I have been a frequent visitor of ChevyMalibuForum.com, but never needed to post because most of what I was looking for was in the forums already.
So here goes my first post:
I have been blessed with a 2011 Malibu LTZ (red jewel) and it has been a real upgrade from the 2006 Ford Focus I was driving prior! I received the Malibu in December of 2011. It was a rental vehicle prior to my ownership somewhere in Chicago. Picked it up with 19k Miles, for $21k total price. A super deal I thought... lowest in the 3 state area.
I am currently at 27K miles as of today. I have been trying (for the past few months) to figure out what the clunking noise was in my front end (driver's side). It is not as noticeable as some of you have described in this forum, which will make my job harder when I take it to the dealership for regular service. The best way I can describe the noise is when the driver side goes over a pothole/manhole cover/etc it makes this clunk noise. It gets worse when the road of course has more of the potholes and whatnot.
Here is where the hard part comes in.. I do not get the noise when I move my steering wheel back and forth (as seen in one of the videos on this thread). So what is the best way to describe this to service?
My next lovely noise is a loud popping/creak noise from the front passenger side when I reverse. I usually have to give the accelerator a little bit for the noise to manifest. It also occurs every time I back into my slightly elevated driveway. However, once the noise is made I cannot make it come up again. I must drive forward for some time before the noise will manifest while driving forward, and then it will happen again while backing. Hopefully this makes sense.
Other issues I will mention to my dealer... yay..:
-I think the seal on the windshield is failing... it sounds like air is entering the cabin when driving highway speeds, and I can really hear it when I enter the drying tunnel at the car wash.
-The lovely sticking noise where the window control panels meet the door - I can make this noise go away for a little while by pulling on the doors (driver and passenger front) but it comes right back.
-And now the engine (V6) is vibrating at idle. It is more noticeable with ac compressor on. While in (D)rive at idle, I can feel the vibrating in the steering wheel, and in the seat. While in (P)ark, if I place my hand on the cover for the engine, I can feel it vibrating almost like a V4. I am thinking spark plug issue..
Issues fixed over the past few months:
-Sunroof/headliner rattle over EVERY bump.. dealership replaced the sunroof shade with a more sturdier one - noise GONE
-Air Noise through sunroof as a result of this fix.. dealership realigned the sunroof after I took it back 2 times.
-Driver side rear passenger window failed and would not roll back up... dealership replaced the door actuator.
-Recirculate air button would not shut the vent door on the air intake (just below the windshield) so it would not pull air from the inside... dealership reset the door control and it started to work again.
-AC blowing hot air... temperature door failed and stuck open defaulting to heat only... again just a door control failure... dealership reset the door and it began to blow cold again (in the dead of summer).
Other than that, it is just regular maintenance stuff coming up.. oil change and maybe a tire rotation.
I am looking for the best way to describe the two front end noises to my dealership. I know the best way is to take them on a test drive, I am just afraid the clunking noise won't be loud enough for the service person to hear.
Thanks for any input, and sorry for such a long first post. I have wanted a Chevy for a very long time, but this Malibu has been in more times for more issues than my old 06 Focus was in. BUT I still love my Chevy!