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2008-2009 Chevrolet Malibu



  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    So I have passed 1 year with my 2008 LT2 V6.

    Likes - Car drives great, smooth ride and transmission. Very comfortable on long trips, seat warmers keep my wife warm in the winter.Interior is also nice and quiet.

    Dislikes - Trunk opening could be bigger. V6 mileage could be better.

    Issues - None

    What others say - I get a lot of surprised people sitting in my car. People are surprised how upscale this Chevy looks inside and out. I can't disagree. It's not a Mercedes, but it's not suppose to be either.

    Still could not be happier with my car. :shades:
  • m3fan3m3fan3 Posts: 27
    I have an '08 malibu with 22,000 miles and i am hearing a wierd clicking noise when driving slowly around like 10-20mph, any higher mph the noise is there just hard to listen through the road/tire noise. it only happens when moving and sounds like its coming out of the front passenger wheel area (but i could be wrong). any ideas?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Weird could be spooky, but I suspect you should not have a clicking noise. Perhaps if you could describe it a bit more.
    If you have that much road noise, you have noisy tires or is it that faint? Try a quieter type of surface.
    Immediately check wheel nuts to make sure you don't have a loose wheel!!!!
    You might try removing wheel and check area for something that is making intermittant contact. Calipers have been known to make such a sound, especially if the rotor is warped, but then you might also feel that when you brake. With that mileage, you have likely had tires rotated. Have you heeded my advice of getting a torque wrench and check behind the mechanic so that you don't incur such damage? (posted elsewhere as a warning to all)
    Also CV joints can make a sound that is somewhat like a clicking if there is a lot of wear. Usually it occurs prematurely if the boot has been punctured and you loose all of the grease. And often the clicking is worse in a slow turn.
    Also check to see if something is stuck in the tire that might make such a sound as it comes in contact with the road.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I did a search for 09 and this is what I found.
    What really caught my eye was the missing diodes from the fan circuit because they did the same thing on Olds Aurora's. My 96 had the jumper harness added that fixed the problem. Knowing a bit of semiconductor design parameters, voltage spikes beyond design parameters will likely damage them or lead to an immediate death of components. If damaged, it is hard to pinpoint an exact time of death, it could be minutes or even years, but definitely a premature death is extremely likely once the damage has occured.
    Reviewing the 17 service bulletins at this link, most of them could be related to this design flaw. BTW, this also effects some Pontiacs, some '08's, and probably some Saturns. There are only three of these bulletins that can be ruled out, with what info is provided, as not being related to possible damage caused by missing diodes. Two are for hybrid models and the third seems to have been tracked to a loose ground wire by the AC compressor.

    If anyone learns the procedure for determining if the diodes are missing, please post back.
  • I had a disaster with my last car when a radiator hose broke and fried my engine, thus I am now driving 2008 Malibu LTZ 3.6 V-6. In the old days I was under the hood working on spark plugs, points, etc. and would notice when belts and hoses needed replacement. Are the new hoses more durable and how long before one should automatically replace them?

    Thanks, Uncle Dewey
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    My experience only relates to cars that are older. So, I would hope that by now they have worked bugs out of switching to serpentine belts. And that they use quality belts and hoses. I can only hope that they last 10 years, but I won't bet on it. Prior to serpentine, you could get 10 years if it was set up correctly. Often the brackets and parts had a lot of play in the holes and you had to pry the parts into alignment before tightenting. Poor alignment will kill a belt in very short time. And there was the retensioning after break in. I had an 84 Topaz where I replaced the timing, main belt, and idler as ot was approaching 100K. But the alternator belt, because of poor design, was about every 10K. Too much play in alternator pivot point making it very hard to align. Also a very short belt run off PS pump and because the alternator pulley was so small it did not provide enough gripping surface.
    I guess it is time to check warranty and see if belts and hoses are covered.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I still have all my original hoses...but have replaced the surpentine belt...(at about 80K), but it exhibited signs of wear as well..cracking, ribbing missing etc.....
    at my 100K maintenance I also replaced the plug wires as well.....hoses still are pliable and dont show any signs of should still be good....have 155K on my 04 Maxx LT
  • m3fan3m3fan3 Posts: 27
    Hey thanks for replying. Yeah today I found out my driver side headlight is moist inside, and I had the time so I went to the dealer about the light and also mention the noises. and I will be dropping it off officially monday morning since they need a whole day for it. And this is all under warranty. I'll let you know what it is.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Mine is at shop as well. They say the check engine was because of a bad gas cap.
    I am disappointed to learn that is not a switch at the gas door hooked to the alarm.
    Also a foam gasket inside rear window is dislodged. Said they had to replace that whole rear deck panel which seems crazy.
    Still on the hunt for why the vehicle feels so loose and seems to have play in steering, electric assist.
    They got me loaner from Hertz, a LS. Also has some of the weird feeling but hard to tell what is causing issue when this one had dings in both left side wheels and major differences in tire pressure and tire noise that might be cupping or maybe CV joints. Only had 25K. For drivability, the AT6 with I4 is a must. This loaner is a dog.

