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I've noticed that my 2011 Malibu is making a strange crackling noise when I accelerate. The engine works great at idle, and no strange noises. The crackle noise only happens when I first drive the car for the first mile or two, and notice the noise is loudest when the engine is below 2000 rpm. It is also louder at lower speed, like starting from 0 to 20 miles per hour.

After that a couple of miles the noise seems to go away, and everything is fine. Also if the engine is warm, after driving a while, when I start it again and drive again, the noise doesn't seem to happen. The noise mainly happens after the car has been sitting a while (when engine is cold).
 

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I've noticed that my 2011 Malibu is making a strange crackling noise when I accelerate. The engine works great at idle, and no strange noises. The crackle noise only happens when I first drive the car for the first mile or two, and notice the noise is loudest when the engine is below 2000 rpm. It is also louder at lower speed, like starting from 0 to 20 miles per hour.

After that a couple of miles the noise seems to go away, and everything is fine. Also if the engine is warm, after driving a while, when I start it again and drive again, the noise doesn't seem to happen. The noise mainly happens after the car has been sitting a while (when engine is cold).
Make sure your engine oil is full as a first measure.
 

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Maybe belt noise, try some talcum powder on it, that will safely lube it for noise. Any body or baby powder will work.
 

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My 2010 LT makes noise very similar to what you’ve described, and the source is failed lower rearward control arm bushings. At the moment acceleration begins, I hear a crackling sound that lasts for a few moments. This is due to the arm getting pulled outward under torque. After it warms up and moves around a bit, it doesn’t make that noise anymore. Maybe check the condition of your bushings. Even if it’s not the source of your noise, they may be shot and need replacement anyway.
 
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