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Old 01-03-2013, 01:36 PM   #1
AmandaB
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Default 2003 Malibu Service Vehicle Soon & Theft System Light

I have a 2003 Malibu with just over 85,000 miles. I have loved this car from the first test drive and we have been together since her 7th mile.
Sadly,a couple of quirky problems have been popping up intermittently over the last year and are getting progressively more obnoxious. Here is what is happening:

1. The AC will sporadically cut off. Air is still blowing but it is no longer cold & the green light on the AC button blinks on and off as the AC kicks on and off. I used to think that jiggling the button would help it to kick back on, but now I think it has a mind of its own and comes back on when it chooses.

2. The blinkers sporadically stop working. The hazard lights still work and pressing the hazard light button seems to reset the signal indicator problem and all is temporarily well again.

3. The car horn spontaneously honks (a short blast) when the car is turned off and locked. (i.e. Me = walking into the house...Car = HONK)very "Christine"-like

4. The doors stopped automatically unlocking when the car was turned off

5. The "Anti Theft System" light came on briefly but did not stay on and has not appeared with any degree of consistency...like it goes off while I'm still driving.

This behavior has been going on for about a year...and has been inconsistent enough to be highly annoying while also too hard to pin down for service.

In mid December a couple of new developments arrived.

6. When started, the radio, gas gauge, lights, & AC all failed to come to life. After a short time, these things seemed to "awaken" and all is well.

7. Intermittently, the Service Vehicle Soon light comes on. This light has also been highly inconsistent.

Meanwhile...today...the door locks have mysteriously started working again!! Is my car possessed?

I have heard something of a Body Control Module being on the fritz as a possibility...could that have the Anti-Theft System on the blink as well?

Thanks for any advice!

Last edited by AmandaB; 01-03-2013 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:14 AM   #2
DrivenDaily
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Default Re: 2003 Malibu Service Vehicle Soon & Theft System Light

Common issues with your generation model:

Ignition switch (electrical part) fails - replace the tumbler at the same time if you replace the switch since you're already there.

Climate control head fails - check some other threads on here for a fix.

Hazard switch fails - turn signals are routed through it and when the contacts fail the turn signals fail.
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How-to: LEDs in mirrors :: How-to: 1-Wipe Wash
How-to: Remote express windows up/down


Traded: '09 2LT Black Granite Metallic V6 / A6 at 20,058 miles
Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles
Muffler mod on '09
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:33 AM   #3
AmandaB
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Default Re: 2003 Malibu Service Vehicle Soon & Theft System Light

Hmm...none of that appears particularly helpful.
My hazard lights work and my car doesn't have an issue starting...at least not yet.
Perhaps the AC tip is worth investigating, but I'm inclined to believe some of these things are connected via the larger BCM issue.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 Malibu Service Vehicle Soon & Theft System Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaB View Post
Hmm...none of that appears particularly helpful.
My hazard lights work and my car doesn't have an issue starting...at least not yet.
Perhaps the AC tip is worth investigating, but I'm inclined to believe some of these things are connected via the larger BCM issue.
Actually, all of it is.

The hazard switch is also the flasher for the turn signals. When the contacts start to go bad, the FIRST symptom is that the turn signals quit flashing, whereas hazards still work fine. Different function, same unit, different wiring internally.

The A/C is just about 100% guaranteed to be the head going bad (said due to past history). See http://www.imcool.com/articles/airco...Repairable.pdf for info on it.

The dash cluster - I'd check the ignition switch FIRST. But also, instead of the BCM being bad, it could easily be fretting in the BCM. I'd disconnect the battery, then unplug/replug the BCM four or five times, then reconnect the battery and see if that helps some. Oxidation and fretting is a lot more common than failed BCMs, and easier to "fix". Swapping the BCM would also fix oxidation and/or fretting, but at a higher price.

Hmm ... hazard switch has about 10Kmiles, 3 months running on my Malibu. Maybe I ought to pull it and sell it here - I paid something like $40 when I bought it new at the dealership.

RwP
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Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:35 AM   #5
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Cool Re: 2003 Malibu Service Vehicle Soon & Theft System Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaB View Post
Hmm...none of that appears particularly helpful.
My hazard lights work and my car doesn't have an issue starting...at least not yet.
Perhaps the AC tip is worth investigating, but I'm inclined to believe some of these things are connected via the larger BCM issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
Actually, all of it is.

snip
AmandaB,
Really? You ask for help and then just so blithely discount it? Hmmm, none of your comments appear particularly respectful!

RalphP,
As always, thank you for stepping up and helping the helpless, though this time the helpless also appear to be thankless or thoughtless.

Back to AmandaB,
If the direction you get here actually helps you it would be really nice if you'd stop back and let us know what happened. Remember, you asked for help and we stepped up. And if RalphP says he has this or that for sale and lets you know its condition I can vouch for his sincerity. He is truly a dignified and decent person. He'll tell you straight up when you ask a question and you'll know what you're getting if you buy something from him.
__________________

'11 LTZ, born Aug 2010, Fairfax, KS

V6/A6, Red Jewel Tintcoat / Cocoa-Cashmere, Sunroof
Mods: WeatherTech mats, CHMSL Pulser

How-to: LEDs in mirrors :: How-to: 1-Wipe Wash
How-to: Remote express windows up/down


Traded: '09 2LT Black Granite Metallic V6 / A6 at 20,058 miles
Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles
Muffler mod on '09

Last edited by DrivenDaily; 01-05-2013 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:02 AM   #6
AmandaB
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Default Re: 2003 Malibu Service Vehicle Soon & Theft System Light

Thank you Ralph!
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
AmandaB
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Default Re: 2003 Malibu Service Vehicle Soon & Theft System Light

DrivenDaily, I meant no disrespect. I'm not a blogger or frequent forum user and didn't consider how my attempt at conversational tone could so easily sound fllippant. I apologize.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:56 AM   #8
DrivenDaily
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Default Re: 2003 Malibu Service Vehicle Soon & Theft System Light

Accepted. We're cool.

Have you tried any of the suggestions yet? If so, any success?
__________________

'11 LTZ, born Aug 2010, Fairfax, KS

V6/A6, Red Jewel Tintcoat / Cocoa-Cashmere, Sunroof
Mods: WeatherTech mats, CHMSL Pulser

How-to: LEDs in mirrors :: How-to: 1-Wipe Wash
How-to: Remote express windows up/down


Traded: '09 2LT Black Granite Metallic V6 / A6 at 20,058 miles
Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles
Muffler mod on '09
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:56 PM   #9
AmandaB
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Default Re: 2003 Malibu Service Vehicle Soon & Theft System Light

I haven't tried yet, but I will update and let y'all know how things turn out when I do. Thanks!
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