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Chevrolet Malibu Brakes

Hi All,

In October 05, I purchased my Malibu LT V6...Two weeks after my purchase I began to hear a sqeeling noise upon comming to a stop...Upon placing the car in reverse I began to hear grinding...In short I have taken my car back to the dealership 3 times for the same problem and I am being told that these are GM's top of the line brakes and as lond as they have 66% or more of usage left, GM REFUSES to replace them...Has anyone had this problem?? Please-Please-Please HELP!!!! :lemon: :cry: :mad:


  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    For your peace of mind take it to a reputable brake shop, see what they say.

    When it's raining out or very damp mine make a nasty kind of vibrating/squaking noise when applied in reverse. I dont think much of it, once they're dried out the noise isnt there. They're very quiet brakes otherwise.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    I'm sure it's rust. I parked my car outside over a weekend of driving rain and the right hand brake rotors were soaked with water. When Monday morning came and I took off with the car, my brakes on that side were so noisy I turned back home. It sounded as if there were no brake pads left. I took the rear wheel off to see what the problem was. The rotor was rusted. I cleaned it off with sandpaper and all was well again.

    Other than that, my brakes are very good and as smooth as silk.
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    The brakes on my 04 LS Maxx have been noisy on wet or damp mornings ever since the car was new. Until I've driven a couple of miles and made a few good, firm applications of the brakes there will be a loud, grinding noise. Also, upon backing down the driveway on a damp morning there will be some light squealing. The dealer assures me that this is normal for this model. The brakes work great and are very quiet otherwise.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    My GM/Toyota built Prism had exactly the same problem.

    If brakes were wet and allowed to dry, the rotors would develop some rust and the brakes were noisy when applied. After a few applications, the noise stopped (I assume the rust was ground off by the pads).
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Just down the road from me is a Ford dealership with about a hundred new vehicles on the lot. As far as I can see all the new vehicles have rusted rotors so I would think that they would also be noisy when the brakes are first applied.
  • my light on abs keeps coming on and brakes are just find why else who this kight come on and what can i do about it
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    When that light goes on the ABS system is inoperative - normal braking is still fine. It needs to be checked out.
  • I'm not sure if this is brake related or suspension...or both. I'm having this intermittent annoying problem. Sometimes when I apply the brakes, i get a nasty knocking sound from the floorboards or the front of the car. When this happens it will happen for a few brakings in a row, then I don't notice it anymore.
    It sounds like rotors, except it is too intermittent. And just last week I did take the car in for regular service and they checked the brakes and other than some uneven wear they're fine. They did do a brake service.
    I didn't tell them about the problem then, cause it was so intermittent and hadn't been doing it for a while. But now, it does it almost every other day.
    Because it is so intermittent, I'm afraid that they won't be able to spot the problem. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • Wow, GM has still not fixed this ?
    I have an '01 Malibu and it did the same thing yours is doing right off the lot with 3 miles it. It kinda sounds like a trolley car coming down the street. khhhhhh___, right ? The car would not stop !
    Then the rotors warped after the first 3,000 miles.
    The dealership gave me a hard time about it and said that GM's fix is to use ceramic brake pads but I would have to pay for the uprgraded pads not the standard pads and they would cut my rotors not replace them.
    And that the warping problem is due to overheating because of a bad runout alignnment between the rotor and the caliper.
    The fix for that is to not overtighten the lug nuts and clean and adjust the rear brakes.
    Isn't that special.
  • My 21K mile 2005 Maxx LS has had the rotors turned twice for severe vibration... they warp very easily if you brake hard at high speeds. Most cars with disc brakes will do this eventually, but the Malibu's brakes seem to warp more easily than on any car I've ever owned. I could not warp the brakes on my 1998 Taurus.

    I've also noticed that the brake's rotors get excessive rust after only one night when put away wet... especially if it is salty wet. This is also much worse on the Maxx than on any other car I've owned. It makes the brakes rub and howl for the first few appications of the pedal. Again, my Taurus never had this issue.

    I think GM is using some really poor quality material for their rotors. Probably cheap Chinese castings.

