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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • malibu99>> Sorry to hear your problems but the brake issues have all been worked out and eliminated, the 98 modles did have brake issues which are now fixed

    When did suddenly all the '98 Malibus get repaired? I never received a recall notice, nor is there one at I, like others, have been getting mine replaced periodically. What's your magic solution?
  • aniazianiazi Posts: 39
    Yeah, I am wondering too. I think if they are fixed then dealers installed old designed rotors back to the cars. And thats the reason people are getting problem over and over. Although when I called chevy they said its fixed in 2000 model. But I am not sure it is. Since they have redesigned most of the stuff in 2001 so I believe it must have fixed in 2001. But I don't find anywhere any solid proof. Probably a good honest dealer can only tell. I will try to find out. I have 2001 and I have more than 3000 miles so far I have no problem at all but its too early to say about brakes.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Hey dh wasn't trying to sound nasty just kinda humorous, I did answer the question though. Basically it is one of those VERY few cases. Sorry if you took offense :-)
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    What I meant to say by that sentence was that the 97 anmd 98 models had brake issues which have now been fixed ( meaning the brake issues for the Malibu). So there's my magic solution, I corrected my sentence :-)
  • Malibu99, no offense taken. Just driving my point. You will begin to see problems with pistons in the 3.1 for the year 2000. The two pistons the farthest from the water pump. Also, I've had to have the brakes repaired on my Malibu at 6,000. The dealer corrected the problem and I think there is a service bulletin out on it. I also had air coming in thou my speakers. Don't get me wrong. I think the Malibu is a great value for the money. I'm just highly ticked off by the piston problem which is not something I think is acceptable. But overall I'm happy with the car. It's going to cost CM at ton to correct their mistake which will only drive up the cost of new cars.
  • My wife and I pulled the trigger on a 2000 Malibu LS that had 16,000 miles on it. We paid $14,980 which I think was an ok deal, (they even thru in a set of new floor mats, oooooh aaaaaah). We have only put 60-70 miles on it so far, but I easily can say it was a large step up from our '93 Tracer 4cyl putt-putt mobile, ;-). Ya, I need to find a good deal on new tires, these cheap firestones aren't very good at all on the wet/snowy/icey roads of Wisconsin. And yes in the 3-4 days we have had the car its been easy to tell that these tires are weak at best. So I need to take care of that sooner then later. Ok, one other small thing, there is a small trim section up at the base of the windshield that doesn't look right, its poping up on the far right, not by a lot, but enough where I might want them to fix that........hmmmm will they fix something like that under warranty?

    Ya know we did a lot of shopping, sat in a lot of cars, and drove several of them. For the money this car is hard to beat dollar for dollar, feature for feature. And I don't think anyone could honstly say, I just bought a less relible car then the Tracer we turned in. Not that the Tracer was that bad did ok, but it had its moments.

    We will have a 400 mile road trip coming up in a month or so, and I am actually looking forward to it, where with the Tracer, I would have tolerated the trip only.

    Now which tires have people gone with to replace these affinities?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    In my experience, the Firehawk SH-30 are excellent for wet weather, if you do not mind less soft ride with the performance tires.

    They are OK with the two-three inches of the New England snow. Do not know about really heavy snow, though. Like on this picture:

    Probably it makes sense to have a second set of wheels, with snow tires. As the people are doing in Russia...

  • hvan3hvan3 Posts: 630
    I too was involved in a total collision. I was driving east-west, while the guy that hit me was driving north-south. I was in a 95 Honda Accord EX. Thank god we're safe from the collision.

    I am now in the market for a new car. Although I loved my Accord, I'm in the market for something different. I accumulated $3750 worth of GM points from my GM credit card, and now I'm stuck buying GM car/truck. LOL. I came down to conclusion of....Malibu LS, Impala LS, Tahoe LS, or Silverado LS truck.

    By the way, I read an excellent article about recouping your costs on a new car when your old car is declared "totalled". I havent' yet pursue with the other insurance claims, but I'm planning to recoup my cost on the new vehicle ( sales tax, registration, and title.) one way or another.

    Let me know if you had any luck. If it works, I'll definitely contact my attorney or deal with the other insurance directly.

    My e-mail address is

    Good luck!

