Need help, battery doesn't charge

Asked by Sep 08, 2017 at 07:55 PM about the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu LS Classic

Question type: Maintenance & Repair


I accidentally got the terminals on my battery  the
wrong way, ( like the positive cable connected to
the battery's negative and the positive on the
negative) not noticing it, my dad started the
ignition and it did not start and suddenly
something sparked and smoke came out under the
engine. After that, we reconnected the cable to its
corresponding terminals and then started the
engine and noticed that all the LED displays such
as engine check, seatbelt sign, oil, and the
backlight of the dashboard doesn't work as well as
the radion. We tried to bring our car to o'riley and
autozone, both tests says there is a problem in the
voltage regulator. We bought new alternator and
battery, but still the problem is there and the
battery still does not charge. Would like to know
what would be the problem and solution.

Thanks and hoping someone can answer this

4 Answers


Sounds like the wiring may have gone bad or fused together during the incident. I would test the wires between the alternator and the battery.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Fuselinks usually blow when this happens, so check the owners manual locate and replace the blown ones, also check for any blown normal fuses, now whats bugging me is the no display or radio, that usually indicates a problem with the BCM, as you basically ran power backwards it could have irreparably damaged the BCM, and the only way to find that out is by taking it to the GM dealer, if it can just be reflashed count your self lucky, if not then the unit will have to be replaced and the new one flashed to match the vehicles VIN. Now about the voltage regulator, this is built into the main computer, if it is indeed faulty it will also have to be replaced. So once you have verified all the fueslinks and fuses are good and your problems still exist, then I'm afraid that your headed to the dealership for some rather expensive repairs. Bummer If you are going to do any electrical work on anything built after 2004 you need a tool called a preset saver tool, it plugs into the OBD 2 port and keeps the factory presets alive when main power is disconnected, I never do any electrical work on a vehicle without one connected.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks, fuselink was blown, having it spliced right now, but i still don't know if this would fix the display and the radio. Would you mind what is BCM and VIN? Does reflashing can only be done at the dealer, how much does it cost? How much is the preset saver tool?


BCM is Body Control Module, VIN is Vehicle Identification Number. There a couple of models of saver tools, The cheap ones start at 9.95 found on E- bay, those uses a 9 volt battery and a active power port, not much time allowed for repairs before the battery runs out, as you go up in price the power source changes, mine uses an auxiliary source like a jump box or another car battery, I can leave mine hooked up all day and not have to worry about any loss of power. So it all depends on how much you want too spend.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Malibu in your area?

CarGurus has 2,012 nationwide Malibu listings starting at $3,485.

Postal Code:

Chevrolet Malibu Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
    Tom Demyan
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Impala
181 Great Deals out of 1,101 listings starting at $996
Used Ford Fusion
180 Great Deals out of 2,015 listings starting at $1,695
Used Honda Accord
90 Great Deals out of 1,041 listings starting at $750
Used Toyota Camry
101 Great Deals out of 2,439 listings starting at $2,000
Used Nissan Altima
116 Great Deals out of 1,483 listings starting at $2,995
Used Dodge Charger
76 Great Deals out of 795 listings starting at $2,000
Used Hyundai Sonata
50 Great Deals out of 1,544 listings starting at $2,495
Used Nissan Maxima
39 Great Deals out of 389 listings starting at $2,985
Used Kia Optima
63 Great Deals out of 895 listings starting at $6,195
Used Honda Civic
326 Great Deals out of 3,631 listings starting at $1,495
Used Chevrolet Equinox
120 Great Deals out of 6,185 listings starting at $800
Used Chrysler 300
123 Great Deals out of 981 listings starting at $3,495

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Chevrolet Malibu For Sale
422 listings starting at $24,045
2017 Chevrolet Malibu For Sale
32 Great Deals out of 702 listings starting at $17,000
2016 Chevrolet Malibu For Sale
26 Great Deals out of 223 listings starting at $13,889
2015 Chevrolet Malibu For Sale
19 Great Deals out of 158 listings starting at $10,998
2014 Chevrolet Malibu For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 68 listings starting at $9,888

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.