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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • hickorydhickoryd Posts: 57
    My Maxx has the "pull to left" syndrome. Two weeks ago, the 2nd dealer I took it to pronounced that the problem in not alignment, and that he had ordered a part for the steering.
    Does anyone have an idea what that "part" might be?
  • Wanted to order replacement wiper inserts for my Maxx from local

    #1 (Rydell, San Fernando); Paid for two inserts, dealer misordered them twice and - a month later - refused to let me take received parts home because there was a $2 additional charge that I could NOT pay for in cash (they insisted using my charge card, and then could not read it). I left without inserts and wrote letter to service manager.

    #2 (Power Chevrolet, Valencia); Waited 30 minutes just to talk to a parts guy, who found 6 variants of inserts for the Maxx, asked me for my VIN, and found the same 6 variants and "guessed" which one was right (not in stock). Meanwhile another customer was peeved because dealer had called him that his parts arrived, then had lost his parts "somewhere in the back".
    I declined to order.

    #3; (Rydell, Van Nuys). Given VIN, found inserts on first try, not in stock, took order (had no trouble with the charge card).
    We'll see if they are successful.

    A real pity GM just doesn't monitor dealers like they should. It's a terrible way to promote repeat business!
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    It never would have occurred to me to order blade refills from a dealer. Are they unavailable in part stores?
    I also had some trouble getting a trim piece (rocker sill cover) in from factory; it took three tries but they had no problem letting me take it and install myself.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    kurt: any 22 inch replacement wiper will fit (on the driver's side; 20 inch on the passenger side). I just went to Walmart and got the $3.50 replacement wiper and blade. It fits just fine. I always recommend replacing the entire wiper unit instead of puting in the blade refill only. Wiper arms these days are made to make it nearly impossible to simply slip in a blade. That is why you see 3-4 different manufacturers in each store offing wiper replacements, and only 1 offering blade refills.
  • I had bad experiences with a lot of aftermarket blades so to be safe decided to go with factory for first time.
    If I had to replace entire blade with aftermarket would probably go with Bosch or Luxor.

    Main point of blade thread was to point out inept dealer parts situations.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I would agree with the inept dealers parts and service managers/departments...this seems to be the biggest headache we see on the forum...yes there are a few problems associated with anything mass produced...but Im still in awe of the ineptness of some of the service departments and the lack of basic knowledge of TSBs, parts, and even the willingness to try to be helpful when some folks from this forum have actually provided the TSB numbers to the service managers....I havent found that the case with the dealer that I bought my Maxx from...he has been very responsive to the little issues...but I have not had any major problems with my Maxx..(knock on wood)......18.5K and going strong..and just turned a year old this month!!
  • sciguy85sciguy85 Posts: 45
    I tried the fuse trick on my stuck pedals and I still hear a click but no movement. I notice that my headlights "bounce" Especially on the green exit sign of the Chicago area and on the back of shiny cars. The lights seem to "move" alot when I push on them.I just worry that the bounce will decrease the life of the lights.
  • well_huhwell_huh Posts: 1
    i put a stereo in. I bought a harness but it was the wrong one. So i decided to hard wire it. I know somethings about electronics so i figured it would be no problem. I wired the speakers and power ground. For the switched circuit I used a spot from the fuse box.
    The car won't sart now. Which fuse is blown. My door locks don't work. I used to install stereos for a living is this is pissing me off. I have to get to work with this car tomorrow! Somebody please help me ASAP! Sunday 9:00:00 CST.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I guess my reply is too late but you didn't mention what model year your vehicle is.
  • markf57markf57 Posts: 38
    We have an 04 Malibu Maxx with about 3500 miles. So far we (me and wifey) love the car.

    We have a slightly sloping driveway and I have noticed that when I put the car in park and take off the brake, the car rolls back significantly. Does anyone else have this observation?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Use the parking brake, its recommended.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yep, the tranny does not hold the 'Bu on inclines. I can't give you a scientific reason for it, but you will roll back slightly on moderate to severe inclines.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    Nearly every automatic I've ever driven rolls back at least slightly when in park on an incline. The parking pawl in the transmission is what stops the movement, but it also usually ends up keeping the vehicle from being shifted back out of park when you're ready to drive away again. That's also why there's usually some sort of button or switch to release the transmission from park when this happens.

    I don't remember right now whether the Malibu has the button or not but even if it does I always set my parking brake anyway. Better safe than sorry.
  • Other than the "gear release" button on the front of the transmission shift lever, I don't know of any extra button.

    My drill is get car in position, set parking brake, shift into park, remove key, do whatever, etc.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    That's my routine too. But there have been times with other vehicles where the parking brake didn't get set (usually by my wife, until I broke her of the habit ;o)).

