03 Malibu - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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03 Malibu

210K miles. I've owned it for about 6 years. Good body, and it runs like a dream. My problem is I think the transmission. If I drive any distance, then slow down to turn onto a side street, as I accelerate once I get out of the turn, it misses. I could accelerate for a few seconds before the car jerks as the engine and transmission get back together. Would changing the fluid help?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 07:19 PM
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Re: 03 Malibu

Welcome to CMF. I moved your thread from the New Member Intro area so you'll get more traffic and help.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 08:43 PM
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Re: 03 Malibu

Welcome to the forums! We're glad to have you here!

Okay, so let's start with this. What size engine do you have in it? If it has anything similar to the Impala of that same timeframe, they were known for being unreliable. But with that many miles, I'd be sort of weary of changing the fluid. Check your dipstick and check the level and color. If it is down, I'd definitely add some extra fluid. If it's burned (smell it, ATF fluid has a distinct smell when it is new), you *could* change it but I'd definitely do so with caution.

Let me ask you this, what do you mean that it *misses*? Does it slip, hesitate? When you're at operating temperature, does it ever feel like it slams into gear or gives a big thud? When that happens, it's definitely overheating ATF fluid. My 2005 Impala was bad for that. My 2003 does it sometimes but it's rare.

But how you proceed is up to you. But whatever you do, do NOT flush the tranny, just change the fluid if you're going that route. I don't even know if I'd change the filter at this point. I'd probably recommend Valvoline MaxLife ATF fluid to replace yours with. You should change your fluid at least every 75k to 100k miles and don't believe that hype on "lifetime fluid". Lifetime fluid is lifetime of the transmission and the life isn't really as much as you'd expect it to be for such an expensive part.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 03:16 AM
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Re: 03 Malibu

Yes, please share what engine size, and clarify whether it's the engine that seems to be missing or if it's the transmission that's missing. When it jerks, does it seem like the engine has a problem running or is it the transmission, or possibly you're not sure and are just describing the best way you know how?

If you change the fluid, change the filter. If the filter is crudded up and all you do is swap fluid, it'll still be crudded up and restricting fluid flow.

I'd love to see external filters for the transmission and fuel. They could be swapped without having to dive into the system and doing so would probably extend the life of the associated components. But I digress . . .
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Lost: '11 LTZ RJT V6 / A6 in flood at 44K miles

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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It's a 3.1 V6. In the past year its had a new fuel pump, water pump, serpentine belt and battery, as well as spark plugs and wires. It gets regular oil changes.
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