2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    I hear GM is developing an all new engine for the the "Sigma" Malibu. It will be slightly "larger" than the 3.4 but slightly "smaller" than the 3.8. I've grown used to the 3.1 ( my Beretta had it ) but I think a 3.4 or the new engine should be even better. If I can find the link I'll post it or you can search through www.autonews.com.
    It should also be larger than the current version. Can't wait!
  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    Have you had any further problems with the brakes on your Malibu? How's that Regal doing? Sweet ride eh?
  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    The Malibu shares the same platform with the Alero/Grand AM, GM should make the 3400 an option on the Malibu. How about a Malibu GT or Malibu OSV?
  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    The 3400 V-6 on the base Impala. In despite of the added weight, the 3400 has a very good torque curve and still moves this car with verve. I can only imagine how good this engine must be in the lighter N-cars.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    No future problems with brakes, it is 15k miles already after replacing the rotors. Frankly, it was not a real problem then - a couple hour work, if not less. I was only unhappy to pay, more than $400, and especially expecting this will be not the last time.

    Replaced recently the worn-down original Firestone Affinity tires by Firestone Firehawk SH-30. Already 10 days. Like much the new tires.

    The Regal is a wonderful car. Quiet power, very smooth ride, excellent visibility, very comfortable, and a lot of toys and convenients. Still like to drive my Malibu. Especially in city: very nimble car.

    Concerning the weight: Malibu is not so much lighter, than Impala. Do not remember exactly, but something like 10% difference in weight.

    Malibu is smaller than W-bodies, but not exactly a small car, just a smaller mid-size one. 3 inches difference in width and 10 inches shorter than Impala, the longest of W-bodies. 6 inches shorter than Regal, even less difference with GP.

    The difference in width is noticeable, both inside and when driving in city. But I feel the extra length of Regal, only when parking in cramped garage.
  • malibu2000malibu2000 Member Posts: 4
    I own a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu, and lately have been noticing a slight noise in the back suspension. It only occurs when I go over something like a speed bump. I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem, and is there something out there to fix it?

    I posted earlier that I was having problems with my front suspension. The car was riding real rough, especially over smaller bumps. I thought about what could be causing this, and came upon the only thing that could possibly be wrong. The tire pressure. Now, I did have new tires put on the car at 9,000 miles, and I have two flats in the back tires, both of which were plugged. So I was thinking that probably these places that did work on my tires, didn't think to check the manufactures label, to see what the recommended pressure was. So I did. It states that there should be 26 psi in the front, along with 29 psi in the back. So I checked my pressure and low and behold, I have 35 psi in three tires, and 41 in the other. I did deflate them to the manufactures recommendation. The car has made a complete 180. It rides very smoothly now.

    If only I was smart enough to check the psi earlier.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Yes, there is a real problem with the unusual 29/26 pressure. Technicians are overinflating the tires even at good dealerships, servicing a lot of Malibu.

    I would even dare to say, it happens especially often in good dealership. They do not skip to inflate the tires with oil change etc., - but still do not remember the right specs and are overinflating.

    See the posting #106 on this board. The problem hermama reported with his new Malibu suspension, most probably, also are due to the excessive tire pressure.

    There is another, but related problem: the mechanics at local Firestone are suggesting to inflate the tire of my Malibu a bit more, something like to 32 psi front / 29 rear. Even when they were told about the manufacturer specifications.

    Probably they are right: the tires I replaced recently were worn out mostly on shoulders. The same was with my other car, a Ford Taurus. Looks as this is due to my driving style.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Do not know, if this just a typo or real mistake, but you wrote that GM recommends 26 psi front / 29 psi rear.

    Just the opposite is right. The front tires must be inflated to higher pressure. 29 psi front / 26 rear.
  • chevymalibu98chevymalibu98 Member Posts: 24
    yurakm: Thanks for the tip on changing the wiper blades. I changed both of my wiper blades last weekend. They work perfectly now!

    malibu99: I, too, was at the New England International Autoshow on Sunday and was disappointed in the base Malibu Chevrolet had over there. I wish they could have had at least a Malibu LS over there, which is really a competitive domestic car. Both Honda and Toyota had their top-of-the-line Accord's and Camry's over there......