  • ghtrapghtrap Posts: 26
    Brakes - I have a 2000 Malibu LS and have had no problems with the brakes. I broke them in very slowly and I make sure my wheel mounting nuts are torqued equally and properly to that stress isn't induced into the rotors. I drive a lot and already have 27,000 miles on it. No real problems except I have just recently had problems with the air directional knob. It somethimes has a mind of its own and doesn't always distribute the air through the proper ducts that I am asking for. Wonder if anyone else has had that happen. I need to make an appointment with the dealer to have it fixed.

    To t_h_x1138:

    The Affinitys are simply a low grade tire. I switched to my favorite tire, the Michelin X-One a few months ago. Incredible difference in wet/snow traction as well as handling. No more 'mushy' feel. Michelin doesn't make the X-One in the same size as the OEM Affinitys, so I bought them in 205/65R15 size. They are the same diameter as OEM (so the speedometer isn't affected), and the 65 profile is actually a better match to the 6" wheels. Not cheap - but if you can afford them, they are a marked improvement.

    Yes, the fit of your trim pieces is covered under the warranty and your dealer should fix it under coverage. You might wait just a little while and discover a few more things to have them look at while your in there. If you've only driven it 70 miles, you haven't been able to observe everything yet.

    Yes, the Malibu is a heck of a lot more car than a Tracer. I don't have any doubts that you'll be a lot more comfortable in the Malibu.

    Good luck
  • Ya, I put some Michelin XGT's on that tracer, so $200 for a pair of tires is ok (mounted and everything), not sure if the x-ones fall into that catagory. Either way, I think I want to stay way from firestone.

    BTW, my wife and I were trying to track down which Michelin's we had put on that tracer. Our receipt shows "P175/65SR14 XGT 4 RRBL", which current Michelins are close to those in all around traction performance? XGT 4H's?

    Our tax refund check should be coming in this week....hmmmmm, guess new tires and a small vacation to try the new tires out might be in order, lol.
  • Well I had to get a new car this weekend since my insurance company considered my 1999 Malibu LS a "total loss" after my accident last weekend. So I went down to Hertz Car Sales in Raleigh, NC again to get a vehicle.

    I had three cars in mind before I went down, a Pontiac Grand Am, a Ford Contour and of course, a Chewy Malibu. I was really disappointed with the Ford Contour and that was quickly removed from my list of contenders. So then it was between the Malibu and Grand Am. I decided it was time for a change and so I decided to go with the Grand Am. I wanted to retain my youthful image, I am after all only 23, so I thought the Grand Am will allow me to do that :)

    I like the 2000 Malibu, but have to say that I like the Grand Am better. So now my new baby is a 2000 Grand Am SE1 with a 170hp 3400 series V6, power everything, cruise, traction control, with a Silver mist metallic exterior. It has 25,000 miles and minus the money I got from my insurance company, the final purchase price was $11,045. So I know I got a good deal and am very happy with my new car.

    I just want to say GOOD-BYE to everyone on this Malibu forum, as I will now be joining the Grand Am forum. The Malibu is a good car, happy motoring and drive safely!!
  • I bought my 2000 Malibu in March. I had only 4,000 miles on the car when I started having problems with my brakes. Going over 65 on the highway my steering wheel would vibrate. At first I thought it might need high speed balancing on the tires, but they were brand new too! Anyway, I called the dealer and he said they probably just have dust on them or "glazing" which can happen when new brakes don't break in properly and that it wasn't a problem. However, When I brought the car in I got a call from the dealer saying that I needed new rooters(did I spell that right?). He made it sound like this is a rare occurance and naturally they installed new rooters. I know have 11,500 miles on my car, and the brakes are starting to squeak. Also, occasionally when I start my vehicle and put it into reverse (very rarely going forward), while my foot is on the brake the car bucks? When I went into my dealer, naturally it didn't happen for them! Does anyone have an idea of what this could be?
  • All rotors get a glaze over time, especially when using good metallic or semi-metallic pads. When performing normal brake maintenance of replacing pads or shoes, deciding to keep the rotors/drums means removing the glaze, typically by "turning" them (this restores some trueness), or sanding at a minimum (for your typical backyard mechanic). A rotor or drum can only be "turned" once or twice before it goes out of spec, so eventually you'd need new ones. Only in cases of bad/damaged suspension geometry do you get these warped rotors. My old '91 Tercel original rotors lasted 105k miles.

    As for "breaking in properly", there really is no such thing for brakes -- they perform best when new. As for the dust, disc brakes are designed to be self-cleaning by means of the centrifigal force and the scraping action of the pads.

