Shift To Park - YIKES! - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Shift To Park - YIKES!

We live in the Milwaukee area and regularly drive our '17 Hybrid to Colorado, Georgia, New England, etc. We bought it to replace our dear, departed '11 Golf TDI as our "road trip" car. The MH has 36,640 miles on it right now. Last Monday, it had 35,670 miles on it, so I took it to our local dealer and negotiated a GM Platinum 0-deductable extended warranty before the car fell out of its original warranty, which it was about to do on a trip to Atlanta two days later. Got to Atlanta no problem (~800 miles), then drove around the area for a few days and left to return home on Sunday morning. After about 20 minutes, while driving on the highway, the drive cut out, alarms went off, and "shift to park" appeared in the display. After safely coasting to a stop off highway, tried everything to revive it, but no-go. Car turns on, cluster lights up normal (with the addition of a CEL), while the power flow display in the center of the dash is completely greyed-out. I called the Volt/MH roadside assistance number and they got us a flatbed in less than an hour. He took us to the nearest dealer (in Acworth, GA), where we were forced to dump/leave the car at the locked front gate. I called them first thing Monday morning to let them know who's car it was, and they got started on it. I stopped back in the late afternoon, and the tech was still scratching his head, saying that there was definitely more going on than just a shot 12V battery. So, we're stuck waiting at an understanding relative's house while they figure it out. I just found a couple of (related?) threads over on the Volt forum...one, a recent GM recall for power loss, the other requiring a trans-axle replacement!

The car has been terrific until now. I sure hope they figure it out quickly, it was supposed to go out to the east coast in a few weeks.

Bob
----
'17 Malibu Hybrid
Summit White/Brown
With "Everything"
----
'17 Volt LT
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Lighted Charge Port

Last edited by Dr. Manhattan; 04-10-2019 at 08:50 AM.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 03:50 AM
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Re: "Shift To Park" - YIKES!

Quite a story! Glad to hear you weren't injured. I sure hope they figure it out and get it all working as it should, and quickly at that. When you get it back, you'll be in the unenviable position of testing out the repair to be sure it'll work properly for the long haul.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 04:38 AM
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Double yikes. Hope they figure it out quickly. It is true, I remember reading a bulletin that describes exactly what you experienced and it ends with replacement of the entire tranny. There was a related bulletin that helps inform/chew out techs as to how the transmission needs to be packaged for return as GM was receiving a "high number of damaged units" that will not allow for proper engineering evaluation. I used to see it and accidentally clicked on it a bunch of times when searching for the other more benign "shift to park" owners sometimes experience when shutting off the car.

The good news is it seems the hybrid-specific bulletin has been modified a few times to be more specific of the codes indicating possible failure of the entire 5ET50.

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/20...47359-9999.pdf
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Last edited by campb292; 04-02-2019 at 04:43 AM. Reason: Added newest version of that bulletin
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 06:14 PM
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Re: "Shift To Park" - YIKES!

I've been wondering about how many miles people are getting out of this transmission/drivetrain without issue. I'm hoping it's quite a lot. I know it's very complex and goes through a lot of modes in normal driving. Did you feel anything abnormal in its operation before the failure? On the other hand, I've been reading reviews on the Cadillac XT4 and have found quite a few people with total transmission replacements at less than 1000 miles, but that can happen in the first model year. If mine should fail, I hope it's near near a dealer who knows how to work on the hybrid.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:54 AM
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Re: "Shift To Park" - YIKES!

Wow! Not that there's ever a good time, but what timing. Literally right after the bumper to bumper warranty expired.
The good news is the transaxle should be covered under the electric drive train warranty even without any extra extended warranty. I think it's mandated at 120000 miles in my state.
This is the first failure of a a Voltec unit in a Malibu that I've heard of. Please keep us posted with the details.
Sucks that you're stuck with it in the meantime, but I hope they get you back on the road with a top notch repair soon.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 06:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Shift To Park - YIKES!

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Originally Posted by campb292 View Post
Double yikes. Hope they figure it out quickly. It is true, I remember reading a bulletin that describes exactly what you experienced and it ends with replacement of the entire tranny. There was a related bulletin that helps inform/chew out techs as to how the transmission needs to be packaged for return as GM was receiving a "high number of damaged units" that will not allow for proper engineering evaluation. I used to see it and accidentally clicked on it a bunch of times when searching for the other more benign "shift to park" owners sometimes experience when shutting off the car.

The good news is it seems the hybrid-specific bulletin has been modified a few times to be more specific of the codes indicating possible failure of the entire 5ET50.

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/20...47359-9999.pdf
Dude! This bulletin could be HUGE in resolving my issue...thanks so much for posting it. I'll be e-mailing it to the service writer this morning.



