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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx General Care and Maintenance

medinamalibumedinamalibu Member Posts: 71
edited June 2014 in Chevrolet
Wow, what a difference a lube/oil/filter makes! The steering had gotten a little heavy and chunky over the course of 5 months/1400 miles, but it's light and smooth once again. I took my Maxx into the dealer last week after the gauges died! Seriously, I started the car, and the tach, fuel, and engine temp were flat at the bottom. I started driving, and the speedometer didn't move. A 3-mile commute didn't budge the odometer. That was really fun. I took it in (after the gauges came back to life, of course) and the service guys couldn't find any trouble codes stored, or any bulletins from GM about this type of problem. Which means I have a very special car. However, there were updates available for the BCM and PCM, so they installed those, maybe it'll help. The symptoms have not recurred, but I'm feeling that the warranty was a very wise purchase. I still love the ride, though.

P.S. Kurt -- no clue on the suspension travel.


  • referencereference Member Posts: 2
    My 2005 Maxx LS did the same thing (dead gauges)a few days ago.I noticed the ABS light went on when I started the car then all the gauges went dead.Drove a short distance then shut the ignition off and restarted the car and everything has been ok since.The outside temp was right at 32 degrees and wet so I figured something got confused in the ignition or PCM by the weather conditions.Have owned the car for 8 months and other than a rough idle that comes and goes I still love the car.Typical life with high technology.............
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    1400 miles?

    GM V-6's are extremely easy on oil. I change with 10-20% left on the OCM and I've never done less than 6 thousand miles on a change. What kind of driving are you doing anyway?

    BTW-That computer is very sophisticated and can be trusted when it comes to oil change warnings.
  • medinamalibumedinamalibu Member Posts: 71
    1- and 3-mile commutes, mostly. Top speed of 35mph, for about half a mile. Of course there are stop signs and traffic lights too.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    Wow-- I guess that proves that the oil change monitor can recommend short change intervals.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    still seems odd..I have a 70 mile round trip commute in Northern VA DC traffic..ranges from crawling along to 70MPH....and I get 6000 miles on the GMOL easily...am using sythnetic......dont know that GMOL considers time between changes...as it does the engine conditions etc with its algorithms......1400 miles with a short commute over five months....seems way too soon for the DIC to be recommending an oil change....and dont see how that would effect the steering of the car.....just my two cents
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    I would want to have the oil change monitor checked. I agree with you that there's something wrong there. The algorhythms are very sophisticated and include number of times engine is floored, ambient temperature, average speed and a lot of other things. Far more sophisticated a system than any other similarly priced car but 1500 miles would have me bringing it in for a check. I'm going way over 6000 miles in winter short cycle driving-- during the summer I could go over 9000 if I took it down to 0%. The monitor is set for dino not synthetic. I use Pennzoil 5w30 with a Wal-Mart (Champ Labs) filter.

    Here's a quote from:

    http://www.gm.com/automotive/vehicle_shopping/suv_facts/300_env_emissions/6_oil_- life_system.html

    "Use of the GMOLS will often double or even triple the oil change interval for a typical vehicle when compared to the commonly recommended 3,000-mile oil change.

    The GMOLS will automatically adjust the oil change interval based on engine characteristics, driving habits and the climate in which the vehicle is operated. For instance, mild highway driving in a warm climate will maximize the interval between oil changes. Depending on the vehicle, this could be in excess of 7,000 miles and as high as 12,000 miles. On the other hand, short-trip driving in a cold climate may limit the oil change to 3,000 miles or less. In general, most people that drive a combination of city and highway find that the GMOLS will indicate an oil change every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. GM data shows the OLS extends oil change intervals without risk to the engine."
  • medinamalibumedinamalibu Member Posts: 71
    Actually, the oil life monitor was reading about 50%, and I'm still kind-of "babying" the car whenever possible.

