These are the Chevrolet Malibu dashboard warning lights for the model versions 2013 onward, including hybrid versions. The Chevy Malibu dashboard symbols are displayed along with their meaning and a possible explanation of what action to take based on the manufacturer’s guidelines. Dashboard display layout and warning lights location will vary depending on the model version.
The Chevy Malibu airbag warning light remaining constantly lit shows that there is an electrical problem with the airbag system. The system check keeps the light illuminated if the airbag sensor(s), passenger sensing system, the seat belt pretensioners, the airbag modules, the wiring, or the crash sensing and diagnostic module has a fault. It’s possible the airbag may not inflate during a collision, or they may inflate unexpectedly. Have the system checked as soon as possible.
The Chevy Malibu battery warning light remaining lit or flashing means there’s a charging electrical system fault and the battery will likely become drained. If a short distance must be driven with the light on, be sure to turn off all accessories, such as the radio and air conditioner. This will help to conserve battery power and keep the engine running longer. Check generator / alternator belt, battery connections and wiring.
The Chevy Malibu engine warning light comes on as part of the vehicle’s emission control on-board diagnostic system. If this light is on while the engine is running, a malfunction has been detected and the vehicle may require service. Continued driving with the engine light on may result in an increase usage of fuel and poor engine performance. There’s also an increased risk of engine damage. If the engine light is on steady, it may be the result of poor fuel quality, but if often due to a fault sensor in the engine. If the engine light is flashing, there’s possible risk of damaging the emissions control system. In either case, avoid driving the engine hard.
When the engine warning light comes on, a fault code if usually stored. Diagnostic equipment is required to read the fault codes that aid the engineer in locating the malfunctioning part.
The Chevy Malibu brake warning light remaining on is an indication of a brake system malfunction. If the light doesn’t come on at all, it means the dashboard bulb had blown. If the light comes on while driving, it may be an indication of low brake fluid – check levels in the brake reservoir. If the red brake light remains on, it’s advised that you do not continue driving and to have the vehicle towed.
The Chevy Malibu electric parking brake light comes on when the parking brake is applied. If the park light flashes when the parking brake is released or while driving, there’s a problem with the electric parking brake. The can sometimes be due to a low battery charge. The service electric parking brake (parking light and wrench) may illuminate on some vehicles. The parking brake may still work, but at a reduced level.
The Chevy Malibu ABS warning light (Anti-lock Brake System) remaining lit means there’s a problem with the system. Often stopping the engine and restarting clears the fault as it resets the ABS. If the light still remains lit, it often means there’s a fault with one of the wheel speed sensors. If ABS fails, normal vehicle brakes will continue to operate.
Engine Overheating Symbol
This red symbol means the Chevy Malibu engine is overheating and you should stop the vehicle and switch off the engine as soon as possible. Continued driving is likely to cause engine damage. Once stopped, allow the engine to cool, open the hood and check engine coolant levels. If levels are low, use a cloth to open the coolant reservoir as pressurized steam may escape. Continue driving only if the warning light goes off. Continued topping up of coolant indicates a leak in the cooling system.
LKA (Lane Keep Assist) is the Chevrolet Malibu system that helps to alert the driver if there’s an unintended lane change. LKA may assist by gently turning the steering wheel if the vehicle approaches a detected lane marking without using the turn signal in that direction. In this instance, the LKA light will turn amber. This light is amber and flashes as a Lane Departure Warning (LDW) alert, to indicate that the lane marking has been crossed. The LKA light is green when the system is available to assist.
Vehicle Ahead Symbol
The vehicle ahead indicator is designed to alert the driver when they’re following the vehicle ahead too closely. If the driver is following the vehicle ahead too closely, the warning light will turn amber. The symbol is green when the system detects a vehicle. As with LKA and FPB, the vehicle ahead alert system uses a camera mounted at the center top of the windshield. Ensure the windshield is clean to enable the system a clear view of the road ahead.
The Front Pedestrian Braking (FPB) system may help avoid or reduce the harm caused by front-end crashes with nearby pedestrians when driving in a forward gear. FPB displays a pedestrian ahead indicator when a nearby pedestrian is detected directly ahead. When approaching a detected pedestrian too quickly, FPB provides a red flashing alert on the windshield and rapidly beeps. FPB can provide a boost to braking or automatically brake the vehicle.
Traction Control Off Symbol
The Chevy Malibu traction control off light comes on when the Traction Control System (TCS) has been turned off by pressing and releasing the TCS/StabiliTrak button. If the TCS is off, wheel spin is not limited. For stability, it’s generally a good idea to keep traction control on. It can be beneficial to turn off traction control if you’re trying to free the vehicle from snow or mud.
