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Chevrolet Malibu MPG-Real World Numbers



  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    There seems to be some disparity about mileage judging from complaints. the 09 LT2 I had showed me good mileage although it seemed to drop off a little as I approached 10K. On one round trip across the Smokies & about 2700 miles it showed me 29.5 MPG including about 300 miles of local driving and fast on the interstate.
    Could the disparity be related to your chugging complaint? I have noted that on many vehicles with 4 cylinder it is hard to hold a steady speed because of the tight gearing ratio for best mileage while meeting EPA requirements. And it seems to have crepted into V6 with AT6. Newer ones using VVT, DI, etc. might have more speed creep than prior models.
    Since you seem to think the tranny calibrations are making it worse, have you tried getting it calibrated back to what it was when you took delivery?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    Can you please email me your VIN? Has your dealer involved technical assistance?
    GM Customer Service
  • I have asked the dealership to calibrate it back to what it was when I purchased it, but they refuse saying that this is the solution to a GM recall on the trans.
  • I have been involved with GM representives in Detriot at the GM ecutive offices since November 2010 and have had no resolution. I was also contacted by GM rep.s that work in Portagul and Milasia, one was rude, loud and tryed to intimidate me over the phone after I had requested that GM buyback the car, he also refused to provide me with a last name or return phone number. I am really disappointed with GM, my father was a ASE certifed mechanic at a chevy dealership his whole life and although I never made being a mechanic my profession I have restored a few Chevy Camaro's and a 57 Belair over the last few years. My family including my children have only purchased new Chevrolets. GM has lost a lifetime customer.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Perhaps I should have guessed that would be the outcome of reprogram.
    Time to go back to square one with troubleshooting. Your complaint is lugging, chugging. I presume that means you get the feeling it is in too high a gear at start from stop? Like maybe it is in 2nd or 3rd gear?
    Can you do a few accelerations from a stop and check for gear changes? With light, medium, & heavy pedal, + maybe WOT? Also note when TCC engages.
    Note speeds & RPMs at changes. Do any of the shifts flair, that is, does the RPM increase during the release & engagement of the next higher gear?
    What happens if you attempt manually shifting?
    The big question here is with your description of problem, is it tranny or is it engine?
  • dispencer2dispencer2 Posts: 294
    I'm very sorry that the Malibu went with a 6 speed. My new car (38 miles on it) slides through the gears and feels funny -like it isn't solidly moving from gear to gear. Hard to explain - feels like the gears are slipping. My 09 Cobalt with a 4 speed automatic feels much more familiar and precisely shifts from gear to gear. The new Malibu feels slushy. GM ought to ressurect the old twin turbine Dynaflow or the Turbodrive I had in a '58 Impala where you didn't feel any shifts at all. I may suffer from a lower gas mileage with a 4 speed but I doubt it. I got 43.1 on the Cobalt coming east with a tailwind from Albuquerque to Clovis on Saturday. Wish I could have ordered a 4 speed on the Malibu.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Hi All:

    My 2010 four cylinder Malibu LTZ with a 6 speed transmission has turned 12,500 miles, and it has developed the famous "surging issue!" ------- When going up a hill from a dead stop, or when merging into "bumper to bumper traffic" on the highway at 20mph, the engine / drivetrain surges like a manual transmission stuck in a high gear range for the vehicle speed. The engine lugs! ---- I have an appointment with the selling dealer to have the vehicle service for this problem, but I have no faith that anything can be done for this issue. ---- I think GM knows more about this problem than they are telling the customers. ----- While I have a 100,000 mile GM extended warranty on this vehicle, if this problem cannot be solved, this vehicle is HISTORY! ---- I might consult a "Lemon Law Attorney!" ----- Best regards. --------- Dwayne :lemon: :confuse: :mad:
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Hi All:

    The problem is getting more prevalent! ----- Today, I was traveling on the highway at a steady 55mph with the A/C ON. ----- When the vehicle approached a hill, and started to climb the hill the engine started to surge. -------- If feels like one of the cylinders is cutting out under load. -------- It is heat related, as you must be driving for a while before the symptoms appear. ------ I cannot wait to take this vehicle in for service. One of the ignition coils could be going bad, or I might have a problem with one of the injectors under load. ---- I will keep you posted. ---- I AM NOT A HAPPY OWNER! --------- I will be taking my Malibu in for service in the near future. ---- Best regards. ----- Dwayne :lemon: :sick: :confuse: :mad:
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    I have been complaining about mine pretty much since I bought it. So I took it back in recently (now that it's out of warranty, of course) and asked them to look at both the transmission and throttle mapping.
    Now, it appears that GM has a service bulletin for the programming of the 6 speed automatic. Since being re-programmed, it has made a big difference. It has not cured all its ills, but well worth the visit and the $80 they charged me. Of course, I think they should have covered it, but didn't feel like arguing that point.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Hi All:


    I took my 2010 four cylinder LTZ Malibu to the dealer for this problem. They took the time to troubleshoot the problem, and they found that the vehicle needed an "up-dated software package." ----- Now, the vehicle operates like a totally different car. The surging problem is gone, the acceleration is smooth and quick, and I am getting better fuel mileage. ----- From the day that I took delivery on this vehicle, I always felt that I was dragging a "sea anchor" behind the vehicle. The vehicle did not seem to roll freely. Now, after the up date, the performance has improved 100%. While I appreciate the efforts of my dealer, I feel that GM / Chevrolet dropped the ball big time, when they did not advise the owners of these vehicles that an "up-dated software package" was available for installation. ----- (Once I hit 12,000 miles the performance of my vehicle went down hill! While the vehicle did not perform as expected at first, it took 12,000 miles for the "surging issue" to surface! ---- They question is WHY? ---- What happened between delivery and 12,000 miles? ----- Did the existing software become "corrupted" while being in use? ----- Will the new software suffer the same fate in another 12,000 miles? ----- Will this be an "on-going" experience for the life of the vehicle every 12,000 miles?) ----- My dealer is OUTSTANDING! ---- I am now enjoying the vehicle. ------ Best regards. -------- Dwayne :shades: ;) :) :confuse:
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    A reporter wants to talk with people who expected to get better gas mileage in their relatively new vehicle. Please email by Tuesday, July 19, 2011 with your daytime contact information and a few words about your experience. Thank you.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 869
    My 04 with 3.5 got 35 mpg at times, it fell apart at 40 K so traded.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Sounds suspicious. That is unless you saw such with multiple tanks in a row, you may have parked so that the fill was not equally full.
    It seems the 3.5 was better on mileage than 3.6.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I too have an 04 Maxx LT...and I regularly see 30-32 MPG on the highway over long 65-70 MPH.....around town I average 24-25 MPG....there was a definite a slight gas mileage drop when they upgraded to the 3.6.....should roll 185K this today or tommorrow....
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Hi All:
    Now that the Chevrolet Dealer has installed the "up-dated software package," my 2010 4 cylinder Chevrolet LTZ Malibu easily get 30 MPG, --- and the performance of the vehicle is outstanding for a four cylinder engine. ------ (This surging problem goes back to the 2009 model year of this vehicle. If this situation has existed with the 2009 models of the Chevrolet Malibu, ------ why did GM produce the 2010 models with the same defective software? ----- Logic would dictate that the new models would get the "updated software package!" It is this attitude that turns off the customer base of a given manufacturer.) ----- Ford has issues with their spark plugs blowing out of their heads, and refuses to correct the problem with their engines. (The defect is in the threads that are cut into the aluminum heads. Ford takes the position that it is a "spark plug problem" and as such, it is NOT covered under the terms of the extended warranty, but the fix is to install a steel threaded sleeve into the spark plug hole. This is an engine head problem, NOT a spark plug problem, but Ford avoids responsibility.) ---- Chrysler has major problems with their 2.7 engines in terms of "engine sludge" and they blame the sludge on the customer even though the owners have changed their oil and filter according to factory recommendations. Some GM engines are burning large quantities of oil and GM tells the customer that it is a normal operating condition. ----- The management of car companies think that they can sell their ideas to their customer base by simply telling the same story over and over again. They forget that many owners are well educated in term of automotive technology. ----- I like my Malibu, BUT I would have liked it better "IF" I DID NOT have to go through the "software experience!" Based on the malfunction of the 2009 Malibu, GM new about the problem, ---- but did nothing to correct the problem with the 2010 production run! This action on their part is showing contempt for the customer. ----- Will I purchase another GM vehicle? ----- I like the Chevrolet line of vehicles. ---- The new 2012 Chevrolet Impala looks very interesting. I like my dealer. They went "out of their way" to correct the problem with the Malibu, and for that I am grateful. It is NOT their fault that GM did not take on the responsibility to correct their production run. ---- The American Manufacturers have come a long way in terms of quality, but they are NOT playing fare with the buying public. They treat the customer in a shabby manner at times. ----- It is time that the American Manufacturer's "wake up" and realize that "if" they want loyalty from their customer base, they must take care of their customers. That translates into taking responsibility for defects in manufacturing. (The customer did not manufacturer the Ford Head. Ford designed the aluminum head, and cut the spark plug threads into that head. If a failure exist, and the customer has an extended warranty, Ford should repair the problem with the head! ------- THIS BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY!)