    I (hope I) didn't say the steering improved because of the oil change, but it may have been a combination of the chassis lube and the tire rotation. Seven months after purchase, I thought it was a good idea to give another tire a turn at being designated Curb Smacker. Obviously it's best if none of them are.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    had the transmission serviced at 95K...simple drain and replace the filter....so they had to drop the pan....noticed they only replaced 4 qts of fluid, and the trans holds 9.5 for a complete overall....is it normal for that much fluid to remain in the trans with just a simpl drain....this wasnt a power flush...as I dont beleive in those....just wondering what would be the normal replacement quantity for drain and fill
  • crosby1crosby1 Member Posts: 23
    You mentioned "chasis lube", given that this is post is over a year old my post may be irrelevant. I have a 2004 Maxx and there is no lube required, I don't believe. Maybe things have changed with newer models. I just don't want to see anyone charged for services not provided.
  • crosby1crosby1 Member Posts: 23
    I bought a 04 Maxx new. I will provide you with info I got from an Amsoil website. I am not a dealer.
    Here is what I found:
    0 Fittings, 0 Plugs
    Engine, with filter..........4.6 quarts
    Cooling System, Initial Fill..........10.0 quarts
    Automatic Transmission, 4T40E,-45E Initial Fill..........6.9 quarts
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    uumm would assume that is a simply drain and replace as well.....if I make that assumption then it would seem they are short 3 qts....but the only way to check fill level since it is a closed system is to undo the fill plug and insure the level is just at or below the hole......will have them do that...

    havent noticed any difference in the way it drives or shifts...but thought that amount was low
  • kiltmankiltman Member Posts: 67
    2005 Maxx Lt 24K, owned since new one year ago. Love this car. Recently went to change the wiper blades and the local auto parts stores don't carry a blade or refill for the rear wiper. Tried one of the same length and the rubber didn't fit the grooves so I went to the dealership. There is no refill or replacement blade available. You have to replace the whole wiper arm which is $50. Unbelievable. Anybody else come upon this. Anybody found a work-around? :mad:
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    As long as it isn't torn and won't put a scratch in your window, I'd do the obvious for now: take a rag with some rubbing alcohol and clean the rubber blade and leave it in there until a replacement blade comes out. I'd then take some time to search for the part on line and possibly remove the arm and bring it to the local parts store to try to match it up with something similar. Don't give in to the dealer. You'll find a solution.
  • maddmaxxmaddmaxx Member Posts: 81
    The entire fluid never drains out. I usually drain 7 qts on mine, but then again I change it on ramps so the tranny is at an angle.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    good info....on a std lift....no angle...they got about 5 qts out and replaced the same....I just hate power flushes....never had luck with them....
  • libman1860libman1860 Member Posts: 2
    I had a similar issue when I purchased my '05 Maxx used. The wiper was torn so I was sure to mention it to the dealer right away. He told me when I got it back that they had to replace the entire arm assembly. Good luck finding a replacement blade. I went to 3 different auto parts stores and couldn't find one to fit.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    In the Rear wiper, Try measuring the blade's width itself, and then the blade width of a front wiper.

    Are the blades the same width?

    If so, then measure the length of the rear blade, and then the front blades.
    Chances are the rear blade will fall between the lengths of the front blades. If so, then a replacement for the longest front blade can be trimmed to length of rear blade, and installed.

    If the blades are not same width, then it's a bit of trial and error comparing the rear blade width to a suitable aftermarket blade.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    04 Maxx LT rolled over 100K going to work this morning....41 months of ownership averaging 2439 miles a month......still lovin this car for its versatility, comfort, and overal performance/gas mileage!!! :shades:

    believe Im the second Maxx owner on the forum to roll 100K now....with one or two more not far behind me... :)
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    I'm only 60,000 behind.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    How do I find my paint code? After I woke the guy at the Chevy Parts Dept, he didn't want to stress his fingers to research if GM has come out with a spray can for the grey metalic on my Maxx.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    well...38 months and almost 108K and the OEM battery died.....was in the middle of a parking field, tailgating for a college football game down in SC....radio was on for the pregame show and it suddenly went off.....tried to get it back..nothing...no lights, no chimes, no horn, no emergency flashers....complete power failure...never saw a battery fail that suddenly....

