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2005 Chevrolet Malibu lights problems: turn signal lights melt

Turn Signal Lights Melt

2005 Chevrolet Malibu (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Chevrolet dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

7.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$119.00
Average Mileage:
58,230 miles
Total Complaints:
24 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
  2. change bulb sockets (3 reports)
  3. replaced entire internal headlamp unit harness (3 reports)
  4. ensure correct bulb is used (2 reports)
  5. apply electrical grease around base (1 reports)
  6. dealer found a bulletin to replace the bulb sockets (1 reports)
2005 Chevrolet Malibu lights problems

lights problem

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2005 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Mar 012013

Malibu LS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This happened several times with ever shorter bulb life until I discovered the electrical grease trick. After liberally applying the grease to the bulb's base it seems to insulate the bulb and keep the heat from melting the bulb housing.

- , Madison, TN, USA

problem #23

Jan 152014

Malibu LXT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

Turn signal bulbs all around but especially up front are CONSTANTLY buring out. I am replacing one bulb or another every month or two. This is a design flaw that GM knows about but chalks up to NORMAL by their standards. The bulb sockets overheat and melt sometimes. Changing the sockets had not helped, so I changed both of the headlight assemblies that contain all the bulbs. Same problems have returned. I can't always change the bulbs quickly especially in winter. Here in Wisconsin, that is about 4-5 months. Who can afford to pay someone every month or two? The end result is I am driving many weeks out of every year without working turn signals. This is a SAFETY ISSUE THAT GM HAS CHOSEN TO IGNORE FOR A LONG TIME. This needs to be taken to a lawsuit level because it is a design FLAW and puts drivers AT RISK. GM needs to recall and replace these defective bulb sockets with ones that will work properly. By the way, the bulb sockets are all part of a harness that is designed to make it difficult/near impossible to just replace one socket without cutting and sodering wires. They want you to replace the whole headlight assembly. My next vehicle will not be a GM due to this ongoing problem and GM not being willing TO CORRECT A SAFETY ISSUE. I've been driving this way for 9 years, and the turn signals have been burning out left and right that whole time.

- , West Allis, WI, USA

problem #22

Feb 262009

Malibu

  • 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 #21

Jun 062012

Malibu LS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I CANNOT SAY HOW MANY MILES WERE ON THE CAR WHEN THE AMBER LENS BEGAN TO MELT FROM THE BULB HEAT. I noticed the lens melting when I had to replace bulb. The replacement per manual -3057 was done on both right and left front of car.I went to the car dealer and had no success. I CALLED CHEVROLET CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS AND WAS TOLD THAT G.M. CONSIDERS THIS TO BE NORMAL WEAR, AND WILL NOT COVER ANY OF THE COST. . Because of the head lamp design,the amber lens is included in the one complete headlamp assembly. The cost to replace each headlamp assembly at the dealer est. 300.00.

- , Warren, MI, USA

problem #20

May 032007

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

Turn signal light bulbs haven't lasted for 6 months ever since we bought the car, The lenses have melted down into the sockets and damaged them also.

- , Asheville, NC, USA

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problem #19

Oct 012007

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Went through SOOO many lightbulbs in both front and rear turn signals... Finally took to 4th Chevy dealer in Coral Springs Florida, who informed me that there was faulty wiring and replaced. I have not had to replace again!

- , Canton, GA - Georgia, USA

problem #18

Sep 112011

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

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 #17

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 #16

Aug 052011

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

The amber bulb housing will melt if the incorrect bulb is used.... which is easier said than done. If you go to AutoZone, Advanced Auto, Walmart, etc. and use their reference guide to buy a replacement bulb, the reference catalog will give you the "3157" bulb reference for your car.

Problem #1: 3157 gets too hot and will melt the bulb. discoloration and condensation will short out the plug.

Problem #2: Dealers' guide AND TSBs show to replace with EITHER the 3157 or the 3157KX. SO you could buy that car and it's already outfitted at the dealer with the wrong bulb and it will melt the light.

Problem #3: 3157KX is written in the user manual. I used the 3157KX and it still overheated the dang headlight assembly.

Fix: Talk to GM, order a repair manual, link up with a Russian satelite, performe open heart surgery, take a nap and when you get back from calling 1,800 different GM points of contacts, you find out the "double-top-secret bulb" that, for some reason, no one knows about except some GM electrical engineer in a windowless room with a pull string 3157LPC bulb lighting the space. That's the bulb number you need: 3157 LPC... but there is a good chance it's too late and your housing is already melted and your socket has conensation in it and will need to be replaced.

