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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • I just bought a 99 Malibu and I am having a problem with it and the mechanic doesn't know what is causing this problem. Okay here it goes... When I go and put gas in it... whether it be just a little or to fill it up... and I go to crank it... it dies and this happens numerous times and then when it finally does crank... the rpms "rev" up between 1 and 3. It will finally quit after I drive it for a few minutes, because I can stop and turn off the car and it will then crank "normal". It ONLY does this when I put gas in it. Not to mention the BAD gas mileage, the car only has 65K miles on it. I have read several posts and some of them seem like a hit and miss, but can someone PLEASE help steer me in the right direction or at least my mechanic. Thanks!
  • I have a 2000 Chevy Malibu LS and for some odd reason my engine light came on two days ago and was blinking. Before it came on (about 15seconds prior) my car was shaking in reverse and in drive. i pulled over in the parking lot in my apartment complex and left it there. one of my dear friends asked me about the oil and the gas cap and when i got gas. i told him i was due for an oil change soon, but there was oil in my engine. i took the cap off of the engine and there was oil there. he told me to check and make sure that my spark plug connections were tight (not loose) and check my coil and take a side off of the battery and reattach it and see if the light was still on. I pray that it is not too major of a problem. i am a college student...enough said. i just put a couple of hundred dollars into it in mid July to have the overhaul done because it was time. I also had my break pads and such changed. I saw the post about taking it to auto zone and having them read the code on the computer, but i am afraid to drive it in fear of doing damage. is there anything that i can do besides call a dealer or such. i cannot afford it right now and i dont want them to keep my car. i have changed lights and hoses before so with the right direction maybe i can fix this. please help. i start a new job soon and need reliable transportation. Thanks in advance. Have a Blessed Day.

    If anyone knows anyone in Tallahassee FL who could help me out of the kindness of their hear or wait until i can financial compensate them it would be appreciate. i am not here alone my little sister is here as well.
  • Hi Al,
    Bought an 05 Malibu LS couple of weeks ago. Noticed the build date was 10/04. Took it into my local Chevy dealer cause the drivers rear window had to have the motor replaced. While there I mentioned to the service writer that a was hearing a thump when turning the wheel. He said it was pretty common and had three cars in for it now. He said a special lube kit would take care of it. About an hour later I walk into the service area and my front wheels are off the car. He told me they thought the steering was too loose so they were changing out the steering gear. The part number was 15858368. Left the dealer and it was nice and tight with no thumps. How long will it last? Only time will tell! But from the things I've been reading, I'm not gonna get my hopes up.
  • that's the new part and you have had the "rattle fix" done. Please let us know how it holds up as time passes?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    If you are afraid to drive it for fear of doing more damage, then you'll have to have it towed to a garage. In order for anyone to help you on this forum, you need to get the code read. Not to scare you but a flashing check engine is normally not a good thing.

    There are a couple of things you can check. check the air filter. If it is dirty, change it. Also clean out any dirt that may be in the box. check the mass air flow sensor. It sits jsut downstream of the air filter. It could be dirty and not measuring the air properly. You'll need carbuerator cleaner (in a spray can)to clean it. Get a bottle of fuel injector cleaner (many have suggested the Chevron brand) and put that into your fuel tank.

    How many miles do you have on the vehicle? What "overhaul" did you have done?
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    It could be the radio's computer lost its mind. Try an old fashion reset: disconnect the fuse(s) to the radio then leave it open for at least 5 minutes for the radio loses all its charge. Then reconnect the fuses. Doing so will reset the radio.

    Good luck

  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    Receivers (car radios, cell phones, two way radios, BCM for RF keyless entry,...) are designed to be sensitive to its own frequency band but at the same is susceptible to Out-band-interference.

    For example, if you are listenning to an AM station and driving near an FM/TV tower which has numerous frequencies. There is good chance that your AM audio will be affected. Car receiver has selectivity that knocks out these intereferers. But there is a limit to the design (and how cheap is the design of the receiver)

    In the same token, if you park your car under an AM/FM /Microwave tower, you may not be able to use your keyless entry fob , or sometime your cellphone since
    these devices may be overloaded with these strong RF energy. It is not any different than hearing distortion on car radio when a Two-way radio is activated. I have seen a owner of a Nissan vehicle not able to use the keyfob to unlock his car when he visited Mt. Wilson in LA (where they have a farm of AM/FM/TV transmitters serving LA area). He could not even use the key to unlock the car since everytime he did that, the car kept on locking it back.

    Sometimes the RF interference may screw up the receiver'computer and block it up. In that situation, you will need to restart the unit by cycling its power (fuse disconnection and reconnection). In some bad cases, the strong RF energy may fry its electronics

  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    There are sure to be problems if you mix digital circuitry with incoming rf signals such as from the radio linked key fob. No matter how selective the rf circuitry in the receiver is, a signal strong enough even if way off frequency, will swamp all the filters and high/low bypass circuitry built in.