    fortunately AAA paid for itself this year....battery service came out....tested the battery and charging system...nothing left in the battery at all, everything else tested OK.......placed their jumper box on it..immediately got the door chimes back and it started right up.......went to the closed advanced auto parts store...and $78 later out with fresh new battery installed....and back to VA the next day.....
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    yes, but did the Gamecocks win??? :P
    I reapplied scotch guard to all my fabric after 3 years. It is interesting how the Maxx's fabric gets stiffer after puting on an application. Nonetheless, I have been able to keep all the seats maticulous.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    I think the seat fabric is ugly but durable. I think there's some comments about staining on the bu threads but I haven't noticed problems.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    actually no they didnt..but I was at the Clemson Central Michigan game.... ;)
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    ok, 109,675 miles....and had to have my second brake service.....pads all around, turn the rear rotors, replaced both front rotors, brake fluid flush, synthetic oil change, and check alignment and free flat repair......

    this should be the last major service for a while now....the last fluid that needs changing is the coolant..still OEM...beleive manual states 150K or five years.....will probably due it after the winter......
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Member Posts: 163
    I owned an optioned up 2004 Malibu Maxx LS from 5/04 til 7/06. I changed oil when the OLM msg displayed. I drove it just under 15k mi/yr with a 40 mi round trip commute to work, mostly on back roads. The Oil Change Interval (OCI) was 6400 - 7392 miles, so oil was changed 2x per yr over the course of the 4 northeast seasons. The car had a GVWR of 4493 lbs and I averaged 22.7 mpg (actual calculation) over those 2 yrs. The car was just used around town from 1/06 - 7/06 (4700 miles) & it was heading for another 6k OCI when it was totalled.

    I replaced it with a 2006 Malibu Maxx LTZ (the only new one I could find in July 06). I was expecting to get similar OCI's and MPG on this car since it had the same LX9 V6 engine and 4sp automatic & a GVWR of 4515 lbs, only 22 lbs more than the 2004.

    To my surprise and disapointment, my OCI's on the 2008 are only 3500-4500 mi & I average only 20.4 mpg. I have driven this car just under 12k mi/yr and my commute is 22 mi round trip on mostly highways. I want to have my dealer check this out, but I don't think they would be able to do anything.

    So my question is, what is the OCI for other Maxx owners that change their oil based on the OLM? I welcome all responses, but am mainly interested in Maxx experience with LX9 V6.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    You probably read the responses to the cross post I made on Bobistheoilguy..

    1. One respondent said the new engine WAS tougher on oil.
    2. One respondent had a G6 with an identical engine to yours and was getting about 7000 miles.
    3. Two respondents wondered whether the car was reacting to the start and move tactics that dealers utilize to reposition cars on their lots. That would explain the first oil change, but it looks like you've had this for over a year.

    I think your OLM is behaving abnormally. Trying to get the dealer to respond to that, however, when they want you to have 3000 mile oil changes may prove a challenge.
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Member Posts: 163
    Yes, I read the posts in your link to Bobistheoilguy. Thanks. I tried to register there so I could post and respond, but that website has not yet sent me the email to confirm my email address. Most of the responses there did not apply to my car. I have the same LX9 V6 that was in my 2004 and the OCI's have been consistantly low since day 1. Right now I've gone 2041 mi since last oil change and OLM is already at 46%. So I am heading for an OCI of 3779 miles.

    I agree, I think there is something wrong with my OLM and I will tell the dealer the next time I bring it in. My comments about my dealer described their practices back in 2004/2005. They now acknowledge and support the simplified maintenance schedule. They actually have a very good service dept and have always resolved my problems to my satisfaction.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    there is a small number stuck either inside of, or on the exterior of, the glove box's inner drawer.

