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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • toonzeetoonzee Posts: 19
    Is there anyway, or has anyone, been able to have the fog lights automatically turn on when the headlights are on. Thanks for any help.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    I didn't notice that, but you are right. It looks like the fog lamp circuit is reset when the ignition is turned off. Then, you have to turn the fog lamps back on when you start again. That seems kind of strange, as most other cars, including my truck, leave the lamps on so long as the switch is left in the on position. I guess Chevy figures that since the headlights come on all the time, in the "auto" position, there is no need to run the fog lamps, too. I do wish the little green light on the fog lamp switch was a bit brighter, as you can't see it during the day, but then, there really isn't any need for the fog lamps during the day. I guess the engineers just figured that they would add another do-dad to the computer program.
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    Hey guys...when I'm on the highway my Malibu shakes when I pass 55 mph or so. Some people have told me that I need my engine mounts need to be replaced? I've already had my ties rotated and balanced and I've had an alignment. Does anyone know what's up? Thanks
  • timiiitimiii Posts: 1
    Robby8, I have also starting to here the same rubbing sound you described in my 1998 Oldsmobile Cutlass steering. I only hear the sound when turning to the left at low speeds. I will try the try the power steering fluid flush and fill mentioned in an earlier post (because I hate the idea of paying for a new steering rack). I have 115,000 miles on my car and it has been reasonably reliable. (By the way, my Cutlass is a twin on the Malibu.)
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Over the last 1000 miles or so, I've noticed some clunking (slight rattle) in the right front end of my 2001 Malibu. The last time I drove it I purposely went over bumps to make sure (not the best thing to do for my alignment of the car but....) The left side seems fine in that the only thing I hear when I go over a bump is the shock (strut) compressing and releasing.

    Is this a possible front suspension problem?
  • I have a 99 malibu LS with 138,000 mile on it..Great reliable car..Drive 3000 miles a month and change the oil and filter every 3000 mile..Have a couple of problems that i am trying to fix without having to taking it to the dealer.. have read about others having same problem with the fan switch not working on 1 & 2 setting..I too have that problem, but have not heard of any solutions..Also.. just last weekend the check engine light came on. This has happened in the past, but went out after filling up fuel tank and adding STP gas treatment..however,I have tryed that and the light is still on..any help will be appreciated..
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    Okay...My yearbook advisor and I have the same car (97 Malibu). He told me that every 60,000 miles or so the check engine light comes on. They come on only to make sure the system is completely working (including the part that stores all codes) so the only solution is to take it to the dealer to reset it. I'm not sure if it's true, but he said that's what happened with his. I asked my GM Advisor and she said it's true...who knows. Try taking it in. Hopefully they won't charge you the regular $80 to do a diag on it. Hope this helps.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    As I mentioned a few posts back, my rotors were not smooth (turns out I'd mistaken the rotors for pads). The thing in the wheel well you can touch and feel is the rotor right? And pads are sort of hidden? Forgive my ignorance on the braking system.

    Today I went to a local dealership (didn't buy from them)and asked if they could replace the pads (I actually meant rotors) for free because a new car with 7800 miles shouldn't have bumpy rotors. They roughed up the rotors. I don't know how they did it but the rotors weren't any smoother than I came in. So I asked again and was refered to the manager. First he tried to tell me it was normal but I knew better. He then reluctantly called over a mechanic and he and I went for a drive. He did some braking tests (Ouch!) which left me literally car-sick and said he did hear some scraping noise from the brakes. After hearing what the mechanic had to say the manager finally agreed to replace the pads (not the rotors). The rotors were left with the grooves and I don't know how badly the pads were damaged.

    Even with the new pads the tiny scraping noise is still there. It's been doing that since day one but it doesn't really bother us that much. The only tangible difference is that now braking effort is better.

    Throughout the whole thing they didn't seem to think unsmooth rotors were a big deal. And I still have the same rotors with grooves. Aren't the damaged rotors gonna mess up the new pads? Should I go to another dealer to have the rotors REALLY smoothed out? Thanks a lot for any input!

