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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello ~
    I have a 1998 Malibu that has 42,000 on it and have just had the rotors replaced @ Chevy dealer, but i was just wanting to know What is that AWEFUL shaking/vibratng that is so apparent like at stop lights etc the entire hood is vibrating but when i go it, stops I need to know the cause !! I Want that to be fixed !!! is this a common issue with the early Malibu's ? if so what is the cause ?
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello ~
    I hav a 1998 Malibu 4 cyl and when I cank up their is there ticking noise/sound comming from the car , I have to take the car in the beginning of the work week so we wil see but has anyone had this on their Malibu ?? of so please post and if someone knows what it could be please post.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I also have a 98 Malibu with 41k miles. No shake at stop.

    I have a slight shake at stops (not nearly as strong) with my older car, Ford Taurus. I found that the shake disappear when switching the gear to "N" (neutral). So it is somehow related to auto transmission idling when braking, e.g. on stop light.
  • av8r4av8r4 Posts: 2
    This 1998, 4 cylinder with 30,000 miles is a constant source of irritation that is now more entertaining than irritating.

    We went through all the brake problems other posting commented on. The AC problems and the shudders, shakes, rust spots, fogged headlight enclosures, mirrors falling off and suspension squeaks.

    We now drive this car in Korea, after driving it throughout Europe for 2 years. At autobahn and expressway speeds in Europe the squeaks were not noticeable, but at the snail's pace of Seoul traffic they are turning out to be helpful because they warn the pedestrians of an approaching auto. (The bushings were replaced all around, but after a few days they started chirping as usual).

    Unfortunately we had to work with GM dealerships in Europe through the military car sales organization.

    But, despite all the trials and tribulations of Maliblue ownership, we really do like the car. It handled the autobahn well, both at high speed and during panic stops. It is great in snow and has never failed to start. The original poor factory paint finish is now hardly noticeable under the layer of Seoul industrial grit that is rubbed in/off daily by our parking garage person.

    But even after all the difficulties, I am confident that when we return to the states one of the vehicles in our garage will be a new Malibu.
  • robby8robby8 Posts: 17
    I have a 2000 Malibu LS. The right, front wheel makes a sound every time I hit a bump. The sound is more like a baby rattle or a tambourine rather than a sqeak. I can hear it at all speeds however it is more noticeable at lower speeds because of less road noise. I have complained to the dealer about the noise three times but they claim they cannot hear it. I will mention it again at my next oil change.

