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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu

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Comments

  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    The new Malibu is a great improvement. It is still no Accord, but it is a lot better than the previous Malibu and a good value for the money (as long as you don't plan on ever trading it in).
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I disagree a little. I think the Malibu does some things the Accord doesn't - it is based primarily on European design vs. the Japanese/American design evident in the Accord - the Malibu has good crash test results (and will come standard with side curtain airbags soon) and a nice independent rear suspension - and both the 4 and 6 cylinder engines are great designs (the pushrod for next year, with variable valve timing, is your your granddad's pushrod). To put things into perspective, it was only recently that Honda put a great 4 cylinder in their Accord (the previous 2.2 was thrashy) and Honda V-6's still come with nose-bleed premium prices. Most of all, I think the Malibu has the potential to be a great driver's car, with great handling, if they would "European-ize" it a little more.

    And, not that it matters, but the Chevy dealers I have done business with are humble but increasingly confident of the improvement in their product, while most (not all) of the Honda dealers I have dealt with are snotty or arrogant - despite the fact that Honda is constantly looking over their shoulder (in their domestic market and most foreign markets) wondering how they are going to survive the onslaught of the implacable Borg-like Toyota.

    Honda and Toyota do presently hold their value longer, but Chevy is starting to do better in some residual guides; part of that will depend on GM accepting a permanently lower market share and not overproducing (think: flooding the market with fleet sales and over the top sales). But aren't we on Edmunds supposed to look to the future, and not be confined by the past, when we make our shopping decisions?
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Well said! I happen to like North American cars and have never owned an import. I dont specifically avoid them, they just dont feel right for me. My latest car, the '05 Malibu was purchased with it's excellent safety ratings in mind. It's accused of having an old technology engine but what better proof of reliability than several decades of refinement and service?

    While car shopping this time I did visit many dealerships, most of them imports. The only one didnt like was the Honda dealership. Not initially but the salesman followed up a few days later and I told him I was waiting for a certain car to come into another dealership which sounded good before I decided. He said, I do hope its's a Honda or an Accura! I hated the sound of his tone and simply said, NO. I decided at that moment I wasnt buying a Honda. He made the impression that if I didnt buy Honda or Accura, I was stupid. The car I was waiting for came in a few days later as promised and after being very impressed on an overnight test drive, I bought it. An 05 Malibu with the full airbag package, a nice red color (I wont own a silver, tan or white car!) and very low Km's. I appreciate the salesman's efforts to hunt down a used car with the things I wanted, and give me a great price.

    On my previous car, a 03 Malibu, I recall how I liked the feel of it when I bought it several years ago but after a few weeks certain things became tiring and didnt feel so great anymore. My 05 still feels great to me after several months and I'm very impressed by it's virtues and capabilities. After driving and considering a few imports, I think this car is a good bargain. I thoroughly enjoy driving this car. And the ol pushrod V6 engine? I love it! That excellent low rpm torque beats the crap out of most import engines.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The Malibu is also a better value and better looking than the Accord. Have you seen pictures of the Accord? I thought the Camery was bland, but this is bad. I think some of the past model Accords looked better.

    The incentives also kill the resale value. If GM got away from incentives, fleet sales, and rentals, they would have comparable resale value.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    "The incentives also kill the resale value. If GM got away from incentives, fleet sales, and rentals, they would have comparable resale value."

    If they did this, it would cut their sales in half.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I think a large part of the problem is they have an excessively large dealer network; they have an excessive amount of retirees to support; and they have a pay or play system with current workers (they have to pay even if the workers are furloughed). So they are forced to overproduce which drives down the value of their product. They are in the process of reorganizing themselves to accept a smaller market share but to be profitable within that "right" size.

    Think Honda. For years they have done well by not overproducing. Even cars that are not popular (Element) hold their value well because they limit the number they produce - they don't overproduce then overdiscount. But Honda doesn't have all the "fixed" overheads that GM does.

    I sure hope we can save GM. The steel industry got decimated while I was growing up, and everybody thought steel was a loser, but not steel is a winner (think: massive building projects in China and elsewhere; high tech steels) but America isn't the dominant player anymore. We might lose all or a large part of our domestic auto industry, but cars won't go away, in fact total sales volume will go up. I'd rather see us keep those jobs as domestic as possible.
  • wilburweavwilburweav Posts: 1
    Where is the low pressure port located to recharge A/C on a 2000 Malibu?
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I didn't say they should do it tomorrow. GM has lowered the price of over 90% of there MSRP for 2006, and is slowly cutting back on incentives. Right now out of the big 3, GM is offering the lowest buyer incentives on average per car. Chrysler is offering the most in the industry.

