2013 Chevy Malibu Fan Keeps Running: the Hidden Causes and Expert Solutions

The 2013 Chevy Malibu fan keeps running due to potential issues with the fan relay or temperature sensor. The 2013 Chevy Malibu is a popular sedan model known for its performance and reliability.

However, some owners have reported a problem with the fan system, specifically with the fan continuously running even after the engine has been turned off. This issue could indicate a faulty fan relay or temperature sensor. When these components malfunction, they can cause the fan to remain on unnecessarily, which can drain the battery and potentially lead to overheating.

If you are experiencing this issue with your 2013 Chevy Malibu, it is recommended to have it inspected and repaired by a qualified mechanic. By addressing this problem promptly, you can ensure the proper functioning of your vehicle’s cooling system and avoid potential damage.

Symptoms And Identification

If your 2013 Chevy Malibu’s fan keeps running even after turning off the engine, it could be a sign of a potential issue. Identifying the symptoms and addressing the problem promptly will help maintain the longevity of your vehicle.

Fan Running Even When The Engine Is Off:

The Chevy Malibu fan may continue to run even when the engine is off, indicating a potential issue with the cooling system. This can result in a drained battery and other related problems.

If you have noticed that the fan on your 2013 Chevy Malibu keeps running even when the engine is off, it is important to identify the underlying cause to prevent further damage. Here are some symptoms and ways to identify the problem:

  • Observe: Pay attention to any unusual behavior such as the fan not shutting off after turning off the engine or running continuously even during short drives.
  • Battery drain: If you experience frequent battery drain issues, where your battery loses power quicker than normal, this can be a symptom of a malfunctioning cooling fan system.
  • Overheating: Another symptom linked to a running fan is engine overheating. If your Malibu frequently overheats or you notice an increase in engine temperature, it may be due to a problem with the fan.
  • Check cooling fan relays and fuses: Inspect the cooling fan relays and fuses, which are commonly located in the engine compartment fuse box. Look for any signs of damage or if they need to be replaced.
  • Test cooling fan switch: Use a multimeter to test the cooling fan switch, which activates the fan in response to the engine temperature. A faulty switch may cause the fan to run constantly or not turn on at all.
  • Inspect wiring and connections: Examine the wiring and connections related to the cooling fan system. Look for any loose or damaged wires, as these can disrupt the proper functioning of the fan.
  • Consult a professional: If you’re unable to identify the cause of the fan running issue, it is recommended to consult a professional mechanic who has experience working with Chevy vehicles. They can use specialized diagnostic tools to pinpoint the exact problem.

Remember, addressing the fan running issue promptly can prevent further damage to your Chevy Malibu’s cooling system and help maintain optimal engine performance.

Causes Of Persistent Fan Operation

The persistent fan operation in a 2013 Chevy Malibu could be caused by issues with the cooling system, such as a malfunctioning temperature sensor or a faulty thermostat. It is recommended to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to diagnose and resolve the issue.

The persistent operation of a fan in a 2013 Chevy Malibu can be a cause for concern. If you’ve noticed that your fan is continuously running even when the engine is not overheating, there may be underlying issues that require attention.

In this section, we will explore the possible causes of this fan behavior, including a faulty coolant temperature sensor, malfunctioning fan relay, and defective thermostat.

Faulty Coolant Temperature Sensor:

  • The coolant temperature sensor plays a crucial role in determining the operating temperature of the engine. When this sensor malfunctions, it may send incorrect readings to the vehicle’s computer system, causing the fan to run continuously.
  • A faulty coolant temperature sensor can also lead to other performance issues, such as poor fuel efficiency and rough engine behavior.
  • If you suspect that the coolant temperature sensor is to blame, it is recommended to have it checked and possibly replaced by a qualified mechanic.

Malfunctioning Fan Relay:

  • The fan relay is responsible for activating the fan when the engine reaches a certain temperature. If the relay becomes faulty, it can get stuck in the “on” position, causing the fan to run continuously.
  • A malfunctioning fan relay can be diagnosed by performing a relay test or by checking for any visible signs of damage, such as burned-out connections.
  • To rectify this issue, the fan relay may need to be replaced with a new one.

