Thread Number: 77180  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Car issues
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Post# 1011223   10/17/2018 at 21:16 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

So I've been having issues with my Malibu lately. Whenever I accelerate from a stop, I feel three hesitations as I'm getting up to speed. If I accelerate just right, I don't feel them. If I accelerate quickly, I feel a fairly heavy kickback at about 20 mph. First I replaced a sensor because the check engine light was on and this was the code I got. That didn't fix it. Today took to the transmission shop and they suggested the fluid and filter need replaced, then see what it does. So I'm planning to do that this weekend.

If it ends up being a bigger repair, may end up buying a newer car. Just don't know that it's worth putting a lot into the car, because I doubt it's worth too much as it's almost 20 years old.

Looked at some newer cars last weekend. I saw some Fusions and Malibus. Was really just wanted to look around, but didn't do much good since none of the cars had prices on the windows! Plus as soon as we rolled up the salesman were ready to barrage us with questions. I remember in the past I used to be able to walk the lot without anyone coming out or if so a simple "just looking" would get them to let me look.

Didn't enjoy going to the car lots. I think I will do my looking all from online where I can see prices and no one to bother me. Then if I end up needing a new car, can figure out who has what I might want to look at or test drive.

Post# 1011228 , Reply# 1   10/17/2018 at 21:46 by Electroluxxxx (Syracuse NY)        

How many miles are on the vehicle? Have you ever had spark plugs replaced, air filter, plug wires?
Are there any other engine codes coming up?

Post# 1011280 , Reply# 2   10/18/2018 at 11:46 by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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I hate buying a car, and its never worth buying since its depreciates. I went on CARGURUS when I purchased my 2014 VW Passat several years ago. Its nice to compare features and prices. I watched youtube videos or reviews before I decided on looking at one.

Post# 1011291 , Reply# 3   10/18/2018 at 13:43 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Didn't enjoy going to the car lots

Exploring car lots kicking tires is so old school.

Online shopping is far more efficient. I never go to a dealer or car lot unless I'm there to look at a specific vehicle I've seen on online.

I prefer and for lower price range stuff I like the carsforsale price history and days on market features.

Post# 1011372 , Reply# 4   10/18/2018 at 21:55 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

No there are no other codes that I see and the light hasn't come back on. It has 140,000 miles and the spark plugs and such haven't been replaced.

If I did replace it, I'd get a used car since the depreciation is so high. I think from what I've seen I like the Ford Taurus best. I liked the Sonata Limited and Optima EX too but didn't see any used ones here.

Yeah, I've been looking on mainly plus dealers websites to get an idea of what they have and the prices. Much easier than having to wander around all of their lots if just looking.

If this transmission flush fixes my car I may well just keep it. I'd like something with the latest features but don't really need all of that. Mine would probably be ok for a while yet if I can get it going well again.

Just don't want to spend a lot on it. But a $200 fix is a lot cheaper than a $20,000 car. It's going to need new tires soon too, although I don't like replacing tires if I might trade in the next year or two.

Post# 1011381 , Reply# 5   10/19/2018 at 00:51 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

I would fix it if you can (most likely) but if you do decide to upgrade, go with Toyota. You will be glad you did.. I have a 2004 Prius with almost 225,000 miles and still going. The non hybrid Toyotas are just as good. Most reliable car I've ever owned!

Post# 1011403 , Reply# 6   10/19/2018 at 09:55 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Had a 1998 Malibu

for a few years and almost 99,000 miles. 3.1 V6 had an intake manifold coolant leak. After a new coolant pump, did not want to spend more good money after bad, so we ditched it in 2005. The climate control was also faulty. The A/C worked or not at will. The light on the * button would go on and off.
I did like the 4 speed automatic which could start in second gear in snow if you put the shift lever in 2nd.
It'd have been a nice car for the kids to learn to drive on was the reason buying it, and it was affordable, and good on gas.
Any older car can have some problems, even a Toyota. Neighbors have and older Camry, and are always working on it.

Post# 1011431 , Reply# 7   10/19/2018 at 13:33 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
It has 140,000 miles

Trans fluid and filter should have been changed at 100,000 miles or even sooner.

Makes a big difference in trans longevity but is often overlooked until there is a problem.

Post# 1011460 , Reply# 8   10/19/2018 at 19:53 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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compare transmission flushes...

always go for the service that removes ALL of the fluid, not just drop the pan, change the filter, and top off the fluid.....AAMCO is one who is known for that, I can't count the stories I have heard about them...

a reputable mechanic will have this complete service advertised, and why it is so much better....

not that expensive at around $120.00....

