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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Electrical/Lighting Problems

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,859
    edited October 2010
    Chasing electrical gremlins can get pricey simply because it sometimes takes a lot of time to track down and figure out what what the actual issue is. The parts needed may or may not be inexpensive, but that labor rate ads up in a hurry.

    Just as an example, a friend who owns a garage had a customer who had a cruise control that wouldn't stay on. After exhausting other possibilities, they found that a brake light being out was the problem. (Since the cruise control turns off when you touch the brakes, this sort of makes sense since they're all on the same electrical branch) Just shows that it can take some more looking than you might expect before you find something.

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  • comem47comem47 Posts: 390
    Have to searched through this list's archive files for your answers and eliminated the solutions that have worked for others? I know the remote keyfobs sometimes have a internal solder joint break. (do you have 2 keyfobs to compare one against another?).
    As for the remote start, a few have found the hood safety switch has gone defective. You can either bypass the wires or buy a new switch. Search back and look on each specific item. There is a wealth of info that might have happened a year or so ago to others and will take searching on the item.
  • "The door lock buttons inside the car work intermittently"

    Not too difficult to fix - paying for the work it will be over $100 for one switch replacement.

    The housing that the switch is mounted in pulls outward - no need to remove the interior door panel. Once housing is out the switches can be accessed to replace.

    I bought two housings and 4 switches - that I pulled from a Maxx in a junk yard, for $20.
  • "I know the remote keyfobs sometimes have a internal solder joint break."

    All Maxxes are having the same problems - don't seem to have much reliability built in. And now we're all paying to keep GM going - paid for the Maxx and paying again.

    Yes the solder joints in the keyfob break - the joints that hold the battery in. I happen to know an expert solderer who was able to do the repair. Without special equipment it would be difficult to impossible to accomplish.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    ""All Maxxes are having the same problems - don't seem to have much reliability built in. And now we're all paying to keep GM going - paid for the Maxx and paying again.""

    not all Maxxes have these problems...mine has experienced none of these..sans the keyfob, and its the broken joints that is the problem, not the car.....my 04 Maxx LT will be seven years old in Feb, and I have experienced none of these problems.....so either Im lucky, or my Maxx was built well when it came off the line....172K on it so far and no major repairs, one brake caliper, and two control arms in the front suspension is all the OEM components that have been replaced to date...I own two other GM cars..Pontiac and Cadillac and very happy with them as well.......
  • malibu2005malibu2005 Posts: 5
    edited November 2010
    can someone help me to understand how to use the jumper wire connection to bypass installing a new hood latch unit also where can i purchase the jumper wire to perform this task. If this technique is used just for testing purposes how much trouble would it be to change the hood latch as it seems that the sensor is part of the latch unit.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 390
    edited November 2010
    Search back in the archives. You don't have to purchase any wire, just cut the appropriate wires to the switch, strip off insulation at the ends and twist them together and then electrical tape over the bare twisted wires. I'm pretty sure someone called out the colors of the wires in an earlier response on this subject. Search back in the archives and then get a friend familiar with electrical wiring to help if you aren't sure. Actually for a temporary test, if you you do have a piece of wire (any wire like speaker wire) you cloud stick a few common pins into the insulation to connect with the wire inside and tape the bare wire ends to the ends of the pins to short out the appropriate colored wires on the cable. That way it's only temporary. Once again, a friend familiar with electricity will know what I'm talking about but find that previous article for the color of the wires)
  • maxxlibertymaxxliberty Posts: 82
    edited November 2010
    Remote no-start problem solved – special thanks to sqr5516 and comen47.

    First I went to Autozone for a free scan – no codes were reported. From the comments on this forum the next best guess was the hood latch/switch. It may be a common problem since the dealer had the part in stock. I Installed the new assembly and now remote start functioning again.

    To save some cash maybe should have just jumped the wires that sqr5516 mentioned and not gotten new part.

