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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
56,032 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. change bulb sockets (3 reports)
  2. replaced entire internal headlamp unit harness (3 reports)
  3. not sure (2 reports)
  4. dealer found a bulletin to replace the bulb sockets (1 reports)
  5. original bulb front turn signal melts casing/socket, (1 reports)
2005 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #10

Feb 262009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Bulb design flaw,burns hot, known by manufacturer. Original bulb 3157 burns plastic housing on front directional turn signals on (2004-2006) Malibu. Currently got 2nd replacement bulb and first replacement socket for left front turn signal (used more often than passenger side turn signal). This appears not to be a warranty issue. It is a liability issue (faulty design made for failure and possible major fire hazard issues.) The lower power "new bulb" is AC Delco 3157K. which I obtained recently from dealer.

- , Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #9

Sep 112011

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I am like most people on here. You are screwed either way. I have had my bulbs replace on average every four month and it has gotten to a point where i turn my lights off during the day and use hand signals as much as possible so i dont get tickets or a middle finger from the guy behind meor the guy making a turn. I was told i have pin holes in the housing. I was also told to use super glue around the edges to help with sealing it. But it doesnt make me warm inside either way. And this is NOT the only problem wrong wth this car.

- , Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #8

Oct 242011

Malibu 2.2L Eco

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,293 miles

I understand that I need to change the bulb in my front turn signals but able to Local a 3157 LCP bulb in Canada, could some one refer to a place to purchase these bulbs, GM states do not carry, Osram Canada no longer has.

- , Calgary, Alberta, canada

problem #7

Oct 062009

Malibu Maxx 3.5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles


I swear this problem is getting worse...................I cant stand changing bulbs a week after I change them. I don't really have time worrying about this stupid issue. Plus why are they melting the case....do they burn that hot...DAMN!!!!! I've got a ticket for not using my turn signal....well I would but the dang thing is burned out officer..."NO excuse" Guess that's why I hate pigs. No consideration whats so ever. Thanks GM

- , Warren, IN, USA

problem #6

Aug 042010

Malibu 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,030 miles

Melting signal/drl bulb cover. Put in LEDs to reduce heat and burned that out, too. Elec. guy said voltage was good and replaced complete lighting wire harness that goes inside headlamp unit. Old sockets had yellowed at base of bulb(also where bulbs had burned) . Also picked up a pair of GM 'updated' bulbs to replace the 3157 GE jobbers. If I would've known I could've done this myself quite easily.

There are quite a few Malibus with this problem as I check each one I see parked. So far so good. The 'updated' bulb GM has come up with speaks for itself. A dealer had no idea these bulbs/sockets were generating so much heat.

Update from Oct 31, 2010: Working fine after replacement of wiring. Seen a few Malibus like this.

Update from May 3, 2013: The stock light bulb burned too hot. I found this out after replacing the entire sealed unit. New bulb burns cooler.

- , Beaumont, AB, Canada

problem #5

May 102010

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Turn signal bulbs go out (quite a bit) and now I see the amber covers have melted.

Didn't know to look into this until I read some of the other posts. Question here is: where in the world do I locate a 3157 LCP (OSRAM) replacement bulb, as mentioned for a fix in an earlier posting. I have spent hours looking on the net, but can't locate.

Pretty much useless to purchase new light assemblies to melt again, without the correct bulb.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

