Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Dealer Service

amazineamazine Member Posts: 11
edited April 2014 in Chevrolet
I just had to post this story. Most of us (rightfully so) complain about the dealer service. I went in because the washer fluid just wouldn't come out and my remote starter was giving me fits. I thought the remote was a simple battery replacement. Okay, I get to the dealer and I'm just waiting for the agony that goes along with it. My '05 Maxx LT has 22,000 on it so I know it covered for just about anything. I explain to the girl working the desk what was going on and told me to pull the Maxx right in.

"It shouldn't take long at all, we are dead this morning. It must be everyone out shopping for Christmas."

The tech comes over takes the car and drives it into a bay. I'm in the waiting room, drinking some good coffee when I notice that my car is now going up on the lift. Huh? Shouldn't the washer fluid thingy be under the hood. Now, I'm outside the waiting room and I'm hearing the air gun taking off some hunk of metal. The tech take the metal into the parts dept and returns with a new one. I guess he noticed the confused,daze look in my eyes and explained to me that my starter was about to go and was replacing it.

"Don't worry its covered under warranty."

Wow, new starter, okay. Brings the Maxx back down and starts right up. He gets under the hood and he flushes the washer system with an air hose and poof, I can now wash my windows. Next, he is working on my remote. 20 mins later and 2 brand new keys and remotes he told me that my receiver was going and that was the first time he ever replaced a receiver in a Maxx.
A total of 75 minutes and a new starter,new receiver and washer fluids work and it cost zip,zero, nada. Tipped the Tech wished him a Merry Christmas and went on my way. :) This was the first time I wasn't looking to run over small animals in the road after leaving a dealer. :P Very nice job!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good nite.


  • firemanjackfiremanjack Member Posts: 123
    Hehehe...This is an amazine story...It's nice to have some really good, positive stuff here..I too have an '05 Maxx and have had no problems with it..13,000 miles now..I love it
    Thanks amazine
    Merry Christmas Jack
  • meandmymaxxmeandmymaxx Member Posts: 134
    I am reasonably happy with my 05 Maxx LT. I have had some of the problems, but allot fewer then others here on this site. The most positive thing about the experience is I for the first time in my life, I have been driving for 32 years now. I found a dealer that actually services what they sell. The service at Colonial Chev in Newmarket Ontario Canada is fantastic. I only wish my Maxx was as good as their service is.
  • fasilidfasilid Member Posts: 7
    About a year ago, I took over an '05 Maxx LS from a relative who wasn't happy with the car. I like the car. There are certain issues that I noticed, especially the rotor warping. But it seems to be the result of creative thinking by GM's engineers. Great idea, even if the execution has been imperfect.

    The car has been serviced -- oil change, tranny flush -- by a reputable independent mechanic. Recently the transmission feels like its operating differently. At speeds under 40 mph it just feels like it's transitioning between gears, like it's not sure where it should be. Also, if I go to 40 and take my foot off the accelerator and coast for a few seconds, when I resume giving it gas, it feels like it's sticking for a few beats before accelerating. Recent trans flush, at 30K as scheduled, didn't change any of this.

    The car is still under warranty, so I brought it to the selling dealer. They said that the tech found the right axle seal leaking and replaced the seal. When I got the car back, the transmission still behaved as before. What's more, now the Electronic Range Select, a/k/a tap shift, is not working. When the shifter is placed in "L" it stays stuck in "3" and does not respond to operation of the rocker switch.

    Second visit to dealer and the tech finds "trans operating normal". Advisor says when car "is in overdrive", hesitation upon re-acceleration is "normal". Regarding inoperative tap shift (which was working fine when I first took the car there), they say a "solenoid" needs to be replaced. Part placed on order.

    So my original transmission concern is set aside and now I've got a non-working tap shift, to boot. I've no experience with dealers but this feels wrong. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    You might want to repost this in the Malibu transmission forum.

    GM four speed automatics are generally pretty durable and I don't have any great knowledge base when it comes to transmissions.

    Based on your post, I'd ask three questions:

    1. How many miles?
    2. How quickly after the tranny flush did you notice anything? Are you sure the right fluids were used?
    3. Does the solenoid control transmission shifting and not just the tap switch. If you're accelerating why doesn't the transmission kick down to a lower gear?
  • fasilidfasilid Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for your reply and thanks for the forum repost suggestion. I'll consider doing that but for now let's see if anyone else notices it here.

    The car has about 31K on it. The issue predates the tranny flush. I hoped it might go away after the flush. No such luck. I discussed the fluid issue with my mechanic who was very concerned to use whatever GM calls for. BTW, I feel the problem dealer thinks I'm fair game for bad treatment b/c this car was independently serviced. Car has been treated well, driven gently, mostly highway miles, and service (oil changes, tranny flush) by reputable independent techs w/years of exp.

    The "solenoid" is a question mark right now. The dealer service mgr. said that the tap shifter malfunctioned because it needs a "solenoid". He had no explanation as to why the tap shift malfunctioned only after being serviced by his department. What's more, on the receipt for that visit, it reads "BCM on order". They said they'd call me when this came in.

    Time passed and I called them a couple of days ago. Someone tells me "BCM" stands for body control module and they usually have them in stock. I'm told there is one sitting on the shelf there right now! I would guess that a solenoid is an electro-mechanical component and not the same thing as a "body control module". I've pretty much concluded, based on this drawn-out experience (two visits, several weeks) that the people at this department are not dealing with me in good faith :mad:

    I don't know if I can give a good answer to your third question. I thought the trans kicks to a lower gear only when you're accelerating uphill. I described a situation where I'm doing about 35-40 mph, take my foot off the gas to coast for a few seconds, and then resume the previous speed. That's when I feel like there's an overlong sticking or hesitation. When cruising with foot on accel at lower speeds, about 20-30 mph, it sometimes feels like the trans is not sure what gear to be in -- like it's transitioning or "hunting" up and down.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    The Maxx 4 speed has a "non lock" mode where, between 4th and 3rd gear, the transmission unlocks the torque converter and allows it to vary its ratio. This will usually happen if you are gently accelerating up a hill while in 4th and notice the RPMs gradually increasing. If the "non lock" mode doesn't provide sufficient torque, the tranny will then jump to 3rd gear.