Defective Thermostat:

  • The thermostat’s primary function is to regulate the engine’s operating temperature by opening or closing the coolant flow. If the thermostat becomes defective, it may get stuck in the closed position, causing the engine to overheat and the fan to run constantly.
  • Symptoms of a defective thermostat include erratic temperature gauge readings, overheating, and poor cabin heating.
  • Replacing the thermostat with a new one should resolve this issue and ensure proper engine temperature regulation.

A 2013 Chevy Malibu fan that keeps running can be attributed to various causes, namely a faulty coolant temperature sensor, malfunctioning fan relay, or defective thermostat. Determining the exact cause requires proper diagnostics and, if necessary, replacement of the faulty component.

If you experience this issue, it is recommended to have a qualified mechanic inspect and address the underlying problem to avoid potential engine damage and ensure optimal vehicle performance.

Understanding Chevy Malibu Cooling System

The Chevy Malibu cooling system is essential for maintaining optimal engine temperature. If you are experiencing a 2013 Chevy Malibu fan that keeps running, it could indicate an issue with the thermostat or cooling fan relay. Proper diagnosis and repair are vital to prevent engine damage.

The Chevy Malibu is a popular sedan known for its sleek design and impressive performance. However, it’s not immune to the occasional mechanical issue. One common problem reported by Malibu owners is a fan that keeps running even after the engine is turned off.

If you’re experiencing this issue, it’s important to understand the cooling system of your Chevy Malibu and the role it plays in maintaining optimal engine temperature. In this section, we’ll discuss the components of the cooling system and the importance of proper cooling system operation.

Components Of The Cooling System:

  • Radiator: The radiator is responsible for cooling down the hot coolant that circulates through the engine. It consists of a series of tubes and fins that allow heat to dissipate, aided by airflow.
  • Water Pump: The water pump is responsible for circulating the coolant through the engine and radiator. It operates using a belt-driven pulley system or an electric motor.
  • Thermostat: The thermostat controls the flow of coolant based on the engine’s temperature. It opens and closes to regulate the coolant flow, ensuring that the engine maintains an optimal operating temperature.
  • Fan: The cooling fan helps to lower the coolant temperature when the vehicle is stationary or operating at low speeds. It draws airflow through the radiator to dissipate heat.
  • Coolant: The coolant, also known as antifreeze, is a mixture of water and additives. It helps to regulate the engine’s temperature and prevents freezing or boiling of the coolant.

Importance Of Proper Cooling System Operation:

  • Prevents engine overheating: The cooling system plays a crucial role in preventing the engine from overheating. When the system is functioning properly, coolant flows through the engine, absorbing heat and transferring it to the radiator for dispersal.
  • Ensures efficient engine performance: Operating the engine at the optimal temperature allows it to function efficiently. The cooling system helps maintain a consistent temperature range, ensuring that the engine performs at its best.
  • Extends engine longevity: Overheating can cause serious damage to the engine components, such as warping cylinder heads or damaging piston rings. By properly cooling the engine, the cooling system helps to extend its longevity and reduce the risk of costly repairs.
  • Improves fuel efficiency: When the engine is operating within the ideal temperature range, it can burn fuel more efficiently. This improves fuel economy and reduces emissions, benefiting both your wallet and the environment.
  • Reduces the risk of breakdowns: A malfunctioning cooling system can lead to engine overheating and eventually a breakdown. By properly maintaining and addressing cooling system issues promptly, you can reduce the risk of unexpected roadside incidents.

Diagnosing The Faulty Coolant Temperature Sensor

The 2013 Chevy Malibu fan keeps running, which could indicate a faulty coolant temperature sensor. Diagnosing this issue requires checking the sensor’s electrical connections and resistance values to ensure accurate readings for proper cooling system operation.

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to check the coolant temperature sensor and help you get your Chevy Malibu back to optimal performance.

