by Jody L. Campbell
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Although the Chevy Malibu was first made between 1964 and 1983, it wasn’t until it was reintroduced in 1997 that the vehicle came equipped with an on-board diagnostic computer. When sensors or circuits detect diagnostic trouble codes, the problem is communicated to the electronic control module and then the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), also known as the “check engine” or “service engine / vehicle soon ”. . In 1996, the second phase of on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) standardized the equipment used and the procedure to read and erase the MIL.
Open the Chevy Malibu’s driver-side door, then look under the dash to locate the diagnostic link connector (DLC). The DLC represents the male connection to the OBD-II eraser / code reader connector. The Chevy Malibu stores the DLC under the dash on the left side of the steering column.
Plug the code reader / eraser into the DLC, then place the key in the ignition. Turn the ignition key two clicks forward to turn on the electrical equipment and instrument panel lights without the engine running. Most code readers run on the vehicle’s battery once the ignition key is turned on, but some come equipped with an on / off button. If necessary, turn on the code reader.
Follow the on-screen menu displayed on the faceplate of the code reader / eraser. Some require you to scroll to a “delete” option in the on-screen menu, while other code readers / erasers come equipped with a delete button on the faceplate. If equipped with a delete button, press the button. If there is a “clear” menu option, use the scroll button (s) until the on-screen cursor highlights “clear codes” or “clear DTCs” (diagnostic trouble codes), then press the enter button. or send.
Wait for the on-screen menu to display “command sent” before turning the ignition key off, then disconnect the code reader / eraser from the DLC.
Start the Malibu’s engine and check the status of the MIL (service vehicle soon light) on the instrument cluster panel.
- Any Chevy Malibu equipped with a theft deterrent radio or internal car alarm should not have the battery disconnected to reset the service vehicle light soon. While doing this will reset the light, it will also erase the preset radio and internal car alarm code. The car or radio will be inoperable until the preset codes are reset on the respective components.
- Fault codes should not simply be cleared on OBD-II equipped vehicles without properly diagnosing (and making repairs if necessary) first. Clearing the codes simply turns off the MIL, but doesn’t necessarily fix the problem. The computer will then reboot and go through a series of inspection and maintenance monitors. Once the sensor or circuit detects that the repair was not made or was not sufficient, the computer will re-trigger the MIL. In some cases, severe trouble codes will only briefly reset the MIL or not allow the light to reset at all.
Articles will need
- OBD-II Code Reader / Eraser