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Chevy Malibu Maxx



  • I'd have to agree with you with respect to rim size. 20 inchers look ridiculous- SUV's with wagon wheels and 40 series tires make no sense to me, and don't look proportional. Oh well, eye of the beholder, I guess. But to answer your question about why 50 series? Fashion trends aside, the desire to do plus 1 or plus 2 wheel tire conversions (that is to say, 1 inch or two inch bigger than stock configuration) was historically to gain the advantages of the lower aspect ratio tire, which was principally transient response and low tire slip angle. With less side wall to flex, the response of the car to a steering input would be more immediate with a 50 series tire vice a 60 or 70 series tire, all else being equal. That is the reason I tried the 45 series tires with my Golf- improved handling. It was, in the end, a handling/ride trade off that for me wasn't acceptable. Bent rims aside, I'd have gone back to the 50 series anyway.

    As car performance has risen over the years with ever more powerful engines, the need to be able to slow a car down from increasingly higher speeds becomes a design priority. I'd guess the most common way to increase braking capacity is a larger brake rotor and calipers with multiple pots etc., necessitating a larger diameter wheel to accomodate them. I will say though that the brakes on the Maxx SS, which receive no upgrade over base models, look a bit tiny inside those 18 inch rims. A disadvantage of the large rims can be increased unsprung weight, which can have the effect of giving a poorer ride, ride characteristics of the tire aside.

    BTW, I just put down money on an '06 Maxx LTZ, which as you've noted, come with 17 inch/50 series tires. I'll let you know how they hold up over the winter, and what kind of performance advantage (if any) I am able to discern. Might be a tough call, as my time in a Maxx with 60 series tires is limited.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    sorry to hear of the problems....uuummm near a one with mine....of course Im probably one of the few on here that sings the praises of this car.....I added custom wheels to mine...and then went back to the standard OEM wheels for winter in northern va...noticed almost a 2MPG increase in mileage..I get 400 plus miles to a tank city...and got almost 500 this weekend interstate 34.5 MPG....

    Sorry for the bad experience in service as well..Im convinced the service departments these days are fully trained or care about customer service...mine has been great in dealing with minor issues..and got it right the first for another GM product..well....our brand new 06 Pontiac Solstice was built last week..and should have it by

    what is your major problem with the car????....electronic..or other...
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I did 30k on 17 inch rims with 50 series tires (04 Maxx LT)..the stance and width of the tire adds to the car's appearance....makes for a slightly harsher ride....I also had to watch the tire rotation and the extra weight of the tire and rim played with the camber slightly.....will be interested in your experience
  • maxx10maxx10 Posts: 16
    Here are my issues,

    1. Radio - replaced 10 times with one on order
    2. Steering column - replaced 4 times
    3. Headlamps- shake and shimmy when driving
    4. Car running- car stalls out periodically, and won't start at times. Sometimes the car will release a cloud of white smoke
    5. Leak- There is a water leak in the rear of the car that has yet to be fixed after 4 times and a month at the dealership.

    Those are all that I can think of right now. But I have a very very sick 2004 Maxx :sick:
    Its a shame that I have to sue GM to make them do the right thing
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    wow..a list indeed..sorry for the them under the lemon law....but with 32k on the car..they will still charge some wear and tear....of course depends on the state..but after three times for the same issue here in VA..the lemon law kicks in......seems you have that issue on the steering column...white smoke...a gasket problem....and the water leak...seal or manufacture problem..must have been made on a Mon or Fri....grin...good luck....hoep GM makes it right for you
  • maxx10maxx10 Posts: 16
    Yeah it would be nice if GM took care of me. But I don't see that happening expect with the help of my attorney. Yes I am following thru with the Indiana lemon law. Since I contacted them long before I got to 32k, I still fall under those guidelines.. My problems started at 6k.

    Because my car is so unreliable, I had to purchase another car... (Toyota Corolla), but I think I already mentioned that ;)
  • ronbo10 said: "With less side wall to flex, the response of the car to a steering input would be more immediate with a 50 series tire vice a 60 or 70 series tire, all else being equal."

    I could agree with this statement but that takes us back to my 98% remark - to 98% of motorists, this improvement in response is of no importance and all the downsides of the lower series tires remain.

    Neon lighting has been somewhat of a fad, maybe neon lights rotating with 22" wheels and 30 series tires will catch on! :)
  • I'd have to agree with you on that, Maxx Liberty- most people don't need the transient response of a low profile tire. And truth be told, several decades back had higher profile tires (as I can recall) acting quite squirmy on rapid transients. My guess is today the same size tire might surprise you how well it can handle emergency maneuvers etc. But also I'd say that the 50 series tire of today might provide a slightly better ride than this size tire did 20 years ago.

    I went with the Maxx LTZ over the SS for mileage reasons, but also for a suspension on the SS that, from what I understand is a bit lowered over that of a Maxx LS/LTZ. Don't want to give up any suspension travel up this way in the north east. Both the SS and LTZ have 50 series tires, so that really didn't figure in.

