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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • doombertdoombert Posts: 8
    My 2004 Maxx has about 4500 klms on it and I have noticed a vibration sometimes when slowing down. This has been happening on and off almost since we picked up the car in April. I thought maybe it was something that would just work itself out over time, since it was a left over 2004 that sat on the lot for several months.
    I decided to take the car in to the local dealership yesterday and they found that the brake rotors had some corrosion on them, which they removed and the brakes are very smooth now.
    Hopefully, this isn't a sign that I'll have to replace any brake parts early!
    Just wanted to mention this in case anyone else has the same issue. I did see similar issues here regarding rotor issues... just adding my two cents :-)
  • I just replaced the fuel pump on my Mothers 2001 Malibu. The motor was still working but it was not pumping any fuel. The outside of the unit was sticky like syrup.
  • maxx4me,

    You were right on the money! I do take that turn at 20mph. This past Saturday, I went out to Long Island and test drove 2005 Maxx at the GM AutoShow in Motion. Now I know what the car is suppose to sound like without a tranny howl. If I can locate a dealer that has experience in correcting this problem, I will probably go for it afterall. Thanks again!
  • Wifes car so it needs to be healed to make like more pleasant at the ole casa.

    For many months the AC will cycle itself on and off (light goes out on button) as you drive, is this normal?

    Recently the clock (on the radio) shows 12:00 whenever you start it, after you reset it and finish with the trip it's back to 12:00 again. Any ideas?

    Yesterday, the tach needle was fluctuating when I tried to accelerate, by that I mean it would drop to zero and after a few seconds it would act normally. A little time after that (hour) the car just died when we slowed down to get off the Interstate. Wouldn't start or anything, 15 minutes later it started up but sounded really rough. Finally got it home though. It's at the dealer now, is there anything I need to be aware of, or suggest they try to fix this? In case my dealer is not as good as y'all....
    Happen often to others?

    The car has been a good one, until now no problems, and 60K miles to boot.

    Thanks for the help.
  • josephusjosephus Posts: 32
    So in other words it is ALWAYS supposed to say "Locked" when you use the Remote Start?

    Mine only does it half the time. [And I never use the remote start while I'm in the vehicle] But, since it doesn't really matter much, I'm not going to worry about that. I just wanted to see WHAT it was, which you explained.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Nope, it was supposed to say nothing at all when in remote start mode (like most everything else in vehicle).
  • crosby1crosby1 Posts: 23
    Does anyone know if the 2004 Maxx has an in-cabin air filter?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    E2, when i remote start my maxx...and then unlock to get in the DIC always shows "locked" until i turn the key to ignition to gain access to the controls....are you saying its not supposed to show the word "locked" in the DIC????? I thought the LOCKED indicator was to inform all the controls were indeed locked to remind you to insert the key in the ignition after using the remote start feature
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    it does not have one factory installed..however there is a space that can be accessed by dropping the glove a search here in on the forum for that discussion.......several members have configured one for the space
  • juswheelsjuswheels Posts: 42
    The Maxx is a great car, I'm more than pleased with mine and no initial brake problems. Others have posted about similar brake problems but with individual driving habits being so different, it's hard to tell if there is a problem or just different habits. However, with only 4,500 klms on the car, your Maxx has the vast majority of it's warranty in tact. Your brakes and rotors are still covered for many thousands of miles. If they eventually need replacing up to 36,000 miles (Not sure how many klms that is ) it's the dealers problem and shouldn't cost you a cent.

    If the majority of your driving is in the city (including the bumper to bumper expressway crawl to work :) ) or the car isn't used on a regular basis, after the warranty has expired, should the rotors & pads need replacing, consider getting an aftermarket "Heavy Duty" rotor. That should greatly extend the life of your rotors and the added cost isn't that much. For what it's worth, the same thing happened with my previous 2001 Taurus. The dealer replaced the pads and rotors at around 15,000 miles and I eventually replaced them with "heavy duty" after the warranty expired. The Taurus was inspected just a few weeks before trading it at 80,000 miles. The brake pads had over 50% left and the rotors were in perfect shape. Hope this helps !
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    GM policy on brakes as stated to me by my dealer. 12 mon 12 k pads and rotors covered and will turn rotors at service managers discretion up to 24 mon. If you know any different I would like to see it. :)
  • doombertdoombert Posts: 8
    Actually, I heard the same thing in the past from the dealer I go to. I'm pretty sure around here they only give 12 month warranty. Unless of course you've had a lot of issues and have the service records to show it, they may do something for you then.
    I agree that with different driving habbits it is difficult to diagnose all the problems as beeing the same issue, but I don't think that the problem I experienced has anything to do with how I drive since it happened a couple days after getting the car. That would have to be some pretty hard driving to cause the problems I experienced after a couple days. Also, since the dealer that serviced the car said the rotors had some corrosion on them, there must have been a problem with them since the day I rolled out of the dealership.
    I will definately get higher-end brake parts to replace the ones on the car now once they wear out.
  • juswheelsjuswheels Posts: 42
    Please, I wasn't making any reference to your driving habits. I would never do that and have no doubt your problem was noted from day one.

