Engine Power Reduced Chevy Malibu [Cause, Solution and Resetting Method]

The Chevrolet Malibu is a very reliable car, but there have been reports that some models have less engine power.

According to General Motors TechLink, the problem mainly affects some models from the 2018 to 2022 years of Chevrolet Malibu.

Malibu’s reduced engine power indicates a problem with the car’s engine.

When the warning light appears, it reduces the engine’s power, speed, and acceleration.

I’ve explained the meaning, causes, and solutions to the Chevy Malibu’s engine power is reduced problem.

Here are some similar articles to read:

What Does Reduced Engine Power Mean in Chevy Malibu?

Malibu’s reduced engine power is a warning message that indicates the Powertrain Control Module has detected a problem with the engine and is restricting its performance.

This action protects the engine and its related components from damage.

When the warning light appears, you should take the necessary steps before the problem gets severe.

Several reasons can cause the reduced engine power mode in Chevy Malibu.

I have talked about the 07 most common causes.

Engine Power Reduced Chevy Malibu [07 Causes]

Some common factors trigger the Chevy Malibu engine power reduced mode, including faulty mass airflow sensors, throttle body problems, spark plugs, and sensor issues.

Here are the 07 causes of reduced engine power from most common to least common:

01. Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor

Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor controls airflow into the engine and measures how much air can enter the engine.

The sensor ensures that the engine combustion chamber has the proper amount of air and fuel.

When the MAF sensor becomes faulty, it sends incorrect data to the PCM (Power Control Module), and the PCM triggers a reduced engine power mode.

Your airflow sensor works incorrectly because of the 04 issues.

  1. For faulty connections
  2. If the wires are open
  3. If the MAF sensor is dirty
  4. In an OBD-II scanner, you will see the P0130 code.

02. Faulty Throttle Body

Faulty Throttle Body

The throttle body is also responsible for the exact amount of air that enters the engine.

The warning light illuminates when the throttle body has problems or is faulty.

The following 03 factors are responsible for a faulty throttle body:

  1. Loose connection
  2. Wrong ground connection
  3. Dirty throttle body, etc.

03. Faulty Spark Plugs

Faulty Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are essential parts of an engine that help it to run smoothly.

If the spark plugs are faulty or worn out, it causes a reduced engine power warning light.

Spark plugs are mostly damaged by overheating.

04. Faulty Sensors

There are many sensors in a car to ensure the vehicle performs well.

Each sensor causes different problems if it’s faulty.

The oxygen sensor is one of the sensors determining the air-fuel ratio in engine combustion.

The PCM triggers a reduced engine power warning light when the oxygen sensor fails.

You will also experience 04 symptoms when the oxygen sensor is faulty:

  1. Reduced gas mileage.
  2. Engine overall performance decreases.
  3. Check engine warning light appears.
  4. You will get the P0130 code in the OBD-2 scanner.

05. Faulty Fuel Pump

Fuel pumps are used for delivering fuel from the gas tank to the engine.

If the fuel pump is clogged or faulty, or if the problem is with the fuel injectors, the pump cannot deliver enough fuel to the engine.

Due to this, the car’s engine power is reduced, and a warning light appears on the dashboard.

06. EGR Valve Issues

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is responsible for controlling engine emissions.

A stuck open or malfunctioning EGR valve will disrupt the air-fuel ratio and cause reduced engine power.

EGR valve issues also cause rough idle and poor acceleration.

07. Blown Fuse

Blown Fuse

Fuses are the essential components of a vehicle.

If a fuse related to the engine control system blows, the PCM may trigger a reduced engine power mode.

Fuses are located under the dashboard or the hood.

Identify the faulty fuse by inspecting each one.

Symptoms of Chevy Malibu Engine Power Reduced

Chevrolet Malibu’s dashboard illuminates the reduced engine power warning light, which is the primary symptom of this problem.

However, if you ignore the warning light, you will experience other symptoms too.

The symptoms are:

  1. The performance of the engine is reduced.
  2. Poor fuel economy.
  3. You will experience engine stalling or hesitating when trying to accelerate your Chevy Malibu.
  4. The engine will misfire or vibrate.
  5. Increase emissions.
  6. Unusual noise from the engine, etc.

