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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • Those Fire stone tires are very bad. If i were you, i'd keep them for a while, and replace them some something different. When it rains, those tires are really no good.

    Thanks for the info, i guess i'll call the dealer, i'll let you know how it turns out.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Most new cars don't come with great tires--so I usually trash the OEM tires after 2 yrs. and get what I want--Tirerack has so many bargains I may not wait that long.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I understand your concern over Firestone the company, esp. after the Explorer debacle. That was a sad situation. But these are different type of tires and Firestone has been in business for a long, long time and they actually have a good reputation. As you noticed, most GM cars in this class have Firestone tires on them. If you like the ride and handling of the Malibu, go for it. It a nice car. Most of my complaints about the car are minor. I thought i might regret purchasing this car after a year. But I can honestly say I'm happy that we chose this car. Now my next purchase will be a minivvan in about a year.

    Do some research here on Edmunds but also check out sites like They give the malibu very nice reviews.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I would agree that Firestone makes some good tires but their reputation was stained before by the infamous Firestone 500 tire and apparently they did not learn too much from that experience.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I did our Malibu's 2nd oil change last night at 5104 miles. Boy, did I have a hard time removing the oil filter! Since I didn't change the filter at the 1st oil change, it was still the factory filter. My arms and neck are still soring. Once the filter was off the rest was a breeze cause everything was located at the front of the car.

    A scary incident did happen though. My oil filter wrench, which is made of metal, touched some part nearby the filter and sent off sparks! I immediately crawled out to check on the car. The key wasn't in the ignition when it happened, and I saw the parking lamps blinked a couple of times. I started the car and everything looked normal. Now maybe I'm a little paranoid and I think I'm hearing more engine noise. Let's hope it's just my imagination. Does anyone of you experts know what part I touched? Thanks!
  • I know the manual says the fuel tank on my '02 Malibu holds 14 US Gallons, but my fuel light went on a couple of days ago, and I got to a station w/in 10 miles. When I filled the tank, it only took about 11.5 gallons....does the tank really hold 14? or is it closer to 12 ?. seems that I should be able to go about 300 miles (250 at least) before worrying about re-filling, and I'm getting a good 24-28 MPG on my '02 'Bu... (actually got 30 this weekend, driving about 300 miles @ between 70-75MPH...)Anyone got any info ?
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    local GM ad: 2003 Malibu 3.4 sfc 180 hp. Did they change the motor in 2003??, I bought a 2002 with a 3.1 . I could have waited till the 03 was available but the Salesman said there was no major changes in 2003 model so I went ahead. You just have to do your homework as I would have preferred the 3.4 over the 3.1 .I would think the 3.4 is a far superior engine and is the base of the Impala.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    3.4 liter engine in Impala was not too impressive in my opinion. 3.1 liter engine in Lumina is not as noisy and there isn't much difference in horsepower. Haven't seen the Malibu advertised in U.S. with 3.4 liter engine, either.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    Thanks for the come back pluto5, I'm going to call GM Canada after holidays, it could well be a misprint. Knowing GM they will refer it to their legal dept. before answering. have a Merry Christmas.
  • Just a quick post regarding OE Firestone Affinity
    tires. I recently replaced mine with Michelin
    Harmony tires and the result was a smoother,quieter more responsive handling Malibu.
    (mine is a base 99 model) I would advise anyone still running on those lousy Firestones to spend the extra money and go with a a set of these Michelins. I live in Toronto Ont. and the recent snow we've had convinced me these are the best all season tires i could have for my driving needs.Love this forum and have learned alot abot my car from it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    3.1L is still the Malibu engine until the 2004 models come when it goes to a new 3.5L.

    check out

  • Hey people guess what, some of my lights that light up the buttons on my radio are gone out. I called the dealer, and they told me that it would cost about $100 just to look at it, and more the replace it. The call it a repair!!! All I want is the bulbs replaced. Is that B/S or what? Has this happened to anyone else.

