2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Yesterday, Jan 22 I saw a Malibu taxi cab near my work. Downtown New Haven, CT. Crown street. It stayed and waited somebody near a restaurant.

    A dark-blue car, with several antenna, and inscription saying it belongs to New-Haven - Milford Cab Company. Plus phone number. The letters were painted in an awful bright-green color.

    All cabs I saw before in the city and suburbs are full-size Ford cars. Malibu are often used by driving schools, but not as taxi. I live and work for 5 years in this place.
  • apscoapsco Member Posts: 1
    Hi all. My wife recently purchased a 98 LS, nice car. Seems to have a little quirk as of the last two days. Three times now, when she starts the Malibu the "door open light" comes on when put in gear, well she does the obvious and they're all shut tight, after her walk-a-round vehicle check, she puts it in gear again and the car shutsdown but the third time this happened the car did stay running but no dash or headlights.

    Anyone have any ideas that might help her out, or me as I will be paying. Other then our three kids this is her baby.

    BTW, took the Malibu on the highway yesterday 175 kph (115mph), had to slow down, cars come up quick! Thought I was in the wrong lane............lol.
  • this_is_nascarthis_is_nascar Member Posts: 199
    We just purchased a 2001 Malibu LS for the wife. It seems to be a very nice car. She wanted something larger than her Cavalier, but a bit smaller than my 2000 Impala LS. I believe the color of her Malibu is the SandDrift.
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    She'll enjoy the Malibu, especially the LS and she won't feel too much of a difference when she drives the Malibu and rides in the Impala, they both have great suspensions and comfortable rides. Good luck!
  • aniazianiazi Member Posts: 39
    On my older car which was Mazda 626, my mechanic replaced the compressor since it was dead. And he showed me the dirty oil (I think it was in compressor) and everything was dried because I turned on the A/C after a long winter. According to him that was the reason my compressor died (although my car had 105K miles). He told me one has to keep the A/C running atleast for 5 min after every 2 weeks. Otherwise have the A/C serviced before turning on after a long winter. Make sure to check the oil (I think in compressor or in the /C system) and everything is lubricated.
    That was his suggestion and that was 1991 Mazda. I don't know how A/C system for cars today or in my 2001 Malibu!
  • albuterolalbuterol Member Posts: 21
    ... it's ajar. My '98 Malibu will chime/flash "Door Ajar" sometimes when going around a corner. Haven't figured out why.

    Traditionally, it was advised NOT to run the A/C during the winter when the outside temperature is below 50 or 40. Could freeze the compressor. Now with cars running the A/C without us being able to stop it, there's supposed to be an outside temperature sensor to let the car computer know not to run the A/C if it's too cold. Not sure if the Malibu has this -- my compressor was replaced in March 2000 for a cool $1200.
  • albuterolalbuterol Member Posts: 21
    willman: I think if you take a poll here, you'll find most Malibu's have the infamous brake problem. My '98 gets warped rotors after a few months. The best google.com could offer is something about machining the new rotors while attached to the hub. I have yet to try this surgery...
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Had the false door open chime problem with my 98 Malibu. It was late 1998 or early 99. The dealer mechanic luricated a sensor and it works fine since.
  • tmonettetmonette Member Posts: 3
    Hi there,

    Just picked up my new 2001 Malibu LS yesterday! Its great. 2 things though which bother me...
    1.)a small band of frost appears on the bottom of the inside back window? Why would that be? It is thick enough to have to scrape
    2.)all of sudden today the front windshield washers refuse to spray. I am sure they are frozen up but is this a standard problem?

    Just to let you know I live in Ottawa..where it is very cold in Winter!
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Concerning the frost inside:

    Given you just bought the car, it must be washed / detailed inside thoroughly at dealer. So it is normal to expect the higher humidity inside for first day or days. Dew condensate, than froze.

