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Old 01-26-2012, 03:02 PM   #1
sepisllib
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Default 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

In November I first noticed my Malibu engine revving up and down. I have the 2LT 4cyl 4 speed auto.

I bought the car new - and this is a first for me.

I noticed that while in cruise the engine would rev up a bit and then back down - begin to watch the tach and it showed there was about a 200 rpm increase and drop each time. Each time the engine begin revving up the tach reflected an increase.

I took it to the Chevy dealer and they worked on it for a few hours and finally told me it was the solenoid in the transmission - they had to order it and installation was about 4 hour job.

So - they got the solenoid and I took the car out at 7:30 am. At around 4pm I called and they said they had installed the solenoid, however the problem was still there.

They got on the phone with GM Tech support and was told the problem was either the ECM (for Transmission) or a bad seal on the torque converter.

I left the car for the night as I had to drive to La Crosse Wi the next day for Dr appt (2 hour trip) so I took my old 97 Taurus.

On way home in afternoon I called and the dealer advised it was fixed and ready to go - said they decided to try the ECM since they had one in stock and it worked.

I picked the car up and went home and parked it in garage. Two days later I had a trip to Davenport (4 hours) and found the problem is still there.

Apparently the car computer is not giving my dealer much of an idea of what is going on.

Thoughts????

PS - I bought the car specifically for its ability to be towed and I have a baseplate on it and driven it for well over 86,000 miles.

God Bless

Bill

Last edited by sepisllib; 01-26-2012 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by sepisllib View Post
In November I first noticed my Malibu engine revving up and down. I have the 2LT 4cyl 4 speed auto.

I bought the car new - and this is a first for me.

I noticed that while in cruise the engine would rev up a bit and then back down - begin to watch the tach and it showed there was about a 200 rpm increase and drop each time. Each time the engine begin revving up the tach reflected an increase.

I took it to the Chevy dealer and they worked on it for a few hours and finally told me it was the solenoid in the transmission - they had to order it and installation was about 4 hour job.

So - they got the solenoid and I took the car out at 7:30 am. At around 4pm I called and they said they had installed the solenoid, however the problem was still there.

They got on the phone with GM Tech support and was told the problem was either the ECM (for Transmission) or a bad seal on the torque converter.

I left the car for the night as I had to drive to La Crosse Wi the next day for Dr appt (2 hour trip) so I took my old 97 Taurus.

On way home in afternoon I called and the dealer advised it was fixed and ready to go - said they decided to try the ECM since they had one in stock and it worked.

I picked the car up and went home and parked it in garage. Two days later I had a trip to Davenport (4 hours) and found the problem is still there.

Apparently the car computer is not giving my dealer much of an idea of what is going on.

Thoughts????

PS - I bought the car specifically for its ability to be towed and I have a baseplate on it and driven it for well over 86,000 miles.

God Bless

Bill
Doesn't set any DTC's I guess? Aside from a DTC to work with, you really need to see TCM data to see if something is causing the issue that isn't trans related. ECM inputs from the engine controller can cause trans shifting issues.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:21 AM   #3
sepisllib
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Default Re: 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

Don't know what a DTC is - but I assume it is a generated computer code from the engine operation, etc.

It is a little frustrating though - the car has been relatively trouble free since it was purchased new - but the overall message that one feels from the vehicle is "lack of quality" as it has aged far more than my old 1993 Honda Accord. I drove the Accord for 230000 miles and never once had such issues.

I plan on a 2000 mile trip in the later part of Feb to be with my daughter as her son is coming around that time (my new grandson), however I now am nervous about the Malibu making the trip. I am seriously thinking of renting a car to make that trip now.

So far GM has not been much help on my issue, however to be honest I have not tried to involve them - just my dealer.

Disconcerting though.

God Bless

Bill
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

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I drove the Accord for 230000 miles and never once had such issues.
The Accord was based on a design and technology that was "tried and true", having probably billions of road miles of experience to get the bugs out.

Not true of the current crop of cars, maybe including the Hondas too......as all the makers experiment with newer technology searching for improvements to efficiency.

Then there is the "they aren't building things like they used to" problem which seems to affect some brands more than others.

I've owned a LOT of Hondas over the years and have been generally pleased with them all, many going over 100K miles........but getting 230,000 out of any vehicle without major repairs has to involve a good portion of luck.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

When the engine revs up and down while in curise, does the car try to move faster and/or slower? If the car speed does not seem to change, then that implies something is slipping in the drive train. If the car speed does seem to change, then maybe it is simply a problem with the curise control. Either way, you are doing the right thing by having the dealer sort it out. They will get to the bottom of it. Some times it takes a while to find the source of the problem.

Does this problem occur when you are not in cruise control?
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
sepisllib
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Default Re: 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

Regarding the miles driven - my old Accord was great.

