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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx General Care and Maintenance



  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    you will have to put your maxx up on a lift...I would think most torque converters would maintain fluid unless you do a power flush vice simple drain and refill...

    changing trans fluid isnt easy in the maxx since the fill hole is on top of the trans housing....and it has to be up on a lift, in park or neutral....I forget which..engine running to properly check the fill level....believe the procedure is outlined in the owners manual.......remember there is no dip stick it is technically a closed system
  • drejdrej Posts: 119
    Hi Quick Question,
    is there any filter ? I would always assume there is some sort of filter / screen at least before the pump / pick-up? D~
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    as I recall when they drop the pan there is also a filter screen that is changed....
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    I wrote GM Goodwrench to inquire about the service interval on the tranny. They sent me a pathetic note back saying "on matters such as these, we refer you to your nearest dealer." What the heck does my dealer know about the Maxx's tranny service interval? They'll likely try to sell me air freshener and new tires before they ever figure out what is the normal mileage interval for flushing out the tranny fluid!! It is unbelievable that GM can't answer a simple question, that is a glaring omission from the owner's manual. Hmmm....maybe my local psychic will be able to tell me!
  • polypirklpolypirkl Posts: 2
    U saved me a bunch of money and a giant headache! thanks for the info - I can't step foot in the dealers area without it being a big production - Thanks again -
  • crosby1crosby1 Posts: 23
    The following comes from an industry journal entitled The Lube Report. I Googled it and found it at the following URL:,0,w

    It is the only portion of the article that dealt with trany fluid. Of note is the LONG term aspiration GM has to develope a 150,000 mile fluid. Apparently the newest version of Dextron does not yet meet this standard. I am contemplating changing the fluid soon on my 2004 Malibu Maxx with 60,000 miles on it just to be sure. I bought it new in 2004. I look forward to hearing from others about what they have learned about GM guidance on this matter. The article follows immediately below:--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------

    Jim Linden, who is responsible for specifications for GM’s automatic and manual transmission fluids, axle lubes, greases and other lubricants, described the impact of upgrades in those fluids.

    “GM wants fill-for-life for all applications,” said Linden, who is based in Warren, Mich. “In the future at least, 150,000 miles will be considered ‘life’ for transmissions” in severe service.

    In April 2005, GM introduced its trademarked Dexron-VI automatic transmission fluid, a significant upgrade over the previous spec, Dexron-III. The new fluid was required by the reduced sump volumes, higher fluid turnover rates and increased energy densities with the company’s new transmissions, Linden said. The new transmissions also have less airflow, and thus less cooling capacity, and more aggressive electronically controlled converter clutch usage. New six-speed transmission designs demanded a new fluid, which also had to be back-serviceable.

    With premium ATFs, said Linden, base oil quality is vital to fluid performance. Ford’s Mercon-V calls for Group II-plus; DaimlerChrysler’s Mopar ATF+4 calls for Group II-plus or III; and Dexron-VI generally needs Group III quality.

    “The Dexron-VI ATF specification does not specify a base oil quality level,” Linden noted. However, the viscosity and oxidation requirements make it difficult to meet the spec without using at least a Group III or Group II-III combination.
  • nydogboynydogboy Posts: 6
    i noticed the edge of the driver's side door is starting to chip. Anyone know where I can get door-edge protectors?

  • rdesantisrdesantis Posts: 30
    Canadian Tire? Car Quest? NAPA parts stores. Murrays discount Auto stores. Usually comes coiled, there's black, chrome edging. Where ever you can buy auto paint and mouldings there is usually door edging. I think this is what you are inquiring about not the door sill protector.
  • nydogboynydogboy Posts: 6
    is it easy to install?
  • crosby1crosby1 Posts: 23
    The strip is probably the best idea. If you have a roll of the 3M clear plastic film, I forget the name, some people cut an inch wide stip and wrap the door edge. My wife drives our Maxx and thanfully is careful opening it both for our cars sakes and others. Large parking spaces help too.
  • rdesantisrdesantis Posts: 30
    no problem. The door edging is very DIY freindly. Its very similar to the isulated pipe wrap that you have around your water pipes. Cut the desired length you wish to cover then, open the seam. There is adhesive on the inside that allows the vinyl door guard to stay put. Push on and rub the stip so it doen't move. The 3M product is a good one too, i beive he is referring to Clear "maq taq" found at hardware stores and even wall mart.
  • nydogboynydogboy Posts: 6
    thanks so much. i'll will use your solution.
  • nickdnickd Posts: 14
    My Maxx is getting close to the 5 year interval for changing out the DexCool. Anybody here know how to drain it? I can't find a drain plug on the radiator and the hoses look like they are about half way up so taking them off won't drain much.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    Quess I cant 04 Maxx LT will be five years old this week..just rolled over 140K on the odometer this weekend...had to take it in for the VA safety inspection.....and yes my mechanic does a real inspection...noticed the front tire rod was bad at the had to replace it......$330 to include part (Only GM makes it...$100), front end alignment ($90) and labor hour and half for $140.....first component of any kind that need not bad....
  • I am the second owner of a 2006 Malibu Maxx. The car had 28,000 miles on it when we bought it in Jan. of 2008. The car now has 60,000 miles on it and has developed a problem that scares the holy hell out of me. Unfortunately, the dealer has been unable to reproduce the problem. My wife has been complaining about it for a week or so. Every time I had taken the car out to check it out, it seemed fine to me.

