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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • That's your right, of course, but if I were buying a Honda, I would certainly look at all the sources to make sure I am not buying a headache

    But, in any case, what is your basis for claiming that's rating of Honda Accord's engines as highly problematic is not to be trusted?
  • Am a '99 Chevy Malibu LS original owner with 37K miles. Two comments/questions:

    1. The Affinity tires the car came with are horrible. Dry-rotted and done at 36K miles. I had them replaced at a local Merchants tire with some Goodrich's 4-6 weeks ago.

    2. Question: Given prior comments on the torque that is placed on the lugnuts and tires secured - should I be concerned about my rotors? I am sure a high-impact wrench was used to lock everything back on. My original rotors warped at 10K and knock on wood these have been fine. First time I have had the brakes and/or tires touched outside a Chevy dealership.

    3. My ABS light has been coming on every 3rd or 4th day. Turns off when I stop car and restart engire. Just peculiar. Really only started happening the last 2-3 weeks. Any thoughts on why this would be happening?

  • About two weeks or so before my alternator went on my old Malibu (I had a 1997) the ABS light came on periodically. It seems that that is a pretty good indicator of when the alt. is gonna take a dump. By the way, I had 55K on my Malibu when mine went. If you plan to have that replaced at the dealer, I would be saving about $350.00. Others have commented on paying up to $500.00 for that service.

  • I am the sucker on the board that paid over $500 for a new alternator this summer at a Chevy dealership and posted. So it can't be that. Or I least I like to think. Alternator had to be replaced at 35K. Ridiculous.

  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    First, I think a lot of the reported brake rotor problems are caused by improper wheel torque. Shortly after we got our '03LS, I re-torqued its wheels. I found a couple of the lug nuts that I had to loosen with a long cheater pipe, and 3 or 4 that I couple have spun loose with a big pair of pliers. I hand torqued them in 2 stages to 100ft/lbs, and then did the same when I rotated the tires at 7.5K. So far, the brakes are as smooth as butter, with no chattering or grabbing. If you've ever watched some garage monkey hit the lug nuts with his impact wrench set to 200lbs, you will see brake problems in the making.
    Second, If Chevy is charging $500 to change an alternator, I may just go into the alternator business. You can get a new-guaranteed for life-alternator at any major auto parts store for $100 or less, and if it takes an hour to change, you have had a couple of smoke and potty breaks. About the only problems I see on the Malibu, are, it would be easy to scratch the fender, and the belt tensioner is in an awkward place. However, with a good fender protector, or old blanket/towel, and a 2" extension on a 1/2 inch breaker bar, neither is a major problem.
    Third, only time will tell on the Affinity tires. We've only got about 13K on ours, and so far no signs of wear. I am running 32lbs in front, and 30lbs. rear. It probably makes the ride a little harder, but the wet and dry traction is good, and cornering is acceptable. Many times, cracked sidewalls can be caused by low pressure, and extended exposure to sun. The UV rays really dry out rubber fast. If you have to park in the sun all day at work, for example, a regular treatment with Armorall can really help that.
    I did find the first bug on our Malibu a few days ago. I noticed that the parking brake felt funny, and when I checked it out, I found that the carpet to the left of the pedal had come out from under the plastic, and was brushing the pedal and my foot. A little relocating of the carpet, and some contact glue to hold it in place took care of that. I'll accept that for the first and only problem in a year of driving.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    First saw, and test drove, a 2004 LS a couple of months ago.

    Saw the car again at the LA Auto Show Jan 2.

    The car won't age too fast, but it certainly is bland. It is a "mild update" in appearance of the ten year or more old Volvo 850! Very slab sided.

    Interiors are clean, moving in the same direction as European cloth interiors. The Base model interior looks fine. The 4 cylinder is surrounded by a ton of empty space in the engine bay, a DIY dream.

    Hope to find Feb. MotorTrend tomorrow and see what they have to save in their sedan comparison test.

    I am debating a Focus wagon or Malibu as a family vehicle - to carry baby in back and stroller in the trunk. I am thinking the Focus wagon will have more pep (than a Malibu 4), be cheaper to purchase, but isn't as "classy" if such a term can be ascribed to a pedestrian sedan like the Malibu.

    BTW, can't figure out why the Impala ony weighs 150 pounds more, but has so much more room....
  • tgp1810tgp1810 Posts: 112
    Two dealers in my area each have 2 Maxx LS's in their lots. As with the Malibu, I like the way these look in person rather than in the pictures that Chevy is using for promotions.
  • Is this something I should try and fix myself and take back to the tire store and request the hand torque? Thoughts? Magnus
  • GM used the same steering wheel in G6 as Bu...
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I wish the problem with the brakes warping was an over ambicious mechanic over tightening the lug nuts. It has been documented on this board that the rotors and the brake system are a weak pint for this vehicle. This was even admitted to me by the service manager when I had the rotors replaced in my 2001 Malibu. If you can get 30k miles out of the rotors, you are doing good.
  • tgp1810tgp1810 Posts: 112
    How is the ride of the Malibu? Anything like the Mazda 6?
  • Yeah the only thing I don't like about the malibu interior is the steering wheel! And thats the only thing they share! Oh well, I won't be in the market for a while anyway,
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Have not driven a 6, but I would guess the 6 would have a slightly stiffer suspension. Ride quality on the Malibu is excellent though.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    By all means...if you are sure that the mechanic used an impact wrench on your wheels, take it back and insist that he do it properly. If you have the aluminum wheels, it is doubly important, because the wheels can warp and the lugnuts loosen if not tightened properly. The only way to do it, and this applies to ALL aluminum/mag wheels, is to first torque them to about 70ft. lbs., in a star-every other-lugnut pattern, them go back and retorque in the same sequence to 100ft. lbs. Almost every car owners manual I've ever seen, requires hand torqueing. If you have a shop that is using an impact wrench, they just usually go around the wheel, hitting each lugnut in turn. This will almost guarantee future wheel and brake problems. They do it this way because it is faster and easier, and by the time you start having troubles, you probably won't come back to why should they care? Quite frankly, the only generic auto shops I've seen who routinely hand-torque are Sears and Walmart.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    If so, what's it like?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    No, I drove an LS. They had some 4's but we have an Alero with an Ecotec so I figured the base would have about the same power (which is decent). I think a 4 would be a great bargain if you are looking for a base car. Otherwise go 6 / LS as the mileage is the same and you get extra goodies for not much more $$.
  • by the lack of reporting from '04 owners. I guess I should assume that no news is good news. Is it?

    The '04 Malibu LT (and possibly the Maxx, which I haven't seen in person yet) is a front-runner for purchase next summer, IF GM gets on with higher rebates. They just renewed the $1,000 cash back thru 3/31, and I won't bite at less than $2,500.

    As a current Chevy owner, the least GM could do is offer a customer loyalty bonus, as many other mfrs. are currently doing. Sure they want new conquest sales, but shouldn't they also try to hang on to what they have currently as well? Dumb, very dumb.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    If you were GM and the car was selling well, would you offer more rebates for no reason????? Does Honda or VW do this???
This discussion has been closed.