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Chevrolet Malibu 12V Automotive Battery Replacement Guide
How to change a weak or dead 12 volt car battery in a 9th generation 2016 to 2023 GM Chevy Malibu sedan.

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2020 Malibu 1.5L I4
Right Side - 12V Battery
Loosen Front Bolt
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the ninth generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu with the Ecotec LFV 1.5L turbocharged I4 engine in changing a weak or dead 12 volt car battery.

(The procedure should be the same or very similar for the 2.0L and 1.8L engines.)

The 9th generation Malibu was supposed to undergo a "facelift" in 2022 or 2023 and the refreshed vehicle may have continued being produced into the 2024 and 2025 model years but it will now apparently be discontinued after the 2023 model year.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Holden such as the Impala, Corvette, Bolt, Sonic, Spark, Express, Trax, TrailBlazer, Equinox, Traverse, Blazer, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado, Cruze, Volt, Camaro, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, LaCrosse, Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT4, CT5, CT6 and Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) battery's "Group Size" is 48 or H6 and the part number is ACDelco 48AGM (also known as General Motors part # 88864541).

Since the original battery is an "AGM" (absorbed glass mat) battery, I highly recommend purchasing a new AGM sealed battery.

Some of the benefits of an AGM battery include that they are maintenance free, lighter, more durable, have a lower self-discharge rate, leak proof, provide better starting power in cold conditions, can withstand deeper discharge cycles with out damage, don't release gas that causes terminal corrosion and a much longer life span especially in extremely hot desert climates.

A few other compatible replacement aftermarket 12V AGM automotive batteries with their part numbers include the following: Odyssey 0752-2020, NorthStar NSB-AGM48, Delphi BU9048 and XS Power D4800.

Please double check the OEM group size and part number on your old battery before purchasing a new one.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet, a deep well 10mm socket with a ratchet or a 10mm wrench, a flat head screwdriver, a 13mm socket with a long extension bar and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

The first two steps are to open the hood and then move to the right (driver) side of the engine bay.

The 12V automotive battery is located just behind the driver side headlight housing and in front of the fuse box.

It would be best to wear gloves and safety glasses.

Locate the three black metal bolts and one black metal nut that secure the "T" shaped metal brace over the top of the battery.


Front Bolt Removed
Loosen Right Side Bolt
Right Bolt Removed
Remove the front, left and right side bolts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.
Loosen Left Bolt
Left Bolt Removed
Deep Well 10mm Socket
Spin out the bolts the rest of the way by hand to prevent them from falling down and becoming lost in the engine bay.

Set the three bolts aside in a safe place.

To remove the single black metal nut on the left rear of the brace, loosen it in the counterclockwise direction with the deep well 10mm socket and a ratchet or use a 10mm wrench.

Loosen 10mm Nut
10mm Nut Removed
Three Bolts & One Nut
Spin off the nut the last few turns by hand to prevent it from falling down and becoming lost.

Set the 10mm nut aside with the three 10mm bolts.

Battery Hold Down Bar
Plastic Retaining Clip
Gently Pull Out Tab
Carefully lift the metal brace off the top of the old battery and set it aside in a safe place.

Gently pull out the release tabs for the two retaining clips on the positive terminal cover.

Pull Out Left Side Clip
Lift Off Plastic Cover
Pull Back Release Clip
Lift the plastic cover off the "+" positive terminal and power distribution board.

Set the cover aside in a safe place.

Then move over to the other side of the battery by the "-" terminal.

Pull the release tab for the retaining clip towards the right side and lift off the plastic cover for the negative terminal.

Remove Negative Cover
Loosen "-" Terminal Nut
Pull Off Negative Terminal
Set the negative terminal cover aside in a safe place.

If you'd like to avoid losing your radio station presets and having the clock reset, consider using an OBDII Memory Saver device that can provide power to the vehicle's ECU while you are swapping the 12V battery.

Loosen the nut on the negative terminal by turning it in the counterclockwise direction.

You don't need to fully remove the nut, just loosen it a few turns.

Carefully pull the negative terminal off the "-" battery post.

Tuck Away Behind Battery
Loosen Positive Terminal
Pry Out Left Retaining Clip
Wrap the negative terminal in a small towel and tuck it away on the right side of the battery to help prevent accidental electrical contact.

Next, loosen the nut on the "+" positive terminal by turning it in the counterclockwise with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

To release the power distribution board from the top of the old battery, use a flat head screwdriver to gently pry out the retaining clip on the left side.