    I'm looking forward to replacing them when out of warranty with something better... maybe something cross drilled if I can find them that way. Meanwhile I'll let GM keep fixing them. :shades:
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    They're probably warping because the lug nuts on the wheels are over tightened. Shops just use their air wrenches to tighten the wheels back on, which commonly causes warped rotors. Any time you take your car to somewhere that will have the wheels off, once you get home you should bust the lug nuts loose and use a torque wrench to tighten them to spec. My 04 Malibu warped its rotors twice within 12k miles, but after the last time I've retightened the wheels myself after I got home and have made it 20k miles since with no sign of warping.
  • shinranshinran Posts: 2
    First time poster, long time reader.

    I've just purchased a set of Pro Stop drilled and slotted rotors to combat the constant issue of warped/soft rotors that GM is put on my 2005 LS Malibu.

    They weren't cheap, $400 for a set of 4, but I'm anticipating less squealing, longer rotor life and cooler brakes. Plus, they're made not to rust and a nice 12,000 mile warranty.

    As soon as I brake them in, I'll let you know if they were worth it.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    Perhaps this would help:

    Bulletin No.: 05-05-26-002A

    Date: September 22, 2006


    Squeak or Creak Type Noise From Rear of Vehicle (Replace Park Brake Cable Grommets)

    2005-2007 Chevrolet Malibu (Sedan Only)
    with Rear Drum Brakes (RPO J41 or JM4)


    This bulletin is being revised to add model years. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 05-05-26-002 (Section 05 - Brakes).


    Some customers may comment on a squeak or creak type noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. This noise occurs at slow speeds while driving over small bumps and is most apparent when the underbody of the vehicle is wet.


    This condition may be caused by the park brake cables rubbing or slip-sticking on the retainer grommet.


    Replace both existing white parking brake cable grommets with new black grommets, P/N 15807015, using the procedure below. These new black grommets are made from a Teflon(R) material.

    Raise and support the vehicle.

    Open the underbody clip (2) to provide some slack in the parking brake cable. Use a flat bladed tool to release the lock tab. Use care not to permanently bend the parking brake cable. If the cable becomes bent, it must be replaced. Remove the white grommet (1) from the bracket. Pull the park brake cable inboard, gripping the cable on both sides of the grommet.

    Use pliers to remove the white grommet from the cable.

    Line up the new black grommet slot with the cable and compress onto the cable using pliers.

    Install the black grommet into the bracket.

    Reinstall the parking brake cable into the underbody clip.

    Repeat the steps above for the other side.

    Lower the vehicle.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    sometimes i have a bit of squeal, very minor, when I just take off in the morning...but it's gone real fast, at the time i am at the first stop sign (100 yards) it's quiet.
  • Put the car up on jackstands or a lift, pull each ABS connector off of the brake backing pad, clean with a wire brush, and reconnect. 99% of the time it is just corrosion from road salt/water causing a loss of signal to the ABS computer. Had the same problem on my '97 Cutlass GLS that was cured by such treatment.
  • 04cad04cad Posts: 131
    I agree that a lot of warped rotors occur immediately after rotating tires due to the shop improperly tightening the lug nuts with an air impact wrench. My wife's 94 Deville and 2004 Deville both had this issue after we had the tires rotated. If they run the nut up on one or two lugs before they are all snugged up, you can almost bet the rotor will be warped. The independent shop fixed the 94 for free and the 2004 at the dealer was fixed under warranty. We used to learn this in high school drivers ed, you know snug them all up and then use the cross pattern to full tighten them up, but I don't think the shops teach this now? :(
  • just thought i would jump in with this one. my 01 malibu ls has the ORIGINAL brake pads still in it! i got the car with 2,500 miles and now it has 130,000 miles! i am not much of a "braker" or brake user. coming into town i am usually slowed down before th 30 mph sign without using my brakes! now my daughter drives that car.

    as for squeeling brakes, parking on concrete when it is damp usually causes this. unsure why? but i have noticed that, suppose the concrete keeps the moisture in and around.

