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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • Has anyone used Scotch Guard on their cloth seats in the Maxx? If so, what was the results? I read earlier on this forum that plain water was causing stains.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    At a minimum, I'd give it a few more days. I certainly would not go racing to my favorite auto mechanic as long as you are not noticing any behavior changes. When you filled up your car, did you check your mpg? If you are still getting the same mileage, I would keep going until you are due for your next oil change (or whatever other reason you normally see your mechanic). The sensor which switched the light on has stored the code in your main computer and will not erase even if the light happens to goes out. Any certified mechanic has the equipment to read that code and determine why it went on in the first place. Again, if you have driven for a week and not noticed any performance problems, you are not likely causing any harm, again, considering that the CEL is simply a emissions issue. More importantly, you have weathered the "nervous period" when owners and first time check engine light (CEL) drivers often needlessly pay for unnecessary mechanical parts because their CEL came on. Now that you have taken that deep breath, you and your mechanic can calmly decide if a repair is needed, or if the situation requires additional monitoring once he/she turns the light off and zeros out the computer code.
  • This seems like a stupid question. I was trying to get my hubcaps off my 99 Chevy Malibu and they appear to be bolted on someway. I don't have a owners manual handy. Has anybody else had this problem??
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Why don't you just get an OBD 2 scanner and plug it into the port under your steering wheel and remove all doubt as to what is causing the check engine light to come on? A scanner made by Actron costs only $78.95 and can be used on all cars from 1996 upwards.

    The one by Actron is called the PocketScan model CP9125. Even though you may not be able to repair the fault, you will at least know the direction in which the problem lies and be better informed when you take it in for repairs to a qualified person. You can order it directly from the Actron website.

    I would be very leery of driving a car with a constant check engine light on and, it is bad advice to tell somebody to just keep on driving it.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Has anyone else had this problem? The first time my wife opened the cover on the visor vanity mirrror in our 2005 Maxx with all options except the engine block heater, the cover fell off in her hands. The part was ordered by the dealer warranty guy. Earlier this week I stopped by the dealer, since I had not heard from them in several weeks. It turns out that the part is on back order until November. Today, I opened the cover of teh mirror on my (the driver's) side and it felloff in my hands. A small plastic part shot out and hit my leg. I looked at it, and the cover pivots on tinly little round plastic pegs protruding from the mirror base. Both of those are broken off on both sides. The basic design is garbage, as the pivot should be metal, or a plastic or metal rod which extends all of the way across both sides. I expect better in a car which cost me $24,003.35 plus $2,306.50 tax and license. What do all of you think?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    mine on the drivers side also popped out..but i was able to pop it right back in....I have a an 04 LT with all the options as well....poor design probably.....expect better for a 25k car...not necessarily when I seen the same thing happen on a Lexus and other high end cars as well....yes a poor design......I agree..

    have 40K on mine now...and no problems with the car at all....less this cover...and the rear window shades.....
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    For anyone interested the hardware is available to convert the 04-05 Malibu analog OnStar to digital. :)
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    but wasnt there a standing requirement to get a 3 or 5 year prepaid subscription to ONSTAR in order to get the equipment...and dont you have to pay for the installation???
  • Yes I used Scotchguard on the cloth seets in my Maxx - did not seem to cause any problems. Tried using Scotchguard on key spots on the headliner (near handle grabs) but noted slight color changes occured.

    As for "dealer fabric protection", they asked $500 for a package that wasn't guaranteed to resist any of the common stains. Noooo thanks.
  • I'm interested in this . Where can I get some information on it.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    You could visit OnStar website. They have a short FAQ on this topic.

    From their home site just select the "Is your vehicle OnStar Equipped" topic.

    Then select the "What kind of hardware does my OnStar-equipped vehicle have?" sidebar topic

    From there the link to FAQ on the subject is pretty straightforward.

    Sorry I didn't want to provide a direct link, not sure if we are supposed to do that.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I ordered my hardware today, $549 up front for 3 yrs of Safe & Sound. Hardware and installation free with 3 yr subscription. Comes to $15.25 a month, it’s a good deal for me because I want my wife to have it. :)
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I called OnStar, they looked up my VIN and told it is available for my vehicle. I contacted my dealer to set up an appointment, went in today, they ordered my hardware and I paid the $549. When the parts come in it will be about a 2 hour installation time.
  • Thanks for the reply. Looks like only available in the U.S. at the moment. Canadian customers will be contacted prior to January 1 2008
  • After putting 153,000+ miles on my 1997 Malibu LS in 8+ years, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and get a new car. I really liked my Malibu, so decided to get another one! If e2helper would be so kind as to tell me my build date ;) , that would be really great.

