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High Pitched Squeal/Whistle During Acceleration

44093 Views 23 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  repairman54
Hi Everyone,

I've been reviewing this board for some time now see if someone else has this problem. I bought my 2009 LTZ 4cycl in mid March. Almost imediately I noticed a high pitched squealling noise appearing around 2500-3000rpms everytime I accelerated from a stop. I heard it in gears 1-3 and possibly 4.

So I brought the car back to the dealer at only 380 miles. They told me that they were having trouble hearing it and that something might be breaking in. So I left, knowing that I was still under warranty and drove the car to 1300 miles until I brought it back to the dealer. Now the noise was louder anf I had gotten pretty good at reapeating it at this point. They took the car and tried to figure it out. The service center replaced the flex joint on the exhaust but the noise was still there. They did numerous tests and tried to repeat the noise on a lift but unfortunately it only happens when the engine is loaded (wheel torque).

They kept my car for a week. On the 7th day they had a GM factory rep take the car for a spin. He said that the noise was "not a problem b/c it didn't sound mechanical. Probably in the exhaust somewhere". This upset me greatly b/c there is not a single person who hasn't noticed this sound when riding in my car. The sound it some sort of vibrating part which seems to resonate at the mentioned rpms. It is SO ANNOYING! It sounds very similar to the noise breaks make when they wear down.

The rep said that he wanted me to drive the car until the first oil change and then have a GM field engineer check it out in 3 weeks. So, I still have the car... and I love it minus this noise! Imagine hearing nails on a chalk board everytime you accelerated from a stop.

Does anyone have suggestions? Is this a lemon? I really appreciate any feedback.
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I guess I am glad that I am not the only one with this issue. I have 90,000 miles on my 2001 Malibu and it just started making the noise a few days ago. Along with the noise came a lose of horse power (even when not whistling). Also the tranmission seems to be shifting up and down more often than before. I also sensed some hitching in either the engine or the transmission.

The person that says it sounds like crickets is right on. That is just what it sounds like.

Mine starts at 2700 RPMs and gets much louder through the next 200 RPMs and only slightly increases beyond at. Yesterday morning I was climbing a steep grade and the car dropped into low gear and revved up to about 4500 RPMs. at 4500 RPMs it made a noise like a tennis call got stuck in the nozzle of a vacumn cleaner (like a Fwoomp noise) and the whistle went away. At that moments the horsepower returned and the hitching stopped. It remained that way for the next 10 miles. The next time I started it up, I took it to my garage and they drove it, tested stuff and can't find it. They tell me it will have to get worse before they can find it. I can't imagine it can get worse without catastrophic failure of something. It is very loud. Very loud. Easily heard over the radio and definately sounds like a vacumn.
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I found the source of my whistle. It was the Catalytic converter. It was not sucking air, it was forcing air out around the oxygen sensors. I had the mechanic pull the oxygen sensor and take it for a quick ride and the problem cleared right up. No whistle and the power returned. They replaced the converter and All was much better.

Technically the Catalytic converter is covered on 10 year implied warranty but the only way to collect is to have the converter tested by a specific piece of equipment. The charge for the test in my area just happens to be $50 more than the price of the converter itself. It would be funnier if it didn't cost $700 for that little discovery.

I am now up to $8,800 in repairs for this pile of junk. GM got everything they are ever going to get from me in this one car. It just makes me so angry at how much money they spent to avoid fixing the problems. They would rather use my money to pay their attorneys to avoid fixing my car. It does make me laugh a little when I see the new commercials and knowing that there are a few hundred thousand Malibu owners that only wanted their cars to work and realize that same executive really doesn't care in the least.
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I don't post when I am happy with the car because I am supposed to be happy with the car. I paid a lot for the car and I think 1 day in the garage and over $250 in repairs for each 1,500 miles is just a little too much.

I didn't even come to complain about my car. I came hoping to find out what was wrong. What I found out in my search was disturbing.

For 3 years GM fought the brake issue in the courts by asking for continuations. When enough time had passed they admitted that the brakes were too small but said the problem was so severe that certainly everyone must have resolved the issue on their own so there was no need of a recall. The evidence convinced a judge that the brakes were so poor that GM was probably correct. Hence no recall for a life threatening safety issue that GM admitted to. Boggles the mind.

The warped leaking heads was a problem that they knew about at design time but best estimates were that the vast majority of the vehicles should have been off warranty by the time they leaked. GM offered to accept responsibility, but only if the heads failed before a date that their engineers felt would limit GM's exposure. The problems with the coolant itself are legendary.

GM has a directive to all dealers to only replace many of common problem areas of the Malibu only if the consumer aggrees to costly diagnostics and additional maintenance items at inflated prices. Some dealers do the right thing but those that do must absorb the cost themselves.

These are not issues with isolated dealers. This is an issue with corporate knowing they are making an inferior car and hoping that customer loyalty go the GM brand would overcome the issues. It actually works for many. As for me, I had always been a Mopar person but Mopar has their own demons and I was hoping I would have a better experience with a GM. I can't wait to go back to a Mopar now. I can deal with the loose trim and rattles. I have 600,000 miles in a Mopar and never broke down on the side of the road and only 2 total days in the garage (not counting routine maintenance items). I am now at 65,000 miles on my Malibu with 3 break downs and somewhere over 40 days in the garage (not counting routine maintenance items). Most of them with technicians standing around scratching their heads listening to it idle for hours on end.

And Just two days ago my check engine light came back on and about a week ago my low coolant light came back on. It needed half a gallon of antifreeze so I have obviously have another coolant issue. I bet those issues won't go away on their own.

Bitter? You bet I am. If it was just a bad dealer, no big deal. Plenty to pick from around here. The problems with these cars are the result of every single not caring one bit about the product they make nor the customers that buy their flawed product.

Never Ever Again!
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