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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    The number you are looking for is 05-08-64-002 which came out Jan 20.


    I don't have any more info on it than that but at least you can reference it for your dealer in case they have problems finding it.
  • A word of advice check (about chevrolet malibu's) you might not want to keep your car.
  • chrpaichrpai Posts: 32
    Please don't feed the troll. Like someone on Edmunds needs to be told how to find car websites.
  • the url listed does not work. does work and offers mostly complementary reviews of the 2004 Mailbus.

    Yes the malibus have problems but so do its competitors. Biggest problem is our "independent business" dealer setup that guarantees wildly varying dealer quality and experiences.
  • The power steering on my '04 Maxx failed yesterday. I bought it new about eight months ago and it has just over 9,700 miles. I took it to the dealer today and they replaced the steering column, no problem. So, for those keeping track, chalk up another steering column!
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Doesn't that put the time of manufacture in the so-called revised component upgrade date? I'd be interested to know what the actual date of manufacture was for your vehicle.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Yes just provide last 6 of your VIN if you don't know the build date and I will post back your vehicle's birthday for you
  • njmaxxnjmaxx Posts: 15
    hickoryd, i meant to reply to you, but sent to someone else. I have the same leftward pull and lots of svc visits. I'm going through lemon law issues with GM. email me: [email protected]
  • njmaxxnjmaxx Posts: 15
    kurt, do u work for GM?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    04 Malibu sedan, has any one with a sedan encountered have the gauge read 3/4 when full. It was showing about a half tank and I know my wife just been local,filled the tank which took 4 gal and read 3/4.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yep; you have the "warped tank" my friend. There is a TSB out on it. Take it into your dealer; they'll fix it.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Today I had a shuddering noise from my front driver's side wheel/brake when applying the brakes moderately or hard. It sounded almost like a bad rotor, but acted like the hardware could be loose or something. The noise was quite noticeable, and was not the usual 'Bu rusted rotor sound. I did not notice any brake fade or longer stopping distance. This is the same side that I have been complaining about a "loose" noise when going over my driveway apron (loose hardware/strut type noise). I thought someone on this page told me that they had the same noise, but that it was steering column related. Strangely, I could not replicate the noise for the rest of the day after the car had been turned off. Suggestions from my cyber friends?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Actually the TSB was specifically for Maxx which has a different fuel tank design and supplier. So joe3891 should still take his sedan to to dealer but it likely won't be a warped tank that is causing problem.
  • E2helper, a question on auto headlights:

    Tonight while driving home with the sun in my eyes, I noted the DIC and odometer were dim. Turned out the headlights were on! The wiperblades were casting a shadow that was covering the headlight autosensor, and even though it was daylight and the rest of the dash was well lit by sun, the headlights were fooled into turning on! Switching the headlight auto feature off restored DIC brightness and turned the lights off.


    Is there a way to adjust sensitivity of this feature so it does not trigger so easilly?


    Other stuff:


    On my maxx, the brake caliper mounting bolts had to be retorqued as they were loose - this got rid of some suspension clunks. I remember reading this has affected a number of GM cars.


    I did work for GM in the 1980's as an automotive electrical engineer, but left in 1989 to pursue computer animation.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002


    There is no way to adjust the sensitivity of the light sensor, sorry. I have also experienced sun low on horizon causing system to be in "Dark" mode a little sooner than I would like but at least you have the "OFF" position if you want to use it (although it also shuts off your Automatically turned on Headlamps and Taillamps).


    Calibration on this sensor is a trade-off with overcast sky conditions. With an overcast sky the sensor will read more light than the driver is seeing on the ground and so might put you into a situation where headlamps are coming on later than you might like.
  • njmaxxnjmaxx Posts: 15
    "I did work for GM in the 1980's as an automotive electrical engineer, but left in 1989 to pursue computer animation. "