    I will continue to hunt issue related to loose steering and post what I find. I glanced at an LTZ in showroom with V6, 3.6. The EPA shows worse mileage than an Impala a couple of vehicles over with 3.5 V6 and AT4. How can that be?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    What about plugs? And O2 sensors?
  • m3fan3m3fan3 Posts: 27
    Interesting. Just curious what is your year and mileage? Hopefully nothing else comes around that needs repairing/replacing even though its all on warranty.

    I'll let ya know what the deal is about my noises.

    let me know whats going on about that steering.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    The loaner they got from Hertz, an LS with 25K, had a number of sounds coming from what sounded to be suspension bushings. Definitely not impressive at that mileage. Also I suspect the carpet package that adds a thick one to the trunk is helping keep noise down.
    Mine is 09 Malibu LT2 I4 AT6.
    I'm still not sure where this steering issue is at. My suspicions are 1) something to do with electric power steering, 2) related to alignment, or 3) the tires.
    On the alignment issue, there are two points the way this is aligned compared to what good alignments would be. First, it is stated that for best straight line handling the left side castor should generally be higher than the right side. Mine is the opposite.
    Second, I have issue with the spec for left front camber being different than right side. They tell me this is more common with newer vehicles. Most vehicles would only have this if you intend to drive in circles. Another measurement that is relative to camber is the SAI (something like steering arm inclination). You add this to the camber to get the "included angle" and the difference side to side is supposed to be zero. One of the things this effects is the natural returning to center of the steering if you let loose of the steering wheel coming out of a turn. My print out does not give a specified range for SAI, Included Angle, Turning Angle Difference, Cross SAI, Cross Turn Difference, or on the rear, the Cross Camber. They did give the actual readings of most of these. I plan on having another shop look at it.
    3) Tires. I am not happy with a couple of characteristics of these FR710s, but can not say they are definitely effecting this loose feeling at center until the other two items are ruled out. Not without investing in a new set of tires on a maybe.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    added note concerning it being covered under warranty. This dealer no longer supplies the loaner but gets them from Hertz. These seem to be ragged out cars. First you have to agree on a day, and sometimes they suddenly come up with a conflict when you arrive. (Come back another day). Assuming it is set, they call Hertz to come pick you up. You wait. You go to Hertz, you wait, then go through the usual mess of renting a car before getting under way. When they get it fixed, you go back to Hertz, do the check in, and they drive you to dealer. You pray the work is actually completed.
    Comment from the Hertz counter, two of them told me they see far more business from Chevy than any other dealership they work with.
  • 2008 Chevy Malibu Annoying Shrieking Brakes does anyone know if this is under warranty?I have about 13 thousand Mile on the LS .
  • m3fan3m3fan3 Posts: 27
    Well I got the car back from the dealer, and they replaced for one noise i was having, a right sway bar connection, and for the other noise, they replaced the steering shaft, and the headlight all under warranty. Interesting you mentioned the steering because after this replacement, the steering actually feels more solid when going straight. Like I used to have to twitch the steering wheel left and right. And I can't really say how the rental goes at my dealer because I'm about a week away from my 21st birthday, they did offer it but the age killed it.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    Yes, the shrieking brake noise is covered under warranty. This is what I wrote about it in August.

    We are in the 18th month of ownership of our 2008 Malibu LS.

    Well would you know it--our 2008 Malibu with 15,000 miles was doing fine until the brakes suddenly started to pulsate. We took it to the dealership and their technician determined that the brake rotors had excessive “run out” (whatever that means). They resurfaced the two front rotors and road test. The tech says pulsation was better after the resurfacing but still there. They then resurfaced the rear rotors, which feel much better although not as good as original.

    Also, the shrill or shrieking noise at drive-off was eliminated. Thank God that annoying noise is gone.

