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Chevy Malibu Maxx



  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Are there any reasons to have some of these major maintenance items (spark plug replacement, auto trans fluid drain/fill, etc) done by the dealer instead of an independent shop? Just curious if any of these items are tricky or if the OEM parts might work better than what the local shop would use, etc etc etc.

    Our 2004 LT just passed 82k miles and I'm thinking about 'investing' several hundred bucks to take care of a few of these items and keep the car running ship shape.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    first simply check prices.....nothing tricky about any of them...the transmission flush and fill surprises some as the fill hole is on top of the transmission housing since there is no dip stick in the malibu.....I provided all the parts to my local shop (plugs, belts, filters, gaskets etc) and let them provide the fluids......the real difference was the labor shop is about %20 less than the dealers on labor....about to roll over 107k on my 04 LT
  • Thanks, I see many have had same problem > I am going in on Thursday (10/18/07) to get my 3rd in. I am going to have a talk with the service manager first, the the GM Rep. What annoys me is that I had asked several times if this was a known problem. But I just kept getting ignored or told no.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    PAO I am experiencing the "warped rotor" pulsing pedal. What did you do for rotors at brake time? I noticed a drilled HP rotor listed for the Maxx. Has anyone tried it?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I never have had a true warped rotor as always insured the lug nuts where torqued brake job at 64k..turned all rotors.....need another one now at 108K, still using OEM rotors.....will probably replaced the front rotors with an standard aftermarket rotor.....drilled or slotted rotors for the Maxx arent necessary IMHO and are more for show on this the money...use plain ones...

    check out brakeplanet for some good prices...
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    I swear, you got like the one Maxx that doesn't have brake problems. ANY problems, for that matter. My OEM rotors didn't last 25k. Dealer said that we did better than many.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yeah Matt. I went with the AC Delco rotors on the front during my brake work at 40k. I wasn't about to go back to OEM rotors.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Are you saying the replacement ACD parts are different? Did GM off load its OEM rotors away from ACDelco, or just that the aftermarket is better? I know Champion Labs makes many of the AC Delco branded filters, has GM done the same with the rotors?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    it has its little problems...but I guess I dont make a big deal of them...I have the clunk in the front doesnt bother me.....after seeing everyone here go in for fixes and it really not help that much.....why honestly bother....

    Steering column was never an issue....dont know little things are the led back lights now working on two panel buttons now at big deal....but nothing certainly mechanical to complain about.....IMHO my Maxx has been a solid car.....109K and hoping to see 150-175K out of it.....Im in the market for a new car this spring..but he Maxx will be kept as a third car for us.....
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Browsing owner's manual to see what maintenance items are required/recommended/encouraged. 2004 Maxx LT, 4 years old, 83k miles, 70% highway miles, car lives an easy life pretty much.

    Will be calling my local shop and local dealer in the next few days to get their thoughts on what should be done now and what isn't necessary.

    1. Would you service the auto transmission on YOUR Maxx? Owners manual says to change the transaxle fluid every 50k miles if on severe service, otherwise no fluid change necessary on regular service. Do you consider this $100 or so to be a wise preventive measure, or needless spending?

    2. Fuel filter -- I don't see it mentioned. Is this a replaceable item on Maxx?

    3. Fuel system and air induction system -- seems wise to have these cleaned every couple/few years. What do you folks think?

    4. Anybody had the cooling system serviced yet? Manual says 5 years / 150k miles. Is there any reason to do this on a 4 year old Maxx with 83k miles, or should I wait another year?

    5. Is a yearly cooling pressure test a waste of money? Kinda defeats the benefit of the long-life coolant if you are spending $$ every year to have the cooling system pressure tested!

    6. Spark plugs -- recommend replace @ 100k miles. Manual says replace plugs @ 100k and INSPECT wires. Does it make sense to replace the plugs but leave the old wires if they look okay?

    Right now, this is what I'm considering doing:
    1. Oil change, tire rotation, alignmentm new air filter -- not really part of the major service but my Maxx is due.

    2. Coolant flush/fill

    3. Fuel filter change (if applicable)

    4. Inspect 'stuff' - hoses, brakes, belts, suspension, etc.

    5. Replace spark plugs and wires.

    6. Transmission fluid and filter replacement.

    7. Lube hinges, key locks, etc.

    Really, there isn't a whole lot that NEEDS to be done -- the Maxx has a pretty easygoing maintenance schedule IMO.
  • Below are just my opinions nothing more.



    2)See #3 below

    3)With 70% highway, probably not needed, but couldn't hurt.

    4)You are pretty close to the 5 year mark, I would

    5)See #2 below

    6)I would change both.

    Under consideration:
    1)All this sounds good.

    2)I would think as long as the fluid is up and still a good colour orange it is not needed at this time.

    3)Fuel filter is a part of the fuel pump and is inside the tank, could be pretty expensive.

    4)Always a good idea.

    5)Your within 20K couldn't hurt

    6)Again a good idea, my dealer says there is no way to service the tranny. Even tho my private mechanic says he can with a Delco tranny filter, go figure.

    7)Again always a good idea

    You may want to do a battery / alternator load test, if you live in snow country.

