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Chevrolet Malibu Electrical/Lighting



  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Join the club - its happened to me as well. I told e2 about it sometime last year but nothing came of it. The turn signals just started working on their own again after I restarted the car the next day. Scary if you're in San Francisco traffic. Hasn't happened again for a year or so. Could never figure it out. I think the stupid computer locks up and needs a reboot. Would answer all the other random events that happen. The other day my stupid economy meter was telling me I was getting 99 miles to the gallon. Who needs a hybrid? Now it's right again. They should put a reset button in these cars.
  • Ya it's a little scary, mine has done it 3 or 4 times no turn signals or emerg flashers. And then pow everything is fine. I have never been able to figure out what causes it. 05 Maxx LT.
  • butch100butch100 Posts: 28
    My 05 LT has on 4 occasions locked and unlocked the doors
    4-5 times in rapid succession, once after I got out of the
    car with it running to get sunglasses it locked me out of
    my own car! Luckily I was at home so i used the spare key
    to open the drivers door. I know if i bring it back to the
    dealer they will tell me " checks out fine now". These
    issues must be all related to the BCM (body control module
    ) The f-ing software in these things got more bugs than
    a hornet's nest...
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    I suggested to e2 that the BCM might be susceptible to radio transmission interference as from 2 way radios in cop cars or ambulances. I did notice at one time that my radio presets went wonky after an ambulance passed me.

    I am an ex radio ham and I also worked on high power commercial medium wave, short wave, fm and television transmitters and know what radio interference can do.

    If it is rf interference causing the problem a few decoupling capacitors in the right place on the car wiring would fix it up.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Dealer has TSB 04-08-45-009 for a condition that falls into this category however it was written just for 2004 model year. . They should probably take a look at it though (wiring related not BCM).
  • Well now my '05 won't lock or remote start via the FOB so
    it's time for a trip to the dealer. I live 1/8th mile from
    the city comm. tower so I tried it at 2 diff. spots, same
    result. BTW my dad was into ham radio big time had a tech.
    license at the time. When he cranked up his 3000 watt final
    it could blast through anything!(telephones even a stereo
    that wasn't on!
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    I don't think people realize how susceptible electronics and computers are to rf interference. The key fob can only have an output of a few µ watts. The rear window has the antenna grid on it. The receiver in the car must be very sensitive because it responds to key fob commands from quite a distance. Now let's say an ambulance using its 2 way radio passes by. My experience tells me things could get ugly.

    And yes, I know about the stereo blasting away even if it's switched off. It has happened to me as well. Of course once again I say I am just speculating as to what the cause of the erratic behavior of the BCM might be. Oh yes, I have also had the occasions where the car did not respond to either of the 2 key fob's commands and then out of its own started to work again!
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I just went to my local hardware store and picked up 4 rubber washers with a groove on the outside. The dimensions are: inner diameter 7/16; outer diameter 3/4; groove diameter 9/16; groove width 1/16. They fit in the sheet metal holes, with the metal holding the washer in place by the grooves in the washer. Simply plop your light housing back down and voila! Not sure what the dealer is doing to solve this problem but a second solution for those who don't have a hardware store that stocks odds and ends like grooved rubber washers: putting electrical tape around the plastic pegs on the bottom of the light housing works well too.
  • mfh1mfh1 Posts: 15
    Sorry to say this is another example on how corners were cut on this car. Try to find another car where the entire headlamp housing is held in place with two bolts. Plus the front suspension translates a lot of shock to the frame, so it's no wonder that the headlights (and passengers) shake.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    oh, and by the way mfh1, I also fixed my glove compartment door today. One of the two black plastic rods which holds the door on the hinge, shifted, allowing one side of the door to fall down. Before you know it, they'll be pinning a Mr. Goodwrench uniform on me. :P
  • Thanks for the grommet information. Previously forced the sheetmetal and jiggling all but gone. Today, from your suggestion, Lowes's # 139367- Hillman rubber grommets 3/4 OD 7/16 ID UPC 08236 71651. Total $2.75 Thanks for the tip. Have not had the tranny chain nor the rack and pinion addressed.

    Just enjoying the ride. After the CRD this Chevy can fall apart if it wants to - I know the engine and tranny will get me home. We replaced the CRD with a '06 H3 for my wife's daily ride. Had fords and a jeep - had enough of their problems. Owned toyota's, even a subaru once. Was a car salesman in '87 - Chevy and then Honda. Chevy dealer great people - run from the honda dealer if you know who I am talking about.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Did the one's from Lowes have grooves on the outer diameter? I have not done enough night driving since putting mine in to determine if it really made a difference. As others have pointed out, since there are no stability points at the front end of the light housing, adding the rubber grommets is unlikely to fully eliminate the jiggling.
  • They have grooves. " stability points...", Haven't been keeping up with these posts, the crd kept me occupied. I am going to ask the parts guy at our dealer to assist on any fix for model years (the trips to the service departments for our fords and that crd have worn me out about taking any vehicle in). Pushing up on the metal tabs almost completely stopped the jiggle. Had the same problem with a '99 E-150 conversion van, but the sheetmetal tab on the ford was so thin it makes the malibu look tough. Did you also put a grommet on the side pin for that big slot?
  • Im getting ready to install a 2400 watt class d amp and i need to know how big i need to upgrade my altenator in my 2000 malibu, because even with the 1000 watt i had it would dim the lights a little...
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428

    I have a Olds Cutlass GL-1999 which shares the same engine with Chevy-Malibu.

    Sometimes the Check engine light comes on and the engine makes more noise, also recently the temperature gauge had its red light on and I could not increase the speed.

    Is the temperature light problem got to do with a loss of coolant.

