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Chevrolet Malibu: Problems & Solutions



  • Thanks Maxx:) I'm especially concerned becuz it's such a great price=$12K!!?? BUt than it's just a base model. They are offering 2- a white and black so I"m undecided there. Both run about the same however the white one's driver door required closing 2x's and they say it's cuz of the "vacuum". I'm just NOT happy with the sales people at this dealer as they wont' let me take it for the 24 hr test drive...
      Is the low price a sign or just them wanting to get rid of these base models??
     PS I really appreciate all this input and think this and are another major perk of a web!
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yeah, they simply need to get rid of these "old" models in preparation for the '05s rolling in. Don't just look at the price; will the car meet your needs? I know for me, the malibu sedan would do nothing for my lifestyle. I wouldn't buy one no matter how low the price was. I need a hatch/wagon, and I DEMAND seating for 4 adults. I think the legroom in the back of the malibu sedan is useless, like 90% of the sedans on the market.
  • E2helper-
    No I do not know when my vehicle was there someplace where I can find that out...I know it is on the car someplace probably! And no none of the work orders from the dealer say anything about reprogramming the powertrain control module...what would this mean?
    And where can I find out about the latest calibration for my vehicle?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Sorry Bonnie,

    I should have been a little more help...

    Look at the last 6 digits of the VIN on your vehicle (the stuff after "F")
    Is is greater than this number?

    If it is NOT then there is a later calibration available for your vehicle that the dealer should likely try out.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    sorry e2helper, but are we still talking about the idle issue? My VIN is lower than that number you posted. What should I have done to my car, and for what symptom? Thanks as always.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I knew you were going to notice - can't slip anything by you, "H" (LOL)

    Go to this site with your VIN

    Since it isn't a protected site behind a GM firewall I figure you might have found it yourself anyways. Probably some requirement that companies make this available to public. Make sure pop-up control turned off for this site with lastest IE or you won't see a response.

    For this specific calibration update I mentioned is the following comments:

    New calibration with diagnostic enhancements for DTC P0340. Also improvements for starting, idle quality, and shift stabilization affecting 3-4 upshift.

    Really this is the only information I have
  • e2helper:

    Any idea about this calibration update mentioned on the GM site regarding setting P0455?

    "12589770 12589771 New calibration to reduce the potential for setting P0455."

    Is it for the "Check Gas Cap" alert?
  • Yes it is less than that!! What do I do now?
  • I will try that website also!!! Thanks. I will keep you posted!!!! Thanks again for all your help.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Maxxliberty, yes the P0455 diagnostic code is the same thing that sets the Check Gas Cap Warning. Keep in mind this site is showing a complete history of calibrations from beginning of model year and that your vehicle (depending on build date) might already be at the lastest shown.

    Bonnie, in regards to your vehicle all I can say is that there is an updated PCM calibration available for your vehicle. I am not going to say that it will address your concerns but it certainly is something that dealer could try.

    I would suggest either contacting the dealership or the GM customer care contacts you already have and tell them you have learned there is a new PCM calibration available for your vehicle that MIGHT address your idle concern. It is always possible they already updated your vehicle with the calibration and just didn't tell you.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    "New calibration with diagnostic enhancements for DTC P0340. Also improvements for starting, idle quality, and shift stabilization affecting 3-4 upshift."

    Thanks e2helper, but the site did not work for me. I guess I'll just have to see my dealer. So: is the P0340 a computer code for the rough idle that this calibration is supposed to fix? The reason I'm asking is that won't my service manager simply say that since there is no code (CEL) that there is nothing they can do for me?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    That code would set a CEL. No need to update calibration unless you are experiencing a problem that it looks like the update would address.

    You are occassionally seeing a Check Gas Cap Message, right? This should occassionally be causing the CEL to turn on as well (due to P0455). However in that case I already gave suggestion on what probably should be checked by dealer on your Maxx in the other forum.

    Probably the web site doesn't work for you because of the settings set up for your web browser. Are you using Internet Explorer? Did you update your Win XP to SP2? If so this site is getting treated with Pop Up control and so the window you want to see is being suppressed. I had the same problem until I allowed pop-ups at that site.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    thanks, no, I turned off all my pop up blockers and firewalls. I don't know what is stopping the site from working.
    and no, I'm not having any problems other than a few rough shifts here and there, and the rough idle at a stopped position. So I guess you are saying, there is no need to take my car in unless the check engine light goes on?
  • e2helper:

    >You are occassionally seeing a Check Gas Cap Message, right? This should occassionally be causing the CEL to turn on as well (due to P0455).<

    >However in that case I already gave suggestion on what probably should be checked by dealer on your Maxx in the other forum.<

    I'm not getting CEL when Check Gas Cap message displays.

    Checked other forum (Chevy Malibu Maxx) and couldn't find your suggestion on this issue.

