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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions

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  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I know that a carburated car when flooded would only start if you pushed the gas pedal all the way down. I don't know if that applies to fuel injected cars though. Maybe for some reason or another your car is flooding. Maybe your air filter is clogged?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 874
    04 Malibu 3.5 turns 1900 at 70 Mph, the sedan is 3.05 ratio and the Maxx is 3.29.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    just did SC to VA and back..on one tank of gas if got almost 37 MPG>..after manual calculation it was about 35 MPG with the V6...as the DIC usually runs about 1.5-2.0 higher.....so not bad at interstate speed of 75.....ran over 50K in my Maxx on this road trip and love it still!!!
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    No, you're not alone. That's pretty much what I get with my 04 Maxx LS. :)
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    I know that a carburated car when flooded would only start if you pushed the gas pedal all the way down. I don't know if that applies to fuel injected cars though. Maybe for some reason or another your car is flooding. Maybe your air filter is clogged?

    I thought it was the other way around. When we had a 1980s Sentra, I was told not to hold the gas pedal down before starting it as this would flood it. Sure enough, if I did, it was flooded.

    In fuel injected cars, holding down the gas pedal signals the PCM to cut all fuel to the engine. This is in the event that it gets flooded. Try it on the Malibu. The car will not start with the pedal to the floor.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    What I meant was if a carburated car had ALREADY been flooded for some reason or another, you could usually get it going by flooring the gas pedal and holding it there until the engine started.

    When starting a computer controlled fuel injected engine, the gas pedal should not be touched.

    The problem with the car under discussion is that it ONLY starts when the pedal is floored and it is a 2000 fuel injected Malibu. So we have a paradox here.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,458
    It's been my understanding that on a computer controlled car when the gas pedal is floored during cranking that stops gas flow--just like clearing out over-choking with a carburetor.

    What happens if you open the throttle halfway before you crank her at all?
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    That's how it should work but if you look at the thread of this discussion and in particular, post# 2615, you will see that something funny is going on here. It would seem to me as if the engine is getting too much fuel despite the computer control. It is also possible that the injectors are leaking causing flooding of the engine and that is why flooring the gas pedal allows it to start. I don't know. It's always difficult to diagnose problems from afar. I don't know at what point of the gas pedal travel the computer switches off the fuel.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,458
    The owner of this question about starting problems should post it in
    pgilbert, "Got a Quick, Technical Question?" #2152, 7 Nov 2005 1:07 pm
    There's a mechanic there and others who may be able to help.
  • am definitely seeing these in my '04 maxx now. First was just after starting and the ignition key returning to "run" position when all the gauges went dead for a split second (just the gauges - the instrument lights stayed on).

    Second was when doing a remote start, and putting the key in the ignition - as soon as I turned the key to "RUN" the engine stopped running! Had to restart again.

    Does this sound like the ignition switch is faulty?
  • suecsuec Posts: 2
    I am new to this forum, but couldn't agree more with the comment about Chevrolet wanting dealership performance feedback but no feedback on the actual car. Bad move on their part! I have a 2004 Malibu LS and have also had problems with my steering column and a thumping noise, primarily when I turn left. The steering column was replaced once while the car was still under warranty (I currently have 46,260 miles on the car and it is not quite 2 years old). I have taken the car back to the dealership twice and have been told that the thump is just a "flaw in the design of the Malibu." I'm not satisfied with this answer, but don't want to keep having the steering column replaced, especially if Chevy won't pay for it.

    I've also HATE the headrests. Can they replace them at no charge or am I out of luck because of the warranty issue?
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    That's how it should work but if you look at the thread of this discussion and in particular, post# 2615, you will see that something funny is going on here. It would seem to me as if the engine is getting too much fuel despite the computer control. It is also possible that the injectors are leaking causing flooding of the engine and that is why flooring the gas pedal allows it to start. I don't know. It's always difficult to diagnose problems from afar. I don't know at what point of the gas pedal travel the computer switches off the fuel.

    I think its variable. By trial and error, I was able to press half-way down on my pedal and it took the engine longer to start, and it seemed harder to start, but it may have been coincidence.
  • You should test fuses out of th panel.
  • "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. "


    I'm having this "problem" as well... I figured it would stop as the car broke in, but it is as loud as ever w/ 5100 miles now. I drive my Maxx pretty hard, so I know I get it hot fast, but the noises do seem extreme. I still love this car though. I still look forward to the drive home...
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    curious as to the thumping noise....I too have a slight one..but hardly noticeable....cant hear it until you sit in the passengers seat and going forward...disappears at highway speeds....51K on my car...original steering column ...Maxx LT here..18 months old here
  • suecsuec Posts: 2
    I can't describe it except to say it is a "thump" that you can hear and actually "feel" in the steering wheel when you turn (mostly only when I turn left). Mine started out hardly noticable, too, but seems to be getting worse. :cry:
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    I have a 2004 Maxx LS and have not had the thumping problem. I'm no expert, but problem may be caused by the steering gear pre-load adjustment. While the power assist is electric and built into the steering wheel, the steering gear is a standard manual rack and pinion system. There is TSB for this, but it says it only applies to GM Chevy dealers in Mexico. It's TSB 04-02-32-003, issued April 2004.