    The easiest way to dry the car inside is to run the air condition - with the outside air, not in the recirculation mode. It happens automatically when directing air to the windshield / defrost, the first thing in the morning. I would use it also for several days in normal driving.

    BTW, the in recirculation mode the humidity would rather increase, not decrease.

    Attention: it is better not scraping the rear window from inside. This is an easiest way to destroy the electrical defroster.

    Run the defroster, and the frost will melt fast on the rear window - except the very bottom, where there is no conductor glued. But a frost (or fog) in this location does not reduce visibility substantially, and also will melt several minutes later.

    Concerning the windshield washers.

    Who can know, what fluid was put into the washer fluid tank at factory or by dealer? Very probably, the cheapest one. And how long the fluid was sitting here - did the alcohol fraction evaporate etc.?

    I would replace the washer fluid by a fresh one. Just spray the old liquid out, after warming the car / engine, and put a new one.

    Personally, I am using premium liquids. Winter ones in the winter, bug-remover in the summer.

    Used Prestone at first, than switched to Rain-X winter (pink color one) and like it very much. Bought it at Wal-Mart, several bottles at once -
    for the whole winter and for both cars, to not waste time.

    At $2 to $2.5 per canister (gallon) the premium fluids are much more expensive proportionally than the cheapest $0.79 ones, but the cash difference is only about $10 or even less for the whole year.

    The Rain-X fluid definitely does pay in quality. The winter Prestone is good too, but not so good as Rain-X in my experience. Though, it had better specs in the -25F to -35F temperature band. Given such weather is not typical for Connecticut, this is irrelevant for me, though Ottawa can be very different.

    Not sure about the quality of the summer Prestone. It contains detergents to wash-out bugs and the bird drops from windshield, but this does not help. Did not see much difference with the cheap fluids.
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    The front washers can get easily clogged with ice. First make sure the line isn't pinched somewhere ( follow the hose all the way from the washer to the wipers to make sure it's clear. I'm sure it's just frozen water over the tiny sprayers. Good luck and welcome to the Malibu family :-)
  • tmonettetmonette Member Posts: 3
    Thanks guys.

    I aired out car completely and it was excessive moisture in car causing problems with ice on back window. Double and triple checked everyting related to windshiled wipers but to no avail. As I was near dealer I dropped in. They told me washer lines were not primed at factory and they bled system..now works excellent..man does it really squirt!

    Had a few buddys give it a test drive..they all loved it and were impressed at how much car i got for the money! One guy with a Toyota echo swore it was a luxury car!

    What do you guys reccomend for keeping everything clean inside including leather ..anything specific stuff you guys like?

  • hbs97hbs97 Member Posts: 1
    Buying my 98 Malibu was the worst mistake of my life!!! This car has been nothing but trouble! My brake rotors have had to be replaced every 6,000 miles(no joke) and the car only has 40,000 miles on it now. I bought this car new and my problems started on 7,000 miles later when I already needed tires and my brakes were messing up!! My car is loaded out, and I can't even get what I owe on this car on a trade in! I am stuck with this heap of junk until it is paid for, and I still probably won't be able to give it to someone then! I have tried talking to Chevrolet Customer Service, and they are very unprofessional and not to mention no help in the least. I recently sent a letter to our state Attorney General hoping maybe they can do something about this LEMON! If anyone is considering buying a Malibu please take my advice and buy foreign!
    Also about the brake rotors. The problem with them was a mechanical error, that was suppose to be fixed. I had the new rotors put on my car 6,000 miles ago, and guess what, they did not fix the problem. My brake rotors are warped again!
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305

    Sorry to hear your problems but the brake issues have all been worked out and eliminated, the 98 modles did have brake issues which are now fixed, buying foreing well that will probably fix your problem but not everyone elses, good luck with your choice.

