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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    If it were a Malibu they would say "While we enjoyed our time with the Malibu, the warped rotors and leaky cylinder head cover gasket made us wonder about the reliability of these cars". With a Camry, it's just a fluke.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    That's exactly right. Couldn't be better said. You must read a lot of car magazines :)
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    Check out these pics, guys

    The car looks sharp compared to the current model, except, IMHO:

    1. The front doesn't look as pretty (the new rear is way, way better)

    2. The steering wheel is not very attractive in the middle - a big yellow bowtie inside a black circle? Puhlease

    3. The knobs and buttons look just tiny, could be a problem while driving

    4. The antenna on the roof up front is out of place - would've looked much more natural in the back

    Small things! Otherwise, looks like a very fine vehicle, probably the best GM has to offer vis-a-vis competition, except, maybe, Corvette. Too bad for GM I love my 99 Bu way too much, and won't be buying the new Bu any time soon :-)
  • 02bu02bu Posts: 2
    Whose A/C comes on when recirc selected? Is the HVAC designed this way, dealer says yes(..?)

    ..other than that, I have the same shoddy build, leaky head, brake (new pads needed already) and squeaky/rattley front end issues as everyone else; 20K on my '02.
    About the rattling, one rep at dealer initially said 'never heard of that', they lubed front end parts and re and re'd the sway bar, started doing it again as soon as I drove away. Shop foreman said, oh yeah, it's common, GM tells us to replace strut bushings only if first the lube doesn't work..fine now after 2nd trip. Whatta waste of time and $$..I don't know who they talk to about this initial quality stuff!
    After owning used Hondas as a student, with this car I've now taken a new, trade-rag-recommended ride with each of the Big 3 and this is the last time. Forget doing the right thing; vote with your wallet people, and for now just buy the best darn japanese label cars you can afford, preferrably built here. It's the only way these giants will make the cars they're capable of making; they haven't learned yet. Talk to your fellow domestic-label (non-truck) owners and you know it's true.
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    Sorry to hear about your negative experience with Malibu! It all depends, really. Some 1997 models have much fewer problems than some 2003 models, but, as a rule, with each model year, especially in 02 and 03, Malibu has been tops in initial quality among its peers. Looks like you just got stuck with a bad one
  • Hey, people how's it going. Okay, i had the opportunity to test drive a chevy impala for 24 hours, with the GM 24 hour test drive promotion. I was rather impressed with the impala. It is bigger then the Malibu, of course, and drives very nice. It had a very soft ride , but not at all floaty. The feature content was actually about the same as my bu, except my bu has anti-lock brakes. The impala didn't have anti-lock brakes, nor cruise control, but it had power windows, power and automatic door locks with remote keyless entry, and separate driver and passage temperature control. To top it all off, it had a huge trunk, it was about the same size as my parents, they have a 2000 Cadillac Deville. The impala would actually probably hold more, because the things that hold the trunk open are located completely out of the way, vs. the Deville. The Deville has the traditional arms that actually swing inside the trunk opening, that takes up space to where you can not pack the trunk to the rims. (I sure hope you know what I'm talking about, if not you'll have to look for yourself, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about)

     I'm a single college student so i didn't have the family factor, but i did have the friend factor. I picked up some friends of mine, three, and we went around town, drove a total of a little over 100 miles today. We noticed it didn't have any rear cup holders, took us all by surprise. We all liked the sound systems, it was really nice, esp. for a factory system. We all felt comfortable and could talk with each other easily, but we did think it had a little bit more wind noise than it shoulda of had. We all agreed that it must have just been the test car we were in, we hoped.

    The car was nice, and i would guess dependable. It had about 6800 miles on it. Don't know exactly why a new car would have so many miles on it, but anyway, the sticker price was around $21000.

    Like i said earlier, it is a very nice car, but I would not want one. It was very boring to drive, and i look forward to getting my car back. I wish i would have test drive a Buick regal or a Saturn L series.

    (I sure hope everyone understood that, that's the longest I've wrote ona public board. Ya see, I'm from Oklahoma and we have our own little language and sometimes spelling).
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    I drove Impala for about a week, and must say I didn't like it. It was bigger than Bu, but that's about all the benefits, but the bigger size means more problems parking and moving around. What I disliked the most was horribly overboosted steering (could barely feel the road) and gas pedal (my right leg got quickly tired because the pedal wasn't supporting it like Bu does, so I basically had to keep my foot in the air all the time!). Impala is for older folks, it seems, and for cops!
  • You know what, that is sooo true. I forgot to mention it. I did notice the steering was completely different. At first i didn't know what was going out, i thought the tires were low or something. Anyway, i've decided to take it back early, and get my car. I can keep it until 6:00, but i'm taking it back now, like within the next 30 min or so.

    I'm sooo disappointed, cause i really did like that car, til i drove it.
  • larryt22larryt22 Posts: 125
    Ispy2 - I have this same problem since purchasing my 99 Malibu LS. I have had it in 2 different dealerships a total of 6 times for this same problem. Except for replacing an o-ring, all they have ever done is take it a part, put it back together and make sure everything is tight. It always will work after taking it apart. I finally discovered after a couple of years that I could sit in the driveway and turn the steering wheel and in some positions it would work and some positions it would not work. It is still like that today, but it has worked when I am heading straight probably 95% of the time for the past year. That is the best it has ever been.

    I have had all of the "normal" "built-in" problems that come on ever Malibu such as warped rotors, squeeking suspension due to warn out bushings, a/c that kicks off, fan switch that does not work in positions 1 & 2, and the absolutely terrible Affinity tires.

