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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu

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  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I think your dealer is wrong. I have a '00 Impala LS and my tires don't squeal on gently turns...as a matter of fact I have to do very hard cornering to make them squeal.

    The Impala has much better reliability stats than the Malibu. A much more solid car through.
  • davechoc, what was wrong with your transmission and why did you need to have it replaced?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I have a 98 Malibu, and its OEM Firestone Affinity tires are squealing. But they started to squeal after 30k miles, closer to 35k, not at 23k as with the davechoc's car. Even while the tires at my other car also became bald at shoulders prematurely: I am turning at higher speed, simply because enjoy the feeling.

    I do not know much about the wear of the Impala tires. Given it first appeared at dealerships only last summer, it is safe to assume that most of owners did not put even 23k miles on their Impalas. Not enough for a good statistics.

    Though, if Impala have the same Goodyear LS tires as Regal, a lot of owners reported problems with the tires after 20k to 30k miles. Let us wait and see about Impala: it have a somewhat different suspension, or at least the suspension is tuned differently, and it may result in different tire wear than with Regal.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I also have a base 98 Malibu with squealing tires. They are balding at sides.

    My Firestone mechanic said the tires are still OK, and suggested to inflate them a bit higher than according to the GM specification. 29/32 psi for the read/front, instead of 26/29.

    After this the squeal did not disappear, but substantially decreased.

    Though, while the tires are just OK, they are not great now. My old 88 Ford Taurus, with new Firestone 360 tires, currently holds the road better than Malibu with old tires. I am planning to replace the Malibu tires, possibly, even before the winter.

    According to the Tirerack user survey, the best tires for Malibu are even not Michelin, but the Firestone SH-30. Personally, I have no experience and no opinion on the subject, except that with my driving style the performance tires probably would be better than the touring ones.
  • I found my brakes pulsing at 5000km (3000 miles) and the dealer replaced rotors and pads. I asked if this should cure the problem. The dealer with a smile said he hoped so. He said that rotors are under warranty until 60,000 km on Malibus.
  • I have a 2000 Malibu LS and lately I've been noticing that when the car goes over a larger bump, then front, what seems, suspension seems kinda shot. Instead of a smooth end to the bump, there's a loud thump. On smaller bumps, the car seems to be nice and smooth. I have also noticed that when I turn into a place with a raised curb, at about 20 mph, there's a banging noise that goes on in the back of the car. Not sure what it is. It does it and fades away until the turn is complete. But as soon as the back tires hit that raised curb, the back makes this weird noise. The Chevy dealer replaced my front control arm bushings at around 10,000 miles, for a BRAKE problem. (Don't ask). I'm not really sure what's goin on now. Could is possibly be a spring? What may it be? The car goes in next Tuesday for a new fuse box, mines "melting" according to my brilliant local service department. (Same service department that replaced my control arm bushings for a problem that ended up being fixed with brand new calipers). Just anyone, please let me know what you might think these noises are.. I currently have 18,500 miles on the car, and I love it. Ohh and one more question. What are the largest tires I can get for this car? Something around 225's?. Thanks Everyone.
  • My dealer replaced my transmission because it wouldn't shift out of low range. I had to scream down the road at 4000 rpm to do 40 mph. Came on suddenly. He checked out the electronics and found nothing amiss.
  • aniazianiazi Posts: 39
    Those of you interested in extended warranty look at this web site. It has top ten and other good info about extended warranty companies.
    http://www.autowarrantyreviews.org/top_ten.htm
  • I don't really own a Malibu but I am looking at a
    '97 with 96,889 miles on it. It's a great looking
    car and seems to run great. But these miles are bothering me. Any comments?
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    The miles don't bother me, these engines can go for a long long time, however; the 97 model had some issues with brakes and minor things. If this has been a trouble free car then it's pretty much going to be trouble free for most of its remaining life, but if the owner hqqas replaced the rotors more than once or twice then I would look at a used late production 99 or 2000. Not all 97s were troublesome but from late 99 on they are pretty much trouble free. Good luck!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I have an early 98 Malibu, build in July 97.

    100k miles is always serious, but Malibu have a very good engine and transmission. If the car you want to buy was in good hands (regular oil change, not too much driving at redline, etc.), I would not expect serious problems in this department.

    Concerning the brake problem, mentioned in the previous posting.

    Early Malibu used to have weak rotors, prone to warping. This is not a safety item (car stops even better), but the rotors are eating pads. I would consider the normal life of brakes to be something like 60k miles; possibly 40k - depending on driving conditions and style. But my rotors were warped at 15k, and I had to replace them at 22 or 23k. A lot of people reported here even worse mileage.