    also, talk about warped roters, got a pontiac GTP that wew got in on trade for (DAH a malibu) and that sucker has horrible warped roters! so bad it makes the whole stering wheel shake! good think i am almost done rebuilding my 06 malibu maxx ss then can replace those roters.
  • sean74sean74 Posts: 18
    I have a 2005 Chevy Malibu LS, 21,000 Miles. I just changed rear brake pads. The very suspicious thing is that one brake pad completely worn out while others looked brand new. The Chevy dealer did not know the reason. This was not covered by warranty because the mileage is above 12K. I am disappointed. It seems Malibu has a lot of defects. My car actually has a lot of electrical an mechanic problems. It is really a nightmare. I will probably never buy GM product again.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    You are not going to buy a 2008 Malibu ? GM is getting set up to run 2 factories over time to keep up with sales.
  • sean74sean74 Posts: 18
    Yes! I'll never buy any GM product in my life time. Because there are so many defects . And both dealerships and customer service never gave me satisfying explanation to those problems.
  • I also have an 2004 Malibu with the same issues. The rear brakes were shot at 37,000 miles. Fronts still have more than 1/2 the life left in them. I did however find the RR parking brake cable had never been hooked up from the factory. Not sure if this contributed to it or not. Had to replace both rear rotors and pads at my costs.
  • '04 V6 brakes recently acted up - pedal going south - reservoir had some gel in it and smelled like dexcool? - did someone doing the intake gasket and water pump goof up and put some in the brake reservoir by mistake. Dealer replaced the reservoir and said the rear pads were gone. Need an old timer's vehicle that fits in the garage and is easy to step up into and not hit one's head. Seriously considered a regular cab f-150 and reduce the length of the workbench. Why can't gm fix the design and build and give colorado/canyon and the half-tons a rear disc whose e-brake shoes work and grab only when needed.
  • Have an 05 Malibu.

    Driving to work today, just got off the highway, slowing on the ramp, when my car wouldn't stop. I had the brake pedal pressed all the way down, and the car kept inching forward. I wasn't sliding on ice...I just kept inching.

    There was a car in front of me, so, not wanting to rear end him, I pushed into Park. Not sure how wise that was. It did stop the car with centimetres to spare! As soon as I shifted into park, though, it made a nasty growling sound and the parking brake light came on.

    When traffic started moving, I shifted out of park, noise went away, parking brake light went off and braking was normal.

    Drove back home trepidatiously, but had no problem at all.

    I suppose I have to go back to the dealer (was there just last week to deal with my remote start issue).

    Should I be concerned? Any ideas? Just a one-off glitch? My fear is that it's working properly and they won't diagnose anything.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Sounds like an ABS problem. I would take it in and have the dealer check it out and have the incident on file.
  • the ABS sensor is part of the bearing assembly on this car. I have tried many different brands and they only last 1 year or so, before the ABS light comes on. Do you guys know what to do???
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Try dealer.
  • too expensive!!!!!!!!!!
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    True, but how much for 2 or 3 after market. There are just some things you have to go dealer for.
  • What would make the red brake(!) light stay on ?? I replaced the front calipers, hoses, pads and rotors.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I would say you have air in the system. With ABS brakes you need to be careful not to let all the fluid drain out during repairs.
    If you do you will need a ABS capable scanner to activate the ABS valves to bleed.
  • The light was on before doing the work. I bled the calipers as per the sequence in my repair manual.
  • 2005 chevrolet malibu, rear disc brake calipers. How do i retract the calipers to install new pads ?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Here is a pix of the tool to retract. I have not done mine yet, it looks like you need to put pressure on the piston to retract. When I do it, I will make a tool. Some part stores loan or rent tools. g
  • gcorreagcorrea Posts: 4
  • gcorreagcorrea Posts: 4
    how do change the rear brake shoes on a 2005 chevy malibu 2.2? i mean i know how just need to know how to reuse the part the is riveted onto the oem brake shoe. if i remove the rivet how do i reattach it to the new brake shoe? is there a new part i need buy to replace it? its the part that holds the parking brake cable on to the brake shoe and holds the adjuster actuator. ive never seen this part riveted in place on other vehicles.
  • Good morning!

    I've been having a little problem with my brake pedal that I can't quite understand yet. Sometimes when I turn my car on, I'll hear a grinding noise from the brake pedal. Other times, I may need to push the brake all the way in with force in order to shift out of park.

    The other day, a man stopped me and asked if my emergency brake was in. I told him no, and he proceeded to tell me that I had travelled through about 6 redlights and my brake light never went out while he was behind me. If I gave my pedal another forceable push, things would go back to normal for a few seconds; then my brake light would come on by itself again.