    Overall, I still like the size and design of the Malibu. I just wish they would pay closer attention to these "little" items that make me a very irriated owner.

    I really want to buy something different next time, but it is hard to find a better value (price vs what you get) on any other vehicle in the marketplace. Then they make it difficult for me to consider anything other than a GM product because of the huge discount I can get from using my GM Mastercard.

    It really bothers me that this vehicle can get such a high initial owners rating, because my experience says the quality of parts used are cheap, cheap, cheap. For a few pennys more per part, they could really have something nice here. To bad they will never do it!!!

    Good luck with your horn.
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    larryt22, I think it's general concensus that '97 and '98 had below average quality, '99 to '01 average, and '02 and '03 above average
  • robby8robby8 Posts: 17
    I have a 2000 Malibu LS and have been noticing a hesitation between first and second gear when I accelerate from a stop light. If I accelerate on the slow side it does not happen. Is this normal or is it something I should get checked out? Any advice would be appreciated.
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    This is in response to post 1596. I have 60K on my Malibu and I just did my 60k service. (This type of service is also due at 30K.) As part of the service, I had my induction system cleaned...HOLY COW! I felt a great deal of power and at idle my car sounds much smoother. I just filled up for the 1st time since the service so I'll see how much my MPG increases. Hopefully it increases it by a least 15 miles per tank. Anyway, I'll let you guys know.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    We just returned from a good driving vacation with our '03 LS. We left central Missouri, and drove to Denver to visit the folks for a couple of days, then thru the mountains, and on to Las Vegas for a week, then back thru the desert county on I-40. Total miles traveled were 3410, and total car troubles were ZERO! The Malibu did great, and the gas mileage for the entire trip came to 31.6 MPG. The best was 34.7 going across western Kansas/eastern Colorado at 70MPH, and the worst segment was driving thru the mountains..we got 26.3 mpg. Coming back thru Arizona/New Mexico, we were doing 85 or better just to stay with traffic. The engine felt strong, and never seemed to be laboring while climbing some of the long grades we hit. The ride and comfort was quite acceptable, and even with an old back injury, I found that by making minor adjustments to the power seat every couple of hours, I could stay in the car all day and still feel good after several hundred miles. We still don't have a squeak or rattle in the car, and there have been no problems of any kind. We were almost ready to buy an Infinity I35 before we checked out the Malibu. After this trip, I am glad we decided to save $12k. I didn't baby the car on this trip, so if I can run this long at this speed, and the only thing I had to do when we got back was to change the oil/filter, and clean gobs of bug goo off the front end, I am now convinced that the 03 Malibu is a good car, and a great value for the money!
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    Hey, Robby!

    I've recently noticed that my 'Bu sometimes (quite rarely) but does hesitate for a fraction of a second when switching from 1st to 2nd gear after very hard accelerations. It feels like it switches to neutral for that fraction of a second. Do you have the same thing? No such hesitation after slow starts. What I think it could be - the transmission fluid is due for a change. I've got 40.5K, and GM recommends changing the fluid at 50K, if you drive in a hilly terrain (my terrain is quite hilly). Plus, I almost always, situation permitting, accelerate very fast, even when going uphill. But if the tranny dies, it would suck big, big time!!! Though I doubt it would die, but you never know
  • robby8robby8 Posts: 17
    Thanks for your response. My Malibu has 54k on it and is due for servicing. I will have the transmission fluid checked. The car is still under warranty, so hopefully I'll be covered for any problem. Thanks again.
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    The original warranty, if I am not mistaken, is 36 months or 36K miles, whichever comes first
  • malibu1malibu1 Posts: 52
    I have a 98 Malibu LS and after extended periods of idling - and then trying to accelerate again - the Malibu will sputter and choke - sometime for quite some time before again taking back off. Any ideas what this might be? It's really unsafe as it could happen to my wife while trying to get into traffic or crossing traffic. Seems to happen whether I have the AC on or not. It will even die sometimes - then start right back up and be normal. Any tips or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I would get that check out. It could be a number of things, Oxygen sensor (check engine light should have come on), EGR valve, bad injectors, fuel filter, tune up, etc. Since you are out of warranty, take it to an independent garage to save yourself some money.
  • malibu1malibu1 Posts: 52
    If it was the fuel filter wouldn't it happen all the time and not just after long periods of idling? I understand the other things that you mentioned, but what is the EGR valve? My check engine light has never come on.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    The oxygen sensor should definitely trip off the check engine light. The reason i suggest an independent garage is simply to save you money. The Malibu (like other Chevys) are not complex machines and are relatively easy to maintain and repair. Any competent mechanic should be able to analyze this problem and fix for a lot cheaper then the dealership.

    The EGR valve allows the unburned fuel to return to the manifold tank. If that valve becomes inoperable, it causes the unburned fuel to heat up to the point it becomes sludge. Teh sludge backs up and causes the engine to stall. I had it happen to my 1989 Tempo (despite the bad reviews, it was a great car for me). The valve itself was $70-$80 but they had to cleanout all the sludge. My Tempo stalled while I was waiting at a stop light on a highway. I had already driven over 150 miles (all highway) without incident when this happened. I pressed on the gas pedal and the car sputtered and stalled. Luckily I kept my cool, shifted to neutral and re-started the car within a few seconds and drove off. It was fine until I reached my destination. Later that day I took it over to Sears (big mistake), they changed the fuel filter. And I drove back home the nxt day (175 miles) without a problem. Then i had some sputtering the next day and took it to my Ford dealership. It cost me somewhere around $180 (1992 dollars).

    Here's a link on EGR valves:

    Good luck.
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