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Discussion Starter #1
I have a LTZ V6 and for a while have been noticing a vibration in the floor and seat when cruising between 40 and 50 MPH (It usually goes away a few MPH above 50). At first I thought it was due to rear tire balance, but that has been rectified and the problem still exists. Just curious if anyone else has experienced this? A friend of mine suggested it may just be the "resonance" of the car; thought this was plausible but wanted to receive some feedback from other drivers of V6 Malibus. I am anxious to see if it goes away when I put on my smaller rims and winter tires in a couple of weeks...

Thanks in advance!
 

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does it happen the entire drive? In other words, does it go away after driving/warming up (say 20-30 minutes)?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
does it happen the entire drive? In other words, does it go away after driving/warming up (say 20-30 minutes)?
It is definetly most noticeable when the car/tires are cold, but never seems to go away.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
that s not normal. Need to start by checking all wheels and tires including a balance.
I did have the tires checked for balance (rears were out of balance by 3/4 of an ounce). I am going to have them check the tires and wheels but was going to see what happens when I switch over to my winter tires/wheels in a few weeks.
 

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you had the tires balanced today (between your first post today and now)?

if the vibration is worse cold, then there may be some flat spotting of the tires after being parked a while.

did they do a road-force balance or standard 'free spin'?
 

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I had a similar problem once. Bought a set of tires and had a bad vibration that would not go away. The faster I'd drive the more the tires would vibrate. Had the tires balanced several times and there was always one tire that was way out. Finally after a month or so the tire dealer replaced the tire under warranty. When they broke the tire down they found a shop rag inside the tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
you had the tires balanced today (between your first post today and now)?

if the vibration is worse cold, then there may be some flat spotting of the tires after being parked a while.

did they do a road-force balance or standard 'free spin'?
No I did not have them rebalanced as I had the balanced a week ago and the problem didn't go away. I do not know what type of balance was done. My dealer couldn't do it because their machine was too old where they have to manually place the weights on the wheel and they wouldn't stay on. They took it down the road to a tire store which has the latest and greatest tire balancer that does everything automatically. I did not realize there was two different types but suppose that makes sense.
 

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you may want to just rotate all the tires and see if anything changes. When you put on your winter tires if it goes away then it s somewhere in your rims or tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just spoke to the dealer and they are going to order two new tires. If that doesn't work they are going to try and rotate them to see if it changes where the vibration is. By that point I'll be ready to switch to the winter set which could isolate the rims.

Thanks for everyone's help and I'll be sure to keep you posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update:

I had my rear tires replaced yesterday. They stated on the service invoice that they had the tires Road Force Balanced; this confirmed what they did a couple weeks ago. After replacing my tires they found my old tires to be out of round - 3M and had excessive radial force.

I have to say that now the free rolling vibration is gone, but I believe there is still a vibration. It appears to be worst when using manual sport mode and lightly feathering the accelerator. A friend suggested that it may be the same NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) that plagues the CTS (according to Motor Trend). Does this make sense to anyone? I want to go back to the dealer but they think after test driving my car that it is fixed; I don't want to be a pain.

Thoughts? Do those who have manual mode use it a lot? I use it about 85% of the time...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wednesday I took the car back to the dealer and they found that the rear right Brake Shoe was hung, so they freed that and then turned the rotor. They thought this fixed the problem; Unfortunately it did not.

I then took it back to the dealer today and they called me late in the day to tell me that they drove a new LTZ on the lot and it vibrated worse than mine. I asked to drive it, and they were right, it is worse then mine. The car had 34 miles. The dealer contacted GM and said that there has been a lot of complaints and is related to the 18" wheel package. GM acknowledged that there is a problem but unfortunately don't have a fix at this time.

I know there are a lot of LTZ owners in this forum. Has anyone else felt this vibration? As I mentioned in the thread title it is at lower speeds. It goes away at highway speeds.
 

