Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Interior and Passenger Comfort Concerns

kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
edited October 2014 in Chevrolet
Chevrolet trim can be "snapped back" into position if you press it in the right spot.
I've run across loose trim in several Maxxes and it's often because the trim mounted fastener simply wasn't pushed into the metal chassis mount hole underneath the trim.

However if the fastener is missing or damaged then the dealer will have to get involved.

Also, in the Maxx, you may find you get really loud squeaks or buzzes from the hatch trim itself. That's because the hatch trim fasteners squeak against the aluminum the hatch is made of. Only way to fix this (that I know of) is to remove the trim, put heavy fiberglass or other tape over the fasteners (preventing metal-metal contact), and then reassemble the trim to the hatch.


  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    ..I mentioned my memory was hazy on this! ;)

    You are right redmaxx...the center trim comes off first. It basically pulls straight off (there's either 3 or 4 plug-style fasteners).

    As for that fusebox door, first step is to press in on the round depression of the panel on the left rear side of the hatch compartment (the one just over the left webbed cubbyhole). That will make the trim hatch pop open and down. Once inside, the fuse box is visible and that can be opened by the other instructions posted here earlier.
  • madmaxxmadmaxx Member Posts: 44
    The vents for the rear passenger area work best when using the fan, and if you also close or partially close the vents for the front passenger area.
  • kiltmankiltman Member Posts: 67
    Take it in. They have had a problem with those. I broke mine, as well as the pull-out visor on the skylight, on the first day I had my '05 and they replaced all for free. They said they have had alot of problems with those parts. At least one other maxx was in for similar parts.
  • maddmaxxmaddmaxx Member Posts: 81

    Is the climate control on a '04 Maxx LS interchangeable with the automatic climate control? I guess the LS is somewhat automatic since it turns on the a/c compressor with the defroster, which made me wonder if they were interchangeable.

  • e2helpere2helper Member Posts: 1,002
    Nope - the automatic climate control in the LT and the standard system in other models are quite a bit different.

    If you want details I could provide but likely that answers your question
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    Kurt..have you had experience removing the interior trim on the rear hatch..Im going to have to access the CHMSL to replace seems simple enough..the light has two guide posts and one clip to snap it in must remove the top interior trim to access it.....appears its in three pieces.....any suggestions for unsnapping it???
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    it's been a while, pao, but my memory suggests;

    first remove the side trim pieces (they are held on by "clamp fasteners", and can be pulled loose by pulling them away from the metal and towards the center hatch.)., then pull the top trim straight away from the metal (several metal "prong" fasteners hold this one on).

    when removing side trim, be careful to avoid damaging the rear defrost wires and window grid.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    thanks will look at it more closely tonight...I dont recall side trim pieces...just three panels.....but hey...Im will check tonight....will let you know of my progress
  • redmaxxredmaxx Member Posts: 627
    Kurt, on my Maxx its the top trim that sits on top. If I were to remove the sides first it would pull the top out with it.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    noticed the same when i got home last night..didnt actually pull it off..Im hoping that will give me access to teh CHMSL......but we will see..have the new one in from gmparts direct....simple plug in design with a metal clip to hold it in looks easy enough if I can get to it....will see this weekend...
  • bbbgirljjbbbgirljj Member Posts: 1
    I have read on other forums that Maxx owner's are having problems with the skylight shades popping out of the holders. I seem to be having the opposite problem...they're stuck! When I put my finger into the little hole on the outside of the shade, nothing happens, I can't even feel anything to grap ahold of! My user manual says nothing of how to open the shades either! Help!
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    grasp the shade tab (little dangly tab just below leading edge of the shade), and push it up and towards the side of the trim where the shade is latched to. The shade should then release itself (will pop up slightly), allowing you to gently roll it back into its center wind chamber.

    The fix for keeping the shades latched to the trim tends to make the shades a little harder to unhook from the trim.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    well after looking things over...the top trim panel came off with a stiff pull in the center of the panel piece...exposing the wiring for the rear windo defroster and for the CHMSL...then two access holes....again..some looking over to discover the CHMSL is held in place with two hex fasters that screw onto the plastic posts of the CHMSL......getting those off...being careful not to drop them in the hollow frame of the hatch...the CHMSL falls out....disconnecting it...and attaching the connector....and bang....CHMSL working again!!!!!..inserting it back into the mount..using the same hex fastners....and tighten them both down...the CHMSL is back in place..then with a letter opener...I gently slid it along the both of the CHMSL to raise the rubber seal over the bottom edge of it again...and a total of $36 in parts for the CHMSL..from gmpartsdirect..........thanks for everyones help
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    pao, I have a gas grill that needs puting together :P
  • lcw1lcw1 Member Posts: 36
    Dang the cheap plastic

