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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • Hi all!

    I did the usual oil-lube-filter at a GM dealership today (BTW they got H2 in the showroom, mama mia, what a sweet car!!!), and the service guy was trying to sell me more stuff (as usual), and he said I needed a transmission fluid flush and a rear drum brake service, because, as he said, there's a need to remove the dust which has nowhere to go and would corrode the brakes. Is any of that true? How often should the transmission fluid be flushed and rear brakes serviced? Thanks!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    According to Malibu manual, transmission service is due every 50,000 miles. The manual even say "never" under ideal conditions: driving on flat terrains, not in city.

    However, I believe that this is a long stretch. I serviced the transmission at 40k miles, and nevertheless the transmission failed and was replaced at about 48k miles.

    Probably, 30k miles is reasonable. Depending on driving style and conditions.
  • Yurakm, did you have a transmission fluid flush at 40k, or something else? And how did it fail?

    I dunno, I am somewhat paranoid about these service people. I am afraid they might intentionally damage something in hopes you would come to them to get it fixed. It's an authorized dealership, but I don't trust anyone in this business, and it's a shame
  • hauntshaunts Posts: 6
    I just replaced (not flushed) the tranny fluid & filter in our '99 Malibu at 80,000km (50,000 miles). Normal mix of City/Highway driving. The old fluid looked/smelled fine. Very little wear debris in the pan. Used Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF and noticed a slightly improved shift feel afterwards (not that the old fluid was causing problems).

    I too am paranoid about others messing with my car so I do most things such as this myself
  • Please forgive my ignorance, but what is the difference between flushing the fluid and replacing it? And how difficult is it to do it yourself?
  • hauntshaunts Posts: 6
    Flushing the fluid supposidly replaces all the old fluid with new. The service manual approved version of replacing ATF fluid renews 7 liters out of 12.

    It works for me.
  • 7to57to5 Posts: 4
    I read somewhere that the 2002 Malibu LS has an element antenna. The photograph of the vehicle in the Malibu brochure shows it as having an element antenna. At least there is no mast antenna visible in the photographs. But the ones I saw at a dealership had mast antennas! Did the manufacturer run out of element antennas in the middle of production and replace it with a mast antenna on some of the units?
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    I recall someone saying the 04 Malibu will be a Crossover, can someone explain. thanks. Also I have an 02 with a rear antenna, Looks to me they all came with the antenna , my car was built in April 02. I prefer the whip ,far better range. I can still receive our local AM about 170 miles south of us during the day . The station is 50000 watts so it does have the juice to get out. Keep smiling....
  • Hey all. Well here is my experience with the Malibu so far. I have had it for almost three years now and it'll be going in for what I feel is a good amount of warranty work for an almost $20k new car. Frankly (maybe it's just the car I got) I'm not too impressed with it. I don't like the interior design at all. I thought I would get used to it, but it hasn't happened. I say this from the experience of several 1500 mile trips I've done. Short trips aren't too bad, but after a while you really notice just how uncomfortable the seats are. The fabric is like velcro (sic), if you don't sit just right the first time then start driving, it's next to impossible to get your pants adjusted. When it's cold and the air is dry you (or maybe it's just me) always get an electric shock when you get out and touch the door to close it. The center console takes up space, the radio, A/C, etc. should be in the dash. Oh ya, the plastic pieces that make up the dash don't fit well and so there is a squeaking/rattling sound when you drive on uneven pavement. And speaking of worthless plastic, I made the mistake of leaning on the armrest on the door. Care to guess what happened to the hollow back half of it? Oh and the black plastic guard under the front grill blew off somewhere on a highway.

    For the warranty work:
    1. The gas mileage (on my car anyway) is pitiful. It is suppose to give 24/29? The best my car has done is about 24 on the highway and about 20 city (the worst being around 17). No ideas on that one.

    2. The left front break locks up.

    3. There is a rattling sound coming from the right drivers side. I can't tell if it is the shock or strut.

    4. The A/C turns on and off. If you turn it off then back on it sometimes fixes itself.

    5. Both back windows make a gear-like whining sound when they go up.

    6. I think we all know about the tires. They only have about 25k on them and they already have a dry rot crack all the way around.

    Anybody know of any good dealerships in the Hershey/Harrisburg to get the work done?

    p.s. On the good side, I do like the engine. It has a good amount of kick to it and it handles the hills around here (some are quite steep) very well.
  • 7to57to5 Posts: 4
    The 2002 Malibu currently has a $3000. customer's cash incentive. The 2003 currently has a $1000.
    customer's cash incentive. During the 2002 model year, wasn't there a $2002 cash incentive offered as well? My negotiating skills aren't up to what they were the last time I purchased a new car. I want to take advantage of the $3000. incentive, but if I can't get the price I'm looking for, I'll wait another year. Does anyone know how these incentives progress during a model year? I'm trying to find out the approximate months the "$2003." and the $3000. cash incentives will be offered for the 2003 Malibu.
  • Polymerase, sorry to hear about your Malibu problems. One would think after eighty or so years of making cars GM would figure out by now how to produce a trouble-free vehicle. Ah, sweet dreams

    7to5, and if you have a GM Card, you can redeem up to $1,500 on a Malibu, so you can get a 2002 Bu for 4,500 less. Not too shabby, eh?