    The Malibu is a nice ride and it is quite luxurious feeling and looking. I detail my 99LS every weekend and I use the following:

    Tires: Maguires tire/rubber shine
    Finish: Maguires clear coat wax
    Leather: Maguires leather cleaner/protector
    Glass: Water and vinnegar mixture
    Weatherstripping: ArmorAll

    These are the best products and they will keep your Malibu looking new. If you want you can visit the Chevy Malibu club at Yahoo and you can see my car, it's the 99LS listes as Haley malibu99's car

    Good Luck!
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    I also have a 98 Malibu, now approaching 40k mikes, and do not consider it junk nor wasted money.

    Just the opposite, I like the car, especially for driving in city. Nimble, spacious and convenient.

    Had no future problem with brakes since replaced rotors and pads at 23k. Recently (at 37k) replaced the original Affinity tires with Firehawk SH-30, and the handling improved substantially.

    The above mileages is approximate, with precision of +-1k, do not remember the exact numbers.

    Any case, it is probably way too late for you to turn to the lemon laws. What about installing a set of reputable aftermarket brakes / pads? They often are provided with lifetime warranty...

    Long ago people praised on the board the premium Delco rotors and the Raybestos rotors:


  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    Good luck getting your state's lemon law invoked. You seem to be wayyy out of range in mileage or time to seek relief under Lemon Law...I am afraid you waited too long and now it might be just too late to get any sort of compensation for your problems. Be prepared for an uphill battle, to say the least. If you are truly unhappy with the car unload it by either selling it or trading it in...Bite the Bullet and move on with life!.

    Chevy customer service 'unproffessional'? Don't think so. In my own experience they have been extremely professional, helpful and incredible and punctual at following up with me and my dealer. Even they call back at the same exact time when promised. If you talk to them in a polite, courteous and business like manner, they'll respond to you likewise. On the other hand, if you yell a them, course them, or issue demands and ultimatums to solve your problems, they will not respond to you in the manner you expect them to. Beign unpolite and demanding won't take you anywhere...take it from me.

    And do yourself a BIG favor....unload the Malibu and PRONTO!

    Good luck.
  • glinda49glinda49 Member Posts: 15
    I am new to the Malibu. Had not heard of it for a long time. I now know that they brought them back in 97. Have read lots of postings at this site. I noticed quite a few problems with some owners and then some are quite taken with the car. My problem is this, while out looking for our 19 yr. old son a car, we came across a 98 Malibu gold edition, fully loaded beautifully kept and maintained. Took a test ride and found it to be quiet enough and felt good as far as the ride. My son just loved the way it looked and it was plenty roomy inside which he needs since he is over 6'tall. The main concern is this car has 82,000 miles on it. Is there anyone out there with a Malibu with that kind of mileage? The dealer is pricing this car out at a very good price which I am sure has to do with the high miles. We have been checking around and have not found as nice a car for the same money. I know the miles are high but we would not be investing a lot of money. I am also concerned with all the negative posts I have read. I was told this was a 1-owner car and the VIN number was checked and nothing unsual showed up. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    Hi glinda49

    If you are concerened and it's a one owner check the maintenace records ( the dealership can contact the previous owner and ask for them, I had to show mine when someone bought my Beretta from the dealership). If the rotors have been replaced then you should be ok and no rotor issues should come up. As far as the mileage I would say it's no biggie. It's Chevy's 3.1 V6 and these engines are made to last for ever. If the price is right why not? Good luck with your choice!
  • aniazianiazi Member Posts: 39
    DO you use "gas treatment" or "fuel injector cleaner" by STP or any of any other brand?
  • glinda49glinda49 Member Posts: 15
    Thank you malibu99!!!!

    I just read your response to my dilemma. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. We're in the process of checking out a few more cars but the Malibu is still very much in the running. Thanks for the suggestion of contacting the owner to see what records he kept. I'll keep you posted as to what we decide to do. I feel better now about the mileage. Thanks again.
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    No I don't use gas treatments for my car. She uses regular gasoline and that's all the ever makes it into her engine. However if I ever needed them I would use them, they seem to be harmless. I used it in my beretta once a year but found it to be unnecessary so I don't use it in my Malibu.