    The public has gotten used to having money thrown on the hood, now with the new pricing strategy slowly incentives will go away to some day being equal to what the imports offer.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Yes, the overproduction of a car does hurt resale as well. Look at the model T Ford which produced over a million copies. Those remaining cars are 100-years-old, but they are not worth anything for the most part. The mid 1960's Mustang can be had for real cheap if it's not a special optioned model. They made hundreds of thousands of those.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    poncho: i was half kidding when I wrote that.

    So you lower prices and still offer incentives. Still not a winning combination. Build better cars. Then there won't be a need for incentives. healtcare, pension plans and unions are simply excuses. If you build better cars, you can charge more. People will pay for quality. ONly time sales go up is when they offer the incentives. the end of the model year is coming up, so you know what is around the corner.... They have to get teh cars off the lot.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Again, this won't happen over night. They are slowly working their way down on incentives as recognized by giving the least amount of incentives in the first quarter. The new pricing strategy is working in that they are making more money per car, though not much more yet with all the financial obligations not incurred by most of the foreign brands.

    The quality that you talk about is not quality, it is a perception of quality. The comparable quality has been there for years with GM cars, its about how to change peoples perception of quality. GM consistantly has some of their brands rank at the top of the quality list every year. If you want to see this go to JD Power and you will see a big list of GM models in every catagory. If your still not convinced than maybe you should start hanging out on the Japanese forum boards. Not ever one is willing to change their perception.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    I have the 6 speaker audio system (no cd changer) and does anyone know if there's 12v power available in the trunk that would be safe to hook an additional amp to power the rear speakers with? I'd like to put a speaker level input amp to boost it up a bit back there. I'm not thinking hundreds of watts, just a small amp to give a bit stronger sound.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Most likely there is but you need to provide a little more information about what options are on your vehicle. There are only 2 versions of the rear electrical center and so it is possible there are up to 3 unused battery feeds you might consider tapping into:

    MAXX or Sedan?
    Sunroof?
    Heated Seats?

    If you have a Maxx with both Sunroof and Heated Seats then there aren't any unused fuses.

    I forgot what vehicles get the base level rear electrical center but if you have that one you wouldn't have any spare fuses either.

    Of course, I take no responsibility :)
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    It's an 05 sedan, no heated seats, no sunroof. Is there not an unused 12v feed that may be there for an optional amp? (if there is such a factory option).
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    With that vehicle configuration you have the base level rear electrical center and all of the fuses in it are utilized for something.

    The Malibu doesn't have an optional amplifier.
  • healtcare, pension plans and unions are simply excuses

    dtownfb, i understand it might seem like this is true, but look at the top brands, and these top brands generally do not have healthcare, union, and pension problems.

    If these were not problems than toyota and honda would build in union territory with union workers, but they do as much as possible to avoid that.

    Think of it this way, me and you would have to race 100 meters, only you had a backpack with 30lb weights in it. If we are otherwise in the same shape, who would get to the finish line first?
  • magbarnmagbarn Posts: 35
    I'm thinking about buying one of these cars for around $10K for a commuter. I know the previous generation bu's had issues with a manifold gasket very expensive to fix. Was this fixed with the current generation? I've also heard about the suspension problems in '04. Should just pony up the extra 2 grand difference between a 04 and a 05? OR should I just avoid a used malibu?
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I have heard of some people who have had gasket problems, but I am not aware of it being rampant. The people I know who have/had the previous generation Malibu are/were pretty happy. The previous generation Malibu also was top rated for 2-years in initial quality in 2002 & 2003. It also received the highest rankings in a vehicle dependability study for the year starting 2001 to 2004, which was a three year study, and I believe 50,000 miles. It had a 2.2 average problems per vehicle which exceeded the industry average by 16%. I believe the Buick Regal was also a very reliable car during this test as well.

    This was a study conducted by the non-biased J.D. Powers posted October 2004.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    An interesting article but not a surprise to consumers who are familiar with GM and other North American vehicles. It appears that the Japanese have been toying with consumers by purposely confusing them with meaningless numbers. I'd call that false advertising but since there's been no standards enforced, they took that as an invitation to use deception so they could sell more vehicles and fuel the "Japenese is better" argument.

    The title of the article, "Asians oversell horsepower
    Toyota, Honda inflated claims of engine muscle; new tests force automakers to come clean with buyers."

