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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • robby8robby8 Posts: 17
    I have a 2000 Malibu with approximately 32 000 km on it. There seems to be some pulsing when the brakes are applied, especially at higher speeds. Is this normal? I have had the rotors machined once before. Is it possible for this problem to return? The brakes were okay for awhile but slowly the problem has returned, although not as bad as before. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Is there any way to adjust the pressure on the brakes? It sometimes takes a while for my 2001 Malibu to brake. Meaning, the first few inches (probably only an inch or so) of pushing on the pedal don't seem to do much then I have to really apply pressure to stop. this is mostly when I first start the car so it could be a matter of everything needs to warm up. Just want to make sure I'm not heading towards trouble. BTW I have 12,200 miles on the vehicle. Everything else is going great. Even this is more of a nuisance then anything else.
  • Well, I was happy(for the most part) with my Malibu until today, I have a 98LS 3+ years old with only 40K miles on it and I should have spent the money for the extended warranty because I am paying for it now.

    My car was "using" colant and my ABS light kept coming on so I took it back to the dealership where I purchased the car. Yes the intake manifold gasket had to be replaced and the circut board for the rear tail lights had to be replaced for a grand total of $860. Now keep in mind that this car has just turned 40K and I am very upset with Chevy. From what I have been told there are numerous problems with both of these issues (in addition to the rotors which I had fixed 3 times and then shelled out $330 to have them replaced again)and yet we the owners have to pay for it. I plan to pursue this with them but, It will be David against Goliath. Does anybody know of pending recalls for these issues? The brake lights should be a safety issue as I am surprised that I did not get hit in the rear.

    Words of advice to Malibu owners and potential malibu owners:

    1- If you are buying a Malibu, get the extended warranty as it will pay for itself because the car has too many costly problems.

    2- If you are seeing your coolant getting used and you are still under warranty, take it to the dealership ASAP.

    3- If your rotors are vibrating when you use the brakes and you still are under warranty, take the car in ASAP

    4- If your tailights don't work, take it in.

    5- Bombard GM with complaints if you are experiencing these problems as thay should have called a recall a long time ago considering the number of people who are having problems

    6- Don't buy a Malibu! The cost to repair and agravation are not worth it until Cevrolet fixes these problems or recalls the cars already sold.

    The sad thing is that I bought a Chevy Venture for my wife and a Malibu for myself (I loved the car at first) and believed in buying American. The Venture has been great with few problems. I wish I could say the same for the Malibu.

    If anybody has any ideas how I can get some $$ back from GM please post. The rest of you can learn from experince.

  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    1. Agree. Malibu needs an extended warranty.

    Have a 98 base Malibu with v6 engine. Too many small problems during the initial period pointed to the high probability of major repairs.

    For $1200 bought a 6 year/100k miles aftermarket warranty, valid till summer 2006. It already paid more than $3000 in repairs. Including the manifold gasket and, recently, transmission.

    2. Pressure test the coolant system yearly, as recommended in Malibu manual. It costs only $20-25.

    The dealer technician added coolant with every oil change, 3 months / 3000 miles or so. Found the $550 leak only after the warranty expired. However, it was easy to find the problem under pressure test.

    Unfortunately, I did not reread the manual , and did not know about the test. And dealer did suggested to have it, for example, with the 30k miles service...

    6. After the $1200 warranty, Malibu is still less expensive than most of competition.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    The best site IMO is:

    If you follow the examples given you can probably get some compensation from GM although you may have to go to small claims court.

  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    You might try going to a Firestone dealer and telling the manager you are dissatisfied with the Affinity and see if they will give you a generous allowance toward a higher quality tire, either Firestone or Bridgestone. That worked with the old Firestone 500's before they recalled them. Unfortunately the Affinity is a very low price tire and should not be OEM IMO. I have had similar General tires as OEM and got rid of them when half the tread was gone.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I suppose you wouldn't have a few choice words, too, if you bought a $30K truck that knocked like a diesel and GM would not fix it?
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Might add that I have the 3.1 in a '97 and dealer did not recommend any repair for the ticking. I know have 29K and no oil burning it.
  • goatmealgoatmeal Posts: 11
    Mine is a 2000 Buick Century 3.1 litre with 29k. It uses no oil and the ticking can not be heard from inside the car. I decided not to pursue the issue at this time. I will re evaluate when I am closer to the end of the warranty.
  • My mistake, the bill was only $849 and not $860. The car runs nice now as it should after this.

