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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    Can anything be done to the suspension that would help reduce body roll? Maybe strut tower braces would work? Where would I find such a thing. Any help and suggestions is appreciated.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    The recommended tire pressure is 29 (front) and 27 (rear). That seems a little on the low side. Have any of you tried higher pressure? If yes, do you notice unusual wear on the tires? Thanks!
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    bigdaddy - strut tower braces will sharpen the handling when pushing the envelope. They won't decrease the roll. Yes I thought the rental I drove rolled a lot too. Got out and looked under the rear to see if there was a rear anti-sway bar. There is one but obviously not very effective.

    Bigger anti-sway bars will do the trick if you can find them. Start with a bigger (thicker) rear bar unless it is a matched front and rear set (then get the set). There are aftermarket hi-perf bars, braces, springs and struts for Grand Prix's ( Don't know the availability for Malibu's. Hopefully there is a similar source.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    For 98 Malibu GM used to recommend 29/26 psi front/rear. I am inflating my tires 3 psi higher: 32 psi front, 29 psi rear, as suggested by my Firestone mechanic. Currently I am mulling adding 4 psi instead of 3.

    However, it depends on your driving style and driving pattern.

    For example, I seldom drive on concrete slabs. Connecticut highways are mostly paved by asphalt; the same with streets. NY highways are mostly made from the slabs, and require lower tire pressure. I feel every road seam when venturing to NY state, and especially NY city. Uncomfortable.

    Second, I am turning a bit faster than usual, and my tires are wearing out on shoulders first. Moderate overinflation helps somewhat. With slower turns, overinflated tires would wear out first on center.
  • I turned in a 1989 Toyota Tercel with 189,000 miles for my new 1998 Malibu LS. BIG MISTAKE. In all the 11 years and miles on the Toyota, aside from normal wear and tear items, I had to replace my alternator twice. Since 1998, I have replaced (most AFTER warranty) four sets of rotors (the NTSB website has over 10,000 complaints of bad Malibu rotors) which was finally fixed by changing from GM to Raybestos, the starter, the alternator, the water pump, I just replaced the intake manifold, the air conditioner control button keeps shutting itself off, the fan control went out after two years so I have only the top two positions, and I now have a new "clunk" in the front end. I do a lot of highway driving, and the car has 86,000 miles on it. But hey, I thought these cars were supposed to be as good as Japanese cars! I know two other people who have Malibus, one a 1999 and one a 2001. They are beginning to have problems, some the same, some different. You know, if this was a new model, ok, I'd throw Chevy a bone here because it's REALLY a nice ride and I love the sound system. But the Malibu has been around FOREVER and there's just no excuse for not having it right by now. So, I'm going today to buy something else. I'll probably miss the ride but I won't miss the ever present doubt about the car's integrity (I hope). With the price of cars today, we shouldn't have to make allowances for shoddiness. That just lets the makers off the hook and does nothing to improve reliability. I wanted my American car to impress me. It has, Just not the way Chevy wanted it to. Hope you all have better experiences than I did.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks. I think I'll just inflate my tires a couple of psi higher.
  • usaf52usaf52 Posts: 70
    Have a base 2002 Malibu. Have had no problems at all. There was a recall for the left lower beam headlight not meet fed standards, and that was dealer replaced. I live in a mountainous area, and have driven the Affinity tires thru snow and heavy rains with no problems. I really found no appreciable difference between base and LS. Cars are mechanically the same, just different bells and whistles.
  • sprolessproles Posts: 1
    We have a 98 model, LS with everything but the sunroof, and are most displeased. Interior parts started coming off shortly after purchasing, door panels, etc. In one case, they replaced the middle armrest in the front, and it doesn't match the rest of the leather. The A/C switch went out, the front grill pops out, the transmission control went out, the cassette player doesn't work, the CD player was replaced three times and still doesn't work, brakes suck, on the third set in 60,000 miles, overall, a very bad car, which is a shame, since it looks so nice. yes, it was fixed under warranty, but I want to drive my car, not leave it for days at the dealership getting fixed. I've had two terrible GM cars now, last one was a pontiac, so I think I'm going to go to Honda or Toyata now.
  • j9popj9pop Posts: 1
    Three days ago I test drove a Malibu LS and found it satisfactory for my needs. Since the car I drove was a demo and I didn't like the color, I bought a different colored one. I didn't test drive that one, but I should have. As I was driving it home, I realized that when I applied the brakes while going about 55 mph the steering wheel started shaking when the car slowed down to about 35 mph. It doesn't happen every time I brake, but often enough to be a problem. I'm taking it back to the dealer in a couple of days. Since rotor problems on that car have been mentioned on this board I'm assuming that the problem is due to that. I would appreciate any advice on what to tell the dealer when I take it in. My fear is that he will tell me that it's normal for ABS brakes to do that, or to wait until the brakes are broken in before they do anything about it.
  • lhargis1lhargis1 Posts: 6
    The issues with the brakes are very well documented and now almost mythic or stereotypic or apocrophyl...whichever is correct.

    To make a long story short...if you dealer gives you hassle, raise the "I'm calling the regional folks" card. I also think if you scroll back a little you will find the TSB info?

    Good luck

  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    Hi ya'll! Is everyone on vacation or something? The board is barely moving! Anyway, I thought I'd ask. I have a weird problem with my cassette player. When I start playing a cassette a message is flashing saying CLN (meaning clean the player). So, I cleaned it, and nothing happened, the message is still there. How do I get rid of it, or is it permanent?

    Also, there's a small plastic button (looks beige, or off-white) right next to the radio volume knob. What is it for? I've never seen do anything. I got a 99 M'bu

    Hey, those of you fellas who got a new radio with RDS, I drove an Impala with an identical system, and let me tell you, they made the station-select buttons much smaller! What a huge inconvenience, you now have to look to see which button you are pressing. Are they saving on plastic or something? In my M'bu I don't even look at the buttons, cause they are so huge.

