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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • bporter1bporter1 Posts: 229
    They still should be offered though. That they are not available was mentioned in the May issue of Consumer Reports. Most other family sedan competitors offer childproof locks.
  • pmboopmboo Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2004 Malibu 2.2 4cyl on July 16th. I had to take it back on the 20th due to severely rusted rotors. They kept it 2 days. My question: Am I crazy but I really remember having chrome side trim, but now I have black trim on the door panels. Could this car have had chrome or did I imagine it?
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    Its pretty unlikely that it had chrome trim. Unless it was put on aftermarket, because from the factory you get black trim with the sedan model, and on the LS and LT it comes with body color trim. No chrome trim anywhere.
  • triedntrutriedntru Posts: 73
    My understanding is that the safety locks on the doors were deemed unnecessary because the doors automatically lock anytime the car is shifted out of park. You'll notice that the only way a rear passenger can unlock the rear doors is by pulling up on the little lock knob - something that would be nearly impossible for properly restrained little kids with limited dexterity.

    I think safety is also designed into the power window button. You'll notice it's not a rocker - type button. Rather, you have to pull back on the switch in order to roll the window up. This prevents anything getting caught in the window while leaning on the switch.

    In my glory college years of late-night mooning sprees, I should know a thing or two about getting things caught in the window from accidentally leaning on the switch...

    I don't think these innovations are "cutting safety features for cost savings" as some posts suggest. Instead, I think the engineers are successfully incorporating the same safety into the design without requiring user intervention. In fact, I think that lack of user intervention makes the Malibu safer.

  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I also have a 2004 2.2 4cyl.Malibu. I can assure you it has no chrome trim on the door panels. My car has body color trim - metallic navy blue. The front and back of the car has a chrome strip. Maybe you are thinking of those?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    For all of you who seem to think this is an unnecessary feature must not have have kids or have the most well behaved kids on the planet. I have a 4 year old (soon to be 5) and a 2 year old and even in their booster and car seat they can reach the door handle and have tried. The 4 year old can bukle and unbuckle herself with ease and the 2 year old is pretty close to reaching that level. And he has a nasty habit of slippng his arms under the straps. Yep, once you strap those kids in, they stay still dolls. People trapped in the rear seat of the car???? Pllleeeaaazzeee! Climb between the bucket seats and get out of the front. I'm 6'4" and weigh 280 pounds and can still do that. I'm sure most people are capable.

    triedntru: what harm is it to offer the feature? If you don't want to use it, don't. If you do then flip the lever. But give the consumer the option, esp. when every other car in your class offers that same feature. And you are targeting families. Similar to traction control. you have a button that can kill the feature if you want or you can leave it on.

    How much money could GM save by eliminating this feature? 50 cents, maybe a dollar. My guess is they didn't feel the need to have this feature based on their programmable lock system. I think it is an ovesight rather then cost cutting. I bet it will return for 2005.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Believe me it is not an oversight. GM removed the feature on Impala; the car was not redesigned, just decontented. GM does not remove a feature on an existing design without thinking about it.

    It is obviously the intent of GM to remove this feature across their model lineup. My take is it is a cost reduction issue and nothing else. Time will tell if GM gets hung out to dry in the courts for removing a safety feature that they used to have but no longer do because they could save a few buck per unit. This action puts them in a more precarious position than if they had never had it in the first place.
  • triedntrutriedntru Posts: 73
    "For all of you who seem to think this is an unnecessary feature..."

    I would never argue against child safety. I think it is a necessary feature. I'm trying to tell you that it is there. It's incorporated into the car's computer to lock the doors whenever the car is shifted out of park, and the car has lock knobs instead of switches in the rear seat to prevent little children from unlocking the doors.

    If you own a car that has the typical child safety lock, and this is such an important feature to you, then you better check BOTH rear doors EVERY time you use the vehicle to be sure that BOTH switches are engaged, right? Otherwise, how can you absolutely be certain that your children are protected?

    With the current Malibu, this is taken care of automatically, which is why I think it is more safe.

