Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently purchased either an AWD-equipped Nissan Altima or Toyota Prius, or a Ram truck? A reporter would like to talk to you; please reach out to [email protected] by 5/2 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • My GM rebate does not expire until January 12, 2001. Does anyone know if GM is planning to offer a larger rebate of say $1500 on the newer 2001 Malibu before year end. My dealer is offering the '00 LS model at dealer cost and the '01 LS model at $100 over cost plus the rebates of either $2000 or $750 for the newer model. I do plan on keeping the car for at least 5 to 7 years so the resale value should be somewhat the same.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I have an early 98 base Malibu, build date July 97, bought used in September 98. Air condition is practically never off. Nevertheless, no mildew.

    I had read at other Edmund board (Impala?) that with any air condition it is important not to use it much in the recirculate mode. Now and then is OK, but generally air condition must work in the vent-through mode. Otherwise the mold will grow. I think the same info can be found in the car manual.

    I had read also at the board, that to kill the mildew, the condition must be fryed (max heat, max fun, 10 minutes in recirc mode, 5 minutes in the vent-through one). Probably need repeating several times to kill all the mildew. I did this couple of times during the last wet summer, even without founding any mildew - just in case.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I wish you tons of luck with your Honda. Please, when your automatic transmission blows up within the very first few weeks of ownership, please feel free to swing by and share your rant of Honda products. Since you seem to have very bad luck with your cars, I advise you to read the Honda owners forums so you can see the reality of what Honda ownership is all about. The "other side of the fence" is not always that greener. Get the facts before you sign the dotted line again.

    Some of your Malibu's "Problems" seem to be the by product of abuse rather than normal wear and tear:

    * Radio antenna falling apart (What??)
    * Door rubber seals getting caught in the door's glass
    * Rear window blow off in the highway (What the heck???)

    Let me not continue because I find this to be too hilarious.

    Did you ever have the car serviced at the dealer???? Did you ignore some problems until they got progressively worse????(Negligence?)

    "Mold & Mildew growing in the Air conditioner" Of course my friend! Any car's A/C operating in a very hot and humid climate will develop mold inside the evaporator and air outlet lines behind the dashboard. Do you know the correct procedure to get rid of mold????

    Guess what, don't even have to take it to the dealer for that.

    With the windows closed, run the heater and fan to the max position (Make sure the Recirc mode is on)exit the car, leave engine and heater running for 20 minutes. The heater's heat will kill and burn the excess mold in the air outlet lines. Repeat procedure as necessary until smell goes away. After you have done this run the heater with the "Fresh" position on...this will discard the remains of the mold out of the exterior vents.

    What to do to prevent this?

    Simple, when you run the A/C, avoid leaving it in the "recirc" position all the time. This will decrease the chances of mold to grow ever again in your system.

    Based on your compilation of problems, I guess your car has failed to perform due to your obvious lack of automotive and car care knowledge. Sorry but based on your posts it sounds that way.

    Good luck with that lemon uphill battle awaits you.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Yes, I did post that procedure to kill the A/C mildew way back in the Impala forum. Glad you found it useful.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    It's fastfoodman again with a different name. What a riot this guy can be. :-). Look for him in other GM forums, he must be laid off again.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Yes, you are absolutely right. It figures, based on the writting style...."Window blew off the door in the highway"....crap like that...

    I think fastfoodman must be one unhappy ex-GM employee or Ford salesman.
  • I'm considering looking at a new Malibu to replace my 95 Bonneville. My wife and I had an odd experience in 1997 when we rented a 97 Malibu during a trip in Texas. After driving 1.5 hours, our legs fell asleep!!!!

    Any current owners notice this or anything else odd during long distance driving?
  • napaneenapanee Posts: 12
    I understand that the thinking is that the current malibus have solved the rotor problem. Is the solution available for installation on older models or is it limited to the newer models??
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    We have a 98 Malibu, the base model with the v-6 engine. My wife and I several times drove it for substantially longer than 1.5 hours, and we had no problems. The same with our friend who own the tween of Malibu - the Olds Cutlass.

    But the Buick Regal is definitely even more comfortable. I even would say, much more comfortable. Very probably the same is with Bonneville.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    I believe the rotors for the 2000 model are fine also. If you get a 99 and your rotors go they replaced them ( they should) with the new ones. good luck!
    I have driven to NJ and back ( from Massachusetts 0 and haven't had any problems with the seats, actually they are quite comfortable, probably not as comfy as teh Impala but comfortable.
  • woodydwoodyd Posts: 1
    I have been reading what everyone has to say. I was curious about my Malibu because the transmission went out at 200 miles. The mechanic said that it was not a usual ocurance and I just wanted to be sure. Chevy replaced it completely, and gave me a loaner. I drove it up to this past Sunday, 57,000 miles without incident.