    With all respect - If your car was purchased new, as mine was about 10 days ago, the dealer doesn't have alot to say about it. They MUST honor the written warranty issued by GM. The written warranty I received from GM is very short and to the point.
    "GM vehicles registered in the USA are covered for 3 years/36,000 miles,whichever comes first. The complete vehicle is covered, including tires, towing to the nearest Chevrolet dealer, and cosmetic corrosion resulting from defects." My written GM warranty doesn't list an exception for the brake pads and rotors. It's very straight forward, "The complete vehicle is covered". If it's a new car warranty and no exceptions are written into the warranty, I don't care what the dealer says - It's covered. Of course there is the usual disclaimer for deliberate abuse/neglect, but even with that the dealer must be able to show such abuse or neglect. Saying it, just isn't enough, they would have to document it. Again, with all respect.
  • josephusjosephus Posts: 32
    See that's what confuses me. Sometimes it says "Locked" other times it shows nothing. I'm wondering if it makes a difference if I leave the radio on when I shut the car off?
  • Hi
    I have a 2000 Malibu also and I noticed the same problem. I'm not sure what it is yet but I noticed it too only at lower speeds than you did around 40 - 50 mph. But the same problem. And everything checks out ok on the car. It does not appear to be getting worse so I hope its just an adjustment issue.
    Just my 2 cents.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    It isn't supposed to do that, pao. Weird that it does it that repeatibly.

    I will check into this further and if I come up with anything I will let you know.
  • rob35ctsrob35cts Posts: 53
    I changed my altenator because the generator light went on-had it checked at auto zone and they tested it and it was bad. Put a knew one on and now car shifts very hard check engine light is also on. Owners manual says wrong size tire can make check enging light turn on. I did over size tire a couple of years ago. Could disconnecting the battery have reset the computer and since i have over size tires on the car caused this hard shifting problem in my automatic transmission?
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    Mine does the same thing, Sometimes it reads LOCKED, other times nothing.

    E2 can you tell me if my car recalibration is up to date. I griped the rought shifting and the dealer told me no pertinent updates available for my car. It is an early build and to my knowledge no dealer has ever done one. I am now leary of having it done. I picked up the car and the AC / heat module was blank - no AC no fan. I immediately returned and after an hour they reset something and blamed the fact that they hooked up to the computer and it knocked out the AC module.
  • doombertdoombert Posts: 8
    Hey juswheels, no problem here. I didn't think you were attacking my driving habbits. I was just explaining my particular situation.
    I will definately push GM to repair any problems down the road, if any. I just find you sometimes have to fight with them because they will just say it's normal wear and tear and the parts are just worn out, not defective. And I'm hoping that these early problems with my rotors don't lead to issues down the road with my brakes. I'm just going to make sure I take the car in for service for any little issue I find with my brakes, then at least I will have a service history in case something major happens.
    My brother was the sales manager at a GM dealership that I always got my new cars at and I think it's because of him that I've had things repaired on my car that the service department initially stated was normal wear and tear, such as exhaust and brakes. And these things were definately defective. He has since moved to another city and is general manager at a Toyota/Lexus dealership... a little to rich for my blood. The dealership he works for also owns a Chev dealership, so that's where I got my Maxx. But unfortunatly it's about 4.5 hours away from where I live, so I won't be getting the service done there :-).
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Skyhawk, what I say here has nothing to do with locked DIC.

    Sorry this is long but as I was told yesterday by someone "I asked you for the time and you told me how to build a clock" :)

    Your vehicle if I remember was built in late January 2004 and so definitely has older PCM software in it (stuff that others have had updated to correct complaints on starting/shifting). I agree that your PCM has never been updated ;)

    It is not a panacea, of course, but I would recommend it based on your complaint.

    I don't think there is a TSB regarding this update because it was more of a continuous improvement item. I know that dealer has some method to check whether your module has latest calibration but I don't know what they call it (so that you could say to the service writer, for example, "Could you please check if I have the latest PCM software using the thingamajib whirlybob service interface gizmo?") :)

    If you saw earlier posts, from someone ;) providing a link to a public? website you could plug in your VIN and see the progression of calibrations for various modules in your vehicle. I am not going to post a direct link but you can Google to it pretty quick if you try "gm calibration". Your vehicle started at 12589770 so you can see you are slightly out of date.

