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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I don't know if you previously posted a build date - that would be helpful.

    The only items of the ones you mention I have suggestion on is #1 driving lights and #5 fuel tank.

    For #1 I just have a question - what is it that you are calling the driving lights indicator? Just reference something in the owner manual by page number and I will look it up.

    For #5 most often the issue WAS with fuel tank itself. I know you indicate it was replaced but it is still possible the new tank had same condition. I believe there is a new PCM calibration which made gauge less sensitive to tank issues but I don't know if that was introduced as a way to not have to change tank or an additional improvement.

    If you get a chance post back build date or, if you are willing, the last 6 of your VIN
  • pwd666pwd666 Posts: 5
    Today I got around to fixing 1 of 2 problems. To fix the problem with the E-brake I had to take out the Computer of the Malibu. I also had to take out the plastic mount for the computer. For anyone's information there are three screws holding the braket in place one closest to the steering wheel and the other two at the back. The e-brake sensor was loose in the back and it seems as if a plastic guide was broken off. Anyway I torqued the switch down and it all works fine.

    I'm stilling trying to figure out about the turn signal clicking noise. I replaced the hazard/turn signal flasher but it still clicks every so often. Anyone have any ideas?

    Also does anyone know where to get the plastic PVC 90 degree angle? Mine is cracking and I don't want to pay $34 CAD for one.

  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    3. bouncing drivers head light (No problem, no fix said normal even though I walked through the lot and no others did it)

    This is NOT normal. Mine is doing it but my dealer forgot about it last time it went in. I can actually wiggle the drivers headlamp around quite a bit. It looks like one of the bolts holding it on is coming loose.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    OK - I checked and it is 255 ignition cycles (not 50) without same condition for the disable history to be cleared.

    Thanks I'll ask them about it when it goes in.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 225
    I'm finally going to try and get my rattly, clunky steering column and my squeaky belt and hopefully they'll update my PCM to fix my hard starts and cruise control sticking in 3rd. The catch is I'm taking it to a dealership about 3 hours away as the one here can't be trusted and a relative ruined my chances with a good service department only an hour away. Gonna take it over on Saturday, leave it for the week and pick it up the next Saturday. Kinda bad, but the service department here doesn't seem to know their a**hole from a hole in the ground.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    please post the details of your steering column "fix". Mine is still squeeking when warmed up. Are they replacing the rack and pinion as well as the steering column?
  • deesmaxxdeesmaxx Posts: 5
    I don't know why they've had to replace the steering column so many times. The problem is that the steering wheel locks up while driving and I'm not able to turn it left or right. I was told that it's a defect and they will change it however many times is needed.

    As for the windows, they stick overnight and it only happens on the passenger side.

    Now, about this howling transmission, does it have to be changed?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    Here is what I got from this forum some time ago:


    Re the noise you mention, this TSB from GM might cover it:

    ASI Resolution - Growl or Howl Type Noise From Transmission/Engine Compartment During Light to Moderate Acceleration from a Stop (Replace Drive Link, Drive Sprocket and Driven Sprocket) #04-07-30-021A - (Jul 2, 2004)

    2004 Chevrolet Malibu, Malibu Maxx
    2004 Oldsmobile Alero
    2004 Pontiac Grand Am

    Built After January 16, 2004
    with 4T45E Automatic Transaxles (RPO MN5) Built Between Julian Date 4016 and 4126 and

    3.4L or 3.5L V6 Engine (VINs E, 8 - RPOs LA1, LX9)

    This bulletin is being revised to include a repair procedure and parts availability information.

    Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 04-07-30-021 (Section 07-Transmission/Transaxle).

    Some customers may comment on a growl or howl type noise during light to moderate acceleration from a stop. This noise is load and engine RPM sensitive and will occur between 1500 RPM to approximately 2300 RPM. The noise is most noticeable in first and second gear. The noise may dissipate prior to the 1-2 shift, but will be noticed again in second gear depending on the load and engine RPM. The pitch of the noise will change during the 1-2 shift.

    The noise is due to the new 5/8 inch drive link assembly being at a resonant frequency during certain driving conditions.