    Best Regards. ------------------- Dwayne :shades: ;) :)
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I lemoned my 09 with I4 AT6, not for powertrain issues, but a host of related issues most safety concerned. Sticking calipers, defective electric power steering, unsafe handling, and the trio of stabilization stuff that either did not work or was slower to react than I was.
    But shifting was not one of them although mileage seemed to drop a bit past 5k miles. It took some getting used to as to how the vehicle responded, ie how much accelerator to use as conditions changed.
    As part of agreement, I agreed to buy another GM. I got a '11 Buick Lacrosse CSX quite loaded, but no sunroof because I did not want. Required special order to get.
    What a mistake.
    I back up a bit because I've been in lots of loaners through Chev dealer and now Buick. There is no way I'd accept a I4 with AT4 in Malibu. The difference is like moving from I4 to V6 on power. With some modest changes, the I4 AT6 Malibu should be a nice economical vehicle. Of course if you are looking for cheaper, I was put in an Aveo because I refused to accept anything with electric power steering from GM.
    Back to Buick. I'd rather have an Edsel. Likely less problems and once it was fixed I'd have something of value. Not only do the problems keep coming, I'm certain some will never be fixed. Since the gas mileage started dropping 3MPG city and highway as the same time as the loud bang on start that was traced to a defective factory oil filter, I have reason to believe the camshaft train was damaged. A new oil filter stopped the loud bang on start, which was a dry start because oil drained down. But the mileage never recovered and now seems a little strange on top power like a bit of a flutter like you'd get in old days because points were floating.
    But even worse is GM cures, especially in software area. They ruin what works or don't fix.
    case one, seat memory. It would move forward the instant door is opened and stupidly move forward if rear door was opened. After several trips they got it reprogrammed so most of the time it remembers position and it gave a three second delay. After driving a newer loaner, I discoverd it waited five seconds and didn't move ahead when opening rear. I wanted mine the same and took it in.
    Dealer explanation, GM wants them to make all of them alike, and the loaner I was in had a defective side blindzone alert. That is it would not alert until almost to late along with having a spot where someone small, especially motorcycle could hide. They made the loaner, I had it more than once, so that it acted stupid like mine, 3 seconds and rear door activating. Also they made my blindzone alert so it is like the loaner, making it unsafe and untrustable.
    This vehicle has had more problems than any vehicle I've ever owned, used or new, in 45 years. And most of them I had far longer than this one.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Hi e net rider:

    I enjoyed reading your posting! ----- I especially enjoyed your posting dealing with the 2011 Buick Lacrosse. ---- A friend of mind had a 2009 4 cylinder Malibu that had the same problem as my 2010 4 cylinder LTZ Malibu. --- He bought himself out of the lease five months early, because he could no longer drive the vehicle with this problem. ---- He then leased a 2011 Buick Lacrosse and his Buick has a LOUD BANG on start up! (Dry start ups will destroy and engine.) ---- My friend is VERY disappointed with the Buick and GM. QUESTION: ---- Did we forget how to build engines and oil filters? ------ At this point in time my Malibu is operating properly, ---- BUT I have a "feeling" that the "software" will become corrupted with use, and the surging problem will return in another 12,000 miles. (I could also be wrong, and I am hoping that I am wrong.) ----- I am starting to look for a replacement vehicle for my 2007 Toyota Camry. ---- I make it a point to read the postings on Edmunds. (Real life owners will give you the information that you need to make a purchasing decision.) ------ Manufacturers do not understand that customers can share information on the "net," and this information can cost a sale! ---- It takes me a "LONG TIME" to make a purchase. ---- Once I make a short list of vehicles, I then visit dealers solely for the purpose of picking the dealer that I want to do business with in terms of the sale. ----- I refuse to be handled. ----- There are dealers out there who have a "basic script" that they run each customer through! ---- Some dealers will not answer any questions until the customer first takes a test drive. ------ (Customer's forget that they are in the "driver's seat" of the vehicle purchase process.) ----- I would NEVER allow a sales person and / or a sales manager to dictate to me in terms of how the "sales process" will unfold! --- It usually take me at least three (3) visits before I make a commitment to buy! ---- During the first visit, I get the "feel for the dealership" and the sales person. I ask to see the service department and I like to talk to the service manager. I want to know that it is a professional operation. I sit in the vehicle in the showroom, and I ask questions about the vehicle, options and extended warranties. I take the sales person's business card and I thank the person for his / her time. ---- My second visit to the dealership I reserve for a test ride. I engage in more conversation about the dealership, service and options. ----- Based on this second visit, I then schedule a third visit to make the deal. ----- I look for "professionalism" on the part of both the sales and service department. ----- I will not do business with "high pressure" highway dealership operations. ---- When I see that behavior I simply walk. --- With my credit rating I deserve to be treated in a professional manner. ---- GM, Ford and Chrysler needs to understand that there are people like me in the automotive marketplace. ---- We will not be handled, and we will not be sold and forced to accept a vehicle that is not 100% in terms of operational characteristics. ----- There are too many foreign name plates to choose from, so as such, we are not obliged to purchase an American name plate. ---- One of the vehicles that I admire is a Ford Mustang. Why should I purchase a Ford product when the Ford Motor Car Company will not repair their aluminum engine heads when the spark plugs blow out of the engine because of defective threads? ---- If you check the "net" you will see GM engines burning large quantities of engine oil, and GM takes the position that it is normal, and they put the owner of the vehicle through an oil monitoring program, when they know that a problem exists with some of their engines. (If GM wants to retain their market share and increase that number they should fix those engines!) --- I have a 2007 V6 Toyota Camry with 65,000 miles that does not use any oil between oil and filter changes. ( I change the oil & filter at the dealer every 2,500 miles / my choice.) ---- It is time that the manufacturer's take responsibility and fix the vehicles in a professional manner when something goes wrong in production. ---- When I deal with my dealers I am VERY professional with the staff, and I expect to be treated in a similar manner. If I am not treated properly, I spend my money in another place. I personally like the GM products. That is why I purchased the Malibu. But on the other hand, I expect to have the same quality of a Honda Accord. This is a logical expectation for the amount of money being spend on the product! ---- GM is not doing me a favor by selling me a vehicle, rather I am doing GM a favor by purchasing their product over a foreign name plate. The "customer is KING!" This is because the "customer" has the money!