    Our 2002 Malibu has 7800 miles and everything is great except for this incident.
  • buguybuguy Posts: 16
    The # 1 & 2 fan setting is a common problem. My 99 bu had this failure at abut 50,000 but I think time is more the factor. The first and second resistors on the switch assy run the hottest because they do the most risisting from full on, which is #5. $138 at the dealer to have them replaced. Very common as is the air condition swiitch working intermittently. Only problems so far with the 99.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I wouldn't be too concerned about the grooves in the rotors as long as they do not lead to excessive wear in the pads or diminished stopping power.

    The more common problem with the brakes is the rotors warping. I just went through this and about ready to have my front suspension looked at. You'll know when the rotors start to warp. You'll feel vibration in the pedal while braking.

    Good luck.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    Here's a thought..maybe it still works. I had a '88 Chevy truck a few years ago, and put a bunch of miles on it. It, too, had a penchant for turning on the "check engine" light every 50 or 60K, as a reminder to have the systems checked out. A mechanic friend of mine said to just disconnect the battery for 5 minutes, and then see if the light still comes on after hooking the battery back up. Completly removing electrical power for a few minutes would reset the codes, and if the check engine light stayed off afterwards, everything was probably ok. If worked for me, and about the only inconvenience was resetting the clock and radio presets. That seemed to be a better alternative than spending hours at the dealer, and paying them $50 to unhook the battery. One time, the "check" light came back on, so I bought a code checker. The code checker called out the O2 sensor, which was easy to replace, and cost about $20. Even with the cost of the code checker, I was still a few bucks ahead of what the dealer wanted for diagnosis/repair.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    Some slight noise coming from disc brakes is normal, and depending upon whether the car has organic or sintered iron pads, can be louder as the pads heat up..rush hour traffic for example. There should not be any squealing or scraping sounds, just rubbing..if that makes sense. Minor imperfections in the rotors, as in minor rings or grooves, should not be a problem, as the pads will quickly wear in and reseat to these minor rings. So long as the brakes do not "chatter" or "pulse" things are probably ok. One thing a person should always try to do with disc brakes, is never put the car away wet. After washing the car, drive it around the block, and use the brakes a few times to dry them off. The rotors rust very quickly, and this rusting cycle will cause pitting. Next time you are at a dealership, check out the brakes on some of the cars they have had sitting on the lot for some time without a test will probably see "orange" rotors.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    While it raining outdoors, and I'm in a writing mood, I'll add a commercial for Vent Visors. If you are a smoker like me, or like to have a window down an inch while driving, or leave a window open a bit on a hot day, ventvisors are the way to go. It seems there are a lot of different prices out there..50 to 70 bucks for a set.
    I found a place called "" that charged $45 for a set, delivered/UPS. The proper number for a Malibu is 94403. Now I can drive in the rain, and smoke without getting the left side of my head wet.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks guys! Maybe I was overly concerned with the grooves on the rotors. I guess you could call that barely audible noise rubbing noise too. It's nothing serious definately not chattering or pulsating. I'll keep an eye on the rotors and see if the new pads will smooth them out with time. In hindsight, the dealer I visited was quite helpful. They assumed
    the brakes were covered by warranty and didn't give me a hard time.
  • credman41credman41 Posts: 12
    Deminin....I had asked a couple of weeks ago re: vent visors, and was directed to the JC Whitney website. They sell them for $55. I found them in stock at Pep Boys for $49, and at AutoZone (here in New England) for $45....and, yes, they are really nice. I don't smoke, but that extra bit of air really does a nice job of ventillating the car. Installed in about 10 minutes for my '02 Bu. Also, look pretty sharp
  • malibu1malibu1 Posts: 52