    Forgot to mention that the 3.1 V6 is maintence free for 100,000 miles so you have in the ballpark of 20,000 miles before atune up ( spark plugs) and after that you have another 100,000 maint free miles! :-). Good luck!
  • aniazianiazi Member Posts: 39
    Thanx for the info malibu99.
  • the_art_guythe_art_guy Member Posts: 61
    I was unfortunate enough to be involved in my first accident this past weekend. I was driving home to catch the Super Bowl on TV when it happened...
    I was passing through an intersection at 40mph and this other car was on the opposite side of the road, when he proceeded to turn left, right in front of me! Needless to say, there was nothing I could do, I started to move my foot to the brake (like it would have done anything anyway, but you know it's a natural reaction). All I remember was the sound of the impact and then the car turning to the right and the sound of the air bags going off. I lifted my face out of the air bag and all I can remember was this horrible smell of the chemicals from the inflation of the air bag. I got out of the car and looked at my Malibu...
    The front end was totally smashed in, the bumper was disintegrated and then I saw the left rear wheel bent down, almost flat against the ground - it looked like the rear axle broke. One thing that was nice was that my hazard lights automatically came on and the engine shut off, even though the key in the ignition was turned to ON. After the police arrived and took our statements, one of them proceeded to give a ticket to the other driver for "failing to yield right-of-way while making a left turn." So it is now my baby is in the body shop, waiting to get a repair estimate, although somehow I have this feeling they are going to say it's totalled.
    Although I had a few problems with my 99 Malibu LS, I really liked it and have to thank the Lord that I was not hurt. If I didn't have air bags, this would have been a lot worse.
    Just wanted to show that the Malibu is a good, SAFE car...maybe there will be a new Malibu in my future:)
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Glad to hear your car saved you from injuries and that you came through the accident without injury.
  • rbradley1rbradley1 Member Posts: 1
    Hi guys, glad this place is around for me to post in. I checked here first before buying a 97 Malibu, to see the general consensus on the car. Welp, I've had the car about 6 months now, pretty much trouble free aside from the usual squeaks in the dash area, no biggie. But there was an intermittant 'whistling/ringing' coming from the belt area.
    So... I brought it in for a checkup. Guy said it was the altenator, needed a new one. Not being a mechanical genius, I asked a few of my motorhead friends who said "yeah, that could be it".
    Today I pick up the car, guess what? 200 bucks later, the ringing noise is still there. I call the mechanic out, go the hood up. 2 more mechanics follow. "Oh," finally says the mechanic, after much banter amoung them, shines the flashlight under the hood. "Sounds like the a/c compressor." "What?" say I."I thought it was the altenator. BTW, how much for something like a compressor". "Big Bucks" he says. I mumbled something about having no money falling out of a certain oriface. lol "So I just spent 200 bucks for nothing?" "Well, it looks like the problem is more complicated." Well duh. Now, the compressor does kick in, but something in there is rubbing the pulleys. Here's where I need your expertise, guys & gals.
    Is it really necessary to replace the compressor, and not the clutch or some other part of the assembly? I mean, a clutch is like 40 bucks, compared to 500 for a compressor.
    Then, to add to my frustration, on the way out of the plaza, my windshield wipers get tangled up together, and stuck overlapping each other. I pull over to untangle them, they come apart easily, but I hear an ungodly "clunk clunk clang" (some part falling into oblivion) and the whole wiper arm on the passenger side comes loose in my hand. So now the wipers don't work at all either. I'm not sure what needs to be replaced there. (But I was in such a rotten mood for spending $$ on an altenator I didn't need, I was almost ready to go back and blame the mechanic for doing it on purpose to make me spend more money lol haha)

