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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • Hello. This is my first time visiting this forum, so I don't know if this problem has been addressed on here before.

    I am having a new problem with my 2000 Malibu LS that just started today. It happens when I try to start the car initially. I turn the key, and the engine cranks, but it doesn't seem to turn over. When I release the key, the there is a noise that sounds like the engine is running, but it seems like its still trying to "catch" to start up. I try to see if the engine is on by trying to rev up the engine, and it doesn't work. It has happened twice today, both times were when I had driven the car somewhere, ran an errand, and came back to the car in about 10-20 minutes to go somewhere else.

    Note, this isn't the same (as far as I know, but they could be related as far as I know) as the (in)famous theft system problem (which I also have from time to time). Plan on taking it to the dealer either tomorrow or Monday. Any hints/help is appreciated so I can point the mechanics in the right direction.

  • wgschmadwgschmad Posts: 2
    98 Chev Malibu 6cyl..........I wanted to replace the fuel filter,
    however I can not seem to find it.
    Can someone tell me where to find it.

  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    If it has one it will most likely be behind the fuel tank, the cannister maybe hiding it. Easy way to work in that area is back it up on ramps. :)
  • ofotoofoto Posts: 2
    I was curious how you calculated the build date from the last 6 digits of VIN... Do you mind telling me how you did that? :blush: The last 6 digits of my Maxx LS is 103391.
    Thanks! :D
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    It isn't a calculation - that's all I can say ;)

  • gerigtogerigto Posts: 1
    I've had a squeal in my brakes since about 8,000 miles on my 2004 Maxx. The GM service center has attempted to fix the brakes 4 times with no success. They've replaced pads, milled, and replaced rotors with ceramic. They still squeal when starting to slow down.
    The dealer has now called GM and I was wondering if this has happened to any of you. I have read many of the posts with similar issues, but haven't been able to find anyone that has successfully found a solution. What will GM do?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    e2helper has access to the build sheet, I have a build sheet for my Malibu and Sonoma, long story. Lots of good stuff on it like all the warranty coverage. :)
  • maxxolivermaxxoliver Posts: 78
    Is there a way for any of us to get the build sheet on our cars? I think this would be great information to have. :)
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Your right its loaded with information, a current build sheet will show all warranty work done on the vehicle. I got it from a source I no longer have access to, sorry. :(
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I came with something that may work, I don't know how to PM you. :)
  • maxxolivermaxxoliver Posts: 78
    Thanks, since we cannot post our email address I am not sure how either.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    This may work, I read Edmunds rules so this should be ok. Go to and sign in, we can PM there, I am gonogo on that site. :)
  • cwb098cwb098 Posts: 3
    thanks for the responses to this question. I finally had to have the car towed to a dealer and have the key cylinder replaced. At $400.00, over priced i think. If it happens again this thing gets hotwired.

  • Need to replace the fuel pump for one that will actually work. Do I actually have to drop the fuel tank or is there another way to access it? It is a 97 chevy malibu 2.4L P.O.S.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Yes, not a bad job once you do it a few times. Once I had to have a sender unit replace under warranty, was out of the shop in less than an hour. :)
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Hang on, not sure it still works, will get back. :)
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    What is happening is that the ignition won't recognize the key. It will eventually get worse and the ten minute deal won't work any more. You will need a new ignition module. It costs about $300 to put it in since the dealer has to disassemble the dash.
  • tk465tk465 Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem with my 98 malibu. During hard acceleration or around 3500 RPM's the engine revs and stalls repeatedly as if I'm pushing down on the gas and taking my foot off until it gets beyond a certain point. It also makes a loud noise near the exhaust manifold like it has a hole in it but I can't seem to locate it. It pretty much sounds like herbie the love bug when it accelerates withing the last few days.

    Any clues?