    The reason for my post however is this. I had to stop driving my malibu after I had a "blonde" moment this weekend. I pulled out in front of a Chevy truck, full size.

    Both vehicles are totaled. My font end is delapidated and considerably shorter. "up to the firewall" my husband says. At least on the passenger side. The hood creased to offset the blow, and all four tires are twisted in different directions. while I am a little shaken, and suffer from a concussion and cervical sprain..(hence forgive any misspellings or incomplete sentences), I am alive. Nothing is broken and I credit that to the way my Malibu was built. It protected me when I needed it most.

    As for the blinker.. mine did that for a while. As for the air conditioner.. I am a woman with no mechanical sense and I figured out how do turn on the ventilator when my cigarette smoke and the humid summer started taking its toll. DUH!

    The brakes squeaked a little here and there, but they always stopped when I had the foresight to use them.

    My antenna never fell off, my seat belts never had a problem, as a matter of fact they cut my seat belt off to get me out of the car. And not because they had to, because they did not want to move me anymore than necessary while taking me out of the car.

    The only problem I ever had after the unfortunate transmission failure was the ABS light kept coming on. They repaired it while I was in warranty, but it still came on every now and again. Any one else have a problem with it?

    As for a bad interior.. I was pleased with mine. The kids ran through that car like it never cost them a dime and I had not one tear or worn spot. Just some ketchup that a wet washcloth took care of just fine. Post is getting long just wanted to credit my Malibu for safety, and guys no matter what anyone says, I found out Sunday, that is all that really matters!
  • aiwnaiwn Posts: 1
    We have a '98 Malibu LS that had experienced a wild shutter when applying the brakes at high speeds and a very annoying throbbing at low speeds. It happened seldom enough that we took our time to get to the dealer. Once at the dealer, with the problem explained, they proceeded to change the rotors, which were warped, and replace the pads, essentially a new brake job...all under warranty. We've had no problems since.

    The car has been a great value for us. When you consider all the cars available in this price range, the Malibu comes out on top almost every time. Add to that the incentives that GM throws on and it is a great deal!
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    My wife & I were the other day at the local dealership checking out the new 'shipment' of 2001 Chevrolets. We are currently looking at replacing her '97 Mercury Tracer. She liked the Cavalier (They had a nice Navy Blue sedan) but she didn't like the interior. Then we went onto the Prizm and she hated it. She says that car although more expensive than the Cavalier looked down right cheap in and out. I agree, its a shame since the Prizm is a Corolla but the car looks too cheap for the $15,000 asking price. Then we went onto the Malibu and she really liked the car. Good prices and deals on in too. But the major "issues" with it are:

    * Poor side crash test scores (2 stars on the 2000 model)

    * Problems with brakes durability.

    Otherwise the car is really nice and it has changed my previous view on the Malibu.

    Are these critical issues solved in the 2001 Malibu??
  • aniazianiazi Posts: 39
    2001 have new re-design suspension, rotors, tires. So I guess it should solve the problem. I have 2001 have alomost 700 miles on it and love the car so far. It has many new features that I love. Check out the chevy web site to get details.
    But side impact rating would probably still be the same.
  • aniazianiazi Posts: 39
    Just thought to share info. I was looking at the national highway safety web site and I found that 2000 model have 4 star rating(driver and passenger) and 2 star (side: front and rear seat)leaving you with 21% - 25% chance of serious injury in side crash. While 1998, 1999 have 4 star (driver and passenger) and 1 star (side: front and rear seat). For 2001 not yet available but since the rating for side crash improved in 2000 so it might have improved further in 2001! Although it has the steel beam on the side but rating is still 2 star..Oh well but over all I guess it still have good safety features.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    I don't really go too much by those test where they slam a hard object against the side of the car while it sits still. That doesn't really say too much. I guess stories such as the ones a few entries above are the true tests.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    The side crash rating does not matter much on highway, but is important with the city (and suburb) driving. We drive through city to work and back every day, but the New Haven, CT, is not a major city.

    We have a 98 Malibu, with the very low side crash rating of 1. Notwithstanding the steel cage design (GM wrote about it about in the brochure). For the later models the rating was increased to 2.

    I think this is somehow related with the narrow body. Just less place to bend, comparing with wider cars, e.g., with Ford Taurus or Chevy Impala.

    The rating does not tell the whole story, though. Malibu is capable to evade some accidents.

    The 3.1l v-6 GM engine, even the weaker old modification in the 98 Malibu, have a rather high torque at low rpm. It means a very good acceleration from 0 to 30 mph or so. Comparable from the lights with the v-6 Camry/Accords (cannot compete, though, after 30-40 mph, i.e. at highways), and much better than with most 4-cylinder cars.

    My wife avoided a couple of side-crashes while driving the Malibu, the both cases with another car running the red light. Running not just after yellow, when it is reasonable to expect it, but long after the light had switched.