    kurt, thanks for the reply. Any idea on how GM botched the steering on a car that should be a success? I'm completely puzzled.
  • townhometownhome Posts: 104
    I usually replace the speakers in my cars with after market ones and I was wondering how easy it is to take the door panels (front and rear) off in the Maxx. Any ideas e2helper?
  • Last week, my 02 Mailibu wouldn't start. It was turning over but wouldn't catch. Had it towed to dealership, they said i needed new ignition module or something. Ended up they just gave me new keys, reprogrammed or whatever they do. No guarantee how long it will last. There seems to be a lot of these problems from what i've read. Can anyone tell me if this fix will work for more than a short while. Also I have recently had a surging with acceleration. Something like the eebbeejeebees. Had new spark plugs put in, could this be the wiring(were'nt replaced)
  • tiredtired Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Chevy Malibu and after an oil change my check oil light comes on within two months. What are possible problems. Iget me oil changed every 3months or 3000 miles. i only have 38,000 miles on the car and the check oil light always pops on.
  • Wrt columm, it was not GM but its supplier that changed the manufacturing procedure on the steering columm which caused the contamination. Once GM found out, they advised the supplier to correct it. As to how some defective columms still got into the production run, I have no idea.


    Keep in mind __other__ manufacturers have similar recall problems. My '83 camry was recalled at least 4 times.


    Thnx, E2, for the sensor update. And yes, the workaround I use is to turn off auto headlights.
  • When it was going on and off, the car was sitting at a stand still, was waiting for my passenger to get into the car while it ran!
  • chrpaichrpai Posts: 32
    That sure sounds like the classic A/C control head problem that was common for that generation of Malibu's. I had mine go once under warry and once again after. Few hundred bucks to replace and some websites that claim to have procedures to fix it. ( I never tried ).


    I know this is too late for you now, but I would never by a <2003 malibu no matter how many miles it had on it unless it came with one heck of an extended warry.


    Read: irable.pdf
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    I read the article on how to repair the control head. Seems as if the problem is dirty contacts and they go on to show how to clean them which seems rather complicated. If I had the problem I'd just loosen the control head from the panel and spray some good contact cleaner and lubricant such as Caig DeoxIT D5 onto the contacts. Using the extension pipe that comes with the can will allow you to get into the smallest corners without having to dismantle anything.
  • tim10tim10 Posts: 15
    Here's an update.. GM flew an engineer to my city to observe this condition on 3 vehicles on the dealer's lot plus on mine. They said the Lower Trailing Arm on "early '05s" (Aug & Nov Build dates are the 2 I saw, so that's a pretty big range, maybe they meant all 05's) have a bushing in it that have a defect condition in the metal or torque settings that are causing this problem. There are no fixed parts available to fix these at this time, he didn't have an ETA and hinted it was a long process. He did say they didn't have this problem on the '04s so if the dealership would have had an '04, they could have swapped the part from there to fix my problem.


    Their offer was pretty weak to have me keep the car, so I'll probably be doing the buyback that they finally agreed to. Maybe I'll hold out for an 06, since we're already over halfway into the 05 model year.
  • I own a 2001 Malibu with 63K on it. Sunday night I had driven the car about 20 minutes when it made a "creaky" noise during a right hand turn. Every subsequent turn after was "creaky". Upon pulling into my garage and turning off the car, I heard a weird "boiling, bubbling" noise that lasted a few minutes. Monday morning's commute was the same: after about 20 mins, the turns became noisy. I don't notice any "tightening" of the steering. I checked the Power Steering Fluid and it was dirty and perhaps a little low. My husband refilled the fluid and Tuesday morning's commute was the same. I don't know where to go from here and don't want to spend money unnecessarily. Any ideas on this one?
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    That's nonsense about the 04 base model not having the creaking noise. Mine had it until I lubricated the rubber bushes with silicon lubricant. See my earlier post.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    This is a common problem with the previous generation Malibu. It should solve the problem.
  • I have an 04 Maxx with build date of Jan 2004 (the worst kind I guess), bought last March. So far, the harness has been changed (after returning to dealer at least twice with the same problem of having 4 warning lights and bells go on at the same time); the steering column has been changed TWICE, because I was caught in the middle of the cold twice with no power steering. And now a new problem surfaced that the dealer cannot recreate. I was doing 50 on the highway when suddenly the car started shaking and the RPM went all the way up to a little over 3. Wasn't the pavement, and wasn't my tires, and I was definitely on Drive. I pulled over and smelled something burning. Had it checked out and dealer couldn't find anything wrong.

    My dealer is great but this car is really bad.
  • Tim:

    I have an 05 and the suspension is creaking. I thought I was hearing things. Can you give me more info and advise what I should tell my dealer about this problem. Thanks
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