    You might as well drill a hole in your computer cabinet and run a wire from the mother board to outside and hope no rf interference will get in and screw up your computer.

    I can see why a radio link to the key fob was used because of the remote start feature. One would want to start the car from indoors. Using an infrared link such as used in a tv remote control only gives you line of sight control. A radio link however, is not restricted by line of sight and will transmit through normal building walls. An infrared receiver is not readily susceptible to rf interference.
  • Today I took a look at inside the central console of my Maxx (the plastic gearshift lever is getting rather loose on its shaft).

    While I found nothing that seemed able to tighten that lever (suggestions ??) , I did notice on the right hand console fuse panel, there was a round shiny hole to the middle right of the large fuse (power steering, I think). Looking through this hole I could see threads behind it.

    Is there supposed to be a screw or bolt in this hole?

    If that screw or bolt is missing, would it cause any grounding problems with that particular fuse panel or vehicle electronics (I saw two black wires grounded to the frame just to the right of the fuse panel).
  • nickdnickd Posts: 14
    I had my steering gear replaced last week as well. The dealer gave me no trouble at all about fixing it. I see on the repair order that they did indeed use the new part as well. The thumping sound that I used to hear after turning is completely gone but the rattle over uneven pavement is still there, though greatly diminished. I can live with the rattle but that thumping was always quite unsettling. Has anyone who has already had the steering gear replaced felt the thumping come back?

    Other than the steering, the only other real problem I've had with the Maxx is the front brakes (of course). Three sets of rotors in 38k miles. I have a Honda civic with 80k that is still on its original set so it's not the way I drive or the way I torque the lugs, which I do to spec by the way. Has anyone had any experience with slotted rotors for this car?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    The fuse is for Power Windows. It is called a J-Case Fuse.

    The hole you see is for a bolt but you are looking at the backside of it. If you were to look on the other side of the fuse panel you would see that there is a large connector that is secured there with an integral bolt - you just can't see it.
  • mfh1mfh1 Posts: 15
    Had mine done about a month ago. Wish I were as pleased as you. A bit better, but the front end remains rattley over washboard roads. One strut replaced (which makes old-fashion shock "quish" sound over bumps). Sorry to say that the front end on the 2004 and up Malibu just plain $%^&*. Anyone with experience on the new Malibu SS which has hydraulic steering? Not that the the SS is any great deal -- small HP boost and big gas mileage decline. As they say in Brooklyn, fuggedaboudit.
  • I was wondering, has anybody done anything to fix the shaking headlights? Thanks!
  • Took it to the dealer about a year ago, fixed it right up for me, no problems since.
  • I read on here once how someone fixed theirs, and I can't find it now :(
  • I changed my search and found it! THANKS! :)
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    again, I put black electrical tape around the two plastic pegs that sit in holes in the metal body. While it is better, its not perfect. I'd be curious to see what the dealer did. Can you shed any light?
  • I have a 2002 malibu with 119,000 miles and yesterday it just died on me no warnin just acted like it ran out of gas and quit. i checked the fuel pressure at the rail and there was none, checked the pump to find that it was not kicking on. So today i changed out the pump and filter put it all back together and still no start, no fuel at the rail no pump rnning. I checked the voltage at the relay and im getting 12v in i replaced the relay and still nothing. At the pump wiing harness i am only getting 5 volts not sure if thats god or bad but i need help cant seem to figure out where to go from here :sick:
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    I'm not too sure how that model car works but on most GM cars this is the sequence. Turn ignition on and computer closes relay which provides 12 volts to fuel pump for about 3 seconds and then switches off. The fuel rail is now primed. Crank engine. Engine starts and builds up oil pressure. Contacts on oil pressure sensor close and activates fuel pump relay again. Fuel pump now continues to run.

    I would look at your oil pressure sensor. This has a set of contacts that open in the event of low oil pressure and cuts the engine off as a safety measure to prevent damage.

    You should hear the pump run for about 3 seconds and then cut off before the engine is started. This is normal.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,293
    The 5 volts at the pump may be for the float sensor. It sounds like you're not getting 12 volts to the pump. You need to find the wiring schematic and trace the power. I would expect a fuse inline somewhere. And I'd expect 1 or 2 relays involved. I haven't checked my GM wiring manual for a different model to make a guess at how that's done.

    I would check the voltage out at the relay by probing the wire when it should be hot. Then a guess is you're looking for a break in the wiring going to the back to the fuel pump.

    Before R&R the pump you should have checked for voltage at the back powering up the pump. No voltage = problem forward inthe schematic of things.

