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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • Guys, I saw a TV a report about two cases of the gas pedal getting stuck, so people who were driving their cars (the first one was Ford Ranger, the second I don't know) were unable to stop and had to call 911 screaming. In the Ranger case, the cops simply boxed the car and stopped it. But the interesting part of the report came when the reporter went to a professional driving school where she was shown what to do if your gas pedal gets stuck.

    The simplest way is to turn off the engine and hit the brakes :-) If you cannot turn the engine off and/or you've already burned your breaks trying to stop, then shift to neutral and coast to stop. But then a professional driver in a Malibu, no less, showed what to do if your key and shifter are also stuck (imagine that happenning!), or you don't have enough space in front of you to coast (i.e. twenty little school girls crossing the road just fifty meters ahead). You hit the emergency break (that locks the rear wheels only), and you spin the steering wheel. The car will then spin around and, hopefully, stop. Sure a dangerous move, but something to keep in mind. They also said stuck gas pedals are very rare.

    And now some comic relief. The Ranger driver was a middle aged lady. They played the tape of her 911 call. The operator asked her: "Have you tried to use the emergency brake?" and the tearful reply was: "I don't know, I am a woman!" :-)
  • My English teacher Mrs. McMullen would have mutilated me...


    Sorry, sweet old lady!
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    I recently rented a Ford Toraus. and coming out of the airport I braked on a sharp turn, and hit the gas pedal at the same time! I just about rear ended the rental just ahead of me. I pulled to the side and noticed both pedals were just about at the same distance from the floor board. it happened on one other occasion during the 3 day rental. I now understand this has something to do with the self adjusting pedal setup. Coming out of Calgary Airport is a challenge in it's self and adding pedals that are all over the lot, sure doen't help. Also, seems to me the car rental firm should alert the driver on the pedal adjustments. There was no such notice in the car.I think Henry has a problem here... but would they ever admit it. I had heard something on the news not sure if it was a recall or someone reporting the default.Wilf1
  • " Once it is fixed it doesn't come back" Yah right! My 98 Malibu blew an intake gasket at 37k along with the consistent brake rotor warpage I was ready to dump the car then. At 60k the intake gasket blew again! As a side note, I put an intake gasket into my 91 Cav. z24 with the same 3.1 motor before I traded for the Malibu problem. After the 2nd intake gasket on the Malibu blew I traded it for a Jeep Cherokee Limited. The Kicker: I sell Chevy's and Pontiacs, I can't bring myself to tell customers what a wonderful car the Malibu is.
  • Hey, Cherokee, since you sell cars, you probably know that '98 was the second model year, and that until 99 Malibus had way too many bugs. And, btw, for 2002 JD Power awarded Malibu the best initial quality award. You should know that! As for the gasket blowing again, isn't it possible that whoever repaired it did a lousy job?

    An unrelated question: is it usual for people who sell certain makes and models to drive a car they do not sell? Not trying to pick on you, but I think it kind of sends a weird message, if you see your Chevy salesman driving a Jeep :-)
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    According to the Malibu may become the Chevrolet Classic for fleet and rental car sales only next year. I guess they want to keep production up as the new 04 Malibu starts up.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    Not always so... My salesman drove a Honda Accord, I ask why, well he was connected with a dealership out of the city and wanted to be closer to home. With the hours these fellows keep it sure made sense. He would be getting a demo in a few days and the Honda would be turned in. It turned out to be of some advantage. Honda is a great car but the have some interesting stories in themselves, like don't over fill the gas tank it will blow the module $800.00 and not covered by the warranty.I understand it's covered in the manual but gea we all have done it at sometime.
    02 demo's fully equipped 12/ 15km are going for $14500 Cdn: rentals I would think, but that has to real value. The last batch that come in have more Km but at the same price. if your after a demo do it early for best value.
  • Got it from the Consumer Guide site:

    Antilock brakes are optional instead of standard for 2003 on the base version of Malibu. ABS remains standard on LS, but is now a $400 base-model option.

