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Chevrolet Malibu Climate Control/AC Issues



  • isp_baneisp_bane Posts: 1
    I've been frustrated by this problem for a few years myself ('98 Malibu). This solution worked like a charm. I'd like to kick the dealer repair shop guy in the twins that charged me $70 to look at it way back when and then said it's just the Texas heat that it can't maintain cooling constantly.

    Thanks for this post!
  • pcmkrpcmkr Posts: 2
    I just had my issue fixed yesterday and it cost me $301.
    The wire from the AC clutch was causing the fuse to blow. The clutch was replaced and I finally have the AC working along with the temp and fuel needles and all the different light in my dash console. I also noticed my automatic lights worked again when since I drove through a tunnel.
    The price I paid was parts, labor and tax and included the 1/2 hour inspection/diagnostics.
    Hope this helps. Best wishes to ya in getting everything fixed with your vehicle.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    Thanks for the feedback on these issues. I'm glad you were able to get your problems fixed.

    The car I had with these problems was traded off shortly after I was told that the problem required the compressor to be replaced (quoted $1000+). Either the dealership was attempting to scam me (didn't work, traded elsewhere, and did NOT pay for a new compressor), or they hadn't discovered that the AC clutch can cause this problem at that time. I might have actually kept that car a few years longer if the repair was $300. On the other hand, maybe not- those regular $x00.00 repairs had been adding up over nearly the whole time we owned the car.
  • xkiddx13xkiddx13 Posts: 122
    i think i have repaired the brakes on my 99 malibu about 2 times a year if not more.. talk about american cars..
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    The previous generation Malibu brakes are horrible. When the time comes to replace your rotors, you may want to upgrade them to a differnt brand. The OEM are thin and prone to warping.
  • My 50,000 mile 2003 Malibu heater/AC fan control has five fan speed positions marked on the dial, suddenly now only two work, positions 4 and 5. I had a 2001 Malibu that had the same problem. It must be some resistor set some place in the dash. Anyone had experience with repairing this problem? Does the bezel that covers the radio and heater controls come off with the two screws located on the bottom of the bezel, behind the ashtray??
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I don't have personal experience repairing this but I have seen posts and pictures taken by others. The control head is NOT the place the resistor is located. The resistor is down near the blower motor itself because it sits in the airstream.

    I think you have to remove the blower motor and cut away part of the dash mat to access the screws to remove resistor.
  • Thanks for help. I will have to do some more seaching for the pictures
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Doing a Google search on your keywords "malibu blower motor resistor" works pretty well
  • Was this resistor system changed for 2004 (I remember seeing a fair number of posts regarding this problem)?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I don't know much about exact cause of issue with previous model to answer this (whether it was the resistor itself or the environment/position it was located in).

    The base system in 2004+ Malibu also has a blower motor resistor card but it is a different part (fewer speeds). The auto ac system doesn't use a resistor card, it has a "linear power module" or LPM which is an electronic device which gives you more control over blower speed. It mounts in same location as the blower motor resistor.
  • Thanks for suggestions. I found several detailed instruction sets.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    I think Chevy got a little overzealous in the automatic department for the automatic climate module. I had mine set yesterday to 50% fan and foot only and recirculate. Every few minutes it automatically switched back to fresh air. Hello! I don't want to breathe the semi's exhaust, that is why I set it to recirculate! :mad:
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Do you have a manual override for the climate control so you can choose your own settings?
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    I think most A/C systems, auto or manual don't let you have it blow on the floor with recirculate on. The fan that recirulates the air in most cars pulls it from under the dash on the passenger side, so it would just be pulling in the air that was just heated. Not sure if that's the real reason they do it, just made sense to me. Also, the reason the A/C kicks on in certain modes is to keep moisture from building up inside the car.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    The auto AC on our LeSabres lets you use vent or AC compressor mode (if warm enough to engage it) and the air can be directed to floor, floor/vents, vents, windshield/floor. In defrost it can only go to windshield and it tries to run the compressor if it's above about 40 degrees.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • gossamergossamer Posts: 2
    i have a 2001 and mine did the same thing. it seems GM put faulty switches in these cars. i replaced my recirculate / fresh air switch and this problem stoped. other faulty switches in this car are the hazzard switch that also controls your blinkers and the fan relay that controls your fan speed for ac/heat. when you compare the old switch to the new ones you can visually see the difference.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    We've just entered the hot season here and after I run the air conditioner and at some point shut it off and leave the vent blowing, there is an awful smell for quite awhile. I'm familiar with a funny smell with other cars in that situation but this is almost to the point of sickening. It has a chemical type really ugly smell to it and it's very objectionable. Anyone have the same problem? Is it a problem with something perhaps? Is it dangerous? What makes the awful smell?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I don't have experience on this but Service Info diagnostics look to mention: Musty, Coolant or Oil type smells. I also know that there have been complaints about serpentine belt causing an odor.

