What Does It Mean When The Check Engine Light Comes On In A Chevy Malibu?

What Does a Check Engine Light Indicate?

The check engine light is one of the most generally misinterpreted lights or indications in your Chevy Malibu. The check engine light is part of the onboard diagnostics system and can be shown in a variety of ways. It might state “Check Engine,” be a symbol of an engine or be a mix of the two. This light shines in either amber or red and is part of your vehicle’s diagnostics system. Since the 1980s, onboard computers have progressively regulated and monitored vehicle performance and can do a range of things for your Chevy Malibu.

Shifting automatic gearboxes, managing engine speed, ignition timing, and incorporating stability control are just a few examples. That being stated, the check engine light can indicate a number of various concerns. It might be as easy as a loose gas cap or as dangerous as engine banging.

Is it safe to drive your Chevy Malibu while the check engine light is illuminated?

What Does It Mean When The Check Engine Light Comes On In A Chevy Malibu?

This is a difficult subject to answer because it all relies on the severity of the problem. It should be safe to drive if the reason is a small issue, such as a loose gas cap. The check engine light will be illuminated at all times to signify this. If you detect a change in the vehicle’s performance, it might be an indicator of a more persistent problem. If your Chevy Malibu’s check engine light is blinking, it implies you have a persistent problem and should have it serviced as soon as possible.

Check Engine Light on Chevy Malibu

Although there are several potential reasons for an illuminated Check Engine Light, we have learned through the years of offering Check Engine Light Diagnosis Service that there are several typical culprits, including something as simple as a loose gas cap. Other typical causes of a Check Engine Light include a malfunctioning emissions control part, a fuel injection system failure, a filthy mass airflow sensor, a damaged oxygen sensor, a bad head gasket, or defective spark plugs, to name a few.

No matter what is the root cause of the Check Engine Light, we have the Chevy Certified Technicians and the certified service protocol to isolate the root problem and repair it as needed to restore factory specifications. When this happens, the Check Engine Light turns off, and you can leave the service center knowing that your Chevy issue was fixed.

Chevy Malibu Check Engine Light Codes

It can be pretty frightening to see that small light on your vehicle’s dashboard suddenly glow, but it is not something that should drive you to immediately shut down in panic. When you hear the phrase diagnostic trouble codes (DTC), it is simply another name for check engine light codes. These are automotive computer codes stored by the ECM, also known as the OBD (on-board computer diagnostic system) in your Malibu. There are hundreds of different codes that your check engine light can represent. While that sounds daunting, with a little patience, tackling basic diagnostics will give you useful knowledge about your vehicle and will also allow that Check Engine Light to do what it is really supposed to do: be your guide. Unfortunately, obvious and helpful vehicle symptoms do not always accompany an illuminated Check Engine Light. Since there are hundreds of possible OBD codes, there are also hundreds of possible reasons for the light, including:

  • Old Battery
  • Bad Spark Plugs
  • O2 Sensor
  • Emissions control issues
  • Fuel and air metering systems problems
  • Computer output circuit issues
  • Loose Gas Cap or Missing Gas Cap
  • Ignition system faults
  • Transmission issues


This is why it is important for someone who does not have a lot of automotive knowledge to not assume what a code means. When your check engine light comes on, you should get it checked out swiftly by a certified Chevy mechanic.

Why Is My Engine Light On But Nothing Seems Wrong?

A check engine light is usually an indication there is a problem somewhere in the engine, but things don’t seem to be wrong. Checking engine lights are commonly caused by one simple mistake – forgetting to tighten your gas cap.

Will the check engine light come back on?

What Does It Mean When The Check Engine Light Comes On In A Chevy Malibu?

If the problem or code that caused the check engine light to illuminate is resolved, the check engine light on your 2020 Chevy Malibu will generally turn off. For example, if a loose gas cap caused your check engine light to illuminate, tightening it will cause the light to turn off. Similarly, if your catalytic converter is failing and you conducted a lot of stop-and-go driving, the check engine light may have come on as a result of the converter’s heavy utilization. Most of the time, your 2020 Chevy Malibu light will turn off after 20-40 miles.

How do you reset the check engine light on a Chevy Malibu? 

Many Chevrolet dealerships will perform a free diagnostic test to identify the reason your check engine light is on. You can also take the vehicle to an independent mechanic, or purchase your own diagnostic tool.

The simplest way to reset the engine light is to remove the negative battery terminal cable for two minutes, and then replace it. If this doesn’t reset the light, you will have to use a code reader to erase the error codes. This should reset the light.

About The Author

Avatar for Ibrar Ayyub

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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