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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    wearing badly.....worn on the inner or outer edges...flat are the tires wearing....almost 25k on my OEMs...put another 30K on factory upgrades...and never had any significant wear......sounds like you have an alignment problem...
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    I've been using DexCool since 1998 without any problems on 2 GM vehicles. My 2004 Malibu with the all aluminum Ecotec engine has it as factory fill. Dexcool is formulated for aluminum blocks and heads. It will void the warranty on a new GM vehicle if any other coolant is used. The problem occurs when other coolants are mixed with it. This often happens when service centers "top up" fluids. Short answer - DO NOT change your factory fill DexCool for any other coolant. Rather, to be safe, drain the DexCool after 2 years or so, flush, and refill with fresh DexCool.

    This is not true. You can add another coolant, but it voids the extended life of the DexCool. There is also not a problem mixing in another coolant. Problems arise when the system is not maintained (people a decieved by GM's marketing into thinking its maintenance free for 5yrs/150k) properly. It needs to be checked regularly like the oil and it should be at or above full.

    Besides those items there were some vehicles that did not have good radiator caps from the factory. Poor design on GM's part but it was not other coolants that caused the failure.
  • Same thing happened to me today when going into the dealer for a oil change, no turn signal. It worked 1 block earlier when I turned onto the street then failed when I turned into the dealer. I remembered reading this thread and tried the 4 way flashers and they worked fine. And the turn signals worked after that, and I couldn't get it to do it again for the dealer (Naturally) 05 Maxx LT Any Ideas????
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I forgot to ask when you found one turn signal not working did you happen to try other side as well?
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    So why does it void the extented life of the DexCool? Because it screws up the formula that is supposed to protect aluminum. Just remember too that radiators and heater cores are also aluminum in modern cars and DexCool was formulated to protect these as well as aluminum blocks and heads. Mixing other coolants with DexCool has also been reported to form a crud.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,307
    They said that even using an antifreeze tester that has some residue from the green antifreeze would contaminate the DexCool...

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Yes I did, and neither side worked. It has been fine ever since.
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    My left front turn signal failed. I went to change the front bulb and there was nothing wrong with the bulb. I brought it to the dealer and they changed the front left light module as it had an electrical short. This is only the second warranty issue other than recalls. I continue to be very pleased with this car.
  • I had the same problems with that very very bad creaking sound in the back of the car. GM has had my car over 32 days and spent a lot of money on the problem. I got fed up and jacked the car and found the problem myself and try the silicon spray. It was not the rubber bushings it was a brake line bumping the frame. A little foam part that cost less then one cent had moved out of place and was allowing the break line to hit the frame just after the conectio0n to the rubber line that feeds the wheel. As the wheel moved it would make the metal line rub and shake and cause the funny noise in the car. I thought that this little problem could not be the cause of all this creaking but it was.
  • glennbglennb Posts: 34
    I have had five occurances of turn signal problems on my '04 Maxx. The dealer replaced the rear lamp sockets, and 2 occurances of the right front signal not working were fixed when I re seated all the relay modules in the fuse box (that may have been totally coincidental though). One occurance of my right front signal not working was a burnt out bulb. In contrast, my '93 Voyager van has never had a signal or brake bulb burn out in 133000 miles (hope I didn't jinx myself now.) When I took my Maxx in earlier this week for the radio and steering column replacement ( the on/off knob graphic was wearing off, they had to replace the entire radio)I noticed the upper level brake light was burnt out. That had to be replaced as well. This car does seem to suffer from a glitchy electrical system.
  • Purchased a 05 Malibu Maxx LT last Sunday. Had to turn around on interstate after 20 miles and return it because of full vehicle vibration. Dealership offered to upgrade us to fully loaded 05 LT at same price. We agreed and left the dealers lot. This 05 LT with 5 miles on OD had same problem but to a lesser degree!!. Returned car a couple days later to have wheels re balanced. Service consultant said car still has vibration and that GM recommends that I drive car for 1000 miles and bring it back if problem still exists. Has anyone had a similar problem? Can a car develop this kind of problem from sitting on a lot for close to a year? Two new vehicles with similar problem!!! :cry:
  • CU has consistantly reported Malibus and many GM cars having electrical problems as they get into 3 or more years of age. I am starting to see glitches in my Maxx (mostly centered around ignition switch) - not serious yet, but a cause for concern.

    ma_maxx, if the car has been sitting in place for a __long__ time the tires can develop flat spots and then the car will vibrate excessively when driven. Do you feel the vibration/thumping at low speeds? Also, does the vibration change "character" after you turn a corner (turning will make the wheels change position with each other)?
  • Thanks for your response. Vehicle vibration can be felt from 35/40 all the way up to 80 mph. Not sure if it changes character when turning a corner but will look for that tomorrow. I hope that is all it is and that a new set of tires will cure it because I am sure that I will be bringing it back the week after next when it reaches 1000 miles.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,307
    If both cars have set a long time, it might be the tires. It could be poor balancing. It could be the tires are out-of-round, possibly from sitting.

    If there's any question about the tires, as for Michelin replacements.