    To see the sticker on the exterior of the box door, you have to "unmount" the glovebox bin /door from its limit stops by opening the door, pressing hands on the sides of glovebox bin and pushing gently towards center of the drawer until the drawer's limit stops pop out from behind the dash trim.
    At that point the glovebox bin will tumble forward (still hinged at bottom) and you should see a small orange or white sticker with a 3-digit number on it. That number is the paint code.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    I am a bit confused by our Malibu Maxx tranny fluid and filter change interval in our owner's manual. Under extreme conditions, it is to be done at 50k. But in a sentence right after, it seems to indicate that if you are not driving in harsh city driving conditions, there is no need to change the fluid. This seems odd to me. I only have 48k on my 2003, so I don't consider my conditions "city harsh." Pao: since you are around 100k, did you ever get your's drained/flushed? Any other thoughts on when a low mileage Maxx should have the tranny fluid changed?
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    I now have 124K on my Maxx...I changed the trans fluid at 100k as part of the 100k maintenance suggested in the owners manual....you state you have an 03...but the maxx wasnt introduced until 04.....

    now that Im over 100k...I will probably change the fluid every 50k from here on out....the only fluid that hasnt been changed yet is the coolant...and I beleive the owners manual stated its good for 5 years or 150k.....that will be next....

    car still running good.....using full sythetic oil..changing it per the OLM which is about every 6500 miles.....and the last thing I had to do was a new battery......3rd set of tires this summer......have almost 55K on the current set.....
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    Yep '04. On what page in the owners manual does it say 100k for the tranny service?
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    it doesnt say change it....I simply did it as part of the 100K scheduled maintenance outlined in the manual.....it wasnt required under routine maintenance.....I dont consider my driving habits severe ie: Every 50000 miles if the vehicle is mainly driven under one or more of these conditions: 1) In heavy city traffic where the outside temperature regularly reaches 90 F (32 C) or higher 2) In hilly or mountainous terrain 3) When doing frequent trailer towing

    I simply did a complete fluid change out at 100K.....
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    my question, as you know, comes from the fact that I have a 101k GMPP and want to make sure I am in compliance in case the tranny quits. I just find it hard to believe that if you drive in severe conditions, you do a 50k fluid change. Yet if you don't drive in harsh conditions, just let it ride forever! I have never heard of such an important fluid staying in that long. Can you say varnish?
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    when I ask the mechanic what did it look like when he changed it...it was darker than new...but there was no loss of fluid....so I would guess since its a completely sealed system....then it may last longer.......it is tough to do the change...as they must lift the car....the fill plug in on top of the housing...and the drain plug of course at the bottom.....checking the correct level can only be done with the drain plug out wtih some other parameters....trans in neutral or park..can remember which, car running....at temp..etc etc....
  • polypirklpolypirkl Member Posts: 2
    I am confused. I recently took my Maxx in for an oil change (2004 I have had for 3 years) and asked the mechanic to service the transmission since I was leaving for a trip and am over 90k right now. They told me they could not do the service because the car was set up so only the dealer could do it - Something about the fittings - Was he full of it or do I have to take it to the Chevy dealer for this?

  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    yuor local guy is full of it...standard fittings...the issue is its a closed system...and you must raise the car....in order to access the transmission housing...the fill is on the top of the housing..the drain at the bottom obviously....I had my serviced, flushed and fluid replaced at the local goodyear dealer here in town without problem..........drain and fluid check procedures are in the owners manual....again..because its a "closed" system...and doesnt have dip stick....some probably assume its a dealer only service....
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    I often wonder if these bozos turn away work that they don't want to do because there isn't enough profit, or that they'll get their hands too dirty.
    I sure wish e2helper wasn't bannished to siberia. I still want an answer to my question regarding the interval at which one is supposed to get the tranny fluid replaced. All our manual states is that one should get the fluid out when driving in "harsh conditions." What about those of us who are driving on feathers and cushy pillows?
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    it never hurts to change out fluids...when in doubt..simply do it.....I dont consider my driving conditions harsh...thus the users manual insinuates it doesnt need to be changed......I still did it at 95K and will probably do it at 150K next.......so again.....if in doubt..simply do it
  • maxximus_edmaxximus_ed Member Posts: 6
    My dealer service tech suggested that I change my transmission fluid with only 48km on the car. I have done it a couple of times on previous vehicles I have owned so I said no that I would do it myself when he informed me that I would not get all of the fluid because a good portion would be in the torque converter which he said I would not be able to get to. Would anyone know if this is true?
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    you will have to put your maxx up on a lift...I would think most torque converters would maintain fluid unless you do a power flush vice simple drain and refill...