    In regards to your previous observation of a problem with your automatic climate control system after they had your vehicle previously (probably when you had ABS reprogrammed), that is a pretty simple thing which there IS info for dealer on. It would likely occur again when they reprogram the PCM but they only have to pull out and reinsert a fuse to correct. Tell them to look up PI01535A.

    But don't tell them I sent you ;)

  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Posts: 677
    Yup, Mine does the same. Can never figure out why LOCKED appears sometimes and othertimes does not.

    am checking the cal site for my Maxx....very, very slow.

    last 6 VIN digits: 155772

    Sadly, the Chevy dealers I visit never give a straight answer on calibration status. I really don't understand why they are so badly informed on that as well as TSB's.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Try to get them to change the oil and filter for free, normal mainteance and normal wear items excluded. :)
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    Thank you.

    The AC was last week when they supposedly checked to see if I was up to date on recalibration. They tell me there are no updates for this car. I was so disgusted that after leaving the car the night before and them working on it until 6:30 pm the day after and being stuck there for over an hour when I told them the AC was out. I was not up for a discussion on recalibration. At one point they had three people standing there looking at the engine bay.This dealer is supposedly one of the better Chevy dealers around here.
  • juswheelsjuswheels Posts: 42
    Thanks - Also no Problem, just didn't want anyone to think I was taking a shot - Not my style to try that - :)

    My Maxx is just about 10 days old and this past weekend I took it on a road trip through New England. It never skipped a beat and in just over 800 miles got amazing mileage. No problems with the brakes at all. This is the first new car I've owned, that so far, I can't find any reason to take it back to the dealer. I'm more than plaesed.

    The issue with rotors seems to crop up then go away on this forum, then crop up again. For the amount of cars on the road, I really don't think there is an over-all problem with them. Time will tell. You are also correct that sometimes you have to stand up to the dealer to get your problem resolved. I've had to do it from time to time, myself. Mostly the outcome has been positive.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Sorry about that skyhawk. GM does provide resources to dealer when they need help on vehicle: Technical Assistance Center for general troubleshooting problems and Techline for programming issues so in this case the 2nd would be more appropriate.

    I know this doesn't help you in your situation though :(
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I'm finally ready to make an appointment to bring our Maxx in for some warranty fixes. Not bad considering we've had the car since October and nothing important enough to bring it in sooner. We seem to have sidestepped the whole electric steering snafu that plagued some of the earlier Maxxes.

    Re: brakes, it *does* seem like there's a problem with rotors on this vehicle. Our Maxx started showing pulsating most notably on highway-speed braking around 10,000 miles. Of course we haven't dealt with it and are now past 15k miles. I'm fully expecting the dealer to turn the rotors under warranty even though we are beyond this magical 12k interval.

    Re: door locks. I asked about this a bit before, a while back. Should the lock/unlock button on my driver's side door work all the time, regardless of what sort of locking settings have been made in the Driver Information Center?

    I cannot seem to get the lock/unlock button to work on the driver's door. The button on the passenger side works fine - it locks or unlocks all 4 doors (plus the hatch, I think) when it is pressed.
  • rob35ctsrob35cts Posts: 53
    went to a garage today- they werent sure why the car would shift very hard. any ideas why it would shift hard- I changed the altenator when I drove it after putting in the altenator this new problem started.HELP!! Going on a major trip in a few days.
  • drejdrej Posts: 119
    I just drove our LT on a long trip, it now has 10K on the Odometer and I like it "in General" :confuse: a lot, but what is with the this body Structure. I think this car is the best exept but after washing it a few times I am getting irratated with the overly thin/weak body pannels. :sick: The hood, at the center just colapses at the slightest push "LIKE WASHING OR WAXING THE HOOD" and the body front Fenders also colapse when I lean against it to stretch and wash the windows at the filling station. Will my pannels crease in time? Did the Factory forget to install some support on mine or does everyone experience this. BTW I'm a tall skinny guy !
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Regarding door locks......

    Yes the lock/unlock button should work all the time. Under factory default conditions if you have a door open when you try to lock the doors it will delay locking until all doors are closed but you would hear a chime. Plus the same thing would happen with passenger door lock switch and you have no complaints with that one.

    The vehicle (body computer) actually doesn't recognize the difference between the driver and passenger door lock switch and so I would think you have some type of open circuit. Next time it is dark out when you are in the vehicle turn on the headlamps and crank the illumination knob up to full intensity. Take a look at the driver door lock switch and see if it is backlit like the passenger one. If not, then you might simply have a disconnected switch which dealer should be able to fix really easy.

    You are correct that the hatch is "unlocked/locked" with the operation of this switch but that is only a virtual lock/unlock. You still need to UNLATCH the hatch by pressing the other switch on driver door, key fob release, or the touchpad switch on rear applique to actually open the hatch.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    thanks for the clarification and troubleshooting ideas.
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