    This problem kind of gradually creeps up on you, scares the hell out of you, then fades away as if it never occurred. I finally experienced it while driving this past weekend, so I don’t think my wife is imagining it. I drove the car on the interstate at 70 mph for about 45 minutes, with no issues. The wife needed to have me stop at a rest area so she could use the facilities. I parked the car and turned off the engine. I waited about 10 minutes, then we proceeded on our way. In merging onto the interstate, I noticed that traffic was really coming up behind me fast. I pressed down on the accelerator, and it seemed unusually “stiff”. I finally kicked it into passing gear to get up to speed. The tachometer shot up way past 4000 rpms, then settled back to under 2000 rpms pretty quickly. About 5 minutes later, I started to hear this rhythmic thumping coming from the right front of the car. It almost sounded like I was driving over those rumble strips that they have along the edges of the highway. It was faint at first, but then it got louder and louder and I could feel a matching vibration thru the floor and the steering wheel. I went to use the brakes to slow the vehicle and I thought the front end was going to shake right off of the car. It was really scary. I drove a few extra miles at reduced speed, and it eventually faded away to nothing and it was like it had never happened. We got to our destination, and stayed for about an hour.

    I drove the car home, and it never once happened the whole way home (about 90 miles). I have the car in for service at the dealership that I bought it from, and they are doing a few things under warranty. I had asked them to look into a clunking noise from the front end which occurs when I straighten out the steering wheel after making a turn. They said it was a loose outer tie rod end and they replaced it. They didn’t mention any other front suspension issues. I figured that if it was something mechanical like a bent half-shaft or bad CV joint that it would be doing this constantly. They said that no fault codes were stored in the ECM, and that they had taken the car out on the highway several times and were unable to get the car to do it again. While they had the car, I had them do the recommended 50,000 mile transmission service. I figured that if this turns out to be a transmission problem, at least I can say that we did the recommended maintenance. My extended warranty has only got another 40,000 miles on it, although I’ll be making another 3 years of car payments on this vehicle. My wife puts about 100 miles a day on it going to/from work.

    Have you ever heard of anything like this happening with a Malibu Maxx, and if so, what was it?

    I hope that you can shed some light on this or give me some advice. I just lost my job 2 weeks ago, and money is going to be kind of tight till I find a new one.
  • nydogboynydogboy Posts: 6
    cabin filterMy 2007 Maxx has a cabin filter. Is this something I can change?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    tire rod could have caused the issue you described......was curious though about your 50K transmission service...was that the dealer recommended service....the owners manual has a requriement to change fluids out at 150k since its a sealed dip least that is the change interval on my 04 Maxx....I had the fluids changed at 100k....and will again at 150K.....just turned 141k today.....
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    do a search for it...I beleive you have to remove the glove box to get to it......this was brought up for the 04 models...which didnt come with a filter but you could do an easy mod to a saturn ion filter to fit the 04 Maxx
  • I may have been mistaken about the trans service (looks like the 50,000 mile service was for severe use. Regular use should've been at 100,000 miles according to my owner's manual). As it turns out the trans cooler lines were leaking, so they were both replaced by the dealer the other day. I had a lower intake manifold gasket leak, so they fixed that too. The outer tie rod end replacement seemed to really help. They told me that my brake pads were pretty much worn down front and rear, however being unemployed, I couldn't see spending $280 to have the dealer replace them. I bought new pads today at O'Reilly's and am going to have my local guy install them for about $100 (maybe less, if I help him). The pulsing that I felt while braking during these episodes is non-existent when the car isn't having one of these "fits". So, hopefully we won't have to turn the rotors. Once I get the new pads on, I'm going to take it out on the Interstate and see what happens.

    I called the dealer that did the work, and told him that I still hear the "thump" coming from the left front after straightening the wheel out after turning. He suggested that I bring the car back and have one of his tech's ride with me to see what I'm hearing.
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    My 04 Maxx just hit the 64K mileage mark and I've not yet had to do anything with the brakes. But just lately I've noticed, especially on damp mornings, a certain grinding or scraping noise on the first few applications of the brakes. It seems to be coming from the rear, so I took a look at the rotors through the spokes of the wheels. The right rear one seems to have a dark band, close to the edge, that looks like scoring.

    So......I guess it's time to do some brake work. The question for all you who have had work done on your Maxx's discs...what kind of ball park $$$ am I looking at? Did you have it done at your dealer, a Goodyear-type place or an independent? Just wondering -- thanks.
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