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Chevrolet Malibu Routine Care & Maintenance



  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    dont know..I have my local mechanic do all my cant help you with that unfortunately
  • ibakeribaker Posts: 4
    I have a 2006 Malibu LT and before that I had a 2002 Malibu. You have to take the car into the mechanic because there is really no way to "check" it from what I understand. It is suppose to last for a while and the dealership expects you to come in to get it checked. Just another way to get more money out of you! :(
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    if you look at the owners basically states change the fluid every 50k under severe driving habits....IMHO most of us dont match it.....Im having my changed at 100K as part of preventive maintenance as well as plugs and wires and the engine accessory belt changed....plugs and wires are the only recommended service at quote out the door for all the services is $470, by my local service center (not a dealership)..which beats all the dealers around northern va....with ranges from $560-$700 for the same tax and sheop fees
  • ktcktc Posts: 30
    To E2helper:

    I have a 2005 Maxx and after almost 3 years now it is approaching 30,000 miles. There is no dip-stick to check the transmission oil, so you can not easily check the condition of the transmission oil. Does GM put the long-life transmission fluid in Maxx? Is 30,000 mile about the right time to do a transmission fluid and filter change? I think it will replace 5 Qt out of the 6.9Qt of the fluid. :confuse: If I drive 50% on highway miles, would that put less strain on the transmission fluid? :confuse:
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Has anyone found sport red touch up for the 04 Malibu. Looked every where and none to be found.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Seeing that E2 is not around I will give my opinion.
    I just did my 04 Malibu at 30K, just before warranty expired. It will take 7.5 qts for pan drop and filter change.
    I am not aware of GM using long life fluid in the Malibu or Maxx, cost too much.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    just a dumb question, how did you add the fluid back in and check it....assume through the drain hole since it is a sealed system...

    I had my local mechanic due the same thing..pan drop and filter replace...and he only replaced 4 quarts....your 7.5 replacement now has me concerned Im running it with low trans fluid......
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Here is the procedure I have on a word pad, I see this ? asked a lot. I start with 7.5 Quarts, a small amount will drain out when plug is removed to check. A pan drop and filter change with 4 qts added back is at least 3 qts low. Where you put fluid in is the plastic red cap on top of the transmission. Put the check plug in when it starts to dribble.

    IMPORTANT... On the 4T45E in the Malibu and Maxx the fill cap needs to be off to check fluid level, the cap is not the same as the older 4T45E units.

    Fluid check procedure

    Start the engine and allow the engine to idle until the transmission fluid temperature has reached the value specified. Depress the brake pedal and move the shift lever through the gear ranges, pausing a few seconds in each range. Return the shift lever to the PARK range. Raise the vehicle on a hoist. The vehicle must be level, with the engine running and the shift lever in the PARK range. Caution The engine must be running when the transmission fluid fill plug is removed, or excessive fluid loss will occur. Transmission fluid may be hot. Since the actual fluid level is unknown, stand clear when removing the fill plug. Have a container ready to capture any lost fluid. Do not turn the engine off with the fill plug removed, as you can be injured by hot transmission fluid being expelled out of the oil fill opening.
    Remove the transmission plug.

    The transmission fluid may darken with normal use and does not always indicate contamination or oxidation.
    Transmission fluid (At least 104°F) 5-10 minutes at idle will give correct temp.

    Does the fluid have a burnt odor or a dark brown color?Check the fluid level. The fluid level should be even with the bottom of the threaded plug hole.Is the fluid level low?
    Add DEXRON® III automatic transmission fluid in increments of 0.5L until the fluid drains from the plug hole.
    Install plug before stopping engine or fluid will spill out of plug hole.

    Pan drop and filter change 7.5 qts
    Check plug is just to the right of the passenger side axle housing , 11 mm plug, can't miss it, only one there.
    Hoist is optional, just needs to be level and plug accessible.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Great write-up! You might consider adding it to our CarSpace Guides section where it will benefit many folks now and in the future.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    You can do it if you want.
  • I have driven my Malibu 2006 15,000 miles. I did change the oil each 3000 miles/3 months. Do I need to put my car in dealer for comprehensive maintenance?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    look at what the scheduled maintenance schedule is in the owners manual....most are simply oil changes and inspections at regular intervals..the first major maintenance isnt until 100K......nothing but oil and filter changes on my 04 Maxx.....and 104k on it now.....
  • Wow, did the build quality on the Malibu go up? I had a 2000 Malibu but got rid of it in 2005 because it was falling apart. Around 110,000 miles the head gasket went. It took the dealer three attempts to fix it properly. I also had to replace a front strut and muffler. When I sold the car and bought my 2005 camry I was aware it needed one new spring and the other front strut.