    Wilfj1, I think I saw a picture where Bu looks like a friggin' wagon, if you can believe it. The front is redesigned, but I haven't seen the butt. Hope it's not as ugly as it is right now, cause if that's what they learn in design schools, then it's a joke
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Sorry for delay with my response.

    I am not sure, if they mechanics flushed ATF very thoroughly. I brought 15 quarts of Mobil 1 ATF to the shop, and they used only 9 quarts. This is more than needed for just replacing fluid (pan drop), but less than what is going into a dry unit.

    And of course, they did not broke the transmission.

    I started to feel that the car became a bit less responsive for the first 2-3 minutes when it was rather cold the last winter. Had transmission serviced in spring. During this winter, 2001/2002, this became not feelings, but hard facts. Slipped very much even in moderate temperatures like 40-45F. Simply could not drive uphill till the car warms for 5 minutes. I live on a hilly street, and my driveway also have a slope.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    I had a Honda Accord out for a day before purchasing my 02 Malibu. frankly, I could not see the $ 7000.00 price difference. So the the interior material may not be the same Quality, I really could care less. I have a 91 Lumina and if the maliba performs as well I'll be quite happy. I have a 5 year 100k non deductible warranty and a good Dealer...I can sleep at nights.
    Sooo, lets get back to basics, the Malibu is a mid size budget car, with a 170 hp motor and a fair riding car. As far as I'm concerned darn good value to say the least. If you want to spend $ 28 to$30 thou go to it. I'll take the change and enjoy my 3.1 Malibu , also knowing that if and when I require parts they will be available and a reasonable price. Try a air filter for a Honda, I can buy two for the Malibu ! With proper care and regular maintenance I'm sure the Malibu will do the job. My son had a new Camary and the motor went out in 10000km, next door neighbour had a new Taraus, list just to long to cover. Our cars are mass produced and there will be problems, It's a simple fact we have to live with, some will perform better then others and depending on the driver/owner caring for the car.
    Have you purchased a new home lately... Amen
  • Wilfj, my Bu has actually caused me very, very few problems. A dead battery after 12 months and broken electric mirrors (twice), plus a new set of brake pads at 20K, and that's all, believe it or not. Occasional rattles and paint chips notwithstanding. And I've had it for over 3 years and 36K miles. If that continues for another 3 years, I'd be quite happy. But if my tranny goes at 40K miles like yurakm's, it would be a different story.

    What frustrates me is to hear about all the problems other people are having, and not only because the problems exist, but because these problems appear to be highly preventable. The brakes problem is especially baffling, as the brakes have been around as long as the auto industry itself, and by now I would imagine GM could have figured out how to make trouble-free brakes. But no, the brakes are the biggest problem on the malibus!

    And then we hear "oh, they are not making the brakes the way they used to." So, they are cutting the costs to sell you a car "at a great price," knowing very well you will have to spend hundreds of dollars extra to get quality rotors and pads. I deeply resent this kind of business pratice. I believe it is unethical at best
  • 7to57to5 Posts: 4
    There is no option for an 8 way power seat on the LS. Is it a straighforward process, like changing the motor in the seat, to make the conversion - in the aftermarket?
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    Reply to BCMALIBU99: Your absolutely right when it comes to GM's engineering on brakes. My Lumina had brake fault at 10km and every year thereafter till the warranty ran out at 100k. Midas had the fix.Even with the warranty it still cost me the $100 deductible and the inconvience. A successful class action was taken in the US but not in Canada, to passive to even consider such action, that may change now.
    I'm not sure if any fix was made in 02. I'll just have to continue to have the brakes checked out at every tire rotation as I did in the past. Can anyone explain a crossover model in 04??. Thanks
  • usaf52usaf52 Posts: 70
    I have a 2002 Malibu, and have had no problems at all. I do agree with the other posters who said the rear of the car is ugly. When looking at the rear end, the bulbous taillights look like a giant frog. Chevy shouldn't have split the taillights with the trunk lid. Not only is it ugly, but the fit leaves something to be desired. One side of the trunk lid has a larger gap than the other.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    rear ends are left to the beholders......I liked the Impala, my wife preferred the Malibu, my wife's rear end won out! Honda Accord, in a flash looks like the Malibu give or take the license plate location. I keep asking what a Crossover is for 04 models.any answers?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    04 Malibu crossover will be a wagon/hatchback type vehicle, similar in function but bigger than say a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix. I have seen pictures on the net, but I can't think of where right now. Perhaps the site??
  • My brake and ABS lights came on and stayed on,
    the brakes seem to be working OK as far as I can tell, taking it in for service in a few days, anyone else have this problem?
This discussion has been closed.