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Chevy Malibu Maxx



  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Sure enough e2helper, it is there. I just pulled off my glove compartment and opened the slot. Several things:

    1. pushing in on the sides (one at a time) to get the glove compartment to drop down was A PAIN!!! I have to do the same thing with my Pontiac Vibe; but this was rediculous. I truly though I was going to break the plastic on the sides of the glove box. So everyone, if you try this, be prepared to push pretty hard to get the two black pegs on either side of the back of the glove box to release the glove box.

    2. The hole for the filter is HUGE. I buy 3M Dirt Demon furnace filters at Lowes, and cut them down to size for my Vibe. However, on the Maxx, it looks like I could stack 3 of these filters on top of one another to fill the entire slot.

    I'll take your word for it e2helper since you designed the thing, and cut my furnace filter to around 10x8. I'm just not sure how it will sit in such a "tall" hole since the filters are only 1 inch thick. I'll report my progress tomorrow.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Please don't give me any credit for the design :)

    I was just passing along some info I received.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    well, using a 10x8 piece of furnace filter works just fine, and the glove box easily slides back in to place. However, I've tried to take the glove box back off a dozen times to see if there is an easier method; there isn' is very tough to take off.
    Thanks e2helper for this tip. Are there any other hidden jewels in the Maxx, such as an inflatable jacuzzi in the hatch area?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Hmm, let me get back to you that, Maxx4me (LOL). If I can think of anything else I will let you know. A while back I did post about a couple of little storage pockets on front seats but those are probably too obvious.

    BTW your efforts will likely help out others so thanks for giving "real world" experience to the info I provided.

    Probably glove box is difficult to pull down because it is a service type of procedure and designers, of course, wanted to make absolutely sure that the door didn't just fall open by itself like that when someone opens door forcefully.
  • Interesting, e2helper.....the Maxx cabin filter change procedure sounds identical to that of the Saturn ION (including the same glove box manipulations). I wonder if __the Ion__ filter will fit the Mailbu ??

    Another possible filter would be the final stage Allergen filter used by Hoover Uprights. These are green/yellow/white and can be cut/trimmed to fit a lot of products.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    You certainly know more about this than me Kurt :). I thought I had broken a vacuum cleaner after forgeting to change the bag when it was full :(

    I hate to tell you this but I think the GM engineers might have had some of the (at the time) proposed filters at the clinic you participated in. Did you have HVAC folks look at your vehicle for anything?
  • E2, no the clinic never looked at the HVAC as that was working quite well (one of the Malibu's better features, though I wish the A/C compressor was not quite so intrusive for de-fog/de-ice).

    If there is ever another opportunity to attend a GM clinic (how __does__ one get selected for those? I remember filling out 3 surveys when the car was new) , I will be happy to chat again with the engineers and offer feedback (perhaps they might be interested in how the car is holding up ??).

    Incidently, I moderate on a vacuum forum (if you'd like more info please let me know how to contact you privately)
  • Hello,

    We are considering an 05 Maxx LS for our next vehicle. I've been reading through the posts and it looks like the problems being discussed are mainly for the 04's. Which of course makes sense since the 05's haven't been out too long. Are there any TSB's/recalls that I need to be aware of for the '05 model?

    Thanks in advance.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Not sure. GM seems to have about 6 a year after a new product has been out 4-6 months or so. I don't know how they chose what products to get customer input on - but obviously you have to be lucky enough to have purchased that type of vehicle.

    The other thing is that these Clinics always occur at same locations around the country, so you have a leg up there being out in California close enough to GM Training Center in Burbank which is one of the locations :)
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    There are no campaigns (recalls) for the 2005 Malibu/Maxx.

    The only TSB I might want to mention is that some early 2005 Maxx had the fuel gauge not going to full problem which affected some last 2004 Maxx models (TSB #04-08-49-025).
  • Remembering that the Saturn ION had a cabin filter, and learning its size was 8 x 10", I went on hunch it might work in the MAXX.
    here is what I found....

    1) Very easy to open the glove box past its stops (trick is to push inward on the glovebox door side near the tubular stop while also pressing outward on surrounding dash trim plastic. Was able to pop the glove box door past stops in about 15 seconds.

