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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    1. Fuel gauge:

    the E light (and chime) appears when there is about 4 gallons left in the tank. This is normal for Malibu, as well as most of other current GM cars.

    The cars needs about 2 gallons to operate normal. Something related with fuel pump. So, "E" at 4 gallons translates into 2 gallons safety margin. Very reasonable if you are sitting for a hour or two in a traffic jam, as it happens often in Southern CT. Or if the next highway exit is in 30 to 50 miles, like on I-90 in Western MA and Upper NY.

    2. Wipers:

    are asymetric with Malibu. The passenger-side wiper blade is 19 inch long, while the driver-side one is 22 inch long. The same 22 blades are use with many bigger cars like Buick Regal, Olds Intrigue, etc.

    Very good Trico wipers are available at Pep Boys. Better than Bosh in my experience. Cost $7 for left-side (22 inch), $6 right (19"), $3(?) for inserts only.

    I would also recommend the Rain-X windshield fluid. Expensive ($2.50 per gallon at Pep Boys, $2 at Wal-Mart), but very convenient.

    3. Glove Box:

    My dealer simply tightened the lock. $33 for 1/2 hour labor.

    4. Tires:

    In my experience, the original Affinity were bad tires, and wore-out fast. Replaced them at 37k miles. However, they were not noisy.

    GM recommends unusual pressure for the tires. 29 psi front, 26 psi rear. In my experience, 3 psi extra, i.e. 32/29 front/rear, was better - I like turning fast. However, do not inflate them substantially more.

    The 3 psi difference between front and rear tires inflation is really important when turning fast and sharp: otherwise the rear end does not hold road well, fish tailing.

    I switched to Firestone Firehawk SH-30. Great performance tires generally, and absolutely outstanding in rain. Somewhat stiff, but not noisy.
  • phollanphollan Posts: 14
    I bought my 98 Malibu LS new and now have almost 36k miles.

    The Affinity tires were horrible, made an unbelievable amount of noise and I replaced them at 22k with Hoosier tires (don't know if they have a model #). They have been much better.

    I had a squeaking glove box that I fixed by pushing up on a bundle of wires above the inside of the glove box. It seemed to be rubbing against a horizontal metal bracket.

    The climate control panel was replaced under warranty to fix the A/C switching on/off.

    My wife smashed it into the side of another car about a year ago. The air bag did not deploy but it was at a low speed.

    Overall a great value and well designed, but I had more issues that I would have liked. If I can get another 7-8 years and 70-80k with minimal repairs I'll be completely happy.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    I've also been concerned by the Malibu's side impact test rating, however, the statistics for actual collision and injury (see show the Malibu to be comparable to the Ford Taurus. These are cars of similar size and market segment (i.e. not a whole lot more inexperienced drivers in one as compared to the other model), and you wouldn't expect this from the crash test results alone.

    Ultimately, trying to predict real-world performance from standardized tests is very difficult. It's one of the better tools we have, but it's not perfect, because real world collisions occur in such a GREAT variety of conditions.

    The nice part of buying 2-3yrs used is even if you DO get a car that requires a few repairs (to get it to the "level" that you want) you can still be financially well ahead. Given some of the other people's feedback, you're looking at $550 to take care of the bearing, A/C and glovebox. That's still a pretty good deal if you add it to the original purchase price of your Malibu.

    I'd check to make sure the radio antenna cable isn't unscrewed or worn through and grounding out somewhere.

    I've got a 1993 Corsica, and it's been far more reliable than my previous Nissan, VW, Taurus, so I don't know if "buying an import" is a panacea. It hasn't been in my experience. My boss had to spend $4000 to have his 1994 Camry's engine rebuilt, and a former co-worker was putting about $2000-$3000 into his Prelude year after year. And I was playing "what car repairs are needed now" (and not just remedying squeaks either) on my Nissan every month for months before I finally got rid of it.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    There have been a few comments voiced about gas mileage. From what I've seen generally over the years, and with my current Corsica (3.1L V-6) you can usually match or beat EPA numbers on the hwy, but usually get worse than EPA in the city. I see about 14/28mpg (city/hwy) with a 3spd auto and at 70mph on the hwy, so it's nice to see that my (future) Malibu will get about 10% better on the hwy - which it should with the 4spd auto.

    That also seems to be reflected in the (e.g.) Consumer Reports tests - they beat EPA hwy and can't match EPA city.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    ...and pity all those Focus owners who are only getting around 25mpg hwy!!! I'd be P.O.ed too.
  • himomerhimomer Posts: 59
    I went down to our local chevy dealer today to look at the Maibus and I had this conversation with the salesman which is a friend of mine.

    Salesman:"Lookin at a Malibu huh, great car"
    SM:"Sure is"
    ME:"I'm thinkin about lettin my cutlass go"
    SM:"Come on over here and lets talk"
    SM:"What year is your car?"
    SM:"This isnt very salesman like, but the car you have now is basically the same as the current malibu, same engine, same interior features that the previous model didn't have until now. The only new things you will be getting, are Remote with panic feature, RDS radio, and Suspension refinements. The things in your car that I think you would prefer more are, more real looking wood trim, better radio design, and the Full Leather seats. If I were you, I would just take real good care of the car, get it detailed a couple of times a year, and look into getting some Pirelli P6000 tires until the new design comes out"
    ME:"OK then, thanx. bye"

    There was more said, but these are the main thing that stuck out to me. This was a bold thing for a car salesman to say even if he is my friend. I believe him but i just don't know.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    What he said was all greatly true from a technical standpoint. You've been through the sharpest depreciation period on your Cutlass (new -> 2 years old) so it's market value is probably less than the amount still owing on it.