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

  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    I've just checked a typical GM fuel pump circuit. A set of contacts on the oil pressure switch bypasses the fuel pump relay when the engine is running and oil pressure is correct. This 12v is fed directly to the pump motor. On the circuit I have the 12v for the oil pressure switch is fed off the 20amp fuel pump injector fuse. Bear in mind this might be different on your car but the information could help you. With ignition on, there should be 12v on point "C" of the oil pressure switch. With oil pressure the contacts close and point "D" of the oil pressure switch feeds 12v to the fuel pump.

    If your oil pressure switch seems the same, shorting out terminals C and D with ignition on should get the fuel pump running. This test will prove if the pump and wiring is ok and point to the pressure switch being defective.
  • I have checked the relays and they all seem to be fine and the fuse is good guess i will have to start chasing wires. any idea hof how the check a fuel pump out side the car just want to see if i can get it to spin up then i know for sure the problem is else where. also i know that my oil pressure switch is faulty so ill give that a try maybe ill get lucky
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,293
    >i know that my oil pressure switch

    That's what he just said could be a problem. How do you know your oil pressure switch is faulty?

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

  • I had a problem with mu cat a couple months back and the dealer told me my oil pressure switch was causing the problem and that the diag. was showing nothing wrong but a faulty oil press. switch. Anyway turns out that i was given a bad fuel pump ripped it all apart today and replaced the pump i installed yesterday and low and behold she started rite up sp thanks for all the help
  • I have a 2002 Malibu. The rear brake cylinders are beginning to leak. I need to replace them. Chevrolet rear brakes used to have hold down springs. However, recent GM vehicles have a curved steel bar that acts as a hold-down. The last time I took one of these off, I had a devil of a time trying to reinstall it. If you have any suggestions for this please respond.

    Thanks, alfalfa 328
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Seeing as the oil pressure switch is suspect why don't you go ahead and change that as well? Can't be too expensive. It's better than being stranded somewhere far from home.
  • still trying to get the stupid tech bulletin fix for my front end done:

    dealer 1: kept car for a day (I had to pay for transportation rental), claimed they could find nothing wrong. Return visit had dealer service rep claiming they would do the bulletin provided the parts had not been previously replaced. 2nd return visit with proof of earlier repairs showing part numbers were different brought denial from the writer who then said the service manager had to clear it and he was only there on weekdays.
    When I asked the dealer to do the repair and I would pay for it, they said no dice, as their belief was I could then claim warranty against them after repair was done (huhhhh? If I __ask__ a dealer to do something and __authorize__ them to do it while paying them to do it, I see no way I could claim anything other than parts warranty for work they did).

    dealer 2 also could find nothing wrong, but said they would do work if asked and paid. Bill was estimated for $400. I said I would wait and see how this repair actually held up.

    dealer 3 is in progress now via a more helpful writer; will hopefully have results to tell by end of week.
  • i have this malibu all of a sudden i drove it to work got off 8hrs later wont start,,went in the next day starts.took it to the shop. they put in a new fuel filter.crank sensor took it to work again drove back home got in to it later went up town just a couple block dont start it turns over but dont want to start... they are stumped.if anybody have any suggestion please help need to get my car seem like it is pumping air but no me please :confuse: :( :mad:
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Hi there, a year ago almost to the day I had a problem with the heating on my 04 Malibu. You told me to remove and replace fuse HVAC CTRL(BAT) on the passenger side fuse box. It worked for a while and then died and then on its own started working again the whole of last winter. I thought I had found the problem in a loose plug.

    I have the same problem again. No heat. I notice that the heater core on this model always has hot water flowing through it. Heat seems to be controlled by the heater door only. There are no water valves.

    The problem seems to be that the heater door remains in the closed position cutting off hot air to the cabin. When I remove fuses HVAC CTRL (BATT) and HVC CTRL(IGN) and then replace after 10sec and then switch on ignition, I can hear the door and feel the motor running (flapped down glove box and put hand on motor). The door runs to what I assume is the open position for hot air but then returns to the closed position. Does not matter where the temperature control knob is set.

    In running to the open position for heat, the motor runs slower and slower before returning back to the closed position. When returning to the closed position there is a positive stop as if a limit switch has cut in. Thereafter there is no more action from the door unless I pull the fuses again. Turning the heat control knob has no effect.

    My feeling is that the limit switch (if there is one) is not working in the open door position and is confusing the BCM. It's such a schlepp to take the car to the dealer. Do you perhaps know what I could do? Could you tell me if there are limit switches and, could I possibly get access to them without tearing everything to pieces? Sorry for the long post.
  • I have a 2000 Malibu and the noise the comes on when I activate the signal light stays on even after the signal light has been turned off. I'm not sure what to do as the noise has lasted for up to 20 minutes continuously. If anyone has any suggestions it would be most appreciated. I'm not exactly sure how this happened but it is fairly annoying. My "Check Engine Light" came on today, but reading through these posts I now have a good idea on what I need to to about that. Thanks guys.
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