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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • To yurakm:

    My wife has mentioned using an anti-static spray on the seats, but I put it off. Thought it would be crazy to have to spray the seats all the time. I am not one for using the static free dryer sheets, but I think it may be time to give it a try. Also thanks for the insight of tire air pressure.

    My apologizes to VOCUS not focus :)

    To paesano:
    Besides the occasional shocks, We are vary pleased with our car. No problems like the brakes, knocks, pistons, a, etc... And I don't know about "a brake in period" with one gas mileage and then it increasing. We have over 4000 miles on our 01Malibu AS, and every time I fill up, it is at 20mpg.

    ? To the people with Piston/Ticking noise. I live in Florida where it does not get very cold. If you are having this problem and live in the north, has anyone mentioned maybe the oil not getting pumped through the engine properly for those first 5/10 minutes of running allowing it to warm up and thin the oil.!!
  • rae08512rae08512 Posts: 6
    Can someone help me? Have a whooping noise on front right passenger side when the brakes are applied and malibu starts to slow down. Before we got new brakes we noticed a faint sound when we turned corners. Took it Midas they said it was the wheel bearings. After Midas looked at it today, it sounds louder.(coincidental?) The brakes are about 1mo old. We have 56,000 miles on it. Any suggestions..... Thank you
  • manyjobmanyjob Posts: 1
    Wow!! $400 for a brake job? I just had the fronts done on my '98 at 51,900, plus had the rears cleaned and adjusted, and it was $265 at the dealer. It seems that I bypassed the rotor problem to this point. The Affinity tires are still in good shape as well. I bought this one in August 1999 with 24,000 on it and have had almost no problem with it. It was an early build, went "in service" September 1997. The only repairs other than normal maintenance were to the rear stabilizer links and a leaking rear wheel cylinder, both covered under warranty. Very satisfied to this point with the Malibu.
  • bluwoodbluwood Posts: 1
    I have a '98 LS and have been happy with it. I paid $300 per month with nothing down thru a SmartBuy. I am starting to shop again & finding dealers wanting $370 & up per month. Considering the recent track record of the car (mine has been fine), I'm surprised by this. Can anyone offer any insight into what you've heard people are paying for the 2001 models?
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    The 2000 Malibu is on its way to the dealer this coming Tuesday. Time for the 9000 mile service (the thing is one year fiance drives nowhere).

    I'm gonna have them look at the slapping/tapping of the engine. I told them it's on cold starts, and I told them how I think it may be a problem with a piston (let's see what they come up with)

    That and the wind coming through the speakers when the windows are down.

    I'll let you all know how it goes!
  • skipper8skipper8 Posts: 7
    My Malibu had just under 36,000 miles.. and I noticed that the brakes were grabbing when I applied them It was most noticeable at slower speeds. My wife really noticed it... and pointed it out to me. Me being the primary driver.. got used to the slight grabbing. Anyway... took it to the dealer with 35,977 miles... and they replaced the rotors. They said the rotors were worn (they didn't use the term warped).. and replaced them under the warranty. They also cleaned and adjusted the back brakes. They charged about 30 bucks for that.

    The service person said they had "upgraded" the rotors. I said.. you mean a better quality and the originals were "cheap"??.. she just looked at me.

    Still have about 65% on the pad so they didn't replace those..

    I had also mentioned the "ticking" noise in the engine. I wanted to get that into their records before the warranty ran out. They said that was "normal" for this engine.. the 3.1 "6". The service showed me a bulletin from GM saying that they have not found the noise to be a problem in the engine.

