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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • cwesleygcwesleyg Posts: 64
    I can see why they would not brag abouth the anacronyn... that sounds pretty lame, although HHR sounds okay... I saw one when I went back to my dealership to peal the MI State Park sticker out of my trade in... I was very interested, unitl I saw that it was not built in the US. That matters to me more than any other thing. It seems like a pretty large vehicle to get pulled by a 4 banger... Styling I've heard is based on the "47 Suburban... It does look pretty cool I think... but it needs a V6... perhaps that will be an option.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I wonder how extensive the recall is,any idea. :)
  • The letter I received in the mail on Saturday August 13th says 2005s equipped with 3.5L V6 engine. The dealer already knew about it and fixed it while my car was there for an oil change on Wednesday the 11th I love my dealer they are always on top of these things and take care of checking everytime I take the car in and not having me bring it back at a later date. :) Plus they give me free oil changes for the first year.
  • yungranyungran Posts: 1
    We have a 2004 Malibu Maxx , it has been having a starting problem for a few months now, it cranks but does not turn over quick enough for a full start. Has anyone else had this problem? ">
  • ktcktc Posts: 30
    About the recall on the Harmonic Balancer, is it on all 2005 Maxx (all with V6)?
    I have not received any recall in the mail yet. :confuse:
  • So far as I know yes it is on 2005s with 3.5L V6 engines. Call your local dealer and they can check it for you. I just got the letter Saturday but the dealer knew about it last Wednesday.
  • ktcktc Posts: 30
    I just called my dealer, and they said it is not on mine 2005 Maxx (August 2004 build date), maybe it is only for some period of build date. :)
  • He bought it in the Spring and was driving to Calif - died in New Mexico - received the letter when he returned from his trip.

    He is in negotiations with GM right now trying to get a new van - they offered to replace the engine on the old one.

    He then read the letter to me - and discovered that our new Maxx is mentioned too! But the build date is 7/04 so hopefully doesn't apply to us?
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    We took the Malibu on a trip to visit our family in WV over the past weekend. While there the remote trunk release started to glitch. It doesn't matter if you use the key fob or the door panel button- about 80% of the time there is a "click" noise from the trunk (sounds like a solenoid), but the trunk doesn't open. Using a key in the trunk works every time, and (I tested by manually manipulating the latch) the emergency release inside the trunk lid does too.

    My wife took the car into the dealership this morning to have this (and some other items I've been holding off on) taken care of. She just called me to tell me that the mechanic says "we have to allow time for the system to reset" and "recognize that the trunk lid is closed". So I had to get the phone # for the dealership and call them. That's BS. This hasn't happened before, and anyway, who EVER heard of a minimum time needing to be allowed between opening / closing and then reopening the trunk? What happens when i open it to put something in, close it, then immediately realize I meant to get something else out (or forgot something else I needed to put in)? Should I wait a few minutes or be forced to use the key?

    I'm interested in hearing if anyone else has seen this problem with their 2004+ Malibu Sedan (and possibly the Maxx, though the Maxx has some extra features relating to the hatch, if I've read correctly, that might mean its system works a little differently?). In the meantime I called the service manager and told her what I thought about this "excuse" they're making, and that it's never acted this way before. I also told her that if the mechanic still claims it's normal they need to check any OTHER Malibu on the lot.. She got with the mechanic and they're going to go check another one out, then she says she's going to call me back, so I'll post back here with results.

    For anyone interested, the other stuff it's being seen for-
    1) Tire rotation / balance (yah, I can do it, but they're seeing it anyway, and I have a hard time finding enough time for stuff like this any more)
    2) Loose hood release handle. The inside handle for the hood release has between 3/4 and 1" play. NOT the cable itself (cable's taught, as can be felt when pulling the handle past that point). Manager says it's normal for all the Malibus. I'll take her word for it, since I honestly can't remember from past times opening the hood (that says some positive things about this car- no need to open the hood myself often enough to even remember how it worked before).
    3) Rock chip in paint to the rear of the sunroof on the passenger side. The chip itself isn't their concern. The RUST starting to form there is though. I'd been expecting to hear the "rust through" excuse, but was pleasantly surprised when the manager said they may have to send it out. (Rust through IS what is covered, but starting to rust is what leads to rust through. Dealing with the rust while it's still just a surface spot is bound to be much cheaper than once it's through the metal. Interestingly, I was under the impression that the roof was also two-sided galvanized. If so, this spot is a strange occurance.)

    ttyl all.
  • cwesleygcwesleyg Posts: 64
    I would think it is your responsibility to cover chips so they don't rust. Typically rust through means there has to be a hole all the way through the metal before they will do anything. A buddy of my has a 2002 or 3 Ram pickup that has paint blistering for no apparent reason... rust has formed 2" above the wheel wells and Chrysler is doing nothing for him. I wouldn't expect any help from GM over a chipped paint.
  • I looked around and couldn't find any other posts on this forum regarding this topic, so I thought I'd see if anyone has/had this problem.

    I bought my 2004 Malibu used about six months ago. It had been driven as a company car for about a year and abused pretty badly for such a new car. One of the problems with the car was that there were stains on the front and rear passenger seats. It looked like somebody had spilled something all over them and then dried, leaving a sort of patchy stain. The rest of the car was pretty dirty too, so I figured I would get it detailed and see if the stains came out, and they did. I thought my problems were over, but last night I went for a jog in the rain and drove home from the track. This morning I noticed similar stains, but much worse all over the driver's seat. I'm sure that I only got water and nothing else on the seat, and that these stains are new and not just the ones I had taken out resurfacing. I've also noticed small stains on the other seats where water has dripped when the doors were opened. I find it hard to believe that GM could apholster their seats with fabric that stains simply by coming into contact with water, but apparently they did in my car. Has anybody had the same problem, and if so, is there a solution?
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    That's pretty much what the dealership said too. He was polite about it, and I really couldn't argue. (Dunno what I was expecting! senile moment I guess..)