    It has been forever since I posted to this site...but I wanted to ask about the above mentioned problem. I was having my oil changed the other day and they mentioned that my intake manifold gasket was leaking. I have read that this is a common problem with GM V6 engines. I have also read that it is common for this to happen in winter months only and then the leaking to stop when the weather warms up. Have you heard of this? I do not have a pool of antifreeze or anything under the care and have a hard time seeing where the mechanic was having me look to see the leak. Any help or clarificaiton you can provide me would be greatly appreciated.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    Have you had to add any anti-freeze? If you are not seeing any visable leaks, and are not having to add anti-freeze, the leak is probably not too serious. I had a minor leak near the thermostat on my camaro, and nothing seemed to work until I added a bottle of Bars-Leak. Within a couple of hundred miles, the leak was gone and stayed gone. You might also try re-torqueing the manifold bolts..its not uncommon for aluminum heads and manifolds to need a "nudge" every few thousand miles. Some things to watch for with a manifold leak would be.. 1. adding anti-freeze..a tight engine might only need a few ounces a year. 2.White smoke at the exhaust..indicating anti-freeze getting into the combustion chamber..not good..must be fixed. 3.Milky or foaming oil..also not good, as anti-freeze may be getting into oil..usually happens more often with a cracked block or bad head gasket. 4.Poor performance/low power..sometimes caused by air leak at intake manifold. At the bare minimum, if you are concerned, I would get a second opinion..its possible that the mechanic who "spotted" the problem, may have heard that some v6's leak, and is looking for an opportunity to make some easy money.
  • mule6mule6 Posts: 1
    I too have a 2000 Bu with a leaky gasket. It only leaks below 20 degrees. Now that spring is here, I will not add any coolant all summer. Last winter (way below ave in the NE US) I added about a quart to the system. I don`t know where it goes, but I know it doesn`t seem to be going into the oil. The oil stays very clean with no smell of coolant. I might get the gasket fixed before next winter unless it shows signs of leakage into the oil or on the floor.
    I have also had all the chronic problems with the car. I put life time NAPA rotors and pads on and they have been great for 21K so far.
    I am hoping for 150K plus out of this car so I can live with some minor repairs. I talked to my mechanic and he will do the gasket for around $400. I can live with this if it needs repeating in 100K or so.
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    Today I went to the dealership to see why my car shakes when I hit about 60mph on the highway. The mechanic who rode with me said that I had a somewhat badly bent rim that needs to be replaced ($75.00). He also told me I need my rear sway bushings replaced ($110.00). Then to top it all off he said I need my rotors replaced. The rotors don't bother me too much though because I can do those myself. At the rate I'm going, I'll have a new car by the end of 2004...I'm rebuilding it piece by piece. I hope after these last few fixes everything will be all good I hope I can go at least 20,000 miles with nothing more than oil changes and tire rotations. (I'll keep my fingers crossed) No matter what, though, I will always enjoy my car. As I have said before, it's not ALL the cars fault. It's been wrecked before so I kinda have to place the blame on whoever repaired it. Anyway please wish me good luck in the future! Talk to you guys soon.
  • Long time no see! My Bu is about to hit 40K miles, so far so good. I did add some coolant recently, though, so maybe I have this intake manifold thing dying on me, but maybe it's normal evaporation, since I haven't added any coolant for more than a year up to that point, and I have not noticed anything strange or unusual. The total I had to add was about 1 litre (0.25 gallon). Is that a lot?

    Does anyone know, if it gets repaired, how long does it usually last? Is it possible to get any kind of warranty, so if it fails again, it could be repaired for free? Thanks!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    For all of those who are experiencing this leak, I would push to have GM fix this for free. It is a known problem with their small block V6 engines. Even if they do fix it, I would encourage everyone to report it to the NHTSA. With enough complaints, mayber they will launch an investigation. It's ridiculous that GM allows this to continue. They know that this problem exists but do nothing about it.
  • Does anyone know? It would be sad, if it were something like a simple 5-dollar device. There was a huge lawsuit won against Ford, I believe, several years ago. They knew gas tanks would explode in a severe crash, and a very cheap 5-dollar (or very close to that amount) device installed on each vehicle could've prevented that, but they figured it would be cheaper to pay the burned victims or their survivors, than to install the device on millions of vehicles
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    There was a guy on (that's how I heard about Edmunds) who had his car for 100,000 miles and had to replace the manifold gasket TWICE! Mine went out @ 56,000 miles so I'd put my life on the possibility of me having to replace it again. Another thing: I work @ Old Navy here in Thornton, CO. and a lady I talked to with a 2000 bu with 80,000 miles had to have her head gasket replaced...I pray that that one doesn't hit me. Anyway, good luck with y'alls intake manifolds!
  • Those of you poor things who had to fix the intake manifold gasket, do you remember how much coolant you were losing and in what period of time?
  • I had my water pump replaced this week. I was leaking engine coolant, thought i had been hit with manifold leak again, but it wasn't, thank god. I think i got a good deal, don't know for sure, haven't heard anyone else talk about it, yet. I brought the part at NAPA here in Oklahoma City, for about $24.00, and replaced for $50.00. I just hope it doesn't go out again until another 100,000 miles, cause i don't think i'll have it then. If it does, it really does not matter, cause i have a life time warranty on it, so i want to have to buy one again. I need to learn how to put in on myself, then it would really be cheap.

