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2003 Malibu engine stops while driving

My 2003 Malibu engine will stop running all of a sudden while I’m driving. It has happened four times and I need to know why before the car kills me. The accelerator pedal goes limp and within ten seconds the check oil light comes on, the check engine light comes on, the power steering quits and then the engine dies. AAA mechanics had this car for four days and couldn’t figure it out. My local mechanic has had it for five days and hasn’t figured it out. I have looked on the internet and I am not alone. But there is no definitive solution to this problem. Does anyone out there have an idea? BTW, it’s not the fuel pump. Thanks for your help.

Have someone check for a Crankshaft Position Sensor being effected by heat.

The crank sensor is one of the primary inputs into the computer. If the signal is lost from this sensor to the computer the computer thinks the engine is no longer rotating. The computer then see’s no reason to operate the ignition/fuel system and the engine shuts off.


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@Tester is on the money, first thing to check is the crank sensor. That part is often located low on the engine, down by the oil pan, and gets damaged by water splashing or by road debris sometimes. The only other thing I can think of is that there is some kind of mechanical linkage problem between the accelerator pedal and the throttle butteryfly valve in the intake manifold, or the trottle valve is sticking a bit in the throttle body.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll ask the mechanic to give it a try on Monday.

If none of that works, check the Theft System sensor. My 2002 chevy Malibu currently has an issue of periodically not starting at all. The Theft Sytem light will flash when that happens. The remedy is to turn the car to the “ON” position (not Accessory) and leave it there for 10 minutes while the computer system “reboots.” After the FULL 10 MINUTES (any less it won’t start), the Theft system indicator stops flashing so that you can now turn it to OFF, then start it. So far it has worked every time. However, my mechanic tells me that sooner or later i am going to have the same symptoms you have with the car just stopping mid-drive. I am looking fro someone who knows how to disable the damn thing before this happens.

I have a 2003 Malibu, it wouldn’t start if it was turned off after it had run for an hour or so. On one occasion the engine shut down and had a hard time starting, but did start after a couple of tries. I finally noticed that on the occasions when it wouldn’t start, if I turned the key to the on position none of the dash lights that would normally light were coming on. If I tapped the ignition key they would light intermittently. The problem was an intermittent ignition switch.

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@Hickman18 you are responding to a 4 month old thread.

I suspect OP has already resolved the issue by now.

GM cars are known for flaky maf devices. U can usually unplug them and see if car runs as a test.

Thank you for replying to this…I have been going crazy trying to find an answer and I think you may have helped me.