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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • Yesterday, on PBS' "MotorWeek", they revealed the 2004 "Driver's Choice" awards, with the Malibu receiving "Best Family Sedan" for '04. Special mention was also made of the Maxx, for its versatility in this segment.
  • My hands have more fingers than the number of new Malibu's I have seen on the road. And I live in Fairfax, Va close to Washington DC.

    Chevyguy, are you kidding me. The Malibu is the most bland looking car I have ever seen. I know looks are subjective, but the Malibu is not going to win any beauty contest either. The only midsize cars that stand out are the Mazda6 and Nissan Altima.
  • '05 Malibu on the way. Just learned in the G6 forum that production of the '05 begins on June 14. I'm in shock. Guess there are design changes that need to be worked in.

    Hopefully, triedntru can fill us in. Maybe we can request, civilly, please, some favors?

    Yikes, I didn't count on THAT.
  • GM starts almost all of the 05 production in spring or summer. This is normal. 05 Vibe starts Apr 26th, CTS May 17th. I highly doubt there will be any major changes.
  • tgp1810tgp1810 Posts: 112
    Remember that the first 2 weeks of July GM pretty much shuts down its plants for switchover as well. I'm not too shocked by the Malibu because unfortunately it had a late production start last year. If it had been ready for, lets say, late spring/summer then the June date wouldn't seem so soon.
  • seen either a Chevy Colorado or a GMC Canyon on the road yet? Hummer H3 will be based on these two, so I'll be watching closely for quality issues and such
  • Has anyone experienced this?

    Model: MALIBU
    Year: 1999
    Service Bulletin Number: 052203
    NHTSA Item Number: 10003658
    Summary Description:
  • No, bc, I haven't had THAT one. Miraculous! Bizarre. I only keep a few keys on the ring, so maybe that's it.

    I was under the impression that for models that aren't new or refreshed (Vibe being the latter), they start production after the July shut-down. Especially since the ramp-up of the '04 was carefully long&slow, I thought we wouldn't see the '05s in the showrooms until late Sept. or Oct. Now it looks like July.

    I'm placing my bets that the reason for it is that they have listened and are going to make multiple running changes at one time ("UglyCloth" for one. Yippie!). We've seen nothing that would suggest mechanical problems that need fixing, right?

    Under this scenario, it'd be an '05 for me. Maybe I'll nurse the old horse until Christmas time, a VERY GOOD time to buy.
  • "Just learned in the G6 forum that production of the '05 begins on June 14."

    I don't know whether or not that date is accurate, but it is not too far out of line. I guess it depends on how you define "begins." Typically, full-blown assembly of next year's cars begin mid-July of the previous year. It takes about that long to fill the market by January.

    The person may be referring to test builds that we start seeing trickle through the process around that time. In all honesty, it's typical.
  • Whew!

    Yeah, the 6/14 "start" had me VERY alarmed. Not sure where the member in the G6 discussion got the info, but I don't question its reliability. Based on what you're saying, it could be the start of "trial runs". HOWEVER, the member in the G6 discussion also supplied a start date for G6 production of 8/14, which mimicks last years start date of 8/11 for the '04 Bu.

    Sincerely, and very respectfully, are you "fessing up"?

    You know me, very well, that I'm "holding tight" for some larger rebates come summer.
  • Yes, I'm bored this afternoon. Worked my butt off last week, so no comments from the membership.

    Here's the link, but remember, the '04 Malibu and Maxx haven't been crashed yet. Soon, though. Just so you're up to speed. Actually this is for the member that asked about the Mazda6 (and, call it a "mid-life "moment", but I don't recall if the question was asked of me in this discussion or in the Maxx discussion, think the latter); anyway, might be of interest here too. AND you can watch a gory movie. Not me, I've had enough gore for one day, but that's another matter, as noted in "Problems & Solutions".

    Here are the instructions. Questions? Post.

    To get the background info on what the ratings mean, click on the blue sub-headings underneath the column titles. Print that out, if you care to. Go to the specific model you're interested in, on the left side, and then click ON THE MODEL NAME to get a DETAILED summary of the vehicle crashed.

    There is a LOT of info. And very numbers-oriented.

    I'm not exactly overjoyed with the results on the '04 Classic (same as prior Malibus), but at least they're better than some more recent GM sedans, Grand Prix being what my focus was on.
  • Forgive me if I sound naive, but I don't know what you mean by "fessing up." Could you elaborate?

    And asking me to change anything on the car won't do diddly squat. I have no control over that. We don't design the car here in the plant.
  • You have more influence than you give yourself credit for. Remember, YOU took the initiative to "snoop around these parts", even before the Malibu purchase. And I highly respect you for that. Period. Even though they may observe, no one else involved in Malibu production has stepped up to the plate.