Use Flat Head Screwdriver
Power Distribution Panel
Electrical Connector, Front
Carefully pull the power distribution board off the top of the old battery.

There is an electrical connector and wire harness attached to the front of the battery heat shield box that must be detached before you can lift out the cover.

Push In Release Tab
Slide Up Connector
How To Release Clip
Use a flat head screwdriver to push in the retaining clip on the back side of the electrical connector.

Slide the white and black plastic electrical connector off the front of the battery heat shield box.

Pull Off Heat Shield Box
Plastic Cover Removed
Tuck Positive Terminal
Lift the heat shield cover off the top of the old battery.

Set the cover aside in a safe place.

Tuck the positive terminal and power distribution board behind the rear of the battery.

Battery Hold Down Block
Extension Bar & Ratchet
Loosen Counterclockwise
Locate the hold down block on the right side of the battery.

Attach the 13mm socket to the long extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratchet.

Loosen the bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction until the clamp can be removed.

Lift Out Hold Down Clamp
Raise Plastic Handles
Old Battery Removed
Lift the hold down bolt and plastic bar off the battery tray and set it aside in a safe place.

Raise the two plastic handles on the top of the old battery.

Carefully lift the old battery out of the engine bay.

Gently set the old battery down on the ground and try to avoid dropping it or tipping it over to prevent from having acid leak out.

If you can wait a few days for delivery, I highly recommend purchasing the original ACDelco 48AGM battery.

Remember to bring the old battery with you to the dealership, auto parts store or Walmart to prevent from having to pay a "core", "recycling" or "disposal" fee.

OEM Part Number
Clean Off Battery Tray
Slide Under Hook - Left
The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) part number of the 12V battery in this 2020 Malibu LT was ACDelco 48AGM (also known as General Motors part # 88864541).

Clean off any debris from the battery tray so that the new battery will rest evenly on it.

Carefully lower the new battery down into the engine bay with the positive "+" post on the left side and the negative "-" post on the right side.

Slide the new battery towards the left side of the tray to secure the bottom edge under the "ridge", "hook" or "slot" located on the left edge of the tray.

Slide Battery To The Left
Hold Down Block & Bolt
Lower In Clamp
Lower the hold down clamp and bolt down towards the tray on the right side of the new battery.

Spin in the bolt a few turns by hand to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten Bolt Clockwise
Lower Heat Shield Box
Plastic Cover Replaced
Tighten the hold down clamp's bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction with the 13mm socket, a long extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratchet until it is snug.

Check to see if the new battery can be rocked, slid or moved on the tray.

If the new battery can be moved, tighten the hold down clamp's bolt an extra turn or two.

Lower the plastic heat shield box over the new battery with the openings for the terminals in the correct position.

If you've had an issue with corrosion (white or blue powder) building up on the terminals or battery posts, I recommend installing felt anti-corrosion washers over the posts.

Another option is to spray the terminals and posts with some CRC Battery Terminal Protector Spray.

These are cheap ways to prevent from having to replace the terminals or cables and to avoid being stranded by a weak electrical connection due to corrosion.

Power Distribution Board
Tighten "+" Terminal Nut
Push On "-" Terminal
Lower the power distribution and positive terminal over the "+" battery post.

Tighten the positive terminal nut by turning it in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until it is snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the terminal nut to prevent from cracking the battery post which could result in an acid leak.

Then carefully push the negative terminal over the "-" battery post.

Tighten "-" Terminal Nut
Line Up Battery Brace
Tighten Front Bolt
Tighten the negative terminal nut by turning it in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until it is snug.

Carefully lower the "T" shaped brace bar over the new battery.

Spin in the three bolts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Spin On Left Nut
Spin In Right Bolt
Spin Left Bolt
Spin the 10mm nut on to the threaded bar at the rear left of the brace a few turns in the clockwise direction.
Tighten Front Bolt
Tighten Rear Nut
Tighten Left Bolt
Tighten the three bolts by turning them in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until they are snug.

Tighten the 10mm nut at the rear left of the brace in the clockwise direction until it is snug.

Tighten Right Bolt
Line Up Negative Cover
Replace "-" Cover
Replace the plastic cover over the negative terminal.
Replace Positive Cover
New Battery Installed
Start Engine - Testing
Lower the plastic cover over the positive terminal.

Make sure the terminal covers are securely in place.

To test the new 12V battery, start the engine and turn on the headlights.

Please be sure to adjust the time on the clock and re-program your favorite radio stations before you start driving.

Don't forget to write down the battery change in your vehicle's service records.

Please check out all of the 2016-2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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