- , Redfield, AR, USA

problem #4

Feb 092010

Malibu Maxx 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


It is illegal to sell something that is known to be faulty. It is illegal to not inform someone of a known danger. When the lights go out, oncoming cars don’t know you are turning in front of them and an electrical fire will start once water gets into the socket after the amber encasement of the front directional melt a hole in it because of design defect known by the manufacturer. The original equipment-bulb 3157 (for its front turn signals) has a design flaw. It burns so hot that it melts the plastic in the fixture housing it. A 12 year, former GM mechanic told me that, “the bulb gets so hot it melts the amber casing. After melting this amber casing, water can get in and create an electrical short circuit and then a fire by the shorted out wiring.” How many people must die because GM will not take accountability for a known design flaw hidden from the people who will or would have purchased a 2004-2006 Malibu Maxx? GM’s bulletin (document I. D. 2006952 date 8/28, 2007) acknowledges prior knowledge to this design flaw regarding the 3157 lights used in directionals for the 2004-2006 Malibu Maxx. GM didn’t notify owners of the light’s faults (for the front directional light # 3157) which, when it is not replaced with the 3157 LCP, the light fixture will melt and create a fire hazard. I was told 3/4/10, this type of information is not reported to affected vehicle owners. Nor does GM inform parts houses about the new bulb type that was designated on the maintenance memo as the “only” light to put in the sockets of 2004-2006 Malibu Maxx. I have gotten many replacement bulbs for my 2005 Maxx. Parts houses and the dealerships have always given me the 3157. This is what GM’s (Chevy) and all parts catalogs from well known car parts facilities indicate is the replacement bulb for the front turn signals in my 2005 Malibu Maxx. The latest GM dealer that I went to, in February of 2010, was not aware of the new part for my Maxx until I told him about the document number. No one knows that the 3157 should “only be replaced with the 3157 LPC [by Osram]”, according to document I.D. 2006952 circulated by GM and known by non of the GM/Chevy dealerships where I went for replacements (more than 20 times for one socket). My Malibu Maxx is out of warranty, but, it is not a warranty issue. It is a liability issue when prior knowledge of a design flaw exists that will cause bulbs to burn out at anytime and to damage the light fixture. All customers should be made aware. When the customer is not informed of faulty equipment, this is neglect by the manufacturer. The manufacturer should repair any damage caused by this neglect. Without knowing the bulb is at fault, replacing the fixture will not correct it. The new fixture will also burn because the designated 3157 bulb will be installed not the required 3157 LCP by Osram, which GM indicates is the “only” replacement light that will be installed on 2004-2006 Malibu Maxx s. GM concealed this knowledge and should be responsible for replacement of my directional lights, replacement of my light fixtures and the cost to replace these fixtures. GM/Chevy should replace all the known faulty equipment on all the Malibu Maxx line from 2004-2006. GM should also be mandated to inform customers in the future of available service memos like document 2006952 on any cars they manufacturer, even if it is out of warranty.

- , Brookings, OR, USA

problem #3

Jan 012008

Malibu SLT 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I can't believe that after building cars for so long you seem to never master any, Not only does my directional bulbs blow weekly and raise a concern for safety because nobody in front of has no clue we will be turning because the bulb blew out again. My Dad worked for GM for 15 yrs, I have been loyal for over 25yrs to buy the product. I, like so many others will never by American owned MFG. autos again. This car is as clunky as my envoy was and it too had directional problems with recalls. I think you need more Government money so you can fleece us that way, I certainly won't by another GM, Ford or Chrysler.

- , Worcester, MA, USA

problem #2

Nov 102006

Malibu LS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

Well the problem started in November 2006. The turn signal bulbs would go out, or, get this... fall out of the socket. Both in the front and the rear. After 9 months of dealing with this problem, I finally made the chevy dealer either change the headlamps or the socket. They changed the socket and I haven't had another problem with the turn signals, but I'm waiting.

- , Houma/San Diego, LA/CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 112006

Malibu 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

The bulbs (both left and right sides) started to burn out in July 2006. Reported problem to dealer. Dealer replaced the bulbs. Bulbs continued to burn out. Dealer replaced the right socket. This seemed to correct the problem for a period of about six months. The right bulb again started to burn out again at a rate of about every two weeks. After finding out that there were other owners having the same problem I talked to the Operations Manager. He researched and found a bulletin (No. 06-08-42-004C N9537=.2 add .1 = .3) indicating that an improved bulb socket was available. Dealer replaced both bulb sockets.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

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