CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2006 Chevy Malibu intermittant starting issues - usually cold weather

Hey friends,

I have a 2006 Chevy Malibu Maxx with under 100,000 miles. Battery 1 year old, starter 3 months old. On cool or cold mornings I have intermittant starting issues. All lights come on, instrument panels gauges and indicators function right, no clicking or any noise. Just won’t start. Typically if I come back in a couple of hours, it starts right up. Once it starts, I have no other starting problem with it the rest of that day.

On Christmas eve morning it wouldn’t start. It didn’t start for 2 days. I jumped it and got it started once, but after revving it and sriving it for 10 minutes I turned it off and tried to start it again - but couldn’t. I wouldn’t even jump after that. 2 days later, I had it towed to a shop where they removed the starter and greased the connections - and it started. They then sent it over to a Chevy dealer who checked all the codes (It never turns up any codes when it doesn’t start) - but since there were none, they flashed the computer and started it 20+ times - no problems. They sent it back to the shop who also started it a bunch of times with no problems. They sent it back to me and it worked for another week or so before it started happening again.

It is not every morning - only random mornings. Except for that one day, it will always start later on in the day.

Any ideas?

Next time it acts up try shifting into neutral and see if it will start or shift into N and then back to park. If it starts there may be a problem with the neutral safety switch.
The neutral switch is what allows the engine to start only in neutral or park and failure is not that rare on any make of car.

+1 for ok4450. This problem is as common as dirt.

Yes, I saw those comments on a lot of websites. I changed the gears (auto) out of park and back in. Also tried starting in neutral. No luck on either. I also turned off all security and auto start functions thinking it might have something to do with the security system. Also no luck.