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Malibu 2010 intake issue

2579 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  repairman54
Hello everyone.

I own a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu 3.5LT. About a few months ago, I noticed my engine temperature was going up a little bit when I drive fast and sometimes when standing still (whenever the air intake is low).

When this happens, I go outside to open the hood and I take a look at the intake fans. Most of time, both fans are working but at very low speed where they should be at the top speed because the engine needs the air.

In order to solve it, I turn on the AC and then both fans kick into the highest speed setting and the temperature goes back to normal (90•C).

I suspect it’s the thermostat but I’m not sure. Using a quite expensive code reader, no DTCs were found but the code reader can’t access the AIR or CAT modules because the car doesn’t support it so I wouldn’t know.

Has anyone experienced a similar issue or can point me in the right direction?

thank you.
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Could you double-check your engine size, please? The 3.5L was offered in earlier years but may have still been available in 2010. It would be a pushrod engine. The 3.6L is a DOHC engine that is quite a bit different.
Thank you so much for the fast reply!

As for the engine size - it is for sure a 3.5L, says so everywhere including the engine cover, decals and registration. I know for sure my model is one of the last 3.5 of 2010's in my country (Israel).
It is also a 4-speed transmission (unfortunately, feels like a 6-speed would suit her much better. I wonder if anyone ever changed that?).

As for the temperature - I understand the gauge reading can be a bit off sometime so I never count on that. When the car feels like it needs air and it's overheating (again, not overheating too much for it to pop up an error on the dash or limp mode), I try on the A/C and then the fans go to the fast speed setting and TONS of hot air blows out of the engine - proving me that it needed that air boost.

I will try your approach and report with results as soon as I can and even upload the graph here.

Do you think it might have something to do with the thermostat, maybe? Or is there any direction I can look into? We're getting closer to summer days and I really don't want this heavy load on the engine in the hot days.
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I haven’t done any maintenance to it yet, I’m only starting to mess with it now. Unfortunately, in Israel, the maintenance level is very low especially in such old cars and it’s hard to find someone reliable.

Can you provide me with the t-stat part number for my car and tell me if replacement is easy? I’ve seen some YouTube videos where you just have to take 2 10mm nuts that surround the metal plate and inside is the t-stat.

Thank you again.
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