Good luck.

- , Dayton, OH, USA

problem #15

Jan 012006

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

The turn signal bulbs have to be replaced every 6 weeks. The turn signal sockets have overheated and melted and burned a big hole in the turn signal bulbs & left the outside headlight burned.

- , Macy, IN, USA

problem #14

Mar 082011

Malibu ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

my front passenger turn signal kept going out and it was melted when i would change it so im trying to change the whole socket to c if that works but this is a real pain.

- , Rockford, IL, USA

problem #13

Aug 092010

Malibu ES 2.2L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,458 miles

Same old GM answer to problem, "First Time We Ever Heard of This?" Their solution is for me to pay to replace head light fixtures. Looks like they have same book in USA.

Said after oh yes looks like design problem, still cost me $40. to tell me what I had told them.

- , Waterloo, ON, Canada

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

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 #9

Dec 012009

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I am still waiting for the day they recall these and fix this problem.

I called the dealership and they didn't want to do anything for free. They told me they would replace my sockets for $60.

At first I couldn't be bothered to register on this website to complain but the more of us do it we will get a better idea how many people have been affected. I personally notice many Chevy Malibus with a burnt out signal.

I also reported the problem with the http://www.nhtsa.gov/ since it is dangerous to drive around without turn signals.

Anyways we should bug them so they do something about it sooner.

- , Provo, UT, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Sep 162009

Malibu Sedan 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,242 miles

2006 CHEVY MALIBU. THE FRONT TURN SIGNAL LIGHT BULB RUN SO HOT IT MELTED THE ORANGE BULB COVER. THE BASE OF THE BULB STARTED TO MELT ALSO. ON EXAMINATION OF THE HEAD LAMP UNIT I FOUND IT COULD NOT BE REPAIRED. LOOKS LIKE THE COMPLETE HEAD LIGHT UNIT WILL HAVE TO BE REPLACED. HAVE NOT FOUND OUT THE COST WILL BE YET.

BUT IN CANADA IT WILL BE VERY EXPENSIVE. ANY ONE KNOW WHERE A NON GM UNIT CAN BE PURCHASED IN CANADA AT A REASONABLE PRICE. EMAIL ME AT JOHNE49@HOTMAIL.COM.

Update from Sep 29, 2009: WHEN REPLAECING THE BULB FOR TURN SIGNALS BOTH FRONT AND BACK. MAKE SURE YOU PUT THE BULB IN THE RIGHT WAY. THE BULB HAS TWO ELEMENTS ONE FOR THE RUNNING LIGHTS AND ONE FOR THE DIRECTIONALS. IF YOU REPLACE IT THE WRONG WAY, THE TURN SIGNAL ELEMENT IS USED AS THE RUNNING LIGHT. BECAUSE THIS ELEMENT RUNS HOTTER THAN THE RUNNING LIGHT ELEMENT IT WILL STAY ON WHEN THE CAR IS RUNNING. IT PRODUCES ENOUGH HEAT TO MELT THE PLASIC COVER.

YOU HAVE TO PUT THE NEW BULB IN THEN LOOK AT THE LIGHT TO SEE IF IT IS IN THE RIGHT WAY.

YOU CAN TELL IF ONE IS BRIGHTER THAN THE OTHER. THAT IS THE DIRECTIONAL IS BRIGHTER THAN THE THE RUNNING LIGHT.

Update from Sep 29, 2009: THIS WAS A " 2005 " CHEVY. NOT A " 2006 "

- , Toronto, Ontario, Canada

problem #6

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 #5

Jul 202009

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,500 miles

Great car, overall. The first and only problem I've had with my Malibu is the Front Turn Signal lights (Amber color) have melted their casings. They also serve as day/night running lamps, so they are on all the time. The amber plastic casing that surrounds the bulb melted at the top, and "dripped" down onto the bulb. This happened inside both front headlight assmeblies - driver and passenger sides. I noticed it when I went to replace one of the turn signals that had burned out. I checked the old factory original bulb and it was a 3157 7W bulb, same as what the manual calls for. I installed new replacement bulbs on both sides - 3157 7W Sylvania from AutoZone. If they continue to melt the casing like the factory bulbs did, I'll probably just switch to LEDs.

- , Nashville, TN, USA

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