    By the way, does anyone here have a M'bu with more than 100K miles on it? I am wondering how long these things last. A car engine should last about 250-300K miles before being rebuilt, right? And after it's being rebuilt, I guess it should last at least another 100K? Does anyone have an idea?

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    brake problem: definitely get it checked out. It should be fairly easy to fix the problem. The rotor issue is not exclusive to the Malibu or even GM. A number of midsize cars have had this problem including L Series, Alero, Grand Am and Taurus. They all went to the thinner rotors to save weight and cost. It's good because it keeps the price of the vehicle down but bad because the rotors don't las t like they used.

    some issues: I think the motor will last well over 100k miles. This motor has been in production for years. The only negative against it is the intake manifold gasket leak that plagues the GM small block V6 engines.

    I have 2001 Malibu with 16,800 miles on it and have been pleasently surprised with this vehicle. No it's not as refined as the Accord or Camry but for $3k-$4k less, it was exactly what we were shopping for last July. My biggest complaint about the car is the tires. But they are not bad enough to replace. I cna live with them for another 30k miles.
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    At 30K I replaced Affinities (they were OK) with Aquatred IIIs. Cost me 700 CAD, but let me tell you, these tires rock! Out of this world! Especially in Vancouver, where it rains 162 days a year on average. These tires simply cut through water, at any speed. I've gone through puddles huge and small, and I am yet to get an even slight hint that a car may get out of control. Simply amazing, worth every penny. Not much of an investment if you live in Phoenix, but if it rains a fair bit in your area, I highly recommend you spend a little extra to get your Malibu some exquisite shoes. And they look good too!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    The same experience with Firehawk SH-30. Outstanding in rain on winding roads.
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    Aqua III got an 80,000 mile warranty
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    50k miles warranty for Firehawk SH-30. Not so bad for high performance tires.
  • malibu99malibu99 Posts: 305
    The CLN message needs to be reset. The manual should tell you how to do it depending on what radio you have. I used to have a 99LS and only cleaned it once.
  • This message is for anyone having problem with the ac going on and off constantly(light flickering)I bought a 98 malibu with 70k and had this problem and the dealer wanted $250 in order to replace the whole switch assembly.
    This is what you do if you mechanically minded, take the whole switch off and get to the circuit board. Unsolder both led (little light)one for the ac and the other for the defroster and swap them that should solve the problem and you will never have that problem again.If you have any question i will be happy to assist you further.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    will that solve the problem,I don't get it.
  • jazh_98jazh_98 Posts: 1
    I would like to know what parts in the brake system need to be replaced for the problem to be fixed.

    I need advice.

  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    brake fluid,need more information.Need the rest of the story.
  • Could be the led gets weak. I just experimented by switching the defroster light and the ac light and it worked.Now i do't know the scientific reason why but it did.
    Before replacing the whole switch try what i said it will work.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I read somewhere that it's better to do the 1st oil change after 1000 miles rather than wait till 3000 miles to remove the tiny metal bits resulting from breaking in. Did any of you guys do that? If you did how dirty was the oil? Also, Is it easy to do the oil change yourself on this vehicle? Thanks!
  • hwyhwy Posts: 8
    Hi Tamu,
    Oil changes on the Malibu are very easy to perform. The oil drain plug could be metric size (15 mm). The oil filter is removed from the bottom. You have to remove the plastic cover which is held in by 2 wing nuts. Obtain a oil filter wrench which fits on the end of the oil filter. The added length and the leverage over the band-type filters will be greatly appreciated. My other car is a 2002 Avalon and the oil filter is just behind the exhaust manifold. Since the oil has to be drained hot, you get in very close contact with the hot surface when removing the oil filter (from the top of the engine).
  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    Here's a big one! When my brake pads die again, who should I run to? Whose pads do you find the most reliable and long-lasting for a Malibu?
  • speedy581speedy581 Posts: 6
    I have a 99 LS. It seems that the AC panel has its own mind. The AC light (and compressor) turns on and off when it wants to. Same thing with the "recirculated air" button, it likes to switch itself to the "outside air" button. And lastly, the #1 and #2 position of the fan blower doesn't work... all others do.
    I've tried to pinpoint the problem by checking fuses, opening the console and checking switches and wires, but it all looks OK. It seems to me the problem does'nt come from the controls but from somewhere else. Does anyone know of this problem and how to fix it? My warranty ran out.
  • davemal99davemal99 Posts: 3
    I have previously owned three cars with the 3.1 V6. None of them ever leaked anything. This one leaks oil. The dealer says oil pan gasket, without doing anything other than looking at it, but it seems it is leaking higher. Any similar experiences and or advice before I start throwing money at it?

    I also have a very irritating creaking type noise coming from the center (I think) of the dash. I have not been able to locate it's source.

    Other than that , I have been pleased with the car. I've had none of the problems often mentioned
    here, so far at least, with 39,000 miles. I will say that I am not confident in the longevity of this car. Too bad, because I like it.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    is a common problem with Malibu. I had it in summer 2000.

    Just a bad resistor. It was fixed under warranty, but according to paperwork it cost something like $25. 1/2 hour of labor at most.

    The other problems you mentioned is either A/C, or its the lights going on and off by themself. I have no first hand experience, but there was several reports on this board.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I had a small leak from the oil pump gasket. $180 to fix, mostly labor.

    Repaired it at Firestone. The mechanic at dealership also thought at first the oil leaks from different place. Later he looked the second time and confirmed the Firestone diagnose.
This discussion has been closed.