2005 Chevy Malibu 1st stalling now won't start.. help!

Long story: I have a 2005 Chevy Malibu base. About more than a month ago I was driving home from work my car stalled about 3 times. I was able to finally get home I checked the oil and to my shock there was none. I quickly put some in and my car started just fine didnt stall again. I drove it the next day nothing. Then the day after that I drove it to Walmart on the way back it stalled like 7 times and after that last time it wouldn’t turn on. I got it towed to a shop where my car remained for over a month. The crank position sensor was replaced, the battery, and the ignition switch. I was told it was fixed, picked it up drove it to a town 30 minutes away it was fine, then drove it back it started stalling every 5 minutes. Managed to take it back to the shop, they couldn’t figure out why it was shutting off so they got a second opinion at a Chevy dealership nearby and they replaced the ignition control module. I picked up my car drove it around for awhile and the check engine light came on I was near pepboys they checked the code which said I needed to get the catalytic converter check/replaced. So I drove my car home. Next day drove it all day it stayed on, thought my problem was solved. Then that evening turned it on and within a few minutes the engine shut off and now it won’t start at all. Can anyone tell me what could possibly be the issue? The mechanics that I took it to obviously don’t know what the issue is nor do the mechanics at Chevy. It is not the fuel pump that’s one things that can be crossed out. Someone please help me figure this out. Or is my car done and should be junked?

Call your service advisor tomorrow, report that their repair was unsuccessful and the car must be towed. I would expert them to perform the second diagnosis at no charge, they may or may not pay for the tow.

Good advice above from Nevada. When your say it now won’t start, do you mean it cranks ok – that rrr rrr rrr sound – but it won’t catch and run? Or won’t it even crank?

Nevada_545: Well that’s the thing they’ve had my car for over a month trying to figure out why it’s acting the way it’s acting they can’t figure out the reason the one michanic literally told me they’re just playing the guessing game at this point. They’ve added parts that have clearly not solved the issue. I’m not taking it back to them, it’s pointless. They are just going to continue guessing, continue charging me, and it’s going to continue not working. So I’m just looking to hear people’s opinions on what the issue could possibly be, it’s not the ignition control module, it’s not the battery, nor the crank position sensor, or the ignition switch they’ve all been replaced and still issue.

GeorgeSanJose yes it cranks ok but won’t start

I misunderstood your post, I thought “The shop” gave up and referred you and your car to a dealer. You should have given up with that shop long before a months time went by.

Drivability diagnosis/repairs are part of my job but I won’t guess what the problem might be. Eventually you will have to get the car to a shop that is capable of diagnosing the problem.

OP writes

it's not the ignition control module, it's not the battery, nor the crank position sensor, or the ignition switch they've all been replaced and still issue.

Remember that a new part can be bad right out of the box. And this isn’t an uncommon thing to happen. It has happened to me more than once, and I’m just a driveway diy’er, not a pro mechanic. This probably happens to pro mechanics once a month.

By all accounts from what I can tell the shop seems to be working on the most likely culprits. Unfortunately intermittent symptoms like you have can prove very difficult to diagnose unless and until the problem occurs while the car is in the shop.

If it currently cranks but won’t start, that should be pretty simple for a shop to diagnose if you can get the car to the shop in that condition, tow it in other words. There’s only a few things needed to make the engine start.

  • fuel pressure
  • injectors getting pulsed
  • spark at the spark plug
  • correct spark timing
  • compression

Usually they’d start by checking for spark at the spark plugs in this situation. So Nevada is spot on, get the car to the shop now, while it continues to crank not start.

If you’ll allow me to editorialize a bit, when a car’s symptom isn’t repeatable, in some cases it can be practically impossible to diagnose. Broken solder joints on critical circuit boards are a good example, they’ll work fine one minute and not the next. It might be simply that the temperature increased 2 degrees. I expect there’s been plenty of cars that have been sent to the crusher b/c of the inability for any shop to diagnose the problem.

Of course any problem can be diagnosed if you are willing to spend enough money. Usually the most economically practical method for intermittent problems is to deliver the car to the shop, and ask them to keep it there and give it a test drive several times a day, and not give it back until the symptom occurs. It may take days, weeks, or months, but eventually it will happen. And as long at it remains broken long enough, they’ll then be able to diagnose it. Shops will usually charge you for this testing service though, even though they never find the problem, so make sure you understand the fees involved.

This should be pretty easy since it keeps failing and is now dead. Spark, fuel and air are what the engine needs to run. Spark test first. Fuel pressure test next. I would check the Mechanics Files link above for a good mechanic in your area. I know you spent good money on it already, but these guys seem lame and there is no reason to pay dealership prices.

I agree with @knfenimore Now that the problem no longer intermittant it should be much easier to zero in on by testing things in that order.