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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • karunchkarunch Posts: 8
    I know that this has been brought up before, but what is the TSB for the Rough Idle fix?

    I had my car in the shop a few weeks ago, and I had them look into the rough idle. They of course told me that nothing was wrong, and that my car was operating normally because the computer wasn't showing a code.. But obviously there is something wrong with the car, because it idles EXTREMELY rough at times. There have been seen occasions where I thought the car was going to stall...
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    There is not a TSB, but a software update for PCM would show up for your vehicle in their system - I forget what it is called: TIS2000 or SPS. Your vehicle has a late January 2004 build date based on my recollection so it was well before the latest software implemented in May 2004. :)
  • ratifiedratified Posts: 4
    too have a 04 Maxx that has the rough idle problem exactly as you describe. Even after the reprogram of the ECU, the rough idle is still there. I took my Maxx to another dealership that found a TSB for the Malibu Classic that might fix it. Something to do with a wiring harness for the fans causing feedback effecting the ignition?!?!?! The dealership ordered the new part which should be in today!!. I'll post back and let you know the outcome. :)
  • what is the TSB for the fan harness? Does it go into any details?

    I suspect my fans are malfunctioning as for the first time the engine temperature climbed substantially while driving in heavy traffic (has not done that before under identical circumstances).
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    I was more than a little concerned when I dropped my car at the dealer for the steering recall. I have almost 13k and have had none of the pulling to the left or other problems noted. I also had a front bulb out and wanted the proper badge on the car.

    They did change the steering column, replaced the bulb at n/c. They assured me the test drive was fine with no drift. The car is perfect - no pull, freshly washed and ready at the time quoted. I am very pleased. Time will tell if the replacement column is without issues.
  • cjasencjasen Posts: 8
    Well, I stopped in at the dealer yesterday. It turns out I do have the newer head rests, so ordering the new parts from the TSB won't make any difference. We hunted the lot and found a pair that don't bother me as much (although they still bug me a little bit), so I'll try those for a while.

    GM also told the dealer that it is OK to swap the front head rests with the back head rests. I tried that and the back head rests are also an improvement. So I may play around with swapping head rests for a while to see which one is the best for me.

    I've also tried manipulating the seating position, up down, back, forward, same with the steering wheel, and it makes no difference.

    BTW, my wife thinks any of the head rests are fine, and it does not bother her. And yes, I do have a big head (physically).

    One moral of the story is that there is a slight difference between the gray cloth interior and the beige cloth interior, so make sure you check out the exact car in the exact config before you buy it.
  • Having noticed that when the gas light comes on I can never put more than 14 gallons in the tank, Monday I tried to push the fuel light a little too far and had to have my gf bring me more fuel.

    Interesting to note that from the low fuel warning, I got 93 miles at highway speeds before I ran out; and 87 miles from when the low fuel light came on. (I was 1 mile from the exit that I was ultimately going to take to refuel since according to the trip meter I had used 15.9 gallons, I forgot the fuel economy meter always rates 1-2 miles per gallon too high). My girlfriend brought a 2.5 gallon can full of gas which took the needle right back up to E. The tank is right on the money as far as the 16.1 gallon capacity goes, that's exactly what it took to fill it + my friend's gas can back up.

    From now on I think if I refuel within 50 miles or so of the low fuel light coming on I think I'll be fine! Now I can start getting the 400city 500hwy miles per tank that are on the specs page. Before yesterday I'd gas up within 5-10 miles of the LF light.
  • what do I need to know?
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    Just a reminder that electric fuel pumps use the gas as a coolant. When they start pumping air their life span is dramatically reduced. The old mechanical pumps couldn't have cared less but these new, in the tank (read $$$$ to replace) pumps are happiest when bathed in gas.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    i will attest to the cost of a electronic fuel pump.....99 mustang....$458 out the and labor.....ouch
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    welcome to the board SC...originally from did you get an 04?....if so..the common threads here are the steering column and pulling left, fuel tank and gauge readings, a transmission howl, and a recall for seat belt washer or bolt.I forget which, and a reflash of the computer......I too have an 04 built feb 04....and have none of the above problems.....with almost 19k on the car now....if you go over to mods and accessories..have the website listed for the car as well....welcome to the board....lots of knowledge about the car here from the owners and others who help out.......what we have found isnt that that car cant be fixed....though there have been some lemon law appears rather the dealerships..and especially the service departments are ill prepared to find, correct problems IAW with the TSBs, and in some cases...what I would call simply inept repair techs......but dealership has been excellent in dealing with a few minor concerns......scroll back through the board......cheers and enjoy
  • minn_maxxminn_maxx Posts: 51
    I bought an acrylic sunroof deflector for my Maxx last fall but took it off midway through the winter due to non-use of the sunroof. Went to install it today but noticed the stainless steel brackets that holds it to the car had already worn through the paint. This is after maybe two-months of use.

    Anyone with one of these deflectors may want to add some 3M tape or something between the bracket and the roof. I already had some surface rust...
  • thank you for the being from Cola, are you a Gamecock? I found a new, never titled white 04 this past week. I was looking for a Vibe, but with GM money, they made the Maxx $13,100 out the door. I could not pass that up. So far I'm averaging 25.6 mpg but I really miss my gas hog Explorer.
  • bwolterbwolter Posts: 51
    Some time ago, someone mentioned a service bulletin number 04072004 that pertained to a rattle/clunk that sounds like it's coming from the front under the instrument panel. I have this problem. Every small bump in the road causes this sound (it's not tire thud). Some days it doesn't do it. Some days it's terrible.