Tools Required For Diagnosis:

To diagnose the faulty coolant temperature sensor on your 2013 Chevy Malibu, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Multimeter: Used to measure electrical resistance and voltage.
  • Socket wrench set: Necessary for removing components such as the air intake assembly and coolant temperature sensor.
  • Coolant drain pan: Used to catch any coolant that may leak during the process.
  • Cooling system pressure tester: Helps identify any leaks within the cooling system.
  • Safety goggles and gloves: Essential for protecting yourself during the diagnosis.

Now that you have the necessary tools, let’s move on to the step-by-step guide for checking the coolant temperature sensor.

Step-By-Step Guide To Checking The Sensor:

  • Prepare your vehicle: Ensure that the engine is cool and turned off. Park your Chevy Malibu on a level surface, engage the parking brake, and disconnect the battery to avoid any electrical accidents.
  • Locate the sensor: The coolant temperature sensor is typically located near the thermostat housing or on the intake manifold. Refer to your vehicle’s service manual to pinpoint the exact location.
  • Remove any obstructions: In some cases, you may need to remove components such as the air intake assembly to access the sensor easily.
  • Inspect the sensor wiring: Check the sensor’s wiring harness for any visible signs of damage or loose connections. A damaged or disconnected wire could lead to faulty readings.
  • Disconnect the sensor: Carefully detach the electrical connector from the sensor by pressing or releasing the connecting tab, depending on the connector type.
  • Test the sensor with a multimeter: Set your multimeter to the resistance measurement (ohms) setting. Connect the multimeter leads to the sensor terminals and observe the resistance reading. Compare it to the specifications provided in your vehicle’s service manual.
  • Perform a cold start test: Start the engine when it’s cold and observe how the coolant temperature gauge responds. It should indicate a low coolant temperature initially and gradually rise as the engine warms up. An incorrect reading could indicate a faulty sensor.
  • Perform a hot engine test: After the engine has reached its operating temperature, check the coolant temperature gauge reading. It should remain relatively stable within the normal range. If it fluctuates significantly or reads excessively high or low, the sensor may be faulty.
  • Check for any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs): Use an OBD-II scanner to retrieve any DTCs related to the coolant temperature sensor. These codes can provide further insight into the issue.
  • Replace or repair the sensor: If you have determined that the coolant temperature sensor is faulty based on your tests and inspections, it’s recommended to replace the sensor. Consult your vehicle’s service manual or seek professional assistance for the proper replacement procedure.

Troubleshooting A Malfunctioning Fan Relay

If your 2013 Chevy Malibu fan keeps running, troubleshooting a malfunctioning fan relay may be necessary. Check for any faulty wiring or a damaged relay and consider replacing it to resolve the issue.

Symptoms Of A Faulty Fan Relay

  • The fan continues to run even when the engine is turned off. This can lead to a drained battery or overworking the fan motor.
  • The fan doesn’t turn on when the engine reaches operating temperature. This can lead to overheating issues.
  • You might notice that the fan runs at full speed all the time, even when the engine is cold. This can lead to increased noise and reduced fuel efficiency.

How To Test And Replace The Relay

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to troubleshoot the malfunctioning fan relay in your 2013 Chevy Malibu:

  • Turn off the engine and make sure the car is in a safe and well-ventilated area before starting any work.
  • Locate the fan relay. In most vehicles, it can be found in the engine compartment’s fuse box or relay box. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the exact location.
  • Start by visually inspecting the relay for any signs of damage or corrosion. If you notice any issues, it’s likely you need to replace the relay.
  • To test the relay, you will need a multimeter set to the resistance (ohm) setting. First, remove the relay from its socket.
  • Connect the multimeter’s positive lead to one of the relay’s terminals and the negative lead to another terminal. Take note of the resistance reading displayed on the multimeter.
  • Repeat the process, connecting the positive lead to a different terminal and the negative lead to another terminal. Again, note the resistance reading.
  • Compare the resistance readings obtained with the specifications provided by the vehicle manufacturer. If the readings are significantly different or if the multimeter displays an open circuit, the relay is likely faulty and should be replaced.
  • To replace the relay, simply remove the old one from its socket and insert a new one. Make sure it is securely seated.
  • After replacing the relay, start the engine and monitor the fan’s operation. Ensure it turns on and off at the appropriate times according to the engine’s temperature.
  • Finally, test the fan relay again using the multimeter to confirm the new relay is functioning correctly. Repeat steps 5 and 6, comparing the resistance readings with the manufacturer’s specifications.