    An all-new Malibu arrives for 2004 on the same front-drive Epsilon platform as the latest 9-3 from GM-owned Saab. Don't worry about price, though: Malibu will remain an affordable, mainstream midsize slotting just under Impala. The '04 gets more angular lines than today's vintage-1997 design, plus more room inside via slight gains in width and height. An unexpected innovation is a second 4-dr body style called Malibu Maxx. Chevy terms it an "extended sedan," but it's actually a hatchback with a 6-inch longer wheelbase than the regular Malibu, though also a similar notchback profile. Like some minivans and SUVs, Maxx features a rear seat that slides for extra rear leg room or cargo space; it can also be folded, of course. Maxx options are said to include a rear-seat sunroof, unique among midsize sedans, and a rear-seat entertainment system. The Maxx looks a smart move, as many buyers crave the room and versatility of a midsize wagon but don't like the uncool wagon image. We'll know soon enough how smart Chevy is.

    The redesign is timely, as demand for the current Malibu keeps sinking despite 0-percent financing and other lures. On a year-to-year basis, Malibu sales dropped 14.8 percent in calendar 2001 and another 14.5 percent in the first half of '02.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Current Malibu is pretty stale now. There are so many other choices. I think the Malibu is the best value available in this class, but you need more than just value to sell cars.

    Really looking forward to seeing the 04. The Opel Vectra it's based on is beautiful.
  • Cherokee, sorry to hear about your intake gasket, but I'm not surprised. When I changed the gasket on my '98 Bu, I noticed the rubber material was very narrow and thin compared to other cars I've seen. Unfortunately, the replacement gasket had just as little material.

    The rubber on the old gasket was shifted and contorted -- just not enough thickness to handle the normal stress.
  • Coworker had a 98 with bugs in it, too. I'd avoid those years if used car shopping.

    Also, they should call the 2004 Chevy Classic the 'Corsica', the definitive rental car, next to the Taurus and Geo Metro!
  • Just fixed the radio reception on my '98 Bu today. The antenna cable has a connection just under the carpet in the front passenger foot area.

    1) Remove plastic panel from bottom door frame on front passenger side -- it's holding the edge of the rug down. There are no screws, the panel is snapped on and can be removed by hand pulling.

    2) The cable connection is just under the rug where the rug meets the frame on the passenger side (right side) of the car just ahead of the door frame. I can see how someone's right foot kicking at the spot can cause the cable connection to loosen over time.

    3) The connection is loose, just push together. If you want it to stay together, wrap electrical tape around the connection.

    4) Tuck rug back, snap plastic panel back on. You're ready to go!
  • Dindak, thank you for the links. BTW, the new Bu up front looks like a Dodge Neon. The current Bu's front is much more attractive. What do you folks think?

    I have a question about auto parts. After GM starts making new Bu's in a year, would that affect the availability of spare parts for the current Bu version?
  • Huh, the 2004 does not have round headlights.
    It looks fine and the old Malibu should hit the rental lots only.
  • Yes, they are not completely round, but the Neon connection popped up in my head right away. I dunno, just never liked round headlights, I think they scar the face of vehicles, Mercedes has it horribly wrong, imho. Have you seen a bimmer with round headlights? Don't count MINI, it's not a BMW :-)
  • Kinda funny, all the classic cars have round lights.

    Anyway, the old Malibu is goign to be called Classic and sold to fleets only next fall
  • I know it's a matter of taste, so there's no right or wrong when it comes to the shape of headlights. But I think a "manly" car cannot have round headlights, just think VW Beetle! And, as we all know, Bu is a very macho car, the one chicks really dig, so it cannot possibly look like a Neon, please don't kill this chick magnet!!!
  • I like the conservative styling of my Malibu. I never thought of it as a "chick magnet".

    I'm curious as to what you have experienced that makes you feel that way.
  • Go to a bar, park the Bu in front, and wait for the chicks to run around the bar like crazy screaming: "What sexy beast owns that chick magnet outside the bar???"
  • Was reading a TSB for my '98 Malibu 3.1 V6 for the brakes. There's mention of using Brake Align's correction plates to get rid of the brake wobble. My question is -- has anyone tried the Brake Align system and does it work?


    Brake Rotor - Lateral Runout Correction System

    Bulletin No.: 01-05-23-001

    Date: February, 2001


    Brake Align(R) System for Brake Rotor Lateral Runout Correction

    2001 and Prior Passenger Cars

    This bulletin is being issued to update General Motors position on correcting brake rotor lateral runout (Refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 00-05-22-002 for additional brake rotor service procedures).