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Did you/dealer try rotating tires front to back?
Did they do a 4-wheel balance?
Some dealers farm out tire/wheel work, where was the work done?
If the rear tires are new/ road force balanced... what are the fronts really like?
 

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Hi all,

My 08 LTZ does the same thing and I have around 1081 miles on it and had 3 tires replaced due to being out of round at around 600 miles.I have had the car for about 2 weeks now and even after they replaced 3 tires and road force balanced them, I still get the vibration at that speed. Hopefully they will issue a recall and correct it asap.


Clay
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yes the dealer rotated the tires front to back; they had a local tire store road force balance all of the tires since the dealer's machine requires manual placement of the weights. The only tires that showed abnormal wear were the rear tires, which have since been replaced.

why would a brand new car vibrate worse than mine?
 

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why would a brand new car vibrate worse than mine?
A lot of times it's flat spotting from vehicles just sitting without use, which you'll find a lot on test drives with vehicles that may have been sitting for quite some time (I drove a new G8 that had been sitting since July with only 4 miles and it had a terrible "square tire" shake that started to even out a little with the drive). At my dealer, I somehow always do when I've taken vehicles off their lot for a spin, that have been there for a month or more with little attention.

Other times, it can just be improper balance, however odd that seems for vehicles that were just built and shipped that should be done properly, but somehow it happens. Particularly if there's a batch of defective, however slightly or severe, tires or wheels from suppliers. Shouldn't happen, but it does. I drove 4 different '09 Malibus in the past month, all with the 18" wheel/tire setup, and all were glass smooth including the one I picked.

I've dealt with so many wobbles, shakes, shudders, etc. on my '08 G6 with the 18" tires--the car that has been repurchased by GM--but none of it ever seemed to be with the tires, and mine has all been bizarre drivetrain glitches. Found a slightly out of balance tire once and road forced it to correct, but otherwise things continued and varied so much that I at least eventually narrowed down to a combination of drivetrain imbalance, transmission issues, and/or varied engine misfiring. Really, still hard to tell specifically, though.

Odd that the word from GM to your dealer came back that they have a lot of problems with vibration and the 18" tires, as generally it seems like most everyone reports no problem whatsoever with these other than a lack of traction, but maybe. I'll guess it's some kind of a hard to trace drivetrain or axle imbalance, but also very likely still could be a wheel/tire issue. I've known of some people with similar problems that have gone through tire after tire check and changing, only to eventually find little irregularities in wheels or in the suspension/steering that were just hard to trace.
 

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why would a brand new car vibrate worse than mine?
a standard spin balance wont pick up any high tire uniformity issue...

no balancer will pickup flatspotting, unless it gets taken off the car right before perhaps...
 

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a standard spin balance wont pick up any high tire uniformity issue...

no balancer will pickup flatspotting, unless it gets taken off the car right before perhaps...
Correct-o.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Another update... I had my 17" winter tire package bolted on yesterday and the vibration still exists. We have now completely eliminated the possibility that it is a wheel or tire out of balance. The vibration/pulsing sensation is most noticeable under light acceleration.

I found the following on the internet and am taking it back in next week to have it investigated.

http://www.chevroletforum.com/archive/threads/2008-malibu-vibration-problem-58610-1.html
 

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Yeah, aside from a tire, do you guys think it is more possibly in the drivetrain?

After finally getting my '09 2LT V6, one of the first things I've noticed is a shudder in the 40-50 range under varied acceleration that's the torque converter in the transmission locking and unlocking, however odd feeling. Decelerating, I often get it when letting off the gas and letting the car slow itself down, as the TC unlocks.

So, torque converter locking and unlocking, in a shaky way? Otherwise, mine is smooth as glass at any speed and definitely does not have any kind of tire/wheel issue, just the torque converter sensations. I asked about this on a Saturn Aura board, as they have the same drivetrain but an extra year under their belt, and didn't get too much of "yep, mine does that". Maybe normal, maybe not, but after an old vehicle that had some TC shudder, I'm certain this is at least mine.
 
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