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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • sean74sean74 Posts: 18
    The engine temperature of my 2005 Malibu LS often increases and pass the half gauge when the car idles, for example when I stop at intersection and wait for green light. I want to know if this is normal. Thanks.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    mine will edge slightly above the halfway mark in stop and go traffic...but once I start moving settles back at the halfway mark....think its completely normal, 04 Maxx LT here...with 49K
  • tiredtired Posts: 2
    I don't know if it is the fuse or not but these three lights are constantly popping on. While driving my theft system will pop on. Two months after an oil change the check oil light will come on. Also lately when I start my car and I drive a few minutes the coolant light will come on. I get regular oil changes and all of my fluids are leveled at capacity. So what can the problem be?
  • I have an 04 Malibu LS with 13,750 miles that had a rapid flashing indicater. I took it to my local dealer and they determined the harness inside the headlamp was causing the problem. They put on new headlamp,part# 15287023 ,no charge.So far so good.
  • The radio in my Malibu has bothered me from day one. It has never lost its presets, but does not always retain the stations or track of a CD (a much bigger annoyance) between starts. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.

    The dealer put in a new radio, but the same thing is happening, so it's probably not the radio. The service tech said it could be the programming or power source to that portion of the radio's controls. Previously, someone said the keys and/or keyfob need to be set for the car, but I don't understand that because we don't have the "personalization" option.

    The car goes into the shop again next week. If anyone has any ideas, let's hear 'em.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Modern cars integrate their entertainment systems with their driver information centers. So there are all sorts of connections between the radio and other electrical/electronic subsystems. Today, it's almost impossible to upgrade your entertainment system with another brand. I have heard of instances where the owner who wanted to upgrade their entertainment system, extended the wiring of the present system into the trunk of the car in order to keep the car running. Then, the new system was hooked up independently of the original system.

    My point is this - simply changing the radio may or may not solve the problem in your case.

    I believe the erratic behavior of my radio points to a far deeper problem than the radio itself. I believe the problem is in the Body Control Module which in my humble opinion is unstable for one reason or another. Whether it is glitchy software or low voltage or voltage spikes I don't know. But something is causing these cars to suffer from erratic symptoms that clear up the next time around.

    Hopefully, the fix will be as simple as hooking up a capacitor or diode somewhere to catch voltage spikes or whatever is causing the problem.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 869
    Is GM looking into the hard starting when hot on the 3.5, my wife has it happen twice last week. Might go a month or 2, but it will show up again, takes 3 tries to start it. Are they working on the problem or do they have bigger fish to fry, the dealer has check it twice and found nothing. :(
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    There are a few documents in dealer's service information which it sounds like he didn't locate - they mainly deal with making sure grounds are tight so it really doesn't sound that promising since they likely checked that type of stuff anyways. I don't know if you have latest calibration in your PCM - do you know build date of your vehicle?

    But there hasn't been an update for some time.
  • tcb70tcb70 Posts: 1
    In March of this year, I traded my 2001 Chevy Malibu, 6 cylinder car for the 2005 Chevy Malibu 4 cylinder. Both deals were done at Dean Myers Chev Olds.

    The 2001 had a 50 litre gas tank and I drove it approx 450 km with mix highway and city driving.

    This 2005 with a 60 litre tank is empty at approx 325-375km.
    When I bought it, the sticker on the window claimed:
    City: 9.8ltrs/100km
    Highway: 6.6ltrs/100 km

    As well, the following website states I should be getting approx :

    City: 24 miles per gallon
    Highway: 34 miles per gallon rimid=-1&src=vip

    I'm not getting anywhere near that.
    When I brought the car back in the first week, I was told that the car has to be worked in and it should improve after the first oil change. It has not improved.

    I brought the car in last week and was told that their test showed nothing wrong with the car.

    I asked them to check the brakes as well to see if they may be sticking since they were already squealing after only 8000km. The brakes are still squealing at stops.

    The service technician said the stats in their promo ads were based on perfect temperatures and conditions and that the 4 cylinder works harder to carry the car and that is why I am burning so much fuel. The service guy actually said he wishes his car got that mileage.

    My 6 cylinder Malibu, or even my Chevy Blazer and Ford explorer got better mileage than I'm getting with this 4 cylinder with 60 litre gas tank.

    I'm waiting for a response from GM on the issue.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 869
    Build date 3-16-04.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    My 2004 Malibu with the 4cyl. Ecotec engine gets 37mpg on the highway. The exhaust tip has not got a trace of carbon. It's as clean as the day I got my car. There is adequate power with the 4cyl. engine and the car is not underpowered. It might change down sooner than the 6cyl. while climbing hills but the mpg is still pretty good. Remember too that the all aluminum Ecotec engine is much lighter than the 6cyl. so the power to weight ratio is better.

    I think you might have a problem with yours.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Then vehicle definitely had older calibration originally in it (changed in May 2004 for production). Do you know if your dealer ever "reflashed" the PCM with latest calibration?

    Here is what GM Calibration Website says about latest version: "New calibration with diagnostic enhancements for DTC P0340. Also improvements for starting, idle quality, and shift stabilization affecting 3-4 upshift."
  • My '04 Maxx (built during 01/04) will be difficult to start if I start it up when cold, drive it a short distance (1-3 miles), park/turn engine off, leave car for 15-20 minutes, and then try to restart. The vehicle starting then takes at least two tries and then runs very roughly for a short time.
    It supposedly is up to date wrt PCM cals, etc.

    Also, for first time, just after starting and when the auto headlights came on while car was parked, all the gauges went to the minumum values (fuel, temp, etc) for about 2 seconds and then came alive again.
    Is there a fuse or connection I can check for possible corrosion or looseness?
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Another thought comes to mind. Is your overdrive and lockup kicking in? Check the tachometer and see if the rpm's are exactly 2000 at 60mph. That would confirm that the transmission is in overdrive.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I had the same problem on my 04 Maxx LT...had it replaced 6 months ago and seems to be fine now....49 K on mine and going strong
  • My '05 Maxx makes a lot of popping and crinkling noise from the manifold thru the converter and tailpipe assembly when it is shut off and cooling down. This I can understand and accept. However mine makes the same noises when there is any change in sheet metal temp due to different operating conditions; such as when idling at a light, pulling a hill, coasting down a hill etc. Needless to say it is extremely annoying. Has anyone else had the problem and what was the fix?
    Dealer ofcourse says this is normal---BS.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    tcb70 - How are you calculating your milage? Try this: run the car to "empty" and fill up. If there is a problem with the fuel sending unit, it may be going to empty sooner than you are actually out of gas. Now, with the full tank, drive until it is "empty" and fill up again. Then use that number of litres to calculate your economy, not the gas tank capacity. You should never use the capacity of the tank, since the car will still have about 1-2 gallons of gas when you hit empty. By always filling the tank to full, you can use the number of litres on the pump as an indication of how many litres you used.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    when you say sheet metal ..what exactly are you referring too or are you still referring to the exhaust system...honestly never heard of this issue before...
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    tcb70 - Some other things to consider: How quickly do you take off from lights? Do you do much stop and go driving? If you do, you definitely won't get nearly the EPA estimated economy.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    I recommend that you check the coolant level. Park the car on a level surface and let the engine cool down. Check the level and if it is at or below full, add a 50/50 mixture of DexCool and water to bring it about 2 inches above full. My car is a little over a year old with 16.3K miles on it and it was slightly below full. Bringing the level to what I said (and where it was from the factory) has been keeping it cooler and idle better.
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