Chevy Malibu Fuel Pump Problems [Symptoms & Fixes]

Is your Chevy Malibu starting and dying immediately? Perhaps it just turns over, despite unplugging the fuel pump relay and plugging it back or taking other related measures.

Chevy Malibu

If you have been experiencing this, your fuel pump is getting bad or has failed completely.

In this post, you will discover the signs to watch out for when your Chevrolet Malibu’s fuel pump is bad. I’ll also recommend some handy tips to overcome the problem. Let’s get started.

Symptoms of Fuel Pump Problems in Chevy Malibu

Whining Noise from the Fuel Tank Area

Under normal conditions, a healthy fuel pump hums quietly. But the racket from an aging or failing fuel pump is distinct. This is a telltale sign that your fuel pump is on its way out.

Get your mechanic to inspect the fuel pump to determine if you need to get a new fuel pump.

Sputtering Engine

If you notice your Chevy Malibu’s engine sputtering at high speeds only to return to normal operation, your fuel pump may be the culprit.

Sputtering engine usually happens because of an improper mixture of air and fuel, causing your engine to run rich or lean.

Your mechanic should check your fuel pump to determine if it’s still functioning with the correct pressure. You may have to replace the malfunctioning fuel pump.

Climbing Hills Becomes Tougher

Driving uphill forces your Malibu’s engine to work harder, consuming more fuel.

So, when your vehicle feels as if it is underpowered when climbing a hill, even when the gas pedal is pressed to the floorboards, something has gone wrong with your fuel pump.

When your fuel pump is weak or bad, it cannot regulate or accurately supply the fuel needed for your engine to generate power.

Get your Malibu’s fuel pump examined by a certified mechanic. If it is no longer functional, replace it.

Overheating Engine

A malfunctioning fuel pump can cause your vehicle engine to overheat. The fuel pump itself can overheat and fail to deliver enough fuel to the engine. This causes your engine to run hot and shut down suddenly while driving.

Your Chevy Malibu may start back up again when the engine cools off but shut down again after driving a half-hour later. This is a sign that your fuel pump has gone bad.

Get your mechanic to check and replace the malfunctioning fuel pump.

Challenges Starting Your Vehicle

An aging or faulty fuel pump has difficulty generating the needed pressure to start a vehicle. If you need to crank your Chevy Malibu’s engine several times, or after multiple turns of the ignition key before it starts, your fuel pump is bad.

A bad starter or leaking fuel line can also cause this problem. So, your mechanic should check all these components to determine the real culprit. If it is the fuel pump causing this problem, replace it.

Bad Gas Mileage

A bad fuel pump causes your Malibu’s engine to operate with a rich fuel mixture. This results in the burning of additional fuel.

Of course, several factors can cause this problem, such as a cracked fuel line, a bad O2 sensor, or other engine issues.

Therefore, get your mechanic to inspect the fuel pump and other components that may likely cause this problem.

The outcome of the inspection will determine whether you need to change the fuel pump.

Random Engine Surges

A fully functional fuel pump delivers fuel to your engine seamlessly. But a faulty or aging fuel pump only works intermittently by sending surges of fuel to the engine.

You will notice the change in sound when traveling at a constant speed, even when your foot is not pressing the gas pedal.

This is a sign that your fuel pump may be faulty and needs to be inspected. You may need to change your Chevy Malibu fuel pump.

Poor Speed Sustenance

Consistent and smooth engine performance requires sufficient fuel supply from the fuel pump.

But when your fuel pump is bad, your Chevy Malibu’s engine will misfire or lose power while driving at a steady rate as it’s not getting sufficient fuel.

This reduces its ability to function at a constant RPM. Your vehicle will feel as if it is running out of gas even when your tank is full.

Get your mechanic to find out what is wrong with the fuel pump. It may be clogged with debris or dirt. It should be unclogged and tested to see if it’s still functional. If not, replace it immediately with a new unit.

Can You Drive a Chevy Malibu with a Bad Fuel Pump?

No, you cannot drive a Chevy Malibu with a bad fuel pump. If you do, you may cause more damage to the engine components.

Fixing the damaged components and the fuel pump may cost you a lot of money, so it is generally a bad idea to drive around with a failing fuel pump, that is, if your vehicle even starts.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Chevy Malibu Fuel Pump?

The average cost of replacing a defective Chevy Malibu fuel pump ranges from $888 to $1,071. The estimated labor costs range from $179 to $226, while components are priced from $709 to $845.

These price ranges do not include fees and taxes, nor do they factor in your particular Chevy Malibu model year or unique location.

Related repairs may be required, such as replacing the fuel filter, fuel lines, etc.

Has Chevrolet Ever Recalled Any Malibu Model Years for Fuel Pump Issues?

GM (General Motors) launched a voluntary production emission recall for specific 2022 Chevy Malibu models over factory high-pressure fuel pump and engine control module issues.

The recall applied to the 2022 Chevy Malibu models with turbocharged 1.5L LYX I-4 gasoline engines. The engine control module in the affected vehicles can set a diagnostic trouble code for the high-pressure fuel pump, even though there is no actual pump malfunction.

When a Chevy Malibu gets this diagnostic trouble code for the high-pressure fuel pump, it is immediately placed in low engine power mode. This often affects the overall performance of the vehicle.

Tips to Make Your Chevy Malibu’s Fuel Pump Last Longer

The average lifespan of a Chevy Malibu’s fuel pump is about 100,000 miles. But a few have been able to still function optimally even after 200,000 miles.

What’s the secret? The owners follow some of these tips recommended by experts for making your fuel pump last longer:

  • Ensure your fuel tank is always full or at least one-quarter of the way full. Fuel pumps can dry out, heat up, and crack when there isn’t enough gas consistently.
  • Getting more gas in your vehicle’s tank makes it easy for your fuel pump to function optimally, thanks to the increased weight that puts pressure on it. Without this crucial pressure, your Chevy Malibu’s fuel pump will need to work harder to get fuel to your engine. This results in untimely wear and tear of the fuel pump.
  • Replace your Chevy Malibu’s fuel filter as recommended in your owner’s manual. This is to prevent debris and any impurities that may get past a clogged fuel filter and sink to the bottom of the tank.
  • Avoid poorly maintained gas stations and gas pumps or those that look dirty/rusty. Corrosion in the nozzles or water in the fuel can damage the entire fuel system and cut down the lifespan of the fuel pump.

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Wrapping Up

Chevrolet is one of the well-known vehicle brands worldwide, and the Chevy Malibu is its only sedan offering. However, the Chevy Malibu has had a rough run with several mechanical issues. One of those issues has to do with the fuel pump.

The signs you will notice when your Chevy Malibu’s fuel pump goes bad have been outlined in this article. So, keep them in mind each time you drive your vehicle.