Malibu - intermittent no start

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Twice in 3 weeks my 2004 Malibu would not start. Cranks very good but will not fire. Tried the 10 minute wait for auto-theft reset, while under car and someone else turns key I can hear fuel pump prime, but it will not start. After each tow to a repair facility, it started imediately and without fail for mechanic every time. Mechanic stated that all codes read normal both times. Fuel filter replaced after first time. What's wrong?

posted by  mnosretep

While you did a fair job of describing your dillema, this is still an online forum. Because of that, you might as well ask us what your ass looks like in the pants you're wearing. Someone has to see it to know. We can guess and throw darts all day long but to find the answer to your problem you'll have to have it occur when someone who is qualified to determine the cause is looking at it.

But... Because I know that's not what you want to hear, I'll be the first to make a wrong and pointless stab in the dark, JUST FOR YOU. Something is wrong intermittently. Have a nice day.

posted by  vwhobo

Dear VWHOBO. Since you appear imcapable of conversing in an intelligent manner, let me stoop somewhat down to your level. The purpose of and my experience with other forums is to create "meaningful dialogue" in an attempt to resolve issues. Apparently that is something you cannot comprehend.

posted by  mnosretep

While you're stooping, allow me to stick your response up your behind. The word dialog would lead people to believe that you somehow want to converse with others on this forum. The truth is that you came here looking for a quick and simple answer to a potentially complicated question. If you truly wanted to have a dialog, you would have started out in the "Introduce Yourself" section of this forum by introducing yourself. Then you would have taken some time to "dialog" with others and maybe offer some help BEFORE expecting us to drop what we're doing to help you.

The fact that you don't like my reply (and won't like this one either) is your problem, not mine. If you could set aside your victim mentallity for just a few moments, you would realize that the above reply didn't answer your question, but it certainly directed you in what needed to happen to find the answer.

posted by  vwhobo

Dear Car-Forum participants,
I am confident there are many experienced and talented mechanics on this forum.
I described the symptoms and would like to call upon your personal expertise and experience to learn the diagnostic approach that you would use to isolate the probable cause(s) of the starting problem I am experiencing.
VWHOBO, who is infatuated with rectums and whose manhood is inversely proportional to the size of his ego and forum signature, apparently just does not get it.

posted by  mnosretep

Apparently junior, you're the one who doesn't "get it". Your weak attempt to insult me is only a smoke screen to cover for the fact that you not only have no clue about automotive diagnostics, but you are also unwilling and probably unable to learn about them. You seem to be the only one here who is infatuated with bodily parts, orifices and no doubt functions. What concerns me most is the fact that you seem to be fantasizing about my personal and private parts.

Let me try to make this so very crystal clear that even an imbecile of your high stature can "get it". You don't provide enough information about your vehicle's anomaly to determine what the root cause is. Intermittent problems of this nature are most often difficult enough to troubleshoot when the person performing said troubleshooting can see, touch and hear the car. After all, YOU said that the car doesn't start for you but works perfectly for the technician. More importantly, they're near impossible to isolate online, who knows how many miles or countries away. I don't care if you like it and I don't care if you understand it, but this is the way it is. A problem of the type that you are experiencing almost certainly has to be diagnosed and isolated IN PERSON, not online.

Now you have two choices. You can continue your "dialog", which those of us who have been around for a while call asking for free help and then bitching when they don't like the answer, followed by insulting someone who tries to help, continuing to argue and being a general cunt, or... Well, there's no reason to waste the bandwidth on another choice because we all know you'll go with option #1. It's in your blood and you just can't help yourself.

posted by  vwhobo


I have a 2004 Malibu Classic and at about 44,000 miles it started giving me the same problem. On occasion I would try starting my car and it would not start. After the problem became persistant and noticing that the theft light was blinking I spoke to a mechanic about the issue. I learned that it was a problem with the theft system censor not reading my key. Well, I decided to do some reasearch of my own so I went online and the only fixes I found after looking through numerous websites and message boards were to : replace cylander lock aprx $300, install car alarm with remote key entry aprx $299 - $599, or to get all technical and mess with wires under the dash. I then found one blog that mentioned using electical component cleaner (apx $9.00) to clean the censor. i thought... WHAT? Would that work? Well, I tried it. I bought the cleaner at radio shack and sprayed it on my key and pushed the key in and out of the ignition. After about 20 times I wiped it on a cloth and sure enough that key hole was dirty as heck. Anyways, I reapeated the process spraying a little more on the key each time untill I was able to push the key in and have it wipe of clean on the cloth. I then waited a while to allow the ignition to dry before trying to start my car. My car turned on which was a good sign cause at least I knew I hadn't screwed it up even worse and guess what. Its been 5 months and I've no longer had a problem with the theft system. MInd you this was becoming a constant issue. So yeah, before going of and considering spening hundreds or dollars or risking damaging your car even more by trying to mess with the wiring, you might want to consider this possible solution.

posted by  TonicEight

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