2008 Chevrolet Malibu

Engine Performance problem
2008 Chevy Malibu 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 16,000 miles

Lately when I step on the gas the car hesitates before taking off and there has been a noticeable loss in power - very sluggish. Then on the freeway, I needed to hurry up and get over one lane so I stepped on the gas, the car shifted into a lower gear, but lost speed immediately and seemed like it was going to die! The more I pressed down on the gas pedal the slower it went so I let off the gas a little and it started to pick up speed again but sounded like it was winding out so I let off the gas almost completely until it shifted again. Also, for a couple of seconds the Traction Control light came on, then it faded but stayed partially lit a couple more seconds before it went off.

I took it to the dealer and they ran diagnostic which showed misfires in the history. The mechanic told me that he couldn't find anything wrong - he said it ran fine. He told me that without knowing which injector misfired he can't do anything. He said if it happens again to bring it to the dealer while the problem is still happening so he can hook it up and find out what's wrong, but if he can't recreate the problem he can't fix it.

I'm not comfortable picking up my car from them when they have done nothing to correct the problem, my car is under warranty - am I getting the runaround?
June 19, 2009.

GM has several tech bullitens out on this car, have your dealer look them up, pay attention to this one!
Various Driveability Symptoms Due to Clogged Fuel Injectors, MIL/SES DTCs P0171, P0172, P0174, P0300, P1174, P1175 (Clean Fuel Injectors and/or Perform Injector Test With AFIT - CH-47976) TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN Reference Number(s): 03-06-04-030F,  Date of Issue:   December 10, 2007 Related Ref Number(s): 03-06-04-030, 03-06-04-030A, 03-06-04-030B, 03-06-04-030C, 03-06-04- 030D, 03-06-04-030E, 03-06-04-030F ARTICLE BEGINNING CONDITION Some customers may comment on any of the following various driveability symptoms:  Extended Crank Time  Hard to Start  MIL/SES Illuminated with DTCs  Hesitation  Lack of Power  Surge or Chuggle  Rough Idle  Light or Intermittent Misfire CAUSE Due to various factors, the fuel injectors may become restricted. Extensive testing has demonstrated that fuel related issues are the cause of clogged injectors. At this point, no specific fuel, fuel constituent, or engine condition has been identified as causing the restriction. The restriction causes the engine to operate at a lean air fuel ratio. This may either trigger the MIL to illuminate or the engine to develop various driveability symptoms. CORRECTION Fuel injector restrictions, deposits can be cleaned on the vehicle using the following procedure. Under NO circumstances should this procedure be modified, changed or shortened. As a long term Affected Model(s): 2000-2008 GM Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks (Including Saturn); 2003-2008 HUMMER H2; 2006-2008 HUMMER H3; 2005-2008 Saab 9-7X; with 2.0L, 2.2L, 2.4L, 2.8L, 3.1L, 3.4L, 3.5L, 3.8L, 3.9L, 4.2L, 4.3L, 4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L, 6.2L or 8.1L Engine (VINs X, F, D, 4, 5, T, 8, J, E, H, L, 6, K, 1, 2, R, W, S, X, V, T, M, N, U, H, Y, 8, G - RPOs LNF, L61, LN2, L43, LD9, LK5, LG8, LA1, LX5, LX9, LZ4, LZE, L52, L36, L67, L26, LZ9, LZ8, LGD, LL8, LU3, LR4, LM7, LH6, LQ9, LQ4, LS2, L76, L92, L18); and MULTEC ® 2 Fuel Injectors Supercedes: This bulletin is being revised to update the model year to 2008. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 03-06-04-030E (Section 06 - Engine/Propulsion System). Solution, and to prevent reoccurrence, customers should be encouraged to use Top Tier Detergent Gasoline. For further information on Top Tier detergent gasoline and fuel retailers, please refer to the following Corporate Bulletin Numbers:  04-06-04-047G (U.S. Only)  05-06-04-022D (Canada ONLY) INJECTOR CLEANING PROCEDURE The following tools, or their equivalent, are required:  CH-47976 Active Fuel Injector Tester (AFIT)  J 35800-A Fuel Injector Cleaner  J 37287 Fuel Line Shut-off Adapter  J 42964 Fuel Line Shut-off Adapter  J 42873 Fuel Line Shut-off Adapter  * One bottle of GM Upper Engine and Fuel Injector Cleaner, P/N 88861802 (in Canada, P/N 88861804)  * One bottle of GM Fuel System Treatment Plus, P/N 88861011 (in Canada, P/N 88861012) ACTIVE FUEL INJECTOR TESTER (AFIT- CH-47976) Some dealers may not have an Active Fuel Injector Tester (AFIT- CH-47976). Dealers can contact 1- 800-GM-TOOLS (1-800-468-6657) to order an AFIT- CH-47976. Dealers still can test the fuel injectors without an AFIT. Refer to Fuel Injector Diagnosis (w/ J 39021 or Tech 2 ®) in SI. General Motors recommends that the Active Fuel Injector Tester (AFIT) be used in testing fuel injectors. If the SI diagnostics do not isolate a cause for this concern, use the Active Fuel Injector Tester (AFIT - CH-47976) to perform an " Injector Test" as outlined in the AFIT User Guide. NOTE: GM UPPER ENGINE AND FUEL INJECTOR CLEANER is the only injector cleaning agent approved for use with General Motors fuel system components. Other injector cleaners may cause damage to plastics, plated metals or bearings. General Motors has completed extensive laboratory testing of GM Upper Engine and Fuel Injector Cleaner, and can assure its compatibility with General Motors fuel system components, as long as the cleaning procedure is followed correctly. IMPORTANT: As mentioned in the AFIT User Guide, vehicles that are not listed in the AFIT menu can still be tested with the AFIT. Depending on the model, it may be possible to enter the previous model year and proceed with testing using the DLC connection. If this is not possible on the model that you are working on, it will be necessary to use the direct connection method outlined in the AFIT User Guide (See Pages 17-31).
The P0300 is your issue, it is the misfire code they found.

Jun 20, 2009.
Thank you for the info, I printed and faxed the tech bullitens to the service tech but it made no difference. Against my better judgement, I picked up my car from the dealership because they MADE me - after having it 6 days they told me they couldn't find anything wrong with it and stopped paying for the rental. I left for Lake Tahoe (8 hour drive) the day after I picked it up, still hesitating when I stepped on the gas and still sluggish on hills. About 3/4 of the way there, it had NO power and an engine light came on. I took it to the dealership closest to Tahoe and they told me it was my catalytic converter- which is on NATIONAL BACKORDER! They said it would take 1 1/2 to 3 weeks for the part to arrive. Knowing I was 8 hours from home, they said I could drive it home but suggested I take it slow (LOL) and watch the temp. I had no other choice, so I did. It took forever to get home and I took it straight to the dealership - the same one that had it for 6 days and did nothing! Since the catalytic converter for my car is on NATIONAL BACKORDER would it be safe to assume that everyone is having the same problem as me? Or are there other reasons for a part to be on NATIONAL BACKORDER? The reason I ask is because I have had the car for 1 year and 2 weeks and its having major engine problems that are going to take a month to repair - I don't even want it anymore especially if it is going to continue needing repairs.

Jul 6, 2009.
GM is reorganizing under bankrupty laws, so they are not stocking up on parts. Some of thier suppliers may have already closed thier doors. Ford is the only US car company I would buy from now!

Jul 7, 2009.