Remember to exercise caution while working around electrical components and consult a professional if you are uncertain or uncomfortable performing these tests and replacements.

Addressing Issues With The Defective Thermostat

Having trouble with your 2013 Chevy Malibu fan constantly running? Learn how to address this issue with the defective thermostat, ensuring optimal performance and preventing potential damage.

Signs Of A Malfunctioning Thermostat

  • The engine temperature fluctuates: If you notice that the temperature gauge on your 2013 Chevy Malibu is frequently moving up and down, it could be a sign of a faulty thermostat.
  • Overheating engine: A malfunctioning thermostat may cause the engine to overheat, leading to potential damage if not addressed promptly.
  • Low heat from the heater: If your car’s heater is not providing enough warmth even when set to high, it may be due to a faulty thermostat.

Steps To Test And Replace The Thermostat

To diagnose a defective thermostat and replace it if necessary, follow these steps:

Prepare the Vehicle:

  • Park your 2013 Chevy Malibu on a flat surface and engage the parking brake.
  • Allow the engine to cool down before proceeding.

Locate the Thermostat:

  • Open the hood of your car and locate the thermostat housing. It is typically located near the upper radiator hose.

Test the Thermostat:

  • Start the engine and let it warm up. As it reaches operating temperature, observe the temperature gauge for any irregularities.
  • Feel the upper radiator hose and confirm if it is warm to the touch. This indicates that coolant is flowing and the thermostat is open.
  • Carefully touch the lower radiator hose, which should remain cold if the thermostat is functioning correctly.

Remove the Thermostat:

  • Once the engine has cooled again, disconnect the negative battery cable to ensure safety.
  • Drain a suitable amount of coolant from the radiator to avoid any spills when removing the thermostat.

Replace the Thermostat:

  • Loosen and remove the bolts securing the thermostat housing.
  • Take out the old thermostat and gasket, ensuring they are completely removed from the engine.

Install the New Thermostat:

  • Place the new thermostat in the correct orientation, making sure the spring-side faces the engine.
  • Apply a thin layer of gasket sealant to both sides of the new gasket.
  • Align the new gasket and thermostat housing before tightening the bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Refill the Coolant:

  • Replenish the coolant level to the appropriate level, following the vehicle’s manual for the recommended coolant type.

Test the New Thermostat:

  • Start the engine and monitor the temperature gauge for any abnormalities.
  • Check for leaks around the thermostat housing.

By following these steps, you can effectively address issues with the defective thermostat of your 2013 Chevy Malibu. Remember to take all necessary safety precautions and consult the vehicle’s manual for model-specific instructions.

Additional Considerations For Persistent Fan Operation

If you are experiencing the issue of your 2013 Chevy Malibu fan continuously running, even after the engine has been turned off, there could be a few additional factors to consider.

These additional considerations include checking for wiring or electrical issues, as well as potential problems with the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

Checking For Wiring Or Electrical Issues:

-Inspect the fan relay: Start by checking the fan relay to ensure it is functioning properly. A faulty relay could cause the fan to operate longer than necessary.

-Examine the fan wiring: Carefully inspect the wiring connected to the fan motor. Look for any signs of damage or loose connections that may be causing the fan to stay on.

-Check the coolant temperature sensor: Malfunctioning coolant temperature sensors can sometimes send incorrect signals to the PCM, causing the fan to operate longer than necessary. Test the sensor and replace if needed.

-Inspect the PCM connections: Inspect the connections between the PCM and other electrical components of the vehicle. Loose or damaged connections can interfere with the proper functioning of the fan.

