Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car has an electrical issue - 2003 Chevrolet Malibu

asked by on

My car is having some electrical issues. When I turn the ignition nothing happens but when I plug the hand held scanner into the obd plug the car starts. But when I unplug it the car shuts off. What can cause this?

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello there. Your 2003 Chevrolet Malibu onl...

Hello there. Your 2003 Chevrolet Malibu only starting when a scanner is plugged in is an abnormal issue. There are a few faults that can cause this type of issue. Most likely would be a short in the wiring harness, poor electrical connection, or a faulty wiring harness.

A qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, will be able to diagnose your electrical issues and make any repairs required to resolve them.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car A/C won't stop blowing even with car turned off, can I unplug blower motor resistor ?

Yes, you can disconnect the resistor or the blower motor to stop the power drain. You can do this until you can get it fixed anyway.

Q: Do I have to replace my starter?

A failed starter can simply make a "clicking" sound but not crank the engine. If you have a friend and a hammer available, try this if the starter is visible either under the hood or under the car. If the...

Q: I have a slight wobble in crank shaft pulley will replacing it fix my problem? Its a 2000 lumina with 76,000 miles. thank you

Hello. The crankshaft pulley and harmonic balancer is one unit on your vehicle. There is a strip of rubber that separates the two components, that will perish over time. This is typically why it begins to wobble. You will need...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...