    I have no more warrenty, I have a 98 w/ 116500 miles
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    chevymalibu19: Since you are out of the warranty, why not take it to an independent garage? it will definitely be cheaper. Also check your fuses first to make sure it's not a blown fuse that is the problem.

    credman: I see you did not read your owner's manual. The red light comes on when there is approximately 2 - 3 gallons left in the tank. Then it blinks again when there is one gallon left in the tank. The fuel tank capacity is 14.2 gallons. I pusehed it one time and actually put 14.1 gallons of gas into the tank. I wanted to see approximatley how far I could go once the light goes on. (Good thing to know in case you're driving in an area where you are not familar). My Malibu can go about 60 miles.
  • May this new year be better than the last for all of you and, especially, for the precious automotive masterpieces - your beloved Malibus!
  • norbsnorbs Posts: 10
    Just put a K & N air filter in my 99 2.4L and because the airbox is not changed the computer will remap itself the small amount needed for optimum timing,fuel/air mixture. Like night and day. Have enjoyed the power of the 2.4 since new and with the small extra boost this product gives it is even more fun than ever to eat up cars with small 6's. A great 4 and I am sorry Chevy stopped putting it in the bu. Also, one of the reasons for the water pump on the 2.4L being driven by the timing chain is in case of serpentine belt failure the car can still be driven without over heating until you can find a garage to replace the belt. It will be total loss off the battery but by pushing the emergency brake one click on the DRL's turn off and save battery. Just a little useless information for us diehard 4 cylinder owners. Happy New Year to all on this great site.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    The fuel pump of Malibu (and many other GM cars) is cooled by fuel itself. Driving to the last drop of gas strains the pump, and a couple of months later it may fail. Repair is expensive.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    will cause a pump to fail is a myth,the fuel return line dumps into the pump sump to keep the pump cool.
    Only when you run completely out of fuel will it not be cooled,but not for long.
  • I bought a 2001Malibu almost two years ago and checked into this discussion to see what others thought about the car. Most of the comments were numerous "experts" ragging about the Firestone Affinity tires. I just bought a 2003 Malibu and I'm checking in to see what others are saying, and numerous "experts" are ragging on the Affinity tires. Will it ever stop? To those of you thinking about a Malibu, I've driven 20,000 miles on Firestone Affinity tires in Michigan weather, and they are just fine. Enjoy your new car. The Malibu is a great value!
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Hi all, hope everyone had a great CHRISTmas. We just came back from a 1670 miles round trip and I wanted to let y'al know how our 2002 Malibu LS (now has 6900 miles) performed.

    We covered a variety of terrains from plains to mountains (West Virginia, I-77) and a lot of different weather conditions as well (heavy snow, pouring rain, etc.) Overall the Malibu did very well. We're extremely happy with it and glad we bought it! We had four adults and a toddler and a trunk filled to the brim with our stuff, and the power was adequate for the most part. With 31 psi front and 28 psi rear tire pressures, we got about 31 mpg with exclusive highway cruising at close to 80 mph. The handleing was secure and reassuring in the heavy rain and snow we encoutered. On the mountains it was an excersize trying to keep the transmission in the top gear while accelerating uphill or maintain a high speed (I wanted to keep the RPM low to save fuel). That's when I wished it had more power. Going downhill the engine keeps the speed nicely in check, and somehow it knows that you're going downhill and doesn't kick into neutral.

    Throughout our trip, the Malibu was quiet at high speeds and the ride was very smooth and comfortable. The trunk swallowed all of our stuff without any problem. Man, for its practicality and quality, I can't believe we paid only 16 grands for it. The affinity tires did their job very well as far as I know. I'm not sure how much more one can ask of them. I just hope they last long too.

    Now with 6900 miles, our Malibu has been trouble free. You just put gas in it and off you go. I follow the Edmunds' letters to the editor and there's quite a few angry letters about edmunds' "most wanted" picks for the lack of domestic cars. Here I just wanna throw out an interesting perspective regarding this topic: the imports ARE probably more refined cars and for the prices they are asking they absolute oughtta be. My thought is (let's take mid-size for example)if every auto maker makes cars the same calibor as the Accord and Camry, aren't they all gonna charge for the same prices? Then who would be left to make cars like the Malibu that offers this kind of size, power, equipment, and all and only costs $16000. What are folks like us with a small budget gonna do? That's why I think the most important issure here is reliability and not who is better! I'm getting more and more sick and tired of auto journalists' pretention and over emphasis on performance and 0-60 numbers. I think for the most part these things are totally irrelevant to regular car buyers. Kudos to GM and other domestic auto makers for making reliable cars affordable.
  • Tamu, I too, have had very few problems with my Bu, and it has more than 38K now. Unfortunately, not everyone is so fortunate, especially with brakes, though the last couple of years Bu has been mostly bug-free. At the same time, it appears Bu is GM's highest quality vehicle, as it competes in the most coveted segment of the market - family sedan - and the competition is severe. See, they CAN do quality vehicles when they want to or have to
This discussion has been closed.