    If Musty then typically dealer would look for any debris build-up in air inlet or wet carpeting. Then they would start looking at air conditioner components. They have a procedure to deoderize system. Finally the Malibu has a built-in "afterblow" function which can be enabled by dealer with service tool - this automatically will run the blower motor at high speed for a few minutes after vehicle shut off to help dry off ac evaporator core.

    Hope that helped - but I am sure there are others here with more experience on this that live in warmer climates.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    shadow, I just went out last week, turned my blower on high (outside air), and sprayed 1/3 can of Lysol into the intakes at the base of the windshield. This will kill any bacteria which has built up from pollen and moisture. You'll have to live with the Lysol smell for a few days, but it works well.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    Does it drip water out the drain tube? I'm asking if it might be blocked from leaf bits or other small vegetation pieces that went in through the air intakes.

    Also, are you parking your car in a garage? If so leave the windows wide open to let the air move through the car and dry out the heater/AC box. If you park outside, can you leave the windows down slightly to let air move through the car, during the day at least?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Thanks for the suggestions and I will be checking the drain tube, if I can find it! The smell isnt musty and only happens after the a/c has been running and then I shut if off. On other cars in that situation there is always a "smell" afterwards, a kind of stale smell for awhile which isnt that objectionable but this is that same type of smell only magnified many many times. If it were a problem in the blower or airflow system it should be there all the time so deordorizing in my mind, shouldnt help.
  • cduncan80cduncan80 Posts: 1
    I currently own a 2001 malibu. I am having alot of different problems. I have the AC switch going from inside air to outside air by itself, it surges while driving not to mention very rough shifting, and when I recently had to replace the fuel pump, My husband and I noticed that every fuse under the hood and inside the car are burnt. Not burnt out to the point of not working, but just really black. Has anyone else had a problem similar to this? I have had so many problems with this car! My air conditioner doesn't even blow cold air!
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Did you buy the car new or used? If used it might be a flood damaged car. I've been in the electrical/electronic industry for 50 or so years and cannot think of a reason why all fuses are burnt black without blowing. If a circuit is overloaded the fuse wire should blow before burning the fuse holder black. Unless heavier rated fuses were fitted. Like a 15amp fuse in a 5amp position. Then if that circuit draws a sustained current of say 14amps the fuse holder could heat up without blowing.

    It's weird that all fuses are burnt black.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    On second thoughts, the fuses could also be heating up because of bad contacts between the fuse and fuse socket. Which brings corrosion to mind which might mean water damage which in turn would be the cause of all your problems.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Older Malibus have a history of having corroded HVAC controls. These can cause all kinds of erratic HVAC operation.

    You may be able to find a procedure to disassemble the HVAC control panel and clean the contacts by doing a web search.
  • My 01 Malibu is doing the same thing with the ac. The air doesn't seem to blow out very cold either. It always switches from inside air to outside air as well. The air also smells funny. It has a chemical smell, like the floor of a garage. If the car has been sitting in the sun for awhile it smells like sour water when you crank it. What is the deal?
  • mhelselmhelsel Posts: 11
    Go to your dealer and have them turn on the fan setting for the AC, which turns on after the car is turned off and will dry out, so there is no mold.

    good luck
    mhelsel ;)
  • davez1davez1 Posts: 1
    I have a Malibu 2000. The AC blower air only comes through the floor outlets and the windshield defroster outlet, but no air comes through the instrument panel outlet regardless what mode knob setting is. I first had this problem several years ago and was fixed under warranty; but the problem reappeared a year or two later. So I like to be able to fix it myself instead of going to shop every year or two. I'd appreciate if someone can give me some pointers on the cause and fix.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    That model had a system which used vacuum actuators to control the mode doors in the heater blower assembly. The control head swith has vacuum hoses that run to the various actuators. There is also a hose that runs to the vacuum "tank" which "stores" engine vacuum and a hose that runs thru a wiring harness underhood to connect to the engine for the vacuum source. Only the temperature control was an electric actuator.

    I don't understand well enough the modes of vacuum system to figure out what mode it is in based on your description, sorry.
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