    Is this a problem with the intermediate shaft? or what? I'm going to take it in to the dealer, but would like to be "armed" with some info first. I have a 2004 Maxx LS
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    No to be honest...went to that boys school down in Charleston.....better half is the Clemson by default...........not to worry....she drives the explorer...I traded my GT mustang for my Maxx.....hope you enjoy it as much as I have mine so far
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    dont know who the manufacturer of your shield was...mine came from benevito....they included two clear vinyl adhesive pads to place on the edge of the roof where the clips attach.....havent seen any paint rubs with those pads properly installed...
  • minn_maxxminn_maxx Posts: 51
    I think I have the same deflector that you do. The installer (me) may have thrown away the little plastic pads :-)
  • Can anyone point me to that TSB for fixing the rear sunshades? The new dealer I visited for service today has not heard of it.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    "has not head of it" :P

    But did they look ;)


    They will need to pull down your headliner to add reinforcements.
  • they didn't try very hard, E2.
    But next time I will give them the TSB number and see if they do any better.

    FYI, they did fix my "new" steering columm. It had come loose or the last service shop failed to install it properly. It had to be yanked, lubricated, and remounted. Since then it seems to be ok.
    But honestly the lack of durability of this part is worrying me.

    I swear S.CALIF is where all the new techs are. The ones that know stuff are in the OTHER states ;)

    The clinic I attended to a year ago added a couple of hardware spacers via superglue to the skylight trim . It helped a little but still way too easy for those shades to jump out of their holding groove.
  • 04cad04cad Posts: 131
    I am pretty sure since the Ford ./ Firestone tire fiasco a few years back, GM now warrantees the tires through the GM dealership. I would check there first.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 853
    GM has done tire warranties since 1996 - 4 years before the Ford / Firestone thing.

    It's possible that a bulge in a tire is due to hitting something (like a curb) that breaks the cords inside the tire. So don't be surprised if that is the outcome.
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    I spoke too soon onhow well the dealer did the replacement. There is no drift but yesterday I went to see my daughter and when I tried to use the controls on the steering wheel they did not work. The dealer needs the car for several hours to fix this.
  • billymaxxbillymaxx Posts: 12
    I used the cruise control on my '05 Maxx for my first long trip (700 miles round trip) and experienced a strange problem. While the cruise control was engaged, I would occasionally speed up above the cruise control set speed. I noticed many times that the cruise control would disengage on it's own. I am use to being able to keep the C.C. set at say 65 MPH and then increase my speed at any time and then be able to just let off the gas to return to the C.C. set speed. Has anyone else experienced this automatic disengagement? I think it only happened when I was driving faster than the C.C. set speed for a couple of minutes or so.

  • icedog97icedog97 Posts: 141
    As it turns out, my wife hit a pothole and not only did the sidewall suffer, but the rim did too. Luckily the rim was not damaged to the point of needing replaced...BUT...since it was an impact that caused the sidewall problem, the tire was not replaced for free. I paid cost for the tire and the labor was free.
  • markf57markf57 Posts: 38

    I finally crawled under my Maxx to find the tranny build date and it falls within the range of the TSB for the growl and howl problem. Quite frankly, I don't hear that much of a noise, but since I was taking the car in for a seatbelt harness and the headrest TSB and since I was going on vacation, I wanted to get the work done while I was out of town.

    I received a call from the dealer today and he refuses to do the TSB on the tranny because they could not hear the growl and howl noise. Is there anything I can do to force the dealer to do the work? Should I even bother?

    I don't have much confidence in this dealer as they also couldn't find the TSB for the headrest replacement even though I gave them the number (05-08-50-002).
  • minn_maxxminn_maxx Posts: 51

    IMHO, it's not worth getting the transmission fixed for a harmonic problem. There is too high a chance of unintended problems resulting from a tech pulling the transmission apart. I have decided not to get mine fixed.

    GM has been using the same transmission (4T40E) for years in Malibu's, Grand Am's, etc. It seems to be very reliable, even with the narrow chain and sprockets.

    My dealer did the headrest TSB without a problem. The new angle is a big improvement.
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    My car had the howl at low speeds when new. After discussing it with the SM, I decided not to have the tranny torn down. Over time and miles(13k) the howl has virtually disappeared. I will say the SM would have done the job if I insisted. I'm happy that I did not.
  • markf57markf57 Posts: 38
    I have decided not to get the tranny done.

    But my experience with the headrests has gotten more bizzare. The service writer called back and again stated that he couldn't find anything on the headrests. I asked if it would be easier if I brought in a copy of the TSB and show his manager. He stated that would be fine and hung up. About 10 minutes later, he calls back and said that his tech looked "somewhere else" and found the TSB. He ordered the part. Says it will take about a week for the part to come in and wanted to know if he could keep the car until it came in. I said no. He will call when the parts come in. They had the car for 9 days and only fixed the seat belt harness recall. No way am I going to leave it there for another week. Or ever take it back to that dealer.

    Based on the suggestions of this group, I reversed the headrests to make them more comfortable. When I went in to pickup the car, a note on the workorder stated, "The headrests were in backwards, installed correctly".

    I did verify the part they ordered and to their credit, the did order the right one based on my interior.
  • bwolterbwolter Posts: 51
    Every small bump on the road causes a sound similar to loose struts or calipers, but that isn't the problem. At times it's more like a rattle after even the most minute bump or defect in the road. At one time someone mentioned a TSB about it, but has anyone experienced it? I'm taking it in soon, but it's so sad that a car so new has that sound as if it had 140K miles on it. 04 LS Maxx
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