Ford Taurus have been very reliable cars for the most with any used vehicle, depends on what condition you find it in......the one thing of something like a Taurus, not likely to have been owned by some young kid that has ran the heck out of it, this type of vehicle comes from an older mature family or elderly person...

we just got a 2005 Taurus for our boy, only 105,000 miles on it for around 2200.00....nicely equipped, very powerful and strong powertrain, seriously nice mileage for a V6....

Post# 1011510 , Reply# 9   10/20/2018 at 04:11 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My Lincoln MKS is basically an AWD Taurus and we LOVE IT!  It handles more like a German car than any other car we've owned (that wasn't German).  I've heard and read to avoid the Taurus with the Ecoboost V6 due to carbon build up on the valves...we opted for the normally aspirated 3.7 V6 in our Lincoln and believe me it will haul hiney when I step on it just a little.  Very comfortable car to take on our NOLA trips.  My diesel VW  has 260K miles on the clock and still ticking along.  At this point any maintenance is more expensive than the car is worth but I can't get another one for that so I just keep it maintained as I have for the past 17 years since it was new.  Just did rear shocks a few weeks ago.  Next will be brakes all around.  My 4x4 Jimmy popped his radiator two weeks ago at 120k miles.  $134 from the local parts places and I did the work.  Lost about half the antifreeze though when it blew, glad I was here in town.  New rad is made in China unfortunately but at least it has a lifetime warranty.  A genuine GM AC/Delco was over $100 more so I just went with the Chinese one.  If it were my VW I would not have.  I don't put Chinese stuff on my German car.

Post# 1011530 , Reply# 10   10/20/2018 at 11:16 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Well, we got the transmission fluid and filter changed, and no dice. Same thing with the weird shifting. We also noticed when braking hard that a loud horn-like noise comes from the front somewhere. No sure what that is, as the brakes and rotors have been replaced not that long ago.

And yeah, my car has that same A/C issue you mentioned with the green light on the A/C button flashing. It usually does that when I have the fan set to setting 4 or 5, 1-3 work fine. I also had to replace the blower resistor about a year ago as the fan had completely stopped working. I mostly just ignore the light flashing as I rarely have the fan set higher than 3 unless it's for the heat. The A/C on the car does work very well otherwise.

Post# 1011538 , Reply# 11   10/20/2018 at 12:53 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
transmission fluid and filter changed, and no dice

Doesn't sound good, trans is slipping under load, probably just a matter of time.

Those GM turbo-hydramatics behind the 3.1L often don't last much beyond 150,000 miles if not well maintained with regular fluid/filter changes.

Post# 1011575 , Reply# 12   10/20/2018 at 17:49 by StrongEnough78 (California)        

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Not to mention 140K without a tune up. I would give that a try as well. Air filter, plugs and wires also check and clean the MAF sensor. That sensor when dirty or malfunctioning can cause many problems. My Moms 93 LeSabre had a horrible pinging problem under hard acceleration and I couldn't figure it out at first. I did some research and cleaned the sensor and it helped completely.

Post# 1011631 , Reply# 13   10/21/2018 at 06:29 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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At this point what do you have to lose.....try adding some Lucas transmision fix.  I use it in all my automatics.  Might buy you some time.


Post# 1011643 , Reply# 14   10/21/2018 at 08:31 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
The 4 speed 4L40e

automatic that was in the older Malibu was a lighter duty unit than the 4L60e, but was durable. Built in Windsor Ontario,It went out of production with the Chevy Cobalt. Often it is a sensor problem with high mileage units. I've seen 4L80e units also fail, and they are very heavy, only mated to the Northstar V8's.

Post# 1011646 , Reply# 15   10/21/2018 at 09:23 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I agree on the tune up. Had I known that the transmission fluid was supposed to be replaced, I would have done it already.

So you think it could just be a sensor that is causing the problem? I did see in the pan and there were no metal shavings evident as if there was any damage.

I'm being pressed toward getting a new car. I just hate being wasteful in getting rid of something that could still be repaired. I'd hate to think it would go to the junkyard over a simple issue if I were to trade it.

A lot of people are in the mindset that if it's old just get a new one.

Although I would like a newer car, do I really need one? Plus I'm looking online and having trouble finding anything that I like. So many crossovers, which I don't really want, and small SUVs. Just not into those kinds of vehicles.

