The Chevy Malibu is a hugely popular mid-size family car.
Like most other vehicles, it has various beeps and chimes to alert the driver’s attention.
If you’re unsure why your Malibu keeps beeping, this article is here to help.
Why Does My Chevy Malibu Beep 3 Times?
The most common cause of beeping coming from a Chevy Malibu is the Remote Left in Vehicle Alert and the Remote No Longer Left in Vehicle Alert. These alerts will cause the horn to beep 3 times. 3 beeps of the horn can also be caused by the Lockout Protection feature.
Remote Left in Vehicle Alert
This feature sounds an alert when the Remote Keyless Entry transmitter is left in the vehicle.
When the vehicle is turned off and an RKE transmitter is left in the vehicle, the horn will beep three times after all doors are closed.
Remote No Longer Left in Vehicle Alert.
If the vehicle is on with a door open and then all doors are closed, the vehicle will check for RKE transmitters inside.
If an RKE transmitter is not detected, the Driver Information Center (DIC) will display NO REMOTE DETECTED and the horn will chirp three times.
This occurs only once each time the vehicle is driven.
How To Turn On or Off These Alerts
This can vary depending slightly on what model year Malibu you have.
You must access the Vehicle Personalization menu:
- Touch the Settings icon on the Home Page of the infotainment display.
- Touch Vehicle to display a list of available options.
- Touch to select the desired feature setting.
- Touch O or | to turn a feature off or on.
- Touch X to go to the top level of the Settings menu.
- Remote Left in Vehicle Alert -> Touch Off or On
This menu also enables Remote No Longer In Vehicle Alert.
From the Chevy Malibu Owners Manual:
If the ignition is on or the car is in ACC/ACCESSORY and the power door lock switch is pressed with the driver door open, all the doors will lock and only the driver door will unlock.
If the vehicle is off and locking is requested while a door is open, when all doors are closed the vehicle will check for RKE transmitters inside.
If an RKE transmitter is detected and the number of RKE transmitters inside has not reduced, the driver door will unlock and the horn will chirp three times.
Lockout Protection can be manually overridden with the driver door open by pressing and holding Q on the power door lock switch.
Chevy Malibu Beeping
If your Chevy Malibu is beeping at you then there are some things you may want to check yourself first before taking it into the dealership.
Weight on the Passenger Seat
If you’ve got some groceries, a gym bag or even your pet pooch on the passenger seat this can trigger a beeping noise as your car will think your ‘passenger’ needs to buckle up.
You can simply buckle the seatbelt to see if this stops the beeping.
Faulty latches or Sticking Door Mechanisms
If you’ve got a door latch that’s sticking this will make the car think you’ve got a door open when you haven’t.
Try giving a good clean to all door mechanisms and lubricating with WD-40.
Make sure all door locks are opening and closing as they should.
One Malibu owner had this to say:
“I checked my door locks and everything was fine after that! When I made sure the lock was unstuck the beeping noise stopped.”
If the parking brake is not released when you begin to drive, a Driver Information Center (DIC) message will appear and a chime will sound warning you that the parking brake is still on.
A chime sounds and the warning light flashes when the parking brake is applied and the vehicle is moving at least 8 km/h (5 mph).
The parking brake is a common culprit of unknown Malibu beeps.
If the battery is starting to die you may hear a warning beep.
You can always check the battery life with a voltmeter, by measuring the voltage across the battery’s terminals.
If it’s under 11V then this is causing the beeps and you’ll need to replace it.
Faulty Multi-Function Switch
This ’98 Malibu owner solved their beeping problems by replacing the multi-function switch – the multifunction switch levers control headlights, turn signals, wipers and intermittent windshield washers.
My blinker cluster kept on clicking nonstop (as if the blinker was on, but it wasn’t) and there was a horrid beeping coming from the car (as if the car is in gear and the door is open).
I popped open the cover on the top of the steering wheel changed out the blinker switch, which is one piece with the windshield wiper switch, and the noises went away.
Haven’t had the problem since then, and it’s been about 1 year, this is the part.
Here’s how one owner stopped their Malibu beeping:
I had a similar [beeping] problem and it was because I accidentally set my headlights to the ‘OFF’ position and didn’t put them back on ‘AUTO’.
When I shift my car from Park to Drive, the headlights automatically go on but doesn’t put itself back on ‘AUTO’ when I shift it back to Park.
