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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • Well I've come to find out that they have absolutely no idea how long they are going to have to keep my car for. So I went and picked up my rental car tonight. They were unable to duplicate the problem with the steering in the shop, but they are still going to replace the steering column on the car anyways. This is such a common problem they say, that the part (steering column) is on backorder thus why they are unable to estimate when they might be able to fix the car and get it back to me..
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Sorry for your experience karunch.

    Your dealer is taking appropriate action. Your vehicle build date is Jan 31, 2004
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I am not very knowledgable on details of the seat kurt so sorry, not help there. I think you talked about this at April Clinic you attended with engineers, right?

    I confirmed that your vehicle was updated at the clinic to the latest calibration available (the one we posted about in other places).
  • Thanks and appreciate the info E2. So I guess cruise control is what it is for now.

    Perhaps engineering will have a calibration in the future that will let crusie communicate with the transmission as well as the driver accelerator pedal does.

    The Pontiac G6 driver seat is quite similar to the Malibu, but the lumbar support is higher up and more comfortable. Not enough reason to ditch the Malibu, though.
  • This is our issue: The car idles very rough when in park and the climate control system is off as well as the AC. The dealership says this is normal on Malibu's due to leaning out the engine for emission purposes. It is very annoying and quite frankly does not seem right to me. Anyone else experience this?
  • Hi Blukat40

    Yes, my 2004 Maxx with the PCM update idles rough sometimes too. With the AC on, it smooths out quite a bit. Seems this may be "normal" -- but annoying.
  • The idle on my Maxx is a little rough from time to time, but smooths out if the AC is on. If it's due to an engine lean condition, that makes it more tolerable as idling in traffic is a huge fuel waster as is (the Maxx gets pretty darn good mileage given that its engine lacks variable valve timing or variable displacement or other fuel saving tricks)

    Also noted the Maxx has trouble starting if it has been driven a short distance, stopped, and then restarted after 10 - 15 minutes. It'ds not a unique problem - my older Camry and Prism had trouble with lukewarm starting.
  • Don't be surprised if your car is in for a few days. I rented a car for what I thought would be a day or two job. I had the rental for 10 days. The problem was getting the parts (transmission and domelight switch). GM did reimburse for almost all the rental. They gave up waiting for the domelight switch and just took one off of another unsold new one. The transmission work was great. No howling noises. Extremely quiet........until I pulled into my driveway! 4 loud thuds from underneath. Backed out of the drive and tried again...sure enough it did it again. So I went back to the dealer. Luckily, I didn't have to get another rental. They found the problem. When they torqued the bolts for the cradle after reinstalling the tranny, the guy didn't torque enough so it was loose. It's fine now.
  • Hi, I'm thinking about buying a new 2004 maxx from the local dealer - i have the vin number for the car and was wondering if i could tell what the build date is from that, and whether that might tell me anything i ought to know about the car.

  • Well I originally was told by the Service Department at the dealership that the part was on backorder, and they would have no idea when they would be getting the part in... Today I called the Parts Department, and asked if they had any idea as to when they might be getting the part in. The Parts Dept. tells me that the part is not on backorder just that the Philadelphia warehouse does not have any, and that the part is being shipped in from Michigan. So they expect to have the part by Wednesday...

    I can't wait to get my car back, this Impala that they gave me is like driving a boat!
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Post last 6 digits
  • 215123 are the last 6 digits of the LS, I think, although there also is the number 5000 at the very end.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Looks to be April 22, 2004 (Earth Day!!). Silver exterior color, right? It would have latest steering column. It falls in with the latter half of population of owners on the board.

    Others posters might be able to chime in on other stuff they have learned.
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Hi e2helper. Could you run this VIN for build date.
    159183 I know build date is 9/o4 but was wondering about Friday afternoon cars. Is that a myth?
    Thanks, Peter.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I think it is a myth. BTW your date is 1/23/04 which is......a Friday. Vehicles take longer than a half day to build. I am not sure of entire process time from body shop welding the body panels together to out the door but it is more that an 8 hour shift involving the efforts of thousands :)

    Hey where did you buy this car? Your profile says CT but that isn't where car was sold from :)
  • Anybody else finding the neutral cloth upholstery isn't very kid proof? It shows everything, and is already starting to look worn and tired after only 60 days use.

    Do they still make plastic seat covers I could have installed?

    Other than that, love the car!

    VIN 237245
    Davis, CA
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Thanks for the response. It's supposed to be an '05. Door sticker shows build date of 09/04. It came from Hassett Chevrolet in Fairfield, CT with 2 miles on the odometer. All the panels line up perfectly so it can't be a Friday car : )
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Oh sorry, I needed to know it was an 05. Info I gave was incorrect :(
  • e2helper, Just to keep you up to speed. Awhile back you advised me to certainly have the fuel gauge problem taken care of(never goes to full on fillup)which causes "Check Gas Cap" chime and message to activate. Taking it in tomorrow and will make them aware of the TSB that addresses a faulty gas tank design as was reported in a previous post. Also, going to have the brake vibration problem looked at and fixed hopefully. Just curious how long they will keep the vehicle. They had it two days if you recall for the air bag light problem that is still working OK :-) e2helper, My 2004 Maxx LT Vin #F244238, I would appreciate any info you can give me on this build date whenever it was:-)Thanks as always ~~ Pete ~~ from Long Island NY.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Build Date was 6/3/04 - I already had looked it up :)

    About 1 1/2 week after that date they were building 2005 model year so you have a very late 2004 model vehicle

    No idea on how long they might have the vehicle, sorry. :(
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