    As for the other things- I forgot one off my list:
    Weak / chattering passenger side power window. This has happened before, and they've always just lubed the window seal (assuming silicone of some sort), which took care of the chattering, but not the slow window motor. This time I insisted that they also deal with the motor, before the car's out of warranty and it fails altogether.

    1) Piece of cake. Cost ~$35.
    2) (Had answer above, but repeating here to keep things together) The manager claims to have checked other cars on the lot, says they're all the same. Supposedly they leave some slack in the handle to avoid overstressing the cable? (Makes little sense to me, but if they really ARE all that way, whattayado?)
    3) Mentioned above. Basically, I'm going to take care of this one by taking the car to a body shop and having this spot and any others addressed, as well as having some minor custom graphics added, to please my wife. This may be a few months away. For the short term, has anyone got a good suggestion for stopping / preventing the spread of the rust until I get time / money to get the car into the shop?
    4) Trunk release glitching. Wouldn't you know it. The thing's refusing to glitch now. First they claimed you have to wait for it to reset, but later they simply claimed they couldn't reproduce the problem. Since it's working perfectly (regardless of how many times I've opened it trying to cause the problem) I just asked that they keep the ticket marked as "unable to reproduce" so that if it doesn't happen again until outside the warranty I can still get it addressed properly.
    5) Power window. Two things were at fault. The first was the dry rubber seal around the windows, which they lubricated again (seems to need this about 3 times a year, so I guess I'm going to stock up on silicone lube myself..). The second was that the motor / mechanism itself was dirty. They cleaned it and lubricated it (also did driver's side, which the mechanic said was also dirty). The passenger side is still slower than the driver side, but it's so close now that I won't press the issue. (the driver's side closes while the passenger side still has between 2 and 3 inches of travel left if you close them both simultaneously from fully open. It was at least twice that or more.)

    With all my minor problems, I still love this car. I'm not blind to any faults (for example, the seats are a bit hard on the backside on longer trips, and the suspension is a bit firm over the rough pavement we have here in this part of NC's highways), but overall it was still an excellent value. Great performance and fuel economy for a mid-size family vehicle, good fit and finish, relatively low number of problems (for an early 1st model year build!), outstanding level of equipment for the dollar- it all adds up to a deal that's hard to beat. Unless of course, you bought a Maxx (my wife and I both still have issues with the rear styling, but can't argue against the extra functionality). ;)

    The local service department experience has pretty much sealed our satisfaction with the vehicle though. Even when we don't "get our way" they're polite and do a good job of explaining why. More often they go out of their way to make us happy, even if it means fixing something that most others might balk at. Too bad more dealerships don't provide this sort of experience, or GM might not be sitting where it is financially right now.
  • The maintenance manual talks about applying some kind of silicone lubricant on a regular basis. Is this really important? :confuse:
    I haven't been able to find anything fitting the description at the auto parts store. When I asked the service desk whether they apply this during the oil change service, I was told that it was up to me. Apparently, they don't think it is that important.
    However, this is my first car with a sunroof and if this stuff will help maintain the gasket, where can I get some? :surprise:

    I'd appreciate any opinions/info.
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Silicone spray onto a cloth. Rub that around the weatherstripping. It prevents the rubber from drying out and in winter (if that's an issue for you) it prevents the doors from sticking to the frames.
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    The owners manual has the part number for the dielectic silicon grease which you can get from the dealer parts dept. I got tube (about $12 at dealer) and smeared it on all my door gaskets with my fingers. A little goes a long way. You can see the difference in the gaskets after you put this on. I did not use is on the gaskets that touches the window glass when you close the windows as the grease would transfer to the glass when you open and close the windows.

    The packaging did not say anything about using it on door gaskets. It is normally used on spark plug boots to keep them soft and easy to remove. You can buy this stuff in an auto store for a couple bucks per tube.

    I also checked with service and they do not apply this grease as part of regular maintenance work.
  • kmaurerkmaurer Posts: 48
    I have the same problem with my 04 Malibu (grey interior). Water will stain the seats. Also, make sure to clean the ENTIRE seat cushion when you clean it, or it will leave another stain.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Ever try isopropyl alcohol, it worked on the head liner, and no stain. :)
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    I have 04 Maxx LS and have not had any problems with water staining the seat fabric. I rented an 05 base Malibu sedan and the front seats were very stained. Perhap this is only a problem in the base models. They use a different fabric than the LS models.
  • I wonder too if anyone had the perma-plate done, that can also help to avoid stains on the fabric. I have leather and had both of my Maxxes done right after I bought them. Don't know how much difference that might make.
  • kmaurerkmaurer Posts: 48
    My Malibu is an 04 LS. The seat stains occurred with purified water - I put a mug on the back set that I thought was completely empty, but it had a few drops of water left in the mug. Well, the few drops oozed out onto the fabric and caused a ring where the water dried. The local GM dealer also got a small grease stain on my driver's seat that I haven't been able to get out (although it is slowly disappearing).

    For now, I now have a "no food, no drink" rule in the car.
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