2005 Malibu 3.5

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Jun 4, 2003
Does the new Malibu with the 3.5 engine is the same engine as the Vue? I also heard its a Honda engine but also i heard its in the same family as the 3.1, 3.4 gm engine that has the coolant leaks. Whats true here?

Also, If it has a Honda 3.5 in it, whats the tranny? and does it have Honda special ATF?

The Saturn Vue has the Honda 3.5 and is the only GM vehicle to have that engine. The 3.5 in the Malibu is a revised version of GM's 3.4L V6. They basically stroked it to make 3.5L. There are also other refinements. I have the GM 3.5L in my new minivan and am very pleased. The coolant leaks were supposed to be sorted out by 2003, I believe. I understand that engine performs very well in the car platforms.

The Vue with the 3.5 does have the Honda tranny and it does require Honda ATF. GM has a part number for it and it's sold at Saturn dealers. It's the same stuff that Honda sells.

Originally posted by Triple_Se7en:
Is this the same 3.5 that's in the Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon P/U's???

No. That 3.5 is an inline 5 cylinder engine derived from the 4.2L inline six cylinder that's in the Chevy Trailblazer and GMC Envoy.
Thanks Matt... I like the car alot but when i looked at my friends 2004 Malibu I could not find the auto tranny dipstick. My friend said he got 38 mpg couple times driving cross country. My Vibe only gets 34 mpg and that with a little 1.8 liter.

Thanks again,
I've heard that those cars don't have a trans dipstick. It's supposed to be fill for life. There's only a fill plug down somewhere on the case.

About the gas mileage, that's one thing I really like about GM. For the amount of power you get, their cars tend to get very good gas mileage. I've always gotten as good or better than the sticker rating of 20/29 on my Monte Carlo.

Originally posted by Matt_S:
I've heard that those cars don't have a trans dipstick. It's supposed to be fill for life.

I'm pretty sure that the service manual specifies a 50K change interval for severe service. It does on my mom's car which has the same dipstickless 4T40/4T45E transmission.

In a nutshell this is how the service is done:

Drop pan, change filter, reinstall pan, add 7 quarts through filler hole covered with plastic cap on top of transmission, start engine, warm it up for several minutes, then remove check plug on transmission, if fluid comes out level is OK (reinstall check plug), if no fluid comes out add fluid through filler hole on transmission until it does, reinstall check plug.

The vehicle has to be level when checking the fluid, which is probably the hardest part about this.
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