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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    To repair shaking headlight - remove two bolts holding headlight. Carefully lift out headlight without scratching vehicle. At the bottom of the headlight assembly you will see two plastic pins that fit into holes in body. These pins are too loose a fit. Wrap some plastic electrical tape around the pins until there is no play when the lamp assembly is pushed back into position.

    I used shrink tubing on the plastic pins. Just be sure not to overheat with the heat gun if you decide to use shrink tubing. I'm darned if I know why the dealer cannot handle a little problem like that.
  • The build date on my car is January 05 I purchased it in June of 05. The first Maxx we had was in the shop constantly. We have had a few problems with this one but I understand them better and am not really worried about it. The dealer we have is awesome and take care of us really well. We have the starter problem too but again the first one had it and others have mentioned it too. My husband is a mechanic and is very pleased with this car even with the problems. He says you can expect them at times.
  • jenifertjenifert Posts: 6
    Also everytime I hit the brakes my car kinda goes back & forth 3 times! It slight but annoying. My husband says that it does that because the breaks are good. Has anyone else noticed it?
  • meandmymaxxmeandmymaxx Posts: 134
    Had the turn signals fail again. The first time was around Christmas last year. This time Left right and 4 way flashers did not work for about 5 minutes when I started the car to go home after work. Can't say if the light outside worked, but there was no indicators on inside and no sound of the flasher unit flashing. Then suddenly they began to work again and has been fine ever since. I have read a few complaints about this before, was wondering if a fix or at least a cause has been found??
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Are you talking about the effect of the suspension unloading after coming to a full stop? If so every car does this though 3 times seems somewhat excessive. This can be mitigaed by modulating the brakes (reduce pressure just before 0 mph) but takes a deft touch.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,746
    the Maxx seems to have a rubbery suspension. C&D commented how it "jiggles" when going over bumps, especially the rear wheels. Chevy engineers I talked to confirmed that's part of its design. That same jiggle can occur if brakes are applied hard and you make a hard stop.

    The Audi, VW, and Cobalt (who stole the idea from VW) use hydraulic bushings that help get rid of this jiggle.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I remember one other posting on this topic - maybe from you as well. I certainly haven't been seeing this type of complaint so no cause known.

    I would say that based on your evaluation assuming that the exterior lamps are not working that it most likely sounds like a body computer since that is the only common link.
  • jenifertjenifert Posts: 6
    Well actually I have tried everything I can to make it stop. I will be at a stop light & completely stop, then barely roll just to see if I could lightly touch the brake so it wont shake...well it still does!
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    [To paraphrase Shakespeare] :D

    I just received another mailing from GM regarding the various Basic/Value/Major Guard extended warranties and I'm trying to make up my mind on this.

    My 04 Maxx LS has just under 20000 miles and seems to be running great. It was built in June 04, which presumably means that it's not part of the "Steering Column Problem generation", and I've had a fairly short list of repair issues: Inaccurate fuel gauge/tank replacement, wacky cruise control failure, and a front turn signal connector that went bad. Also, Check Engine light that lit up due to some pinched emission hose.

    Everything seems to have been resolved as of last fall, and I'm thinking that maybe I should just leave the $$ in the bank or mutual fund, and if something big goes haywire I can just break the old piggy bank, so to speak.

    Does anyone have any helpful thoughts as I mull this over?
  • meandmymaxxmeandmymaxx Posts: 134
    Thanks e2helper. As always I appreciate your help. One other question, In your opinion is it OK to tap directly into the taillights to run a connector for a trailer?? Or should I use a isolator, which basically takes the juice directly from the battery, using the car wiring just as signal wires with no load?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    at this point...2 years old and 20K...any GMPP will be pricey IMHO...if you havent had any problems..keep the money invested...I have one..Maxx LT fully loaded built in Feb 04....and have had no problems with it...except the rear window shades.....which I never had fixed and a the front turn signal socket as you mentioned.....just turned 64K on the odometer this week...and very happy with mine....so there is my two cents worth :)
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    If you are hooking up trailer with single combined stop/turn on each side that will likely work and flashers will continue to operate. If any more than that you would need device you mention.