I've ruled out trucks, because to get what I want it's going to be over $30k. Don't want to be out that much.

The Taurus looks good. Wondering if there's something not good with them, because a used Taurus LIMITED is about the same price if not just a bit cheaper than a BASE Kia Optima or Hyundai Sonata with similar mileage. Is there something I don't know about a Taurus, that's bad?

I do like the Optima and Sonata, but I don't care for the newest generation. I liked the 2011-2014 with the Limited or EX with the panoramic roof. The styling of the new ones I don't care for. Too angled looking for me and they seem to have done some cheapening.

Honda Accords are nice but they all seem to be base models around here, plus they're rarer to find used since they aren't sold new here.

Camrys I'm sure are reliable but again just don't care for the styling. Though I do think there isn't as much difference between them anymore and other makes in reliability. It's showing in the resale prices for Hyundai and Kia!

Post# 1011653 , Reply# 16   10/21/2018 at 10:30 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Buick LeSabre Battery Surprise

An elderly couple told us that one day their 20 year old Buick would not start so they called AAA and got the car started. Tech told them they needed a new battery and to go get one immediately. As huge as this car is, you know like almost two parking places wide, the battery is under the back seat like in some VWs. The battery was the original battery. The new one just has a 3 year warranty. Amazing.

Post# 1011654 , Reply# 17   10/21/2018 at 10:47 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
hyundai/kia engine blowups

while researching a class-action against ford over internally mounted water pumps failing,contaminating oil,ruining engine(v6),discovered there is also a class-action against Hyundai/kia over engines blowing up because of damage from machining debris left in engine during manufacture causing eventual engine failure...I have had better luck with with domestics for reliability VS foreign I have owned except Porsche which has been absolutely reliable(old 1981 928) :)A co-worker had a new 2005 Malibu and spent time in the shop for tranny related warranty repairs...

Post# 1011681 , Reply# 18   10/21/2018 at 15:04 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
hate being wasteful in getting rid of something

If you have mechanic that you trust have him check it out before you give up on it. Could be something simple although a trans slipping under load is not a good sign.

Worse case scenario a rebuild trans could be installed for under $2000 but it may not make sense for older high mile vehicle.

Post# 1011790 , Reply# 19   10/22/2018 at 10:48 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Well, naturally this subject couldn't have come at a better time, and that is a month ago my lease ended on my 2015 Chrysler 200, so in the spirit of car makers no longer making CARS, it seemed natural to make the move into my first SUV, a 2018 Jeep...

Only for one month later and at 714 miles, to have the yellow engine-shaped light go on, with an alarm ringing at me with the dashboard message to: SERVICE ENGINE SOON...

Mind you, this was luckily under warranty, but I had gotten some what I shall call "jinx mail", as in both eMails and even in envelopes coming to my house, that my '18 Compass was going to need servicing, so leave it to a Sunday night after work when I was curious why I couldn't get her turn over with my my remote start that this was going on... (Luckily Saturday night everything went okay, as my supervisor and I left at Midnight and she seeing that I got to my ride okay, remote-started and all, though the Midnight crew was in the store, and she while I walked over to my Jeep was chatting to another co-worker who had also just gotten off)...

So, what is still not going to be quite a long-story short, the vehicle had to go to the shop on Monday, and I didn't get her back until Wednesday, and I got a couple surveys in my eMail, from both the dealer, and even Jeep, itself... Of which that I feel a bit feeble about opening and start filling out... I just don't know what to say...!

Only in wake of this, along with hoping this doesn't happen again--and before it's first oil-change--that I can just dismiss this as my new car just needing a "seasonal three-day tune-up"...

-- Dave

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Post# 1012136 , Reply# 20   10/25/2018 at 23:47 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My little bug started flashing a red "brake" light at me upon first startup in the morning when I'm leaving the hospital.  Google says it's probably just a touch low on fluid since the rear brake pads are quite worn and on my list of "to do's" soon.  No issues with braking performance.  I'll check tomorrow when I'm off work..on call right now sitting duck waiting for the phone to ring and hoping it doesn't!  Those German cars are good about informing a person about a potential problem before it becomes a problem.

Post# 1017528 , Reply# 21   12/9/2018 at 21:04 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Well, forgot how any miles later, but more bugs had to be worked out after two weeks, so luckily after that--three, or more to be exact,--my misfortune of my car SUV being a lemon has been spared...


And luckily the one gas station near me with free air solved a tire problem, too...




-- Dave

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