    Other than that, so far I really like this Malibu. It's great in the snow. And great when it's not snowing either. :)
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305

    Sounds like you have been the victim of a bad mechanic scam. When I had my Beretta I had one minor issue with my alternator so they replaced it under a warranty. However, after that the hood cable snapped, so they replaced it for $50, then the AC wouldn't work, fixed for free. So I asked them what was causing these problems. Apparentlt the hood cable snapped because it was pinched under the hood and the AC didn't work because the vaccum tubes were pinched under the battery. Needless to say the two issues were caused by their dumb mechanic who fixed one thing and messed up two other things. Once I found a new dealership ( where I bought my Malibu) the Beretta was for ever after that trouble free. So, the moral of the story is...sounds like someone didn't do their job right.
    I would try replacing the compressor clutch since this is usually the cause of that "ringing" sound. As for your wipers, someone lefts something undone, change mechanics quick! Good luck!

    art guy

    I'm glad to hear you walked away from that accident. As I have always said, the Malibu is a very safe car and it proves that in real life situations. I never pay attention to a test where they ram a moving object into a still car where all the factors such as the drivers ability to steer away, the ABS in the car, and the airbags are left out of the equation. Good Luck!
  • dottiezdottiez Member Posts: 1
    I'm thinking of buying a 2001 Malibu. What is everyone's honest opinion on this car? Repairs? This particular Chevy is not my first choice (the Impala is), but the Malibu is more in my price range. I'll be relocating from snowy Chicago to hot and dry Las Vegas this spring and want to purchase the car before we leave. Do you think it's a good car for out there? Since there is a lot of driving out there, do you think the Malibu can handle it? You can send me your comments to my personal email, one reason being it's easier for me to read my email then to constantly log on here (I am at work, so it has to look legit!!). Thanks for everyone's opinions - good or bad.
  • dhflying1dhflying1 Member Posts: 8
    This engine may have been designed to last forever but I had to have the pistons replaced at 12,000 on a 2000 Malibu. What's up with this?
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305

    How should I know, I didn't build your car. The fact is you are probably one of the minority( possibly less than a 5%) who have had engine problems with the 3.1 V6. You can complain about the fit and finish on GM vehicles if you are picky but their engines and trannies are amomg the best out there. You should not have any other issues with your engine from now on though.
  • dhflying1dhflying1 Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for sharing that you did not build my car. But I don't consider raising the question of bad pistons as being picky. I expected as few bugs as I have experienced with every new car I have purchased. But not having to have the entire engine torn down. I don't think there would be too many folks happy about that. Fortunately, I have a very honest dealer who informed me of the problem with the pistons in the 3.1's that were built in Mexico. Good luck to everyone else who has the 2000 Malibu.
  • albuterolalbuterol Member Posts: 21
    malibu99>> Sorry to hear your problems but the brake issues have all been worked out and eliminated, the 98 modles did have brake issues which are now fixed

