P2271 is a generic DTC trouble code that can affect the Chevy Malibu. It indicates that the oxygen sensor located on bank 1 in the second position is continuously sending voltage with a value that is too rich.
There are oxygen sensors on both sides of the catalytic converter. The “upstream” one is used for air/fuel mixture purposes. The “downstream” O2 sensor (which you are dealing with when you have P2271) lets your Malibu read the exhaust before and after it has run through the catalytic converter to ensure that it is functioning correctly.
How to Find Bank 1 Sensor 2
P2271: O2 Sensor Signal → Biased/Stuck Rich (Bank 1 | Sensor 2)
Finding the downstream O2 sensor is easy if your Chevy Malibu has single exhaust. There’ll be one catalytic converter, and it’ll be the sensor right after it.
- Bank 1– is the side of the engine with the first cylinder. You don’t have to worry about this on four-cylinder engines, as there is only one cylinder head. If you have more than one cylinder head, you will need to look up where cylinder one is for your particular engine. P2273 affects the bank 2 side.
- Sensor 2 is “downstream” of the catalytic converter, which means that it is the sensor that comes after the catalytic converter.
Chevy Malibu P2271 Symptoms
Since an oxygen sensor downstream of the catalytic converter is there for emissions compliance purposes, there are rarely any noticeable symptoms associated with P2271.
There are usually no drivability issues when P2271 appears by itself.
Chevy Malibu P2271 Causes + Diagnosis
If your Malibu has P2271, the most likely cause is a bad oxygen sensor.
But, there are two likely causes that you can check before jumping straight to an oxygen sensor. Checking the wiring harness going to the oxygen sensor for damage and the exhaust for leaks.
Exhaust Leak (Likely)
Check for an exhaust leak. It would have to be bad enough that you can hear it if it’s causing P2271.
Oxygen Sensor Wiring (Likely)
If you aren’t hearing an exhaust leak, the most likely cause of P2271 is a bad O2 sensor. Take a look at the wiring going to it and see if it looks cracked or corroded. Oxygen sensor wiring (due to its proximity to the exhaust system) is very susceptible to damage.
You can check your Malibu’s wiring harness with a multimeter set to OHMS. Check the resistance compared to the factory specs. Or if you have dual exhaust, check it vs the other downstream O2 sensor.
Bad Oxygen Sensor (Very Likely)
You can also check the voltage at your Chevy Malibu’s downstream oxygen sensor if you have a good scan tool. It should fluctuate as you press the gas. If it’s stuck at 1 volt (the theoretical highest and richest value possible), that would indicate that the sensor itself is bad.
Other P2271 Causes
Here are some other causes of P2271. They aren’t quite as likely as the ones listed above, but they can throw the code.
- Incorrect Fuel Pressure
- Bad fuel injector at bank 1
- Bad purge valve
- Bad PCM
- Cooling system leak
It’s normally the oxygen sensor that needs to be replaced when P2271 appears in the Chevy Malibu. But, there can be other issues that cause it as well. Good luck diagnosing the code!