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Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, Electrical, Engine, Sedan
#1980 of 3823 Catastrophic failure of both front suspension springs
Jun 10, 2005 (10:13 am)
A few years ago, I helped my in-laws purchase a new 1999 Chevy Malibu. Five weeks ago, my father-in-law went to drive the car, and he noticed the front passenger side of the Malibu was lying on the ground. After having the car towed to the dealership, they said the passenger side front suspension spring was broken, but since the car was out of warranty (it has 109,600 miles), my in-laws would have to pay for the fix. My in-laws take the Malibu into the dealership for regular maintenance, and they never noted any problem with the suspension. They said the car must have hit a rock or something, although everyone we've talked to said it would take more than a rock to break a front suspension spring, and if it did, why didn't it break the spring at the moment of impact?
My father-in-law then asked the service department to take a look at the other spring, and they said it was fine. Earlier this week, my mother-in-law went to get into the car, and the car was lying on the ground again, but this time, it was the driver's side suspension spring that was broken! My in-laws live in Georgetown, Massachusetts, and my mother-in-law had driven out to Shrewsbury (a little over an hour drive) with my wife and kids. My mother-in-law had planned to drive back home that morning when she noticed the front of the car on the ground. I keep thinking of what would have happened to the passengers of the car if the either spring had failed while it was moving on the highway. My father-in-law called the dealership in anger and demanded them to tow the car back to the dealership in order to fix the spring that they said was fine. But they said no, so since my in-laws need their car, they had it towed to a local dealership in Shrewsbury to have it fixed.
My concern at this moment is that GM received a set of defective springs, and that they're on the verge of failure with 99 Malibus hitting the 100,000 mile mark. Both of the broken suspension springs have been saved so that someone could make an analysis of why they broke. My in-laws have also saved the bills from both repairs. At this point, what is their best course of action in order to receive compensation from GM and/or the dealership since I believe a catastrophic failure of such an essential component to a car, with only a little over 100,000 miles on it (mostly highway), is simply unacceptable and dangerous.
It's sad since my in-laws loved their Malibu when they first purchased it (my father-in-law has been a Chevy man his whole life), but between the brake problems with the car, other repair issues, and now the double suspension spring failure, they're ready to make their next car a Toyota.
#1982 of 3823 Hesitation after accelerating from a sharp turn
Jun 11, 2005 (8:02 pm)
There is a sharp left turn I make on my way to work everyday. Before making the turn, I slow down my 2004 Maxx LT to about 10MPH and begin to accelerate as I come out of the turn to get up a slight hill. This always causes my car to hesitate for a moment. Would a PCM upgrade correct this problem or do I need to take this turn a bit differently? I do not go around this turn fast, which wouldn't be possible even if I wanted to. I never had this issue with my two previous cars, so I don't think I am taking the turn improperly. The car's mileage is 12,700 and has never had a PCM upgrade since I purchased it a year ago.
Although I have given you my VIN and build date before, here they are again:
1G1ZU64814F224114 - May 4, 2004
#1983 of 3823 Re: Hesitation after accelerating from a sharp turn [pourlemerite]
Jun 12, 2005 (3:50 am)
pourlemerite: I'm betting it is the tranny. That is my build date too. I'm assuming you have not had the new tranny parts put in to silence the howling noise? I also wonder if your mph is really around 20 and not 10; here's why. I first took my car in for the same problem. I was astonished that this transmission does not automatically downshift when the speed gets so low. My Service Manager stated that since the car does not know if you are coming to a stop, or will want to accelerate after slowing down, the tranny does not try to find a lower gear to accomodate the pending acceleration. You are then left with a tranny which is in too high a gear (4th let's say) to handle the speed range you are in (2nd). Although my Service Manager stated that the new tranny parts would only silence the howl, and would have no effect on performance, I believe it did help the performance slightly; not fixed, but helped. I do not notice the transmission "grumbling" at low speeds as much, as I try to accelerate after a decrease in speed for traffic or a turn. As many of us have stated here before, it makes us wish there was an overdrive off button on the side of the stick (common in many cars these days) to help the car up hills or when driving in slow speed conditions.
Secondly, I also get a hesitation when I stomp on my gas pedal to get the tranny to downshift. It is not the most seamless tranny, although a pretty darn good one nonetheless.
#1984 of 3823 Re: Hesitation after accelerating from a sharp turn [pourlemerite]
Jun 12, 2005 (6:47 am)
You didn't need to post VIN (esp whole thing) again, I have a good memory
Anyways I think maxx4me's real world similar experience was a great response!