    Only RPO MN5 transaxles built between Julian date 4016 and 4126 have 5/8 inch drive link assemblies. Refer to Transmission ID and VIN Derivative Location, SI Document ID #760312 for Julian date location information.

    Follow the service procedure below to replace the 5/8 inch drive link and sprockets with a 7/8 inch drive link and sprockets
  • sciguy85sciguy85 Posts: 45
    Thanks for the quick input. My last 6 didits are 225741.
    The indicator is the on button for the driving lights (the red light indicating it was on went out but the lights worked.

    Because the fuel was still off they wanted me to (get this) run the tank as close to empty and fill it again to get a more "accurate" reading and then bring it in. (Maybe I should just run it to empty and let them come and get it and fill it themselves, they do own me at some gas from taking the tank out 3 times.

    Redmaxx, thank you, I thought I was the only one out there with the bouncing headlight. Trouble is they have told me twice that everything is tight and it's normal (even though 6+ cars in their own lot do not do it).
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    You might notice that when you pull up behind other cars that the reflection of your headlight that is loose is shaking. You might mention this to them and tell them that if its normal then all of them would do this. Other than that I can't think of what else to tell you. I've been in that position before; with a dealership that insists something is normal when it isn't and its a frustrating one.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    The dealer I'd purchased my Maxx from had service so inept they couldn't even realign loose trim, and kept mis-torquing my wheels to point where rotors warped.

    After avoiding them for 2 years, 3 months ago I discovered dealers' management had fired their entire service department. The new crew actually seems to know what they are doing, and have done a decent job the three times I have been in for various warranty work.

    Point? Chevy Dealer service is extremely variable, and if you have a bad one, it makes sense to try elsewhere.

    (FYI, the dealer management also fired most of their sales people. But their sale side of things remains a persian bazaar).
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    he, least you'll be able to find some outstanding replacement floor mats once you've worn out the OEMs!! I held my first soccer practice today. My Maxx is now an official Soccer Dad car.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    changing the column as many times as needed doesnt seem to be the was mentioned there are specific replacement and calibration instructions out there....I thinking the service department is following the recommended how to in the TSB...the howling transmission is remedied with a replacement of one sprocket....not the entire transmission...again a detailed TSB out on this as well....I would work very closely with the service manager..and insure he is looking at the right TSBs....and that they are performing the work correctly....62K on my 04 LT...built Feb 04....and none of these problems with mine....just a burnt out CHMSL.......
  • The ambient temperature display has lately been erratic on my 04 Maxx. The following happened a couple of times: When it was very cold here (teens or single digits), I would drive to work. Car would sit all day. Then during the day, the temperature would rise considerably... into the 40's or 50's. The actual outside temp was, say 50 when I was driving home, but the display was still at 17. It took a number of miles for the display to read correctly, then it would shoot up very quickly--- like it was "unthawing" --- then read correctly. Dealer said this is normal. BUT I've had the car for 2 over years and it NEVER did this before (although there were many similar opportunities with our crazy weather swings). It's ALWAYS accurate in the summer, and never had this lag time before. Any thoughts? thanks
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    I actually like the OEM floor mats. They seem very durable (I'm pretty hard on floor mats) and I really like the hook on my driver's side mat. It has never come loose and slid under the pedals.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    My guess is that you are using remote starter when you go out to your vehicle after work, correct?

    I can explain more if you confirm that.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Ok - you have a fairly late build 2004. Built sometime in first part of May 2004. That would make it possible you had issue with fuel tank and might need to get it replaced again.

    I believe the test they do with fuel tank doesn't involve filling it up with fuel so it works better for them to be as low as reasonable.
  • I can't confirm that I used it on those days, I may have... explain why that would make a difference? It was well after driving for 5-7 miles, through city traffic before the temperature would read accurately. What is the connection with remotely starting the car?
  • sciguy85sciguy85 Posts: 45
    Thanks e2, I'm going to mention it. May be they will consider the possilbility of putting the wrong one in (again) as it took them 3 weeks to figure it out the last time.
  • We have an '01 Malibu that insists upon activating the passive theft deterrent system at the most inopportune times, resulting in a 10 minute wait every time this happens. Why is this happening and what can we do to fix it?
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