    As far as the coin holders are concerned, from what I've seen on my dealer's lot, none of the 2000 and 2001 Malibu's have coin holders. If I am not mistaken, the design of the glove compartment in the 2000 model is also the same as that of the 2001 model. Personally, I do not understand why Chevrolet would change it as I really like the design of mine, which is larger and has a lock.
  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    Since you seem to have a good deal of knowledge on the W and N body cars...here is my question:

    The Impala LS has a somewhat stiff, rough ride specially over uneven or broken pavement. The tires, Goodyear Eagle GA's are stiff and tend to be noisy. GM's recommended pressure (As per trunk's placard) is around 31PSI COLD at all four corners. That's my current setting. Do you think it is too much air pressure to begin with? I never carry more than 2 people in the car and no heavy cargo or trailers. What would be a safe bet for ride/handling comfort/economy as far as air pressure goes?

    These tires seem to last for a long, long time, but when the time comes to change I think I am going to put some Michelin Pilots in there.

    Appreciate your opinion and always enjoy reading your posts from a fellow GM fan!
  • jguerrerojguerrero Member Posts: 1
    I own a '99 and I had to change out the rotors at approx. the 8000 mile mark, again withing the 15,000 mark. Presently, it's marking just under 22,000 and I'm starting to pick up the vibration again. I'm so sick of this car it's not even funny. I've had to take it in for service at least 8 times. I live in TX and I'm looking into the lemon law, but I'm unsure if rotors is a "serious brake problem". Any suggestions?
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    I think that the warped rotors are not a safety item. But, with the genuine GM parts, and at GM dealership, the service is expensive. I hope that your dealer did change them for free, under unpublished GM warranty.

    For what reasons you had to service the car the other six times, excluding the two times with the rotors?
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    Wasn't that car show a disgrace? I could not belive Chevy would put a boring plane jane Malibu on display. If they would have put a black, silver, or dark blue LS with the leather and sunroof they probably would have attracted a lot of people. I don't get it. They also changed the glovebox and I could not believe that. My design is nicer and it locks. Oh well. Let' s see what they do next year.
  • aniazianiazi Member Posts: 39
    Sorry guys, I would like to make a correction. In my 2001 LS there is a coin place but not like a coin holder where you put each type of coin in a separate shells or something. Coin place in under the arm rest where you have CDs holder. I was amazed to see I don't have lock in glove compartment :( ..but I never lock it anyway :)
    Does 98/99 have this feature that lights won't turn on until you release the parking brakes when start the car? just curious...
  • chevymalibu98chevymalibu98 Member Posts: 24
    Don't the 1998/1999 Malibu's have such a place as aniazi described as well? and yes, the 1998/1999 Malibu's are equipped with automatic headlamps. Though it does not have a so-called "Automatic Light Control Dim-to-Park" that allows you to turn off headlamps at night when automatic lighting control mode is in effect--the headlamps stay on whenever the sensor senses the need to, whether you want it or not--which to my understanding is a new feature on the 2001 model.

    malibu99: I agree that had Chevrolet put a nice, fairly-equipped LS at the autoshow, it would have attracted a lot of potential buyers. I don't get why Chevrolet would put a bare-to-bone Malibu over there, either. Did you get a chance to open the glove compartment in that Malibu at the show? Apart from the fact that it doesn't have a lock, it is also smaller and less convenient (comparing to the one in the 1998/1999 model) to use due to design.
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    Yes I opened it and it's not as big or convenient as it used to be. Last night I opened mine and I think I figured out why they redesigned it. When you open the 97-99 glove box you can see the "guts" behind the dash like the fuse box and stuff. So I guess they covered that up and made a smaller glove box. But to be honest when I open my glove box I'm just throwing papers or something in there I couldn't care less if the fuse box is visible! Oh well. My arm rest doesn't have coin holders. Flip it open and tehre is nothing there but a storage compartment. Lift it up and there are CD holders.
  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    Doesn't this bring memories?


    Did you ever rode in a "Chaika" sedan? Are there any new GM models available in the Russian market?
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    No, this does not bring memories. New models of Lada are shown, not existing when we emigrated from Russia.

    And no, I never did ride the Chaika (it mean Gull in Russian). They were produced in very small numbers, for VIP official busness only - federal ministers, regional bigwigs, higher rank generals, etc. Except in Moscow, you could see them less often in Soviet Union, than RR in USA.