    Also, the strangest thing happened to me today. When i got into my car to start it this morning my "Theft System" light was flashing, and the car wouldn't start. It would crank and turn over, but would shut back off. So, I figured i'd do a shut-down and restart. I disconnected the battery and reconnected it, and the light went off. When i tried to start it again, it started right up. Continued Strangeness; I didn't have to reset my radio stations, like i expected i would, but i did have to reset the clock. The clock was exactly one hour off. It was such a strange experience for me, i went to the dealer and asked them would could have possible caused this, and they had "no clue" why it would do that. I don't have the fancy little cheap in the key for the Pass-lock theft system, or what ever it is. Anyway we were completely baffled, the dealer and I both.

    Mileage is 123410 98 Malibu, her name is Genesis by the way.
  • Your car has a name, eh? 50K more miles and you may want to start calling it Survivor :-)

    BTW, how long does everyone expect their Bu's to last? I've heard an average engine usually goes up to 250K miles, sometimes to 300K miles, is that true?
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    To bcmalibu99ls - Of course some engines last 300k...but I have only heard of that on a Honda, Acura, or Toyota (maybe a Mazda as well; I can't remember). Oh well. My Mom had an '89 Blazer loaded that she had for 11 years and 165k miles (it was still going good, too). Hopefully with good care, mine and everyone elses will last that long!
    While we're on the subject I'd kinda like to take a tally of everyone's year and mileage. I'll go first - I have a 97 with 57,000 miles. It has low miles because it was decomissioned for a year and a half after it was wrecked.
  • My 1999 has 139,000..I change oil/filter ever 3,000 mile w/mobil 5w30..I too had manifold gasket repaired at 76,000 miles and replaced the water pump myself at 120,000..these are all common problems for every lighten up on the Malibu..I believe most of the problems you all report are just because of the way you take care of you car..
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    Excuse me...the way I take care of my car?!? How would you know how I take care of my car? I have babied that thing since I've owned it. And for your information I change my oil every 2500 miles using Valvoline Durablend 5w-30 using a Fram oil filter and I change the air filter(also Fram)every 6000 miles. The alternator problem and the intake manifold gasket problem I have had are not isolated occurances. Many Malibus have the same problems as I have had. Granted many of the suspension problems I have had were from when the previous owner wrecked it, but there are still problems with this car. It is not perfect, no matter how great you think it is. I'm not here to bash the Malibu, I'm here to find fixes to the problems I have been having and to get some advice. On the previous post I made, I was simply stating that I have not heard of any Chevrolet lasting 250,000 miles (with the original engine). I said nothing about how we treat or take care of our cars. I think your statement about how we take care of our cars is completely false. I guess you think that you're the only one here who keeps up good maintenance on your car. If we didn't take care of them or didn't care about them, why would any of us be part of this discussion group? I'm 16 and can't afford NOT to take car of my car. Bottom line: BACK OFF! Oh and P.S. - I don't think that an intake manifold gasket going out is "a common problem for every car" as you said.
  • jtrujillo86, I remember being 16 and feeling the entire world was against me. Trust me, it's not the case here, so chill out, man!

    I got 40K on 99ls, and it runs very nicely. No major problems so far, though the manifold thing may bite me soon. we'll see.

    I am wondering, when the engines "go," what happens? They just stop working? Why? I am sure we have some car experts here, enlighten us, please
This discussion has been closed.