  • fabiophxfabiophx Posts: 2
    About three months ago the check engine light went on and the car was hard to start , so I took to midas and they replaced the coil pack, crank sensor and ignition module($900.00). For about fifteen days the car was just fine but the same problem started again, but at this time the check engine light was off.I took back to Midas and they replaced the fuel pump. Again the car was good for about a month and now the same problem started again, its crank but don't start and when it starts it runs just fine. So please are there anybody out there who have any clue about what is happens with my car????
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    GM used to guarantee any non-warranty repairs done at a dealer. I wouldn't take any of my cars to anybody but a dealer. Anyway the fuel pump does not work if the ignition module needs replacing. This is why when the ignition switch doesn't recognize the key the engine cranks but isn't getting any gas and therefore won't start. There is a possibility that the fuel pump was fine and did not need to be replaced. Normally the ignition module is the only thing that needs replacing and it runs around $300 or so. The module as I recall is about $150 and the rest is labor since the dash has to be disassembled.
  • bloggertbloggert Posts: 1
    my parking permit is usually in between the black rubber flap and the right rear door/window pane. unfortunately someone was playing with the window the other day and when i arrived at work i found that the permit was actually INSIDE the door! (basically they lowered the window, which dragged the permit beneath the window...and the only reason i can tell the permit's still there is when i move the window up and down i can see the "sticky marks" from the permit on the window) do i need to remove the entire door panel to get to the permit, or is there something easier i can do? (also can you completely lower the rear right window??)

    any help would be appreciated!
  • renterrenter Posts: 9
    I have rented a Malibu Maxx from Budget with no owners manual. I need to eliminate the horn honk that sounds whern i lock it using the key fob. Can any Maxx owner help by checking your owner's manual and posting the procedure in reply to this post? Thanks.
  • doombertdoombert Posts: 8
    Does the horn only beep when you press the lock button on the key fob twice? That's the way my 2004 Maxx works. I believe if you just hit the lock button once, it will have the same effect, just without the horn sounding.
    I also believe it can be disabled through the information console where the radio is, but I don't have my car or manual handy. I will check after work and post later, if no one else has replied by then.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    You are correct doombert, there are 2 levels of horn chirp on this vehicle when locking doors.

    If you are hearing the chirp on the first button press then you can turn this off using the Driver Information Center in radio. Just turn on the vehicle and press the MENU button until a menu item comes up which says LOCK HORN (I think this is 3rd or 4th one depending on vehicle). With that displayed just press and hold the ENTER button until the display changes from LOCK HORN ON ---> LOCK HORN OFF.

    You can do similar stuff for UNLOCK separately - along with other stuff as you can see.

    If renter is just noticing that the horn chirps after the LOCK button is pressed a second time then that is BY DESIGN operation and cannot be disabled. It is actually considered a feature which you can use as a quick method for locating vehicle. The fob has an actual LOCATE feature but that does 3 horn chirps.
  • renterrenter Posts: 9
    Thanks doombert - I am getting horn chirp on the first press of the lock button. e2helper explained and answered my question in #2136. You were very helpful.
  • renterrenter Posts: 9
    e2helper - thanks for the help - that solved the problem.
  • townhometownhome Posts: 104
    I know this is a month late, but my Toyota truck had a similar noise. It turns out it was something called a steering stop. They were little rubber things that cost about $2 plus $75 in labor to replace. And, as it turns out, I had to replace them every 5,000 miles or so to get the noise to stop. I don't think this is strictly a GM problem.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    I just learned something else new. (The three chirp LOCATE function)

    How do you activate this feature?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    It should be in your owner manual. What you think of as the PANIC button on the key fob actually has 2 functions. A "short" press gives you the 3 short chirp LOCATE function. A "long" press gives you the normal long chirp PANIC function.

    I would have tested this out to describe better but didn't want to annoy my wife :)
  • townhometownhome Posts: 104
    Remember, as I think e2helper has explained, that for early models, the radio presets are different for each key fob, so if someone is switching back and forth between key fobs, the radio station presets will change correspondingly. Also, I've had other cars that eject CD's at random if the CD is damaged or if the CD player gets too hot.
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