    Or yes, in bigger cities it was possible to hire an used Chaika for a marriage ceremony. Like a limo in USA. But we did not. Nor our friends - at least, cannot remember. Would be ridiculous.
  • aniazianiazi Member Posts: 39
    May be at the auto show Chevy people were trying to show that even base model is so much equipped like V6, auto etc. But even then I think it was a mistake. You have to put top of the line model if you want to attract people especially when others are also putting top of the line models.
  • imshyruimshyru Member Posts: 2
    Now that I have decided to purchase the 2001 malibu Ls is there anything that I should pay special attention to? Do any of u owners notice the wind noise on the car? How do u find the handling on the car? is there alot of body roll when turning? I had test drive but i haven been able to develop any opinions on this subject.? thanks. By the way has any of you attempt to put 10 disc changer in the car? if so what brand is compatiable with the stock deck!
  • chevymalibu98chevymalibu98 Member Posts: 24
    malibu99: Great observation! I could kind of understand if Chevrolet would remove the lock to reduce the cost, but just didn't get why they would change the design of the glove compartment. Now that you mentioned it, I think it is probably true that it was redesigned to cover up the fuse boxes and wires behind it. Because if you look at the design carefully, the cover of the glove compartment is now simply just a "cover" without sides, whereas in our Malibu's it is not just a cover but a "box"/the actual glove compartment, if you know what I mean. I do notice the fuse boxes and wires whenever I open mine, but they never bother me. In fact, the glove compartment in the 1998/1999 Malibu’s is one of the best I've seen! On another note, I also noticed there was something different about the shifter, but couldn't tell what it was. After reading your post, I realized it looks different because the shifter knob only covers the top part. I also think the old design looks nicer/more luxurious.

    imshyru: I myself looked into purchasing a disc changer a while ago and after visiting several mobile electronics stores and GM dealerships I have come to believe that the only CD-changer that is compatible with the stock deck is the Rockford Fosgate ones. However, they do not make 10-disc changers but 6- and 8-disc changers. The problem was that none of the local stores in my area carried it and the only way for me to get one was to mail-order it and get it installed at a local shop. I ended up not getting it simply because I did not have the time to go through all the trouble.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Yes, the huge glove box is one of the most convenient feature of my 98 Malibu. I keep a lot of belongings there - several cassettes, a disposable camera, a big tire pressure gauge, two or three pairs of glasses, etc.

    Was disappointed with the tiny glove box of my new Regal, a bigger car generally.

    But, in principle, I do not like the exposed electronics near the glove box. I am not sure, what are its functions, but potentially this is a safety item. Somebody could short the electronics, while pushing conductors in the glove box.
  • himachalhimachal Member Posts: 2
    Actually I am planning to buy a 98 Malibu from a dealer.It's 98 with 43k.V6 auto.Dealer is asking 9985$ for this.Is it Ok?What are the things I should look?Also I am planning to take mechanical breakdown insurence from AAA.I am planning to use it 4 years around 50K more.If any body has any suggestion about any other car in 10000$ range.How much mile Maliby is expected to runs great?Any idea about resale valu?I would very much appreciate quick response.
  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    make sure that breakdown insurance covers for recurring front brake problems. You will need it. The engine and transmission should be reliable, but expect other items to go wrong or at least to become an annoyance. If I were shopping for a Malibu I would stick to a 1999 or 2000 model. I would avoid the 97-98 models at all costs...but that's me.

    Here is a review of the Malibu. just food for taught:


    Good luck
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    For 98 Malibu information, pricing, etc., you may start from here


    or, if you are buying LS,


    or use http://www.kbb.com

    The same with other used cars.

    I have a 98 Malibu and like it. Bought it used, one year old, with 15k, September 98. Now it have 37k, just out of warranty.

    Generally sound car. Very good engine and excellent transmission. Was rear-ended and repaired; it is build strong.

    Had a lot of nuisance problems. Examples: dead speakers, squealing struts, sticky "door open" sensor, a dead resistor in the fan speed regulator.

    Except ruined brake rotors, almost nothing need visits to dealership and was fixed when changing oil. Several times this required only lubricating (strut, sensor). It cost nothing for me -everything was fixed under warranty. But, given the repair history, I bought an extended warranty with zero deductibles. For peace of mind, if not savings.

    The repair / maintenance / cost of ownership:

    Replaced brake rotors at 22 thousand miles, about $400-450, tires at 37 thousand, $465 or so, and the 30 000 mile service cost me about $400, as well as I remember. Except tires, replaced at Firestone, did everything at dealership. Must be less expensive at other places.

    Other than this, paid only for oil change / tire rotation / air filter.

    Hard to say about resale value - Chevy started to produce the model only from 97. Probably, only so-so.

    The resale value does not matter, though, if you are really planning to use the car till 95-100k miles. With such mileage, all non-premium American cars cost next to nothing. About $1500 or so as trade-in.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    No warranty covers brake rotors. They are considered expendable maintenance items, like the brake pads.

    I would reserve $300 or so at saving account, to cover rotor replacements till 100k miles. Not at dealer - it is way too expensive.

    The after-market rotors, like Rasbestos, usually have a life-time warranty (this is for part, but seldom for labor). And the parts have way better reputation, than the original GM ones.