    A few quotes...
    "Strict new tests developed by the industry's top engineering group are prompting the carmakers to roll back horsepower estimates on several key vehicles, including the Toyota Camry, America's best-selling car, and Honda's luxurious Acura RL."

    "The changes are likely to raise questions among customers.
    Toyota and the other companies better have a good answer when customers ask questions about what happened."

    "Detroit's automakers say they have been conservative in calculating horsepower and don't expect to have to reduce horsepower ratings on many vehicles. In fact, after retesting, the Big Three have revised horsepower ratings upward on several vehicles."

    Find the article here: http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0508/17/A01-283759.htm
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    I went to Hybridcars.com under "compacts and sedans" the Malibu is listed to come out in 2007! When it does, I hope it can compete with Camry's hybrid (40 city/38 highway). I don't know why Honda bothered with the Accord hybrid! :lemon: Doesn't even compare with the Camry. Please don't disappoint Chevy!
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,032
    Hmmm..I hadn't heard about a Malibu hybrid yet. Perhaps you should create a discussion for it on our Hybrid Forum? Use the "Browse by Board" drop down to your left.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • lasergamelasergame Posts: 5
    If you try and start your 99 Chev Malibu and oops, the key will not turn in the ignition, you may have the same nightmare situation on your hands, like I did the other day!!!

    1. Do everything you can to get the key to turn. this is your best chance to save time and money. After spending hours and countless attempts with multiple keys, and tapping on it with a hammer, and yes even some silicone lubricant, the key would just not turn....damn... you have a problem.

    2. Tow your car to the nearest Chevy dealer and have them fix it. $200 towing and $550 to replace the lock cylinder. Fortunately the first time this happened it was under warrantee. Now if you choose to fix it yourself..here are somethings to consider:

    a. Your car has a Passkey II theft deterent system. So smart, in fact, it is stupid. The system is designed so you can not start your car without a working ignition key coded to your Body Computer Module, BCM, and your Powertrain Computer Module, PCM. This is the easy part. Now comes the hard part.

    b. Removing the radio/ignition trim is easy. Remove the dashboard trim is alright, and remove the 4 screws and slide the instruments out of the way. Unscrew the radio for easy access, slide it out of the way. Unscrew the 2 ignition fastners, and push back the ignition and slide it over the front of the instrument cluster. Everything is relatively easy up to this point.

    c. Now the hard part. Your ignition system will not allow you to unplug the switch, or remove the lock cylinder unless you can turn the key in the cylinder. So you ask HOW THE HELL DO I FIX THIS PIECE OF SH....T CAR!!! I have a solution but maybe not the best answer. This is what I did, and completed the job in 2 hours for $230.00.

    1. Buy the correct lock cylinder from Chevy. $180.00 incl tax.
    2. Take your key and new lock cylinder to a locksmith. They will properly code the cylinder for about $50.00. My locksmith took the best part of the morning because it is not as easy as making a key.
    3. Now that you have your new cylinder, make sure you have the original key, or you will be screwed, take it to the car.
    4. Since you cannot easily remove the old lock cylinder, you will have to drill part of the bottom of the switch to remove plasic material where the metal lock mechanisim holds the cylinder into place. Pry the piece of metal lock and pull and remove it with some needlenose pliers. Now your cylinder can easily slide out of the switch.
    5. Place the new cylider into the switch, and try it. If your theft system is on you will disable your fuel injectors and your car will not start. GM Service Centers do not like to tell you that there is an easy way to re-code your passlock II system. Turn your key over for a second and leave it in the on position for 10-30 minutes until the THEFT light goes out. Your car should now start.
    6. If you do not want your cylinder to slide out each time you remove your key, place some body filler in the hole you drilled to add strength to that area.
    7. Total cost for this job $180.00 for the cylinder, $45.00 for the locksmith to code the cylinder, and $3.50 for an extra key. Plus $40.00/day parking in an airport parking lot where my car was stuck for 4 days. Total = $269.00

    I could not find this information on the web for this specific problem, so I hope this will help others. I did find lots of very helpful information here, and wanted to thank others for their contributions. Bribing the GM Tech helps too!
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Luckily this is a somewhat rare happening with the ignition. I have seen this problem with other cars as well including the Ford Focus. From what I have read usually it's the ignition control solenoid that is causing the problem, not the ignition switch.
  • lasergamelasergame Posts: 5
    Thanks Poncho.