    I looked at Tire Rack, and they have a package for Malibu's (all models) including some decent looking aluminum wheels and Bridgestone Blizaks for $665. Might pop for 'em. I know at least one poster has complained about how his Maxx handled snow, but others have chimed in saying they've had no problems in the snow. Nevertheless, I think a set of 'snows' might not be a bad idea. Farmers' Almanac is calling for a somewhat colder winter with somewhat greater snowfall than average (if you put any stock in those farmers).

    Those of you who've driven your Maxx's in the snow- how well does the traction control work in those conditions?


  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    I had no problems driving in snow last winter in NJ with my 04 Maxx LS. Instead of applying the brakes, the traction control system on the new Malibu reduces the engine power to stop the wheel spin. If you ever get in situation where you step on gas and there is no RPM response and car does not move, you have to temporarily disable the traction control with button on bottom of center console. The system will reduce the RPM down to idle if it must to stop the wheel spin. Of course if you are on an icy patch and both wheels are spinning, the TC system won't help.
  • I had a leak in the front of mine, got it fixed on the second try last month. It was a weld at the top of the A-pillar that was missing sealant. A week of rain had soaked the floorboard. All seems better now.
  • I'll be picking up my 06 Maxx on Monday, and I need to make a decision with respect to extended warranty. My credit union is offering a 84 month/100,000 mile bumper to bumper (no deductible) warranty for $1,140 plus or minus a few. It also a buy-back option following expiration if you were to never have reason to use it (an incentive to not use it when maybe you ought to...). But it is a third party warranty. How many of you have experience with 3rd party warranties (for most Maxx owners you probably haven't reached the end of your factory warranty, so I'm asking about your experiences with this type of warranty on one of your earlier purchases). Has the intermediary ever tried to short change or renege on paying the cost of a repair? Or have you found them to be reliable and trustworthy?

    GM offers their Master Guard Plan, but I've not yet sat down with the dealer to go over what they offer and at what price. My understanding is that for an extended warranty of terms comparable with what my c.u. is offering it would be considerably more expensive, and wouldn't have the buy-back option at the end. Both would be transferable.

    Any opinions out there?

    BTW, as a GM card holder, I've accrued in excess of 3500 points, though my card is under the newer plan (e.g. 1000 points toward a Malibu purchase). Nevertheless, I contacted the redemption center and they in the end agreed to allow me to apply a full 3500 points towards a Malibu, if I were to consummate a deal before the end of 2005. So with the new "Red Tag" price (no-dicker, effective Monday, November 14th through Jan.3, 2006), plus the factory rebate, plus points, my $26,730 Maxx LTZ should come in at around $20,600 plus or minus. I'm very pleased with the deal.
  • I have a third party warranty on my Maxx. I get GM empl. discount, and the dealer gave me the warranty at same price as a discounted GM warranty.

    Mine is identical to GM's, with one notable exception. I get a loaner for any work .2 hr+. This has come in very handy.

    Big downside is if company goes bust, I have no extended warranty. Sometimes you get the bear...
  • Thanks Eric. At this point I'm not sure which is more likely to go bust- GM or the third party company...
  • That's a coin flip. I know several 3rd party companys went belly up, a few years ago. Personally, I think the safe play is still GM. It is so large, that it's death, if at all, should be slow (I think :confuse: ).
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I've only purchased one extended warranty, on a hideous 1986 Ford Tempo. That was well worth the money. Still, on average, the payout on these things is well below 50%. In fact on dealer sold plans, the dealer makes a 100% markup, so (crossing my fingers), I'll pass.
  • Interesting that the payout is so low. My car is the only thing I get an extended warranty on. Given my inability to effect repairs myself, and the potential cost of repairs, I go for it. As with all things, value is in the eyes of the beholder.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    I'm not interested in what the dealer is making on the warranty, only what I am paying on the warranty. While the GMPP is extremely expensive, there are two great on line GM discount dealers for GMPP. I chose one of them simply because I bought a first run GM car and plan on keeping it until the auto makers build something of comparable value to the Maxx. Right now there isn't anything on the distant horizon, so the Maxx will stay in my driveway for at least 10 years. If I was buying a Toyota or Honda grocery getter, I would not waste my time buying an extended warranty. Their track record of quality over time makes it an unwise purchase.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    agree...took the risk and just invested the money instead of the running trouble free at 52k on my 04 Maxx LT..about to replace the brake pads..under normal wear and tear.....but all is well otherwise.....will drive this one till the wheels fall off her I beleive.....
  • One feature the extended service contract my credit union offers is that if you don't use it (not even once), then following the expiration of the terms (mileage/months), they will "buy it back" for the price you payed minus some $100 administrative fee. This alone still makes it tempting to me.

    Thanks to everyone for all the input.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 611
    Read the contract, they may pro-rate the refund based on time/miles at cancellation.

    Also-there is no such thing as a 'bumper to bumper extended warranty' The only 'bumper to bumper warranty' is the 3/36 warranty GM provides with the purchase of a new car. Service contracts are not warranties, and none of them (not even GMPP) covers the whole vehicle.

    Again, read the contract. Know and understand what is covered, what is not covered, how claims are handled, what parts are used (OEM, aftermarket, salvaged). Service contracts only pay for a loaner car if a certain number of 'billed labor hours' are required for repair. They do not include time spent waiting for diagnosis, parts, or other delays.
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