    2. towards top of glove compartment bay, was long narrow door held closed by single flip tab. Releasing flip tab, door hinged down revealing upper part of fan chamber.

    3. gently slid Saturn filter into this pretty much fit into the space! Had no trouble closing the filter chamber door.

    So this looks promising!

    One Big Caveat: There is absolutely nothing between the bottom of that flimsy saturn paper filter and the maxx HVAC fan blades (the saturn filter came without any holder). If for any reason that saturn paper filter collapses, it will get sucked into the fan and shredded to bits and possibly jam the heater system with paper.

    There is enough space within the HVAC housing for a "filter holder" that could contain the Saturn filter.

    My question (e2helper, any GM expert here): Does the Saturn HVAC use a special holder for their paper filter? Is that holder removable (slides in and out, with the saturn ION filter)?

    And yes, there are some furnace filters with nice plastic frames and sturdy grilles that could possibly be trimmed to fit!
  • Thanks for the info e2helper.

    Does the '05 have the updated sunshades?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    TSB #04-08-110-004A which covers adding the reinforcements to the trim does say it applies to 2005 Model year as well. It doesn't mention when it was corrected in 2005 production though, sorry.
  • Is there any way to tell if this one has the update? Perhaps by VIN number(1G1ZT64865F136535)? Or is there something I could look for around the trim? The dealership wasn't really aware of the problem.

    Thanks again!
  • I use mine for hilly driving, both uphill and down. The other day I got on the freeway after some hill driving and it was still in L3. I didn't realize it for several miles, going 75 mph. Then I noticed the tach up at 3200 or so. The engine is so smooth I had no sense that I was still in L3.
  • Wrt the secret air filter compartment in the HVAC:
    Home Depot sells the WEB ABSORBER, a cut-to-fit furnace prefilter with a somewhat sturdy plastic grille, charcoal filter and electret filter. The plastic grille acts as a support and prevents the filter media from sagging/getting sucked into the furnace (or Maxx) HVAC blower.
    Lining up the Saturn ION cabin filter to the plastic grille, it trimmed to match almost exactly.
    Will advise if this grille and saturn filter will fit the Maxx in a day or so.
  • I talked to the tech yesterday and found out that the sunroof switch evidently can be connected and be misaligned with the pins and not work.

    As far as the oil leaks go, they put dye in the engine oil along with a leak finder powder substance around the valve cover and rear main seal after cleaning it up. After a drive, no leaks were found. That's good news.

    He also said that the Maxx has a very good motor and transmission and should last 150000 miles.

    The rattles I'm having seem to only occur when it's colder, in the 30's I'd say. No progress on these.

    I'm interested in this cabin filter as well, I'd never had a car with one. Can you really tell the difference? Would a local auto parts store carry them?

    e2helper, is it a good idea to disconnect the battery cables to clean & put anticorrosion spray on them every winter? My mom's GM car tends to corrode these cables and they become welded to the battery and the battery and cables end up being ruined. The reason I asked, is when I bought the car, they had to jump start it and all of the warning lights remained on and the car had to go to service to be put on the scan tool. Thanks.
  • Once you post back your latest results, kurtamaxxguy, I'm gonna put all that testing to use and put some sort of filter into my wife's sedan!

    I can't get over all the hidden "features" these cars have.

    These cars do have one feature that I haven't exactly figured out yet though. Maybe you can clarify it for me e2helper. There is a pull out/down door on the driver's side of the steering wheel below the pedal adjuster controls and the fog light switch. The door is in the same spot the driver's side cupholder was on the 1997 Malibu. When I first found it, I thought it was one of those cupholders until I opened it. It's a pretty small compartment that isn't lined with rubber or anything.

    My second thought was that maybe it is a changeholder or something. Right now I'm not so sure, because there is so much attention to detail everywhere else that I'd expect a rubber liner of some sort to prevent change from rattling around if that was it.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I know the cubbyhole you are talking about jerry, but I don't know what it is intended for either. Let me noodle on it to figure out who to ask that might know. Usually changeholder provision set up in console so I don't think that is it.