    If you're happy with the Cutlass, and it's reliable I would keep using it. He makes a good point about the tires though. And if you REALLY want to "renew" your car experience, it would be cheaper to just have it detailed or go on a 2 hour road trip to buy an ice cream cone or something silly like that. You know, the way new car owners do! ;-)
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    1. From 2000, the Malibu 3.1l engine is more powerful: 170 hp vs. 155(?). Some late 99 Malibu also have the improved engine. However, the older version of the engine also have a very good low-end torque.

    Other changes are even less important, and not all of them to better: e.g. the size of the glove box was decreased.

    2. The Malibu OEM tires are Affinity. Replaced them by Firehawk SH-30. This was the best thing which happened to our car. Like to drive it again.

    Do not know what tires were installed on Cutlass.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    OF COURSE! I should have remembered the HP increase - pretty incredible really, that people are actually getting around 30mpg hwy in pushrod V6's in the Impala and Malibu with that amount of horsepower and (yes!) low end torque, as well as solid engine reliability and long life. Old designs, but they keep on improving them which, to me, has a LOT of merit.

    The auto-reviewers often lament the lack of OHC, etc. but to me all of this is a means to an end, and the 3.1, 3.4, 3.8L GM pushrod V6s are pretty much the best means - performance speaks!

    BTW, I read your Member Profile and your name sounds familiar. Have you ever written an article for Linux Journal?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Other equal, torque depends mostly on engine displacement. Power also on rpm. OHC engines work better at higher rpm, and produces more hp per liter. But they not necessary are more economic nor more reliable.

    This is especially important in countries, where car taxation (or custom duties) are based on displacement. Here the car with 3.8l engine can cost about 25% more than a car with 3.0l engine, both producing 200 hp. Like Toyota/Honda etc. 3.0 V-6 vs. 3.8l GM V-6.

    However, for US this is mostly irrelevant.

    No, I did not wrote any article in English.
  • himomerhimomer Posts: 59
    The Cutlass came with both the 150hp(GL) and 170hp(GLS) engine, just dependending on which trim level you opted for. I have the GLS, the only thing i regret not getting from the start is a set of mudflaps, i don't know what it is that is stuck on the car it's hard to explain, but it's still not too late. The olds also came with affinity tires but i'm not sure what brand is on there now HP2000 and XP2000 i think but i'm not real sure. BTW my car is worth more than I owe
  • himomerhimomer Posts: 59
    1. Does anyone notice that when the lower profile tires are on the front that the steering wheel will shake when braking, but when they are on the back the car doesn't have that "aggressive stance"?

    2. Ever since i bought the car I have had excess amounts of brake dust on the front wheels. I had my brakes changed once i heard the wear indicators but i am still getting a lot of brake dust, to the point that it looks completely black and you can't see any silver. anyone else notice this?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Wash your wheels.
  • I own a 2000 Malibu and I posted before explaining that when i take off at a light or trying to get on a high my car hesitates. I cant go over 35 mph unless i take my foot of the gas and reapply it. The car does on and off. Of course chevy tells me that they can't reproduce the problem so there nothing they can do. It anyone wants this car make me an offer. Great mileage 9700. Thanks Mary Lau you can reach me at 843-569-7955 if you are interested in this car. (LOL)
  • hobbzillahobbzilla Posts: 3
    Hey all, I was shopping around for the 2001 Malibu LS at a local dealer and he pulled out of his pocket a cheat sheet with rebates on it. It read like this:
    *$2000 Malibu '01
    $1750 Malibu '01
    I am aware of the 1750 Manuf-Consumer rebate. Would the astrisk indicate a hidden incentive for the Dealer? There was an astrisk and it DID have $2000 next to it.. below it was the "known" 1750 rebate. Just curious.. I'd love a piece of that action!!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    That's interesting that you mentioned that. I'm in the market for a Malibu. And I asked the salesman about rebates and he said $2000 but everywhere I read it's $1500. Plus they do have the recent college graduate program. I will have to find out on Monday when we go to negotiate.

    Can anyone give me an idea of where to start the "bidding"?
  • rotarykidrotarykid Posts: 191
    we had a 2000 malibu in yesterday for an oil change and rotation, as the tech was rotating the tires he noticed the tread coming off in the center of the tire.low and behold it was a firestone tire-this car had less than 10k and the tread was peeling off the tire- not cut, scraped or worn, but peeling right off the inside layer. If anyone in here has the affinity tires on their ls malibu i would would have them checked right away.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Don't go trying to start a Wilderness/ATX type frenzy in here. If you come to this board often, you will know that the OEM tires are one of the main complaints owners have about the Malibu (brakes and piston slap are the others). Affinity tires are trash. I am sure most in here will agree with you. Did you ever run over a jagged piece of metal, maybe a bridge joint? Sounds like road damage to me, and I'm sure a lot of others in here would agree.

    PS...Our 2000 Malibu is 16 months old, and I've already replaced 2 tires on for a nail puncture (I'm not patching a tire on a brand new car) and the other for a large chunk out of the sidewall as the fiance parked it too close to the curb one day. I will replace with Michelin within the next year or two, barring another catastrophe.
  • My AC is always switching from the "re circulate mode" to the default "outside air mode." This is very annoying, especially here in Florida. Anyone else have this problem? This is the only complaint I have with my '00 Malibu S.
  • edh8030edh8030 Posts: 2
    Having problems about every 10K since I bought my car with car shaking when applying brakes - dealer has corrected problem under warranty so far but concerned when warranty expires. Has anyone else having brake problems?
This discussion has been closed.