    Someone at a dealership told me months ago he thought my Brake Sensor Module (the $20 part that goes under the dash) was going bad. I just now had it replaced.

    I got through a day, then the light came on by itself again. Curiousity caught me, so I parked the car and used my pedal adjustment button to move the pedals back and forth a little bit. Then, boom! It's been fine since.

    Why do I have to move the pedals again every once in awhile? Is something going bad? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
  • Oh, btw... 2005 Malibu LS (V6)
  • Any luck getting them to retract? Having the same problem!
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    I havent worked on the brakes but I do believe the pistons in the calipers not only move in and out but they also twist. That means in order to retract them to replace the pads you need a tool that twists them at the same time it squeezes them. I've noticed a few tools around that do just that.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    Has anyone replaced their front rotors on a 05 malibu, 60000km/35641 miles
    I'm looking at after market rotors from Brembo they are crossdrilled with slots for better cooling. Mine has warped after a road trip to Seattle driving through the Steven's pass ,very steep grade and lots of hot braking which showed the poor quality of the rotors. Just looking for superior braking without warping rotors.
  • I am having the same problem and it's driving me NUTS! Replaced the same part and still having the same problem, today they calibrated it because they said it had to be done but they didn't know it at the time. Once again, when I left with my car it is STILL doing it! Someone must know what's going on but WHO???
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I replaced the rotors on my 04 Malibu Maxx with standard OEM replacement parts from NAPA......havent had any problem with warping since then....also insure your lug nuts are torqued to the proper specs and not completely tighten with the impact wrench....
  • I have a 2004 Malibu Maxx, I’m having a problem with the brakes and the dealer said he can’b find anything wrong, we put new brake pads on at 38,000 miles (out of warranty) and had to machine the rotors. We only have 41K on it now, he told me that rust was building up on the pads because we weren’t driving it enough.
    Now its doing the same thing, intermitting catching, no rhyme or reason, we can be out on the highway and it feels like the emergency brake is on, the brake pedal is extremely sensitive, RPMs are high and I can’t get up to speed, I have to get to the nearest exit quick. Doesn’t happen all the time and I never know when it will catch.
  • I have a 2006 Malibu SS. Love my car, but the T/C light and engine light are on more than they are off. Today I went to dealer they were off so they wouldn't look at it. They have repaired it twice for the same thing. The squealing from the breaks is driving me a little crazy also. No noise today. Kinda like the toothache at the dentist.
  • tjcotjco Posts: 5
    i have owned 2 malibu's a 98' and my current 01'. On the 98' i went thru 12 sets of brakes in little over a year. what i learned is that anytime you have to either jump start your battery or someone else you have to do it a certain way. charge the battery but do not start either car until you have disconnected the jumper cables, if you do it can send a surge to your ECM which can mess up the whole braking system. my problem was when i would take my foot of the brake, the calipers would not immediately release causing premature brake pad wear. Second piece of advise, dont go to the dealer service center unless you like getting ripped off. i recently had a local brake shop replace everything (4 rotors and 4 premium brake pad) for around $300 buck. and they work better than anything the dealer ever did.
  • Coming home from work the wheels totally stopped, I got the car to the dealer (will take it somewhere else next time). All 4 wheels were stuck, none of them would turn, you could smell brakes burning in the whole shop. This was late on Friday and they didn’t' look at the car until Monday, of course by then they couldn't find anything wrong with it. They kept it a whole week. Now I’m uneasy about going on the high way, I never know when the brakes will jam all the wheels.
    Chevy has no answer for me either; we've been back and forth with them. Same old story, they can't fix it until they can reproduce the problem.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Sounds like a anti - lock problem, did they scan the anti -lock system, should be a code.
  • they said they checked the code and didn't find anything. I'm going to wait until it happens again and try somewhere else. I can't believe they have no idea what's causing the problem.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    Have you had any problems with NAPA quality ..must be cased thicker than GM's...Yes proper torque wrench torqued to 100 ft/lb is very necessary ...
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    The Ultra performance rotors are 1.256 inches thick as compared to the premium rotors at 1.025 inches thick. Difference of .230 inches thickness between regular and performance equip....which ones did you use , the thicker rotors wouldn't warp as quickly as the standard rotors, more material to heat up..About 45 more dollars more for the Ultra pref compared to 80 dollars for the OEM rotors from NAPA...
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