    Remote Start
    So this fall I went to start my '05 LT Maxx remotely and it wouldn't start. That sent me to the internet to look for solutions. (yes I checked the DIC, locked, hood, etc) I was guided to the wires for the hood latch. BTW- the fob worked, doors locked, and lights blinked once but no start. I tried to jump the wires and that did not seem to do it. I eventually went back and skinned the black and purple wires and twisted them together. That worked. I guess I could have bought and replaced the hood latch but this was much easier.
    Another post
    I have the manuals for a 2004 maxx. With remote start, the connector to the hood latch switch has 3 wires. The black wire is the ground. The purple wire signals the body control module that hood is closed, when it is connected to the black wire. The pink with black stripe wire signals the BCM that hood is open when it is connected to the black wire. So, remove connector and insert a jumper wire between the purple and black wires. If car remote starts, replace hood latch. If still no remote start, further check with ohm meter. Verify there is no open in the black wire. Verify pink wire is not shorted to ground (BCM will think hood is open). verify purple wire is not open (BCM will never get hood closed signal).

    Since your lights flash when you hold the remote start button on the fob, the transmitter and receiver are working (the BCM knows you requested a remote start). The BCM must also sense the following conditions for remote start to work: Remote Start enabled in DIC; Shifter in park; key not in ignition; 4-way flashers not on; door lock button pressed before remote start button; check engine light not on; no DTC codes stored in history in the engine control module. If there is a problem in any of these circuits, remote start is disable until the problem is fixed and the codes are cleared from the ECM. Unfortunately, you almost have to take it to dealer or some other shop with scan tool and knowledge of how this all works.
  • have you pressed on the actual light itself. It is an on off switch that you can control manually. :)
  • I have a 2007 Chevy Malibu Maxx LT, which I have had just shy of 7 months. I noticed this afternoon that the indicator light on the instrument panel showing which gear you are in isn't lighting up.

    It will light up upon initial cranking of the key, but then go out. This is a new situation, as of this afternoon.

    Any thoughts/comments/suggestions on the cause? What's the solution to fixing this?

    Thanks.
  • Anyone with the signal light problems for the 2005 Chevy Malibu Maxx

    Please contact Transport Canada @ 1-800-333-0510

    Its very simple, you speak to a safty rep, and they take the details down.

    There should definatly be a recall on this problem!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    the turn signal issue is a common complaint among the Maxxs....I have an 04 and it has experienced the heat problem from the DRLS and actually melted the yellow covering .....I have also burnt out two sockets due to the heating problem....simply replaced both.....car now 7 years old and 177K on it.....not sure a recall will happen at this point...at least for the US.....

    there is a TSB addressing the issue as well I do beleive
  • i need this answer too, does anybody know?
  • beesterbeester Posts: 1
    2006 Malibu Maxx LT antenna broke in car wash.
    How do you replace? And where do you access it from?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,062
    beester,
    I apologize I don't have the information you are requesting. But if you don't have the antenna yet you can get it at http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/catalog/frameset.cfm. The antenna is under "Electrical" I hope this information helps.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • curscurs Posts: 5
    Cetaceousone,
    Did you ever get an answer about this from GM?
    I am having a similar problem. If I set my cruise control within the first few minutes or miles, it will set. If I have to disengage after that it won't allow me to resume or reset. Additionally if I drive past a few minutes or few miles after starting, it won't let me set.
    However, if I stop and put it in park for a few seconds or turn off the car and turn it back on (again putting it in park), it will let me use it...as long as I set it "in time".
  • curscurs Posts: 5
    I've gone through and read the majority of the threads and find that my "issue" (or set of issues) might appear to be related to the BCM. I will be cross posting this in the Electrical/Lighting, Climate Control/AC and Fuel System discussions since it touches a bit into each area.

    I have a 2004 Maxx with just at 70K miles on it. Since I purchased it at 40K miles I've had the following issue:

    Car will do the infamous "hard start" where it will sound like it is going to start but won't turn over fully until I give it a bit of gas. Seems to happen most often will gas is half a tank or lower and/or it's super hot outside.

    However, I have a special bonus of when it does this my A/C will turn on and blow but the air it blows is not cooled. Problem in the summer. Also when it does this (in the winter) my rear window defrost/defog won't turn on.

