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Hi all! I stumbled onto this site though Googling some questions and concerns about my new Malibu. On 8/1/20, I purchased a new Malibu, white, and I believe it is an LS1 model, if I remember correctly (it has the 1.5 liter turbo engine). I’ve had good luck with GM cars in the past, and I was drawn to the styling and comfort of this car. I’ve been lurking about the forum for a week or two, so I thought I’d ask some questions here that I can’t find answers to.

1. Acceleration concern: When I test drove the vehicle, I noticed some stuttering and hestitation when accelerating, especially noticeable when accelerating from a stop. At first, I thought it was road feedback near the dealership, as the entire street was very bumpy and in the midst of extensive repairs (I bought the car from a dealership about an hour away). However, upon bringing the car home, I noticed it here, too. It’s not like the feedback you get from an unbalanced tire or alignment issues — it feels like slight stuttering or hesitation. After reading up on CVTs prior to my purchase, I was expecting a smoother acceleration when compared to a conventional A/T, but it’s worse. It’s difficult to describe. Once I’m up to speed, the car drives buttery smooth. I thought maybe that is normal for a CVT, but the more I drive it, the more I think something might be wrong. Am I crazy, or should I have a dealership check it out? Is it the transmission or something else?

2. Whirring noise when opening the drover door: When I unlock my door and open it, I hear a faint whirring mechanical noise coming from inside or near the door. It lasts 2-3 seconds. Is this normal? I’ve had power door locks on vehicles before and have never noticed it on prior cars. Even if the door is already unlocked, the noise occurs when simply opening the door.

3. SiriusXM missing: The salesman pointed out several times during the sale that I would get SiriusXM and OnStar for a thirty-day trial. I cannot find SiriusXM in the infotainment center anywhere It’s not a huge deal, but I was looking forward to checking it out.

4. TPMS issue: Based on what the display in the instrument cluster tests me, my optimal tire pressure is 30 PSI. For several weeks all 4 tires were showing 29-30 PSI, but two days ago a couple of the tires dropped to 28 PSI. I would be fine with this, but one of these two tires triggered the TPMS system to turn on the “low tire pressure” light in the instrument cluster and is also showing up in the display every time I start the car. The other tire at 28 PSI hasn’t triggered the warning, which I thought was strange. Is this normal TPMS behavior? Will this be happening frequently? Will airing up the affected tire turn off the warning, or do I need to have the dealer reset it?

That’s all I can think of right now. Sorry if I sound silly or overly concerned. This is my first new car in 20 years, and I just want to be as informed as possible. I appreciate any insight you all provide, and tips/recommendations are quite welcome!
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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Welcome. Here are answers/thoughts about each concern:

1) You can have the car checked out by the dealer regarding a concern. They'll check bulletins and scan for codes. If nothing is found they'll just send you on your way. My guess being so new is the car is still learning. CVTs are notorious for funky learning routines over the first 1000-1500 miles. I'd give it to 1500 miles then take it in (if not beyond that already).

2) Probably normal. If you open the trunk using the lid button I bet you hear it again. If you record the audio and share I can verify. I say probably because the noise can sometimes turn into a whiny squeal that this abnormal but that's rare.

3) Salesman was wrong. In 2020 only the LT and Premier include SiriusXM. You can view the order guide here: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Chevrolet Malibu Owner's...

4) Double-check the sticker inside the driver door - it has recommended tire pressure. 30 psi cold seems really low for cold inflation psi. Most gen9 Malibus are 35 cold. They might have dropped it as I think 35 is a psi or two too high but 30 is low. The couple psi drop from 30 --> 29/28 might just be temp related.
 

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2) Normal
3) Buyer beware (and informed)
4) 35 cold

Friendly advice is to scour the manual.
 
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2017 SS Sedan 6.2L
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1. Try a tank of premium 93 octane gas and see if the acceleration feeling improves. My wife's 1.4T (strongly related to your 1.5T) does not handle regular 87 octane gas well in the summer months.
 

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Run premium in a turbo. ;)
I don't disagree with your logic, premium fuel will protect a boosted engine from pre-ignition and detonation and probably boost performance and economy; but the 2.0 turbo is the only engine in the gen 9 Malibu that the manufacturer recommends but not requires using premium 93 octane in. The 1.5 is a regular fuel 87 octane engine.

My wife's 2017 1.5 Malibu runs quite well on a diet of top tier 87 octane. My 2019, 2.0 Equinox Redline however gets the recommended top tier 93 octane, or occasionally some 91 no ethanol premium.

.
 
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i seem to have what you describe as a hesitation or studdering , i happens only when engine is cold from overnite , it has done it since nearly new , 2016 , 59000 on it now , once driven for about a mile it is totally gone , i am not concerned with mine , the average person i believe wont detect it , other than that i could not imagine any other car running any better than this one
 

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I don't disagree with your logic, premium fuel will protect a boosted engine from pre-ignition and detonation and probably boost performance and economy; but the 2.0 turbo is the only engine in the gen 9 Malibu that the manufacturer recommends but not requires using premium 93 octane in. The 1.5 is a regular fuel 87 octane engine.

My wife's 2017 1.5 Malibu runs quite well on a diet of top tier 87 octane. My 2019, 2.0 Equinox Redline however gets the recommended top tier 93 octane, or occasionally some 91 no ethanol premium.

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I agree with you, the 1.5T is designed to run with 87 octane gasoline, it's actually on the owner's manual. Regular gas should be fine, if you put premium gas on the 1.5T, you'd only be wasting money, at least that's my opinion.
 

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2017 SS Sedan 6.2L
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I agree with you, the 1.5T is designed to run with 87 octane gasoline, it's actually on the owner's manual. Regular gas should be fine, if you put premium gas on the 1.5T, you'd only be wasting money, at least that's my opinion.
I'm not just making stuff up here, it's well documented that turbocharged engines in general are temperature sensitive and GM's turbocharged engines specifically have benefitted from using premium gas dating all the way back to the 2010 Chevy Cruze. I've seen it catalogued in tuner forums and I've seen it described by normies on facebook.

I know first hand that GM's current generation turbos drown in summer heat without premium gas. My wife noticed the difference, and she didn't even notice when her wheel bearing went bad in her old Cobalt, lmao. If the temperature goes over 80°F you should use premium, because running the engine bogging down and pulling spark to compensate for heat is terrible for long term reliability.

Anyone who wants to run their engine on 87 octane because that's what's in the manual is certainly welcome to do so, and the warranty will cover any problems, but the manufacturer advice isn't infallible and I sure as hell don't want to invite engine problems out of stubborn adherence to a piece of paper.
 

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Any vehicle sold in the US has to be able to run on regular, it's the law, BUT if you want that turbo motor to go 100k miles put the premium in. Especially a little turbo motor that is running in boost mode most of the time.
Penny wise and dollar foolish.
 

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I am surprised that you were having acceleration concerns with the turbo engine. This is GM's smaller turbo engine, however. I am thinking perhaps it was a gas issue, or it could've been that perhaps the engine may have been a tad loaded. With Malibu's, the 2.0 liter turbo is the sweet spot. It is very quiet, smooth, but lightning fast with a wick of the pedal. Keep an eye on the issues, and if they don't resolve themselves then take the car to the dealer and have them look at the issues.
 
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