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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So does anyone know what rpm range the power band resides in for the 2009 (and I presume 2008) 3.6l V6 Malibu?

Also, are there any tips for using the paddle shifters for both increasing performance and efficiency? I assume if you shift right you can increase fuel economy. I also assume if you shift right in another way you can greatly increase the performance... i.e. maximizing time in the power band. I ask because the car doesn't seem to always shift when I ask it to. It seems to hold the gear when upshifting, but not for downshifting, it will drop down gears when you slow down enough without any input.

Is there any trick to getting it to upshift when you want? Perhaps a set amount of time to hit the button before expecting it to shift? Also, though it will downshift automatically, will it prevent me from downshifting if the RPM is too high and/or if I try to go down too many gears?

I'm not sure how to figure any of this out without running the engine pretty hard and I don't have enough miles on it yet to be comfortable doing that.


edit: I saw on a web site that the peak torque is at 3200rpm and the peak horsepower is at 6300rpm, so would the power band be between 3.2k and 6.3k? Any worries about running this engine to the red line?
 

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yeah, I think that it generally tries to hold the gear but will not let you into the zone where you can stall the engine. Downshifting when you slow down is probably related to that.

As far as the powerband goes you pretty much got it, I think...Redlining should be ok after the break in period, I am sure it will bounce off the rev limiter.
 

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i will comment on the last part, it should be able to run at the redline all day long, btw its got a warrety ;)
 

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I have a 4 cylinder with the 6 speed which will be very different than the V6, however I use my paddle shifters when on the on ramps of a highway. Leaving the transmission in auto makes for a rather slow acceleration up to merge speed, however using the paddle shifters I can hang on to 3'rd to about 5000 rpm. This gets the car up to speed much faster, and it's fun. That's about the only time I use them.
 

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I used to use them occasionally, but not much anymore. After me and the auto learned each other I see no use to even bother. It's an interesting toy, but it is not really the same as driving the stick. Stick makes you work all the time and keeps up connected that way, with auto it's too easy to basically say "whatever" and drive on D all the time :)
Well, I do use them when the situation calls for it, such as bad weather, for instance, but not more than I would use lower gears such as 1 or 2 in a regular auto setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
yeah, I think that it generally tries to hold the gear but will not let you into the zone where you can stall the engine. Downshifting when you slow down is probably related to that.

As far as the powerband goes you pretty much got it, I think...Redlining should be ok after the break in period, I am sure it will bounce off the rev limiter.
Which break-in period? The 500 mile break in that is standard or the 3000 mile break-in a lot of people seem to follow?

I've revved it up pretty high (not to red line though) a few times in the 500 miles and a few times since, but nothing huge, just passing/freeway acceleration. I'm assuming this is OK because in break in you aren't supposed to go too hard or too steady either. I'm getting near the 1000 mile mark and considering the early oil change following suit of others here.

Also, what is the rev limiter set at for this car? The red line is at around 6300 or 6500 RPM (which is at the top of the power band) so that makes it easy to know when to shift. I'd like to know where the RL is without hitting it myself.

I am also still trying to figure out how long of a lag there is with the shifting manually.
 

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Which break-in period? The 500 mile break in that is standard or the 3000 mile break-in a lot of people seem to follow?

I've revved it up pretty high (not to red line though) a few times in the 500 miles and a few times since, but nothing huge, just passing/freeway acceleration. I'm assuming this is OK because in break in you aren't supposed to go too hard or too steady either. I'm getting near the 1000 mile mark and considering the early oil change following suit of others here.
I am talking about whatever it says in the manual, just that. I think one of the things it says is to keep it under certain rpm. At 1000 miles I am sure you're past that anyways.
 

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"break the engine in like you want it to run" i pulled out of the dealership on the test drive and made a hard pass on it ( it had about 30 miles on it) , its running great :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
"break the engine in like you want it to run" i pulled out of the dealership on the test drive and made a hard pass on it ( it had about 30 miles on it) , its running great :)
Good way of looking at it, short of you wanting to run it at 6500 all the time.
 

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If you are planning on using the paddle shifters for max acceleration then you need to hold the gear until a couple hundred rpm past the HP peak. That way the rpm drop after the shift will be to just a couple hundred rpm under the peak.

With most new cars the break in period has less to do with the engine Vs the rest of the power train and getting a proper wear in on the gears before dumping lots of power through them. As the other guy said if you want the engine to run good you need to break it in like you are planning on using it. That doesn't mean jack rabbit starts but running it through the gears so everything stretches and wears in proplerly for useage habits. Its like the used car adds that talk about a vehicle only being driven to church on Sundays by a little old woman. Low miles and a nightmare for the person who buys it and tries to drive the car normally.

Bill
 

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The true redline (and similarly the top speed) are quite easy to determine. These vehicles are equipped with electronic rev and speed limiters. When you reach the limits the computer will safely cut spark and/or fuel. So all you have to do is find a suitable road, pick a gear (2nd or 3rd should do fine), push the pedal down and hang on. You will either hit the rpm limit or the speed limit at which point you get no more.

FYI - 99 Malibu 2.4 - 6700rpm and 106mph appear to be the limits
 
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