    I drove a full size Chevy van for years and have no complaints since I never had any real problems. I normally get a new one after 150,000 miles or so.
    Because of the gas price I decided to downsize and was very excited about the Maxx after reading the forum. I found a 2005 with only 15,000 miles and decided to give it a look. The car looked terrific on the outside but when I decided to lower the back seats the plastic lever broke instantly. Granted grace is not my middle name but for a one year old car you would think it would stand a gentle push. Needless to say it was disheartening and I couldn’t convince myself to take the car for a test drive. Chevy might have saved $5 per car to install descent knobs and levers and in the process gain more customers. My question is did anybody experience problems with the interior and how did it affect their opinion of the car.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    when delivered my vehicle had a broken rear center armrest and cupholder unit. Yers Truly fixed it by a generous application of goop and slamming it back together (dealer service at time couldn't change a lightbulb).

    There have been dome and seat headrest rattles (others have had these). Fixable by gluing plastic to metal holders.

    Some mags report plastic flashing all over the place. Who knows where they found it...I did see a little on a couple places of the central console, but not that bad.

    I've never had a seat level break. Front ones are not all that sturdy, though.
  • hgr3inokhgr3inok Member Posts: 28
    We had to replace the right rear seat release lever on our 2004 after 7 months/7000 miles. And I expect we will have to replace it again at some point. For us, that's a fairly minor annoyance for a vehicle that is so versatile, comfortable and inexpensive to operate.
  • estrauss11estrauss11 Member Posts: 5
    I, had the Front Passenger rear plastic cover retainer repleaced, due to the cover popping off, and after six months I had to have the right rear seat lever replaced, but it was only the handle. The service tech, I talked to was saying that whole lever assembly might need to be tweaked. I think that some of the Maxx's had a problem with the rear seats.
  • maxxindmaxxind Member Posts: 22
    I'm new to this forum but I've had my '05 Maxx for about 15 months and 31,000 miles. I second the opinion Buffalonickel: The Maxx compares very favorably to many other makes of cars, both imported and domestic. In the miles I've driven (about 80 percent highway and 20 percent city) I've averaged close to 30 mpg overall, and have had nothing at all go wrong with the car. I've changed the oil myself when the oil life monitor has called for it (using Mobil 1) and had the tires rotated once.

    The power is impressive. I think the Maxx SS is a cool car, but honestly I don't need any more power than the regular one has. It passes effortlessly on two lane roads.

    One interesting thing I've noticed that maybe some other owners might be able to shed some light on: About a month after I got my Maxx a friend saw it, liked it, and got one too. His is also an '05, but what's interesting is he gets a little better mileage than I do, but his car does not feel quite as powerful as mine. I wonder if they have the computers programmed differently on some of them, because it just feels like mine runs a little richer than his.

    I have no intention of having mine re-programmed or anything like that, because I believe, "If it ain't broke, don't break it," and to me the compromise between economy and power on my Maxx is perfect.

    One other question for other Maxx owners: Do you find that in hot weather (90+) you just about have to run the a/c in recirculate mode to get the car cool enough? This is what I find. Also, it seems that the a/c system automatically throttles itself back when the headlights come on. Does anyone else notice this? I figure maybe it's an energy saving feature to limit a/c compressor operation when it's dark out and less cooling is needed.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    I haven't noticed the light/AC relationship issue. However, every car's AC needs to be run on recirculate (inside air) to keep the air cool due to all the plastics in cars. To draw hot humid air in from the outside will ensure that it will take at least twice as long to cool the interior.
  • maxxindmaxxind Member Posts: 22
    I agree that in most situations recirculate makes the a/c work better. An exception might be when you first start up the car and the interior is super-heated from sitting in the sun. I think in that situation fresh air is better than inside air. Recirculate probably saves gas, too.

    But what's the relationship between plastics in the car interior and a/c performance?
  • beedublubeedublu Member Posts: 236
    One other question for other Maxx owners: Do you find that in hot weather (90+) you just about have to run the a/c in recirculate mode to get the car cool enough? This is what I find. Also, it seems that the a/c system automatically throttles itself back when the headlights come on. Does anyone else notice this? I figure maybe it's an energy saving feature to limit a/c compressor operation when it's dark out and less cooling is needed.

