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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions

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  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    This may not have anything to do with your radio situation, but I believe this radio has the his and hers settings. There can be two sets of presets programmed into the radio for two different people, and the indicator for who is driving is built into the ignition key chip which automatically sets the radio depending who is driving with what set of keys.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    04bu did say they were the sole driver of the car. As long as the same key is used nothing should change. As a side note I notice that some GM models are giving erratic blower fan operation which is being fixed by fitting a capacitor between two electrical conductors. Maybe the control module on the Malibu is picking up electrical spikes and locking up or something stupid like that.
  • 04bu04bu Posts: 16
    When I left the car at the dealership, I did leave the second set of keys with them. That might explain the loss of presets after returning home. I can't remember which set of keys I used when I picked up the car. But, that can't explain the first instance of radio memory loss. Can't wait to see if anything crops up on the trip to my parents today.
  • When my 04 Maxx had about, say, 3000 miles I experienced the turn signal problem you describe on 9/11/05. It went away and never returned (I now have over 14000 miles on the car).

    In July of this year I had the signal problem that you describe on 9/16 -- very rapid flashing, right side only. A new bulb didn't solve the problem, so I went to the dealer. They determined that there was dirt of corrosion on the electrical connector to the socket. They cleaned the contacts and the problem has apparently been solved.

    Regarding radio presets -- on two occasions within the past year, mine has lost all or part of its memory, for no apparent reason. I'm absolutely certain I was using the same key fob, and I have both of them programmed to the same stations anyway. I can't remember the last time it happened, but it has never recurred.

    As with electronics sometimes: Go figure! :confuse: :confuse: :confuse:
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    As I said, there are some weird problems with the new Malibu control module. Seems though that these problems are also cropping in other GM cars.

    See this site and look up "fix it right first time - car" and you'll see what a capacitor can do to solve a problem.

    http://www.gmtechlink.com/images/issues/sep05/TLsept05e.html#story17
  • Hi All,

    I've been searching through this forum for a couple of days but can't seem to find the TSB number for the latest (May '05, I believe) PCM Flash for an '04 Malibu LT sedan. I've experienced the hard starting and rough idle conditions several times since last November when I bought the car. I've also experienced the very annoying transmission howl.

    I had the car in for a regular oil change and wanted the dealer to address several issues. One of which was the transmission howl. The dealer ordered the parts and is going to do the repair; changing sprockets and chain from 5/8 to 7/8, I believe. Any idea how long the repair will take?

    The dealer was unwilling to look up any TSBs for the PCM flash as they weren't able to duplicate the hard start/rough idle. It took about 15 minutes of driving to duplicate the transmission howl as I couldn't remember what the circumstances under which it occurs. Because they weren't able to duplicate the hard start their only resolution was to tighten the grounds and state that the engine was operating to design.

    If someone has the TSB number for the latest PCM flash, I'd appreciate if you could post it, please. If there is no TSB number, how does one request that dealer service flash the PCM to latest calibration? Thanks in advance!

    I've also experienced an issue with the cruise control. While driving to Nova Scotia from Connecticut this summer, I noticed that when the cruise control would downshift the transmission from 4th to 3rd gear to climb a hill, when descending the hill or returning to a level road, the car would remain in 3rd gear. It would not upshift into overdrive again. There a lot of hills in Maine and Nova Scotia, so the result was that I did not use the cruise control :(

    Again, the dealer was unable to duplicate the cruise control problem. Has anyone experiences a similar issue with the cruise control?

    Also, the brakes started pulsating at 10,000 miles. Sometimes lightly but sometimes I would notice it more. The dealer seemed annoyed that I even mentioned it. Excuse me, but a new car with only 14,000 miles on it should not have pulsating brakes. In any case, he did resurface the rear discs, and it appears to have resolved the problem.

    Are there any other issues that I should be looking into, TSB's, etc. At the rate that I'm piling on miles, my warranty will only last 2 years.

    One further note; I decided to clean out my garage today and noticed a fresh oil spot/stain on the concrete. My house is only 3yrs. old and has not had any prior oil stains. I hope they didn't forget to tighten the oil drain plug! I'll have to have them check it when I bring it back for the transmission repair.

    BTW, despite the several 1st year issues with the car, I love it. Great car, nice interior (neutral UltraLux), looks sharp (sharp Red colour), and comfortable seats on my 16-hour trek to visit my folks in Nova Scotia. Great job, GM! Have a good day!
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Wow that was a long one ;)

    Yes we have had previous posts on cruise control 3-4 shifts

    PCM reflashes don't always (and most times don't) have TSBs associated with them. However your excellent observations readily points out to one software update that dealer should be able to find but here is a place you can go.

    Do a Google search for keywords "GM Calibration" go to that site and enter your VIN and then follow menus to find available progression of PCM calibration updates for your vehicle. You will see the one talking about shift stabilization and 3-4 shift - that is what your cruise control issue is.

    This site just doesn't reflect updates after your build, it reports everything associated with that configuration of vehicle so most of the software history shown is likely older than what is in your vehicle already.

