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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    BCM doesn't have anything to do with this. The HVAC control head itself has the electronics which control the actuators. In this vehicle the controller uses a "pulse count" method for knowing the position of the actuator. I really don't know exactly how it works, sorry. I do know there are only 2 wires going to each actuator and so if the actuator is moving then the wires to it are both connected.

    There isn't any limit switch.

    By pulling the HVAC CTRL (BATT) fuse you force the system to lose its memory of motor position so when you reinstall fuse the system goes thru a relearn cycle.

    There are 3 motors in system. There are 2 on right side of vehicle around glovebox for recirc door and mode control. The temperature door actuator is on left side by the pedals.

    I don't have suggestions at this point. Sounds like dealer is going to have to look at it and I would suspect they end up replacing the temp door actutor or HVAC control head.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Thanks for that. The only motor that runs after fuse is pulled and replaced is the one by the glove box. If you squeeze the glove box and then let it hang down you can see it. I can feel it running by putting my hand on it. Yes, there are only 2 wires going to it. I don't hear any other motors running but will look again tomorrow. They must be using stepping motors for the actuators.
  • sean74sean74 Posts: 18
    I had my engine oil changed at jiffylube yesterday. After I drove home I smelt burn oil, and I also found a small amount of smoke after I opened hood. So what happened? Does anybody have such kind of experience. Thanks a lot.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Yep, just happened to me yesterday after I changed my own. As the filter is removed, the oil gushes out, splashing on to the exhaust pipe. There should be no problem, and the odor will go away in a day or two.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Actually stepper motors I have seen use 4 wires. Pulse count motors are different and only use 2 wires - although I really can't explain the differences in how they are controlled :)
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    Oil just spilt on something either on the exhaust from letting the oil out, or somewhere on top of the engine from filling it back up. It'll all burn away. If you don't want to drive with it, just start it and let it idle in the driveway.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Looks like these might be what you are talking about. They are new to me as well. Most probably Delphi supplied them for the new Malibu. More electronics...........sigh......
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I found same link ;)

    You are correct. Delphi makes all the components for system
  • I drive a 2000 malibu Ls and after i start it up the engine makes a tapping noise for about five minutes or until it warms up... is it bad or normal :(
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,459
    Might not be "bad" but it's worth paying attention to. If this is lifter noise, then your valve lifters are either very dirty and not "bleeding" properly---they are like little plungers in a bore/ or your lifters are sticky with dirt and varnish.

    You might try more frequent oil changes and a cleaning additive into the oil that allegedly cleans "sticky lifters".

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  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    What do you think of having a Malibu thread and a Classic thread, other sites are doing this to avoid some confusion.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,459
    We have an entire Classics forum, so I think the few inquiries we might get about older Malibus could go there:

    Classics Forum


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  • I have the same problem - now they just droop. To me it is really a useless and nuicance.

    I have a new problem - 2005 malibu max - yesterday check enging light comes on - car starts blowing smoke and smelling like gas. tow truck is called. service giving me the run around - says I have a blown engine due to my oil change one month ago from my competent mechanic. This is a lot of bull to me. Car is still under warranty "bumper to bumper" They say my engine might have seized because my mechanic never put oil in during the oil change. I traveled 1000 miles after that oil change never had a problem. no lights ever warned about low oil. car was fine until check engine light came on. only 11,000 miles on the car.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Check my posts #'s 3751 and 3753. The fuel pump on a typical GM vehicle is interlocked with the oil pressure switch. If there is no oil pressure the fuel pump doesn't run. So, no oil, no oil pressure. Car cannot run.

    I cannot see that the new Malibu has not got the same setup. I think something else has gone wrong with your Maxx.
  • Thanks for the input. However, yesterday I got a new diagnosis from the dealer. It seems the fuel injector was faulty and instead of spraying the gas it was pouring gas into one of the cylindars. Therefore, shutting down the engine. Supposedly the good news is that the engine wasn't blown. Everything is covered under warranty. They will also be replacing the starter and flywheel, since when they kept trying to start the car the starter broke and 3 teeth were broken off the flywheel. Just makes me wonder what other damage was done. Service can't give a reason for the fuel injector being faulty. I think something must have caused it. Who knows. I am happy that everything is under the warranty and hope I have no other problems in the long run related to this.

    Thanks again for your input.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    3 teeth broke off ring gear, sounds like hydraulic lock to me. The injector could have loaded the cylinder with fuel, liquid won’t compress.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    This might not be a faulty injector and I would suggest caution here. The injectors are either open or closed while the engine runs. This opening and closing happens at a rapid rate. The amount of time open (mark space ratio) determines how much fuel is injected into the cylinder. The on-off pulses are fed to the injector by the computer. IF an injector driver transistor in the computer should short circuit, you will have a constant voltage on the injector coil thereby holding it open and flooding the engine.