    Both repairs were covered under warranty. When we asked how much it cost they refuse to disclose that information. Not that it matters since Obama has guaranteed all GM warranties.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Twitching the steering wheel would be another good definition for what I'm experiencing.
    It seems both components will effect handling. Sway bar components because it will affect the natural height side to side, thus affecting the alignment. Are you saying the twitching is no longer needed? Are you sure that the alignment has not been affected so that it pulls into one end of the twitch constantly. If so, watch out for when a bump or something decides to steer the vehicle to the opposite end of that twitch zone.
    Hope you've got your troubles solved. With todays technology we should be able to run a vehicle to 100K trouble & defect free, except for oil, filter, and tires, excepting abuse type issues.
    I've had more than vehicle where pads lasted 100K and one of them had heavy diesel motor. It seems that all could. They just have to tighten quality control.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Glad to hear it was covered, but lets evaluate this warped rotor stuff. You got a problem, you have to deal with getting car serviced, maybe a loaner or not. Inconvenience.
    They turn your rotors, but still not as good as it was. They've removed metal from them and you can usually only do this once, so next time you have to buy new ones, most often not covered under warranty, unless you can prove it was their fault. Since it was covered, but still not as good, I'd demand new ones.
    So, why did they warp? Nearly all of the time it is because of improper tightening of wheel nuts. Enevenly tightened or overtightened. If they tell you it is because you ran through some water, BS. That only accelerated the real cause which would be improper tightening or a bad design. Most designs are pretty standard and I know of none that have a particular issue. (an example of a design that is a problem because of design would be Tiburon clutch pressure plate. For those who don't know, this is a piece of metal similar to rotor that spins and similarly brake pads engage it as a clutch pad does. They redesigned the center mount and made it out of aluminum. Result, premature failure of components, warping, in as little as 10K. Not covered under warranty.)
    It is a sure bet you've had tires rotated and/or balanced. They did not use a torque wrench to tighten, but an impact instead. That is the reason for your trouble. Make them show you that torque wrench in the tire and brake bay, not one from someone elses area or tool box.
    Buy yourself a torque wrench, $20 and up, and the socket needed, ~$5. Keep it in the trunk and check before leaving dealer anytime a wheel is removed. About 10 minutes to check all nuts. Loosen slightly and then tighten to the setting of the wrench.
    The cheap wrench may not be accurately calibrated, but then even expensive ones should be recalibrated periodically. If it has been, it will have a calibration sticker on it saying when and by whom.
    Even if yours is not calibrated accurately, you won't likely be using it much and it would not be off by much unless you got a really bad one. The most important part to prevent warpage is that the nuts all have the same torque which will be acheived even if it is off a few pounds.
  • m3fan3m3fan3 Posts: 27
    No it wasn't alignment because it didn't constantly pull to the right or left, it just twitched. lol I'm not sure how to describe it. But now there is no noise and no twitching(even though i wasn't concerned about that) and a nice new headlight, now its driving beautifully like when I got it.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    You can have alignment issues without it pulling, and pulling that is not alignment.
  • m3fan3m3fan3 Posts: 27
    Always when any of my cars were pulling left or right, they do an allignment and it doesnt pull anymore. and by pulling i mean if you're driving on a straight road and partially release the steering wheel and the car merges left or right; thats what i mean by pulling. and yes allignment issues could be w/o pulling, however pulling is a possible cause of allignment. allignment is the first thing to check for a problem like pulling
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    You may just need a break pad cleaning.
  • Took the car to the dealership I was told that the rotor are glaz to stop hard if they start to make noise.
  • I recently purchased a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu (new). The dealer swapped out the 18" wheels on my 2LT with the 17" rims from the 1LT. The tire pressure decal on the inside door, however, is for the 18" rims. What is the recommended tire pressure?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Same pressure you have been using before on the 17 inch.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Alignment is certainly a possibility. It could also be a dragging brake so a quick look at these for signs of uneven wear or discolored rotors should be done when the car is initially raised onto alignment rack. Done without any tear down. A quick check for worn or broken suspension/steering components.
    Don't align to stop pull, but to factory spec. If still pulling after brakes have been eliminated, then a single tire is suspect. Rare, but it happens.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    1 Dealer is being slow on fix to tiny dent and scratches when picked up, $1500 worth.
    2 Deforming weather seal at roof line and along rear window. I'm guessing this occurs in carwash and I've seen alot of vehicles where this has occured. Poor engineering.
    3 Foam seal along lower edge rear window, inside, coming out of place.
    4 Discovered engineering flaw with dash vents for A/C. They can not be pointed high enough to do efficient cooling and at highest point flow directly in face causing dry eyes. I'm only 5'8". Dummy is dumb.
    5 I released latch and pushed in that area to open door. Door liner snapped.
    6 Steering wheel is to hard and worse is that it has a strange contour with a high point that wants to fit into the joint of thumb and palm. It gets painful after driving. Dummy could not tell them about this either.
    7 Issue with warning light not going out until after engine was restarted.
    8 Security light would not go out. Started engine four times before it went away.
    9 TSB for missing diodes on cooling fan circuit. Dealer says my VIN not included. I physically and electrically checked for their presence. They are not there!
    10 I'm finicky about tires and thought these Firestones were poor for the vehicle. Discovered they were base all-season passenger tire. Checked my window sticker and it clearly states "Touring Tires". Such better tires would go a long way toward aleviating the slight vibration at highway speeds which is felt at wheel, in seat, and hard armrest. It is like Chinese water torture, after a couple of hundred miles it becomes painful to me.
    11 Discovered how poorly the vehicle really handles, after break-in, on the interstate. Hard to keep it between lines and feels like there is play at steering wheel. Took to service to have checked. They aligned, but was told that is how the vehicles with EPS are. Not satisfied I complained again when it went in for seal issue. They did not even write it down and I was again told normal. Took to another dealer and they told me previous forgot to zero EPS after align. Back at my dealer, I took in for part recieved and again complained of steering and handling. I asked if they had zero'ed and recalibrated steering after the alignment. They assured me that they had. Something is awry and I am not happy.
    12 Doing a sweeping left turn into third lane, road wet, the rear broke loose and was starting to come around. I let off gas and steered into it, saving me from contacting curb. Either the ESC is not working properly or it is slower than I am. I won't bet my life on it.
    13 After about a thousand miles of interstate, several stops, I had to do a near panic stop. Traffic suddenly came to stop downtown Chicago. It felt like braking was weak. I tested the braking some and decided it felt like rear braking was inadequate, like applying front brake on motorcycle without applying rear. Such things as defective proportioning valve or divertor valve entered my mind, but this one has ABS. Still, I elected to push pedal to floor while stopped and then rear braking was better for awhile. I repeated that about every 150 miles for the next 1500 miles. Issue seemed to go away.
    14 Slowing for a traffic light, right front caliper sticks causing decreased braking and shaking. It was not the piston, but the caliper sticking on the slide and why it was shaking. More pedal pressure and it broke loose.
    15 With colder weather, transmission slips going for third gear, until it warms up. Feels like it was kicked into neutral for about a second before it engages. Delay is verified by watching tach which hesitates a second before dropping RPM.
    16 This is a reserved number for when I remember or encounter other issues. This is far more things than I would expect from a new vehicle.

