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Discussion Starter #1
Well this is the first time I’ve ever bought a new car and within a year the entire transmission has to be replaced. Anyone else going through this issue? I just went to drive it one day and it would not shift, apparently the transmission went out and Chevrolet is having to send a new one to the dealership and of course it’s under warranty, but now I’m scared to keep the car. Unbelievable. I have not been thrilled with this car so far.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T
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Unfortunate that happened. What year and trim (LS/RS/LT/Premier) is this Malibu? Miles? I am guessing this is either the 2019-2020 1.5T with new CVT or a 2017-2018 Premier with 9-speed. Lots of reports of the 9-speed puking but I bet we are due for the first CVT puke about now...
 
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All I can tell you is that it is a 2019 base model with 30k miles. I will say that they told me it’s a smaller transmission or something and that it just “happens sometimes” and “it is not the best transmission” and “you should probably think about an extended warranty when yours runs out”. Like gee thanks you talked it up as a great gas saving work car. This is my spare car but obviously I put a lot of miles on my car since I’m a home health nurse and drive many miles a day. I figured this would be a solid investment but obviously not.
 

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Sounds like the "new in" 2019 CVT (continuously variable transmission). It never helps when the advisor talks down the part you are having replaced. I wish I had some optimism to offer but I don't. On the positive side I don't have any pessimism either as this is the first 2019 Malibu CVT failure I have read of. Hopefully the unit being installed is a newer revision. GM better not be pulling a Nissan as they are still using this new CVT in the Malibu and in the new Encore GX and TrailBlazer.
 
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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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One thing that no salesman will ever tell you is how good or bad a car or its components really are.

The CVT is a weak transmission at best, no matter how GM wants to paint it. Nissan has been using them for years and they are miserable pieces of engineering.

I'm sorry to tell you that. But on the brighter side, if you get the multi-speed automatic in the 2.0T, you just might appreciate it better and be able to keep it longer than you ever could the 1.5T CVT.

We're owners just like you, and we don't like to see folks being put in a hard spot. It's good that it's covered under warranty. If you're not in a position to trade for something a bit more durable, then an extended warranty with iron-clad transmission coverage might be your best friend.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T
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If you look at an extended warranty/service contract make sure not only the transmission is covered but it is covered knowing there was a previous replacement or pre-existing condition. Also be sure it doesn't exclude parts named in a manufacturer bulletin or recall. If looking at a trade beware of depreciation and moving to a more expensive car to avoid problems. More money doesn't mean less problems. The 9-speed inside the Malibu Premier 2.0T has left dozens of forum members and people I know locally stranded at intersections needing a tow. They end up getting a calibration update to disable features of the transmission or the entire valve body torn apart because of so much broken debris.
 

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Listen to @campb292 regarding the transmission's durability. He knows stuff and proves it every time he posts.
 

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Had some time this morning so I can offer some somewhat hopeful info. Based on reading a bunch of bulletins spanning about 9 months - just my guess based on info - I bet this unit suffered from a bad auxiliary fluid pump. That pump maintains fluid flow during an auto stop. There are several bulletins regarding the 2019 aux pump failing and various consequences. Some bulletins just require replacement of the pump and one indicates replacement of the whole unit if propulsion is lost with a couple codes. The good news, this new pump has an "updated design to correct internal failure" and new part number as of December 2019.
 
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Seems like the complicated new technology GM is brazenly adding to powertrains is just compounding the unreliability, which is what many of us speculated could happen. If start/stop--a feature many people do not want and implemented for minimal MPG gain--is a detriment to the reliability of the freaking transmission (also a broadly disliked new CVT design), then you can take both of those things and shove them where the sun don't shine. The same can be said about the barely-noticeable variable lift system with the failing oil control valve in 2.5L engines and GM's failure to address direct injection maintenance.

I'll gladly take a reliable and better driving 6-speed automatic paired to an engine without start-stop in exchange for losing 1 mpg city and highway. It's a no brainer.
 
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If this transmission only lasted 30k, who’s to say the next will last? Such a bummer. I’m not upside down but now I’m in the spot of trying to figure out what to do with it. I gave my brother my 2002 Saturn with 375,000 miles and it’s still running strong. Maybe I will just take it back lol. So much frustration and nobody seems to be able to work on it properly. Funny times we live in these days. You at one time could take a car to a good mechanic and get it fixed up, now it’s a month long drama fest and the Chevy Trax they gave me as a loner car with only 900 miles runs super rough. Can’t imagine whoever buys that thing won’t have issues one day.
 

