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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I doubt you will have problems with the 3.1 motor in your 02. I have a '97 and it's OK. Some valve noise when engine is cold but that is considered normal. Cheap tires are a fact of life on lower priced sedans. I usually get rid of them after two yrs. so they aren't a total loss.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    I understand from the manual that the radio has a code that has to be entered in if the battery is disconnected for the radio to function again. I didn't receive such a code with info on the car. IF this is a fact, if so I'll ask the dealer for the code who I assume would have it, the car is just 1 week old.
  • I guess the only purpose is to give you satisfaction that the thief won't be able to enjoy your radio, but that's about it. Reading how much headache people have had with this radio code, makes me wonder if we need it at all
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I had a 3.1 in my 91 Cavalier RS and it was flawless for 7 year (155K). I don't think you are likely to have any problems. As for the Malibu itself, it's quality has improved a lot. It actually won the JD Power award for best initial quality this year.

    The tire issue is a problem and you might want to replace them. Saturn uses those crappy Firestones on their L-series also and people complain about the noise all the time. Our new Alero has BF Goodrich T/A tires and they are excellent.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    Thanks for comments. Just come back from dealer, leaving car for undercoating, which they claim will reduce road noise by 30%. that remains to be seen, even 20% would help.If the battery is disconnected, at any time the radio has to be re addressed directly from GM via satellite . Cost is $24.95 but is covered under warranty if the battery is disconnected by the dealer. One fellow said it took over 2 hours to get the radio going again. It would seem there should be a simple way for the customer to re enter his code.... but that would be to easy ! Why steal the radio, the goons will take the whole car now. I wonder just who is doing any common sense thinking at GM. Unless it's complicated it's not intelligent so they say!. I dare not tell my wife I need new tires on the new , I can't afford a separation.
    As my son says drive the car and enjoy, after 3 years trade it in , it well still have 2 years warranty , undercoated, wax sealed so it should be a good trade in. He's right again.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Wire up a cigarette lighter adaptor to a 9v battery and plug it in before you unhook the battery,or just buy one ready made.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    thanks Joe, there's always away, any idea where one one find a adaptor with the battery already made up?.Any chance of shorting any electrons by using the bypass also car is 12volt I assume 9 volts holds the radio ?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    JC Whitney sells them,I would look local first,cheaper.
    9v will hold the radio & I understand computer settings also.
    Thats the beauty of it if you short out something nothing happens.
    I would think if you shorted out something for a long time you would lose the radio,but a momentary short would be ok.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Hi all,

    I changed the oil without changing the filter yesterday because there simply wasn't a big enough gap underneath the car or from underneath the hood to get the filter in or out. Any idea? Thank!
  • hauntshaunts Posts: 6
    Remove the black plastic panel on the undercarriage just to the rear of the radiator support. It's held on by 2 thumbscrews, no tools required.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks! I figured something has to be taken off. I changed the oil at 1000 miles and the oil looked fairly clean, to the naked eye anyway.
  • why did you change your oil so early?
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I read doing the 1st oil change early helps get rid of tiny metal bits from the break-in, plus my car was built in Jan, 2002 and the oil was actually more than 6 months old. I figued it's easy enough since I needed to change the oil on my other car as well. Like I said the oil looked clean though. But the oil filter's gonna have to wait for the next oil change to be changed though now that I know how to reach it now.
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    Any truth to the rumor that the next generation Malibu will be a Crossover?
  • Jpelder, I think I've seen a pic of a future Malibu Crossover. It would be in addition to a new sedan, though.

    BTW, does anyone agree with me that the current Malibu looks very fine, except that from behind it's quite unappealing. Hondas look much better from behind, and so does every other car, except, maybe, the Cavalier, would you not say?
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    With their seemingly black striped taillights, some ribbed for pleasure??, look pretty disappointing to me these days.

    Honda Civic hatchbacks turned so ugly from behind (from previously being pretty nice) their last generation they stopped making them because of low sales (until the current Si came out).

    Pontiac Aztec/Buick Rendezvous have odd proportions in the rear. The Buick's tailights seem way too high.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    Not up to speed... please explain a crossover for 2003.?? I just bought a 2002 and after undercoating road noise must be 20% less . Also I lined the trunk, back seat panel with some foam {removal able} what a difference! The sound was coming through from the truck into the passenger compartment. My Lumina had just such a panel. I would think the Buick century might have a cover board or something to dull the sound coming in from the trunk . The tire noise is still there but not as bad, so the tires will stay for now.
  • GM should redesign the butt and solve these problems: brakes, leaking intake manifold, AC switch, and outside noise + rattling. Instead, they are designing a new Malibu, and let me guess, the first couple of years it will be a complete crap, with lousy brakes, numerous electrical problems, half-dead AC, just like '97 and '98 malibus, and by year 2010 it will finally be a decent car. Shame!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The 2002 Malibu won the JD Power award for best initial quality so they must be doing something right with the car. New model in 04 should be out next spring and is derived from a European Opel model. Given it's already in production there, one hopes GM will have the bugs out when it comes out as a Malibu in North America. I suspect GM will be putting heavy resources into quality control for the new Malibu as they are in a very competitive segment and must get it right. Given what's going on at GM these day, I think they will pull it off.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    Spoke to an owner of a 2000 and he had to replace the heater fan 3 times twice under warranty and the last time at his expense. he plans to go after GM for the cost as there has to be a faulty motor! Has anyone else had a blower problem? Oh this fellow is on the highway most of the time and has 160k on the car.
  • Hi all!