    Beyond that I am having cruise control issues that started at about 65K miles. When I first start the car if I engage the cruise control within about 5 miles or 5 minutes, it will engage just fine. However, once I have to disengage (step on the break, hit the off button) it will not allow me to resume OR reset the cruise control until I have put the car in park (for just a few seconds) or restarted it.

    Beyond that one night a friend who was traveling behind me mentioned my CHMSL was flickering and now it is out entirely. I've read that can be BCM related.

    I have an appointment next week to have diagnostics run on the car at $100/hour. Before I walk into that expense, can anyone give me any thoughts or even suggestions at how much replacing a BCM would cost. One place told me $80 for the part and then labor to program it (which has to be done at a dealer???) and another place told me I might need to replace the whole grid (?) at a cost of around $2K but even just the BCM being $800.

    To replace the CHMSL is $110 but I don't want to do that if it's not the part but the BCM that is the issue.
  • Should i be jumping the wires on the hood latch connector or the wire harness connector?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I also had the CHMSL go out on my 04 Maxx LT several years ago...you can special order the light online for about $40....and the change out involves removing a few pieces of interior trim on the rear hatch to get to it...two screws hold it in.....plug and play...its about a 30 minute change out...I too have the hard start issue....on occasion I get the no A/C with the fan blowing upon start up.....my solution is simply to turn the car off and on again..and has always fixed it....Im sure it may be a BCM issue...and perhaps just a reflashing of it with the most current software....

    I never had it done....and my Maxx is about to roll over 187K...bought it new in Feb 04.....
  • I had a similar problem like this and it bothered me for a year or two.. very inconsistent. but I found this guys post and it fixed it for me:

    http://www.paulstravelpictures.com/GM-Chevrolet-Malibu-Brake-Pedal-Off-Tail-Ligh- ts-On-Repair-Guide/

    basically, he says:

    No tools are needed to fix this problem. Another person may be needed to test the brake lights after completing the repair.


    Remove Center Console Panel
    Locate Upper C2 or J2 Connector
    "J2" BCM Connector
    The GM technical service bulletin or "TSB" for this problem indicates that the cause of the issue is "terminal fretting corrosion" inside the BCM (body control module) C2 connector. On this Malibu and many others, the "C2" connector is actually labeled "J2".
    Put simply, the metal pins on the BCM and the female receptacles inside the blue/grey J2 connector become slightly corroded and do not make a proper connection or there is a "high resistance condition" across the connection.


    Flip Grey Clip Backwards
    Gently Remove J2 Connector
    Corrosion On Terminal Pins
    To fix the problem, first gently remove the passenger side center console side trim or "kick" panel by pulling it away from the console. Underneathe the panel, you'll see two large blue connectors with grey latches and some fuses towards the front of the car.
    Then flip the light grey latch on the top connector labeled either "J2" or "C2" and gently pull it away from the black plastic surface of the BCM (body control module). The best way to "clean" the corrosion off the male pins and female plugs is just to re-insert the connector and remove it several times. The friction of this action will rub off the built up corrosion on the metal and help create a better connection.

    The TSB also mentions applying some dielectric lubricant or grease to the pins with a nylon bristle brush to help prevent the problem from re-occurring in the future.
  • My wife drives our 06 Malibu Maxx with 118,000 miles on it. We have loved the car and had no major problems with it to this point. Yesterday she was on the highway and suddenly the cruise control quit working, the steering became more sluggish (but not un-steerable), and the rpms went up from around 2k to about 3-3.5k.

    Anyone have any kind of similar experience? She made it home with no additional issues, but this is obviously serious I think. I posted here under electrical because I have heard that the Malibu can have electrical problems and I believe our 06 Maxx has the electronic assist power steering. Please give any insight to this before I have to take it in to the shop and get hammered for some expensive repair that might not be necessary.

    I appreciate any insight or assistance anyone can provide. Thanks in advance.

