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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    3745, your build date was 1/21/04
  • Thanks for sharing the VIN breakdown info, e2helper. I was pretty familiar with the elements of what makes up a VIN as I am a General Motors retiree. However, I was not familiar with the coding for the current Malibus. I'm sure others will find the information enlightening.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    e2helper.....I do..and like others here..appreciate your contribution to this forum and all your assistance....
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Excellent information.

    What is the general reputation of the Fairfax assembly plant? It seems some plants are known for turning out top-notch quality and others aren't.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    OK - thanks for responses. I will continue to check forum and in cases where I come up some related tangents to a thread that might be of interest to you all (like the VIN decoder info) I will post it.
  • bwolterbwolter Posts: 51
    I believe I found the culprit of the noise. Normally, a person using the power switch would hold the switch until the window stops (up). I had a 95 Monte Carlo and a 98 GMC Sierra that when doing this and holding the switch up, the window actually "flexed" the outer door panel slightly which allowed outside noise in. I would have to close the window and tap down quickly to "release" this pressure which killed the noise. I tried this on the Maxx, but did not see any "flexing". However, I did let it close all the way and then tap the down switch, yet the window is closed. Now, I hear no noise while driving. Hmmmmm, my Ford Contour never had this problem. I could hold the switch up until the window stopped and never had a problem. Guess I won't mess with the windows much.
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    I found it verrrry interesting! ;-)

    As I've said before, this is great being able to find out all this info on my vehicle. How'd we live without this great web-based resource?

    Thanks again for this and all previous info.
  • bwolterbwolter Posts: 51
    my VIN says 167914 and the sticker on the door says the car was built in Feb 04. Is this sticker reliable?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    It seems to be based on other posters. I can hone in on a little more precise date for you and will post back on that
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Yes, bwolter - 02/06/04 is the date
  • bdubseebdubsee Posts: 15
    I just wanted to introduce myself as a new Maxx owner. I've had my car less than a day so I hope that I don't have any problems soon. I've read the info here and I find the problems with real owners to be more telling any magazine review.

    My car: '05 Maxx LT 1SB Black/Gray VIN 5F156538

    e2helper, I also appreciate your posts - it helped give me more confidence in my purchase. Can you tell me my build date? I am a sucker for the back story on my car.
  • bdubsee, welcome to the world of Maxx owners! If you haven't done so already be sure to also check out the forum, "Chevy Malibu Maxx". And while you're at it, if you haven't done so already, you're encouraged to enter your info on the poll sites set up by "pao". You can find them here: Buyers color poll....for the color of your maxx
    http://oswaldp.freepolls.com/cgi-bin/pollresults/001

    Buyers Age Poll...How old are you if you bought a Maxx
    http://chevymaxx.freepolls.com/cgi-bin/pollresults/001
  • jmax4jmax4 Posts: 22
    I like this explanation.

    I wonder why CARFAX has my MAXX LS as 2004 CHEVROLET MALIBU MAXX BASE? Is there any MAXX base?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Gee, I think yours is first 2005 I looked up.

    09/16/04

    Looks like you got the rear seat audio system which should have included wireless headphones. Could you confirm that? We were just talking about this earlier.
  • Oops! The URLs I mentioned in my previous #601 post
    were not exactly correct. Try these to actually paticipate:
    Buyers color poll....for the color of your maxx
    http://oswaldp.freepolls.com/cgi-bin/polls/001/poll_center.htm

    Buyers Poll...How old are you if you bought a Maxx
    http://chevymaxx.freepolls.com/cgi-bin/polls/001/poll_center.htm
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    OK, I changed my oil and used Mobil 1 yesterday; today, when I checked the dip stick, it looks like it is a quart low. Does the 3.5 liter engine take 5 or 4 quarts? Is the owner's manual right afterall? When I did the oil at 1000 miles, I could not see how 5 quarts could go into the engine since my dipstick read at the top after 4. Now it is low. I'm soooooo confused.
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    I also have an '05 LS with 1SB Maxx with the standard rear audio (no DVD) that did not come with headphones. VIN: 159183
    I picked it up on Oct. 18. Should I check with the dealer?
  • tricky73tricky73 Posts: 132
    Johnnyecks