    I did the usual oil-lube-filter at a GM dealership today (BTW they got H2 in the showroom, mama mia, what a sweet car!!!), and the service guy was trying to sell me more stuff (as usual), and he said I needed a transmission fluid flush and a rear drum brake service, because, as he said, there's a need to remove the dust which has nowhere to go and would corrode the brakes. Is any of that true? How often should the transmission fluid be flushed and rear brakes serviced? Thanks!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    According to Malibu manual, transmission service is due every 50,000 miles. The manual even say "never" under ideal conditions: driving on flat terrains, not in city.

    However, I believe that this is a long stretch. I serviced the transmission at 40k miles, and nevertheless the transmission failed and was replaced at about 48k miles.

    Probably, 30k miles is reasonable. Depending on driving style and conditions.
  • Yurakm, did you have a transmission fluid flush at 40k, or something else? And how did it fail?

    I dunno, I am somewhat paranoid about these service people. I am afraid they might intentionally damage something in hopes you would come to them to get it fixed. It's an authorized dealership, but I don't trust anyone in this business, and it's a shame
  • hauntshaunts Posts: 6
    I just replaced (not flushed) the tranny fluid & filter in our '99 Malibu at 80,000km (50,000 miles). Normal mix of City/Highway driving. The old fluid looked/smelled fine. Very little wear debris in the pan. Used Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF and noticed a slightly improved shift feel afterwards (not that the old fluid was causing problems).

    I too am paranoid about others messing with my car so I do most things such as this myself
  • Please forgive my ignorance, but what is the difference between flushing the fluid and replacing it? And how difficult is it to do it yourself?
  • hauntshaunts Posts: 6
    Flushing the fluid supposidly replaces all the old fluid with new. The service manual approved version of replacing ATF fluid renews 7 liters out of 12.

    It works for me.
  • 7to57to5 Posts: 4
    I read somewhere that the 2002 Malibu LS has an element antenna. The photograph of the vehicle in the Malibu brochure shows it as having an element antenna. At least there is no mast antenna visible in the photographs. But the ones I saw at a dealership had mast antennas! Did the manufacturer run out of element antennas in the middle of production and replace it with a mast antenna on some of the units?
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    I recall someone saying the 04 Malibu will be a Crossover, can someone explain. thanks. Also I have an 02 with a rear antenna, Looks to me they all came with the antenna , my car was built in April 02. I prefer the whip ,far better range. I can still receive our local AM about 170 miles south of us during the day . The station is 50000 watts so it does have the juice to get out. Keep smiling....
  • Hey all. Well here is my experience with the Malibu so far. I have had it for almost three years now and it'll be going in for what I feel is a good amount of warranty work for an almost $20k new car. Frankly (maybe it's just the car I got) I'm not too impressed with it. I don't like the interior design at all. I thought I would get used to it, but it hasn't happened. I say this from the experience of several 1500 mile trips I've done. Short trips aren't too bad, but after a while you really notice just how uncomfortable the seats are. The fabric is like velcro (sic), if you don't sit just right the first time then start driving, it's next to impossible to get your pants adjusted. When it's cold and the air is dry you (or maybe it's just me) always get an electric shock when you get out and touch the door to close it. The center console takes up space, the radio, A/C, etc. should be in the dash. Oh ya, the plastic pieces that make up the dash don't fit well and so there is a squeaking/rattling sound when you drive on uneven pavement. And speaking of worthless plastic, I made the mistake of leaning on the armrest on the door. Care to guess what happened to the hollow back half of it? Oh and the black plastic guard under the front grill blew off somewhere on a highway.

    For the warranty work:
    1. The gas mileage (on my car anyway) is pitiful. It is suppose to give 24/29? The best my car has done is about 24 on the highway and about 20 city (the worst being around 17). No ideas on that one.

    2. The left front break locks up.

    3. There is a rattling sound coming from the right drivers side. I can't tell if it is the shock or strut.

    4. The A/C turns on and off. If you turn it off then back on it sometimes fixes itself.

    5. Both back windows make a gear-like whining sound when they go up.

    6. I think we all know about the tires. They only have about 25k on them and they already have a dry rot crack all the way around.

    Anybody know of any good dealerships in the Hershey/Harrisburg to get the work done?

    p.s. On the good side, I do like the engine. It has a good amount of kick to it and it handles the hills around here (some are quite steep) very well.
  • 7to57to5 Posts: 4
    The 2002 Malibu currently has a $3000. customer's cash incentive. The 2003 currently has a $1000.
    customer's cash incentive. During the 2002 model year, wasn't there a $2002 cash incentive offered as well? My negotiating skills aren't up to what they were the last time I purchased a new car. I want to take advantage of the $3000. incentive, but if I can't get the price I'm looking for, I'll wait another year. Does anyone know how these incentives progress during a model year? I'm trying to find out the approximate months the "$2003." and the $3000. cash incentives will be offered for the 2003 Malibu.
This discussion has been closed.