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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    The problem is that the fuel tank is out of tolerance in terms of dimensions. This was a common problem with the 04s as well; there is a service bulletin out on this issue.

    The solution is to replace the fuel tank. The dealer did that with mine and it solved the problem perfectly.
  • ltmaxxltmaxx Posts: 2
    Thanks for the information. I will be calling the dealer today.
  • cwesleygcwesleyg Posts: 64
    Most of your complaints are over normal wear issues. I suggest a qualified mechanic perform a complate brake job and that your fuel system be checked out for lunging issue. The AC is probably functioning according to design, as many people don't realise that all combination of AC and vent setting are not possible. Read your manual. Unfortunately a lot of 3.1 and 3.4 V6's have manifold and head gasket issues... so start saving more money for more repairs.
  • lc1500mblc1500mb Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2003 Malibu..and didn't see any info in the owners manuel about how much I could tow with this car? I have 2 trailers ..the heaviest one weighs about 1800-lbs. loaded...I have a class 1 hitch rated to 2000lbs..That will work for that trailer..but what is the limit on the car? Any info will help...Thanks
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Try looking at page 4-35 of your owner manual
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I bet it is 1000 lbs.
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    E2, I purchased a 2006 Malibu Maxx LTZ on 7/28/06. VIN 219126. It is very similar to my 2004 Maxx LS which was totalled on 7/17/06. I noticed the DIC on the 2006 is not displaying message "push park pedal" when the parking brake is on. Only the brake warning light is on. Page 2-33 of owners manual say if you try to drive with parking brake on, a chime sounds and the DIC message displays. On my 2004 Maxx, I never heard a chime, but the DIC message always displayed whenever the parking brake was on. How is this supposed to work on the 2006? Is manual right/wrong?
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    well, the manual is right according to how my 2004 Maxx behaves. I get both the chime and the message on the DIC.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    There was a change in way DIC message operates. I think now the vehicle has to be traveling a few MPH before the DIC message and chime sounds. Nice catch :)
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Well, my 03 Maxx LS is back at the dealer. I took the service manager for a ride (no pun intended) for the second time in as many months, and he heard the rack rattles while driving over a gravel road, between 5-10 miles per hour. I recommend others use this type of surface to accentuate the noise. It still baffles me why the noise is not apparent at speed. You would think if the rack is clanking into the pinion, then it would only get louder as you increase speed; but alas...
    No guarantee what the next step will be, since he stated that he still needs to take his technician out for another test.

    e2helper: I also had an interesting conversation about Dexcool with one of the service writers. He stated that at his BG training class, he was told that ONLY distilled water should be mixed with Dexcool, and that regular water is detrimental (possibly due to the chlorine). Have you heard this before? He actually recommended that I bring the jugs of water myself since even the dealer does not use distilled. Also, he recommended getting the Dexcool drained every 2+ years, rather than the 7? year interval in our manuals. Can you shed any light on this topic?
  • mfh1mfh1 Posts: 15
    At my dealership, took service manager, service advisor and mechanic out for a ride to hear same problem. On really rough roads, it can be hard to hear this problem as it's masked by road noise. Gravel would probably produce the bang/clunk. Service manager agreed to do the June TSB fix, not because he acknowledged that there is a problem but in effect to stop my whining. He also implied that if this does not work, don't come back to look for more work (to quote Bugs Bunny, "he don't know me, do he"). Service advisor inadvertently admitted whole front end is a problem during the ride, saying "you should hear the G6!

    maxx4m3, fight for this, wave copies of these threads in their face and make threatening remarks to call GM customer service if you have to.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    he, he, he....well, I think they are getting the idea that I'll be back for more joy rides with the service manager should they "not replicate my problem." In fairness, I believe there are 3 TSBs on the Malibu's front end including the sway bars. I don't want them swapping out parts any more than they do. I only want the "broken strut" sound to go away. It is a bit embarrassing to drive friends around and having them say "what's that noise???"
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    E2, tried to drive today with parking brake on to test the chime and DIC message. Both worked after car moved about 2mph either forward or backwards. It is very obvious the parking brake is on just before the chime sounds and message displays. If anyone at GM cares for some feedback on this, I think the chime/message needs to display sooner, before you force car to move with parking brake on. A better trigger for the chime/message would have been either taking shifter out of park, or RPM above idle with shifter in drive, reverse, low. Wonder why they changed this? Must have been complaints about DIC message displaying all the time and hiding other messages.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867

    how many miles on the maxx so far.....still working to get the front end noise to go away......I have one ...but I beleive its from my front tires uneven wear...seems to be going away over time..after the front end alignment.....but with 73K on mine...Im sure a dealer will not touch it regardless of the TSBs at this point...even to just check we go with it..otherwise...not problem one with it......
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    pao: I'm at 28,700. I just called the dealer and he won't even be able to look at the car until tomorrow. The Chevy folks have been extremely busy here over the past month.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    Has anyone had an oil leak from around the oil pan. 10k after the intake manifold oil leak was fixed i have a sweating/leak from the rear of the oil pan .

    It just seems that this engine was built on a monday or friday, production days statisticly know for having a greater amount of problems. The workers are either tired or hungover from the weekend (monday), friday workers are usually attention prone because they are thinking about their weekend plans. So quailty of production isn't the same as a wednesday built engine/car.