    I find that anytime the outside temp is much greater than 80F it helps to use recir mode. That's especially true in direct sun. My 04 hasn't had the headlight related problem you've described.

    Actually, my one complaint with the a/c in this car is the design of the panel vents. They don't allow much vertical adjustment, so you either have to endure cold air blowing directly at your shoulder or just direct it far to either side. And that weird pair of registers on the upper part of the panel doesn't do much good...most of the air comes from the lower center vents and the two outboard ones.
  • madmaxxmadmaxx Member Posts: 44
    "..weird pair of registers on the upper part of the panel doesn't do much good.."

    Those are ment to supply warm or cool air to the rear seat passengers.
  • maxxindmaxxind Member Posts: 22
    Thanks - that's interesting info.

    I think the upper center vents are supposed to "turbo blast" air to the back seat, and the only time they really work is when you close the lower center vent with the rotary thumbwheel control. Rear passengers have said that they can definitely feel air from those upper center vents if I close the lower center vent.
  • maxxlibertymaxxliberty Member Posts: 82
    Recent GM cars all seem to have marginal AC - which the GM AC engineers surely are aware of. My guess is that they are using compressors that take less hp to operate so as to increase fuel mileage. I'd prefer better cooling over minor MPG increases.
  • maxxindmaxxind Member Posts: 22
    Yes, it seems that the newer-design cars are the ones that are getting the lower capacity systems. I think it's not just GM but many cars. I have an '03 S10 that has a/c that gets very cold. Of course, in a pickup, there is not as much inside space to cool, either.

    What I said above was wrong. The thumbwheel opens and closes the rear "turbo blast" a/c vent. To get that vent to work, you have to open its thumbwheel and also close the louvers on the two lower center vents.
  • beedublubeedublu Member Posts: 236
    Those are ment to supply warm or cool air to the rear seat passengers.
    I don't see how, given that there's absolutely zero air coming out of matter how you position the thumbwheel control that supposedly controls the airflow!
  • meandmymaxxmeandmymaxx Member Posts: 134
    I think it also has to do with the new environmentally safer coolant they use,R134A is not nearly as efficient at removing the heat as the old R12 use to be. I had the windows tinted on my 05 Maxx.(first time on any of my cars) To me makes a big differance in how hot the car gets and how quickly it cools down.
  • mdennishmdennish Member Posts: 16
    i live in phx,az and the a/c in my maxx was cooling the car in 110 degree temps, if the car has been outside in the direct sun, ikeep the windows opened 1 inch and run the ac for approx. 5 mins before using the recirculating mode and closing the windows, if the car has been in the shade i start the a/c in the recirculating mode with the wqindows slightly opened for approx. 2 mins and everything is fine. had 4 people in the car for a 2 hr dr. and everyone was satisfied with the a/c with outside temps of 110 degrees. AND I ALWAYS USE MY SUNSHADE on the front window and drape a towel over the steering wheel when parked.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    I'm coming to the end of my warranty so any ideas would be helpful.

    1. Had no heat for a couple of weeks in late April. Was going to take it in at a regular service but it corrected itself.
    2. Since then, on about three occasions, I've had the heat on full blast when the heater controller is off. Not pleasant in late June. This has lasted only a minute or two. I suspect the A/C continued to operate but of course it was totally overcome by the heater. All occurances on start-up with a warm engine.

    Intermittant problems are always pleasant.
  • e2helpere2helper Member Posts: 1,002
    Do you have the auto A/C or manual A/C system?

    Are you saying in first case that you were not getting heat but air (cold) was coming out and in second case that you wanted cold and you were getting full heat?
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    It's the LS with the manual system.

    No heat for several weeks, even when I cranked the dial. Blasting heat in 90 degree weather even with the dial off. I cranked it up and down and it fixed itself that time. Good, because that would have been a nasty 100 mile drive home.

    My guess is that it's in the heater control itself, however I'm always leary about something that happens so intermittantly. I've had little itch and scratch squeak problems with former GM cars, this one's been quiet. Having the dealer dig into the dash on a goose chase is a bit scary.
  • e2helpere2helper Member Posts: 1,002
    OK - It isn't something I have heard of but the HVAC head does control the temperature door motor. Do you often leave the blower speed on HI? Temperature door has to work harder against the increased airflow, just a thought.
  • tehutitehuti Member Posts: 7
    I haven't been on this board in a long while, so this may have been answered already, but I could not find anything about it.

