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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • simonesimone Posts: 18
    Hi Pao, I will e-mail the two documents that I have when I get home today, but in the meantime here are the doc #'s that my dealership had on file when ordering the part...

    1st=doc id # 1716682 which describes the problem with shaft steer steering # pic3747 (oct 24th 2005) which states the problem has been noted and solution is being worked and should be available within the 1st qtr of 2006...of course solution was made availabe now in the 3rd qtr...

    2nd=doc id gm part #15858368 Steering Gear Assembly

    It took 2 weeks for the part to arrive once the dealership ordered,...took them better part of 4 hours to assemble /align/road test car before it was returned to me
    3 days in and 250 miles later drives like a new car..

    Sorry for the rambling ,hope this helps...Simon
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    thanks all
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Wow, it only took 4 days for them to get the part in. My service manager thinks that they are holding on to these parts at the central repository to keep dealers from hoarding the parts. I'll let you know how the fix goes (circa Mon/Tues)
  • cwesleygcwesleyg Posts: 64
    I guess the thermostat is a likely culprit...
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    Dang, 4 days? I took mine in over 2 weeks ago and I'm still waiting on the new steering gear to come in .
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    it is interesting that the TSB you all posted earlier states that the course of action with the rattle/clunk complaint is to start by installing chassis ears on the sway bars. I wonder why that course isn't being followed?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Whenever the check engine light comes on, it means something in not functions as designed. Generally it leaves a code in the computer that can be read by a code scanner. Take your car to your local auto parts store (Advance Auto Parts, Auto Zone, Napa, Pep Boys, etc). They will read the code for free. Get the code number and post back on this forum. There will be people on here who can help with your next course of action.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    So you feel that since you got this great once in a lifetime deal, that it's Ok to have a serious issue with your car and you pay for it?

    Personally, I could care less if you file Lemon Law or not. That is your issue. But the only excuses you have discussed against filing a case are financial. You are going to hold on to a 3 month old car that your dealer could not fix after 4 attempts and continue to pay on it? this is the car you saved your money for that has a poentially serious mechanical issue and you are afraid to pursue getting it fixed even though the law is clearly in your favor. Your case is why the Lemon Law was created. YOur new car has a defect that cannot be fixed by the manufacturer. It happens to ALL car manufacturers.

    Not unless you are a lawyer which it doesn't sound like you are, stop second guessing yourself and call a Lemon Law lawyer and discuss it with him/her. He/She can answer the questions you have.

    If you don't choice that route, that's fine too. It will be interesting to read your posts in a year or so when the next issue pops up.
  • I have an 02 Malibu with 90k. I have had the car for 2 years now and I am at my wits end. I am getting 9-13 miles to the gallon. I have had it to the dealer they said they couldn't find anything(they only put the scan tool on it but my check engine light is not on so it found nothing). then I took it to a muffler shop they back pressure tested the exhaust and found nothing. I have replaced the fuel filter and I have used fuel system cleaner. I am really frustrated with this car. The only other clue is that there is a tick from the valve cover but I was told that was normal to 3100 motors. can anyone give me some ideas? :(
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    your gas cap has gone bad. Just like mine did about a year ago - exactly the same problem.

    When you get it replaced, be sure to be gentle with it. You don't need to push down very hard on it, or (when replacing it) turn it past the first click or two you get.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    >>>>2nd=doc id gm part #15858368 Steering Gear Assembly

    It took 2 weeks for the part to arrive once the dealership ordered,...took them better part of 4 hours to assemble /align/road test car before it was returned to me<<<< :surprise:
    good to know, thank you :)

    for 17" wheels, the part number is 15858369.
  • Regarding the use of chassis ears for the rattle/clunk: In my case, the dealer replaced the sway bar links - twice - before replacing the gear.
  • jasjimjasjim Posts: 2
    99 malibu 6cyl - when I start the car, the Theft and Batt warning lights are on and stay on for about 2 - 5 minutes. (The battery is fine; the theft on the radio is disabled.) During this time, I cannot open the windows and the heater blower motor does not work. Then everything is fine. On some occations the ABS and Brake lights come on as well and the transmission indicator on the dash says I am in park when I am really in drive. Also, the temp guage will go to zero. Everything is functioning ok, it's just the lights that are on. Any suggestions?
  • josephusjosephus Posts: 32
    I have a question about this. I'm not sure if my problem is the one you've been talking about. I do get a knocking or rattle from the front driver's side when I drive slowly over the slightest bump in the road. If I had to describe it, I'd say it sounds like the brake pedal is knocking. Does this seem to be what you're all talking about. I have on 05 sedan with about 30,000kms
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    josephus: here's my post from a few weeks ago. Here's when I hear the noise. It sounds like a loose strut:

    1. I drive around 10 mph on a gravel road, and then let off the gas and coast. You will hear the repeated rattling/jiggling.