    Don't try hooking anything up to center high mounted stop lamp wire.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    For awhile now I've tolerated the rough idle at times but no longer. Any time I idle with the accesories off there is a very noticable shake in the seat and controls. It stubmles and chugs to life more and more often when I start it, sometimes sounding like its not going to qute make it. Well, today was the last straw, in the drive through line it shook very hard twice and nearly stalled.

    So what should I do? Parts are on order for other problems so it will be going in soon. Should I tell them upfront I'm not going to take "Cannot duplicate" for an answer? They need to at least check the flow of all injectors and the spark plug tips, right? It seems to be worst after coming off of a 20 minute highway trip and then doing city driving and idling.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    I've had similar problems...turn signals topped working, then tailights burned out. I went through 3 tailights before I went back to the dealer and told them to find the actual problem, rather than just keeping replacing the damn tailight.

    So they poked around and figured out that the circuit breaker was faulty. Ordered a new one and had it installed, we'll see if it works.

    Pao, are you still using Mike Pallone in Springfield? I just moved from Alexandria out to Ashburn, I'll probably start using Koons for service now. I ended up totally unimpressed with Pallone. I've had chronic brake problems with my 04 Maxx LS 1SB. It has 19k and is on its second set of front rotors, and the first set were resurfaced THREE times. Pallone actually broke one trying to resurface.

    Anyway, now with the new rotors, 2k in and they feel terrible. They're vibrating pretty badly. The Service Advisor at Pallone told me before the new rotors were installed that the problem was that we drove in stop and go traffic too much and we should adjust our driving style. I nearly lost it with him. How ridiculous is that? There's nothing wrong with our driving style, we don't ride the brake or anything like that and my Intrigue never had these kind of brake problems (though 39k in and its had just about everything else you can think of go wrong). Anyway, I felt like pointing out to him that my neighbor's Accord drives in the same traffic every day without incident, so perhaps the problem was crappy rotors rather than driver problems. Eventually, their mechanics decided that the rotors were faulty and replaced them under warranty, so I was validated, but that didn't sit right with me.

    Now, here we go again...I understand WHY its happening (heat, cooling unevenly, etc), but I don't understand why GM keeps on putting the same crap rotors on over and over again.

    I tell you, I'm a big believer in the design of the Maxx, but the quality of my Intrigue and the Maxx are leading me to look longingly at the 06 Accord EX V6. I have a 7/72k GMPP on the Maxx, and I'm glad I got it.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    There is something else wrong with your car if it keeps doing this to the rotors. You need to make sure they aren't using an air gun to install the wheels and that they are using the right amount of torque. Otherwise, I would think maybe a problem with the wheel hub or maybe the wheel causing uneven pressure on the rotor. I have had runout on mine but only once. I'll tell you this though, the braking on the Maxx is WAY better than the '03 and prior Malibus.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,746
    Absolutely make sure your wheels are being properly torqued!

    To repeat, My Maxx developed a bad rotor pulsation and I then discovered wheel bolts severely over and undertorqued thanks to shoddy dealer work - I immediately corrected that with my own torque wrench. When my tires were replaced for better rain traction, the shop used a micrometer torque wrench that keeps torque values very consistant.
    5000 miles of driving with properly torqued wheels has made the brake pulsation go away.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    My GM dealer has done a very good job in correcting and explaining all of the problems. My LS 05 was built in Oct 04, I waited for at least a year before buying. The first year of production of a new vehicle usually has the worst problems! That is why I'am surpised at the sudden rise of small annoying problems that have occured with my Malibu, 27189 km. Still love the car.
    Russell
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I havent use Pallone in over 16 months.....I havent had the car in a dealership since then.....oil changes are all sythn...and I have them done as the Ashburn Goodyear dealership.....$54.....Im well out of warranty now...when I called around for a replaced CHMSL...(3rd Brakelight)...Pohanka Checvy gave me the best price but I still ordered from GM parts direct...and replaced it myself..I havent had the rotor problems to the extent you describe..I get an occasional pulse feeling..but nothing bad.....and I have 62K on the car..original pads and rotors..