    Your notes will be appreciated.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Anytime your "Check Engine" light comes on, it stores a code. It could be a nuber of things. Take your car to AutoZone, Advacne Auto Parts, etc. and have them do a free scan of your engine to read the codes. then post the codes here. Someone should be able to help you.

    If you are losing coolant, fill the overflow tank with a 50/50 mix of Dexcool coolant and water. Then monitor the coolant level. If you continue to lose coolant and there is no coolant on the ground, you probably have a bad intake manifold gasket and needs to be replaced (very common problem).
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    hi dtownfb

    Thanks for your comments, I took the car to service and there is a list of problems and
    bad intake manifold gasket is just 1 of them.

    Other problems are water pump, thermostat, serpentine belt, valves cover gasket, couple of bolts, battery cable corrosion and it seems 1 problem led to another.

    Its a 99 Cutlast I bought in Apr-2000 and have only 54 K miles, but its a 6 1/2 years old. Service bill is $1,500.

    After 6 years, all these problems are quite common.

    Will keep you guys updated.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    To owners of Malibu Maxx

    I see that Malibu Maxx has 23 cu. ft. of cargo capacity which is nearly 7 more than Malibu and also the wagon partition has 2 levels, rear seat that slides and reclines giving hug space.

    But in sales, its not doing well. Any idea.

    I like that car a lot. May be wagon type vehicles are not popular, but are becoming popular now a days.
  • same old story...
    US drivers generally do not like hatchbacks from USA makers. Only exceptions are the wagonettes Dodge Caliber and Chevy HHR. Sporty, high-powered Euro hatches or very cheap import hatches do OK.

    As mentioned, Maxx goes bye-bye at end of 2007 model year.
    Chevy will soldier on with the EP2 chassis-ed Malibu Sedan.
    You can find spy pictures of that somewhere on Edmunds.

    The Saab Aero is similar to the Maxx (same chassis, stiffer suspension, different engines, worse reliability). I do not know if Saab is discontinuing that model.
  • "Checked the grommets again and found that I needed to go oversize from the dimensions as first posted. Bought #881256 (13/16OD 1/2ID) for the main two and #881254 for the single side pin. And pulled up on the tabs again-is someone resting their bodies on the headlights"

    Jiggle appears to be gone.
  • We waited for the Maxx - saw it - and moved on. The sliding seat, "trunk" area, sloping roof, longer wheelbase/turning radius, and gearing left a lot to be desired. Was the wheelbase stretched because overloading the hatch area would've raised the front end and the hatch deck lid helps to prevent use of floor space past the rear wheels. Should the Maxx have been the honda wagon that used to be made. We have had three wagons and a minivan and their usefullness always surprised us and others.
  • The sliding rear seat has it's advantages, right along with the longer wheelbase. It's rare to have that much legroom in the rear seat of a midsize sedan, the maxx does the trick. The sliding/reclining seats are of little value to us; if they were fixed in the rearward position,then they'd still be fine. There's other issues with the "trunk" but it's usable.

    But this is the Malibu electrical section so I'll segue back to that. I've had the wiggling headlights too, but never have done anything about them. I see where the grommets would be the ticket, however.

    Back to the back seat: Why didn't Chevy put ANY back seat lighting in the Maxx? For a car that is designed around the leg room and sliding seats and longer wheelbase to accomodate the back seat passengers, where is the area/spot lighting? Sheesh.

    --BruceM; '04MaxxLS/Driftwood, purchased 07Dec04, 36Kmiles.
  • Yes, Malibu electrical section and the jiggly headlights had been on going. I thanked Tidester at the Hummer Forum for the long explanation for "micro" threads. I believe this is how Edmunds can mimic other forums to ease in a search without reading 8,000 posts if the search engine can't help.

    Isn't there a well between the trunk deck and the space behind the rear seats with the rear seats moved forward. Recently discovered that a lighted mirror in the passenger visor is better for the driver than than the reading lights when used by the passenger. Recently found out the H3 has no map lights and only lighted visor mirror in the Lux package which is why our H3 is both adventure and lux(and leather) packaged. I guess those fancy glass roof panels got somebody misdirected in the Maxx.

    '04 Malibu LT, '06 H3 - all general products now - goodbye ford and jeep.
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    I'm as confused as you are.

    Ah, good...I'm not the only one.

    I liked the old forum setup SO much better!
  • Finally got a chance for the dealer to fix my problems, turns
    out a wireing harness in the door was not properly secured,
    and several wires got rubbed against sharp sheet metal of
    door assembly, when i brought it in the FOB was dead, service
    air bag light/DIC warning was on and the PDLocks were inoperable. I'll give them some credit here though it's all
    fixed now and running great, hopefully no more build quality
    issues as i like the car!
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Any idea as how much will it cost to fix the Ignition Switch and what will happen if its not fixed.
  • 65 amps a lot of current... not when you take into account that it is getting hit with in-rush everytime it is impulsed.
  • Both headlight assembles were replaced because the parking-turn signal bulbs burned holes in the amber lens and discolored the outer lens. Have seen other Malibu's lights with the same problems. Dealer covered repairs for this 2004 Malibu with 57000 miles. Checked after repair and 7 watt bulb is still being used.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Wondering if you live in a high temp area, 25K on my 04 and so far no melted lenses. NE
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I noticed this on my one front lens....not enough to take it into the dealer.....3 years old..and 84K on the car..doubt dealer would warranty it......glad yours did....also replaced a rear tail light blub and notice burn marks on the socket..much like I had on the turn signal socket I replace...wondering if this is a amp, wattage, or other problem.....04 Maxx LT here in VA
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