    Yuarkm, thanks for the advice. I wish I had gotten the extended warranty. I suggest that anbody who buys a Malibu gets one as you will end up paying for it one way or another.

    You are right about the cost being lower than the foreign cars however, I am now at over $1K in out of pocket costs (in 6 months) and who knows what will be next. My AC/heater motor has the same problem that has been mentioned on this board or will it be the hood or windows or whatever else can go bad. Some of it you expect with wear and tear but to replace major parts before 50K miles tells me that these cars were not built well. Next time it is a Saturn or a foreign car. Too bad Chevy, I was leaning towards the impala in a couple of years.

    I will let you know what happens.
  • rlp1997rlp1997 Posts: 1
    Have a '97 Malibu that "whistles" when driving in a left to right cross wind. It sounds like it is coming from windshield or mirrors but can't isolate it. Has anybody experienced this problem and found the cause? PS. I have had the manifold coolant leak, bad rotors and control arm problems.
  • spasterspaster Posts: 1
    my dad malibu has problem happened write after warranty expired. Still has not been fixed but will be very expensive. i also feel it is a defect with car that should be recalled
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    This is a common problem with several GM engines sharing the same basic design. For many, many years...

    poisondartfrog "Common General Motor's 2.8, 3.1, 3.4 V6's engine problems" Apr 4, 2001 8:36pm
  • hwyhwy Posts: 8
    I have a '97 Malibu LS with 60k miles. I have had whistle problems when the windshield moulding was separated from its mount. Check that your front and the back mouldings are still firmly attached to the glass. I had to apply some silicone sealant to the rear and had the dealer reattache the front moulding to the front. These cars may have insufficient windshield adhesive as a common problem.
    I have had to fix or replace:
    1) brake pads (twice)
    2) coolant leak due to the failed gasket ($800)
    now my ABS light goes on intermittantly.
    I also had hard starting until I switched to premium gas exclusively. The idle-adjust valve might need the carbon cleaned out. I am saving up my GM card savings until the new Malibu (2004) comes out by spacing my GM car purchases every 7 years or more, I hope to hit the $3500 rebate limit.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Hate to rain on your parade but it appears that GM has restricted the GM Card rebates by vehicle to about $1500 so you have to buy two cars to use all your earnings.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    It depends on when the card was issued. With old GM cards you can collect $500 in rebates per year maximum, without cash limit on total. With rebates expiring after 7 years, the cash limit still exist, $3500.

    With new card you can collect any amount of rebates per year. If paying with the GM card for everything - grocery, phone, cable, car insurance, summer camp, the dentist's bills, etc., it not difficult to collect about $1000 of rebates per year. However, GM sets (every month?) the maximum rebate applicable when buying / leasing a car, usually $1500 or $2000 per car for most models. $1000 minimum, and if I remember it right, up to $4000 for some slow selling, expensive models. Like some Caddilacs and Buick Park Avenue Ultra...

    With two drivers / two cars or more in one family, the new card usually is a better deal. For this reason, we switched to the new card in end of 1999 or beginning of 2000. Additionally, I had serious doubts that GM will will continue with old program for many years.

    The new card also is a better deal for those, who change cars often. Either lease, or drive a lot, or just like to trade them every 3-4 years.
  • hwyhwy Posts: 8
    I have the old GM card, and I don't think that I am limited by GM on the amount up to the $3500 limit. I used about $2300 when buying the Malibu and I am already up to $2500.