    The BU does have some good points. Peppy when coupled with the AT6 and MPG is pretty good. DIC indicated 29.5 MPG for trip of about 2500 miles. About 2200 of that was interstate and all but once, the old way of checking showed I was actually get about 1 MPG more than the DIC indicated. DIC indicates that at a steady 55 MPH I should see near 40 MPG.
  • >>15 With colder weather, transmission slips going for third gear, until it warms up. Feels like it was kicked into neutral for about a second before it engages. Delay is verified by watching tach which hesitates a second before dropping RPM. <<

    I also have an issue with the trans BUT I have an 08 BU, 4cyl, 4 speed trans.
    I can't figure out if its the engine or trans. When I accelerate, sometimes the engine will rev pass 5k rpm but wont change gears causing poor acceleration.Other times the RPM wont go pass 3k . But after about 10 min , its back to normal.I called Onstar to see if they can do a diagnostic check while I'm driving. According to them, everything looks normal. I have 13k on the Bu. I dont think my issue is the weather because , yesterday the temp at 8am was 25 degrees out , drove to work and it worked ok . I'll bring into the dealer at 15k :confuse:
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Is the vehicle constantly accelerating with the RPM?
    Which gear or gears are effected and what speed range?
    Do you have the paddle shift or ability to manually shift?
    Have you checked the fluid level?
    Check if you have the diodes in the cooling fan circuit. They should be near the connectors if I interpret wiring diagram correctly. If they are not there, you might need the jumper harness fix which adds them. There is at least one reported case of missing diodes causing TCM, transmission control module, to fail. (check TSB's)
    Also there has been an issue with transmission linkage having slipped resulting in vehicles coming out of park. Maybe yours is out of adjustment enough that you are not firmly in Drive.
    Without knowing more specifices, your situation could be the result of anything related to transmission and shifting.
  • e net rider
    I have an 08 LS, auto trans, 4 cyl. I don't have the paddle shift.
    Its an intermittent issue . Sometimes, when I accelerate, It will rev past 5k RPM but wont shift gears (downshift ,I guess) Other times, when I accelerate , it will only rev to 2k RPM and the car just crawls without changing gears . After a few miles , the car shifts ok . This started in the fall , I believe . I hapened once and I just dismissed it
    I'll check the fluid and diodes.Do you have a link for GM's TSBs?
    I went to my Chev dealer back in Feb for an oil change, tire rotation and general inspection. I would hope the trans fluid level was checked at that time
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