Tire Pressure and Oil & Fluid
It’s always worth checking your tire pressure and fluid levels are all correct, such as:
- Engine oil
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
- Windshield washer
If you have keyless ignition, the fob could be indicating a low battery, or one of the buttons is getting bumped as you drive.
Faulty ignition switch
If you have a faulty ignition switch, the car will think the key is still left in the ignition which can trigger a beeping sound.
Bulb Blown in the Gauge Cluster
Although this isn’t specific to Chevy’s, on some vehicles when a bulb has blown in the gauge cluster the vehicle makes a warning beep.
There is a simple way to check this:
- Turn the key to the ‘ON’ poistion.
- Observe the gauge cluster.
- All lamps should illuminate.
Related: How Long Do Chevrolet Malibu Last?
Chevy Malibu Beeping Whilst Driving
If your Chevy Malibu is beeping whilst driving this is most likely caused by the parking brake, a sticking door mechanism or weight on the passenger’s seat.
If you’ve left your parking brake on or there is a fault with the parking brake this triggers a beeping sound.
Some owners have found that leaving a bag or a relatively lightweight item on the passenger seat can also trigger a beep.
Secret Tip: If you ever hear a rattle in your dash up near the top. Check under your wiper blades for a leaf!
Chevy Malibu Beeps 5 Times
5 Beeps on a Chevy Malibu could be indicating there is an electrical short that is draining the battery or the battery is dying.
5 beeps on a Chevy Malibu is quite rare and it’s not outlined in the owner’s manual what could be causing this.
However, some owners have traced these beeps back to wiring shorts which subsequently drained the battery.
You may also be interested in our article: Chevrolet Malibu Tune-Up & Maintenance Costs (Complete Guide)
What Else Could Be Causing the Beeping Noise?
Antilock Brake System
If the ABS warning light stays on, or comes on again while driving, the vehicle needs service.
A chime may also sound when the light comes on steady.
Rear Seat Reminder
This allows for a chime and a message when the rear door has been opened before or during operation of the vehicle.
Exterior Lamps Off Reminder
A warning chime sounds if the driver door is opened while the ignition is off and the exterior lamps are on.
Turn Signal On Chime
If the turn signal is left on for more than 1.2 km (0.75 mi), a chime sounds at each flash of the turn signal.
To turn the chime off, move the turn signal lever to the off position.
Driver Assistance Features
Some driver assistance features alert the driver of obstacles by beeping, such as:
- Forward Collision Alert (FCA) System
- Parking Assists
- Tailgating Alert
- Lane Departure Warning
- Lane Keep Assist
You can change the volume of the warning chime. If equipped with the Safety Alert Seat, the driver seat cushion may provide a vibrating pulse alert instead of beeping.
When the vehicle is started, the seat belt light flashes and a chime may come on to remind the driver to fasten their seat belt. Then the light stays on solid until the belt is buckled.
If the driver or front outboard passenger unbuckles their seat belt while driving, the seat belt reminder chime and light(s) will come on.
The Speed Warning display allows the driver to set a speed that they do not want to exceed.
If the selected speed limit is exceeded, a pop-up warning is displayed with a chime.
Check the Gauge Cluster
When the beeping occurs can you see any lights come on at the same time on the gauge cluster?
This can give a clue as to whats causing the beeping.
Take it to a Chevy Dealership
If needed, take your car to the dealership.
Tell them you are NOT paying for a check on what the problem might be.
Ask them if they will check it for free.
Most dealerships and other places do quick/initial diagnosis for no money as they plan to make money for the repair of your vehicle.
Check for Recalls or TSBs:
By entering your car’s VIN number on Chevy’s recall page you can determine whether or not there is a recall for your vehicle and if there is you’ll want to get it fixed.
Similarly, a quick google search will help you determine whether there is a Technical Service Bulletin for your car, these are less serious but may give a reason why your car is beeping.
Diagnosing Beeps With a Scanner
Another possible option if you’re hearing a beeping sound is to use an OBD2 diagnostic scanner tool.
These are fairly easy to use, you simply plug them into your car – there’s usually an OBD2 port under the steering wheel.
Once you have the scan codes you can research these online specifically for the Malibu.
There are also OBD apps available so you can connect your car straight to your smartphone (either with a cable or Bluetooth) without even needing a scanner.