    Dianne in FL

    2005 Chevy Malibu LS
    Last 6 numbers on VIN 339653
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Congrats on new purchase, Dianne!

    You were a very early purchaser of the previous Malibu - that was first year for model.

    I have worked on design for both that one and new model and am pleased you are a repeat customer :)

    Date for your new vehicle is July 26, 2005. That is a very recent build because later that month was model changeover when they started building 2006 models.

    Yours is the newest vehicle I have looked up for anyone here
  • Thanks, e2helper!

    There were many things I liked about my 1997 Malibu (including the color - dark cherry metallic aka PURPLE - LOL), but the fact that was it was the first model year was a bit of a headache. Overall, though, I was really happy with it and very comfortable driving it. So when it was time for a new car, I focused on another Malibu.

    At the dealership I panicked a little over the price of the Malibu (not having bought a new car in 8 years) and ended up test driving a Cobalt as well. That sealed the deal for me on the Malibu! The Cobalt was poky (4 cylinder), and IMO the interior looked cheap with all that molded plastic.

    Thanks again for looking up my new Malibu! FYI - it is Galaxy Silver Metallic. :)

    Dianne in FL
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    NP, If you have any questions about operation of your new vehicle please post back.
  • apparently you must already have it in your vehicle for any of their upgrades or options to be of any value.

    If it is not installed in your vehicle at present, you are out of luck.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Yes there is a bit of content in vehicle for OnStar and it would be quite a chore to add it to a vehicle that didn't have it.

    GPS Antenna, Cell Phone Antenna, Microphone, 3 OnStar Buttons in Mirror and the OnStar electronic module. These are located in various places in vehicle. Plus all the wiring that goes to each.
  • Well I suppose the problem with this design dates back all the way to 2000. I recently bought a used 2000 Malibu LS. When I test drove it I didn't even think of flipping the visor down, but for sure as soon as I left the lot I noticed it. The thing is the part isn't even there, it's just the mirror. This is a hassile because if I put the visor down it hits me just so. Now my question is can I order a part for it if its a used 2000, or no?:confuse:

    :lemon: lemonade
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    The change to digital must be complete system, it's a 2 hour estimate. :)
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    I noticed today that some rust colored stains are on my head liner in two locations. There are a couple around the dome light, and there are two or three along the roof just in front of and behind the "B" pillar on the driver's side. Any thoughts? Possible electrical connections for dome light and side air bags rusting from trapped moisture?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    do yuo have a sunroof?..if so..could mean the drainage tubes are clogged and may need to be cleaned out..
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I think they "only" need to replace the electronic module in the dash, other stuff doesn't need to change - no wiring changes or anything like that.

    Then they likely have to go thru some set-up procedure with OnStar operators to transfer account..
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    No, my Malibu does not have sunroof (although I wish it did).
  • I've read all the posts in the MPG forum and am wondering what the "break in" period on my 2005 Malibu LS will be. In my 1997 Malibu I got 23 MPG a tank on average. My commute isn't highway or city, but somewhere in between. Right now I only have 250 miles on my car and the DIC is showing about 21 MPG. Which, according to what I've read here, is usually high. I love my new car, but one of the reasons I bought a new Malibu is that my old Malibu got good gas mileage for a car its size. Oh, and I'm in FL, so the A/C is on all the time. Thanks, Dianne
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    If it's just a module change it must be buried, the dealer I use can drop a gas tank and change the sender in less than one hour. :)
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    It can take several thousand miles to break-in (up to 5000 I think?) I currently have 13.5K and I get about 23MPG. I drive a fair amount of highway, but I can have a bit of a leadfoot at times. :D
  • As I have stated...I drive my '04 LS (new style w/ 3.5L V-6) about 90% highway. Of that, about 65% is at 56 mph, the rest is freeway at 66 mph. The rest is stop and go driving. In the 9,000 miles I have had this car, I have averaged 37.2 mpg. This is calculated by dividing miles by gallons. My last 4 tanks of gas have averaged just over 38.3 mpg. I try to never let the tach go over 2,000 rpm, and I set the cruise at 1 mph over the speed limit. When I first got the car, I averaged about 36.4 mpg. After those first tanks, I raised the pressure in the tires to 32 psi, which I check every week. I also switched to Mobil 1 5-W30 oil, and my car gets nothing but 87 octane Shell gasoline. I also slowed down from 5-7 mph over the speed limit to the 1 mph over now (so I don't get completely run over!)

    Granted, my tires are not the larger 215-65 R16s, so I roll a little better, and I have the sedan, which is slightly lighter and more aerodynamic. Still, this mileage is within three mpg of what my Chevy Prism (Corolla clone) with a 5 speed manual got. The Malibu is MUCH larger and more powerful than the Prism. I am very happy!
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