    So far comparing two years of owning the camry to the malibu, i've had 1 warranty claim on the camry vs 3 on the malibu and the malibu had a brake change in at 29,000 miles and the camry's brakes are still at 75%
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    you cant compare the 03 and before malibus with the 04 and beyond....different chassis..and major components...different engine etc i do beleive......but as problems at all with my 04..and getting ready to roll over 109K....still going strong....32 MPG on my last road trip the past weekend VA to SC and return....

    first brake change at 64K..and about due for another one now...other than than...100k service....fluids, belts, plugs, wires, tires, battery, oil and wipers is all I had to do to mine....
  • would rim run-off affect the longevity of the bearings??? the shop can't balance them 100% because of run-off
  • how can you check if the master cylinder is or isn't defective???????
  • I just bought a 2008 Malibu 2.4L with a 4 speed AT. There are no shop manuals available yet on gen. maint. etc. and probably won't be out by the time the trans fluid needs a change. I have been poking around under the hood, but it is not apparent where to check the trans fluid and locate the filter.
    Any info would be helpful.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Will be the same as the 04, 4T45E.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    if it is the same as the 04 as gonogo is a completely sealed system..and you have to drop the pan to change the filter....there is no dip have to lift the car and remove the plug in order to check the level. 04 owners manual doesnt call for a trans fluid change until 100K...dont know about the 08 manual....
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    If you pump up the brakes and they won't hold, the pedal goes to the floor, and no leaks, you have a bad master cylinder.
  • sr71sr71 Posts: 8
    Chuck: I think there is a lot of Opel Vectra influence in the new 2008s. I read an article about how one of the primary engineers had spent 6 months in Germany working on the new Malibu at Opel.
  • serretiserreti Posts: 1
    ... I've read 3 times the posting of gonogo, still can't find it. Any other explanation or picture will be greatly appreciated
  • Is there a time when parts that typically go out on a vehicle - ie. the water pump, alternator, etc. should be replaced preventively if one doesn't want to break down unexpectedly? We have a 03 Malibu with @ 111,000 miles on it. In every other higher mileage vehicle we've owned, those things have gone out suddenly. I'd really like to avoid that scenerio in the future. Any opinions?
  • babybubabybu Posts: 10
    Hey everyone, i own a 1999 malibu, it has a 3.1 L v-6 engine, and ive stumbled upon a supercharger for this engine. is it a good idea to purchase and install this supercharger. keep in mind that its a front-wheel drive, so ive been told the drive terrain will be under enormous stress with such a dramatic power increase. can anyone here help me?

    and also, soes anyone know where i might find a custom speedometer cluster for my car?
  • babybubabybu Posts: 10
    I'm no mechanic, but if my Mali makes it to 200K miles, (which im making mine a show car) so im willing to go to extreme lengths to keep my car and not sell it. butif mine makes it to 200K i am replacing the entire engine, drive terrain, axels, brakes, and so on. any part that becomes worn over time, i am going to replace. of course, routine oil changes, and not street racing also help extend the life of your vehicle's parts. lol :)
  • jsweazyjsweazy Posts: 1
    I've got an 08 4 cyl Malibu with 6,000 miles. The computer says oil life is 50% which would mean an oil change at 12,000. Can I go with that?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    the oil life monitor will vary with driving style, and a few other doesnt necesarily mean you will be good until 12K.....if you follow the monitor....I have an 04 and have used the monitor since day one.....I usually change oil when it reaches 25%......129K on my car and no problems at all following that change interval....
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    oil life is 50% which would mean an oil change at 12,000.

    It doesn't mean that.

    A possible and probable scenario: the previous owner changed oil at
    3,000 miles (as is not uncommon) and reset the oil monitor.

    Over the next 3,000 miles, coming to your current 6K, the monitor
    "went down" from 100% to 50%. This is consistent with the normal OIC
    of about 6,000 miles.

    So, just drive 3,000 miles more and change oil then, at the monitor's
    reading of 0% :-)
This discussion has been closed.