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Seems like the complicated new technology GM is brazenly adding to powertrains is just compounding the unreliability, which is what many of us speculated could happen. If start/stop--a feature many people do not want and implemented for minimal MPG gain--is a detriment to the reliability of the freaking transmission (also a broadly disliked new CVT design), then you can take both of those things and shove them where the sun don't shine. The same can be said about the barely-noticeable variable lift system with the failing oil control valve in 2.5L engines and GM's failure to address direct injection maintenance.

I'll gladly take a reliable and better driving 6-speed automatic paired to an engine without start-stop in exchange for losing 1 mpg city and highway. It's a no brainer.
From a moderator this is a pretty harsh indictment for one particular OEM when this applies to all. Unless you have legacy stats to compare failure rates and warranty costs to the ‘brazenly added unreliable new technology‘ you come off as the ‘stay off my lawn‘ guy.

For the record I’m 66 and would never consider an electric car.
 

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From a moderator this is a pretty harsh indictment for one particular OEM when this applies to all. Unless you have legacy stats to compare failure rates and warranty costs to the ‘brazenly added unreliable new technology‘ you come off as the ‘stay off my lawn‘ guy.

For the record I’m 66 and would never consider an electric car.
I would say it's a pretty accurate assessment of GM's recent faults with these cars. This is coming from someone who owns a 2017 Cruze with many of the same technologies I criticize, though it mercifully has a 6-speed automatic. I am not in any way employed by GM here.
 
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From a moderator this is a pretty harsh indictment for one particular OEM when this applies to all. Unless you have legacy stats to compare failure rates and warranty costs to the ‘brazenly added unreliable new technology‘ you come off as the ‘stay off my lawn‘ guy.

For the record I’m 66 and would never consider an electric car.
I concur. As one that has been recently lambasted by the moderators for a paint issue (which I had personal knowledge of), it is a bit surprising of their CVT rant, especially when unjustified. While I share their general dislike of start-stop and CVTs (I bought a 2016 Premier just to get the Aisen trans) their bashing of the new GM vt40 CVT is not warranted. GM has been working with Honda for CVTs (per GM Authority) and the 2019 Malibu CVT had good reviews by Car & Driver 2019 Chevrolet Malibu RS Makes a Virtue of Being Unobtrusive

deguardo -- you owe it to yourself to go out and drive an EV. Your really can not beat them for going fast for cheap (electric rate dependent) and with great handling due to the low CG due to battery weight/placement. With that said (and from one that worked on the Battery Management System for the li-ion battery) I would still wait a few more years for them to perfect the technology and get the price down a bit more (Dr. Goodenough, the inventor of the li-ion cells, still says we are a few years away).
 

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All I can tell you is that it is a 2019 base model with 30k miles. I will say that they told me it’s a smaller transmission or something and that it just “happens sometimes” and “it is not the best transmission” and “you should probably think about an extended warranty when yours runs out”. Like gee thanks you talked it up as a great gas saving work car. This is my spare car but obviously I put a lot of miles on my car since I’m a home health nurse and drive many miles a day. I figured this would be a solid investment but obviously not.
You may want to give Chevy a call, as they often extend warranties for items/parts that have known issues (water pumps are one example).
 

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As a reminder, 5% of every thing made will fail or is faulty or both no matter the source, brand or manufacturer.
Spacecraft never have had trouble getting off the ground on the first attempt, wrong, and they are put together by folks in white clean room suits unlike our vehicles.
Research and luck of the draw is the key to ''happy motoring'' vehicle choices.
You couldn't give me a CVT or Hybrid vehicle as I'm a high mileage long term owner, those cars are short term lease mobiles for under 36k mile still in warranty usage. Yeah there are exceptions but those are the ones owned by maintenance freaks like myself. I'll add turbo's to my no list also.
Magazine reviews are a joke, the rags use those reviews as ad money generators.
These sites are where it's at, you just have to filter out who is knowledgeable about vehicles and who isn't on their postings.
The last generation of a model may be worst than the current or visa versa, never go with the first year of a new gen.
 
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As a reminder, 5% of every thing made will fail or is faulty or both no matter the source, brand or manufacturer.
Spacecraft never have had trouble getting off the ground on the first attempt, wrong, and they are put together by folks in white clean room suits unlike our vehicles.
Research and luck of the draw is the key to ''happy motoring'' vehicle choices.
You couldn't give me a CVT or Hybrid vehicle as I'm a high mileage long term owner, those cars are short term lease mobiles for under 36k mile still in warranty usage. Yeah there are exceptions but those are the ones owned by maintenance freaks like myself. I'll add turbo's to my no list also.
Magazine reviews are a joke, the rags use those reviews as ad money generators.
These sites are where it's at, you just have to filter out who is knowledgeable about vehicles and who isn't on their postings.
The last generation of a model may be worst than the current or visa versa, never go with the first year of a new gen.
Actually 100% of everything made will fail, given enough time....

