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Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, Electrical, Engine, Sedan
#2195 of 3823 Re: Chevrolet Malibu Owners: Problems & Solutions [KarenS]
Jul 24, 2005 (2:14 pm)
I am the frustrated owner of a 2001 Chevy Malibu . I bought it used with less than 20,000 miles. It has been nothing but a problem child! I've had issues (CONSTANTLY) with the brakes and the fuel tank. Now, after replacing the brakes in March, it looks like I have a new problem to deal with and its a different one. The "Check Engine Light" came on.
Being a flight attendant, my schedule is hectic. I called the dealer and they said that unless it was blinking, it wasn't a big deal. Well, guess what? I came home Friday and today, Sunday, I ran a few errands. After finishing the last errand, I came out to my car to find it dead. It won't turn over! Now what?!
I've been reading these posts and my conclusion is that I have an ignition module problem. Since I need to fly again tomorrow, my dad will be dealing with this issue. I told him to make sure and mention the ignition module, as I doubt it's a fuel tank problem after reading so many posts here. I don't want to spend that much money fixing it, either, as I am trying to locate a new car. That takes time, though, and I'm in serious short supply.
That brings my next question, do I buy another Malibu? I heard the 04 and 05 models are a vast improvement. Can anyone attest to this? I'd like to go foreign but I live in the Midwest and there aren't too many dealers (or service stations) in my area. Also, my dad is heavily against foreign cars (Not that his opinion matters much in this area, as he has chosen all of my cars to date and they have all been evil!) I really don't want to buy another junker! Please give me your honest opinions and if not a Malibu then what???
Thank you SO much!
Jul 24, 2005 (4:42 pm)
e2helper can you give me one more build date? 04 Malibu Maxx 4F161160 Thanks Deanna
#2197 of 3823 Re: Chevrolet Malibu Owners: Problems & Solutions [pushingmyluck]
Jul 24, 2005 (8:55 pm)
I have an 04 Malibu Maxx, which I really like. I've had a few issues that have been handled properly by my dealer: Incorrect fuel gauge reading (solved by replacing tank), Check Engine light remained lit (solved by reattaching an emission hose that came loose) and most recently a defective electric connector that shorted out the right front parking lamp. Aside from those things, it has been a pleasurable 12000 miles of driving.
Keep in mind that the 04 was the first year of a brand new design, so some bugs would be expected. Presumably the 05 models are better. Also, choose your dealer carefully -- mine has a super service department and believe me, that makes all the difference!
I compared the Malibu closely with the 04 Honda Accord and although I think the Accord is just a little more nicely finished, I really don't think there is enough difference in the overall driving performance to justify the extra cost. In my case, with the GM Card rebates, it would have amounted to over $2000.
I think the 04/05 Malibu offeres a lot of bang for the buck: Smooth, quiet, solid feeling, decent performance and great gas mileage (25-26 MPG in suburban stop and go). Good luck with your decision!
#2198 of 3823 Re: starter [christinad]
Jul 25, 2005 (1:57 pm)
I have also noticed this with my Malibu Maxx. It seems more likely to happen after the car has been run and parked for a while. The engine starts but then there is a sound like a low growl or something unwinding. It sounds almost like it's coming from the sterring wheel.
I haven't been able to reproduce it reliably and the dealer thinks I'm crazy. As long as it doesn't shorten the life of the starter or some other component, it's not a big problem. But not having an explanation is rather annoying.
#2199 of 3823 Re: starter [lfarkash]
Jul 25, 2005 (6:21 pm)
Mine did the same thing today too for the first time that I have noticed. I was picking up my car after the first oil change and noticed it when I started my car. I said "Oh my gosh, I have read about this on Edmunds" I have started it 3 more times since without duplicating it.
Jul 25, 2005 (6:37 pm)
I might have heard that low growl as well, but have not paid that much attention. Will listen more closely now.
Are your steering columms factory issue, or have they been replaced?
One thing you may end up with when the steer columm is replaced are rattles in the dash. My Maxx gained several after that swap, but the dealers I have would probably destroy the dash fixing the rattles, so I live with them.
And incidently, t's not just the General's fault. Every first year car I have seen posted here is having more than its share of problems. Unfortunately there aren't enough changes in the newer Maxxes to make "trading" to a new one (in the hopes the bugs have been banished) cost effective.
#2201 of 3823 Re: starter [kurtamaxxguy]
Jul 25, 2005 (6:47 pm)
Everything is factory. I have a 2-05 build date and have only had the sun roof wind deflector added. It makes driving very quiet but blocks several inches (at least 4) of the opening. Noise or view. It is a trade off.
#2202 of 3823 Re: starter [kurtamaxxguy]
Jul 26, 2005 (5:14 am)
I have one of the earliest 04 Maxx's and the steering column has been replaced. Thankfully no rattles. I'm taking the car in to have the driver's seat controls replaced. My seat lists to starboard. Thank goodness for the warrantee period. I, too got the wind deflector for free and recently had the headliner replaced to take care of the window shade problems. My dealer has been very good about fixing things. I guess that's the next best thing to having no problems to start with.
Still very happy with the car and would recommend it to anyone.
#2204 of 3823 Re: one more date [maxxoliver]
Jul 26, 2005 (10:32 pm)