    There were problems with rigid bodies and light suspension weight for parts that caused vibrations to amplify on some Devilles, Sevilles, Park AVe, Auroras, and LeSabres. These were fixed by replacing with Michelin Symmetry tires and using road force balancers (Hunter 9700). Most dealerships now have these for correcting problems.

    But the vibrations from those are subtle. They are not strong like an out-of-round tire or out-of-balance tire gives. They also seemed to transient. They were there varying with temperature, road surface, full gas tank, in different amounts.

    You sound like yours were definite problems.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Ever since I bought my first GM product, a 2000 Alero, and now with my 05 Malibu I bought a year ago; I've always monitored GM's Techlink site, to see about certain issues the car may develop. It was quite helpful, sometimes, in diagosing. looks like, they're no longer allowing us public plebs to monitor the site:

    "For security, the TechLink website is being moved behind a General Motors firewall and will no longer be available to the public."

    Wonder why? :(
  • My son and I are going to look at a 2002 malibu today for his first car. It has 49,000 miles on it. I want to know if there are any known defects or problems with it before I go. Anyone know anything about that year. The seller seems eager to get rid of it...
    As far as I can tell, the 97,98,and 05 models all seem to have brake problems or power steering issues. I may be reading more into that than is there. I just want to be thorough.
  • My Dad has the 2002 with much less mileage on it. He bought it new. I was surprised that the front struts needed to be replaced already. They were covered under the regular warranty. Other than that the car has been flawless and I hope he can pass the car along to my son in a few years for his first car. I feel it is an excellent choice for a first car. What is the asking price? (Just out of curiousity)
  • He is asking 5,000. Thanks for the info.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    GM is trying hard to keep us from being able to fix our own cars, it is a good way to keep up on how to repairs and the new technology.
    I think they don’t want us to know what problems they have identified, most owners will not know what problems GM is having.
  • For some reason I have a car that idles all over the place. Sometimes it runs 2500 RPM and other times it stalls. Most of the time it runs ok. Does anyone have an idea or have had a car that did the same.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    It's very simple - GM wants us to take our cars to dealers for repairs. Well I have news for them. Only under extreme circumstances will I be taking my car into a dealer for anything. I don't even trust them for an oil change.

    But rest assured that all knowledge about any car finds its way onto the internet. So I'm not worried. They can keep their precious TechLink.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    good price. I'm sure it is that low for a reason. Take a nice long test drive and have it checked out by a mechanic.
  • I wonder if someone can suggest something and save me a trip to the dealer. My remote starter has only been working off and on since a rain-turning-to-ice storm a week or so ago. I suspect that it has something to do with water in the lock mechanism freezing and sending a signal that the door is not properly locking. The problem goes away briefly now and then, and I think it may be when the weather gets warm enough. I was hoping the water would drain away completely, but so far no luck. Any ideas? Thanks.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    It would not be due to the condition you are describing. Although you have to press the "LOCK" button on your key fob it is not required that the doors actually lock for the remote starter to function. So it is likely something else. Unfortunately since you have a 2005 I don't have any recommendations that you could try out on your own to understand why you might be having intermittent operation. Most likely will need to take to dealer.

    You don't have any "Check Engine Light" on occassionally, do you? That will prevent remote start from working.
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    So why does it void the extented life of the DexCool? Because it screws up the formula that is supposed to protect aluminum. Just remember too that radiators and heater cores are also aluminum in modern cars and DexCool was formulated to protect these as well as aluminum blocks and heads.

    Simple. GM can only gaurantee the protection package in DexCool as long as it remains in the 50/50 mixture from the factory. Start adding regular green coolant, which doesn't contain the same protection package and would you be willing to certify that it goes 150k miles?

    Mixing other coolants with DexCool has also been reported to form a crud.

    Those reports are incorrect. The crud and sludge is when you introduce air into the system by not keeping it full (and in the case of systems that aren't self burping) and not getting all the air out. Try letting a green coolant go for a few years running low and see what happens.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Ok, you win. There is enough internet chatter about DexCool without having to have more about it on this forum so I'll just bow out on this one.
  • I am having the same problem with mine It has been in the shop for the past 4 days and the tec. can't find what the problem is. I was searching for troubleshoutins and I think that it has to do with the theft system. The car will stall or the idles will go down or shut of. Even when you turn it on again it will do it several time. My car has been checked from top to bottom and everything is excelent
    If you come up with something else let me know.
    good luck
  • How long are you holding the start button?? I found on my 05 LT that I have to hold it for 3 maybe 4 seconds after hitting the lock button,for the starter to kick in, even tho the manual says 2 seconds. Just a thought.
  • skylight area is indeed prone to rattles. My '04 Maxx visited a GM clinic 5 months into its life and they had the skylight trim off to add various shims and stuff to reduce rattles. But the dome light was missed, and began to misbehave shortly afterward. Ditto the seat headrest holders, which had to have their plastic inserts glued to the metal holders.

    Another noisy area in the '04 Maxx is the rear trim on the hatch. If, when you close the hatch, you hear a loud squeak or shriek, the metal fasteners of the plastic trim are grating on the aluminum hatch body. I had to remove all of mine, coat them with plastic tape, and reassemble - the hatch squeaks are pretty much gone now.
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