    Note this "non lock" mode is not available with Cruise control . With Cruise on, the Maxx will simply jump back and forth between 3rd and 4th gear trying to maintain speed.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    Just a reminder that you can now write reviews for and rate both your dealer and their service department. Here's the link to get you to the place to start:
  • beedublubeedublu Member Posts: 236
    Note this "non lock" mode is not available with Cruise control . With Cruise on, the Maxx will simply jump back and forth between 3rd and 4th gear trying to maintain speed.

    Hmmmm...I did not know this. Which probably explains why going up a hill with cruise on produces this very abrupt downshift accompanied by a surge in RPM.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    It just so happens that I wrote about this very phenomenon on my blog today
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    In the MAXX'S case, the engineers told me it was a cost decision not to program (or design in bus bandwidth for) the cruise control to interact with the transmission non-lock modes.

    Some other GM cars do have cruise controls that can use the transmission's non-locking Torque converter capabilities. I remember the Trailblazer having this ability.

    The Maxx is Accelerator-by-wire, so all throttle control communication is electronic.
  • dr650dr650 Member Posts: 1
    My wife's 04 Malibu has started doing the same thing I think. If I'm going 40 or less and coasting and then step on the gas it is like it isn't in gear, the engine revs up nothing and then the transmission hooks up with a jerk and everything is fine until I coast again. I haven't noticed it at highway speeds. Also our + - shift quit working. I wonder if they are related. Did you ever find the cause?
  • meandmymaxxmeandmymaxx Member Posts: 134
    My + - was not working and was causing some funny shifting and cruise control effects, but not as sever as what you describe. My mechanic traced it down to the the one of the control wires for the + - switch had broken. Under the console where the wires run up the shifter the wires make a 90 degree turn up the shifter, it was right there at the 90. They use such small gauge of wire for everything these days it had just fatigued. Once repaired all was good. As I recall the condition did put a code into the computer. Good Luck
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    my 04 maxx has a similar tranny issue. When my foot is off the gas and the car is coasting to turn a street corner, the tranny is very sluggish to downshift and accelerate. I also have troubles getting the tranny to find a lower gear when I stomp on the gas. I think the issue is between 2nd and 3rd gear. When I had the chain and sprocket work done, I remember the service manager stating that the chain was still pretty loose, despite their best efforts. I'm wondering if that is where the issue is emanating from?
  • fasilidfasilid Member Posts: 7
    First, thanks to those of you who responded to my original post from August of last year. Second, my apologies for not following up on my original posts. I'm correcting that now. The summer of '07 knocked me for a loop in the form of that dealer service department that wouldn't honor the warranty -- even returning the car to me with an additional problem. Very bad news, indeed. I got word from other sources that this dealer service department was notorious for this sort of thing, with customers having to stoop to arguments and threats to have routine matters addressed. Bad news.

    The good news is that I found a good dealer who turned the whole situation around, fixing my car in short order (under the soon-to-expire warranty) and rendering thoroughly professional service.

    As described in my original posts last year, my '05 Malibu Maxx's trans developed an issue where the transmission would slip back and forth between gears at lower speeds. Took car to the selling dealer's service department, and was treated poorly from the start. They sat on the car for days and then returned it to me with -- surprise! -- the same transmission problem as well as a brand new problem: the +/- tap switch now did not work! The two men running this service department continued to give me a runaround. See my original posts from last year for the sorry details. Rather than deal with what was clearly an adversarial situation, I took the car to another dealer, in upstate NY. (The selling dealer is in a borough of NY City.)

    Here's where my happy ending came in. To make a long story short: the new dealer, Ken Wilson Chevrolet of the town of Vestal in upstate New York, put an end to what had been a waking nightmare with the downstate operation. The techs at Ken Wilson found the tranny problem and corrected it quickly and with no fuss. They told me they had found a broken wire underneath the trans console. The car was returned to me with the transmission running smoothly and with the +/- tap shifter working fine. All of this was done in an environment of professionalism and courtesy at Ken Wilson. It was like a tutorial on how the dealer experience is supposed to be. That was one year ago. My Malibu Maxx is running fine with no problems and I've got a reputable dealer to service it :)

    Thanks again for the replies. And I hope you all can find the good dealers out there -- as I was most fortunate to do.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    Gee, I thought you were going to say my dealership here in Alexandria was the offending dealer giving you the run around. What a similar story to mine......except mine resulted in my axle snapping off on Riverside Drive in Harlem (read my posts on the GM Customer Service page). I was giong to recommend to you that you see the GM dealer in Harlem. While not specifically a Chevy dealer, they are a GM dealership, not independently owned, who can get parts and perform service very quickly given their large operation there. They treated me wonderfully during my Malibu Maxx ordeal in NYC. Bottom line however: don't go to a dealer...find a independent shop rated well by your peers. GM, Ford, Chrysler won't intervene when you have a problem at any dealer, so without pressure, these dealers act like big shots because they have the big corporate logo on their shirts, even though they are independent. At least a private shop respects the fact that if you feel cheated, you'll never return and they will go out of business.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    You can check out what other customers think of a dealer or add your own review of the dealer you're dealing with to Edmunds Dealer Ratings & Reviews
This discussion has been closed.