    Good question!
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Specifically designed for a box of wintergreen tic-taks.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    maddmaxx: don't waste your money on any OEM filter. For under $10, you can get three Dirt Demon filters from Lowes (enough to last an eternity), which have a wire mesh on one side, making it unlikely that they will get "chewed up in the blower motor".
    jerry: that small door is used for lip balm and breath mints in my car. Packs of gum won't fit very well. Anybody else have a good use?
  • I use that compartment as a temporary garbage for gum wrappers & such. Works well :-)
  • Today I cut part of the WEB ABSORBER grille to 8 x 10", trimmed off the flashing, then opened up the secret HVAC door. The new grille slid right in without any problems and appears to fit quite well! This grille should be strong enough to keep all but a totally blocked filter from getting pulled into the HVAC blower motor.

    The saturn ION air filter does not quite fill the space, however. There are small gaps on either side. Those adventuresome souls (which I may be one of) can put small pieces of foam along the edge of the ION filter for better sealing.

    I'll fire up the HVAC tonight and see if any problems arise.
  • I have found that a pack of Trident Sugarless Gum fits in there very well. Maybe it depends on the brand/packaging of gum. However, I would too am interested in what the designer(s) had in mind for that little area.
  • what is the rationalization (ie, the need) for a cabin filter?

    Also, how often would you change the filter? Any tell-tale signs of when it needs changing?

    I think I know some of the answers, but would really like to be enlightened.

    maxx4me: the lip balm fits perfectly in the cubbie-hole at the top front of the center console box.
  • I have driven unfiltered cars through some forests and found myself sneezing my head off from forest pollens - a cabin filter helps stop that stuff from getting in the passenger compartment.

    If I remember right, Saturn claims around 20K miles per cabin filter but I suspect in dusty areas it will need changing much sooner. A major reduction in airflow or "whistling" sounds (caused by air being sucked around the blocked filer) would signal time for replacing

    Meanwhile, the grille and filter addition I reported on earlier seem to be working (no unusual noises from the fan nor ductwork). There may be a small reduction in maximum airflow (may experiment with other media) but for now, so far , so good.
  • avantiavanti Posts: 27
    After reading thousands of posts, I am more nervous about buying a Maxx than I was when I started. I understand that people are more likely to post if they have problems, and it appears that most people like the car itself, it is just the steering, irritating quality lapses, etc. that cause the problems.
      I'd be ordering a 2005 in spring. It does sound as though the bulk of the problems are with the 2004s. (And, as usual, the erratic dealerships.)
      My problem is that the Maxx will cost me just enough that it will really upset me if it gives me much grief.
      And special thanks again to e2helper.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    My quality/reliability expectations are high, though I was realistic and purchased a 5 yr / 90,000 mile GM Major Guard warranty for peace of mind.

    Any car that gives me much grief, bothers me quite a bit - regardless of how much I paid for it.

    By spring 2005, it will still be too early to tell about long-term quality/reliability of Maxx. So a purchase will still be somewhat of a leap of faith. I felt the vehicle was worth rolling the dice for, since it seems Chevy really put a lot of thought into it and initial quality and materials seem quite good.

    We've put 1500 miles on our 2004 LT demo, which had 5300 when we bought it. I have not detected any problems with it so far.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Maybe I'm just not sensitive to smells and/or have no noticeable allergies. But I never noticed a difference between driving in cars with cabin air filters (a 96 Merc Mystique and a 95 Ford Contour) and driving in cars without (all other vehicles I've driven). I could still smell a skunk when driving a cabin air filter-equipped car!

    Personally, I will not be fitting our Maxx with the homemade cabin air filter that other folks have so helpfully researched and evaluated. It just doesn't seem necessary for us.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Happy to report our 2004 Maxx LT yielded 30 mpg on a recent trip. Specific info:
    avg external temp 35 deg F
    mostly flat surface
    driver, no passengers, 50 lbs cargo
    no AC
    6 engine starts
    78 mph avg highway speed, 90% with cruise engaged
    90% highway miles
    227.5 miles, 7.6 gallons used

    According to the Driver Info Center, 1 mph increments affect fuel economy a LOT.

    I will continue to monitor our Maxx's fuel economy each and every tankful. Hopefully it will do even better than 30 mpg at slightly lower speeds.
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