    I too would have walked..when he stated the driving style....whenever the tires are rotated..I always come home and immediately check the torque..to make sure they are correct...most times they are not....but also agree I beleive the rotors are of inferior quality....
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    I noticed when rotating my tires that the back rotors are aluminium not steel like the front. A dead give away is there is no corrosion on the hub that butts againist the Aluminum wheel. This occurs on the front steel rotors and can be seen on the back side of the Alum Rim.

    Russell :shades:
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    :) My 05 LS has only 15 inch rim and I would like increase them to 17" rims, same size as on the 06 LTZ Malibu.
    Does any one know the correct bolt size and has anyone up sized the rim and wheels for this car.
    Russell :shades:
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 873
    I have never seen an aluminum rotor, check it with a magnet.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    :surprise: I did and it's not steel, maybe an alloy of types. That's probably what is warping, it's a soild disc not vented like the fronts. Toyota uses them on their cars, I delievered some of their parts. Yup Alloy rotors.

    Russell :shades:
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,746
    ...as it was the rear rotos on my Maxx that had warped, and then (somehow) straighened out once the wheels were properly torqued again.
    Perhaps the rear rotors are more suseptable to overtorquing ??
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 873
    What year you talking, my 04 is steel.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    :) My Malibu 05 LS, if it's steel then there will be alot of wrapping if someone is heavy on the brake. I live in Canada,Alberta, where we have winter driving conditions with salt/calcium choride and small gravel on the roads for six months of the year. This is ideal conditions for corrision between Aluminum and steel metal to take place. Trust me.

    I have a 1990 Beretta, it has this corrision condition between the hub,steel discs and drums, and the Aluminium wheels . That's why I say my 06 Malibu doesn't have STEEL DISC BRAKES because in August 2005 at(17000 K),when I cleaned the rims while rotating the tires there wasn't any corrsion on the rear hub and wheel.Only on the front disc and wheel. This leads me to believe that the rear discs are an Alloy metal. GM was probably trying to save weight by using Alloy discs. The rear brakes only do about 25-35% of the stopping so they don't generate alot of heat.The rear discs are approx 1/2 inch thick solid with NO vents! Someone hopefully will make a after market vented disc to increase braking performance.

    Does the 06 SS Malibu have a vented rear disc brake?

    Russell :shades:
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    My 04 Malibu has steel rotors all round. What some rotor manufactures do is to plate the unswept portion of the rotor with zinc to prevent corrosion. As to the rotors being aluminum, I don't think so.

    See here - http://www.singletrackworld.com/article.php?sid=558&mode=&order=0
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Specifically something called Grey Iron formulated for their purpose.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 873
    I'll tell you something about GM, the cheapest thing going is a steel disc. GM is on the verge of bankruptcy and they are not going to put anything on a Malibu that cost money.
    Very few vehicles have vented rear disc and very few even need them. The Cadillac 2007 Escalade has no vented rear disc, at $57,280 a copy.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    :D Quite possible that portion of the rotor that buts up againist the Alum rim is coated with a zinc plating, anticorrision. Giving it an Alloy look to the unused part of the rotor and the lack of corrison againist the metals.

    It was in the evening when I rotated the tires,Low light, I was in a rush and didn't fully investage the type of material in the rotors. They looked to be Alloy in appearance. It's amazing that the Large SUV don't have vented rear rotors. The manufactures are being cheap by using a soild rotor!

    Russell
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    Does GM use vented rear rotors on the Z06 Corvette. What type is used ,steel, carbon fibre or other materials? I hope they are at least vented for the amount of money you spend .

    The ChampCars use a High Temp Vented Steel disc, they use temperature sensative paint on the outside on the vents. It goes from white to pink and then to a hotpink indicating excessive temps so they can adjust that amount of cooling to the brakes.

    Russell :shades:
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