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Hello fellow Malibu owners, I've recently purchased a Malibu and have been looking to add extra hp. I ran across this thread and I'm very curious as to what people think of the K&N CAI and tune. I mostly want to get an idea from different people to see if it is worth the buy! Also if owners of just the intake can give me some feedback that would be appreciated too. Looking at buying that in the next couple of days.
 

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Hello fellow Malibu owners, I've recently purchased a Malibu and have been looking to add extra hp. I ran across this thread and I'm very curious as to what people think of the K&N CAI and tune. I mostly want to get an idea from different people to see if it is worth the buy! Also if owners of just the intake can give me some feedback that would be appreciated too. Looking at buying that in the next couple of days.


In my opinion the usable horse power increase isn't worth it. With the trifecta tune, the max horsepower is at 6,000 RPM+, I don't know about you, but I don't spend most of my day anywhere near 6,000 RPM. For me, it's not worth it. Where I spend my time driving I'll see about a one horse increase. For $600+ not worth it.


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In my opinion the usable horse power increase isn't worth it. With the trifecta tune, the max horsepower is at 6,000 RPM+, I don't know about you, but I don't spend most of my day anywhere near 6,000 RPM. For me, it's not worth it. Where I spend my time driving I'll see about a one horse increase. For $600+ not worth it.
I agree. I was on the fence for a long time about the Trifecta tune. Once I installed it, I wish I had done it sooner.

Myself, I prefer the greater lower end torque available and improved shift points. You can get better fuel mileage but you must drive it for economy. Like folks have said, this is the way the car should have been delivered to us. Much more fun to drive, sportier. There is an operator relearn process with the tune. Less accelerator pedal travel is needed. I confess there were times I drove it like I stole it the first tank full...lol

Perhaps if the K&N had a more positive air seal to the air intake in top of right fender instead of that suggestion of sealing, I might have considered it. Just my opinion.
 

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I agree. I was on the fence for a long time about the Trifecta tune. Once I installed it, I wish I had done it sooner.

Myself, I prefer the greater lower end torque available and improved shift points. You can get better fuel mileage but you must drive it for economy. Like folks have said, this is the way the car should have been delivered to us. Much more fun to drive, sportier. There is an operator relearn process with the tune. Less accelerator pedal travel is needed. I confess there were times I drove it like I stole it the first tank full...lol

Perhaps if the K&N had a more positive air seal to the air intake in top of right fender instead of that suggestion of sealing, I might have considered it. Just my opinion.

Well, that's my point I've seen so may reviews that are up in the air about it all. I've seen people say the K&N isn't worth the money because of the air seal, then I've seen people say that it is worth it especially with the tune. I just want some extra gains on my Malibu, I think I will get both and share my experience.
 

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Just ordered my intake today. Got a 15% discount off of auto anything, so that made me feel a little better about the purchase. Now I'm just waiting on some more money to come in for the tune and will update my thoughts about the two!
 

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I don't know about you guys, but my Malibu is still under warranty, and if the dealer can tell the vehicle has been tuned, I plan on waiting for the warranty to expire first. I'm interested in the tune hearing all the reports about the quicker shifts, and things like that, but a total of $600+ is a bit much for something where the usability of the claimed hp increase is at 6,000+rpms.


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I don't know about you guys, but my Malibu is still under warranty.....
I hear you. At 43K I'm past my basic but still in the 5yr 100K powertrain warranty. To be safe, one would have to remove the tune and go back to factory tune which requires the laptop and programming.

Just skip the intake and do the $300 tune. I love the way it drives at lower speeds. You can always add the K&N and get the tune upgrade later.

It's on the back burner, but I have been toying with doing a less restrictive than OEM fresh air intake through the opening in core support alongside radiator. There isn't any core support area sufficient to punch through with an aftermarket fresh air system like with larger older cars.
 

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Well, I did it. I pulled the trigger. I ordered the tune. I hope I'm happy with it. I'll keep everyone posted. How long does it take to do? Was it difficult?


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I just purchased a early 2016 2.5l and giving that to my daughter...Well my son start driving at the end of Oct. So we picked up a 2013 Black Granite LTZ 2lz 2.0l T.

So really interested in this pkg. Which CAI The injin or K&N style? Love to hear more sound from the Turbo.
Just upgraded the interior and some extrerior to LED. Looking to get the Factory style look spoiler and then the Tune/CAI.
I get daily emails from Auto anything. I will watch for a 20-25% deal :)
Thanks
 

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I did the tune without the intake. I haven’t noticed a change in sound. It accelerates quicker, seems slightly more “peppy”. I don’t know if it was worth the $300, but I used to have some weird transmission issue, but it seems to have gone away with this (knocks on wood), so in that regard, it is worth it.


