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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    Maxx4me & Kurtamaxxguy - They installed what appears to be some sort of fiber/cardboard stiffners behind the trim on each side. I don't think they removed the headliner, at least I hope they didn't...I think they just slipped them in...probably held in place with sticky tape.


    The stiffners have an indentation or lip on either side of the notch where the shade clip goes that prevents the clip from sliding up and out. Shades have stayed closed 3 days now.


    I'm not holding breath that this fix will be permanent. Will have to wait until hot summer comes to see if the stiffners stay in place and the shades stay closed when driving with windows and sunroof open.
  • Hello,


    Has anyone noticed that the gas cap doesn't seem to fit that well? I'm wondering if this is common (poor design) or does my car simply have a bad gas cap.


    When you put on the gas cap and turn it until it ratchets several times, you can then simply pull off the gas cap with little or no effort - no need to turn or unscrew at all.


    When I bought my car, the 'Check Gas Cap' message came on witin 1/2 a mile after delivery. It went away after a couple of tank fulls so I attributed it to a loose gas cap. Now the message came on again, probably because of a loose gas cap. The gas cap doesn't give any feedback to let you know that it's on correctly..


    Anyone else experience this..The car only has about 2500 miles and I haven't had it back to the dealer for anything yet...I'll mention it at my first service but am curious in the meantime...


    Thanks in advance...
  • Not sure if this is an '05 issue; the gas cap on my '04 Maxx stays put and tightens up just fine.

    You might want to check the threads within the fill spout and see if they are damaged or stripped.
  • Thanks for the input. My car is actuall an '04, Malibu LT (Sedan) with a February 2004 build date.


    I'll take another look at the fill spout...When I looked at it before, it look different from other fill spouts I have seen on any other car I've owned...Doesn't seem to have standard threads...I'll take another look.....


    Although, this is the way the gas cap has been from day 1.... I bought the car in Nov. '04 and it had about 160 miles on it at the time...
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    I've only filled the car up maybe three times but have noticed the cap is not the standard screw on type I'm familiar with but more of a quick connect design. It's something like a 1/4 turn to remove or secure if it's lined up right. I haven't triggered the light yet (normally I don't turn off engine when gassing up but with this car so far I have) but can see why GM included the gas cap warning with this odd cap design.
  • Has anybody tried the locking gas cap accessory which GM sells for the Malibu? I'm tempted to give it a try as I'm quite annoyed with the standard one...
  • My rear shades open and close as one would expect. Do all Maxx's require a mod?
  • tim10tim10 Posts: 15
    Sorry for the long post, but here's an update....


    Saturday I picked it up fron the 2nd round of service (really their 4th or 5th attempt when you consider separate parts orders). Dealer said "it's the quietest car any of us have ever drivin in." Wrong! Another service manager drove with me and said you have to be deaf not to hear this, and he wouldn't stand for it in his own vehicle either. I've added a Envoy to the fleet of rental cars. An hour later I dropped the car BACK off at the dealership, same noise. I test drove the other base 05 on their lot and had the same, if not worse, noise that mine had. The dealership has now replaced the coils, repositioned the emergency brake cable, and a bunch more (haven't gotten all the paperwork back yet). I'd estimate they've spent $2500 in parts, labor, and freight so far on GM's dime.


    Today the service manager brought my car along with the one I drove on Saturday up to my place of employment. They had me testdrive each, and mine was a bit quieter. They said they did a super quick fix to muffle the noise by adding insulation to where the bumper attaches to the rest of the car. The problem is still there but it's somewhat hidden. They took back their enterprise car and now I'm waiting till Friday for a GM rep response. The dealer told me they are pulling the other vehicle from their new lot and will absolutely not sell the other vehicle with the problem or even repair it yet until the GM rep test drives it with them.


    Very frustrating, right now they are asking me what I want to do. They said in rare cases GM does a buyback or a VIN swap to another similar vehicle. It sounds like they don't want it to go as far as a lemon law swap or buyback. If I get good feedback from this board that people don't have this problem elsewhere in low temperatures, my gut feeling now is for them to provide a replacement vehicle with a 2005 build date, and somehow compensate me for the lost work time and trouble of continually test driving and returning it for repairs. I've already met the requirements, in # of service attempts, and I've likely met the # of days with the same problem requirement, to file for lemon law protection.