    My car also shakes when I am at a stoplight. Is this just the design of the engine? It is very annoying.
  • malibuinscmalibuinsc Posts: 10
    Hello,I had the same problem and noticed it alot during the day after the humidity was low and/or dry air. It puzzled me for awhile but suspected the front struts and bushings. The Chevy dealer could not diagnose the problem. I fixed it myself by buying some white lithium grease and some bushing grease from the part store and sprayed and rubbed every bushing and bearing I could see. I drove it awhile to work it in and a day or two later the problem was solved completely and never reoccured. I also have had three A/C control heads replaced which caused the system to kick on and off. Just last week it started hinting to me that its not feeling up to itself and acting up in its strange, once and a blue moon way again. Its doing it just so that the dealer won't be able to reproduce it because of its sporadic behavior. It seems that every spring it does this. I have what Chevy told its dealer a redesigned control head. This control head is rigged that when you turn on the recirc button, the A/I will come on without the A/C button activated. The reason, to eliminate window fogging in winter when some people use this button in humid cold days with the heat on. Year, Malibu's have pretty consistent problems across the board. GM should spin more time on A/C Control units. They are new in this field and need to take a page from Toyota who has had them in Camry's since the 80's. GM is use to vaccum and cable slides more than electromechanical units. I hope the Epsilon chassis Malibu is 100 times better that these P90's/N-bodies. Good powertrain, poor electrical items,and brakes.
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello ~
    You seem to be educated on the Malibu , do you have any idea on my shaking/vibratng situation while in drive but not moving (Stoplight's) The other issue occurs when I am backing up and the wheel is turned and there is this ticking/clicking sound coming from the front end of my 1998 hope you or someone knows.
  • malibuinscmalibuinsc Posts: 10
    Your question is a little unclear but here are different scenarios. If you have a four cylinder with shaking and vibration, that is normal. Yes, the 2.4 L has balance shafts but they can only quell but so much vibration. Four cylinders larger than 2.0 liters have this problem and its due to connection rods of the pistons on the crankshafts. This rotational force is not quite as even as a six or eight cylinder engine. Balance shafts help but some engines will vibrate more than others due to design.
    Next Scenario, if you are driving with this condition, check wheel balance or out of round tire condition. Firestone Affinities were bad tires, they wore uneven and were very hard to balance once old.
    For the ticking and clicking problems with the wheel turn and backing up, check the CV joints in the front. See if a boot has torn with grease leaking. You may need a new CV joint.
  • smut1965smut1965 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 malibu where the a/c clicks on and off. I read about the short of the control head how much is it to repair this? Also, there's a noise coming from the left front-end of the car I notice it a low speeds(under 20 mph) and when the car is coasting to a stop. The noise is really loud when the car comes to a complete stop. The tires were rotated January 2001 and I'm still hearing the noise. Does anyone have any ideas what this might be?
  • eat_thiseat_this Posts: 1
    I didn't cheap out when I bought my new car, I was considering a Malibu but after reading this board Im glad I didn't. I decided to spend a bit more and got a 2001 Fully loaded Impala LS. No complaints here...
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    When i went to buy my fully loaded 2000 chevy cavalier LS they tried to sell me a malibu i said no thanks i know what i want.13000 miles and 1 yr old no problems.Low tech works best.
  • I have a 2000 Malibu. This car has been nothing but a problem. On top of it I cant get my car back from the dealer without missing or damaged parts.

    At 9000 miles I had a noise in front of my car. When I hit a bump I would get a noise that sounded like a metal tinging noise. The dealer first replaced the lower control arms. Next the dealer replaced the entire power steering rack. Finally on the 3rd try they listened to me and replaced the front struts. The sound was a fluid transfer noise in the right front strut. It is now fine

    My moon roof also had an irritating squeak if the car would sit in the sun and heat up. This took 5 visits to dealership. The last thing they did was to totally remove the moon roof and bend the guide rails. Its been very cold in Iowa this spring so I do not know if its repaired.

    My car has 18,000 miles now. I just had to have the AC control head replaced, and the turn signals did not always work. The signals were fixed by replacing the hazard lights switch.

    This is my first time here but after some reading I now realize I have the piston slap also. If anyone could please tell me where to find the Service Bulletin on this I would appreciate this.
    My brakes are feeling spongy also. Does this mean I need a brake job at 18,000 miles?
  • skipper8skipper8 Posts: 7
    I have a 98 Malibu with 39,000 miles. I have noticed, too, a slight vibration at stop lights. This is when the car is in gear (drive) with brake depressed. Sounds almost like it needs a tune-up. I have a 4 cylinder Corolla..and you can hardly hear it run. It has 37,000 miles. I thot maybe I had some bad gas in the Malibu. This is somewhat annoying. I thot it might go away..but hasn't yet.
  • aerotusaerotus Posts: 1
    The front brakes on the Malibu are much too weak with extremely poor feel. Making matters worse they vibrate or throb whenever coming to a stop. Poor braking systems seem to be characteristic of most North American autos. Why? .... why is it that good 4-wheel disc systems are few and far between on domestics?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I have a 98 Malibu. The brakes are excellent.

    Though, the same car used to brake only so-so the first month or so when we bought it, and again after the rotors and pads were replaced a year later. Mushy feel.

    The brakes needs some time to break-in. If I remember right, about one month. However, probably, it depends on your driving pattern and style. My wife and I drive mostly in city and close suburbs, with longer weekend trips on highways.

