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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    I don't think there is much of a difference, the 3.5L has 200hp @ 5200rpm and 220lb-ft @ 4400rpm. While the 3.8L has 200hp @ 5200rpm and 225lb-ft @ 4000rpm. So the only difference is a little more torque at a slightly lower rpm, but the Malibu is rated as being faster in all the magazines I've compared the two in, and gets better gas mileage.
  • shell's V-power gas? We're relocating next week across the country (2200 miles). Maybe the V-power gas gives better gas milage? Today I crawled under our 02 LS and changed the engine oil with Mobile 1 fully synthetic oil. I'm also gonna inflate all 4 tires to 33psi. Would be interesting to see how much the gas milage improves with all this. So far with 18K miles, the car still runs like new. We tinted all the window for $140 the other day. We're loving our Malibu. But I have to say we're a little jealous about you folks driving the NEW Malibu. My wife REALLY likes the new styling, which I find unique (which is good) rather than anything else.
  • Did u buy a pontiac? I'm leaning towards a hyundai elantra now as we dont' have a lot of grand am's around or maybe I'll just wait to see the cobalt. The Hyundai dealer here is really nice tho- let us take the car for the WHOLE day at THEIR suggestion:)
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Hyundai sales are falling fast so I'm not surprised they would let you have a car. Here in Canada they are offering 0% for 72 months, wow! I'd still take any Japanese or American car over a Korean one.
  • Not so fast my friend. I actually admire Hyundai a lot for their progress. The Sonota is a very decent car, especially at that price. The Elantra is a reliable solid car as well. I loved the previous generation Tiburon's styling, but the new one is very handsome too.


    While you're at it, check out the new generation Kia Spectrum too. It's based on the same platform as the Elantra and has standard features such as side and curtain airbags! Car&Driver gave it a very good review.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Hyundai does have very good value. Reminds me of Honda 20 years ago.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    whatever you do don't get the pontiac GP (it's basically still an antiquated design with a new body). wait for the G6 instead if you want a pontiac. and opt for the side curtain air bags if they're available on the car you finally choose.
  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    I have owned a W body car (Olds Intrigue), which is the same as the GP, and is platform is 16 years old (first used in 1988). Listen to Venus537, you're better off with the new Malibu or the G6. Both are off the a new Epsilon platform from Europe which is share by many other GM divisions (Opel, SAAB, Holden, Vauxhall, Saturn, etc...). I have driven the Malibu V6 and liked it. Sure the steering is a little lighter (electric rather than hydraulic, saps less power from the engine), but it gets better fuel economy, sits higher up and the materials are light years ahead of the older GM products.

    If you have access to Consumer Reports, check their fuel economy ratings.... The Malibu kicks the GP in the pants by 6 mpg overall, out accelerates it by .2 second, stops faster and is cheaper.
  • I believe my '99 Malibu has this problem - intake manifold gasket. Had previously seen a minor leak of coolant by the engine. It has since stopped. I had to add coolant. Is there a definitive test I can ask my auto shop to run to diagnose this problem? My 'bu has 41K miles.

    Also, my ABS light comes on periodically for reasons unknown. Anyone know what the deal is here?

  • Thanks everyone for all the help! I really appreciate it! Now I have another question. :)
    I posted this on the Malibu Care & Maintenance board but only got one reply.

    Anyone here have a Malibu with the Ultralux seats?Do these seats get dirty easily? Are they easy to clean? How well do you think they will hold up say, over 5 years? I went and test drove another Malibu. This one was an LT with gray Ultralux. I liked it a lot and am thinking about purchasing it but was wondering about the seats? I don't have any kids (a possibility in the future), so that is not an issue. I liked the feel of them better than the cloth. I thought they were a lot more comfortable, but I don't want them to be a constant pain!

    Thanks again!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Concerning the intake manifold gasket:

    Pressure test the coolant system. It will find coolant leak, if any. Used to cost $20-25, 4-2 years ago, probably still not expensive. I did it at dealer and at local Firestone.

    By the way, the car manual recommends to do the pressure test yearly. I have a 1998 Malibu.

    I know nothing about ABS, except that the parts are expensive.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Who cares about the older platform on the GP, the car runs great, has decent build quality and is rattle free. I have had my 04 since last fall and it's been a great car. Yes, the G6 might be better but the deals on the GP will likely make it cheaper.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Stand by my statement. Until I see some longer term numbers on the Korean cars, I still don't trust them. Many 4-5 year olds I see on the road don't look like they are holding up very well. Besides, when you tell people you have bought a Hyundai or a KIA... not for me.
  • A couple of winters ago, the ABS light in my 1998 came on. Out of curiosity, I got up to 15mph and stomped the brakes -- slid sideways on the ice. Next time I started it was fine. Never found out (or really cared, for that matter) what the problem was.
  • Good point on the GP. My mentality has been:if I like how it drives in terms of ride and handling. Who cares what's underneath or what self-omportant auto reviewers say? Why pay the premium for something you can't appreciate?

    (I know Venus really cares about keeping up with the latest stuff :) No offense intended, could you really FEEL it?)

