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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx General Care and Maintenance



  • nickdnickd Posts: 14
    That Thump you hear is a common problem with Malibus with Electric Power Assist steering. There is a TSB out (I don't remember the number though you can probably find it on this forum). Basically the fix is to squirt a lubricant (I use Liquid Wrench) at the spot on the steering column where the inner shaft goes into the outer shaft. You can find this spot where the steering column goes into the firewall. A couple of squirts, turn the wheel a few times and the noise will go away. I relube whenever I do an oil change. Either way, it's not a dangerous condition or anything. I would certainly try it before throwing money at the dealer.
  • nickdnickd Posts: 14
    My rear brakes only get between 50 and 60k before the inboard pad on the passenger side wears to the wear indicator. At that point it makes a screeching/scraping noise. You CANNOT see this through the spokes of the wheels. I do it myself for the cost of $25 pads but you have to have a caliper piston screwdown tool to do the rears (about $40 on Amazon). They turn the piston while depressing it which is necessary, unlike the fronts which you can squeeze with a pair of channel locks. I would probably go with an independent as it's a very easy job. Also, I've never had those rotors turned since either and it's never been a problem. You may get some very minor brake squeal though if you don't. My guess is that an independent garage would charge about $200-$250 for the job and a dealer about about $100 more than that.
  • I just did the brakes on my Maxx today. It cost me $54.55 total from O'Reilly's for the pads, and my local mechanic charged me $100 for putting them on. I was surprised by the rear pistons screwing in like that. I've never seen anything like that that before. How long does it take for them to return to their "normal" position after screwing them in like that? Any specific tips on getting the pads seated all way round? A couple of hard stops shoud do it, right?
  • nickdnickd Posts: 14
    The reason they screw in is because of the emergency brake mechanism I believe. They don't screw out so as soon as you step on the brake the piston will go out and engage the pad. You don't even need a hard stop.
  • >Did you have it done at your dealer, a Goodyear-type place or an independent?<

    Most trouble-free service I've had has been from small shops that are owned by the guy doing the job - who should be a ASE certified Master Technician.

    I'm in the South and some time ago had brake work done by a place called "Just Brakes" - not recommended. Have had Sears do some work - not recommended.
    Had a ASE Master Tech do some work - excellent.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    Im averaging about 65-70K between brakes...on my third set now wiht 140K on the car....Im not a mechanic, nor do I have the space, tools or time to do the experience is roughly $200 an axle, which includes pads, and labor to install and turn the rotors....I have never gotten the Maxx out of a brake job for less than $400...and that is in Northern VA through both a local ASE self employed mechanic...and Merchants Tire....with another ASE mechanic that I perfer to use there.......add rotor replacement and its another $150 an axle for the parts....
  • One thing I forgot to mention is that one of the wheels for my Maxx has a pretty good ding along the outside edge (almost like a curb was run over or something), although they were able to balance the wheel when I had the new tires installed. I had forgotten that this wheel was on the passenger side rear before I got the tires rotated about a month ago (which is coincidentally when the wife started to complain about this problem).

    After getting the dealer to replace the outer tie rod end on the passenger side front and putting new brakes on all way round last Friday, I had the tire with the dinged rim moved back to the rear of the car. We took a trip yesterday with 2-1/2 hrs of driving each way, and didn't feel a single ominous vibration of any type, so I think the problem may be fixed. I was really surprised at how cheesy the design on these wheels looks (we have the factory steel rims with the fake aluminum colored wheel covers). Are the factory alloy wheels for this car any beefier in construction than the steel wheels? It doesn't look like it would take much to damage these stock wheels.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    The filter is easy to change. You have to first get the glove box door to drop down fully, which you can do by opening the door, then pulling the sides of the drawer towards the center of the drawer (this lets their molded-in stops clear the glove box housing's sides).
    Then look towards the top of the opening and you will see a small latch and door on the side of the HVAC housing. Once the latch is opened (you either press it down or flip it - it's been a year since I've owned a Maxx), the door can be raised and you can then pull the cabin air filter out and replace it.

    '04 Maxxes did not come with the filter. I juryrigged a Saturn ION filter and plastic support mesh inside my HVAC filter opening, which worked very well.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    The alloy wheels are reasonably sturdy. However, you have to be careful when having them torqued as over torquing (over 100 lbs per wheel lug) will cause brake rotor deformation and pulsing brakes.
  • vasy1vasy1 Posts: 3
    new rear refill: blade wsw 1039-2621 (chevy part number)
    or Trico 45205 wiper refill (have to trim); ANCO N-14R, 350 mm
  • Are there any Haynes or Chiltons repair manuals for the 2004-07 Malibu (/Maxx)? I can't find anything on a Google search.

    Also, what are the best sites online to buy parts for the Maxx? I live in Canada, so shipping fees are important. Thanks. We've had our Maxx for 5 months now and so far, so excellent! :D
  • Google Haynes...was not specific to Maxx just malibu (You probably know this already). Contact them thorugh Mail or email and
  • I just got home from driving my maxx in a little bit of snow. Usually when I drive in the snow I use the +/- button on my shifter to drive in lower gears (usually 2nd) which gives me a lot more control. I came upon a large hill and my car started to slide quite a bit, I was going pretty slow so I tried to put the car in second gear and it would not work at all. I could get the car to down shift but no lower than third gear. Is this a sign of a transmission problem?
  • pin4pin4 Posts: 1
    I have a Malibu Maxx 2007 hatchback model and I am experiencing electrical problems. When I open the driver's side door the interior lights do not light up it is as if the vehicule door has never opened, I've learned to live with this defect since it does not affect anything else on the vehicle. However recently when I lock and arm the alarm system on the vehicule, the alarm will sound off as if someone is opening the door from the interior. Furthermore when I start the engine the computer indicates that one of the doors are open, yet they are all closed properly. Can somebody please help me with this dilema
  • Once out of warranty the driver's side heating has a mind of its own. Sometimes it stays on all of the time, except when the car is off. Other times it works perfectly.
    The same of the drivers side electric seat operation. It gets stuck in one position for a few days and then it just starts working again.
    Other than that, love this car.
This discussion has been closed.