    Mostly moderate to heavy traffic, with a lot of braking on winding roads, hilly terrains. We work in New Haven CT, and live nearby: this is 80 miles from NY City and 120 miles from Boston.

    Though, what you describe (vibration when coming to stop) looks more like ABS is working. I remember something of this kind when the original tires were almost worn-out, especially during rain. Braking improved after replacing the tires.

    By the way, I believe that Malibu have disk brakes only on front, the rear being drum.
  • crazymalercrazymaler Posts: 16
    I just had the front discs replaced on my '99 Malibu (24,000) miles because they were badly warped. I went with Raybestos rotors and stock GM pads The rotors cost $180 installed and the pads $100 so total was $280. So far so good, though I've only driven 50 miles with the new brakes. Yes, I agree that brakes are one of the weakest points on the Malibu.
  • florinflorin Posts: 11
    I own a Chevy Malibu 01, and I received in the mail a GM Protection
    Plan offer, covering major repairs for a period of 5 years (I'm not
    sure why one would want such a plan for a car under warranty?! Strange).

    The least expensive option is $800, the most complete plan is $1200.
    Is it worth it?

    Normally, I wouldnt even consider it, but I'm inclined to do so, as the
    3.1 liter V6 engine may have the piston problem mentioned on this board.

    Is GM trying to avoid recalls by offering this plan instead?

    Thanks very much in advance.

  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I received such a letter soon after buying Buick Regal, a car with very different engine. I believe, GM sends them to anybody who recently bought a GM car. Just another junk mail advertisement, not related to any particular problem. The extended warranties is a profitable business for auto makers and dealers.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Its not worth the cost,it adds 2 yr an 39000 to the 36-36.
  • Hey folks...I have a question for everyboy own Malibu or you guys know that there are 2 coolent fans in the my cutlass, there is ONLY one turn on whenever A/C on or off for cooling purpose...I never seen both fan on together...I did ask the dealer mechanic while they replaced a/c control unit for on and off problem, he said that they don't know when both fans would turn on at the same time...I was just curious ...see you guys have the same situation...knock on the wood...the car never overheat, and i put more than 85,000 miles...and consider changing the transmission fluid...I should go for power flush, or traditionally dropping the oil pan and replacing a filter and transmission oil...which brand or grade is better long-run choice? thank you guys
  • My Malibu has been making clunking noise in front-end and the dealer has determined that the lower front balljoint is bad and that the left lower control arm needs to be replaced (went through two dealers, both said the same thing). I am considering ordering the part directly from GM Direct Sale and then asking the dealer to install it. Does anyone know what the part number for the left lower control arm is? Can anyone who's had it replaced be kind as to look it up on the invoice for me? Thanks a bunch.
  • gabagooogabagooo Posts: 5
    I bought a 2001 base Malibu in Bronze mist (which I call Stacy - from the Simpsons - get it?) last week. I am very pleased with the car. I drove to Pittsburgh last weekend and averaged 30 mpg with the a/I on. Not too happy. I am a bit displeased with the fact that I can see the assemble's finger prints behind the instrument panel plastic and along the trim piece that runs the lenght of the dash. I noted this problem on the factory customer satisfaction survey. My car was built at the Oklahoma City factory on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 and it came off the assembly line at 7:51 pm (i got this info from papers left in my glove box). A mid week car not too late at night. I have my fingers crossed.
  • blgrosblgros Posts: 6
    I've read a lot of this forum.

    Seems like there were a lot of minor problems with the 97 and 98 Malibus-- not that suprising for a new design. the major problems were with the rotors and brakes, and those have been minimized with the newer models.

    Are there major problems popping up with the 2001 models?
    I'm not clear whether this "piston slap" problem is with the 2001 models, and how prevalent it is. I guess only time will tell how serious it becomes.

    I'm guessing a lot of people are having good luck with their 2001 Malibus and are the silent majority.

    Any big changes planned for the 2002 models?