    Have to wait and see what the dealer thinks of the leak. The fixed intake manifold isn't leaking at all. Huh :surprise:
  • We all know how frustrating intermitant problems can be. I have an '05 Malibu LS V6 that just had it's third visit to the dealer in 18 months, for the same problem. Every 10 or so starts, the engine turns over for an unusually long amount of time (about 5-10 sec.), before finally starting up. Sometimes it turns over and stops without ever starting. Of course, every time I take it in to the dealer it acts fine. I don't hear any grinding or metal to metal that would indicate a mechanical problem, but the fact that it shouldn't be doing this has me worried. Any thoughts?
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    I believe that there's a TSB on this .
    I have the exact same car/LS V-6 2005 and i too have this problem. It usually happens after the first time I start the car, today it happened to me twice in a row ,it started on the second long start.
    I believe that this problem is called a hot start. In the site there is a(TSB) re calibration of the computer for the 3.5 and 3.9 liter engines concerning this hot/long starting problem. I have yet to get my problem fix even after GM have tried twice to find this problem.
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    I just looked up the TSB it's 05-06-04-076a. It applies to the impala and G6 cars with the 3.9 and 3.5 liter engines. The same engine that's in our Malibu. GM re calibrates the computer to fix this long starting problem. I'm going to tell my GM dealer about this TSB on my next visit.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    If you read text closely you will see this TSB only applies to the 3.9L for the G6. The 3.5L covered by TSB is not the one used in G6 in 2005/6 model years.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I have noticed that the starting problem started with the 1 line fuel system, must be a connection.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    I showed the TSB for front end rattle clunk to my "improved" dealer, who has been loosing the good service writers they picked up a few months ago. Totally botched; no notification of work done, service order written up wrong, they lubed the columm instead of fixing the rack per bulletin.

    Car has now had 5 attempts to fix front end seriously considering declaring it a lemon.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I notice the rattle when I enter, or especially when I exit a concrete driveway apron, or drive 5-10 mph on a gravel road. I sometimes get the noise when hitting a manhole cover at speed. When is your's most noticable kurt?
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    So if this isn't the correct TSB for the Malibu 3.5 do you have the TSB for it?

    I couldn't find any other TSB from that would cover my Malibu , about hard/long starting. Would appreciate the proper TSB .Thanks :D Russ
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    I took about a 150 mile trip yesterday. Going down the highway 70-80mph and it had a vibration type noise coming from under the dash on the passenger side towards the base of the windshield. My guess is that it's the seal around the base of the windshield allowing air in, which when driving at highway speeds is causing some wires, rubber, or something else that could be in that area to vibrate. Every time I think I'm getting things ironed out something else pops up and it has to last me at least 4 more years. :mad:
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    There isn't one for that engine yet :(
  • butch100butch100 Posts: 28
    I had the EXACT same problem with my '05 LT
    turns out it was the plastic cowling under
    the windsheild wipers was slightly warped so
    it sat 1/4" or so above the windsheild and
    vibrate against the WS at speed. I just took
    some clear silicone and put a few dots under
    the cowling to stop it from vibrating, works
    fine now. You can test for this by stuffing a
    few peices of foam under the cowling and see
    if it stops the noise, Good luck, hope this
    helps, Barry
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    That's an area to check and I had a windshield wiper itself that vibrated when it was parked at the bottom of its travel just the right way. It sounded like it was the dash plastic inside the car rattling. I had my wife checking and pushing and pulling while traveling to try to find it.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • It's funny, but sad that it took me so long to find this forum.

    I wrote a review on the Maxx recently...
    (points to link with a short of my story) .html;_ylt=Aju5CWH.oPnOG6HHWMfgmYjPf78F?sort=mh&modelid=4509&start=21&show=atf&r- eviewid=10&reviewnum=26&trimid=17593

    I've had this problem and my car is only 3 months old. Excerpts from that link are:

    "The car has been to the dealership 7 times, 4 just for the issues with intermittent starting issues (not associated w/ remote start even tho it does happen with that AND manual starting) that are not related to a bad starter, it's somewhere between the starter, the computer and the cyl or plug that should be identified by the computer to fire/start. The dealership I've been taking it to has no clue. So far they have replaced hood release, block assembly wiring harness, coil for air bags, roof molding, and control switch on steering wheel. Not all associated w/ my starting issue, but other things they have found. This car is just over 3 months old, and about 4000 miles. I'm livid with all these issues. Under VA law I'll be able to file for lemon law issues if they don't resolve it while it's in the shop right now for it's 4th visit."

    4th visit ended last week, and the same day I got the car back, parked it in a parking lot down the street, turned it off then on again, wa-la! Happened over and over. I'm steamed at this point. I feel like the service manager is either stringing me out or really isn't getting help from Chevy at all. HELP! As per VA law, I could techincally file a case saying this car is a :lemon: but I'd really rather keep the car, even after all I've been through.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    Thanks for the reply. I tried sticking some felt feet up under the cowl between it and the windshield. I took it out on the truck bypass around town, got it up to 95 and no vibration. Still a little early to tell, but my problem seems fixed.
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