    They think part of the problem may be to cold weather, it's been 9-40 degrees the whole time that I've owned the car. Can someone with an '04 or 05 Base or LS malibu (not MAX) reply to me and let me know if they hear ANY squeaks, clunks, or other suspension noises at low speeds? Before the bumper fix, I heard them at 20mph or less on almost all smooth or snow covered roads/parking lots with the heater/radio/etc all turned off, now I hear them at 10mph or less.
  • I hear a noise at low speeds now, but it seems to be coming from the steering rack. Whenever I'm turning the wheel in my driveway I hear what sounds like clicking. I've just been too busy to get it to the dealership for a look-see. (I didn't notice this noise prior to the fix for the failing electric power steering problem a few months ago, either, so it may be related.)


    As far as general suspension noises, haven't had any yet. (Knock on wood)


    -2004 Malibu LT Sedan-
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    I'll try again. I've been posting replies to your message but they seem to be disappearing. Hope they don't show up here later.


    I don't think the squeak/rattle is temperature related. I live in California where the weather is mild and, anyway, the noise was there at the hight of summer.


    I've also checked out the rear bumper and tightened up all fasteners without any luck. I've crawled under the car and pushed and pulled everything to try and find the source of the noise with no luck. What I don't understand is why the noise only seems to be heard at very low speeds. At 30mph when the car is very quite on a smooth surface the noise is gone. But slow down to about 5mph on the same surface and I can hear it. Loud and clear. Beats the hell outa me.
  • I have been having problems with my rear door latches on my 2005 Malibu. It seems that when the weather gets cold, the rear doors especially the drivers side will not latch. The dealer treated the locks with silicone but it did not solve the problem. The dealer now recommends replacing the latches. Any ideas? There does not seem to be a factory service bulletin on this problem.
  • tim10tim10 Posts: 15
    I had this EXACT same problem last night, when we were troubleshooting the creak/squeaking noises...


    The drivers rear door wouldn't latch, even if we rotated the latch manually it had no effect. We'd close it, light or heavy, and the latch wouldn't grab on to anything. Finally we got it closed halfway, had the door ajar message since it was only half closed. it was 8 degrees out yesterday here with a windchill of -5. The dealer came up here today to look at it and it is working fine now, but it had warmed up to 22 degrees. This will be frustrating if it keeps happening. They said GM advises against any heavy lubricants in the door latch, just a light silicone which was already present.


    Also, does anyone else have a problem with the fold down seats requiring a tremendous amount of force to close & latch closed? Again, it may be temperature related but yesterday we couldn't get 1 side to latch at all, the other side we had to use enough force to risk breaking something.
  • tim10tim10 Posts: 15


    Have you had the dealer attempt to service this at all? Is yours an 05 1SA Base?


    Hey E2Helper, do you see any service bulletins or notes on this?


    My noise sounds like it's coming from the rear drivers side wheel well area. I hardly think this is 'by design' within normal tolerances. The dealer's new theory is when driving at low speeds (before the shocks kick in according to the dealer's new theory), it's noisy and they're not sure if they can do anything about it. Yet before they came up with this theory they've written me up for service and spent $2000-3000 trying to fix it. I'll post when I hear from the GM technical Rep on Friday.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    My car is an 04 2.2 Ecotec base Malibu. My noise seems to come from the rear passenger side wheel well. I've looked up there and have seen nothing wrong. I've not taken it to the dealer yet though. I have an aversion to dealers. I want them to have a positive fix for this before I take it in. Meantime I could find the problem and maybe fix it myself. For all I know it could be the fuel tank rattling around. Who knows?
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    If you are talking about CR, I think the writers and editors in that rag would rather have a wisdom tooth pulled than say a positive thing about an American car.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    I took the wifes 2003 LS in today for the sticking gas pedal recall. The dealer replaced the entire gas/brake pedal asm, and it looks like the new design has stronger pivots and guides. It was about 2 hours from start to finish.

    So far, over 18K miles, one power window switch (warranty), and now this recall work. Other than that, we put gas in it, change the oil and filter every 3K, I do the all the routine maintainance, and it runs great.

    Consumer Reports can rave about the foreign cars all they want...I'll stick with this Malibu...probably the most trouble free car we have ever owned.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Regards a TSB or note, nothing seen so far,


  • 2005 Maxx - About 1/4 of my cds make a tih-tih-tih sound that corresponds with the cd speed (faster at beginning, slower at end)also, when I ejected the cd this morning after about an hour play time, it was very hot to the touch. Anyone else encounter similar?
  • jlwgmjlwgm Posts: 8
    I didn't get a lighter with my '04 Maxx. I bought one, but it doesn't seem to work. Anyone know if there's a special kind of replacement lighter needed?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002


    I know that the power outlet in the front console is designed to accept a cigar lighter element but maybe one you bought not compatible.


    I think dealer has a "smoker's package" available which contains the needed parts. It might also contain some type of ashtry to install in one of cupholders, but I have never seen one or know how much it costs.


    But I am sure someone must have found out about this????
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