    Good luck
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    If it were my car, I'd do #1 and #7 myself. I would not do any of the other items at your mileage and date of ownership, especially if you do not have any type of extended warranty to worry about. Preventative maintenance is great for rich people. Take the maintenance numbers in our owner's manual with a very large grain of salt.
    As for the fuel induction service (BG), I did mine already, but as pao already scolded me, it probably was a waste of money after only 30,000 miles. As for the alignment, why get one just because? Do you have uneven tire wear? If not, don't get it aligned, or at the most, get the alignment checked. I have been amazed at the alignment on the Maxx. Despite a pathetically poor front end on these cars, I have not had any unusual tire wear or wheel pull, and I drive 100% city on pretty harsh roads.
    The only preventative maintenance item that people should look hard at are the hoses and belts. I believe our cars have timing chains, so that isn't anything to worry about, but if the hoses start getting soft, get them out.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    We have a $0 deductible GM Major Guard bumper-to-bumper warrnanty thru 95k miles. So far, we have hardly used it at all -- off the top of my head, a thermostat replacement is the only thing I can recall.

    Re: alignment, the car has been pulling somewhat to the left. I don't really notice it any more, but my wife drove the car the other day and said, 'your car is really pulling to the left.'
  • You may want to check the air pressure in the tires, low air can cause a pull to one side or the other.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    All: how has the alignment been on your Maxx? I've been amazed that after 3 years, no alignments.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    RE-Tire pressure. I had Costco put some after market, Costco-specific BFG Touring tires on my Maxx. Seeming alignment problems solved when I found out they had 40+ lbs. in the right front tire-- had told them 35. No other alignment problems in almost 3 years, 49,000 miles.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I always do an aligment when I purchase new tires..that said I have purchased one set at around 50K....and bought the three year alignment program through a local merchant....I rotate about every 10k and have them check the alignment then......have 109k on the car now.....and have had only one minor adjustment....the Maxx seems to hold the alignment very well......
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    here is what I did from my 100k service....actually had it performed at about 97K...replaced plugs, wires, transmission fluid/filter, all belts....adn I have been running synthetic oil since 30K and change it every 7,500 or whenever the GMOL gets to 25%..whichever comes first..

    I will probably flush the coolant before next summer and will have the brake system flushed at the next brake service has all original fluids......will be my second brakes service....replaced all pads and turned rotors at 64K....and is due probably within the next 5K with my pad wear....may also need rotor replacement as well...
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Alignment on our Maxx has been pretty good considering 3 years of driving with plenty of bad potholes etc. The car seemed to drive straight until about 70k miles or so. I was confident enough that it was still aligned that I did NOT have an alignment done when we put on the first set of replacement tires around 50k miles.

    I check the air pressure often enough; out-of-whack air pressure is not the reason our car is pulling to the left.
  • I would also replace air filter. I am going to replace it in my Maxx next week at 30K.
  • I've done everything by the book on mine, using Redline oil and Wix filters basically. The belt is 150k. I did all the service myself and the worst thing I noticed is some cracks in the ceramic insulator around the iridium in the factory AC Delco NGK plugs. I replaced them with Autolite Iridium as well as some Magnecor wires. I haven't ever changed the air filter because I added an air filter monitor and I'm still in the ok zone there. Pretty amazing. And I have 121k. No brake job yet, but the rears are close and since they are Akebono's, I ordered some from the Tire Rack to be ready. :)
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    tell us more about the air filter monitor...and 121K on the OEM brakes is pretty amazing......must be a lot of highway miles there......110K here and just had my second brake service done...and replaced two front rotors.....
  • Basically, it's a Filter Minder brand listed in any Wix Catalog. I had to drill a hole in the top of the air filter housing and it fits with a grommet just like what is factory on Diesel trucks except the vacuum levels read differently. When the filter stops up to a certain point, it pulls vacuum and there is a spring loaded indicator that moves. It's calibrated to let you know when to change it before it affects performance.

    Brakes. I have very good luck with brakes. Just got 152k out of my wifes rear brakes on her Trooper. The car did have lots of highway miles and my dad taught me how to be easy on them.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    great thanks for the info....heck..stop and go traffic in the Northern VA area.....we do good to get 40-60 K out of a set of brakes......
  • hhmaxhhmax Posts: 44
    Today is the first day that the overnight temp droped below 0 deg C and I've had the coolant level low msg on the DIC. So I opened the hood and noticed that the coolant level IS low: about 3-4 inches below the cold full mark. It's been over a year since the last annual check which presumably would have the coolant level topped up if it was low. My question is, is this normal to loose coolant over a year? The car is maxx 05 LT. I'll take the car to the dealer. What and where to look for the leak? Intake gasket?

  • Is this the first time since your last service, that you checked under your hood?? It is not normal to lose coolant. You must be careful with the new Dex-cool antifreeze. If the system starts sucking air because the level is low, it is thought this can cause the Dex-cool to start doing harm to the system.
  • hhmaxhhmax Posts: 44
    When the car warms up, the coolant level in the overflow tank is at or slightly above the Cold Full mark.

    What did you meant " Dex-cool antifreeze"? The top up I added? The car came with the brownish Dex-cool I think.
  • It shouldn't be brown should be a bright almost bubble gum pink . When warmed up it should be about the level of the seam of the overflow tank.
  • hhmaxhhmax Posts: 44
    hmm, is this the infamous sludge/rust that drex-cool problem in GM vehicles? I did notice the brownish mark on the overflow tank.
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