    The "fessing up" bit has to do with changes. Great job so far, apparently. No recalls, no major malfunctions, I'm impressed.

    But I'll just bet that the "early switchover" has to do with changes planned.

    That's all, don't be defensive. Nice, and fair (mostly) dude here.

    Also, I appreciate your attention to the members opinions. And, although I don't believe you've not met friends in your area ('cmon, look what a following you have in here), you, time and again come back with offers to get buyers a better price. Now that's sportsmanship, huh?

    Perhaps I'll take you up on an offer this summer. Keep 'em coming, if you can.

    Maybe I think you're "higher up the totem pole" than you are. Big deal.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hey folks, let's just stick to the cars and not get caught up in personal issues, okay?

    There are lots of folks in the vehicle industry who enjoy participating in our community. Their occupation does not make them accountable for decisions made and paths taken by the manufacturer, and it isn't really fair to try to hold them accountable in that way.

    So let's just get back to the cars and let everyone enjoy our community without making them feel like they have to answer for their employers.

  • To all those who say the Bu style sucks, just drive by in your ugly camcords and leave the rest of us alone.
    I saw a black Bu recently, and the car looks great in that color. The front end is a completely different animal. The cars' quality cannot be questioned either, as well as the generous on performance frugal on fuel engine. I recently saw an ad for Camry with 0% APR or $1000 cash back (NY tri-state area).
    The Black Bu Bites hard!
    I would honestly say I would look into the car more if it had the G6's manumatic. The shift-on-the-shifter thing is not to my taste, admittedly i did not drive a bu with that feature equipped but still.
  • That was a totally unexpected tongue-lashing. You try to help people out and all of a sudden your character gets attacked. Truth is, your perception of me is way off in left field.

    Enough of that. I saw an interesting Malibu going down the line the other day. It was a totally different color than I've seen before. If I had to describe it, it would be an "electric blue" or something like that. It was probably just a test car, but it sure stood out from the regular colors. I'm not sure what to make of that red color. This is just my opinion, but it doesn't look like a sporty red. Instead it looks more like a lipstick color, if that makes sense. Has anybody else noticed that?

    I honestly don't know when the 05 production starts. I gave you my best guess. Nothing to "fess up."

    The thing people have to realize is that running changes don't necessarily require a model change in the car. Running changes happen all the time. For example, there were probably 100 differences between the first 02 Grand Prix and the last 02 Grand Prix.

    So, if there really was an early start on 05 Malibu production, I really doubt it is because of design changes. Besides major design changes usually require major tooling changes, which is why the model change usually takes place after the July shutdown.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Although I think my GP looks much better than the Malibu, I have to admit the Maxx is a pretty neat car. I can do with out the versatility but I can see where this car could be real handy for a lot of people.

    Nice to see GM making some solid cars again. The kudos from Consumer Reports and Motor Week are also very encouraging.
  • I'm a fairly new member, and I got a bit out of line, due to experience, or the lack thereof. Thanks to Pat, once again (ahem) for not chastisng me too badly.

    I am truly sorry if I've offended any of you. Heck, I'm a talkative "newbie". Give me a bit of a break (Hosts aside, which they have done, quite graciously).

    Triedntru, keep talking. We love you. And that's the only point that I was trying to make. So sorry if I didn't express it too well.
  • DuPont apparently has a new "blueish red", with it being a dark blue with a hint of red, but to be fair, the last time I saw a true "Lipstick Red" was on a mid-90s Town Car and Grand Muckie-Muck.

    Oh no, if that's what you saw. Please advise, as you always do.
  • If I can be totally selfish, for a minute, I really liked the "Orange Fusion" color that's offered on the '04 GP. I'm not buying an '04 GP, however.

    It'd be "swell" if GM offered a nice Silver/Medium Red mix on the '05 Bu. In South Florida, and I certainly don't want a dark color.
  • homerkchomerkc Posts: 113
    I'm sure this is available somewhere, but since I don't know where ... I'll ask again. My 98 Malibu, an excellent car, by the way, loses antifreeze. Some is visable, occasionally, outside (small pool), but for the most part it disappears. I don't see evidence of it entering the engine oil, but where else could accomodate the fluid?

    How much is the "fix"??
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    If, as I understand it, you work at the Fairfax plant, and they plant accepts suggestions, here's a color you might have them investigate. Ford Rangers are starting to used a vivid metallic copper/orange paint that, in my opinion, is a really beautiful color. I have a hunch that color would look outstanding on a Malibu. It would probably appeal more to the younger crowd, but thats a good thing.
  • Carrying some groceries in the same hand as my keys - warped my '99 Bu key - destroying it. Bent like a paperclip. Am down to using my spare. Have the special code that I need for a new key that the salesman gave me when I bought the car - can anyone tell me the cost of getting a new key at the dealership - $20 or so? Just wondering.
  • Sorry about your probs.