    I'll double-check, but I don't think this functionality is any different for the 2005, because we're building them right now.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Please explain how the "lock knob" functions in the Malibu? Is this a typical push pull button up by the window or some other "childproof" lock like on medicine bottles? If it is a typical push pull button, then young children would certainly still be able to figure that system out easily and pull the knob up, unless is it electrically locked out when the car is put into motion so nothing can be done by the child from inside the car until it is put into park.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    As long as the lock switch is out of arms reach of small children strapped into a safety seat, it is fine. It would be good if the door would not unlock unless the shifter was in Park also.
    As far as very small children unbuckling themselves out of their baby seats and climbing up to unlock the doors, you need to pay attention to make sure they don't do that. That would be a hazard whether or not they open the doors also.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I just looked at a new Pontiac GrandPrix and noted the lock pushbutton is on the door inside the window at the rear seat backrest location!
    This would appear to be to be within easy reach of an inquisitive young child in a car seat or booster seat.

    I agree that parental supervision is the most important safety feature in any car, however if the push-pull button cannot be locked out, an adventurous active child would certainly be tempted.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Yes, I make sure both sides child locks are in place. i t upsets adults when they can't get out of the back seat with someone on the out side opening the door.

    If GM is eliminating the child proof locks across their lineup (We'll have to wait and see about this) and the new locking system compensates for this, then they need to advertise it better and educate the consumer. Also this is a feature that many people "assume" is on a car. Heck they even have it listed on various sites.

    And you are right that if this is an automatic feature, it is a better system. I don't own the new Malibu so I can't say what the functions locking system are. But anyone who knows them should print them on this board so that consumers investigating the Malibu know about it.

    P.S. Trust me I try to stop my son from slipping his arms out of the car seat but.....
  • Just got my 2004 Malibu LS. A moaning sound on acceleration has turned out to be a defect in the transmission. GM has their people working on it but a fix won't be for another 6 months I am told. Of course, as this is not a life threatening defect, GM's approach is "be patient and live with it". If you are thinking of buying this car, wait a few years til the bugs are worked out. The other day the Chevy logo fell off the car!!! GM's quality is still nowhere near Toyota, Honda or Mazda.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    There is a fix for your problem. It's the chain that transfers the power from the engine to the transmission that is resonating at certain engine rpm's. This only happens on some 6cyl.Malibu's. Your dealer should change the chain and sprockets. Although annoying it's not serious.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I will have to drive this 04 Fleet Buick for 6 mons, I have already had it 4 days.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    It's a hard life isn't it?
  • mfletouvamfletouva Posts: 166
    When was the build date on your car?
    I understand the frustration, but its still too much of a generalization to say that based on the particular vehicle you have build quality is not up to standards, as the build quality on my car and thousands of others has been excellent. But I'd nonetheless be intersted to learn how early/late in the build cycle your car was to see if this was a problem that was corrected during the build process.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    It is after riding in a Malibu LS, I never realized how bad a dark grey interior looks. Its now 5 days in the Buick. The transmission is completed but they have a few other things to fix on my list.
  • The build date on my car was 5/04. Must have gotten the "Friday afternoon" built car. Lucky me..... My dealer does not feel changing the chain and sprocket will fix the transmission noise problem. They looked at me like I am from Mars. The wait continues......
  • fourseasfourseas Posts: 15
    Tell dealer to see TSB# 04-07-30-021A-(Jul2, 2004). See item # 126 in Malibu Problems & Solutions. I am experiencing the same noise but I am going to wait awhile to see if my dealer has done this repair "fix" a few times before they "experiment" on mine.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    FWIW, we just came back from a 280 miles round trip. With 1/3 of the driving being the terrible Chicago city stop-and-go, and full blast AC usage, we got an overall 24 mpg. So far our LS has 18K miles, it still runs like new.

    Speaking of the locking mechanism, my 3 year old daughter figured out how to unlock the door and roll the window while sitting strapped in her car seat. I'm not worried at all since he's firmly strapped in and her arm isn't long enough to reach out the window. Plus we've told her not to stick her arm out and she's an obedient kid :) If I ever get concerned I can always override her from the driver's seat.