    I guess time will tell on the ticking noise.
  • malibu52malibu52 Posts: 2
    I want to thank will125 for the very accurate information regarding this problem with the 3.1 engine and the TSB issued to deal with it. To make a long story short with this information and other research I was finally able to get this problem corrected. With out that information or the internet clubs and forums I fear there would be many of us still trying to get to the bottom of this unfortunate problem on our own. Many thanks will125 and after all pistons, bearings and rings replaced by certified dealer (and there is a difference) no problems so far and a pleasantly quiet nice performing engine.
  • I had to have the pistons replaced in my vehicle after 12,000. I had a ticking noise at start up for about the first two minutes of operation. After the replacement I have had no noise. Just concerned for the folks that are being told this is normal for the 3.1. It is not normal and is not due to cold oil. If you have a 3.1 that is ticking you had better get it to a dealer that knows what is going on with this engine. I have had no problems since rebuild.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Some ticking is normal. THe ticking you describe is not the same ticking I have at start up. It doesn't even conme from the pistons. My Beretta had the 3.1 and it also had the slicgh ticking ( notloud enough to hear when inside the car). After the engine warms up it's gone. In the Summer it doesn't even happen. I'm sure teh ticking most people described was probably a bad piston but the 3.1 will have a slicght ticking sound on cold days. If the engine ticks in teh summer then that would be a cause for concern. Good luck! :-)
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    My dealer called and told me that my vehicle is among those with this "piston slap" (they had it for an oil change and to check out the noise). He told me the parts will be ordered today, and they will be in in about a week or two. According to them, they will need the car for at least 2 days. Anyone who had this problem and had it repaired have any thoughts about length of the repair, performance after repair?
  • It took 3 weeks to get my car back. The parts came in at different times. I've got 3,000 on it since repair with no problems yet. Mine occurred at 12,000 so they agreed to bump the warranty up by that much. Ticking in the 3.1 is not normal.
  • aniazianiazi Posts: 39
    Could you guys please tell me how loud was the ticking noise?
  • Mine was not very loud. It sounded just like a valve ticking sound. I thought it was the valve making a little noise. When I took the car in at 3,000 I told them about it and they said it was normal. When I took the car in for 6,000 I told them about it again and they said it was completely normal. So, I mentioned it again at 9,000 and when they told me it was normal I told them to write on my service record that I had complained about the noise. Then, at 12,000 I told them to fix the noise and not call until they had. They called a few hours later and explained that the pistons would need replacing. The noise would only occur at start up and last only a few minutes. It was noticeable but not very loud. I have been told by the GM rep in my area that ticking sounds in the 3.1 are not normal.
  • florinflorin Posts: 11
    still doesnt mention the piston problem
    for the Malibu (although it does for Buick
    Century 2001 with the 3.1L engine).

    Is it possible to tell from the VIN of the car
    whether it is from this bad piston lot?
  • aniazianiazi Posts: 39
    Thanks dhflying1. I saw there is a TSB for ticking noise for Malibu at nhta site. But its for 1998 model. Just go to 1998 model and look under engine. I guess all Malibus have same V6 engine!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    All 97-98 Malibu, and most of the 99 ones, have either a 2.4l 4-cylinder 150 hp engine, or a 3.1l V-6 one, also providing 150 hp (155 hp according to other sources, including my 98 car manual). All 2000-2001 Malibu, and some of the 99 ones, built very late in the model year, have a 170 hp version of the 3.1l V-6.

    In other words, GM changed something with the 3.1l engine in summer 1999, and the power went up from 150-155 hp to 170 hp. It also stopped building the 4-cylinder modification.
  • philbeauphilbeau Posts: 19
    Well, I had lots of problems with my Malibu. So much so I traded it in before the warranty "ran out". I had 2 brake adjustments and 1 brake job in 21K. Was advised that since mfgr's. don't use asbestos in pads anymore, the ones they use don't absorb the heat and hence the problems occur...vibration mostly. Was told the fix was ceramic brake pads but, the dealers won't install because they cost too much. So, Bye bye to my Malibu. Wanted to keep it but, couldn't afford to take the risk with 2 little ones.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Just some of my experiences from dealing with my dealer and Chevrolet "Customer Assistance" the past few days. My 2000 Malibu is due to have the pistons and seals replaced as a result of the "piston slap" problem. It was explained to me that Chevy is fixing this problem because it makes noise, not because the noise is symptomatic of something being mechanically damaging to the engine.

    One thing I learned is I must speak Greek when I ask questions about my car. I asked both the dealer and the Chevy "Customer Assistance" operator why Chevy would authorize what I estimate to be at least a 4-figure repair to be done as warranty work when there is nothing wrong. My questions were quickly met with silence and a skillful change of the subject.

    Both the dealer and "Customer Assistance" sing the virtues of having an engine with new parts. I wondered aloud why a one year old car with 9000 miles on it should need to have its engine rebuilt. Again I was met with silence.

    The bottom line is that in a week or so, my one year old car will be out of service for 3 days so its engine can be rebuilt. Granted, Chevy is footing the bill for this one, but it has been made clear to me that the warranty will not be extended. In turn, it is also clear to me that I will no longer own this vehicle to have to worry about the warranty expiring. BEWARE!
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    3 days? Good luck. Your story - and others in this forum (and from colleagues at work) - have convinced me to look elsewhere for a new vehicle.

    theiceman (aka another Ottawa Senators fan)
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Alternative to trading the car in while under GM warranty would be buying an extended warranty.
This discussion has been closed.