    Has Chevy or some third party come up with a fix for the rear sunshades so that they don't snap open randomly and scare the crap out of me? I had pretty much given up trying to close them because of this. But it's been 95 degrees or more every day for the last few weeks so every little bit of relief helps. If anyone has rigged their own solution I'd also like to hear about it. I have a 2004 Maxx LS.
  • cwesleygcwesleyg Member Posts: 64
    I have also had the bejeeezzzzuss scared out of me by the blinds flying open. I find if I close them it never happens, but when my 6 and 10 year olds close them it happens a lot... cheap fix = close them carefully yourself. :shades:
  • maxxolivermaxxoliver Member Posts: 78
    GM has a fix for that they did it on my 04 Maxx and it worked great. Not sure what the TSB is on it. It was done in the summer of 05. Hope this helps.
  • e2helpere2helper Member Posts: 1,002
    TSB 04-08-110-004B was to add reinforcements
  • otis12otis12 Member Posts: 171
    will a 4 foot wide piece of drywall fit inside the Maxx? thanks.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    Nope, I tried. I have a hitch on the back of my Maxx. I slipped my bike rack on to the hitch, and wedged the piece between the open hatch and the bike hitch. While it worked great, I know this is of no solice to you. Sorry.
  • drejdrej Member Posts: 119
    Hi, You can always add a roof rack. BTW I have a hitch. I would like to add the wiring for the 4 row prong plug for brake-stop/turn-signal lights.
    Has anone done this? thanks in advance D~
  • drejdrej Member Posts: 119
    I managed to tug on the lower back pass side adjustment lever too hard and complete stripped it and broke it off. I was lowering and then lifting the seat-back.
    I can't believe they would design a lever made of plastic with internal splines like that... I mean it just spun off as it was made of clay. I don't think I've used it more than 3 or 4 times since I've had the car. ~ 24K D~
  • williams8888williams8888 Member Posts: 10
    :surprise: Same thing happen to me 3 weeks ago. They replace it. Now my radio controls on the steering wheel are sticking. I guess another trip is in order.
  • tothemaxx2tothemaxx2 Member Posts: 22
    As mentioned in earlier posts, I checked out the vent box behind the glove box. There certainly is a place for a cabin filter. A narrow door opens and a 10"x8.5"x1" filter will fit exactly. It is obviously made for a replaceable filter. Rather than cut a paper filter, I bought a high efficiency electrostatic home filter. They are made to be adjustable, though not down to the size needed for the Maxx. However, I cut it to fit and now have a perfect fitting filter with a complete perimeter fram. Works like a charm and fits like it was made for it.

    Does anyone know what car the vent box was originally for? I figure it may have been taken from Saab, as was the Malibu chasis/frame.
  • indisweindiswe Member Posts: 10
    I had a similar problem last summer and this summer too, though I haven't fixed it yet this time. From last year, the Chevy dealers report said "mode door actuator not opening", "removed actuator and corrected door operation". Then it was fine. And it was covered under warranty.

    Edit: '04 LS. Also now, when I crank the heat up the airflow drops dramatically, but some heat comes out.
  • josephusjosephus Member Posts: 32
    Hi. I have an 05 Malibu LS. Today I noticed that when I'm idling with my defrost/heat on I hear a very noticeable loud noise. If I switch to regualar heat (no defrost), the noise goes away. I don't hear it when I drive or when the fan is blowing past the #1 position. At first I thought there was a big truck idling behind me, but there was no one. That's sort of what it sounds like.

    Any ideas?
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    That was the case with mine too when I took it in for the pre-36K service.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    The top grille is exactly how the '83 Toyota Camry cooled its rear seat passengers. However, the dashboard settings forced all center grille air through that port .vs. the Maxx only sending some of the air through it.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    yeah, after two years, I finally got wise and turned the rear vents off, providing me with more warm air on these frigid DC mornings. :shades:
  • kansasronkansasron Member Posts: 3
    Going to pick up my 2006 Maxx LTZ Friday. I wanted to find out your experience with the UltraLux seating. Does it resist dirt well? Have you put any stain guard (Scotchguard?) on it?
  • brianmabrianma Member Posts: 17
    The design came from Opel as the Maxx sells as the Opel/Vaxhaul Signum in Europe. You can get a cabin air filter in the Opel version, so I'm assuming the design came from there and some bean counter removed the filter to save 24 cents per car in the US market. I'll have to try your filter option as I have some extra home filters of the type you mentioned and will try cutting one down to fit. I assume the door you mention is the one with a black insert type tab holding it in place?
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