    Typical modern cars had discs up front and drums in the rear. Using the emergency/parking brake when stopped pulls a special arm on the rear brake shoe to "seize" it against the drum. Perhaps when you release the parking brake, the shoes are sticking.

    That vibration over 65 -- is that just from driving, or is that braking at 65? When the brakes are not applied, they normally have no influence on the vehicle's behavior.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    You wrote: As for "breaking in properly", there really is no such thing for brakes -- they perform best when new.

    As well as I remember, the Malibu manual say the opposite. The new brakes require 1000 mile break-in period, to be repeat after replacing pads.
  • Maybe I should have said, "they perform best when new on normal cars where the alignment is true." Obviously the Malibu engineers decided wobble is acceptable so let the pads and rotors wear/warp to the harmonics of the steering suspension.
  • Nah, most manufacturers sugest a break in period, so the whole brake pad is making contact with the rotor. That is to say, a break pad and rotor are not 100% flush with each other, there are imperfections to both. And until the pads are worn down enough to where there is a better mating of the two surfaces, take it easy on the brakes, thats all they saying with the 1000mile break in. And for the most part, 90% of the break in is done in the first 100miles of a brake job, assuming you aren't just travling on a highway. Anyhow, a break in period for brakes is normal for every car!
  • My wife liked her Malibu and now after putting four MasterCraft Cooper tires on, she LOVES it.

    We've had only four complaints over the last few years. - Tire noise (original equipment Firestone Affinity) was excessive (now cured) - brake pads replaced at 11,000 under warranty - A/C is somewhat erratic - and AM radio is total static. (still).

    Otherwise this is a solid vehicle and I feel that my wife is safe on her long commutes. (43,000 on it already!)

    just my .02
  • As just thought about bigger car with more power like Impala, read its posts on this site and was amazed by lots of negative posts(steering, engine shutdown, AC, rotors, etc), really much worse than the Malibu situation. They accused the GM factory workers for poor workmanship.

    Oh am glad I still stick with my Malibu which has been running great since 1997, even though it had body and rotor defects fixed in the first year.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Have 98 Malibu, base with V-6, and like it much. Especially after dealer replaced brakes / rotors ($400+) and fixed a lot of small things under warranty. The handling improved a lot after we replaced the stock Affinity tires by Firehawk SH-30 at 36k miles.

    Though, currently the Malibu is relegated to the status of second car. We bought a 2000 Regal GS and like it even more. Much more. Well, except the astonishingly arrogant service at our Buick dealer.

    As to the Impala problems, well, the second year of production just started. It usually takes more time to debug their problems at GM. The 97-98 Malibu witness it.

    Though, there were very few reports concerning AC and rotors at the Impala board. Looks as infrequent random defects, and not a safety item.

    The engine hesitation / stalling also is infrequent, but very dangerous. Looks as it was due to several different defects - loose ignition lock, bad crankshaft sensor, etc. All of this is very strange, given the 3.8l V-6 engine is very well proved.

    Other problems you mentioned (engine cradle, steering shaft, amplifier) looks to be widespread.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    I have to agree with you. I am so glad I passed on the Impala and bought my 99 LS, it's been a delight to drive and it hasn't given me the slightests headache, I love this car! Good luck!
  • aniazianiazi Posts: 39
    So far I am happy too with my 2001 LS, actually very happy. I have almost 3500 miles now. Too early to say anything. Wondering if any one has more miles on 2001 than me. I am hoping I won't get any brake rotor problem. It runs so smooth!
  • Last September, I needed a rent car since my car was in the shop for body repair caused by an incident in a parking lot. At first, I had a 2000 Chevy Cavalier. It was good, but I needed to go out of town for the weekend and I wanted a car with at least a cassette player (the Cav did not have one). So, the rental agency gave me a 2000 Chevy Malibu. I tellin' y'all right now, I was satisfied.

    This car has appealing style and good power. I had no problem with this car the whole time I had it. Of course, I did have to adjust to driving a car with a V-6 instead of a L4. Also, braking was different from my 97 Cavalier. It did not take me long to adjust, though. My trip was smooth sailing.

    My car will be paid off in about 3 years. Hopefully, I can afford a new or used Malibu by that time. why?.................

