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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.

Good site; I hope y'all can help. This might be a real silly question....

but how do you use the second-gear start feature on an '04 Malibu Classic? (based on the '97-'03 retail Malibu)

I've never had an auto-tranny car with this feature before. The instructions in the generally helpful owner's manual are brief and vague. The manual makes it sound like you should put the shift lever in the "2" position, then turn the key.

First off, even I know that can't be right, and I'm not a gear-head by the standards of this forum. Also, I tried it once just to be sure---and no luck, as expected.

Surfing the 'Net, I've found mention of a second-gear start button either under the radio or on the shifter. If there's such a button on my Classic, it's very well hidden.

This is not a big deal, since I doubt I will ever need to use this feature---assuming my car has it. Still it would be nice to know how if the time ever came. Winters here in northern PA can be harsh, though I'm in the lower elevations, where it's nowhere near as bad as up top.

Thanks in advance for all advice.

Cheers,

Eric in PA

2004 Malibu Classic, white

Assembled 02/04 in Lansing, Michigan
 

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I thinks it's much simpler than that. My understanding is that modern convention for autos is that if a position is marked with D letter (D, D4, etc) it's a position in which the auto gear selection takes place in the range starting from 1 to the letter on the D position or the highest gear if not marked.

A position marked with simple numbers are just that - that particular gear. 1 means 1st gear, 2 second.

So, I think all you have to do is to move the lever to 2.

PS Some trannies have weird markings such as L or I (Cobalt). Don't know what that means. I am pretty sure though that your Classic has simple 2.
 

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Typically the numbered gears on an automatic tranny is for when you need to get in that gear and stay.. Say going down a really steep hill, or towing.

Your D gear is just the automatic shifting from 1st to whatever and back down and the numbers it will stay in that choosen gear for whatever needs that is..
 

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On my 99 Malibu (same platform) when you put the trans into 2nd gear manually with the brakes on before moving it will signal the ECM to force the trans to 'skip' 1st gear. This was designed to give you a method to reduce wheelspin (torque) for getting started in low traction conditions (snow, etc.). It works. Possibly your car doesn't cause it's newer...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice, guys.

I will dig out the owner's manual again, try out the method mentioned and report back....
 
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