    The same thing happened to my Malibu manufactured in October 2003. I had it repaired (steering column replaced) at my local dealer...no hassle; the fault code was stored...the mechanic who did the work said this was the third instance he has seen in this (medium-sized) agency. This was done about 600 miles ago, and no problems since the replacement. You SHOULD be concerned...I am 76 years old, and had my wife been driving when it failed, I am convinced she could not have turned the front wheels to exit the highway. Friction is increased to the point elderly people can't handle it! In earlier posts I reported conversations with GM customer relations who left me with the impression their only concern is that it had been fixed properly...safety possibilities were not open for discussion. This individual denied there was anyting in their data base on this defect. I reported my experience to the NHTSB and have had 2 replies from them...they are conducting an investigation on the Malibu. It is interesting to see the Edmunds long-term test car also failed (ref August 2004 report.) Finally, last week another GM rep called to see how its' going, and after an extended conversation he agreed to give me a GMCustomerCare policy for 3 years (free oil changes, tire rotations, and other scheduled maintaince items.) Better then nothing I suppose, because if the steering continues to perform ok, I like the car and will keep it. If it fails again, I will dump it at any cost...I don't have that many years remaining to take the chance
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I am checking on this. Will post back in a day or 2 with what I find out
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I don't know what to say on this maxx4me :(

    I thought it was 4 quarts from what I was told but I guess you have to let the dipstick be your guide

    I am stirring things up on this ;)
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I confirmed you should have received a wireless Headphones Only Package Kit P/N 10396845 which comes with 2 Wireless Headphones (P/N 15762534) and 4 AAA Batteries (P/N 15073730).

    These are the same headphones used on DVD player, it is just that system also comes with a remote control.

    Not sure if this is was a misbuild by assembly plant or dealer was confused because the 2004 model had a different system used wired headphones only (which aren't supplied with vehicle).

    I would suggest you check again with dealer given this information. This is being checked into further.
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Many thanks for the information.
  • My Malibu Maxx on occasion cintinues to start even after I have started it. You know how you can sometimes forget that you have already turn on the car but turn the ignition again anyway..that grating sound..well sometimes after I start it it makes that noise like I am doing a continuing start..anyone else have anything similar?
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yep; as e2helper has pointed out, the Maxx has a starter which does not require you to keep the key turned; you may simply turn it and let go, adn the starter will take it from there. There is a PCM reflash for "hard starts". I had it done but still get an occational "long" cranking after I turn the key.
  • Thanks for previous info. I had my Maxx in for its 12K checkup. Dealer (which had done good job with steering column replacement) claimed all the PCM flashes were current, then provided bill well over estimate ($120 total - this was to change oil, rotate tires and a few inspections). Not a good sign for future maintanence needs.

    I did not argue, but noted the cruise control remains useless on all but nearly level roads(still cycles between 4th and third) - will write it off at this point and hope someday GM figures out how to make it work with a 4 speed (cruise controls in the Ion auto and Trail Blazer worked quite well).
  • Thank you for the heads up on the headphones. I should assume that it was an honest mistake, not any sort of treachery (residual bad feelings from the purchasing experience, I suppose). I'll contact my dealer tomorrow and let you know what the results are.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Yes, there is a potential that the vehicle was received with the headphone kit and it wasn't their fault.

    If dealer still indicates they don't think that the vehicle is supposed to have headphones you might want to suggest they contact the Technical Assistance Center help line for confirmation.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    wow seems a bit high for a 12k check for a few inspections, oil change, and tire rotation....my dealer here in northern VA is offering the 12K service for 59.95...would have guessed why the bill was "well over estimate" for a standard service......

    interesting comment on the cruise control...I dont seem to have that problem but admit not driving hills and mountains....but rolling hills in NOVA and thru NC/SC dont seem to bother the cruise......when you say cycles thru..does it do it several times...or just downshift once to maintain the speed..then return to fourth?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    All I can say is that the latest PCM calibration had a change which looked to address this concern.

    Since it was only released for production in May 2004 your vehicle would have had to been reflashed by dealer after that in order to have it. Dealer told you the PCM flash is current but it can't be the case unless they updated it at some point

    CAL ID:12592927
    P/N: 12592928
    New calibration with diagnostic enhancements for DTC P0340. Also improvements for starting, idle quality, and shift stabilization affecting 3-4 upshift.

    Another thought.........
    Was your vehicle reflashed at that clinic you attended in April? That might have been a way your PCM was updated by someone other than the dealer.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    wow seems a bit high for a 12k check for a few inspections, oil change, and tire rotation....my dealer here in northern VA is offering the 12K service for 59.95...would have guessed why the bill was "well over estimate" for a standard service......

    interesting comment on the cruise control...I dont seem to have that problem but admit not driving hills and mountains....but rolling hills in NOVA and thru NC/SC dont seem to bother the cruise......when you say cycles thru..does it do it several times...or just downshift once to maintain the speed..then return to fourth?
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