    As far as hyundais go, you do have a point. For example, even though the Sanata has the best initial quality in its class, its long term reliability leaves a lot to be desired. Its the 2001 Malibu that has the best reliability in its class beating Camcords per J D Power. I can see why judging by our 02 LS.
  • We're still in the middle of our cross country trip. But thought I'd give an update anyway since the hotel offers free internet.

    So far with newly changed synthetic oil and premium gas, we averaged 24-32 mpg in so far 1400 miles. We drove from Indiana west on 94 and 90 through WI, ND, MT, and ID. In all, we ascended 6000 some feet in elevation and were running against fairly strong wind the whole time. The low 24 mpg was obtained on one leg of the trip in NORTH Dakota doing consistently 85 mph. The rest of those miles averaged around 30 mpg doing 75-85 mph. I'm sure the 85 mph speed must've hurt the milage a lot.

    Since we drove through a lot of mountainous terrain, I had an interesting observation of how the cruise control worked. When going up not too steep uphills, the transmission didn't downshft untill the car almost made it over the hill, which was quite strange because at that point there really wasn't a need to catch up with the speed anymore. On steep hills the cruise control always downshifted very readily.

    I couldn't find shell stations so can't comment on their V-power gas. BTW, maybe using premium gas actually hurt the gas milage as well?
  • tamu2002, I think your wasting your money buying premium gas. First, I don't think it improves the mpg (is it proven that higher octane improves gas mileage?); second, even if it did, wouldn't the extra cost of the premium gas offset any savings realized by increased mpg?
  • I experienced exactly the same problem with my 2004 Malibu as reported in the Edmunds report of August 2004. So far, my contacts with GM seem to indicate their interest is only to see if it was repaired correctly. I am 76 years old and have concern about the frequency of this malfunction (also reported by others) as it relates to older people being able to safely bring this vehicle to a safe stop after the failure...there is no warning re the onset, and I am convinced an elderly woman lacks sufficient strength to operate the vehicle after the failure
  • Hey Tamu2002, forgive me for asking but what year Malibu do you own? I agree with the above post that if GM does not require premium gas, you are not only wasting your money, but the engine will run a little hotter. Only vehicles that are designed to run on premium gas should the owners buy premium gas. I own a 99 Regal GSE and GM does require the premium fuel because of the supercharger. I can run lower octane gas in my car because the engine has knock sensors, but they also reduce the power output of the engine.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    If you put premium gas in a car that is designed to run on regular you aren't doing anything but paying more for gas. Doing this doesn't effect anything, performance, fuel economy, you name it. Also, in some cases premium fuel in a regular fuel designed car hurts engine performance and efficiency. So don't spend the extra money for premium fuel in your Malibu, it is designed to use regular fuel and runs just as good on regular and regular is cheaper.
  • I have 2004 malibu LS mfg. in oct. 2003 and have had a power steering failure also.The dealer replaced the steering column in aug. I'am curious to know if anyone else has had this problem. The steering system is mfg. by the Delphi corp. and if anyone knows if the replace steering column is any better than the original one. As of 9/20 there are over 65 complaints on the NHTSA web site along with there on going investigation into this dangerous problem.
  • Dear e2helper: Where did you obtain your infromation on the corrected time for the electrical assist power steering correction. I had a power steering failure on my 2004 malibu LS and the dealer replaced the steering column. I contacted gm and delphi and they would not give me any information to the fact that the replacement column had been corrected.
  • Well I actually kinda agree with you all's comments. I was aware of all that but thought I'd give it a try to see what happens. One theory for occasional usage of premium is that the added detergent in premium gas helps clear out the fuel injection system a bit, which is also what Shell's V-power advertisement says. But that might just be marketing.

    Another main reason is my company is paying for our move (including gas money I hope), so it'll be a free experiment :)
    So far from what I can observe, the engine runs about the same as far as temp and RPMs. The mileage numbers make sense too considering the driving conditions. I'll go back to regular after this long haul.

    BTW, we have a 2002 LS with 20K miles.
  • I think I read that you have driven the G6. Have you driven the Malibu as well??

    Here is my question - is the steering "tighter" on the G6 than the Malibu?

    My father has a Malibu and really likes the electric steering. For my tastes it is way over assisted. It would seem to me that the G6 should have a tighter calibration to go with the "sporty" nature of Pontiac. I
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Doesn't the wheel tighten up when you speed up?
  • Yes, but I prefer more feedback even at low speeds.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I have driven both (actually I drove both a Malibu sedan and a Maxx) but there was a pretty large gap of time between them and so this is only my recollection.

    The G6 steering has a "tighter" feel than the Malibu like you expected. It still has the variable assist based on speed so parking lot manuevers are still a breeze but not as much as with the Malibu from what I remember.

    What is so cool about the electrical power assist steering is how they can easily calibrate it to go with the "nature" of vehicle. The physical parts are the same but they just modify the calibration to give different feels for each model.
  • Another question: The ION and the ION Red Line both use the same type of steering as the Bu and G6. For the Red Line the steering is much tighter, but the amount of steering wheel travel from lock to lock is smaller than the regular ION. Does this mean there are some mechanical differences as well as software changes? Did that make sense?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Sorry, that is one vehicle I don't know much about. I do know that the electric power steering system is made by a different supplier than the Malibu/G6.
This discussion has been closed.