    Best Regards. ------------ Dwayne :shades: ;) :) :confuse:
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I'm not impressed with Ford's warranty. If there product was good then they should be able to match others. Period.
    I drove by a Ford dealer yesterday and saw a big banner out front that said 10 year, 100K bumper to bumper. I had to turn around in heavy traffic to find out what this was about. Turns out it is a dealer warranty and it sounds like it is in lieu of Ford warranty. Label me suspicious, but it sounds like someone is having to up the warranty to get customers. How it will work when you need it is a big question.

    As to your friend with the banging Lacrosse, did he buy or lease?
    Now this is not the exhaust rattle that is common and they replaced my exhaust about two weeks ago. That started after the loud bang. It sounds much like a big hammer on an anvil, very metal to metal.
    I suggest he does his own oil change and retains that oil filter. I might even like to buy it from him. The problem with the filter is easy to spot once removed. Mine was missing the anti-drainback valve which is easy to see if it is there. Mine was not. And I'm holding on to that filter like it is gold. I showed it to several people at dealership and they just shook their heads.
    I questioned one of the owners about them giving feedback to GM on a particular issue, may have been the filter. I was irked that when i called AC Delco they acted like it was not an issue when I was informing them that they needed to check what was going on. The owner said they did give feedback to GM, but they work for GM essentially, GM is much biggger, and 'stuf' flows downhill. (not very encouraging)
    I must say my dealer has been very professional. It is GM that is very lacking and that company definitely needs to go bankrupt. If it is salvageable, it will get sorted out and become stronger. But in current state it is going to shut its doors forever unless it eeks by on the Barnum slogan of a sucker born every minute.
    Mine used very little oil so far. I had my oil tested and it had high amounts of many metals, which did not concern testers because it was break-in oil. But they were alarmed about high gasoline content. I will be changing again soon and definitely test.
    I know people with foreign vehicles that have only required routine maintenance out past 60K miles and unless their luck changes it looks like they'll make at least 100K without even needing a brake job. Yet I've had sticking calipers on two new GMs less than 10K. I had maintained myself until the last couple of weeks. Now I'm so mad I'd like to see a bunch of GM nitwits FUBAR.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Good Morning E Net Rider:

    Thank you for your posting! ---- (If you want to communicate with me outside of this forum, my profile has my E-mail address. Please feel free to use that address.)

    My friend, (who has the Buick Lacrosse), leased this vehicle. At this point in time, he is on vacation, and he is aware of the exhaust noise, but he does not know about the oil filter / anti drain back valve issue! (He is NOT going to be a happy camper.) ----- I will try to get in contact with him today.

    Best regards! ------------- Dwayne :shades: ;) :) :confuse:
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Hi All:

    As you know from my previous postings I own two vehicles. (A 2007 V6 XLE Toyota Camry, and a 2010 Chevrolet LTZ 4 cylinder Malibu, both with a six speed transmission.) ---- Today I took my Camry to Atlantic City, using the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. ---- My average speed was about 60 MPH for the entire trip. The V6 Camry averaged 33.5 MPG. My Malibu might get close to that mileage, but is DOES NOT have the performance of the Camry, and both vehicles have a 6 speed automatic transmission, and both vehicle use 87 octane fuel. -------- QUESTION: ---- While I enjoy driving both vehicles, ---- what does Toyota know about engine design that GM DOES NOT KNOW? ---- If a V6 engine can get 33.5 MPG at 60 MPH, then a 4 cylinder should be able to do much better!

    Best regards. -------------- Dwayne :shades: ;) :)
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