    Most of service stations provide some labor warranty, for 6 month to one year. Some places, like Firestone service stations, are doubling the labor warranty for AAA members.
  • rrc529rrc529 Member Posts: 2
    I'm thinking of getting a Malibu with a sunroof. I'm curious if any Malibu owners with sunroofs have experienced any problems (leaks mainly) with them. I've also noticed that most of the LS models in my area that have a sunroof also have leather. I'm curious to hear feedback on those who have leather (comfort, stains, quality etc.)
  • himachalhimachal Member Posts: 2
    Thanks a lot yurakm for your information.It realy helps me.
  • occupant1occupant1 Member Posts: 412
    I did all my brake jobs on the three Dodge Dynastys I had. Lifetime rotors are worth the money. I spent about $25 for a set of premium pads at each change and the rotors cost $45 each initially and AutoZone replaced them with no questions asked. They measured them, checked the specs, took my receipt, and handed me the two boxes. No problem. If they were not warped they resurfaced them for $6 each. I got lucky like that once. But I would prefer to get them free. It takes me about 40 minutes to get it done and here's all you need for parts:

    jack stands
    wheel cover/lug wrench
    socket to fir caliper bolts
    coat hanger to hang caliper off strut to keep it from denting or stretching brake line
    C-clamp to compress caliper
    anti-rattle clips
    pad lubricant (usually comes with pads)
    can of brake parts cleaner
    box under the master cylinder to catch any spillage

    If you haven't added any brake fluid to your system you shouldn't have to worry about spillage. But if you have been topping it off as your pads wear, it will overflow when you compress the caliper.
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    I have the LS with leather ( no sunrrof though). The leather is of good quality. I have a habbit of using leather cleaner and conditioner every week on the leather and it still feels and smells new. I know once a week is probably overkill but I really pamper my cars. But in short the leater seats are great, cold as hell in the winter but great! :-) Good Luck, you'll love the car!
  • hunt0694hunt0694 Member Posts: 12
    I have both in my 99LS. No problems with either.
  • jsbaker1jsbaker1 Member Posts: 1
    Stay far away from the older models. I just got rid of my 97 after 105,000 miles and about 25 trips to the dealer. Bought the after I fell in love with it, brought it home with only six miles. The waste was in the shop after 2 weeks and 1000 miles. The car was a lemon from the get go. Brakes three times (under warranty) transmission at 17,000 miles plus a multitude of others. Mostly driveline and suspension problems. Struts,rotors, seat covers and doorpanels.Power steering hose broke at about 20k, picked it back up a month later and it broke again 3 days later. Went through 2 hoses pump and rack and pinion on that trip. What got me was you take it in and they call you tell you it's ready 3 weeks later and the door panels and seat cover are nowhere near the right color. The dealer left the trunk open in the rain and it had about 2 gallons of water in it when i picked it up. After 17 visits to the inbred dealer where I bought it and went somehwere close to home they managed to fix every problem on the first visit within two days. Don't even think about trying to get gm to buy it back went through that 3 times with no luck. Oh yeah let's not forget the straw that broke the camel's back. Was making a slight knocking noise at 105,000 miles. Changed the oil and the next day the hunk of metal is about to throw a rod. Still oweing $9000 on it no wasy i'm going to put $2000 more for an enigine.
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    Just got back from a 830 mile round trip from NJ. I'm am so happy with my gas mileage, I got 38 MPG on the highway at 70 MPH 90% of the time and at 60MPH 10% of the time. Great traveling car. Now all i need is to get her clean again from the rain and dirt :-(.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Wow! Fantastic mileage!

    Especially in NJ. I believe, it is very hard to drive in the "Garden State". They are always complaining about traffic on NJ highways. People do not complain so much about I-95 in the CT/NY area, nor about the route(s) from CT to the JFK airport. NJ must be much worse.

    When I measured the highway mileage with my 98 Malibu last summer, it was 31.5 mph, as well as I remember.

    Well, I have a heavy foot. And never tried to save gas: I like the feel of accelerations. But, any case, this is highway, not a city. I believe, my wife would get 10% better mileage (she always gets), but not 38 miles per gallon.

    Did you use cruise control?

    About my test. It was a short trip from New Haven, CT to the border of Vermont and back by the I-91. Very nice route: hills and low mountains farther to North. Roughly 4 hours the both ways, including a half-hour stop.

    It was a hot summer day. Air condition on 3. Moderate to heavy traffic about 60% of distance, heavy one in/around Hartford CT, and Springfield MA. Traffic became light soon after Springfield.