    You might even want to print out page and give to them. Good luck
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Your dealer is pathetic. I'd find a new one. There is no excuse why they cannot look this up and perform the PCM flash. Here you go:

    Bulletin 04-06-04-080 is the calibration for V6 engine. For further info, do a "text" search on 'maxx4me' and 'pcm'

    As for the tranny, my "anti-howl" retrofit took 2 days
  • gmaxxgmaxx Posts: 10
    I live in a small town where the dealer seldom has a Malibu, much less a MAXX, and the dealer where I bought the car seems to have a reasonably capable shop. My 2004 Malibu Maxx now has 31,000 miles on it, and has had numerous problems. Most of these have been taken care of by my dealer. However, the nuisance of having to make an appointment and drive 50 miles one way to get a problem checked, then to take it back and leave it for a repair, then to go back to pick it up is getting old.

    For the past several months, each front seat heater has been coming on at will from one to several times a week. My dealer says he has no knowledge of a problem of this type, and I have found no TSB number to match it. We are sure that we are not accidentally turning the heaters on. Has anyone had a similar problem, or seen a TSB? :confuse:
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    I rest my case. The control module is unstable giving rise to all sorts of weird problems.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    :) I stand corrected about TSB, you are correct about that one.

    Unfortunately the TSB doesn't indicate all of the things the new calibration addresses (it talks only about improving idle when engine warm), one of the additional ones is the cruise control complaint for 3-4 shifts. So you might need to focus on complaint addressed by TSB.

    "Some customers may comment on a rough or unsteady idle when the vehicle is at full warmed to operating temperature."

    BTW that TSB came out Nov 9, 2004. So it is not exactly late breaking news.
  • I too had the seat heater problem several times along with other electrical issues. The dealer wasn't quite sure how to track that one. The car was bought back under the Ca Lemon Law :lemon: due to all of the problems we had in the first year. We also had an oil leak develop from the intake manifold gasket it was replaced and started leaking again several months later. There was also a problem after an oil change with the drain plug leaking. But we did buy an 05 Maxx because we love this car. So far we have had a couple of problems, rotors, and next week the dealer is replacing the headliner because a clip has broken and we have a rattle.
  • e2helper & Maxx4me: Thank you sooo much for this information. I really appreciate it :)

    Hopefully, my dealer won't be one of those dealers who get upset when the customer brings in TSB information :)

    Have a great day!
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    >>Do a Google search for keywords "GM Calibration" go to that site and enter your VIN and then follow menus to find available progression of PCM calibration updates for your vehicle. You will see the one talking about shift stabilization and 3-4 shift - that is what your cruise control issue is.<<

    I did that once and came up with 2, dealer said $65 for each update even under warranty. :(
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Guess they aren't interested in repeat business :(
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    I've also experienced an issue with the cruise control. While driving to Nova Scotia from Connecticut this summer, I noticed that when the cruise control would downshift the transmission from 4th to 3rd gear to climb a hill, when descending the hill or returning to a level road, the car would remain in 3rd gear. It would not upshift into overdrive again. There a lot of hills in Maine and Nova Scotia, so the result was that I did not use the cruise control

    Again, the dealer was unable to duplicate the cruise control problem. Has anyone experiences a similar issue with the cruise control?


    Before I had the PCM update described here, it did that. BUT! It also did it without the cruise. MAKE SURE you check to see if it does it when you are controlling the throttle. If it doesn't do the same thing (you will know, you'll have to let way up on the throttle to get it to upshift) then I'm betting the PCM update won't solve your problem. I had an issue with an '03 Malibu that would not upshift into fourth for miles under special conditions with the cruise. Because of that and some other problems GM bought it back as a lemon.
  • Hi E2,

    I bought a 2005 Malibu LT about a month ago and see that you are able to look up the build date for new car owners. Can you check mine to see when the new addition to my family was born? :) The last six are 320022. Thx.

    Also, can anyone suggest the best way to fix a chipped spot in the paint. Took the car on a long road trip this weekend and it took it's first chip mark. :( Though after realizing I got 31.7 mpg going 71 mph (with intermittent A/C and some hills) I was very happy. I was able to drive almost 500 miles on one tank of gas! Much better than the 16 mpg I was getting on my old SUV. I can't believe I get this good of gas mileage with a V6. :) Great car so far.
  • For some reason, my instrumental panel and all the night lights that usually turn on at nightime on a chevy malibu inside the car, are not turning on. I checked the wires to see if I'm getting any power, but there is no power. And I think it has to do with the ALC, that must of broke or something. Please if anybody could help me with this problem I would appreciate it.
  • tom83tom83 Posts: 10
    Hello.
    Problem--when I apply the brakes, I hear a droning noise combined with some minor vibration. My 2005 Malibu LS has just over 12,000 miles on it. Has anyone else experienced this or heard of this?

    Problem 2--I typically ride by myself during the day. Over bumps, the front passenger seatback rattles and moves. It IS set in place, bolted down, etc. I think I have a seatback that is defective. Has anyone experienced this?

    Info--Does anyone know where I can purchase OEM mudflaps/mudguards and how much they cost?

    Info2--Which trailer hitch (type 2 with 1 1/4 hole) works best with the car and is somewhat invisible? Cost? Does anyone have any pictures of the hitch installed?

    Many thanks.
    Tom
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    To beat all, I bought it there. :mad:
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