    The both time she noticed the running car a split second before it had to ram her, and stepped on gas. With weaker engine, she could not avoid the accidents. At the best, the rear of our car would be smashed. But the engine had carried her away from the crashes.
  • I also agree that the V6 in the Malibu is pretty adaquate (I also have a 305hp Camaro, so I'd know), but IMO one of the best parts of this car is the transmission- it's so smooth and will downshift in an instant- I love it compared to my auto in the Z28, which thinks that it can stay in 4th gear all the time because of the 305hp. WRONG! :-(
  • I have a '98 Malibu base model. I'm getting a little concerned. In the last year I've had the rotors/brake pads replaced, the battery shorted out, and now the entire transmission replaced. The car's got 23,000 miles on it. Now the tires squeal in even the most gentle of turns. My dealer said GM's aware of a tendency for this in Malibus and Impalas and they're working on it. The newest thing now is i've got a rumbling sound coming out of the wheels. Sounds like the wheel bearing going south.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I think your dealer is wrong. I have a '00 Impala LS and my tires don't squeal on gently a matter of fact I have to do very hard cornering to make them squeal.

    The Impala has much better reliability stats than the Malibu. A much more solid car through.
  • davechoc, what was wrong with your transmission and why did you need to have it replaced?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I have a 98 Malibu, and its OEM Firestone Affinity tires are squealing. But they started to squeal after 30k miles, closer to 35k, not at 23k as with the davechoc's car. Even while the tires at my other car also became bald at shoulders prematurely: I am turning at higher speed, simply because enjoy the feeling.

    I do not know much about the wear of the Impala tires. Given it first appeared at dealerships only last summer, it is safe to assume that most of owners did not put even 23k miles on their Impalas. Not enough for a good statistics.

    Though, if Impala have the same Goodyear LS tires as Regal, a lot of owners reported problems with the tires after 20k to 30k miles. Let us wait and see about Impala: it have a somewhat different suspension, or at least the suspension is tuned differently, and it may result in different tire wear than with Regal.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I also have a base 98 Malibu with squealing tires. They are balding at sides.

    My Firestone mechanic said the tires are still OK, and suggested to inflate them a bit higher than according to the GM specification. 29/32 psi for the read/front, instead of 26/29.

    After this the squeal did not disappear, but substantially decreased.

    Though, while the tires are just OK, they are not great now. My old 88 Ford Taurus, with new Firestone 360 tires, currently holds the road better than Malibu with old tires. I am planning to replace the Malibu tires, possibly, even before the winter.

    According to the Tirerack user survey, the best tires for Malibu are even not Michelin, but the Firestone SH-30. Personally, I have no experience and no opinion on the subject, except that with my driving style the performance tires probably would be better than the touring ones.
  • I found my brakes pulsing at 5000km (3000 miles) and the dealer replaced rotors and pads. I asked if this should cure the problem. The dealer with a smile said he hoped so. He said that rotors are under warranty until 60,000 km on Malibus.
  • I have a 2000 Malibu LS and lately I've been noticing that when the car goes over a larger bump, then front, what seems, suspension seems kinda shot. Instead of a smooth end to the bump, there's a loud thump. On smaller bumps, the car seems to be nice and smooth. I have also noticed that when I turn into a place with a raised curb, at about 20 mph, there's a banging noise that goes on in the back of the car. Not sure what it is. It does it and fades away until the turn is complete. But as soon as the back tires hit that raised curb, the back makes this weird noise. The Chevy dealer replaced my front control arm bushings at around 10,000 miles, for a BRAKE problem. (Don't ask). I'm not really sure what's goin on now. Could is possibly be a spring? What may it be? The car goes in next Tuesday for a new fuse box, mines "melting" according to my brilliant local service department. (Same service department that replaced my control arm bushings for a problem that ended up being fixed with brand new calipers). Just anyone, please let me know what you might think these noises are.. I currently have 18,500 miles on the car, and I love it. Ohh and one more question. What are the largest tires I can get for this car? Something around 225's?. Thanks Everyone.
  • My dealer replaced my transmission because it wouldn't shift out of low range. I had to scream down the road at 4000 rpm to do 40 mph. Came on suddenly. He checked out the electronics and found nothing amiss.
  • aniazianiazi Posts: 39
    Those of you interested in extended warranty look at this web site. It has top ten and other good info about extended warranty companies.
  • I don't really own a Malibu but I am looking at a
    '97 with 96,889 miles on it. It's a great looking
    car and seems to run great. But these miles are bothering me. Any comments?
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    The miles don't bother me, these engines can go for a long long time, however; the 97 model had some issues with brakes and minor things. If this has been a trouble free car then it's pretty much going to be trouble free for most of its remaining life, but if the owner hqqas replaced the rotors more than once or twice then I would look at a used late production 99 or 2000. Not all 97s were troublesome but from late 99 on they are pretty much trouble free. Good luck!
This discussion has been closed.