Potential Problems With The Pcm:

-Check for PCM software updates: Sometimes, outdated software in the PCM can cause the fan to run longer than necessary. Check with your dealership or a qualified mechanic to determine if there are any available software updates for your vehicle.

-Examine the PCM for faults: A malfunctioning PCM could also be the culprit behind the persistent fan operation. Have the PCM scanned for any fault codes that could indicate an issue, and address them accordingly.

-Consider a PCM replacement: If all else fails, it may be necessary to replace the PCM. This should only be done after ruling out other possible causes and with the assistance of a professional.

By taking these additional considerations into account, you can troubleshoot and address the persistent fan operation issue in your 2013 Chevy Malibu. Remember to consult a qualified mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair to ensure optimal performance of your vehicle.

Expert Solutions For Resolving Fan Running Issues

Resolve the issue of your 2013 Chevy Malibu fan continuously running with expert solutions. Trust in our expertise to diagnose and fix the problem efficiently, ensuring smooth functioning of your vehicle. Visit us now for reliable and effective solutions.

In this section, we will share recommendations from Chevy Malibu experts that will assist in rectifying the fan running issue.

Additionally, we will provide you with some tips for maintenance and prevention to keep your Chevy Malibu running smoothly.

Recommendations From Chevy Malibu Experts:

  • Check the coolant level: Insufficient coolant can cause the engine to overheat, leading to the fan continuously running. Make sure the coolant level is within the recommended range and inspect for any leaks. If the coolant level is low, fill it up and monitor the situation.
  • Inspect the radiator fan switch: The fan switch plays a crucial role in regulating the fan’s operation. A faulty switch can cause the fan to run constantly. Have the switch examined by an expert to determine if it needs replacing.
  • Examine the fan relay: The fan relay controls the power supply to the fan. A malfunctioning relay can cause the fan to stay on even when it shouldn’t. A professional diagnosis can help identify if the relay needs repair or replacement.
  • Check the thermostat: A malfunctioning thermostat can disrupt the engine’s temperature regulation, leading to the fan running continuously. An expert should inspect and replace the thermostat if necessary.
  • Inspect the wiring and connections: Faulty wiring or loose connections can interfere with the fan’s operation. Ensure that all wiring is intact and connections are secure. If any issues are detected, have them addressed by a qualified technician.

Tips For Maintenance And Prevention:

  • Regularly check coolant levels: Monitor the coolant levels in your Chevy Malibu and ensure they are sufficient. Low coolant levels can contribute to overheating and trigger the fan to run continuously.
  • Perform routine inspections: Keep a regular maintenance schedule and inspect the various components related to the cooling system. This includes checking for leaks, loose connections, and damaged parts. Address any issues promptly to prevent further complications.
  • Clean the radiator: Over time, dirt, debris, and bugs can accumulate on the radiator, impeding its efficiency. Cleaning the radiator periodically will help maintain proper airflow and prevent the fan from running excessively.
  • Follow recommended service intervals: Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals for your Chevy Malibu. Regular maintenance, such as coolant flushes and radiator inspections, can prevent potential issues that could cause the fan to continuously run.
  • Avoid overheating: Be mindful of driving conditions that may cause your engine to overheat, such as idling for extended periods or driving in extreme heat. Taking preventive measures to avoid overheating can help prevent the fan from running constantly.


After examining the issue of a continuously running fan in the 2013 Chevy Malibu, it is clear that this is a common problem faced by many owners of the vehicle. This blog post aimed to delve into the possible causes and solutions for this persistent issue.

From our research, we have identified several potential culprits, including a malfunctioning cooling fan relay, a faulty thermostat, or a problem with the engine’s cooling system. It is important for Chevy Malibu owners to address this issue promptly to avoid any further damage to their vehicle.

The best course of action is to consult a certified mechanic who can accurately diagnose and resolve the issue. Taking preventive measures such as regular maintenance and addressing any warning signs promptly can help ensure the longevity and performance of the vehicle.

We hope that the information provided in this blog post has been helpful in shedding light on the causes and solutions for a continuously running fan in the 2013 Chevy Malibu.

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