    Would you give previous message number or repeat suggestion?... thanks.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    e2helper: just spent an hour with my Chevy service manager and got some interesting tidbits:
    1. he had trouble getting the website to work too. At least when he did it, it took my VIN, but would not return any info. I can't even get it to work to that point
    2. he is willing to read all the programs which reside in my computer to see if that calibration was done. But, he cautioned that in rare cases, if he flashed my PCM, another problem could be caused by him doing so. At this point, I'd rather put up with a little shake until more is known.
    3. (off topic) he said that one can now mix regular oil and synthetic. I was shocked by this, but he claims that Mobil 1 is reporting it as true.
  • Okay I got to the what do I do?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I might have opened Pandora's box with that site - sorry.... (LOL). I don't feel very HELPful with recent posts and might need to stick with my "knitting" (talking about feature/functions on vehicle and stay away from engine stuff) :(

    Otherwise I am going to get myself in trouble with your dealers. I hope that hasn't happened already ;)

    But one last try:
    maxxliberty: I believe what might be happening with your vehicle is that the Check Gas Cap message come on the first time a diagnostic runs and fails but if test doesn't fail on a second ignition cycle then the CEL doesn't turn on (sorry, my bad). What I had referred to in another post is only applicable if you are also having a problem with your fuel gage not reading "F" when you fill your tank. Does that happen on your vehicle? If so ask your dealer to look up that complaint in his system (PIC3088) - I can't give you any more details than that.

    maxx4me: I sometimes have problems with that site as well - it IS flakey. I think you have the right idea about reprogramming/reflashing. If you aren't being told it needs to be done and you aren't experiencing any problems that cause you to want to change something then leave it alone for now. You now have a tool to find out if new calibrations exist (if you can figure out why is isn't working on your computer).

    bonnie: In your case I already know that your vehicle has previous calibration and your original posts mentioned concerns with the idle quality of your vehicle. Read maxx4me's previous post (#265) and consider talking to your service manager about potentially reflashing PCM to see if it improves situation with your vehicle.
  • e2helper:

    >...and might need to stick with my "knitting" (talking about feature/functions on vehicle and stay away from engine stuff) :(<

    Many heads are better than one! Hope you hang in there on engine stuff also. A dealer should appreciate help in diagnosing glitches!

    GM calibration site has not been functioning - it will probably come back eventually.
  • E2helper-

    No you have been QUITE please keep up the good work....!!! My husband is calling our dealer today and mentioning that we came upon that website and we will take it from there. I will let you know what happens!! Thanks again for all your input.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    e2helper: I already know TONS more about my Maxx than any dealer I have seen. Your advice is priceless. My Chevy dealer has been very receptive to the anonymous information I have provided him. Granted he does work for Chevy; if I showed up at Mazda dealership they'd rip my head off. Keep up the good work.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Thx for encouragement you all :)

    I do know a lot about this vehicle - I should, since I have been involved with it since the inception of program several years ago!!

    This is a super site (probably my favorite of this type) and I have recommended it to many of my co-workers as another way to get input from our customers.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    the site is up and running now e2helper; I'm simply clueless on what it is telling me. There are at least 5 calibrations to chose from. When I pick the one for rough idle/starting, it continues to require input from me. I was expecting a list once my VIN was entered, but no such luck. Today, I had my first hard starts. Twice it behaved as though the car wouldn't turn over; almost like it was flooded.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    maxx4me Glad to hear you were able to look at site. Now the bad news. It isn't as fancy as you would like. When you type in your VIN it is just filtering calibration files for your vehicle type. It is not smart enough to only provide you with calibrations later than what was on your vehicle originally.

    So you might sometime have to take your dealer up on figuring out what PCM calibration was originally in your vehicle. However in your case I can probably give you same info with knowledge I already have on your vehicle (I will PM you this weekend)

    Keep us posted on any futher hard starts and descriptions and I can check if this might be an indication that the updated cal might help.
  • usausa Posts: 8
    Has anyone tried driving about 50MPH with a rear window down in the Malibu Maxx (and leave the front windows closed)? I have. The air rushing in sets up a violent roof vibration. Also the vibration creates air pressure pulses that hurt my ears. I reported this to my salesman and he tested another 2004 Maxx and a 2005 Maxx. They both had the same roof vibration.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 128
    When I had windows down in back I noticed the same loud "rumbling" noise. I did not know what to make of it. I think it has something to do with the raised area by the sky light. I tend to leave the roll cover open on the sky light. I thought it was vibrating when closed with rear windows open. Although I never tested the theory.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    standing by e2helper. I can provide whatever data you need. Thanks as always.
  • I will be taking my 2004 MALIBU to the dealer for the second time tomorrow for the ROUGH IDLE problem. The first time in August they checked PCM for updates and reprogramed. This helped the idle slightly if I have the A/C on. Idle is still very rough with A/C off. I wish I had never bought this car!!
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    OK maxx4me

    Good news

    Your starting PCM calibration is 12592927. This means you already have the latest available. Looks like your vehicle was one of the first to get this update.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    thanks much. I guess I'll have to wait for the improved version of the PCM programming for people like Bonnie, gracelyn, and all the others to follow
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    At least you have a baseline on where you are starting from.

    I will assume you haven't gotten your oil change yet (when you were going to have dealer take another look at fuel gage/Check Gas Cap complaint)? Keep us post on this.
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