2012 Malibu Fuel/Start Issue - ECM?


Asked by Mar 08, 2017 at 08:54 PM about the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2012 Chevy Malibu. In June of 2016, the
car would occasionally struggle to idle, but would
always start and run fine otherwise. In August, the
vehicle started having issues cranking. It threw a
code "fuel pump circuit failure". Mechanic friend
told us to change the fuel pump, so we did. Ram
fine for a few weeks, and then wouldn't start again.
Checked the relay and it was HOT. Changed relay
and seemed to solve the problem. 2 months later,
and the vehicle started having problems cranking
again. Discovered that a slight tap on the fuse box
(located in the trunk) would solve the problem and
the car would start fine. A few weeks ago, the
vehicle started dying out while driving, but would
pick back up after a couple of seconds. Last week,
the fuse box trick would not work, and it took
nearly 30 minutes to get it started. Any
suggestions before I sell my left arm to have the
dealer replace the ECM?

11 Answers


I think you have wires grounding out that shouldn't above the fuel tank , did you do the fuel pump or did the mechanic ? The cars not that old to have corrosion at that fuse box but maybe you should take a close look.


@beatupchevy We changed the fuel pump ourselves. Would it still explain the problems happening before the pump was changed? All connections in the fuse box look clean.


I would think a bad ECM would show up some how with a code scan ,scan again even if the light isn't on , anti theft can give similar problems but the way to fix it is to find out what the problem is first , the original fuel pump was probably O.K. the code said fuel pump circuit , you may need a technician ,


I've been experiencing the same problems with 2012 Malibu. Swithched the relay, bang on the fuse box but now it's getting worse. Did you ever figure out the problem?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Any resolution. I too have this issue (2012 Malibu 101700 miles)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

And now I have the intermintent dying problem. Codes p0230, p0615, p0645, and b1325. Do these codes have a particular common point?


I'm not certain if it's just crappy wiring or when a fuel pump ages, it draws more and more power, thus overloading the relay and the effected connections. My wife's 2012 Malibu wouldn't crank, I replaced the fuel pump and it ran great for three days. Replaced the pump AGAIN and it started cutting out, shuttering, acting crazy in general. When it does, I pop the trunk, twist the relay and it works fine. I'm removing the fuse box this weekend for repair. Saw629 had a similar issue, and the dealer found a burned connector and a defective clip in the fuse panel: https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-t2017_ds544085 He was even kind enough to post a picture of the old connectors. I would HIGHLY suggest that you replace the fuel pump relay and inspect the fuse box in the trunk for overheated wiring and bad connections at the fuel pump relay. GM should be ASHAMED of themselves for using such small wiring: for years electric pumps in their early fuel injection systems used 14 maybe 16 gauge wiring; on many pumps they came with a new grounding connector. Now, they use cheap,cheap,cheap 18, 20 or even 22 gauge wiring that WORKS GREAT WHEN THE PUMP IS NEW. Unfortunately, when the pump motor gets older and draws more amperage, it begins to overload the system and burns up relays, thin wires begin to overheat and lose their connection at important junctions. I'll never forget the words of a service manager (I don't recall if he was a GM service manager or not) to my dad once, "Yeah, it's not built very durable, but it will make it out of warranty." MAKE IT OUT OF WARRANTY. Let those words sink in. I think that if enough people get a gut full of this mediocre manufacturing that will "make it out of warranty" and bull crap like having to practically remove an entire fender to replace a FREAKING HEADLIGHT and quit buying from car companies with this attitude, they will finally change their ways. To be frank, I was going to buy a slightly used truck or maybe even a new GMC or Chevy truck, but both of my Malibus have fixed that idea. Nissan or Toyota, here I come.


Saw629 was right! Well, actually his mechanic. Pulled the fusebox out of the 2012 in the trunk, and the wire was burned going into the connector! The wire (using a VOM) runs directly to 37a on the fuel pump relay. Call and thank GM for saving a few bucks on wire and costing all of us hundreds! My theory: as the fuel pump gets older, it draws more power (amperage) and heats up and eventually overloads the circuit; but not bad enough to pop the 15 amp fuse! The emaciated wire used by GM overheats at this critical junction and gets a faulty connection. I pulled the connector, installed a new one and SOLDERED the 16 gauge wire I installed (the original was either 18 or 20 gauge.) Car seems to be running fine; I drove it 150 miles last night and it ran fine, no glitches. I would suggest to everyone to check this connector if your fuel pump goes belly-up.


We stumbled upon the fuse box suggestion about 4 months ago. An $80 replacement fuse box seems to have solved our issues that no mechanic could figure out!! Order the entire fuse box (often called the BCM) and swap it out. It takes 4 bolts and is probably the easiest fix ever! 4 months after replacing it, and we haven't had one hiccup!! Car starts and runs like new!


Abercrombie716....did you check the tan wire (third slot from the bottom) for burns?


TheBugGuy - we checked every wire and connection for burns and discoloration. Everything looked to be in perfect condition aside from 1 or 2 connections being a little discolored (not black/burnt).

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Malibu in your area?

CarGurus has 1,805 nationwide Malibu listings starting at $2,400.

Postal Code:

Chevrolet Malibu Experts

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

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Impala
152 Great Deals out of 1,113 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda Accord
46 Great Deals out of 1,212 listings starting at $1,795
Used Chevrolet Cruze
244 Great Deals out of 7,501 listings starting at $1,700
Used Ford Fusion
111 Great Deals out of 1,725 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota Camry
51 Great Deals out of 2,123 listings starting at $2,750
Used Nissan Altima
62 Great Deals out of 1,248 listings starting at $999
Used Dodge Charger
62 Great Deals out of 740 listings starting at $2,950
Used Hyundai Sonata
38 Great Deals out of 1,303 listings starting at $2,400
Used Nissan Maxima
28 Great Deals out of 411 listings starting at $3,795
Used Kia Optima
49 Great Deals out of 822 listings starting at $2,610
Used Chevrolet Camaro
961 listings starting at $11,965
Used Honda Civic
278 Great Deals out of 4,709 listings starting at $2,287
Used Chevrolet Equinox
113 Great Deals out of 6,220 listings starting at $1,288
Used Chrysler 200
44 Great Deals out of 1,376 listings starting at $3,980
Used Chrysler 300
85 Great Deals out of 831 listings starting at $1,888

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Chevrolet Malibu LS For Sale
75 listings starting at $25,229
2017 Chevrolet Malibu LS For Sale
23 listings starting at $19,937
2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS For Sale
22 listings starting at $15,746
2015 Chevrolet Malibu LS For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 43 listings starting at $10,985
2014 Chevrolet Malibu LS For Sale
5 listings starting at $12,799

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.