    The TSB says - Some customers may comment that while driving over certain rough road conditions, they hear a rattle noise from the front end of the vehicle. Some customers may also comment that they feel clunking in the steering wheel while hearing the noise. This condition is more likely to occur only when the vehicle is hot and will go away after the vehicle cools down.

    The fix is to remove and install a new plastic adjuster plug and retorque to spec.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    @60 MPH: 1800 RPMs
    @65 MPH: 1900 RPMs
    @70 MPH: 2050 RPMs
    @75 MPH: 2200 RPMs
    @80 MPH: 2350 RPMs
    @85 MPH: 2500 RPMs

    2004 Malibu Maxx 3.5L V6

    Note: to obtain these numbers I set the cruise control at these speeds on a level highway and held that speed for about a minute to ensure that the transmission was satisfied with its configuration (no TCC changes, etc).
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    mine isnt in the steering wheel at all..that is smooth as glass still..at first thought it was a bearing but had that checked..and wasnt the problem..so will just live with it.....mine is so slight you can only notice it with the windows up...no fan and no radio going....just one of those little things you get to know about your car I guess
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    some have simply turned the headrests around....out of warranty...dealer will probably not touch the issue...

    to be honest..I find them the most comfortable ones I have had in all my autos....they actually support the head vice the neck..and allow me to sit straight in the seat and rest my head back....Im not one to laid the seat back..and make it a lounge chair.....
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    ...agreed. As for the steering, my squeeking noise has returned. As a result, I am not having any of the "parking lot jitters". It is nice not to sweat it knowing I have the warranty until 102,000 miles.
  • 04bu04bu Posts: 16
    YES, there is a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB)that is about replacing the headrests in the '04 (at least) Malibu. My dealer was unaware of it, and I was NOT charged for it. They took about a week to arrive. I hadn't realized that with the original headrests, I was sitting with my head tilted slightly forward. The replacements are better. Even though the fabric style doesn't match exactly. I have the LS interior and sedan headrests. But it's still better.
  • 1st 3 months radio worked great. then it started, turned off radio, my wife gets in turn on the car and the radio comes on by it self with out turning it on! Sometimes XM,CD player, FM station, or while going down the road with the radio off. any one out there having this problem too? My dealers says its the two keys that that is causing that to happen, it remembers not!because it does not play what either one of are selections.
  • Had same problem, my dealer said it was the calipers grabbing and lubricated the guide pins and the noise went away, but it is starting to comeback again.
  • Have the dealer clean& lube the caliper guide pins and the noise will go away.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I think we have seen this complaint before :(

    Dealer is incorrect, radio personalization is based on the last fob used to unlock door, not on the key itself.

    If radio settings are changing when driving down the road this is most likely a different issue - either with the Radio or BCM.

    I will think about this some more and post back - would you be willing to have the personalization feature turned off if that would address complaint? Dealer might be able to do that for you - although they might not know how to do this without help from their technical assistance center ;)
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    I have seen some talk about different key fobs holding different radio presets. Does anyone have details on this? What is this feature and what all does it do? I have an 05 Maxx LS, and was unaware of this feature. Any help would be great! THanks!

    Larry :-)
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    e2helper knows better than I but I believe this option was deleted for '05 due to overwhelming confusion. We don't have it but neither do we have the CD changer option.
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    Ok, thanks! I was trying our different fobs with no luck. We have the LS with the single cd. I am surprised at all the little features I keep coming across on the Maxx. Very nicely done! Thanks again for the info!

    Larry :-)
  • Have 2005 Malibu LT,3500mi,2 mo old.3.5 V6.Problem with exaust heavy sulfur smell when hot.Dealer gave me loaner.2.5 days later could not duplicate problem,no codes ,if so engine service light would be on. GM said to dealer to break in & run 5 tanks of Mobil gas.This is the same dealer who when questioned, charged 5 qts oil when manual says 4qt with filter.Two GM mechanics in their own business says either lazy 02 sensor or computer in lean mode.
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