    2. I pull in or back out of a parking lot or driveway concrete apron at a slow speed, with the wheels turned as I'm pulling in/out.

    3. At speed, over manhole covers. Ironically it sounds worse when the right tire hits the manhole cover.

    I also get steady squeeking as I drive. I hope the squeeking is from the steering gear as well and not the steering column. I guess I'll be able to tell when I get the new gear.

    I think the noise is predominant in the center of the car, at the juncture of the steering column and the rack and pinion. If I had to pick a side, I think the noise occurs more often from the driver's wheel side; although as you will read from my post above, it is more predominant from the right side when going over man hole covers and such. My car will be in the shop for the third day. Ugh!! I just picked up my rental car. Thanks GMPP!! :D
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    because my dealers are stupid, cannot find the problem, will not fix the problem because they cannot find the problem.

    I want to get this fixed and if the cost is not ridiculous, maybe I will just go ahead and have a service center do it regardless of whether they hear it or not.

    but what would this cost?
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    You'd probably be looking at over $500. The steering gear is listed at about $300 + Labor + a front end alignment.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    kurt: I just got my Maxx back. I took the service manager out for a test drive. We went on the same gravel road that I got him to hear the rattling noise. Guess what? The moment we went on the gravel road, we both heard the noise again. However, I went up and down the entire gravel road, and did not hear it again. Diagnosis: the car sounds/feels better than before, BUT it did not arrest the whole noise. Per the TSB, my dealer clipped on the chasis ears to the strut mounts and sway bars. No noise was heard. That is why they installed the steering gear as the solution.
    I'll post more as the weeks go on. Backing out of my driveway with the wheels turned will provide the all the feedback I need. Stay tuned.
    As for the cost, sorry, it was zero for me. No price is provided on the invoice.
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    Ijust got my car back from the dealer for the steering rack fix. Took about 3 days for the to get the part. I drove the car around the block when they dropped it off for me at work. Smooth - no noise. Will advise what they did, and what I think later ;-)
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    They got the my steering gear in on Monday after 2 and half weeks. Took it in yesterday...still have it, just got off of the phone with them, and say it'll be tomorrow. Don't know why it would take 3 days to replace a steering gear and do an alignment.
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    OK, if I remember correctly (receipt is at home) the dealer did the latest recall fix, intermediate steering rack/gear, and TOE adjustment. Drove about 30 miles on it and it is smooth, and quiet. FINGERS ARE CROSSED that this takes care of it. Took them about 2 hours to do it. I have 45,000 on my 05 and they covered it under warranty. I had a "case" opened through Chevy before my 36k was up. THANKS RYDELL CHEVY in Waterloo, IOWA!
  • mfh1mfh1 Posts: 15
    To all of you expecting a whole new driving experience with the rack fix on the 04-06 Malibu/G6, that ain't gonna happen. The ride is smoother and quieter, but the suspension does not have enough dampening built in. Perhaps the 16" OEM tires on the Maxx are too hard, not enough isolation in the frame, etc. Good sized bumps or cracked pavement still transmit crashing and suspension noise through the struts, if a bit less so.
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    I do not have the suspension problems that you mention. Maybe a fluke? Anyway, I have BF Goodrich Traction T/A's on the 'Boo, and I LOVE those tires. I had them on my Grand Prix GTP before.
  • No I'm not aware I ever said I thought having serious issues with a car was a reason to just roll over and take it.

    You are right, it does literally come down to financial in this case. Financial in the sense of having yet another person to pay off (the lawyer) and if the car is bought back having to re-establish yet ANOTHER loan and start on car payments all over again. Sorry, can't say that option sounds SO appealing that I just want to jump right into it. Most of the information I stated in my last post WAS after talking with a Lemon Law lawyer. That's the 'averages' he was giving me. There is no guarentee of having it bought back. No guarentee of having the type of end solution I'd love to see. End solution I'd love to see? New car, back to square one again. No loss of $$ that I originally put down. That's what I'd like. But no Lemon Law was created to totally give back a consumer what they bought even if it was a lemon. It just gives them a 'taste' of some restitution.