    When did suddenly all the '98 Malibus get repaired? I never received a recall notice, nor is there one at www.nhtsa.gov. I, like others, have been getting mine replaced periodically. What's your magic solution?
  • aniazianiazi Member Posts: 39
    Yeah, I am wondering too. I think if they are fixed then dealers installed old designed rotors back to the cars. And thats the reason people are getting problem over and over. Although when I called chevy they said its fixed in 2000 model. But I am not sure it is. Since they have redesigned most of the stuff in 2001 so I believe it must have fixed in 2001. But I don't find anywhere any solid proof. Probably a good honest dealer can only tell. I will try to find out. I have 2001 and I have more than 3000 miles so far I have no problem at all but its too early to say about brakes.
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    Hey dh wasn't trying to sound nasty just kinda humorous, I did answer the question though. Basically it is one of those VERY few cases. Sorry if you took offense :-)
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    What I meant to say by that sentence was that the 97 anmd 98 models had brake issues which have now been fixed ( meaning the brake issues for the Malibu). So there's my magic solution, I corrected my sentence :-)
  • dhflying1dhflying1 Member Posts: 8
    Malibu99, no offense taken. Just driving my point. You will begin to see problems with pistons in the 3.1 for the year 2000. The two pistons the farthest from the water pump. Also, I've had to have the brakes repaired on my Malibu at 6,000. The dealer corrected the problem and I think there is a service bulletin out on it. I also had air coming in thou my speakers. Don't get me wrong. I think the Malibu is a great value for the money. I'm just highly ticked off by the piston problem which is not something I think is acceptable. But overall I'm happy with the car. It's going to cost CM at ton to correct their mistake which will only drive up the cost of new cars.
  • t_h_x1138t_h_x1138 Member Posts: 13
    My wife and I pulled the trigger on a 2000 Malibu LS that had 16,000 miles on it. We paid $14,980 which I think was an ok deal, (they even thru in a set of new floor mats, oooooh aaaaaah). We have only put 60-70 miles on it so far, but I easily can say it was a large step up from our '93 Tracer 4cyl putt-putt mobile, ;-). Ya, I need to find a good deal on new tires, these cheap firestones aren't very good at all on the wet/snowy/icey roads of Wisconsin. And yes in the 3-4 days we have had the car its been easy to tell that these tires are weak at best. So I need to take care of that sooner then later. Ok, one other small thing, there is a small trim section up at the base of the windshield that doesn't look right, its poping up on the far right, not by a lot, but enough where I might want them to fix that........hmmmm will they fix something like that under warranty?

    Ya know we did a lot of shopping, sat in a lot of cars, and drove several of them. For the money this car is hard to beat dollar for dollar, feature for feature. And I don't think anyone could honstly say, I just bought a less relible car then the Tracer we turned in. Not that the Tracer was that bad either......it did ok, but it had its moments.

    We will have a 400 mile road trip coming up in a month or so, and I am actually looking forward to it, where with the Tracer, I would have tolerated the trip only.

    Now which tires have people gone with to replace these affinities?
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    In my experience, the Firehawk SH-30 are excellent for wet weather, if you do not mind less soft ride with the performance tires.


    They are OK with the two-three inches of the New England snow. Do not know about really heavy snow, though. Like on this picture:


    Probably it makes sense to have a second set of wheels, with snow tires. As the people are doing in Russia...

  • hvan3hvan3 Member Posts: 630
    I too was involved in a total collision. I was driving east-west, while the guy that hit me was driving north-south. I was in a 95 Honda Accord EX. Thank god we're safe from the collision.

    I am now in the market for a new car. Although I loved my Accord, I'm in the market for something different. I accumulated $3750 worth of GM points from my GM credit card, and now I'm stuck buying GM car/truck. LOL. I came down to conclusion of....Malibu LS, Impala LS, Tahoe LS, or Silverado LS truck.

    By the way, I read an excellent article about recouping your costs on a new car when your old car is declared "totalled". I havent' yet pursue with the other insurance claims, but I'm planning to recoup my cost on the new vehicle ( sales tax, registration, and title.) one way or another.


    Let me know if you had any luck. If it works, I'll definitely contact my attorney or deal with the other insurance directly.

    My e-mail address is [email protected]

    Good luck!

  • ghtrapghtrap Member Posts: 26
    Brakes - I have a 2000 Malibu LS and have had no problems with the brakes. I broke them in very slowly and I make sure my wheel mounting nuts are torqued equally and properly to that stress isn't induced into the rotors. I drive a lot and already have 27,000 miles on it. No real problems except I have just recently had problems with the air directional knob. It somethimes has a mind of its own and doesn't always distribute the air through the proper ducts that I am asking for. Wonder if anyone else has had that happen. I need to make an appointment with the dealer to have it fixed.