How to Reset Reduced Engine Power Light Chevy Malibu?

Reduced engine power warning lights on your car dashboard can be easily reset if the factor which is triggering the warning light is minor.

When the problem is caused by a signal error or non-major reasons, the warning light will be reset and not appear again.

But if there are major issues, the warning light may not be reset and will appear very soon.

Here are 04 steps to reset the Chevy Malibu reduced engine power warning light:

  1. Turn off the Malibu
  2. Wait for a few seconds and turn the key on but do not start the engine
  3. Now press and hold the gas pedal for about 10 seconds
  4. After 10 to 15 seconds, release it and start the engine.

The warning light should be reset.

If the warning light doesn’t reset or appear again, it seems to be a major issue and requires proper checking.

In this case, you have 03 options available to resolve reduced engine power mode:

  1. Check all the parts causing the warning light to come on.
  2. Use an OBD-II scanner and find out the faulty parts.
  3. Take the vehicle to an experienced mechanic.

In my opinion, the second option is better and less time-consuming.

Generally, the following codes are generated by the OBD-II scanner in the case of reduced engine power warning light:

  • P0101 (MAF sensor issues)
  • P1101 (Intak airflow system issues)
  • P0172 (More fuel and low air in the engine combustion chamber)
  • P0506 (Lower RPM than it should)
  • P0299 (Supercharger or Turbo “A” has low output)

By diagnosing, you can find the specific faulty parts easily.

For the first option, if you want to check each component, you have to inspect the following parts:

  • Check the cables
  • Check all engine-related sensors
  • Inspect the throttle body
  • Inspect the mass airflow (MAF) sensor
  • Check the transmission fluid level and quality
  • Inspect your Malibu’s battery
  • Inspect the electric control unit or ECU properly
  • Inspect the fuel pump.

Once you’ve finished the complete inspection, you’ll be able to identify defective parts.

You can resolve Chevy Malibu’s reduced engine power problem by repairing or replacing faulty parts.

Watch the following video for more information:

How to Avoid Chevy Malibu reduced Engine Power?

These 05 steps will help you to avoid reduced engine power mode in your Chevy Malibu:

  1. Check the mass airflow sensor and air filter regularly and ensure they function properly.
  2. Regular maintenance is essential to prevent reduced engine power mode.
  3. Ensure that your car’s throttle body is free of dirt and debris.
  4. Include the fuel injector, fuel filter, and fuel pump in your regular maintenance check.
  5. While checking, if you find any faulty part, replace or repair it without delay.


Can I drive with engine power reduced?

It is not recommended to drive a vehicle in reduced engine power mode.

It could damage your vehicle’s engine and cost you many dollars, as it is unsure whether the problem is minor or major.

You can drive a few miles if you have an emergency or want to take your vehicle to a nearby repair shop.

Can low oil cause reduced engine power?

Yes, low oil is indirectly responsible for reduced engine power mode.

Engine oil lubricates the engine and reduces friction between moving components.

Low engine oil can sometimes cause damage to the engine.

Since the reduced engine power mode is designed to protect the engine from damage, that’s why it is triggered.

Why does my 2017 Chevy Malibu says engine power reduced?

If your 2017 Chevy Malibu says engine power is reduced, it means your Malibu’s engine has encountered a problem.

Your engine might have one of these 05 problems:

  1. Throttle body issues
  2. MAF sensor problem
  3. Fuel pump issues
  4. Oxygen sensor issues
  5. Emissions problems, etc.

What happens when engine power reduced?

Generally, the performance of your vehicle’s engine will be limited when engine power is reduced.

Fuel economy decreases, and you often feel vibration or hesitation when accelerating the vehicle.

Will an oil change fix reduced engine power?

No, only the oil change cannot fix reduced engine power, as oil is not directly responsible for the issue.

It helps to prevent the warning light from occurring but doesn’t fix the issue.

You need to find out what factor is causing the issue, and solving the problem will remove the code.

Final Thoughts

The reduced power from the engine is a sign that something is wrong with the powertrain, so you should take it seriously.

The causes of this warning light can range from simple to more complex issues.

To resolve the warning light issue, follow the steps mentioned in this article.

If you are having a problem working through the steps, take your Malibu to a certified repair shop for proper diagnosis and repair.

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