    It's sad to think that my fustrations with my car are "...interesting to read..." from your perspective. Maybe you'd find yourself thinking differently if you were in my shoes w/ the experiences I've had w/ this car.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Are all 04-05 Malibu going to have the rack problem or is this a quality control problem. I have 21K on my 04 sedan and it is still quiet.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    Got mine back after 2 and half days. Turns out they had it so long because their alignment machine is broken and they had to take it into the local tire shop downtown. From what I can tell the popping in turns, and rattling over small bumps is gone. However, the steering wheel seems off-center now, but I can live with that.
  • ajs13ajs13 Posts: 1
    This is a follow-up of my original message (#2725). I just picked my car up from another dealership today. I had it in there a couple of times for vibration at hwy speed (most vibration is at 73 mph). Vibration is the type that might suggest that your tires are a little out of balance. Vibration is felt at your feet and a little in the steering wheel. I had a service rep take for a test drive with me and he acknowledged the vibration and thought it must be the tires. They balanced all four tires. The car still vibrates. Brought it in today and went for a test drive with the service manager and he confirmed the vibration. He said he would call Chevy to see if there was any information on this. He called me later and said that he had test driven a used Maxx on his lot and found the same vibration, therefore there is nothing he could do. I called the GM service line and spent about 45 minutes relaying the history of this vehicle since purchased in 11/2005. They finally put me on hold and talked to the service mgr I had just dealt with. The end result is that Chevy can not help me with the vibration problem. There is nothing they can or will do. It is inherent in the design of the Maxx. The person I talked with said her car has a little vibration. I feel so much better now.

    So all you Maxx owners out there please let me know what the vibration at hwy speeds in your Maxx's is like.

    The car has no other problems. I am not sure if this would satisfy a lemon law claim in Massachusetts. I am so tired of tingling feet after a long commute. This will probably be the first and last GM vehicle I ever buy. Sorry for the long post but I just had to vent. Thanks and I look forward to any and all responses.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yep, same here mr_bots. My steering wheel is slightly skewed to the left. I agree with the earlier post that all Bu/Maxx owners should not expect a miracle with the new steering rack. A gravel road is the best place to hear the jiggling. I invite all that have had the procedure done to find a gravel road, and drive between 5-10 mph. You very well might here the noise again. Nonetheless, the noise is significantly reduced, and the new rack apprears to do as advertised.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    No where did you mention that you talked to a Lemon law lawyer until this last post.

    I do not find your frustrations with the car "interesting". Sorry I don't find pleasure in other people's pain. It is your reaction on this issue that I find interesting. You are obviously not happy with the issues with the car (see your original post, you used the words "livid" and "steamed"). I ask why not file Lemon Law and you respond with nothing but talk about what a great price you got on teh car, how you saved your money to buy this car, starting a new loan, cost me money to file... blah, blah blah. Hardly the answer I expected.

    Yes I would be thinking differently than you if I were having these problems. I would either want out of the car as fast as I could or I would be on the phone with the dealership and regional manager working to get my car fixed. You have a defect in your car that the dealership has not been able to fix after 4 visits (or was it 7 visits). GM owes it to you to fix the problem in your car. This is why you have the 3yr/36k miles bumper to bumper warranty.

    If you don't want to file Lemon Law, try another dealership to fix the problem. If they can't fix it, then talk to the Regional Manager. Maybe you can get the resolution you are looking for this way. And please keep all your receipts and documentation.

    Another option is re-post your problem. This time include the details of when it happens, sounds you hear, and include what the dealer has done to try to fix it. There are a couple of very knowledgeable people on this board that may be able to help you.

    Good luck.
  • I have an '04 Maxx LT with approx. 24,000 miles on it and have never ever had the slightest hint of vibration at highway speeds...and that includes up to 80MPH. Not any sensation of vibration in the accelerator or the steering wheel. In fact, various passengers have commented on how smooth the car is at highway speeds. I'm really surprised you are being told your
    experience is "normal" for the Maxx.
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