    On another more serious issue. Have any of you with the 3.1 liter engines experience stalling of the engine when coming to a stop? I had the stalling occur on my car twice in the last month. I was able to restart the car immediately at left turn lane.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    My 3.1 has not stalled yet. I use Gunk Throttle Body Cleaner on the air intakes periodically on my cars. With the 3.1 you can't spray it with the engine running so it may not be as effective as it would be with the engine running. Also, you have to remove a fuse to reset the check engine light after you spray the air intake. It only costs a few bucks/can so worth a try IMO.
  • charyvcharyv Posts: 4
    Hey everybody I am a new gal to the board. I have tried to read most of the previous posts but don't recall seeing much about the problem I am having. I just bought a 99 Malibu LS (39k miles) from my dad. The car drives great and is in pretty good shape. So far that I know there was not much wrong with it other than minor things (glove box, ac switch...).
    I now have an additional 3,000 miles on the car and have put about 1 1/2 quarts of oil (approx) every 600 miles. There does not appear to be any leaks. I feel this is excessive and was wondering if anyone else noticed excessive oil consumption. Please let me know what ya think.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Something is definitely wrong with your car. The oil consumption is very high. If you do not see oil stains under the car, it leaks internally, and this is not good.

    I change oil seldom, every 5-6 months / 5k miles, and never had to add a drop of oil. Even when there was a small leak from oil pump gasket (fixed later) and small stains appeared daily on the pavement. Have about 48k miles on my 98 Malibu, base with v-6 engine.
  • hutuhutu Posts: 1
    I picked up my 2002 Malibu LS less than two weeks ago and noticed a humming sound from the rear when I rode with the kid in the back with wife driving. I took it to the dealer today and they said it was coming from the electrical fuel pump and was normal. Can anyone here confirm the same experience? Many thanks.
  • Well, believe it or not, I called the GM Customer Service Dept who investigated my complaints about my Malibu and the dealership says they will split the $849 cost with me. Something is better than nothing! My question is what happens if they recall the car in the future for these problems? Will they reimburse me for the remaining cost or do I just feel good that I am supporting American industry? If I do buy another GM car in the future, I will be sure to get the extended warranty.

    The car runs nice now but the question remains, what breaks next?


    If these problems persist
  • charyvcharyv Posts: 4
    Yurakm Thanks for the reply. I knew that this could not be good. Do you have any ideas as to what might be causing this problem?
    I am going to order the shop manual in case we experience any other problems (my husband can do the basic stuff).
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I have no idea what caused the oil leak. Or rather too many ideas...
  • I know this has been discussed before but I am afraid that I have to bring it up again due to the lack of search features on this board. Anyway, there were some discussions on the A/C fan only worked on speed 3 and above, I was wondering if there was an easy/non-costly solution to this--it just started occurring to me yesterday.

  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    It's some sort of solenoid that shorts out. I can't remember if they had to replace the switch or if it was somthing easier. You are not looking at a huge repair.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Had the same problem 2 years ago. A resistor burned out.

    It was fixed under the manufacturer's warranty. However, according to the paperwork, would cost only $24.
  • Thanks for the prompt replies. It's a relief to hear that it's not a costly repair. I will look into it before the summer!

    On another note, it seems that my tail-light bulbs (the brake lights in particular) on the passenger side have been shorten out rather quickly. The first one on the right often burned out the next day after being replaced. I read earlier there was this problem with the circuit(?) that might be the cause of it, was there a solution to this? It's strange because I've had this car for a few years now and this just started happening. I've been replacing it with the Sylvania 3057LL (Long Life) bulbs instead of the 3057 regular if that might make a difference.

    Thanks again.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    In the 3.5 years since we bought the car, only once a stop lamp burned.

    The socket was in bad shape, in soot and what looked as melted plastic. I cleaned it by sand-paper and had no problems since.

    By the way, the car manual recommends always change the lamps in pairs (there are two stop lamps in one enclosure). I changed all four, on the both sides.

    Generally, all lamps, or even all electric and electronic devices, either burn very fast, ("infant mortality") or live long time. However, if several lamps are burning repeatedly, especially in the same socket, something must be wrong. Could be a bad contact (micro sparks) in the socket, or voltage is higher than must be...
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