3 Common Causes and Fixes P1101 Chevy Malibu

By | January 15, 2023

Causes and Fixes P1101 Chevy Malibu
If you have a Chevy Malibu with a P1101 error code, there are some common causes and fixes that can solve the problem.

Causes include the MAF sensor, throttle body, and possible vacuum leak.

What is a P1101 on a Chevy Malibu?

A P1101 OBDII error code is listed as “MAF Out of Self Test Range.”

Some scan tools will give the error as an “Intake Air Flow System Performance.”

When the Chevy Malibu first starts, the mass airflow sensor (MAF) does a self-diagnostic test.

If the self-diagnostic test results are out of range, a P1101 error code is given.

There is usually an issue with the MAF sensor, throttle body, or a vacuum leak.

3 Common Causes and Fixes P1101 Chevy Malibu

  • Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF)
  • Causes and Fixes P1101 Chevy Malibu Mass Air Flow Sensor
    A bad or dirty mass airflow sensor can cause a P1101 error code.

    The mass airflow sensor is located at the air intake filter box and is easy to clean or replace.

    It is usually best to clean the sensor first before replacing it as they are often just dirty.

  • Throttle Body
  • Causes and Fixes P1101 Chevy Malibu Throttle Body Dirty
    If the throttle body has failed or becomes dirty, it can give a P1101 code.

    It is located at the back of the engine up against the firewall with the air intake hose attached.
    Causes and Fixes P1101 Chevy Malibu Throttle Body Location
    If it is dirty, it can be cleaned up with throttle body cleaner and a rag.

    Sometimes it will look clean but has dirt somewhere that requires it to be cleaning.

    It may have also failed but cleaning it up often solves throttle body issues.

  • Vacuum Leak
  • A vacuum leak can cause many different issues, including a P1101 error code.

    If a leak is big, it can often be heard, but small leaks can be hard to find.

    A spray bottle can be used to see if the idle changes when the leak is sprayed to help pinpoint the location.

    A mechanic shop will use a smoke machine that feeds smoke into the system and comes out of the leak helping to find it.
    Causes and Fixes P1101 Chevy Malibu PCV Valve
    A common weak point is the PVC valve which depending on the Chevy Malibu year, may have two.

    Often if the PVC valve has gone bad, it will make a hissing noise.

The Chevrolet Malibu is a great car, but like all vehicles can have issues, especially as it ages.

One such common issue is a P1101 OBDII error code.

If the check engine light comes on and a code reader gives a P1101 trouble code, it is usually the mass airflow MAF, throttle body, or a leak.

The first thing to check is how dirty the throttle body is, and clean it if necessary.

Often they can look clean but have dirt or grim somewhere that is causing an issue.

To clean it use throttle body cleaner; it can be sprayed and cleaned up with a rag.

Depending on how dirty it is, it may need to be removed and cleaned very well.

An air leak can also cause issues, with large leaks usually easy to find and mall leaks harder.

For hard-to-find leaks, certified mechanics will use a smoke machine that feeds smoke into the system and comes out of the leak location.

The mass airflow sensor reference voltage can also be checked along with fuel pressure, air leaks, vacuum system, fuel trim system, if the system is too lean, and self-test range.

Have you had issues with a Chevy Malibu P1101 OBDII error code? Let us know your thoughts below.

Bob Thomas
Latest posts by Bob Thomas (see all)

6 thoughts on “3 Common Causes and Fixes P1101 Chevy Malibu

  1. James King

    Pulling the hose off of the PCV valve 2016 1.5 turbo, Special tool needed?

  2. Manuel

    I had this same error code in my 2017 Malibu but i De-Iced The Charge Air Cooler which builds up moisture, after that i deleted error code and car runs good, hope it helps!

  3. Jorge

    Hi everyone I have a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Lt 1.5 turbocharger. Check light is on. Whit code p1101

    1. Tanisha

      Hi Jorge, I’m having the same issue with the same vehicle, did you find the solution?

    2. MAL

      we cleaned throttle body changed mas new air filter light stayed off for about 6 months now back on. when the car starts it’s fine but soon as it gets warmed up there’s a hissing noise like a air leak. I want to change the pcv’s but I don’t know what kind of screw head it is.

    3. Shabaz

      First you need to check with a smoke test to see where there is air leakage. I had the same problem. My turbo cooler had leaks


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