Engine Mechanical problem
2002 Chevy Malibu 6 cyl Automatic 82000 miles
Two months ago after heavy use on the highway, our Malibu began running noisy once it hit 40mph. Mileage okay, acceleration okay.
Got oil change, changed air filter, idle air control, cleaned air sensor. Nothing helped. Car began to hesitate while driving down the highway.
Yesterday the car died in a parking lot. Diagnosis - bad fuel pump. Pump has been replaced along with a new battery (the old one died, too.). The problem is still there. No check engine lights have come on in all of this. Is it truly an engine problem, or is the sound fooling us? Exhaust? Wheels? Help!
To better assist you is your model just the Malibu or the LS? Also can you give me your engine size in liter?
Is there any way you can describe the noise. Metal on metal, does it sound like it is at the wheels, or the engine?
When you race the engine do you hear it?
Can you hear the noise with the hood up engine normal or with increased RPM?
How old are your tires?
May, 29, 2009 AT 6:25 AM
Regular Malibu, nothing fancy
Engine size 3.1L
When the car is started, it sounds normal. But here's something interesting. I just started it and revved the engine with the door open to hear. When I revved it high (probably when it's reaching that 40-50mph zone) I heard a " metallic" vibrating sound underneath the car - the general location being the middle of the car.
So, this now leads me to believe there is an exhaust problem going on? I don't know why we never heard this before - I'm pretty sure we revved the engine, but perhaps not hard enough to get the sound.
If in fact it is an exahust issue, I'm a bit miffed that the shop I was at yesterday wouldn't see it, since they had the car jacked.
Would something in the exhaust system cause the fuel pump to break, or was that just an added bonus to my day?
May, 29, 2009 AT 10:06 AM
I would say check the shielding on the exhaust. Sometime they get loose. But with it loosing power over time I would check the catalitic converter. It happened to me. The converter starts to break up at times and will break off inside in little pieces. Over time these pieces will build up and slowely cut down the power bdue to backpressure from it getting clogged. If you drive the car at night check the converter for a red glow after it has been drive. Or if not drivable with engine cold tap on outside of converter with side of fist Each time you do it listen to see if there is any kind of rattling.
May, 29, 2009 AT 2:22 PM
I had some time this morning so I decided to take it over to the local Midas store just to see what they'd say. They found two problems. #1 - hole in the muffler. Well, that seems plausible enough judging by one of the sounds. #2 - Bad hub bearing on the right front passenger side wheel.
Could that hub bearing be the cause of all the noise? (Excluding, of course, the muffler issue) I guess I don't know what I should be listening for, so I can't judge if the sound is coming from the tire. It does sound like it is in the front right quadrant of the car, but it just seems odd that this is what the problem is.
I didn't get anything fixed, just due to the fact that I know I can get the work done cheaper elsewhere. Here's a breakdown of the costs they came up with, for anyone else's reference.
Midas, Oakland County, Michigan
Labor 88.40, Parts 148.09
Gold Exhaust 3 Component Installation Labor
Prebent Pipe, DGM Clamp, B MSL Muffler
HUB BEARINGS $284.24 - $421.03
Price was dependent upon type of bearing I purchased. Labor 97.24, Parts 187.00 OR 323.79
Front Wheel Bearings: Remove and Replace
May, 29, 2009 AT 2:51 PM
When I read your post you had said that it stalls out. That was taken care of by the fuel Pump? 236.00 for a muffler? Thats a lot for a muffler. You can find someplace that will fix it cheaper. I just had a exhaust manifold and new pipes put on my old car and only cost 160. Looked up the price of hub, bearings, and labor and it came to roughly 362.50 that with everything new. To cut costs you could check out used hubs at a junk yard. And have someone put it on. 657.52 is a lot these days. Good luck whatever you decide.
June, 2, 2009 AT 9:27 PM
Also, it looks like you may have a recall on your vehicle. The dealer may fix this for free. Please contact the dealer service department, give them the VIN number of your car and have them check on this to see if it applies to you.