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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    welcome to the board SC...originally from did you get an 04?....if so..the common threads here are the steering column and pulling left, fuel tank and gauge readings, a transmission howl, and a recall for seat belt washer or bolt.I forget which, and a reflash of the computer......I too have an 04 built feb 04....and have none of the above problems.....with almost 19k on the car now....if you go over to mods and accessories..have the website listed for the car as well....welcome to the board....lots of knowledge about the car here from the owners and others who help out.......what we have found isnt that that car cant be fixed....though there have been some lemon law appears rather the dealerships..and especially the service departments are ill prepared to find, correct problems IAW with the TSBs, and in some cases...what I would call simply inept repair techs......but dealership has been excellent in dealing with a few minor concerns......scroll back through the board......cheers and enjoy
  • minn_maxxminn_maxx Posts: 51
    I bought an acrylic sunroof deflector for my Maxx last fall but took it off midway through the winter due to non-use of the sunroof. Went to install it today but noticed the stainless steel brackets that holds it to the car had already worn through the paint. This is after maybe two-months of use.

    Anyone with one of these deflectors may want to add some 3M tape or something between the bracket and the roof. I already had some surface rust...
  • thank you for the being from Cola, are you a Gamecock? I found a new, never titled white 04 this past week. I was looking for a Vibe, but with GM money, they made the Maxx $13,100 out the door. I could not pass that up. So far I'm averaging 25.6 mpg but I really miss my gas hog Explorer.
  • bwolterbwolter Posts: 51
    Some time ago, someone mentioned a service bulletin number 04072004 that pertained to a rattle/clunk that sounds like it's coming from the front under the instrument panel. I have this problem. Every small bump in the road causes this sound (it's not tire thud). Some days it doesn't do it. Some days it's terrible.

    Is this a problem with the intermediate shaft? or what? I'm going to take it in to the dealer, but would like to be "armed" with some info first. I have a 2004 Maxx LS
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    No to be honest...went to that boys school down in Charleston.....better half is the Clemson by default...........not to worry....she drives the explorer...I traded my GT mustang for my Maxx.....hope you enjoy it as much as I have mine so far
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    dont know who the manufacturer of your shield was...mine came from benevito....they included two clear vinyl adhesive pads to place on the edge of the roof where the clips attach.....havent seen any paint rubs with those pads properly installed...
  • minn_maxxminn_maxx Posts: 51
    I think I have the same deflector that you do. The installer (me) may have thrown away the little plastic pads :-)
  • Can anyone point me to that TSB for fixing the rear sunshades? The new dealer I visited for service today has not heard of it.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    "has not head of it" :P

    But did they look ;)


    They will need to pull down your headliner to add reinforcements.
  • they didn't try very hard, E2.
    But next time I will give them the TSB number and see if they do any better.

    FYI, they did fix my "new" steering columm. It had come loose or the last service shop failed to install it properly. It had to be yanked, lubricated, and remounted. Since then it seems to be ok.
    But honestly the lack of durability of this part is worrying me.

    I swear S.CALIF is where all the new techs are. The ones that know stuff are in the OTHER states ;)

    The clinic I attended to a year ago added a couple of hardware spacers via superglue to the skylight trim . It helped a little but still way too easy for those shades to jump out of their holding groove.
  • 04cad04cad Posts: 131
    I am pretty sure since the Ford ./ Firestone tire fiasco a few years back, GM now warrantees the tires through the GM dealership. I would check there first.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 785
    GM has done tire warranties since 1996 - 4 years before the Ford / Firestone thing.

    It's possible that a bulge in a tire is due to hitting something (like a curb) that breaks the cords inside the tire. So don't be surprised if that is the outcome.
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    I spoke too soon onhow well the dealer did the replacement. There is no drift but yesterday I went to see my daughter and when I tried to use the controls on the steering wheel they did not work. The dealer needs the car for several hours to fix this.
  • billymaxxbillymaxx Posts: 12
    I used the cruise control on my '05 Maxx for my first long trip (700 miles round trip) and experienced a strange problem. While the cruise control was engaged, I would occasionally speed up above the cruise control set speed. I noticed many times that the cruise control would disengage on it's own. I am use to being able to keep the C.C. set at say 65 MPH and then increase my speed at any time and then be able to just let off the gas to return to the C.C. set speed. Has anyone else experienced this automatic disengagement? I think it only happened when I was driving faster than the C.C. set speed for a couple of minutes or so.

  • icedog97icedog97 Posts: 141
    As it turns out, my wife hit a pothole and not only did the sidewall suffer, but the rim did too. Luckily the rim was not damaged to the point of needing replaced...BUT...since it was an impact that caused the sidewall problem, the tire was not replaced for free. I paid cost for the tire and the labor was free.
  • markf57markf57 Posts: 38

    I finally crawled under my Maxx to find the tranny build date and it falls within the range of the TSB for the growl and howl problem. Quite frankly, I don't hear that much of a noise, but since I was taking the car in for a seatbelt harness and the headrest TSB and since I was going on vacation, I wanted to get the work done while I was out of town.

    I received a call from the dealer today and he refuses to do the TSB on the tranny because they could not hear the growl and howl noise. Is there anything I can do to force the dealer to do the work? Should I even bother?

    I don't have much confidence in this dealer as they also couldn't find the TSB for the headrest replacement even though I gave them the number (05-08-50-002).
  • minn_maxxminn_maxx Posts: 51

    IMHO, it's not worth getting the transmission fixed for a harmonic problem. There is too high a chance of unintended problems resulting from a tech pulling the transmission apart. I have decided not to get mine fixed.

    GM has been using the same transmission (4T40E) for years in Malibu's, Grand Am's, etc. It seems to be very reliable, even with the narrow chain and sprockets.

    My dealer did the headrest TSB without a problem. The new angle is a big improvement.
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    My car had the howl at low speeds when new. After discussing it with the SM, I decided not to have the tranny torn down. Over time and miles(13k) the howl has virtually disappeared. I will say the SM would have done the job if I insisted. I'm happy that I did not.
  • markf57markf57 Posts: 38
    I have decided not to get the tranny done.

    But my experience with the headrests has gotten more bizzare. The service writer called back and again stated that he couldn't find anything on the headrests. I asked if it would be easier if I brought in a copy of the TSB and show his manager. He stated that would be fine and hung up. About 10 minutes later, he calls back and said that his tech looked "somewhere else" and found the TSB. He ordered the part. Says it will take about a week for the part to come in and wanted to know if he could keep the car until it came in. I said no. He will call when the parts come in. They had the car for 9 days and only fixed the seat belt harness recall. No way am I going to leave it there for another week. Or ever take it back to that dealer.

    Based on the suggestions of this group, I reversed the headrests to make them more comfortable. When I went in to pickup the car, a note on the workorder stated, "The headrests were in backwards, installed correctly".

    I did verify the part they ordered and to their credit, the did order the right one based on my interior.
  • bwolterbwolter Posts: 51
    Every small bump on the road causes a sound similar to loose struts or calipers, but that isn't the problem. At times it's more like a rattle after even the most minute bump or defect in the road. At one time someone mentioned a TSB about it, but has anyone experienced it? I'm taking it in soon, but it's so sad that a car so new has that sound as if it had 140K miles on it. 04 LS Maxx
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