    To t_h_x1138:

    The Affinitys are simply a low grade tire. I switched to my favorite tire, the Michelin X-One a few months ago. Incredible difference in wet/snow traction as well as handling. No more 'mushy' feel. Michelin doesn't make the X-One in the same size as the OEM Affinitys, so I bought them in 205/65R15 size. They are the same diameter as OEM (so the speedometer isn't affected), and the 65 profile is actually a better match to the 6" wheels. Not cheap - but if you can afford them, they are a marked improvement.

    Yes, the fit of your trim pieces is covered under the warranty and your dealer should fix it under coverage. You might wait just a little while and discover a few more things to have them look at while your in there. If you've only driven it 70 miles, you haven't been able to observe everything yet.

    Yes, the Malibu is a heck of a lot more car than a Tracer. I don't have any doubts that you'll be a lot more comfortable in the Malibu.

    Good luck
  • t_h_x1138t_h_x1138 Member Posts: 13
    Ya, I put some Michelin XGT's on that tracer, so $200 for a pair of tires is ok (mounted and everything), not sure if the x-ones fall into that catagory. Either way, I think I want to stay way from firestone.

    BTW, my wife and I were trying to track down which Michelin's we had put on that tracer. Our receipt shows "P175/65SR14 XGT 4 RRBL", which current Michelins are close to those in all around traction performance? XGT 4H's?

    Our tax refund check should be coming in this week....hmmmmm, guess new tires and a small vacation to try the new tires out might be in order, lol.
  • the_art_guythe_art_guy Member Posts: 61
    Well I had to get a new car this weekend since my insurance company considered my 1999 Malibu LS a "total loss" after my accident last weekend. So I went down to Hertz Car Sales in Raleigh, NC again to get a vehicle.

    I had three cars in mind before I went down, a Pontiac Grand Am, a Ford Contour and of course, a Chewy Malibu. I was really disappointed with the Ford Contour and that was quickly removed from my list of contenders. So then it was between the Malibu and Grand Am. I decided it was time for a change and so I decided to go with the Grand Am. I wanted to retain my youthful image, I am after all only 23, so I thought the Grand Am will allow me to do that :)

    I like the 2000 Malibu, but have to say that I like the Grand Am better. So now my new baby is a 2000 Grand Am SE1 with a 170hp 3400 series V6, power everything, cruise, traction control, with a Silver mist metallic exterior. It has 25,000 miles and minus the money I got from my insurance company, the final purchase price was $11,045. So I know I got a good deal and am very happy with my new car.

    I just want to say GOOD-BYE to everyone on this Malibu forum, as I will now be joining the Grand Am forum. The Malibu is a good car, happy motoring and drive safely!!
  • lulu50lulu50 Member Posts: 1
    I bought my 2000 Malibu in March. I had only 4,000 miles on the car when I started having problems with my brakes. Going over 65 on the highway my steering wheel would vibrate. At first I thought it might need high speed balancing on the tires, but they were brand new too! Anyway, I called the dealer and he said they probably just have dust on them or "glazing" which can happen when new brakes don't break in properly and that it wasn't a problem. However, When I brought the car in I got a call from the dealer saying that I needed new rooters(did I spell that right?). He made it sound like this is a rare occurance and naturally they installed new rooters. I know have 11,500 miles on my car, and the brakes are starting to squeak. Also, occasionally when I start my vehicle and put it into reverse (very rarely going forward), while my foot is on the brake the car bucks? When I went into my dealer, naturally it didn't happen for them! Does anyone have an idea of what this could be?
  • albuterolalbuterol Member Posts: 21
    All rotors get a glaze over time, especially when using good metallic or semi-metallic pads. When performing normal brake maintenance of replacing pads or shoes, deciding to keep the rotors/drums means removing the glaze, typically by "turning" them (this restores some trueness), or sanding at a minimum (for your typical backyard mechanic). A rotor or drum can only be "turned" once or twice before it goes out of spec, so eventually you'd need new ones. Only in cases of bad/damaged suspension geometry do you get these warped rotors. My old '91 Tercel original rotors lasted 105k miles.