    Average speed for the trip was 65 mph. Down to 50 mph in Springfield, higher in light traffic, but I kept the speed less than 80 mph all time. In our places it is normal to drive about 10 mph above the posted speed limit, with good road conditions. But more than 15 mph above is generally considered speeding.
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    Yea, I used the cruise control. I didn't get exactly 38 but more like 37.7 or so. This was the same gas mileage I got last year. Do you live in Western MA? I used to live there (Amherst) and now I live in the Boston area. But yes, my little "old fashioned archaic" 3.1 V6 gets me great gas mileage and great performance. I love it :-)
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345

    We have no cruise control with our Malibu, so I cannot test it. But I consider the 31.5 MPG a very good mileage, especially with my driving style.

    We live in the Southern-Central CT, not in Western MA. Town of Hamden, a bedroom suburb just north of New Haven. My wife and I both work in the downtown New Haven.

    But we like to drive around and, had criss-crossed MA several times. From Pittsfield on the West to Boston on the East, and to its suburbs, like Hingham, and up to Newburyport.

    The hills and mountains of the Western MA are gorgeous!
  • iusecadiusecad Member Posts: 287

  • iusecadiusecad Member Posts: 287
    not from Florida, I trust your numbers!

  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    Ahhhh no not Florida!!! :-). Although I'm going to do a recount, hehehehhe.
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Member Posts: 187
    ...have been removed for language not in accordance with the Participants Agreement.


    Sedans Host
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Concerning the 30k mile service: the following is abbreviated data from the dealer print-out.

    04/28/00; mileage 30.191

    Job 1 - change oil and filter. Total $21.95

    Job 2 - 30k mile service. Inspection: fluids, battery, exhaust, belts, engine timing, etc., etc.
    replaced: PCV valve, fuel filter,
    cleaned: air filter, brakes.

    Labor $63 +
    parts: fuel filter $24.38,
    pcv valve $5.48
    brakeclean $5.38
    total parts: $35.24

    total labor+parts $98.24

    Job 3 - [skipped] free.

    Job 4 - Fuel injector: clog with fuel deposits. Flush and clean.

    Labor $57 + parts $ 32.95 = $89.95

    Job 5: replace drive belt.

    Labor $31.50 + parts $53.81 = $85.31

    Job 6: Clean and adjust rear brakes. $31.50

    Job 7: Rotate and balance $29.95

    Misc: Environment / waste $3.82

    Tax: $21.66

    Total: $382.38

    As you see, the oil change and tire rotation costs more like $50-$55 with tax than $40. The bulk of service, though, was with the belt an injectors, plus PCV valve, brakes etc. and the thorough inspection.

    The service prices looks a bit on higher side for me, but nothing out of this word. Given this service was performed at dealer (usually more expensive), and Connecticut is generally expensive place, it looks OK for me.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    belt and injectors
  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    Great detailed posts...but, don't waste your time replying to those racial motivated posts ;-)
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    Looks like I missed something nasty here? Glad i did. Yurakm, whatever it was you don't have to explain yourself to people, Good luck man! :-)
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    I did not answer on the personal insults, nor to what you named racially motivated ones (in reallity they were not racial, and even not ethnic, but rather on the country of descent). First, it would be nonfair to respond on the removed posts. Second, this is off-topic.

    But there were some points in the postings, genuine related to Malibu. This was concerning the maintenance items / costs for this car, its reliability and the service of Chevrolet dealers.

    For example, the car manual calls only to oil and air filters change and tire rotation at 30,000 miles, plus inspection of fuel tank, cap and lines. This was what my opponent pointed on.

    But GM recommends also to inspect the car twice a year, not depending on mileage. It was natural to combine the inspection with 30k mile service. After thorough car inspection by mechanic it was found that the car needs some other services after 3 year and 30k miles. The most expensive of them were injector cleaning and belt replacement.

    I believe, the services are rather routine. I believe also, that the info can help other owners of Malibu to form right expectations concerning the costs.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    The belt replacement and injector are not normal. First of all even though the little ribs on the belt fall off they will go for 100,000 miles. those 3.1 engines are bullet proff, very fuel eficient and have exceptional power.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Thank you!
  • grundtnergrundtner Member Posts: 4
    I have 38,000mi on my '99 Malibu. The fuel gauge stopped working last week, and then the 'check engine' light came on. I assume the two are connected. I am getting it looked at, but I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem.
  • crazymalercrazymaler Member Posts: 16
    I had my fuel gauge stop working, my windows wouldn't roll up or down, and the radio wouldn't work, and also my check engine and check battery lights come on. This happened on my '99 Malibu a few months ago. Turned out to be a frayed electrical wire. Was fixed quickly. Dunno if it's the same problem u have though.
This discussion has been closed.