Malibu Randomly Won't Start

Hello! I have a 2002 Chevy Malibu that likes to refuse to start every couple of days or so, throughout the day, but never the first start of the day. It’s not the fuel pump and it’s getting a spark. It happens in all temperatures. Three different mechanics have not figured out what the problem is. From what I’ve read online, I suspect an issue with the theft deterrent module or something like that it’s called. Any advice on how to fix this for good? And how much should I reasonably expect to pay? Thanks for any advice!


“It’s not the fuel pump” . . . why are you sure? Have you had the fuel system tested?

“I suspect an issue with the theft deterrent module”

Is, or was, the anittheft light on or flashing?

I had the same problem and it it the anti-theft system. I had a whole new ignition system installed ($275) about two weeks ago and so far, so good. However, I’m still worried it will happen again. I would have to wait exactly 10 mins. for it to start when this happened. It was so frustrating.

If it gets spark and fuel, it’s hard to understand why it won’t start. Does it crank ok then? Or does it even refuse to crank? Crank … you know … the “rrrrr rrrrr rrrrr” noise you hear when first starting the car. Does it do that?

When it starting happening one by one I replaced the following: starter, fuel filter, fuel pump, battery and two crank sensors. And the mechanic did say that it is getting plenty of fuel. It does crank, it just doesn’t finish starting. And NO, the anti-theft light is NOT on, but I"ve run out of options and I have read of others having trouble with it. But for my car, 10 minutes wait does not always work, sometimes it takes longer. and leaving the key in the on position for 10 minutes and switching back to off and then starting doesn’t work either as some have suggestion.

One other thing I should mention is the computer flagged the CAM sensor. That wasn’t coming up when it first started, but it is now. Would that make it not start? THANks!

I don’t think a Cam sensor failure would result in it not starting – UNLESS – your car has no crank sensor. Does your car us a crank sensor? Of course, even if your car uses a crank sensor, it would make sense to figure out what’s wrong with the cam sensor, and replace it if it is faulty. Every car/make/model/year is different, and perhaps you have one that a faulty cam sensor will prevent starting it.