As far as calibrations, your vehicle is a late 2004 model build and originally got the calibration that many others have updated to. Per the GM calibration website it (link posted in an earlier thread by someone else) there looks to have been 1 later PCM update which was specifically for a fuel gage not reading full complaint. I thought you might have had some complaint on fuel gauge in the past?
#1985 of 3823 Re: Hesitation after accelerating from a sharp turn [maxx4me]
Jun 12, 2005 (12:49 pm)
A little off topic, but to lock out overdrive just put the shifter in "L" and make sure it says "3" in the instrument cluster. The transmission will then not go into overdrive until you put it back into "D". Others just don't include the one gear under overdrive on the gear shift lever. For example, in a 4 speed auto GM lists 123D, Toyota or Honda just do 12D, therefore to get to 3rd you have to put it in D and hit the O/D off button, and in a GM you just put it in 3.
#1986 of 3823 Re: Hesitation after accelerating from a sharp turn [maxx4me]
Jun 12, 2005 (9:54 pm)
Thank you for your reply, maxx4me. Once the summer heat had ended last year, the tranny howl in my car became miniscule. In fact, I don't hear it at all anymore. Maybe I have just gotten used to it, or the howl reminds me of a similiar howl that was present in the '69 Impala my Dad drove for many years. I decided months ago that I was not having my dealer mess around with the tranny on my car. It seems that they didn't insert the stiffeners for the sunshades properly two weeks ago. The shades didn't pass the interior "heat test" with the advent of the summer season's first high temps last week. I am going back again this week with hopefully better results. I don't know what my dealer and I would do without this forum as my service manage never seems to know anything about a particular tsb until I hand him a copy made from a posting to this site. All things considered, I am very happy with the car. There are always bound to be a few glitches in a new models' first year.
e2helper, thank you for your response as well. My fuel gauge issue isn't anything like what many others have experienced with theirs. Unlike the other Chevy's I have owned, the fuel gauge needle never goes past the "full mark" following a fill up. It is something that I can live with however. I will make sure not to send you my VIN again!
I thank both of you for your responses.
#1987 of 3823 Re: GM ducks the rotor problems [boogm]
Jun 13, 2005 (9:27 am)
I had the same problem back in December. I bought my car new, 300 miles on it (I think was a special order that a customer never took delivery on). Anyhow, after just days of owning it, I noticed the brakes were very rough, thumped and shuttered a lot. Turns out it was warped rotors. They tried to blame me that maybe I was too rough on the brakes for it being a new car, etc. Sorry, I didn't buy it. They never replaced though, only removed and resurfaced. I haven't been real happy with what has happened with my car. Sounds like others are having similar problems.
#1988 of 3823 05 Malibu Maxx Gas Gauge Problem
Jun 13, 2005 (9:44 am)
I purchased a Maxx LS 10 days ago. I took it on a long trip (250 miles each way) and the following happened: While on the highway the gas gauge would go from full to 3/4 and then just drop to Empty. The gas warning light would not come on. If I stop the car and restart it the gauge would reset itself to 3/4. If I keep driving the gauge would slowly climb back up to 3/4. This happened 4 times to me. It never happened when driving off highway. I took the car to chevy where it is right now and they are telling me they they are trying to recreate the problem, which they won't. I am waiting for their response but has anyone had this problem and if so what was the solution?
#1989 of 3823 Re: I think I bought a lemon? Malibu 2004
Jun 13, 2005 (11:22 am)
Me too! I swear I'm getting concerned. I bought my 2004 Malibu in Dec '04, year end close out. After a few days, my rotors were warped and I had to bring it in so they could be resurfaced. They tried to tell me perhaps it was my fault, that I was braking too hard on a new car, etc. Since then I have had the radio replaced 3 times, this is my 4th radio!! It started by draining my battery, trying to rotate my CD changer while the car was shut off, real whacky stuff. To the point where I was left stranded with no battery charge. This happened twice, and now with my 4th radio, I don't have that problem anymore, but now it erases my presets for no reason, and also ejects CD's at random. This happens sporadically, no rhyme or reason to it. I got my car back one week ago, and already it's happened again. Not to mention my steering column was replaced as well. I'm waiting for a response from the service manager, I'm at my wits end. Just yesterday I got in the car and all my presets were back to original settings. I don't understand it, and I'm not happy. All Chevy dealer will tell me is that they are aware there is a problem, but they don't know how to fix. They put in a new radio with different components but obviously this isn't solving the problem since I've already had another issue. Can anyone shed some light on this? Anybody else experience this? I'm seriously thinking of an attorney, this has been the 4th time and to no avail. Thanks for any input!!