    Important : Certain conditions may apply to individual vehicles regarding specific repairs. Refer to those specific repairs in applicable service bulletins. Make sure other possible sources of brake pulsation, such as ABS pedal feedback, have been addressed before checking rotor runout.

    Anytime a new or refinished rotor is installed on a vehicle, the rotor must have .050 mm (.002 in) or less of lateral runout. This specification is important to prevent comebacks for brake pulsation. Until now, the only acceptable methods to correct brake rotor runout were to index or replace the rotor or to refinish the rotor using an on-vehicle brake lathe.

    GM has approved a new technology for the correction of lateral runout on new or refinished rotors. This new method is called Brake Align(R)*. It will allow the technician to meet the .050 mm (.002 in) or less requirement for lateral runout by installing a specially selected, tapered correction plate between the rotor and the hub. The Brake Align(R) Correction system does NOT require the use of an on-vehicle brake lathe to correct for lateral runout.

  • Thanks albuterol,
    I bought a used 98 Malibu two weeks ago and the AM radio didn't work, but I removed the passenger side rug and found that the cable connection had come loose as you had stated. It took very little time to fix and tape up so it won't happen again.
    The fm seemed to work ok. Also on this vehicle
    there is an antenna mounted on the inside drivers side window. An antenna is also on the rear passenger side (near the trunk) Is this the FM antenna or is it a add on for a cell phone? The car manual does not talk about it. Thanks for the advice as I saved money by not having to take it to the shop.
  • snorbeck,

    On my 'Bu, there is only one antenna cable. It runs along the right side floorboard into the trunk then up into the fixed mast which is mounted next to the trunk (as you described for your rear passenger side antenna).

    I don't have anything on my inside driver's side window as you describe. My driver's door just has a speaker, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, etc.

    I looked in my service manual regarding additional antenna's and found nothing -- just the one that I mentioned.

    I don't know anything about cell phone external antenna's. Good luck!
  • norbsnorbs Posts: 10
    Bought a 99 Mailbu new and am crossing 70,000 miles this week. 2.4, 4 cylinder engine has been perfect so far. Only problems with car have been the 1st and 2nd position on the heater/airconditioner blower. The resistors blew at 65,000. $135 for replacement. Brake pads at 45,000 for $34. 1/2 hour change in my driveway. Odd car being the 2.4 with all the LS options except sunroof. Very powerful. Rented a 2001 3.1 six and thought it was not as quick.
    Drove new Impala with 3.8 and had the salesman drive the bu. He wonders why the 99 4 cyl seems quicker than his 2003 Impala demo. Some cars are put together correctly and others not so lucky. Gonna keep this for a long time. When brake rotors are due, $23 apiece and they come off in your hands with the brake calipers removed. Two bolts. Doesn't get better than that. $470 brake job at dealer. I think not...
  • I, too, found Impala to be underpowered compared to Bu. Impala is heavier and needs a more powerful engine to be as agile as Bu
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    If you keep it much longer you will need the infamous water pump replacement,its one many reasons why the engine is not made anymore.
  • norbsnorbs Posts: 10
    Didn't hear about the water pump problem. Is it a bear to change? I can imagine. Only problems I know of are electrical, brakes wearing quickly and intake maniforld on the 3.1 V6.
    Having roller rockers and chain on the 4 seems like a great idea. Also sorry to hear the new engines are 2.2. Wonder why the down size! 2.4 been around a long time.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    The pump is chain driven so to replace the front cover has to come off,not an easy job.Retiming the cams without the proper tools and knowledge can be a problem.The dealer on average charges $800 for pump replace.
    The 2.2 eco-tec is easier,you dont have to remove the cover.
  • norbsnorbs Posts: 10
    Yipes. $800 for a water pump. I was afraid of that. Still, $400 for a brake job ad the dealer that costs $34 for pads and $23 for rotors, retail at NAPA, is outrageous. I have a local garage that is a longtime fixture in my town and have had great results there. Have not needed to take the bu there but had all belts (timing included) for $250 on our 96 Prizm. These reports are unnerving to me for a car I like so much. Next thing I will do is have it undercoated and put carpeting in the trunk to try to quiet the thing down. Have B.F. Goodrich Coutour T/A's on it and it handles better than stock rubber. Still, the reason the radio has the automatic volume control feature is because "it needs it." Might buy a used Camry next. Too bad because this car is a real kick to drive. Love the transmission.
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