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I'm goin to say you won't notice a huge difference between tuned and not tuned if your not driving it like a hotrod except maybe a small difference in low end torque and take off. I don't want to just completely say this tune is a waste of money but I had a bad experience with it. I got the k&n intake and the calibrated tune the end of last year hoping for better fuel economy and more power. I was very disappointed! The intake made my car sound like a 95 Honda civic with a buzz pipe! I contacted Trifecta to see if this was normal and they were helpful having me send in some data logs and reviewing them. All they said were that my fuel trim was just a wee bit off and that I must have a vacuum leak somewhere??? I checked over my installation and fiddled and tweaked everything numerous times to make sure everything was installed correctly, needless to say it still had that buzz. Also my fuel economy dropped about 3 mpg. Last summer we made a trip to Minnesota and my car averaged 30.5 approx all the way there and back, about a 2000 mile round trip. This winter right after I installed the intake and tune we did the same trip with some more stops for a total of about 3500 miles and I could barely get 27! Very disappointing! I will attach my before and after logs of my 0-60 and quarter mile times. Small difference but not enough to justify the money spent. I no longer have either installed and I have my quiet car back and hopefully my fuel economy!

I don't believe the horse power on these, it never has been accurate with any vehicle.
Agreed, I would think 20whp would be more like a 30hp increase at the engine on a small fwd transaxle. Your time indicates more around 17. Do you have traction control on? It’s one of the in car 1/4 measuring devices? Not completely accurate either.

Fwiw I bought the intake yesterday $70 off. If it’s too noisy or no improvement I figure I can sell it for little loss. After the intake I’ll consider the tune. Your results are not encouraging, but mpg/shift is what I’m looking for. I like to feel the shift.
 

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The car does drive better with the stage 1 tune, transmission shifts properly when you need it. The stock trans tune likes to hold on to higher gears when you need a downshift to pass someone, on the trifecta it promptly downshifts when you hit the gas pedal. The low end torque is well welcome. Fuel consumption is simply not there for this car. I had mine for 3 years and was never able to average better than 27mpg on 80%city driving. The extra power is only there if you are running the car on 91 octane or better which is what the tune is intended for. The k&n intake is loud, does not sound like a honda civic by any means, and you need to pay attention when mounting it cause it can hit the hood in a couple spots which can cause more noise, but that is not trifecta's fault.
I think it was well worth the money, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
 

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Good info, I have some header wrap I’ll use on the intake if it seems worthy, hopefully silences it some too.

Yes, I would not have bought (13,400 for a 2016, it was a good price) the car had I expected 27mpg, but it is winter too. I read the mpg ratings, and expected better. I was driving a 2016 Camry, but despite ratings it only did about 28 mpg. Despite all the bad Malibu reviews I like it better overall. Bigger backseat, the Camry steering is more firm, and the rear view camera are all I give the Camry. I feel the Malibu is a bit quicker despite mixed reviews on what car is faster, it rides smoother, better traction, quieter, more options.

Fwiw I’m hoping to get a camera in the car.
 

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Hello all. I just bought me a 2015 malibu. I have researched thus tune and air intake. For the most part the the reviews are positive and few negative posts. Is the power and torque noticeable at the low end of of the band? Most of my driving is under 5000 rpms. Any experiences will be appreciated.
 

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Hello all
Does anyone know when you flash back to stock to have warrenty work done at the dealership, will the dealer be to see that you flashed a tune on the computer???
 

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I hate to be “that guy” but I’m looking at buying this and im wondering, firstly in my 2015 2.5l Malibu, will I be able to turn it on and off with the cruise control button? And how much of a loss of mpg should i expect just daily driving, obviously not while slamming on the gas?
 

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I just did the tune on my 2014 2.5 Malibu and it drives amazing now! I don't know much about cars, but I was pretty disappointed when I bought this car used in February and it didn't drive any better than my 2006 Pontiac I had just upgraded from. I though there was a problem with it because the acceleration was very slow and choppy, I thought the gear changes were engine misfires because of how rough they were.

I'm not a crazy driver (I don't usually go past 4000 rpm), but just normal driving around town is so much more improved and it is definitely worth it for those who are considering it from a regular driving perspective. Acceleration and gear changes are so much smoother.

I've only had it for a few days and have been using the same unleaded gas so far, so I am a bit curious to see how much of a difference premium fuel will make since the tune works best with it.
 
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