    changing trans fluid isnt easy in the maxx since the fill hole is on top of the trans housing....and it has to be up on a lift, in park or neutral....I forget which..engine running to properly check the fill level....believe the procedure is outlined in the owners manual.......remember there is no dip stick ..as it is technically a closed system
  • drejdrej Member Posts: 119
    Hi Quick Question,
    is there any filter ? I would always assume there is some sort of filter / screen at least before the pump / pick-up? D~
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    as I recall when they drop the pan there is also a filter screen that is changed....
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    I wrote GM Goodwrench to inquire about the service interval on the tranny. They sent me a pathetic note back saying "on matters such as these, we refer you to your nearest dealer." What the heck does my dealer know about the Maxx's tranny service interval? They'll likely try to sell me air freshener and new tires before they ever figure out what is the normal mileage interval for flushing out the tranny fluid!! It is unbelievable that GM can't answer a simple question, that is a glaring omission from the owner's manual. Hmmm....maybe my local psychic will be able to tell me!
  • polypirklpolypirkl Member Posts: 2
    U saved me a bunch of money and a giant headache! thanks for the info - I can't step foot in the dealers area without it being a big production - Thanks again -
  • crosby1crosby1 Member Posts: 23
    The following comes from an industry journal entitled The Lube Report. I Googled it and found it at the following URL:

    It is the only portion of the article that dealt with trany fluid. Of note is the LONG term aspiration GM has to develope a 150,000 mile fluid. Apparently the newest version of Dextron does not yet meet this standard. I am contemplating changing the fluid soon on my 2004 Malibu Maxx with 60,000 miles on it just to be sure. I bought it new in 2004. I look forward to hearing from others about what they have learned about GM guidance on this matter. The article follows immediately below:--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------

    Jim Linden, who is responsible for specifications for GM’s automatic and manual transmission fluids, axle lubes, greases and other lubricants, described the impact of upgrades in those fluids.

    “GM wants fill-for-life for all applications,” said Linden, who is based in Warren, Mich. “In the future at least, 150,000 miles will be considered ‘life’ for transmissions” in severe service.

    In April 2005, GM introduced its trademarked Dexron-VI automatic transmission fluid, a significant upgrade over the previous spec, Dexron-III. The new fluid was required by the reduced sump volumes, higher fluid turnover rates and increased energy densities with the company’s new transmissions, Linden said. The new transmissions also have less airflow, and thus less cooling capacity, and more aggressive electronically controlled converter clutch usage. New six-speed transmission designs demanded a new fluid, which also had to be back-serviceable.

    With premium ATFs, said Linden, base oil quality is vital to fluid performance. Ford’s Mercon-V calls for Group II-plus; DaimlerChrysler’s Mopar ATF+4 calls for Group II-plus or III; and Dexron-VI generally needs Group III quality.

    “The Dexron-VI ATF specification does not specify a base oil quality level,” Linden noted. However, the viscosity and oxidation requirements make it difficult to meet the spec without using at least a Group III or Group II-III combination.
  • nydogboynydogboy Member Posts: 6
    i noticed the edge of the driver's side door is starting to chip. Anyone know where I can get door-edge protectors?

  • rdesantisrdesantis Member Posts: 30
    Canadian Tire? Car Quest? NAPA parts stores. Murrays discount Auto stores. Usually comes coiled, there's black, chrome edging. Where ever you can buy auto paint and mouldings there is usually door edging. I think this is what you are inquiring about not the door sill protector.
  • nydogboynydogboy Member Posts: 6
    is it easy to install?
  • crosby1crosby1 Member Posts: 23
    The strip is probably the best idea. If you have a roll of the 3M clear plastic film, I forget the name, some people cut an inch wide stip and wrap the door edge. My wife drives our Maxx and thanfully is careful opening it both for our cars sakes and others. Large parking spaces help too.
This discussion has been closed.