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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2017 Malibu Hybrid with under 10k miles and the heat exchanger failed, I got a dashboard message that the engine was overheating and I had to add 1.25 gallons of dexicool. Took it to the Chevrolet dealership and they checked it out and the heat exchanger was leaking and had to be replaced. I do have concerns about my jumping in with buying a Chevrolet Hybrid car especially since they discontinued it after only 4 years and that they did not take the technology to other models and platforms. I love the car but really wonder if I will regret it after the 8 year hybrid warranty expires. Unfortunately the heat exchanger is not covered under the hybrid warranty even though it is specific to the hybrid car. It looks like these hybrid cars become very expensive to repair after the 8 year warranty expires and many times the cost of the repair is more than the worth of the car. There are threads of hybrid owners experiencing battery problems around 100k miles and having issues getting replacements. Is it wishful thinking that the Malibu Hybrid can last over 10 years or a 100,000 miles? We'll have to see but it looks like going green could end up costing more than I will save on gas.
 

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It sounds like a case of infant mortality that would have been covered under the basic warranty if it was driven more. It might be worth contacting Customer Service for possible assistance, given the low mileage. If the cost of repair is a concern, it should be possible to by-pass coolant flow to the exhaust heat recovery unit and only incur a very slight loss of warm-up efficiency, which wouldn't be significant at an average of under 3000 miles per year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice, I did contact Chevrolet Customer Service and because of the low mileage they will provide some assistance. My dealer offered 50% off the repair after following up on my case number and discussing the issue Chevrolet Customer Service. It will cost me around $700 out of pocket but will end up leaving the Malibu at the dealership for 7-14 days as they cannot release the car until the repair is fixed after diagnostics. I could have done it myself for $600 by ordering the part online and looked like easy access, two hoses, and 7 bolts and nuts. But I wanted them to do the diagnostics in case it was something else. The hybrid really should have a low coolant warning sensor because the heat exchanger must have been slow leaking for a while. There is very little online information about how the heat exchanger looks besides diagrams. So, I plan on inspecting the defective one after they do the repair and hope to take a few pictures. Chevrolet Customer Service told me that the heat exchanger is considered a part of the A/C system and covered only under the 36 month bumper to bumper warranty. I know I have two coolant reservoirs do you know if they are completely separate one for the engine and one for the A/C? Whatever the reason, I found out about this problem from an "engine is over heating" warning.message. My A/C also wasn't cooling down at times ... working then not working which probably was an indicator that something was up.
 

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The smaller reservoir near the front is for the power electronics (inverter) coolant loop. Engine control systems are programmed to disable A/C when approaching an over-temperature condition.
 

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It sounds like a case of infant mortality that would have been covered under the basic warranty if it was driven more. It might be worth contacting Customer Service for possible assistance, given the low mileage. If the cost of repair is a concern, it should be possible to by-pass coolant flow to the exhaust heat recovery unit and only incur a very slight loss of warm-up efficiency, which wouldn't be significant at an average of under 3000 miles per year.
If you bypass a defective heat exchanger, be sure to plug the in and out of the exchanger with some oxygen sensor friendly RTV to keep leaking exhaust gas from escaping and getting into the cabin.
 

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As to spread of the MH's technology...the MH's drive train and much of its electronics comes from the Chevy Volt / Cadillac ELR and was also used in the original Fisker Kharma and is used in the current Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Additionally, versions of the Volt were marketed as the Holden Volt in Australia & New Zealand, the Buick Velite 5 in China, the Vauxhall Ampera in the U.K., and the Opel Ampera in the rest of Europe. So, the MH is not a complete orphin...
 
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