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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Electrical/Lighting Problems

Had to replace a tail light this week, and noticed that the socket was dry, no grease of any kind. Every car I have owned as far back as my 1982 Malibu, had grease in the socket to help fight corrosion as far as I could tell. Was wondering if anyone knows if this is just a money savings thing for GM or did they find a problem with grease in the sockets. If not, should I use white lithium as I believe was what was used in the past or would dielectric be better??? Thanks
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Comments

  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    That would work assuming your relay coil draws <300 mA. The relay could be used to drive the CHMSL. This is way the G6 works because on sedan model they have an incandescant CHMSL (not an LED). BCM provides power and so relay coil would be grounded on other side.

    All hypothetical of course :)
  • Thanks e2, I will let you know how it turns out, if I get around to doing it.
  • e2helper,

    Is it possible to turn off the function that causes the wipers to wipe several times after spraying washer fluid on the windshield? The problem is in subfreezing temps even high quality deicer fluid will freeze and smear on those final swipes. It makes for a dangerous condition when driving. Thanks for the help.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    No way to turn off - vehicles have worked this way as long as I can remember.

    I live in MI which often has subfreezing temps. Most of the time when it is really messy I find myself using a lot of washer fluid to clear off windshield when driving mainly from salt spray. That does smear but just another washer cycle clears it. Of course I use the defroster in vehicle to put some amount of heat on the windshield - that helps considerably.

    In fact manufacturers have considered even putting in a later delayed wipe to catch the dribble that wiper blades missed because it hit off the wiper pattern and falls back into it. That would exacerbate the complaint you have but there other customers who complain about the dribble.

    You might have seen a few vehicles with systems that either heat the wiper nozzles or better yet deliever a pre-heated "shot" of washer fluid. Mainly in uplevel vehicles now.
  • ml83ml83 Posts: 6
    There's a button on the left side of the knob on the shift lever of my Maxx, with a plus and minus sign on it. Can't find anything about it in the manual, and it doesn't seem to do anything. Can anyone tell me what it is for?
  • Put the Shift in "L" and you will be able to shift speeds "manually" by pushing the + or -.
  • ml83ml83 Posts: 6
    That was fast, thanks very much. I probably could have used that this morning in the snow here in western Mass.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    well first problem...seems the third brake light has stopped working on my 04 Maxx LT...looked in the owners manual..and doesnt seem to be tied to a fuse.....since its an LED light on a circuit board...wondering what would cause the failure..any ideas.....Im past warranty on mileage..so this will be on my dime....any TSBs out there on this issue?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    You are correct, no fuse for CHMSL. It is driven directly by Body Computer. Does your cruise control still engage? That will indicate if the body computer output is still working. It can sometimes not work if there is a wiring issue somewhere. However on your vehicle (I think) you would also be seeing a Service Vehicle Soon Indicator if the BCM were having a problem with this output - do you have a Service Vehicle Soon light on?

    If neither of these issues then you are correct that you likely looking at CHMSL or open circuit on wiring to the CHMSL. Easiest way to distinguish between those would be looking for battery voltage ACROSS the CHMSL connector when brakes applied.

    No TSB out there on anything related to CHMSL itself. There is a TSB giving technicians information on a wiring type issue but that would also cause the 2 things I mentioned above.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    e2...thanks for the info.....no I dont have a service vehicle indicator light and the cruise control still engages...so Im betting you assumption about CHMSL or an open circuit.......in your opinion...would replacement of the CHMSL fix the issue....or would it be an internal wiring harness (hate this one)issue...a best guess?

    do you have the TSB number as well...thanks again
  • meandmymaxxmeandmymaxx Posts: 134
    Was wondering if anyone is using the 2nd filament of the top light of the brake lights on the Maxx?? Stock it runs only as a running light, was thinking of changing it so comes on with the brakes too. Any thoughts??? I know the socket is only wired for 1 filament use, would mean changing the socket.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    e2...thanks for the info.....no I dont have a service vehicle indicator light and the cruise control still engages...so Im betting you assumption about CHMSL or an open circuit.......in your opinion...would replacement of the CHMSL fix the issue....or would it be an internal wiring harness (hate this one)issue...a best guess?

    do you have the TSB number as well...thanks again


    If you replace the CHMSL, be very careful. It was the cause for a water leak into my hatch area on two ocassions. It was leaking from the factory, so the dealer tried to reseat it. That worked for a little bit, but it came back, so the dealer replaced it. Make sure you get the seal set right and don't damage it.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I would suggest caution there. That portion of the lamp housing is smaller and likely isn't designed to handle the extra heat the larger bulb would give off.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Ok - in that case the TSB I was thinking about would not apply.