    A good example is the 1992 Toyota Corolla that we once owned. The parking lot for the townhouse we were living in at the time had a slight grade up toward the houses. She left the parking brake off after work and couldn't get the gear lever to move the next morning. She also didn't know what the little button at the rear driver's side edge of the gear shift console was for, but I did. (manuals are wonderful things sometimes, lol)
  • topdllr1topdllr1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 chevy malibu. All of a sudden, the car will not turn over. It sounds like it wants to but will not. Had a similar problem approx. 6 months ago and the solution was a fuse to some part of the fuel system. Friends have suggested the fuel filter as the problem. Could anyone tell me where the fuel filter is and where the fuse would be for the fuel system.
    Thank you!
  • cytcyt Posts: 2
    Just got my Maxx back from service (3rd time) was a growling noise coming from front when coasting or in reverse when turning wheels. 1st time replaced right front strut (they said it was leaking), 2nd time replaced left strut assembly and the steering column, this time they said the link was worn out and bushings noisy so they replaced both of the front stablizer links. Does anyone know what the front stablizer links are? I am a bit concerned and do not want to have any further problems. So far, no noise.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    The updated head restraints finally came into the dealership for my 2004 Malibu LT sedan this week and my wife took the car to get them installed yesterday. I got a chance to drive it a bit last evening and have to say, even though it's hard to tell the difference by looking, the new restraints are a MAJOR improvement. They no longer force me to either drive with the seat reclined into the back seat or to live with the feeling that someone's constantly pushing my head forward while I drive.

    So for any other owners of the new 'bu that have an issue with the way the original headrest leans forward compared to the rest of the seatback I highly recommend getting it taken care of under warranty at the dealership. It costs nothing but your time. :)
  • hickorydhickoryd Posts: 57
    Quite a few members of this forum have found the headrests to be too far forward, while others (myself included) have found them to be a really great feature. Since my '04 Maxx is an LS, I'm wondering if the 2 models' headrests were at different angles???
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    I'm not sure. I didn't try out any LS models when I was buying (was looking for a fairly well loaded car to be the first really new car for my SO). Ironically, my wife's biggest gripe about the original headrests was that she couldn't wear her "scrunchies" in her hair (iow, with her hair down it wasn't that bad). So maybe I'm strange. :P
  • sschribersschriber Posts: 89
    Personally I like only having to lean my head back a couple of degrees before resting my head. My 05 Maxx is the first car I can remember since my '78 Saab where I didn't have to look down my nose in order to use the headrest.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    By the way Jerry, I did pass your message to lead engineer that implemented this redesign to the seat, he passed it on to the supplier of seats :)
  • I also have the new headrests...please feel free to let the engineer know they work well for me too.
  • njmaxxnjmaxx Posts: 15
    Wow! Those headrests must really be new because GM Customer Svc doesn't even know about them. They don't know about the steering problems either.
  • njmaxxnjmaxx Posts: 15
    Kurt, are you sure you don't still work for GM? You "had bad experiences with a lot of aftermarket blades..."
    As for dealership service: they work with what GM builds. Even they can't make lemonade of a car. It doesn' sound like parts or service when complaints are fairly consistent in a car model.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    With so many Technical Service Bulletins coming out you shouldn't be surprised if they don't know about one in particular. I'm sure that other customers benefit from our bringing it to the Customer Service folks' attention though.

    Just in case you're interested in the updated head restraints yourself njmaxx, here's the post where e2helper gave us the particulars I needed to get mine taken care of:
    e2helper, "Chevrolet Malibu Owners: Problems & Solutions" #1580, 15 Feb 2005 5:42 pm
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    We're all really sorry that you got a lemon. Sounds like it's made you a bit sour though. I've had a couple minor issues with my own Malibu, but they've been dealt with in a relatively timely manner by the dealership, so I wouldn't categorize all Malibus as lemons.

    Gotta keep in mind that every car line produced has a few bad ones slip out, and likewise every line has its own common issues to watch out for.
  • Both my GM Prism and Saturn ION were very difficult to find good wiper blades for. I went through at least 5 vendors before finding ones that did not chatter and lasted longer than 2 months.

    As for the Malibu, when I last checked a few months back the blade matcher books I've found didn't mention the 2004. But sounds like it's time to try again.

    I wanted to give an American car a try (have driven foreign from 1973 to 2003). We'll see if the decision was a good one.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I replaced my wipers from my local auto parts store...used Bosch....the books didnt list the replacement for the 04s just went to the desk..and he looked them up on their computer.....easy to replace..and much better than the OEMs..which started to skip within 6 months of ownership.
  • karunchkarunch Posts: 8
    I have a 2004 Malibu Maxx LS, and I had purchased my car the last week of August.. I know that there were 3 recalls on this vehicle, one for the ABS Reprogramming, one for the ABS sticker on the visor, and one for the seatbelt anchors.

    What is bothering me is that all three of these were announced I believe in June, over 2 months before I purchased my vehicle. Last week I had my car in the shop, and they had to do all three of these recalls on my vehicle..

    HOW CAN THE DEALERSHIP HAVE SOLD ME A CAR THAT HAD RECALLS ALREADY ANNOUNCED, WITHOUT FIXING THEM BEFORE I TOOK THE CAR OFF THE LOT???? I am EXTREMELY unhappy about this.. Is that even legal, to sell a "defective" car without fixing the "defects" before I take the car off of the lot? Obviously the car was "defective" if there was a recall campaing.. What if I had gotten into an accident and the ABS brakes did not work correctly, or the seat belt anchor had broke..
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