    JS
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,062
    jackstar,
    Thank you for your email. I would recommend getting the vehicle diagnosed at a GM dealer. Please feel free to email me. Please include your VIN so I can look into this further.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    wondering if you are still experiencing the problem....would think that after the cruise control disengaged the RPMs raced higher, however did they reset or stay high?......you do have the electronic assist steering...but should it fail, beleive the steering is much more difficult than you describe...so not sure its the infamous steering column issue that has plagued this style malibu..... an 04 Malibu Maxx LT here with 193K on it
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    My '04 Maxx has developed a weird intermittent problem: Sometimes the hatch won't release, whether from the remote, the driver's door pushbutton or the button on the hatch itself. Other times, it works fine.

    I know I could replace the actuator or the relay, but here's what I don't get: Where the heck is the emergency release that they talk about in the owner's manual? It says that it is "in the hatch area beneath the body trim panel". I've folded down both rear seats and hunted all over yet I can't find anything that could be used to release the hatch manually (or mechanically). Does anybody know where this release is located, or is my manual wrong?
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    I have an 06 Maxx LTZ, w/61K miles on it. This model did have steering system problems. I've replaced steering column once due to no power assist at all at slow speed (when parking). And for rattle/clunk issue have replaced rack 2x and intermediate shaft 2x. The I.S. was the ultimate cause of the clunking and the latest design resolved the problem. All this was done under warranty.

    I purchased discounted, 0 deduc, 90K/6YR major guard ext warr. online when car was 1 yr old. I get free loaner car from my dealyer each time it's in shop for warranty repair. Glad I have ext warr as I've had many other problems with car, all fixed under warranty. Ext Warr ends 7/2013 at which time I'm selling it.
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    I have had the clunking issue with the steering in my 04 Maxx. Both the I.S. and the steering rack were replaced under warranty -- actually , just after the warranty as a "goodwill" repair -- and then the clunk returned a few years later.

    A less expensive solution, according to the independent shop I now take the car to, is a GM-approved lube kit that costs about $65 per application and makes the clunking go away for about a year or two. So far, it seems to have done the job.

    Just FYI, and HTH.
  • Same Maxx year - same hatch release problem. I crawled in and replaced the relay which seems to have fixed the problem. My dealer told me the emergency release is in the same compartment as the relay panel. On the driver's side cargo area behind the trim cover. I could not locate it.
  • I own a 2007 malibu maxx LTZ with 25500 orginal owner miles for the last 3 years whenever the temps dip in the negative digits the battery would fail. I would replace the battery and would be fine till next winter. Since we have had a mild winter I have not had a problem but I noticed the other day when I went to charge my cell phone for the first time in this car the cigarette port was not working in the dash or storage arrea. The dealer replaced the fuse and also said that the electrical problem I had in the past was not from the cig ports. I noticed after I picked up the car and tried my charger the ports still did not work after the dealer replaced the fuse. Then I found another port in the trunk and that one works but not the other two in the cabin. What is the cause? Could this have been tied to the electrical problem with the draining of batteries in the past and how should I fix?? The dealer did not charge me and now they are saying yeah I might have an electrical problem. Before I take it back to them I want more knowledge about the subject. I do not have any issues with the car or in the past other than the batteries dying prematurely. Note I took the car to them last year when the battery died but they could not find anything because the battery was replaced before bringing it to them..Any ideas??
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 390
    If you own or have access to a multimeter you should disconnect one cable from the battery with the key in the off position(removed) and put it in series with the multimeter set to the current (amps)mode ( start at amps and switch down to milliamps) If no indication is there you have no leakage problem at this time, but if you are drawing current then disconnect one fuse at a time to determine which circuit contains the problem by observing when the current draw goes away. Of course once the battery is disconnected it may take a few days to re-learn things and sensors to become ready again, but it's not really a concern unless you plan on having the car inspected for emissions in the near term. Good battery or poor battery the car shop should have been able to locate the problem that was not due to the battery. Autozone will load test batteries for free BTW.
  • Hi, the cd player and display in the middle console that shows air temp, oil life and avg mpg went out on my 06 Malibu maxx. I was wondering if it is a blown fuse, because both went out at the same time, or a bigger issue. Thanks.
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