    Drove behind a few new Malibus on the road today, I wish we were in the market now so we could get the new Malibu! Gotta be careful not to let our Malibu hear that, we're still in love with it :)
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    ASI Resolution - Growl or Howl Type Noise From Transmission/Engine Compartment During Light to Moderate Acceleration from a Stop (Replace Drive Link, Drive Sprocket and Driven Sprocket) #04-07-30-021A - (Jul 2, 2004)

    2004 Chevrolet Malibu, Malibu Maxx
    2004 Oldsmobile Alero
    2004 Pontiac Grand Am

    Built After January 16, 2004
    with 4T45E Automatic Transaxles (RPO MN5) Built Between Julian Date 4016 and 4126 and

    3.4L or 3.5L V6 Engine (VINs E, 8 - RPOs LA1, LX9)

    This bulletin is being revised to include a repair procedure and parts availability information.

    Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 04-07-30-021 (Section 07-Transmission/Transaxle).

    Some customers may comment on a growl or howl type noise during light to moderate acceleration from a stop. This noise is load and engine RPM sensitive and will occur between 1500 RPM to approximately 2300 RPM. The noise is most noticeable in first and second gear. The noise may dissipate prior to the 1-2 shift, but will be noticed again in second gear depending on the load and engine RPM. The pitch of the noise will change during the 1-2 shift.

    The noise is due to the new 5/8 inch drive link assembly being at a resonant frequency during certain driving conditions.


    Only RPO MN5 transaxles built between Julian date 4016 and 4126 have 5/8 inch drive link assemblies. Refer to Transmission ID and VIN Derivative Location, SI Document ID #760312 for Julian date location information.

    Follow the service procedure below to replace the 5/8 inch drive link and sprockets with a 7/8 inch drive link and sprockets.

    This was posted by alcan on the Malibu maintenance forum. You are not from Mars....
  • It seems GM thinks that throwing rebates at consumers is all that is needed. Hello! The MOST important thing is how you TREAT people before and after the purchase. The customer should feel welcome and appreciated. And from my experience and that of others, it's obvious that many GM dealers mistreat customers. Go ahead, let Toyota monopolize the car market. Their dealers are not much better, from what I hear, but since their cars are more reliable, people do not have to go back as often and face rude and uncooperative dealers

    TriedNtrue, you may want to raise the issue somewhere in Detroit. It is, after all, the job security of GM plant workers that is at stake. For the obscene amount of money charged by the dealers for parts and repairs, welcoming and cheerful demeanor of the staff is a must. Or it's "hello, Toyota" for quite a few of us
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    If you want to see arrogant and high prices, go see how bad it is at a Toyota dealer. You'll be happy to deal with even the worst GM dealer after that.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    I've had pleasant dealings with both of the GM dealers where I live. One of them caught me while I was getting in my car to let me know they found some more money in a hidden rebate that they didn't see when the gave me their quote. Also, they both have friendly service departments. And on the Toyota dealerships, before I got my Malibu I drove a Rav4 and then asked what kinda deal they could give me, and the salesmen gave me this look that said, "WHAT!?!?" and then told me that, "this is a toyota" I didn't make it back to his little cubicle, I just left after they gave me that attitude. And the heavy rebates were the main reason I got a Malibu over something else, so I actually think the rebates are attracting customers. Why pay 4-5K more for a car with less features?
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    "Refer to Transmission ID and VIN Derivative Location, SI Document ID #760312 for Julian date location information."

    7937: thanks for the info, but could you translate this into english for me? Where can I find this information on my car?....hidden in the VIN......on a stamp plate attached to the transaxle??
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Glad you asked - beats the hell outame. I don't know. Maybe alcan can answer your question. Page him. Why don't they just use normal dates?
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    thanks anyway 7937. i do get a whirling noise with my transmission, but it doesn't sound like any big deal. pao, mfletouva, or anyone else in the NOVA area: do you have this tranny problem? I'd love to hear it first hand.
  • Mr. Bots and Dan, I am glad you've had pleasant dealings with GM dealers. The dealer I service my vehicle at right now is also very pleasant. But GM keeps losing the market share despite huge rebates, while Toyota keeps gaining the market share despite no rebates and arguably ruder (on average) dealers. Which means that not SOME or even the MAJORITY of GM dealers should be "nice," but ALL of them. If GM can't beat Toyota in quality and innovation, then it must beat Toyota in having a vastly superior customer service experience, no matter which GM dealer a person goes to.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    you are so right. Can you imagine if GM dealers started acting like Toyota dealers and salesmen??? They'd never sell any cars at all.
This discussion has been closed.