    Do you have ability to check for voltage across the CHMSL connector? BTW I liked you using the term CHMSL :)

    pronounced chimzel!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I dont..but dont mind taking it to the dealer...im betting its the CHMSL..I priced them at two dealers...$58 and $39.04....GM List is the latter....and got it for $6 less than that thru GM parts direct....so will have it in hand....Im betting its a faulty circuit board in the LED assembly...but will still have the dealer check the connector...after I get to it through the rear hatch....figure I would save the hour labor to take the interior apart and to replace it..and just let them test and replace CHMSL....
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    thanks for the headsup.....will let the dealer do the install..Im just doing theup front interior work to get to the CHMSL.....hate to pay labor for them to do it..when the lamp itself is probably a 15 minute job to replace
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    You can test the CHMSL repair for leaks just by pouring a glass or bottle of water directly into the CHSML. Open the hatch and at the top of the glass there is a piece of plastic that runs the width of the glass. If it leaks it will come out one of the sides.
  • starpop1starpop1 Posts: 10
    I feel a little stupid, but can someone tell me how to open, or remove, the rear compartment fuse box cover in my 2005 MAXX LS. I better ask before I use force and break something.

    Thanks,
    Peter
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Assuming you are looking at the actual fuse box and not the trim panel that covers the area, just look for a lever on top of the module all you do is press down on it and the cover will be released and flop toward you pivoting on the hinges on the bottom. The cover is attached at bottom although it can be removed, carefully. The fuse usage information is either on a label (2004/5) or laser-etched (2006) into the cover. In either case you need a flashlight to see it. Fuse size information is only found on the cover - owner manual doesn't show fuse size :surprise:

    There is a fuse puller in the IP fuse center which handles the small minifuses if you don't have another tool. There isn't a tool in vehicle for the larger fuses (called a J-Case). Dealers have a larger plastic fuse puller for that style however. I think I posted the part number a LONG time ago.
  • starpop1starpop1 Posts: 10
    I didn't communicate clearly because it is the trim panel over the rear fuse box I need to remove. I don't want to break it, but it is loose and rattling. Thank you e2helper. Peter
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Sorry - I haven't looked at the back of a Maxx for a while to remember how it comes out. I am pretty sure you just pull it off. I didn't see anything in service manual to help jog my memory.

    Maybe someone else can help?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,715
    I think you push the left rear fuse panel door at its top, at which it then unhooks itself and swings down. The fuse/relay block is just inside.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I forgot to ask (since term "trim panel" could be misinterpreted). What COLOR is the trim panel you are trying to remove?

    If BLACK then you are looking at cover of the fuse block itself and comments from kurt and myself apply. If you are looking at a trim piece of the same color as rest of interior trim in your vehicle than we haven't addressed that part.
  • starpop1starpop1 Posts: 10
    It is gray and part of the interior trim of the MAXX. I will be taking the MAXX to the dealer on Tuesday to have one of the hatch struts replaced. I'll have the technician show me how to remove it. I've had the car for six months now, and I really enjoy driving it. The roads here in NE Pennsylvania are very poor so a few annoying interior rattles and groans have developed. They disappear when I am driving on decent roads. Other than that, no problems. Thanks, Peter.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,715
    My Maxx has also gained a fair number of rattles on rough roads (on decent roads it's ok). The dealer(s) have no idea what is causing these.
  • starpop1starpop1 Posts: 10
    I was going to let everyone know how to open the interior trim panel over the rear fuse box, but you just did that. My dealer replaced the right side strut on the hatch of my MAXX yesterday. Boy, what an improvement. The creaks and groans when turning and the rattles at highway speed from the rear of the car are gone. Silence is golden.
  • maddmaxxmaddmaxx Posts: 81
    e2helper,

    Why does sometimes the tach & fuel gauges reset themselves after starting and then sometimes not?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,715
    I'd appreciate knowing answer too ... I've seen it happen several times in my Maxx.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    I think for issues like these GM recommends that all the connectors are intact (no individual wires coming out of the harness), clean and plugged in securely. Do they go out at the same time? If so I would suspect something between the IPC and the BCM.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Sorry, I don't have immediate access to a Malibu to remind myself of how stuff like that works. I know on the similar Pontiac G6 that when you start the vehicle all the gauges sweep to full scale and then back (called "Cluster WOW!"). But I don't remember if the Malibu cluster did that or not.
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