    The dealer should check if there is a constant voltage with ignition on at the injector terminals before installing a new injector. With ignition on and engine not running there should be 0volts. If there is voltage then the problem is in the computer. Injectors are pretty reliable these days. You would not want to flood your engine with fuel again so tell the dealer to take care.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    On second thoughts, if I were testing that car I would pull the fuel pump relay before switching on after fitting a new injector. Then I would turn on the ignition. Then I would test to see that there is no voltage going to the new injector. If the new injector is being held open by a faulty computer it would not flood the engine again.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Just to clarify. The PCM (or ECM) in these vehicles provides a ground the injectors and so you will see a constant ignition voltage on the Pink wire. It is the ground which is provided and taken away.

    Flooding engine. Oh I have seen that - hydrolock.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Thanks. The few GM schematics I have don't make that clear. BTW e2, regarding my no-heat problem. I took it to the dealer today. They have come to the conclusion that the actuator (motor) is defective. However, they did not have one on hand and had to order it so they will be doing the job next week. The car is still under warranty. Just as long as they fix it before winter is all I'm worried about.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Well, today the heating of my car started to work again. That's after it was at the dealer who diagnosed a faulty actuator motor which he did not have on hand but back ordered it. The motor will be in next week.

    Even though it is working again I will be taking it in to have the actuator replaced. I just hope the diagnosis is correct and it is the motor. I hate these problems that come and go. There will still be a question mark about it when I get the car back with the new motor. The dealer has been very good so far and I was happy with the steering column replacement and setup. I didn't even buy the car from him.
  • Some general info on MAJORGUARD which I did not know until this week - all very nasty surprises:

    Majorguard classifies repairs into green, yellow, and red-flagged groups. Any repair in the red flagged group will __not__ be repaired by the participating dealer until they have been visited by a "majorguard adjuster".
    This majorguard adjuster is __not__ immediately available. The dealer has to wait 24 to 48 hours before they show up at all, and the adjusters do __not__ tell the dealer when they will actually be there. You also have to leave your car at the dealer for the adjuster to review.

    What I am trying to say is if your MAJORGUARD covered car breaks down and the warrented repair is on the long "red list", you could be stranded for __several days__.

    Buyer Beware !!!
  • to use double sided industrial tape from 3M on the lower frame the lights rest on. A small 1/3" square placed on the frame should provide more than enough adhesion to keep the lights from jiggling.

    Rubber grommet idea sounds good. Although I don't have jiggling light issue, may add those as well later this year.
  • Thanks for the tip. Still have warranty. Thought I asked e2helper a long time ago about this but may be wrong. What is the GM fix. What have some dealerships done. TSB.

    Checked the grommets again and found that I needed to go oversize from the dimensions as first posted. Bought #881256 (13/16OD 1/2ID) for the main two and #881254 for the single side pin. And pulled up on the tabs again-is someone resting their bodies on the headlights.

    I think I better just keep driving and reading here until I have something that really needs to be shared. Thanks.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    kurt: I'm assuming you put the tape on the back end (engine side) of the lower side of the headlight housing? I think the real weak link is the front end of the light (facing traffic) since there are no places to anchor the light. Any ideas of keeping the front side of the headlight housing from bouncing up and down?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    my dealer offers rental cars at their no fear here....take it as long as they long as I have their rental....
  • Well, today the "adjuster" appeared unannounced at the dealer today where I had left the car for the third time, and around 4 pm adjuster "approved" my repairs, telling the technician to began taking the car apart...

    ..without telling me.

    I got a call at 4:30 telling me the car was now driveable and I had better think of getting a rental. They of course did not offer one. Fortunately my boss was considerate in my having to leave on short notice to snag a rental car before the places I could get to closed. I got the rental..a Dodge Neon. It's transportation..and dat's all.

    If this is Chevy's idea of superior service, they are doing an excellent job... of selling me a Toyota.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    so what is the repair under warranty?......and the ability to offer a rental is the choice of the dealership is my understanding...I have already asked the question of our dealership..and they informed me they would arrange for the rental car under GMPP if the car is kept for more than 24 hours.....
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Yes; I got my rental after the repair entered into the second day. So 24 hours must be the measuring stick.
  • today after 3 days of cat and mouse with the "adjuster" my Maxx was finally fixed. They replaced the part as in the tech service bulletin and did a basic alignment.

    The writer told me that in URBAN areas, the adjusters are much more picky as there are many more cars to deal with. And the justifications are entire engine overhaul can be greenlit without an adjuster, while a valve job may require an adjuster.

    Apparently in RURAL areas, GM is more generous. People have had hotel bills paid if they break down far from home.

    For rental car reimbursement I send the paperwork to GM MAJORGUARD and as repair was overnight, should get reimbursed. We'll see.... :confuse:

    I expect some rattles to return in 1 - 3 K miles, but hopefully this car will otherwise behave itself until trade-in time next year.
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