2004 Malibu LT - A/C Problem [Archive] - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums

: 2004 Malibu LT - A/C Problem

06-06-2009, 09:37 AM
Looking for any assistance or similar issues that have been resolved. Have a 2004 Chevy Malibu LT with @ 56,000 miles. Bought it used several years ago and have been doing (learning) how to do most of the work on it. An intermittent issue has arisen with the A/C system.

If you have just started the vehicle and you try to use the A/C or the Defroster, the compressor short cycles. If you turn the system off and then proceed on the road and turn either on it will work fine while your driving and idling in traffic. Every now and then it will turn off (depending on your speed) but it will come back on shortly.

I had a mechanic friend of mine check it out at is shop and he confirmed it has plenty of refrigerant and you could see the pressure build in the high side when the a/c switch was engaged. He said the cooling fans and the compressor should come one thus equalizing the pressure but the fans never came on and the compressor short cycled. We drove it around the block and turned everything on and it worked fine. He does not feel as if it is anything to do with the actual a/c system dererring to something electrical like a relay although he said he never saw this problem before.

I checked out the 4 main relays and the fuses and all "appear" fine.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated in help to solve the issue.

Thanks! V

06-07-2009, 07:04 PM
Vader you might check the pressure switch that screws on the side of the receiver/dryer. I've had them go bad an give the wrong info. Good luck

06-08-2009, 08:44 PM
Thank You Kurly! Since I am still learning- Is the switch something I should just replace and / or is there a way to tell if its faulty?

06-08-2009, 09:19 PM
If it's a two prong plug you can take a little piece of wire and stick it into the 2 female connectors in the black rubber cap that plugs into the switch. If your system is fully charged, the a\c should blow cold and not cycle. The switches are cheap if thats what it is. Also if you know anybody that has a car like yours you can swap switches [as they just screw off] and see if that fixes it. Good luck. There is also a chance that the control head in the dash is defective. If everything else checks out good I would go there. Do you have automatic air?

06-09-2009, 07:31 PM
Thanks Kurly - I am now familiar with the switch you talked about and have seen it - I will have to check that out. In answer to your question I do have the settings where I can do "Automatic Air" but I rarely use them. Also its funny you mention the control head in the dash - I have noticed that on a few occassions I would turn the air control knob on and them push the A/C button and nothing would happen - then if I pushed it a second time - the green light would come on - this does not happen every time. Is the control head something that is easily accessible and can be replaced?

Thanks again! V

06-09-2009, 08:15 PM
Vader, the control head is a common problem with a lot of GM cars starting in about 97. If your a\c light flickers off and on or is hard to make it stay on it's a bad head. The plastic around the head should pop off, I'm not real sure how the dash looks on your 04 but a 9\32nd socket should fit on the screws that hold the head in the dash.They are a liiiiiiitle more money I'm sorry to say, but then again summer IS coming.:) I can look up a picture of your dash tomorrow at the dealer out here if you like.

06-14-2009, 05:30 PM
Hey Vader what happened to you? Did you get your air fixed?

06-15-2009, 11:12 AM
Hi. 2002 Malibu..I bougut it in 2003. This problem has been there since I got it. I have had the control panel in the dash replaced twice. Once by the Chevy Service Center and once at Goodyear. Neither time did it fix the problem, not even for a day. Almost every time I stop at a light, the A/C shuts off. If I turn the controls to the highest fan setting & the selection to the body of the car, not feet or defrost, it might stay running, but not always. It's really hot here in Texas & not much fun to be sweating in a car that has A/C. I am just frustrated over this. I love my Malibu & don't want to get rid of it, but really getting sick of this. can anyone help me? Thanks, Robin

06-16-2009, 08:57 PM
Duncan I will see what I find out for you Wed and post it that evening.

06-17-2009, 07:11 PM
Duncan I went on the iATN website today and looked for the same problem you said you have and I found several answers that matched your problem. The fix was to install a new ignition switch asm. They said that the switch will sometimes not send voltage to all the circuts because it's defective. Hope this helps.

06-17-2009, 07:13 PM
Hi Kurly - I unfortunately have not had a chance to even check out the pressure switch as I had some other things come up. I am hoping to check this weekend coming up. Will keep you posted. Thanks again! V

07-02-2009, 11:28 AM
Thanks for checking. I appreciate it. I am going to take this page to the dealer & see what they say. A couple of posts above say it is the control head, but I know that is not it. I have had it changed twice & it still does the same thing as soon as I leave. Has not fixed it either time. A/C cuts off when in idle or at a light. Green light flickers & then goes off the same as above post. If I have the blower on as High as it goes, it might stay on, but not always. A/C does blow cold, just won't stay on. Thanks for the info. What is the iATN that you are talking about? Thanks again, Robin

07-02-2009, 08:21 PM
iATN stands for International Automotive Technicians Network. A coworker belongs to it. He used to have his own automotive shop.We have used it many times when theres a problem we can't solve. A lot of wisdom on that site. Good luck.


09-08-2009, 05:24 PM
Hey Kurly,
Sorry for the delay on this one but I finally started troubleshooting the A/C issue. Armed with your advice I started with the "A/C Pressure Sensor" (@ $50 at local auto parts store). I am happy to note that this simple fix has appeared to fix the problem. I have only had one "glitch" with the system since the part was replaced. Unfortunately I was not driving (someone else was out with the vehicle) and can not add any further info except to say that the A/C did cut off for a few seconds when coming to a stop and then kicked right back in after several seconds. Other than that A/C system working like a champ. Am truly appreciative of your help! Thank You very much! Vader

09-09-2009, 09:17 PM
Your welcome. I hope it works well.