Engine Power Reduced Chevy Malibu Dashboard Warning (Easy Solution)

It can be stressful when your car is constantly entering into the Engine Power is Reduced mode, but the reasons are beyond your knowledge. And if you happen to own a Chevy Malibu, you might be familiar with what is being stated.

Because there is this one certain defect about the Malibu that might be a great turn-off. Its engine is by default, underpowered. And for this reason, the “engine power is reduced” warning gets triggered.

The problems for this issue have a variety of causes and solutions, and this article offers a thorough analysis in both areas. Therefore, if you’re concerned about your Chevy Malibu Reduced Engine Power mode, you have come to an ideal place.

What Does Engine Power Reduced Mean on A Chevy Malibu?

In most cases, the reduced engine power warning light on your Malibu’s dashboard signals that its efficiency has been restricted on purpose. The fundamental computer of your car, known as the powertrain control module (PCM), enters into Reduced Power Mode when it recognizes a system malfunction.

And when it does so, your vehicle’s performance and acceleration may be limited by the Engine Power Reduced Mode. When this mode is on, the PCM can sometimes stop the fuel supply to the engine. Hence, your Chevy Malibu may then become undrivable.

Symptoms Of Engine Power Reduced on Chevy Malibu

If you have brought a 2016 to 2018 Chevy Malibu, you may have experienced a reduced engine power or engine power is reduced alert. When this warning light is triggered, you may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Unable to accelerate
  • Failures in the accelerator pedal position sensor
  • Malfunction in the throttle body
  • Speed slowed down to 20 mph
  • Sudden loss of power
  • Overheating or cooling system failures
  • The appearance of error codes in Malibu’s dashboard such as P0121, P0236, P0299, P1101, etc.

What Causes Reduced Engine Power Chevy Malibu?

Well, asking this question can be a bit puzzling because there are too many possible answers. The issues that trigger the reduced engine power warning are also similar to issues that trigger the check engine warning light.

Nonetheless, there are some causes that can make your Chevy Malibu go into the Engine Reduced Power mode more often than others. Here are five possible reasons that have been observed to trigger this mode:

Malfunctions in the Throttle Body

Oftentimes, Reduced Engine Power mode might be triggered when the throttle body malfunctions or becomes dirty. And the dirt can cause the sensors inside the throttle body to not detect the driver’s desire for acceleration, which brings us to our next cause.

Faults in the Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor

A pair of throttle position sensors are the second main input to the TAC (Throttle Actuator Control) system. Your Chevy Malibu will enter Reduced Engine Power mode if one (or both) of the sensors fail.

This problem is so prevalent in Chevy Malibus that even a class action lawsuit was filed against them for this reason.

Circuit Malfunction

Circuit problems, which could be either faulty wires or improper connections, might cause the TAC system to malfunction. This can result in a number of issues, including your Chevy Malibu triggering Reduced Engine Power mode.

Problems in your Chevy Malibu’s Computer Memory

When a particular RPM (revolutions per minute) is not set in your car’s memory, it might operate erratically, leading to increased engine utilization. Since any case of increased engine utilization can drain out your vehicle’s power, it might also lead your car to a Reduced Engine Power mode.

Problems in the Cooling System

When the engine overheats because of cooling system problems, some Chevy Malibus will trigger Reduced Engine Power Mode. This happens because the PCM wants to prevent the engine from additional harm.

How To Fix Engine Power Reduced Chevy Malibu?

The solutions for this issue are quite complex. Despite that, there are still some aspects of Chevy Malibu that can be sorted to get rid of this problem: 

Reinstall and Clean the Throttle Body

First, carefully pull out the throttle body while your Chevy Malibu is turned off. Then, give it a thorough clean. While you wash it, if you see thick and rusty water coming out then don’t panic. 

This dirt was the reason why your vehicle was entering Reduced Engine Power mode. Replace the Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor: First, go under the dashboard and pull out the electrical clip that has a red clip on it. 

Then, remove the 10mm bolt and lift up the pedal. It will slide right out of there. And finally, install your new accelerator pedal right into the position where the old one was. 

Repair the Fuse Box

A DIY repair of your fuse box might fix the circuit malfunction. First, pull up the hood of your car and open up the cover of your fuse box. Then take a heater and evenly move the heater over your fuse box. This might fix your circuit issue that was causing your Chevy Malibu to go on Engine Power Reduced mode.

Idle Relearn Procedure

Idle relearn is a method of reprogramming the vehicle’s computer memory through the engine control module to standby at a particular RPM (revolutions per minute). Doing this is rather easy. 

To get the onboard computer to adjust to the new idle setting on the electronic throttle body, start the engine and leave it in the park for 3 minutes.  Then, turn off the engine for at least 60 seconds. Start the engine again and let it run for 3 minutes. Finally, after 3 minutes, the engine should idle normally.

Repair the Cooling System

First, drain the coolant below the level of the thermostat. Then, unbolt and remove the housing to pull the thermostat out. Clean the thermostat and gasket to reinstall them, or you can install a new one as well. 

You can also consider reinstalling your water pump and cleaning your radiator. These will repair your cooling system in Chevy Malibu and fix the problem of Engine Power Reduced.

What are the Effects of Engine Power Reduction on Your Chevy Malibu?

A number of things can happen if your Chevy Malibu faces an Engine Power Reduction mode. For example:

Improper Acceleration

It might be more difficult for your vehicle to accelerate. This can be hazardous if you’re trying to drive onto the highway or overtake another car.

Inaccessible Fuel

Another disadvantage is that it may hamper your fuel economy. When you face the reduced engine power warning, your Chevy Malibu can restrain the fuel supply to the engine thinking there is a deficit of power in the engine. 

Anxious Driving

You might also be facing a constant check engine light alert without knowing what the actual issue is. Hence, if you are unaware of this, your driving experience may become panicking. 

Overheat issue

In a lot of cases, it has been reported that a constant appearance of Engine Power Reduced mode can hamper the cooling system of your Chevy Malibu. Therefore, you might experience overheating issues as well.

You may also read our guide on- Steering Assist is Reduced


There are some other questions that might arise regarding the reduced engine power mode warning light:

Why Does My Chevy Malibu Say Engine Power Reduced? 

There can be multiple reasons behind why your Chevy Malibu triggers Engine Power Reduced mode. Some of the most common ones are: 

Malfunctions in the throttle body, faults in the accelerator pedal position sensor, circuit malfunction, problems in your chevy malibu’s computer memory, problems in the cooling system, etc.

Can I Drive Chevy Malibu With Engine Power Reduced?

Even though the majority of issues are trivial, it is still discouraged to drive with an Engine Power Reduced mode on. Because, reduced power can sometimes lead to more catastrophic issues, such as a seized engine or an exploded fire.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Engine Power Reduced?

Depending on your Chevy Malibu’s model, it can take from 100 to 500 USD to fix the Engine Power Reduced mode.

Can A Bad Battery Cause Chevy Malibu Engine Power Reduced Problem?

The reduced engine power indicator will not turn on in the majority of the cases due to a faulty battery. On the other hand, check the engine warning light, it will illuminate.


These are the prevalent issues that have proven to lead to a reduction of engine power in the Chevy Malibu. The stated above solutions should be enough to free you from hassle regarding such a complex problem.

A weak base engine and quality issues are still pretty much observable among many Chevy Malibu owners. Hence, if you happen to own it, you need to treat it with extra care and ensure proper maintenance.

If none of the solutions solve your car’s problem, we strongly urge you to get emergency help from a local auto service. A thorough check up, after all, might be able to detect and fix the issue.

Related Posts:

Similar Posts