On a following note I bought and drove a 1995 Taurus 3.0 and when I gave the car away it had nearly 220,000 miles on it. The ONLY thing I had to do that car was a new battery and a new alternator and belt tension pully.

I drive my vehicles very easy - matter of fact my brake pads are still at 3/4 and today it turned 87,000 miles.

I fully expect, and demand, my vehicles to provide me service and a long one at that - if they don't then they shall be replaced.

In answer to revs - nothing changes on speed. The car engine revs up just a bit reflecting the change in RPM and then it returns in a few moments. It goes up and then down, up and then down. It does not matter whether or not the cruise is activated - it still does it.

The ONLY thing that seems to settle it down is when the engine is pulling slightly - just a long gentle grade will cause it to stop the up and down revving. But once back on level ground it starts the search again.

If I cannot get this resolved by the time the drivechain warranty runs out - I shall trade it off. Likely for a Honda, or possibly a Ford.

I have been a very loyal GM owner for well over 50 years but the way things have been going lately I strongly feel that will be coming to an end ---

It's up to you GM!!!!!

PS - when I bought and drove that Honda and also the Ford I used them for business and my personal vehicles have always been GM products. Just in case you are wondering. One of the better GM's I had was a 2001 1500 Suburban 4x4 and it was a great vehicle - replaced battery once, tires at 53,000 EGR valve once and the 4 wheel shift pad. Otherwise brakes were original, and everything else when I gave the unit away to a needy and deserving family. It has 96,000 miles on it when I gave it away.

God Bless

Bill

Last edited by sepisllib; 01-27-2012 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

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I fully expect, and demand, my vehicles to provide me service and a long one at that -
That's fine, Bill, but that doesn't really have any bearing on whether or not that really happens.

I hope you find your perfect car.

The present problem sounds to me like it is hunting in and out of "lock up" and or 6th gear, as it can do that without any immediate change in speed being apparent.

The fix might be something fairly simple, like a vacuum leak or hose loose.

If the dealer can reproduce the problem, they should be able to fix it too.

Caveat: I think it would be possible to set the cruise control or to manually drive the car at a speed where that problem would "naturally" occur......guessing at a speed of somewhere between 46 an 54 MPH.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:57 PM   #8
sepisllib
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Default Re: 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

The problem does not hide itself at all.

Any speed after it shifts into the lockup it will, and does, do this. Any mode, cruise control or not, it does it.

And yes, the dealer has driven it out to (what we call the 9 mile corner) and back and has put the better part of 100 miles on it thus far doing this. Yup - it does it for them too, and yet nothing is coming up on the computer hookup (diagnostics I guess you can call it).

Matter of fact the technician came back and took a second tech with him to monitor the handheld computer as he drove and watched it happening and still they have been unable to isolate it.

Throwing parts at the problem is "old school" type stuff - so far they have thrown the solenoid in the transmission and that didn't work.

Next they just decided to "try" the ECM - and not that didn't work either.

I am fully aware that likely the problem is something really easy and simple - but my issue is that I have a few thousand mile trip coming up in a few short weeks and really don't want to have that happening all the way.

Plus - this is affecting my fuel mileage. I always have gotten 31 to 34 mpg on that car and you can depend on that. Now it struggles to reach the 30 mpg and that has got to be part of the reason.

Perfect car ----- had I wanted one of those I certainly would NOT have bought a Chevrolet, let alone the Malibu.

This vehicle was purchased above others for just one reason - it was advertised as "Towable" and I tow it behind my motorhome.

Thank you for all the input ---- I hope the dealer can handle this problem.

God Bless

Bill
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by sepisllib View Post
Matter of fact the technician came back and took a second tech with him to monitor the handheld computer as he drove and watched it happening and still they have been unable to isolate it.

Throwing parts at the problem is "old school" type stuff - so far they have thrown the solenoid in the transmission and that didn't work.

Next they just decided to "try" the ECM - and not that didn't work either.
At least the dealer has verified the issue.One hurdle gone. Even though the computers on the cars are great for some of the data we can see anymore, sometimes it's very hard to determine what is the cause and what is an effect in the data list. We can't fix it for you, we can only point you in a direction, hopefully the right one.

Last edited by Rodents; 01-31-2012 at 11:10 AM. Reason: As requested by member
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2008 Malibu Transmission problems

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Originally Posted by sepisllib View Post
Matter of fact the technician came back and took a second tech with him to monitor the handheld computer as he drove and watched it happening and still they have been unable to isolate it.
GM service dealers have resources available to them other than the diagnostic computer and the book that comes with it.

You should insist that the call corporate for help......or maybe visit another GM dealer if there is one close.

Last edited by DrivenDaily; 01-27-2012 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Demeaning comments
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