    Unfortunately for me it has happened twice to me in three years. I was lucky the first time. GM paid for my towing and repair because of my warrantee.

    I was not so lucky this time.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    The new Malibu is a great improvement. It is still no Accord,

    If the Malibu were an Accord, it would not be a Malibu. ;)
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    The Malibu is also a better value and better looking than the Accord

    hmmmm.... check out Intellichoice and you'll see the accord is actually the better value. as far being better looking, that's in the eye of the beholder.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    The quality that you talk about is not quality, it is a perception of quality. The comparable quality has been there for years with GM cars, its about how to change peoples perception of quality.

    when you speak of quality you're speaking of one aspect of quality - reliability. the current malibu sedan has a below average reliability rating according to CR subscribers by the way.

    there are other aspects of quality and this is where the malibu and other GM sedans continue to fall back compared to the top asian brands. and these other aspects of quality are noticed immediately with a test drive.

    there's quality of materials used both inside and outside.
    how good is the fit and finish?
    how do the doors sound when closed including the trunk?
    how refined and responsive is the engine when pushed?
    how well is the transmission matched to the engine?
    how well does the suspension handle the road at various speeds?
    does the car feel solid and composed over broken pavement?

    the accord and camry simply come across as more sophisticated, refined and, yes, higher quality vehicles when compared to the malibu. and the market reflects that!
  • jeromebjeromeb Posts: 31
    I own a 2004 Malibu with the V6. It has not been driven much, because I bought it for a kid who was not yet 16.
    I've driven it occasionally on trips and such, and lately have been driving it regularly while my daily driver, a 2003 Ford Focus, has been in the shop for warranty work and body repair. I also own a 2003 Malibu with the V6 which my oldest daughter drives. I am very satisfied with both of them, and have no complaints with either of them. The '03 has over 40,000 miles. The '04 is a pleasure to drive, gets over 35 mpg on long highway trips at 70 mph with the A/C on. I know, I did that last weekend and it got up to 35.6 mpg on the in-dash display.
    Go ahead and get the Malibu. Make sure you get the full 30,000 mile service done, and buy an extended powertrain warranty if you think it will make you feel better. It's an excellent value car. It's cheap. It works. What else do you want?

    I do my own oil changes and use Mobil-1 oil and K&N oil filters. I don't yet have enough history of doing this to make any claims, but that's what I do to make me feel better.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    "there's quality of materials used both inside and outside."
    how good is the fit and finish?
    It is excellent, as good as it gets in the industry

    how do the doors sound when closed including the trunk?
    Again, excellent, solid and better when compared to many asians.

    how refined and responsive is the engine when pushed?
    True at the wheels rated HP and response is great. The asians measure HP at the flywheel so take that into account. GM may look unrefined but the old pushrod engine has many decades of refinement. It's solid and simple, nothing wrong with that.

    how well is the transmission matched to the engine?
    GM has always been good at that, the V6 propels this car quite nicely, to the surprise of many asian car owners as they once again get a view of the back of it pullig away from them.

    how well does the suspension handle the road at various speeds?
    The suspension is great, being based on the 9-3 it always gets good reviews for handling.

    does the car feel solid and composed over broken pavement?
    Lots of rough roads here and its very good on them.

    All car companies have had their bad models, shall we use the 1st Civics as examples? I believe the new Malibu is a winner for GM and competes nicely against anything in its class. Mine was also purchased because of its safety rating, outdoing most asians. I drove the asians and picked this based on alot of criteria. Choice is a personal preference thing, most cars are of good quality and GM is going the right direction, try one out. GM is still the top selling car in Canada, the market reflects that.
  • lasergamelasergame Posts: 5
    I have owned a 1999 Malibu, 3.1L half dozen, second owner. When I purchased the car it had 9500 miles on it in Jan 2000. There are some things that went wrong with these cars common to many of this generation Malibus'.

    1. Intake gasket problem - Plenty of reading on the web about the Dex Coolant issue with the ethylene glycol eating away the intake gasket. My dealer charged me close to 900.00 to repair.
    2. Lock cylinder frozen, twice. The first time it was a 550 dollar repair covered by warrantee. The second time I fixed it myself for about 250.
    3. Fan blower switch does not work in positions 1 and 2. Common problem, apparently.
    4. Driver door power window switch inoperative. I fixed it myself for the cost of the part. About 150.00

    Otherwise, I have very happy with everything about the Malibu. Like others have said, good power, drivetrain, etc..
This discussion has been closed.