Stability Control Symbol
This is StabiliTrak, the Chevy Malibu’s verison of the electronic stability control system. The warning light flashes when the system is attempting to reduce a loss of traction and when it’s attempting to control understeer or oversteer. If the light remains constantly lit, it means there’s a fault with the system. The usual cause of the fault is one of the four wheel speed sensors has malfunctioned.
Tire Pressure Symbol
The Chevy Malibu tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) constantly monitors all four road tire pressures. If the warning light remains constantly lit, it indicates that one or more of the tires are significantly underinflated and requires checking immediately. Check pressures based on the pressure label located inside the driver’s door. Check the tire inflation pressure when the tires are cold, meaning the vehicle has not been driven for at least three hours or no more than 1.6 km / 1 mile.
If there’s a fault with the TPMS, the warning light flashes for around 1 minute, then remains lit. The Chevrolet Malibu uses radio pressure sensors located in each tire. All four sensors must be working correctly, else the warning light illuminates. The spare wheel does not contain a sensor. If wheels or tire have been fitted that are outside of Chevrolet’s recommended, it may cause the TPMS to not function correctly.
Oil Pressure Symbol
If the Chevy Malibu red oil light comes on and stays on, it means that oil is not flowing through the engine properly. The vehicle could be low on oil and might have some other system problem. The first thing to do is to stop driving as soon as possible and switch off the engine. Check oil levels and add oil is necessary. Only continue driving if the oil light has gone off. If it remains on, it means the oil pressure is low and continued driving will cause significant engine damage. Arrange to have the vehicle towed.
The car and lock symbol is the Chevy Malibu immobilizer warning light. This light should come on briefly when the engine is started, then go out. If the immobilizer light stays on, it means there’s a problem with arming or disarming the theft-deterrent system. A correctly matched transmitter key fob must be matched to the immobilizer control unit in the vehicle, else it will not start. Ensure the battery in the key fob is in good working condition, or if the battery is low, place the key in the vehicle transmitter pocket. If you have another key fob, try this.
Chevy Malibu Hybrid
The Chevy Malibu hybrid may illuminate all the warning lights as that of the non-hybrid version on this page, but has some additional information.
Hybrid Power Gauge
Rather than displaying a tachometer, the Chevy Malibu hybrid displays a power indicator gauge. This gauge displays the vehicle’s power usage in propelling or slowing the vehicle. The green area indicates regenerative braking, the white area indicates power provided by the engine and/or battery and the yellow area shows high power usage.
The power flow display for the Chevy Malibu can be accessed via the infotainment system.
The Power Flow screens indicate the current operating condition of the vehicle’s power production. The screens show energy flow between the engine, generator, and high voltage battery. These components will be highlighted when they are active.
The energy information screen displays power consumption. For the Chevy Malibu hybrid, this screen can be accessed via the infotainment system.
This is the Chevy Malibu hybrid consumption history graph and it shows the average fuel economy over the last 50 km or 50 miles. The ‘Present’ bar provides the average fuel economy for the present 5 km or miles. Touch Reset to clear the history data.
10 thoughts on “Chevy Malibu Dashboard Warning Lights”
What does a check under driver seat warning light mean??
Under the front seats, you’ll have devices and connected for SRS airbags and seat movement functions. Perhaps a cable / connector has come loose.
It was a red square orange square box with an arrow pointing down what is that?
I’m not 100% sure here, but it could be low coolant level. I should take a look under the hood at your engine coolant levels.
When I start my car on the display screen it has pictures showing not to leave keys. Phone, credit cards because it’s hot. I did get this message in the summer but it’s 55 degrees ??
Are you sure this isn’t a message simply to remind you not to leave valuables in the car?
Alternatively, the Chevy Malibu (depending on your model) can give you a warning message if you place items in the car’s phone charging slot.
I was just concerned this only showed up when it was hot outside. That mostly is the cause I was so worried it was engine trouble. I have that kind of luck. Thank you for responding so quickly
No, the message is nothing to worry about 🙂
I have a 2018 Chevy Malibu. It seems the Engine Symbol light came on today so I googled about it and found your website. It is not blinking. I got the car serviced at a Chevy dealership only a few months ago so not sure what went wrong since then. How do I know for sure without taking it back to the dealership, which is a bit far so want to go only if I have to.
If your Chevy Malibu is still under warranty, you’ll need to take it back to the dealership. What you’ll need to do is have a diagnostic scanner hooked up to scan for fault codes. There’s quite a lot of things that can trigger the engine warning light. You can usually drive with a non-blinking engine light for a bit, but best to get the problem sorted as soon as you can, else it’ll often get worse. If it isn’t under warranty, you can take it wherever you like to have the scanner hooked up, and / or repairs carried out. The fault codes read by the scanner should hopefully point you in the right direction to where the fault is. When it comes to the engine light, the scanner is the first thing to do.