    A lot of owners of new 97-98 Malibu were very unhappy, because the brake service was not covered by warranty. At dealership and with genuine GM parts, the replacement costs something like $400.

    Later GM made improvement to the parts, and currently the rotors are not particularly bad: according to complaints on this board, the warping still happens, but not more often then with other cars equipped with disk brakes.

    With 100k on odometers, this probably does not matter, even more than at an independent mechanic and with aftermarket parts the service would not cost so much. Besides, with so high mileage, the original brakes most probably were already replaced with a better design, either GM or aftermarket.

    What would bother me more with the your selection, is the general quality of the GM manufacturing and assembly. At least my Malibu used to have a lot of small problems, like sticky door sensors (the car's electronics thought the door is open), squeaky strut or dead radio speaker. Half time the problems were cured by a simple lubrication, and, most of time, took about 1/2 hour to one day to fix. But, out of warranty, this adds on an the maintenance could became expensive.

    Again, with a higher mileage, you probably would not expect a totally trouble-free car.
  • My dealer replaced my transmission because it wouldn't shift out of low range. I had to scream down the road at 4000 rpm to do 40 mph. Came on suddenly. He checked out the electronics and found nothing amiss.
  • The fan in my car has been making some strange noises. Anyway else has had this problem?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Yes, I had the problem. The fan in my 98 Malibu became rather noisy at about 25k miles.

    Mentioned this when changed oil. The dealer's technician found and removed debris. For free: it was a very small job. After this the fan was quiet.

    Well, at least less noisy, than when I bought the car, used but almost new, with 15k miles, 14 months after it was build. The fan is quiet at speeds 1 and 2, somewhat noisy at 3, and substantially noisy at 4 and 5. I think, it's the vents grids rattle.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Agree with you 100% on that ( post 92). :-)
  • yurakm: Thanks a lot for the info. I will have it checked this week.
  • You said,
    GM made improvement to the parts, and currently the rotors are not particularly bad:
    according to complaints on this board, the warping
    still happens, but not more often then with other
    cars equipped with disk brakes.

    For the record,

    My last car (before the Malibu) was a 1990 Camry, bought it new and at 145 K, never had a problem with warped rotors.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    For the records:

    I subscribe to Consumer Record and have their Buying Guides.

    According to the CR survey, as in the 2000 Buying Guide (i.e. the 1999 data), problems with brakes reported 2 to 5% of owners of the 98 Malibu, and 9.3% to 14.8% of owners of 97 Malibu. CR does not publish the exact numbers, only the above ranges.

    In other words, even for 97-98, when the Malibu rotors were considered very bad, only a small minority of owners had the warping problem.

    Probably a lot of Malibu owners will drive for years without the problem. Some will drive the original rotors past 100k, other will replace them at 60-90k, and this also is not bad.


    I believe, that the real percentage of the rotor problem is even lower than reported by CR: who would like to fill a long survey, if he have no complaints, right?

    BTW, CR do not like the reliability of Malibu and do not recommend it any more.




    On the other hand, the warping can happen with everybody. And sometimes it is unavoidable. Just brake very hard before hitting a puddle... This is what I mean by the inherent problems with the disk brakes.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Actually the complaints for rotors are almost non existent for 2000 models and the 2001 they should be all gone, so you can safely say the rotor problem is gone.
  • I just bought a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu LS and it too has a very stiff suspension (i.e., There is practically no 'give' in the suspension. Therefore, you [literally] feel the road and the car will rock from side to side.) I informed the service manager at Chevrolet that the car is unsafe to drive. The dealership told me that I'm 1 of 5 customers who have complained about this condition. The dealership contacted Chevrolet who did not have any record of any complaints. Chevrolet indicated that the LS trim incorporates a much tighter suspension ("Chevrolet wanted to provide a European-style handling to this trim"). Consequently, Chevrolet had no recommendation to remediate this problem and the dealership recommended that I drive it until there are 1,000 miles on the odomoter in order to 'loosen' the suspension. (Currently, I am at 450 m.)

    I did bring in the Malibu to the Chevrolet dealership. The manager and a technician did drive it & confirmed that the ride is definitely not as smooth as it should be. However, they can only replace the suspension with manufacturer's specs (i.e., I wouldn't feel any difference).

    Luckily, I live in a state (NJ) where after 2 more unsuccessful attempts to fix my problem, I can take legal action against Chevrolet via the NJ Lemon Law.

    Regardless, if Chevrolet or the dealership could 'soften' the suspension, then the car is a PLEASURE to drive. Otherwise, I could drive over a dime and identify if it's heads or tails !!!

    Has anybody had a similar problem with their Malibu?
This discussion has been closed.