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Old 12-22-2012, 08:59 AM   #1
BeauTie
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Post 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

I have a 2009 LT1 Malibu with the Sun and Wheel package. This package added a moon roof, bluetooth, as well as 18" wheels and tires. I bought it new, and since the first winter (or even rain), the car has handled poorly. The car will spin the tires easily off the line in the rain, even with TC always on.

In the winter, the car acts like it is on glare ice, getting stuck or tires spinning (and the TC clicking while it keeps engaging). Cars will pass me like I am standing still.

We also have a 2006 Impala LTZ, and that car WHISKS through the same conditions as if it is a Jeep. It's amazing.

So is this an issue with my car in general (well, Malibus in general), or is it the tire and wheel package that Chevrolet put on it?

Here is the tire and wheel:



I am ready to trade this in out of frustration. But if it is something as simple as different tires, I can deal with that. The tires are Goodyear, so I know they are a decent brand, but maybe they are not all season?

Any thoughts on this?

Last edited by BeauTie; 12-22-2012 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:12 AM   #2
DrivenDaily
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Default Re: 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

Goodyear Eagle LS2 tires are junk.

Get something like Michelin MXM4 or Pilot Sport 2 tires. Heard good stuff on here about the MXMs and considering getting the PS2s next year. I already got rid of the LS2s over 20K miles ago but I made the mistake of thinking that the Hankook Optimo H727 tires were quite a bit better. They're only marginally better but not worth the price of a complete set of tires.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenDaily View Post
Goodyear Eagle LS2 tires are junk.

Get something like Michelin MXM4 or Pilot Sport 2 tires. Heard good stuff on here about the MXMs and considering getting the PS2s next year. I already got rid of the LS2s over 20K miles ago but I made the mistake of thinking that the Hankook Optimo H727 tires were quite a bit better. They're only marginally better but not worth the price of a complete set of tires.
Thanks DD. I am a total car guy, but I don't know ANYTHING about tires. That is a help, that is for sure. My tires have just been so bad, probably the worst tires I have ever had on a car, if that is indeed the case...being the tires are crap.

I will look into the Michelin tires then. Going to research that now, thank you. I just assumed that Goodyear Eagle, brand name, meant that these were some of the best out there.

Last edited by BeauTie; 12-22-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

Goodyear has been really shoddy the past few years, IMO. Put Brand new Goodyears on an 03 Malibu and after about 30k KM one had a leak, at about 50K one was bulging and at about 60k they were pretty much wrote.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

I just put a set of studded Hankooks on the front of my car.
I gave up on Goodyears a long time ago, not worth the money IMO.
First winter with this car so we'll see. There is no substitute for snow tires in the snow, all season is useless in over a inch.
Summer performance tires are useless in snow, even those with a M&S rating.
Last car I rotated non studded winter tires to the rear for the summer as it had alloys, bought a set of steels wheels for this car and hence now it's studded snow take offs.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

We just had 10+ inches of snow and a whole lot of slush. The Malibu was great.

I ditched the all seasons that were on the car for a set of el cheapo snow trakkers.

Tires make a world of difference, don't blame the car.

If I ever get into an accident, my deductible is the cost of a set of winter tires..
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

Plus tire companies and tire dealers say that if you are only gonna use 2 winter tires it is safer to put them on the back, and here's the point that doesn't seem to make sense until it makes sense: Even on FWD (front wheel drive) cars like our Malibu, if all you use is 2 winter tires, put them on the back.

At first I thought, "What dope thought that up?" Then I watched and learned. If you can't get moving that's not an issue except to you, but if you lose control that's an issue to everyone in your way. The mostly likely cause of losing control in the winter is the back end coming around on you. If the back has winter tires they'll keep the back where it belongs and you'll have the greatest chance of maintaining control of your car.

But if the winters are on the front and the only thing on the rears is M&S or AS or, pray it ain't so, summer tires, the front will be able to do what it's got to do but the back end is gonna whip around on you and you won't be able to control who or what it hits, or where that "tail" takes that dog of a car you're in!

Don't believe me yet? I didn't either. Here, try reading this from Discount Tire Direct's own website:

Video help for winter tires

Click here to get smarter about winter tires

Here is some more information worth checking out:

http://cars.about.com/od/adviceforow.../snowtires.htm

http://www.ajforeignauto.com/index.p...article&id=155

For this one from Michelin, look at the video on the bottom right of the page. It specifically speaks about Front vs. Back Tires:
http://winter101.michelinman.com/cla...-workshop.html
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Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles
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Last edited by DrivenDaily; 12-23-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

Thanks for the feedback guys. So new tires it is. That, or I am going to replace my car with a 2013 Malibu...possibly.

Thank you again.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

Everyone saying the Goodyear Eagle LS2 tires are to blame are 100% correct. They are some of the worst rated tires you can buy. I would even call them borderline hazardous just in the rain.

I'm a new owner of a set of Michelin Primacy MXM4s and they are night and day different. These tires, and I'm not exaggerating, handle almost as well in soaking rain as the Goodyears do in DRY conditions. It is utterly mind blowing how much better they perform.

For your car, though, the MXM4s are a bit pricey and more suited to the performance nature of the V6 model.

I would recommend Michelin Hydroedge tires, as they are on clearance and you can get a good deal. I've driven with them in the rain on my dad's Monte Carlo and they also provide excellent foul weather grip, far better than my Malibu on the Goodyears.

Other Michelin options are MXV4 (cheaper and lower rolling resistance than MXM4s) or the new Defender tires. You also can't go wrong with Continental ProContact tires, which are rated only slightly lower than the MXM4s.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2009 Malibu LT1 Snow Handling

My 2009 Malibu came from the factory shod with the Hankook Optima H725 tires. It was very nearly as good in the wet and in the snow as the premium Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires that I had on my BMW! They actually lasted 70,000 miles, so I put a new set on the car.

BTW, Michelin Pilot Sport 2 (a.k.a. PS2) tires are NOT an all-season tire, they are a ONE season tire for track days and truly high-performance street driving on dry pavement. The Pilot Sport A/S are a truly brilliant tire, ones I'd buy again in a flash if I had the $220+ per tire that they cost.

With the Hankook Optima H725 on the car, it is very nearly as good as snow tires in most situations, though true snow tires are always going to be the best choice for snow. Period. Me, I prefer Nokian Hakkapeliitta, and only as a full 4-tire set. I will never again run anything but 4-tire matched sets. I insist upon equal traction at all for cormers for safety and performance. YMMV
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