2012 Chevrolet Malibu runs rough and then smooths our?

Cold start and it runs rough for awhile then smoothies out.

Service esc and service traction message was displayed. Brake light are stuck on. Cruise control was malfunctioning and it’s difficult to get out of park…

With all this wrong, why does it matter that it runs rough? This car needs a bunch of work. There is no way for us to even guess what’s wrong with all this other stuff that’s broken.

Is the Check Engine light on?


No it is not on at the moment. It did come on and the code was 0010

Here’s what DTC P0010 means.

If the Check Engine light comes on, the Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control system warnings will be displayed.

This is because both these systems rely on the engine operating correctly in order for them to function.

And when the Check Engine light comes on, the engine isn’t operating correctly.

As far as the brake lights being on, check for a problem at the brake pedal switch.

If the switch is faulty causing the brake lights to stay on, the cruise control won’t function.

And if the switch is causing the brake lights to stay on, the bad switch may be preventing the shift lever interlock solenoid from operating, making it difficult to shift out of park.


That sounds like it is running too lean when the engine is cold. The P0010 code might be due to the same problem. Sometimes variable valve timing problems can work themselves out if you change the oil and filter a few times in a row. Drive 100-500 miles between changes. The best solution is to take your Malibu to a shop that has the Chevy scan tool. But if you don’t want to do that, then the multiple oil change idea is worth a try.

Another reason that the engine may be running rough when cold is that coolant is leaking into one or more of the cylinders. The engine runs rough until the coolant evaporates and the spark plupg will fire. I had this problem with a 1990 Ford Aerostar. The cause of the coolant getting into a cylinder was a hairline crack in one of the cylinder heads. A breached head gasket would cause the same problem. Fortunately my Aerostar was under warranty. Ford replaced the entire engine. The service manager said that the cylinder wall was scored and the engine should be replaced. Since it was on Ford’s dime, I agreed with the decision.