Cars are typically designed to achieve 10-15 yrs and 150,000 miles, manufacturer dependent. There are roughly 30,000 parts in a car (per Toyota, counting everything as small as screws). Component suppliers (to the automotive industry) have their part failures rated in ppm (parts per million). Field part failures are returned back to the manufacturer, who then have to go through a 8D process -- automotive industry failure evaluation and containment process, and yes, I was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Automotive Electronics Counsel (AEC) and dealt with this pains.

Part failures (warranties) are undesirable, both to companies like GM and well as to their suppliers, as it costs $$$.

With 30,000 parts, all with a 10 ppm failure rate, you have a 50/50 chance of having a perfect car. Else, you have a failure which your may not notice (screw too big and rammed into the hole), or have one big enough for a warranty repair (bad pump).

While I share your mature technology values (as an owner of a 17 year V8 Suburban with 4 spd auto, which only experienced a fuel pump failure in its life -- beyond normal wear items), there are applications where items such as CVT and turbos add value, of which the Malibu is one example (though I would still recommend the bigger 2.0 L engine as it need not spend as much time in boost).

For the 1.5 L, I am not sure I would recommend the 9 spd over the CVT....instead I would buy the 2016 Premier with the Aisen trans (get the recalls fixed, and live with the shorter battery life due to the turbo under hood heat, especially in AZ).
 

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I concur. As one that has been recently lambasted by the moderators for a paint issue (which I had personal knowledge of), it is a bit surprising of their CVT rant, especially when unjustified. While I share their general dislike of start-stop and CVTs (I bought a 2016 Premier just to get the Aisen trans) their bashing of the new GM vt40 CVT is not warranted. GM has been working with Honda for CVTs (per GM Authority) and the 2019 Malibu CVT had good reviews by Car & Driver 2019 Chevrolet Malibu RS Makes a Virtue of Being Unobtrusive
First off, you referenced being "lambasted by moderators" which did not actually include me. When I looked up this instance, it was one moderator who asked you for reference or source to back up your claim that he had never heard before on the forum. "Lambasted by moderators" indeed.

To address the rest of what you said: GM did not work with Honda on the CVT, it is GM's in-house design with no outside collaboration. As for C&D's review, take journalists with a grain of salt. Their sentiment toward the transmission seems to be "it's nice because it doesn't seem like a CVT." Those of us who are car enthusiasts lament their introduction into vehicles for both industry wide reliability issues and the poor driving feel.

If you re-read my comment, you would see that there was a larger point being made about some of GM's recent weak spots in their new cars that only seem to exist because of the constant push to abandon more conventional technology for minimal improvement. Whether the CVT proves reliable or not remains to be seen, but many of us were worried from the beginning because of the nature of that type of transmission.
 

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My bad, moderator. I also confirmed the Honda mods were not done on the VT40 (for future developments). At least it's not a JATCO one....

While I am not a fan of CVTs, they do offer performance and fuel improvements in small engine vehicles.

Other, non magazine reviewers had positive comments on the VT40 as well (with that said, GM does not have a good history with CVTs).
 

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I actually own a CVT in something other than a golf cart or snowmobile so I'll comment. The CVT was my biggest concern in buying the Subaru Crosstrek. I was familiar with the problems of the early designs and the lingering problems still faced by Nissan owners. CVTs encompass a wide variety of designs now and can be quite different than the earliest and sometimes lingering problematic designs. One big difference is the earliest consumer CVT units used a belt hoping for reduced noise and vibration which turned out to be a weakness. Most modern decent units like the VT40 and the Lineartronic in my Crosstrek use a chain. They also now use solenoids to achieve simulated gear stepping rather than the continual under and overdrive you might experience in a Nissan Altima circa 2014.

It all doesn't mean much as for the VT40's hopefully positive general reliability as only time will tell on that. The one report here isn't great for the owner but it is covered and nothing seems to be building on the forum as of yet. The CVT in my Crosstrek has just under 100k and has been problem-free and it's an AWD unit. Units used by Honda, Toyota, or Subaru over the last decade don't seem anymore prone to failure or performance complaint than modern 6, 8, 9 and 10 speed units.

The biggest problem of this gentle shift (haha) GM is taking in moving to a CVT in these small engine cars is perception. Some consumers just prefer that traditional shift shock as it is what they have always known. Early fragile CVTs earned their reputation and long will it justifiably hang around the continuously variable neck. That and Nissan/Jatco seem to enjoy adding to the ethos.

If anyone wants to read some stuff about the VT40, this article isn't bad: Gears Magazine | Moving Right Along: A Look At The Latest CVT, The VT40/CVT-250
 
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I love how people always get a new engine or transmission under warranty and the first thing they want to do is get rid of it!!! KEEP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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