.

Not wanting to pay the garage more money, we bought a code reader to get the codes, and searched the internet and found out that these two codes (listed above) and the other issues are likely to do with a faulty ignition switch. So, we took the dash apart and got out the ignition switch and the ignition lock (key) cylinder. Now, we are unsure what to do from here to fix the problem. If anybody has any idea on what might be going on or how this problem could be resolved, that would be extremely appreciated. If you need any other details, I'd be happy to provide them.

Thank you in advance!
NOTE: When we took the ignition switch off, we noticed that the cable going into the back side was very loose, though would not actually come out unless we put in the key and turned to the "on" position. I don't know if this is normal or not. The vehicle also has a tilt steering wheel.
Avatar
User5
March 2, 2013.



443 and 449 are evap codes and most likely have nothing to do with that repair.

Is the connector for the switch burned? Common for burning and making bad connections.

The cable is for the shifter and key removal.

Roy

Roy,
I appreciate your response! There are 2 prongs (out of 6 total) on it that are discolored, though I don't know whether they're "burned" or not. If need be, I could take a picture of the prongs.

The reason why I wonder about the ignition switch (for all of the issues) is because of issues like this, which I have seen more than a few times around the internet: Thank you!

Tiny
User5
Mar 2, 2013.
Yes, post a picture but I think you found your issue.

Roy

Here is the picture:
http://i50.tinypic.com/308hyj6.jpg

The two prongs circled look exactly the same, while all of the other prongs look great. Does these look like "burns"/the problem to you?

Thanks!!!

Tiny
User5
Mar 2, 2013.
As you can see they are corroded and that makes for a bad connection and high resistenance.

What about the harness part?

Roy

Roy,

I just took a look at the harness, and I couldn't see anything obvious. All of the connectors in the harness looked the same, so I think it may be the ignition switch I showed you. I think I may order a new one and try it. I'll definitely post back with any results.

Thanks for your help; hopefully this solves the problem!

Tiny
User5
Mar 2, 2013.
As for the codes: P0443 is "Evaporative Emissions Control System Purge Valve Circuit Fault"

P0449 is "Evaporative Emissions Control System Vent Solenoid Malfunction"

If you need assistance with these after you get ignition figured out let me know.

BTW if the switch was replaced and the connector shows signs of burning or corrosion the option is to get another wiring harnes for the ignition switch (salavge yard or dealer).

Freemba
Mar 2, 2013.
Results: We replaced the ignition switch assembly, and it seemed to have taken care of almost every problem. All the prongs on the new unit looked perfect. Granted, I have only driven it a few miles since we put the new one in, but it's not idling funny, so I imagine that the error codes are gone, though I will drive my car more this week and make sure the engine light doesn't come back on. The car started right up, no problems with any gauges or idling, and there was power going to the HVAC controls.

However, one problem still remains. When I turn the blower fan on, it doesn't work quite right. My fan only worked on number 5 anyway, but when it's turned on that, it's not as strong as it once was, and after a few minutes the speed of the fan dies down and makes a funny noise that's a little hard to describe. It does seem to keep going (albeit slow), but it makes an almost clicking kind of noise as it spins. If you turn it off and wait a couple of minutes and come back it'll be back to where it started, then slowly go down again. I'm wondering if this may be the resistor or the bower motor itself? I had the resistor replaced 5 or 6 years ago, but thing blew after only 2 weeks so my HVAC system only worked on number 5 again.I don't know if this signifies some type of problem in that system or not. Also at that time the mechanic replaced something else in part of that system, but it was so long ago that I don't remember what it was; perhaps it was the blower motor.

Thank you! : )

Tiny
User5
Mar 10, 2013.
If the blower only works on HI then the resistor is most likely the faulty part. Once the resistor is removed it can be checked using an ohmmeter.( But in this case check the resistance while it is still installed but disconnected). The resistance on the meter will read high on the resistor LOW (blower motor speed) connection and a little less resistance on each higher setting with the HI setting having the least resistance.
Check and record these readings.
Next, run the blower motor on HI until it starts to slow down, then quickly read the resistance on the HI connector of the resistor. Compare it to the previous resistor HI reading. If this reading has more resistance than it did before, then you know that the blower was slowing down because of a faulty resistor.
If the reading is the same, then suspect the blower motor or its connection.

Freemba
Mar 11, 2013.
Hi freemba,
I knew the resistor was likely bad so I just went ahead and replaced that without testing anything (I don't have a multimeter at the moment), and it did seem to fix the problem where the speed of the blower subsides and makes a weird noise. However, that did NOT fix the speeds 1-4 not working. I remember taking it to a mechanic 5 or 6 years ago and when he fixed the problem of the blower speeds, there was an additional thing he had to fix to get it to work. But, that was so long ago that I don't remember what that was, and I don't have a receipt (and the mechanic has retired). Do you have any idea what this could be?

Thank you!

Tiny
User5
Mar 17, 2013.
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