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2004 Malibu Maxx Turn Signal Issue

Old August 31st, 2014, 6:29 PM
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Post 2004 Malibu Maxx Turn Signal Issue

Hi folks,

First post.

For many many years now turn signals do not make a clicking sound but do flash properly.

I just replaced L/R headlight assemblies because they were very fogged over. All lights work great now but I am having an issue with front turn signals failing and I can reproduce it as follows:

Headlights in Auto mode
Start car - headlights on (either because I am in garage or it is dark out)
All turn signals and hazards flash normally.

Either turn lights off on multi-selector switch (turn clockwise one turn) or drive car out into daylight (daylight turns headlights off)
Front signals stop flashing. Rears still work fine. 4-ways become 2-way.
Bulbs still light when headlights turned on again but will no longer flash.

Have to turn car off and restart to reset.

So what I did was to put a piece of duct tape over the light sensor on the dashboard so the headlights stay on all the time in auto mode and thus the signals keep working.

Any idea which component is failing? I was considering replacing the hazard switch because I thought the flasher was built into this switch and the lack of clicking may suggest it was defective (and its an inexpensive part) but now with this light sensor interaction I am questioning if that is the right first step.

Also just saw the intermittent brake light illumination recall so thought I might get that done first.

Any ideas? Thanks.

Is it normal not to get any replies? Am I on the correct thread?

Last edited by wceager; September 24th, 2014 at 4:55 PM. Reason: forum
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Old June 13th, 2015, 12:58 PM
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I have the exact same scenario with my 2004 Malibu Maxx LT. If I manually turn on headlights front turn signals and hazards work. Otherewise hit or miss between normal fuction and fast blink. I have replaced both headlight assymblies due to burn pattern caused by wrong bulbs used by manufacturer. Did you ever find a solution? Thanks!
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Old June 14th, 2015, 6:00 PM
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I put a piece of duct tape over the light sensor on the dashboard and leave the light switch in auto mode. So....the turn signals always function properly BUT the headlights are always on too. I am ok with this since my 20 yo daughter drives the car most of the time so it is a good safety feature to always have the headlights on.
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Old June 15th, 2015, 7:00 AM
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Default 2004 Malibu Maxx turn signal issue

Thanks for taking time to answer. I'll give it a try.
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Old July 24th, 2015, 3:00 PM
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I too have the exact issue with my 2004 malibu.
My new replacement headlight assemblies came from AM autoparts on ebay.
Is this possibly a batch of bad headlight assemblies?
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Old September 24th, 2015, 11:28 PM
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Default 2004 Malibu LS front turn signals.

I have an 2004 Malibu LS 3.5 that is having almost the same issue with both the front turn signals. When I purchased this car over a year ago, it already had this issue but I was OK with it. Now the front (left and right) turn signals will stop working at the same time while driving and the light switch has not been touch. Like wceager stated "turning the car off and restart to reset" usually works. All my lights come on when starting up the car like if the DRL's (the parking lights on this model/year) have been turned off or disabled. If you turn the light switch to parking only, my front turn signals do not work. Also, if the "Auto ON" is off (disabled) the front turn signals do not work. I talked to an mechanic and he said it sounded like a bad ground somewhere. I located 5 grounding points under the hood and cleaned/checked them. I also located 2 grounding points beside the BCM computer (under the front console, passenger side) and cleaned/checked them. Now my front turn signals work in three positions on the switch (Auto On, Parking only, and Parking/Headlights On). If the Auto On is turned off (Disabled), my front turn signals do not work. I have another Malibu that is the same year, model, engine, but different color that was totaled and is used for spare parts. I swapped the BCM out and the DIC did show "Locked". But the car would start/run and the turn signal issue was still present. The wrecked car did not have any issues with it. I drove it for over 8 years until the power steering locked up on a curve causing it to hit the guard rail because you could not turn the steering wheel. I filed an complaint with GM and it was denied of coarse. Start checking ALL the grounding points as this corrected one of my issues. I am still troubleshooting why both the front turn signals stop working at the same time. FYI, I have already replaced the bulbs, bulb sockets, turn signal switch, and for giggles - the ambient light sensor in the dash. For other readers, the 04 does not have the flasher built in the Hazard switch like in the 03 and earlier Malibu's. I will post whatever I find that corrects it.

Last edited by Jeff2015; September 24th, 2015 at 11:45 PM.
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Old September 25th, 2015, 7:22 AM
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Default Turn Signal Issues

thank you Jeff2015 for taking time to write such a detailed post. I will be anxious to hear more. I'm not a mechanic but my gut tells me this is all connected to the problem with the bulbs burning out and ruining the headlight assembly. I have seen literally hundreds of Chevrolets with that problem. I think something else was damaged by the heat build-up. Like I said, just my gut feeling.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 2:32 AM
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The car already had this issue when I got it. So, I was already planning on replacing both headlight assemblies because they were faded out from the sun. I have replaced both assemblies with NEW , not used, assemblies and installed NEW bulbs. I also took an pick and bent all 4 tabs in each bulb socket which did not correct anything. I kept one of my faded headlights and did the same thing in that bulb socket which resulted in the same issue. I decided to replace one of the wiring harness connectors were the headlight pigtail plugs in and it did not correct the issue on that headlight assembly. Does anyone have any electrical schematics for the 2004 Malibu LS 3.5 liter? I have a Haynes repair manual and it only goes so far (General Info). I need some more detailed information. Thanks for the replies.
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