    THIS CAR IS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I rented a Ford Focus because my car was in the shop. I hated the seat comfort, and it had this bad clunk in the rear suspension when I hit bumps and also went off course. I took it back to Enterprise and told them of the trouble, and they tried to set me up in a Cavalier for the rest of my rental. NO way! I threw a fit, only because of being inconvenienced, and asked for an upgrade. They gave me a 2000 Malibu LS with 19,400 miles on it. Loved the car! It was comfortable, but the bulge in the front seat (lower back) was a bit prominent for me. It handled well, accelerated great, and didn't use as much gas as I thought it would. I was worried about the Malibu from reading various publications that said it wasn't reliable when first coming out. It looks like now, with the 2000 and 2001 models, all the bugs are worked out. I am going to definitely put the Malibu on my list for the next time I go car shopping.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    The Malibu should be evn sweeter when it goes in for redesign in 2 years using the new platform, I'm waiting for taht one. For now though this car is still great and it gets better every year, just love it! :-) Good luck.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    So it seems the 2000 and 2001 model Malibus have worked all the bugs out then???
  • I have a 98 Malibu. I purchased it with only 3676 miles on it. It has been nothing but
    problems since. I'll give you a list:

    9,057 miles: Hub Bearing noisy -replaced left front Hub Bearing
    10,012 miles: A/C broken -Relay switch replaced, condensor o-ring replaced, A/C charged
    11,317 miles: Front speaker not working -repaired loose wire
    11,317 miles: Hub Bearing noisy - replaced left front Hub bearing
    14,039 miles: Squeaking noise in front over bumps, insufficient torque - retorqued both lower control arms (they replaced the bushings)
    14,039 miles: Hub Bearing noisy (again) - replaced left Hub Bearing (again) (this time it worked!)
    21,129 miles: ABS light and Brake light on - replaced left wheel speed sensor (it didn't help)
    21,129 miles: Right rear power window broken - they ordered power window switch, but it miraculously started working on its own - AMEN
    21,129 miles: Noise in front wheels when braking - Rotors out of round
    26,496 miles: Brakes squeal - replaced right front wheel sensor
    26,496 miles: ABS light still on!! (although it does sometimes go off for a day, or a week, or a month, there is no rhyme or reason!) -Replaced Hub kit (it didn't help either!! the lights still on at 33,900 miles!!)
    33,900 miles (and 4 months off warranty): Intake manifold gasket leaking antifreeze into the oil (pretty bad right?!) Chevy and their "GOOD WILL" will pay 50% of repairs that have yet to be determined, and are at least $700 if the manifold gasket is replaced, engined is flushed, oil is changed and when it's put back together the lifters are "OK". I won't even speculate to cost if the lifters aren't ok $$$!

    Isn't that a great deal for me I may only have to pay 1/2 of the repairs to a car that has been a piece of garbage from the beginning. Oh, by the way, this is a "known" problem on the 3.1 V6 engine. It is not, however a recall or even a tech bulletin. Chevy wouldn't want to open themselves up and assume any liability for this problem. If it had happened 4 months ago Chevy would have paid for the whole thing, but instead I have no car and an outlay of at least $350 to fix there faulty product (again)!!

    Don't even bother calling their "customer service line" (I use that term loosely). I got more help from the dealer, and that wasn't much. I found that after 3 phone calls, (two to cust service and one to the dealer), I had hit a brick wall. Apparently that's as far as you can go to remedy the situation in the huge company of GM. (I don't think so, but that's what I was told.)

    If anyone has any names or numbers of anyone in authority at GM, feel free to let me know.

    I apologize for the negative tone, but I have let this car get to me for the last time. As soon as it's fixed, I'm getting rid of it, never to buy a GM product again. I'm going German, or Japanese, or something!!
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    Sorry to hear your problems, the 97 and 98 models had problems that have been worked out. The 3.1 VS is pretty much bullet proof and the gasket issue is very rare in a 3.1 V6. Good luck!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Has the Malibu V6 LS improved in reliability since it came out in 1997? Thanks.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    by 100%. My 99 and a half LS ( built in June 1999 with the 2000 engine) has been very reliable and extremly quiet and rattle free even in bumpy roads. 97-98 models were not the best since it usually takes GM a year or two to smooth things out. So yes it has improved. Good Luck
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Which car would you choose between the Saturn L-300 V-6, the Malibu LS V-6, and the Grand Am GT V-6 if reliability, cost, and fuel economy were top priority? Thanks.
This discussion has been closed.