    As for "breaking in properly", there really is no such thing for brakes -- they perform best when new. As for the dust, disc brakes are designed to be self-cleaning by means of the centrifigal force and the scraping action of the pads.

    Typical modern cars had discs up front and drums in the rear. Using the emergency/parking brake when stopped pulls a special arm on the rear brake shoe to "seize" it against the drum. Perhaps when you release the parking brake, the shoes are sticking.

    That vibration over 65 -- is that just from driving, or is that braking at 65? When the brakes are not applied, they normally have no influence on the vehicle's behavior.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    You wrote: As for "breaking in properly", there really is no such thing for brakes -- they perform best when new.

    As well as I remember, the Malibu manual say the opposite. The new brakes require 1000 mile break-in period, to be repeat after replacing pads.
  • albuterolalbuterol Member Posts: 21
    Maybe I should have said, "they perform best when new on normal cars where the alignment is true." Obviously the Malibu engineers decided wobble is acceptable so let the pads and rotors wear/warp to the harmonics of the steering suspension.
  • t_h_x1138t_h_x1138 Member Posts: 13
    Nah, most manufacturers sugest a break in period, so the whole brake pad is making contact with the rotor. That is to say, a break pad and rotor are not 100% flush with each other, there are imperfections to both. And until the pads are worn down enough to where there is a better mating of the two surfaces, take it easy on the brakes, thats all they saying with the 1000mile break in. And for the most part, 90% of the break in is done in the first 100miles of a brake job, assuming you aren't just travling on a highway. Anyhow, a break in period for brakes is normal for every car!
  • garshir5garshir5 Member Posts: 3
    My wife liked her Malibu and now after putting four MasterCraft Cooper tires on, she LOVES it.

    We've had only four complaints over the last few years. - Tire noise (original equipment Firestone Affinity) was excessive (now cured) - brake pads replaced at 11,000 under warranty - A/C is somewhat erratic - and AM radio is total static. (still).

    Otherwise this is a solid vehicle and I feel that my wife is safe on her long commutes. (43,000 on it already!)

    just my .02
  • gwood04gwood04 Member Posts: 6
    As just thought about bigger car with more power like Impala, read its posts on this site and was amazed by lots of negative posts(steering, engine shutdown, AC, rotors, etc), really much worse than the Malibu situation. They accused the GM factory workers for poor workmanship.

    Oh am glad I still stick with my Malibu which has been running great since 1997, even though it had body and rotor defects fixed in the first year.
  • yurakmyurakm Member Posts: 1,345
    Have 98 Malibu, base with V-6, and like it much. Especially after dealer replaced brakes / rotors ($400+) and fixed a lot of small things under warranty. The handling improved a lot after we replaced the stock Affinity tires by Firehawk SH-30 at 36k miles.

    Though, currently the Malibu is relegated to the status of second car. We bought a 2000 Regal GS and like it even more. Much more. Well, except the astonishingly arrogant service at our Buick dealer.

    As to the Impala problems, well, the second year of production just started. It usually takes more time to debug their problems at GM. The 97-98 Malibu witness it.

    Though, there were very few reports concerning AC and rotors at the Impala board. Looks as infrequent random defects, and not a safety item.

    The engine hesitation / stalling also is infrequent, but very dangerous. Looks as it was due to several different defects - loose ignition lock, bad crankshaft sensor, etc. All of this is very strange, given the 3.8l V-6 engine is very well proved.

    Other problems you mentioned (engine cradle, steering shaft, amplifier) looks to be widespread.
  • malibu99malibu99 Member Posts: 305
    I have to agree with you. I am so glad I passed on the Impala and bought my 99 LS, it's been a delight to drive and it hasn't given me the slightests headache, I love this car! Good luck!
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