  • comet69comet69 Posts: 1
    Hi. Just recently purchased 97 Malibu. No real complaints but after reading this board I am finding a few things in common with many of you. Brakes a little mushy and a clunk sound from the front end. One other that I was curious about is the fan and vent position controls. I get no response on the fan switch until position #3 and I am not able to change positions of air direction. Now blowing out floor and dash vents. Anyone else with similar problems? What was the problem? What had to be done to fix it? Is it a do it yourself fix or shop repair? What kind of cost did you find? Thanks.
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello Everyone ~ * I need someone to tell me if i am getting srrewed here on all this repair listed below *
    I thought i as ok a few weeks ago but I have now fallen into Malibu Hell, ok well I I have now taken my 1,000 mile + trip to upstate New York ( That is where i am writing this) well before I left Arkansas we had a new motor mount and a new computer chip put in the Malibu, but the dealer in Little Rock could not locate/find the front end noise / ticking problem so we still took this trip so 1,500 miles later this problem is AWEFUL the car sounds like a popcorn machine so today i hae located a Chevrolet dealer here in New York and boy did they find stuff wron here is what I need!
    1. Lower Control Arms ~ $458.00
    2. Upper Strut Mounts ~ $312.00
    3. Rear Swey Bar Bushings ~ $98.00
    4. 4 Wheel Alignment ~ $106.00
    GRAND TOTAL = $1,078 with New York Taxes
    And now I have the flickering AC unit I will Be driving and the little green light on the AC will go on and off causing major discomfort. Can some one tell me the root of this flickering AC Unit Please , becasue i will have the dealer take A look at it and get it fixed.
    Yhank You !
  • Paul:

    The problem with the A/C is its control unit--replacing the control unit/panel will fix the problem.

    Are you replacing Lower Control Arms on both sides? Where did you get the estimate? I am in upstate New York, too (Albany/Troy), and the dealers around here gave me an estimate of between 310 and 320 dollars + Tax. I need only the Left one, though.
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello ~
    I took it to Salsbury (spelling) in Scotia. WOW is that a correct price ? the $310 $320 I am not for sure what I Need i think both ?? is so Are the left and right diffrent prices? I dunno if i want to go through with this reapir through this dealer I will go to Albany/Troy even through Troy is .... you know not the nicest little town, are their any trustworthy dealers in Schenectady ? but please tell me a good honest dealer here that You have gone to and liked that would really cut down on my nervousness !!! Ohh and on the AC problem how much is that reapair cost ??? thanKs alot !!
  • I am not sure how much the repair on the A/C would cost, since I got it repaired under warranty.

    My guess is that the left and right lower control arms probably cost the same. $458 is not too bad if you are having both replaced, but would seem more like a rip-off is you are replacing just one, either left or right.

    I purchased my Malibu at DePaula in Albany, but have had my car serviced at three different dealerships since I got it: DePaula (Albany, NY), Portsmouth Chevrolet (Portsmouth, NH--used to work in the area for almost a year and then moved back to NY), and Action Chevrolet (Troy, NY). The people at Portsmouth Chevrolet are the nicest and don't try to rip you off, but I guess it isn't an option. ;) Both DePaula and Action aren't too bad, either.

    DePaula gave me an estimte for the same job (Left Lower Control Arms) for $318, but said that they would match up with it after seeing the estimate from Action for $310. I decided to go with Action anyway, since it is closer to my place and that I was treated nicely when I was there. The only downside is that Action needs to have the part ordered, whereas DePaula has them in stock.

    By the way, the $310 + tax includes the lower conotrol arm AND wheel alighment.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Why would any one need a lower control arm,it should have a replaceable ball joint & bushings?
  • Apparently the balljoints on the Malibu are sealed and part of the Lower Control Arm. It can't be lubed (because it is sealed) and if worn off the entire lower control arm has to be replaced! :-( Not sure why it is designed this way, but just the way it is.
This discussion has been closed.