Thanks for the good wishes, everyone. Yes, we were really fortunate to be coasting out of power on a typically-busy state highway, in the only single-lane section of that highway, on a very quiet (traffic-wise) Sunday morning...and doubly fortunate that we had just enough momentum to reach the only intersecting side road with just enough left to make it about 100 feet around the corner to stop at the curb like we were purposely pulling over to park there! Obviously, it's also fortunate that our new 0-deductable extended warranty was only 6 days old at the time, though as someone pointed out, the Hybrid power train warranty should take care of the problem anyway.

As of Thursday morning, the dealership contacted "GM engineering" (?) who told them that they had never heard of this happening before! These "GM" people then told the dealer to pull the HV battery to do some diagnostics, and the service writer said if they didn't find anything wrong that I would be financially responsible because "your car is out of warranty". I told him that if he would punch in my VIN, he'd see that the car IS covered under a GM Platinum 0-deductable warranty that I just purchased from my home dealer. He said "dealers are private businesses and we're not networked together, so I can't access your home dealer...AND GM doeasn't sell extended warranties"! I hung up and called my home dealership, and the lady who wrote my warranties (I got one on my Volt as well) agreed to call this guy and run him through finding my info...which she successfully did. Now I have to email camp292's bulletin to them before they destroy my entire car looking for the wrong problem(s). They are trying to solve all of the codes that were generated...one at a time!
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Bob
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'17 Malibu Hybrid
Summit White/Brown
With "Everything"
----
'17 Volt LT
Summit White/Black
Bose, Comfort, Protection,
Lighted Charge Port
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 09:49 AM
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Re: Shift To Park - YIKES!

Hope it helps. The previous iteration was a lot more generic and just had a similar customer report to what you experienced and shift to park message unrelated to actually being in "park". This one has those specific codes so I would hope the tech already found it if you actually had some or all of those codes. Who knows... techs can be great but sometimes not very thorough. Your dealer did good by contacting gm engineering/TAC. Them not having heard of the shift to park issue doesn't surprise me as these people often feign ignorance. Your car may or may not have that issue (depending on existence of those codes) but they should have at least heard of it since there is a bulletin. The stuff about you being responsible for diagnostic costs is bunk even if you didn't have the warranty as you had a CEL which means you had a code(s). If I had a code and my dealer tried charging me for their incompetence ie failure to figure out what triggered the code... well that would lead to an ugly scene.

Anyway, rooting for you Dr. M. I know this doesn't seem great for the MH but I still think it is a great car - love the car, how it drives, looks, seems really reliable (this situation aside). Good job getting that extended warranty/service contract too.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shift To Park - YIKES!

Update:

It just keeps getting better and better. Now they're blaming it on the CHMSL leaking water, which I know has been an issue on some Malibus of this vintage, but I have never seen any sign of water intrusion on this car and I personally checked to make sure the light was good and secure (it was). I think they picked this excuse knowing that I would be liable for the cost of a new light ($360+) because it's one of the exempted items in my new $2200 "bumper-to-bumper" warranty. At this point, I'd be willing to foot the bill if it would get the car out of their clutches. They're say another couple of days, but I'm on my way out the door right now to pick up a rental car so we can leave for home tomorrow morning. I'll have to come back for the MH...

Bob
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'17 Malibu Hybrid
Summit White/Brown
With "Everything"
----
'17 Volt LT
Summit White/Black
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Lighted Charge Port
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 01:16 PM
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Re: Shift To Park - YIKES!

I share your skepticism/concern/whathaveyou of that diagnosis but can make a justification of it being at least possible. With the CHMSL problem, when it leaks, water runs down the headliner then the quarter panels and into the trunk right where your batteries hum along peacefully. But causing this very specific warning message, CEL, and loss of propulsion? Wonder what the codes were. FWIW, my service contract exempts upholstery, carpet, brake pads, airbags, weatherstripping, weather seals along with any water intrusion or damage resulting from water intrusion. Seems common unfortunately.

Thanks for all the updates and bummer about the travel complications.


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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 01:56 PM
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Re: Shift To Park - YIKES!

What is it with GM and water intrusion?? I had a 2000 Alero bought back by GM after a battle under my state's lemon laws. The main issue was leaks from the doors onto the carpets every time in rained, all 4 doors had the issue (and I go to find out there were a large number of TSBs about it). I had a late 80s Pontiac with a water leak that I traced to a body seam, I sealed it no more water leaks.

And there's a TSB for the Gen 9 Malibu for a similar body seam issue, improper caulk/sealant at the factory. Add in the stop lamp to that for water intrusion too, most galling thing is the 2017's were supposed to have this issue fixed at the factory. You'd think after 100 years of building cars GM's engineers would have figured out water intrusion prevention by now....
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