    First, now that we have all of these great new boards, I'd suggest you re-post in "Probs & Solutions". Once there, fill us in re: mileage, etc.

    I know what your problem is, but it's senseless to discuss it on this board.

    The Hosts have been spectacular in letting us now discuss "stuff" in specific forums. See you there.

    Same advice to mjohns. Although, that's a weird one to me, sure someone else can help.
  • You were misled. I have no influence whatsoever on the design of the vehicle. That includes color choices, materials used, etc. They give us the parts, and we put them together.

    There was an earlier message where a person mentioned he was at a dealership and saw a new Malibu with some parts not fitting together properly. I told him that I would let the supervisors know of the flaws that got out of the plant, and all of a sudden word was going around that I was a high-up person of influence. Nope. I'm just a peon who took it upon myself to communicate the defects back to the responsible people.

    So far, I put about 5k miles on our 04 LS. Still no complaints. This is the first car that I've ever had with a "neutral" (I'd call it tan) interior, and I noticed it shows dirt a lot easier, but I think that is expected. The only thing I would change with the climate controls is the location of some of the knobs. There is so much parallax from where the driver is sitting, that it is difficult to see what setting it is on without leaning over to get a better view.

    An example of parallax is where the passenger thinks you're only driving 65 when you're actually going 70 because of their angle to the speedometer.

    Of course, they may have done that to give the passenger some knobs to play with, but I think I would like those knobs angled toward the driver just a little more IMO.
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    Just wondering if you still have your Intrepid. If not how many miles were on the car when you sold it and did you have any problems with engine sludge. I have a 2002 Intrepid SE with the 2.7L engine and there have been an increasing amount of complaints about the motor.
  • Perhaps you can also tell your superiors or maybe Mr. Lutz himself, that even more important than the quality of GM vehicles is how dealerships treat people who own GM cars, especially when those people come for service. In Greater Vancouver area, I tried 3 GM dealerships, and was very unhappy with the first two. Both with the service and attitude. The third one was recommended by a friend, and even though it's a fair distance from my residence, I will only serve my car there from this time on, just because they seemed to care, and didn't act like I was a big nuisance to them

    Police the dealerhips, and GM just might have a chance against Toyota
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    Which is the good dealer, which the two bad ones? I wouldn't want to give my business to the latter at buying time.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    I have dealt with 2 GM dealers in the GTA and one in Hamilton and all have been excellent. Must be a Vancouver thing. I am always surprised to see how good GM is compared to my Honda, Ford and Toyota experiences.
  • I have a 98 Malibu with a little over 146000 miles on it.

    I have a very strange problem with my Malibu. My "brake" warning light in the instrument panel is on, and thinks that the parking brake is engaged. For example, after I fully release the brake and then try to drive, the "brake" warning light is on and it dings for a couple of seconds attempting to remind me to check the park brake. Also, my ALC is inoperable with the "brake" warning light on. Accustomed to five years of using the ALC system, I keep leaving the headlights on at night (I'm afraid that I'll eventually forget to turn them off, and drain my battery.)

    So, I was wondering if this happened to anyone else before? If it has, is there a way that I can fix it myself without having to take in to the dealer. I consider taking it to the dealer the last resort.
  • homerkchomerkc Posts: 113
    I still have the Intrepid. It just turned 60k miles and I have had NO problems with the car (in fact, still original brakes.) I drive 80-90% highway miles, but no sign of sludge and certainly no degradation of performance. I still get 30 mpg highway, 25 in mixed driving. In fact, it is the 2.7 engine alone that would pull me into another Chrysler.
  • Some complain about the chrome bar on the front end. Everyone has their own taste. But, look at a '68-69 Chevelle oa '65/'68 Impala/BelAir etc. They had the same theme with a thin bumper splitting the grille.

    I spotted a dark blue '04 Malibu today from 1/4 mile. Something that can't be done with most other boring, beige, new cars.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Now, now!

    I can spot a Pontiac Aztek from half a mile away! :)
  • I just can't keep from laughing when I see an Aztek. It reminds me of a warthog so badly. What a horrible, horrible design decision, amazing!

    Priggly, out of two 'ships I was unhappy with, one no longer exists, and the other one is in Vancouver on Marine Dr. I didn't buy my car there (went for service once, bad! Plus, a parts salesman was rude, a parts salesman!), but a guy I know was greeted by a salesman so pushy that he ended up buying his GM vehicle at another dealer (I haven't being at that dealer yet)

    The one I am very pleased with is not in Vancouver, is right by a Skytrain station, and runs TV ads where a guy applies that dealership's logo on a car.

    Please, let's not name any names :)
  • Aztek isnt a car, anyway, Malibus are a good first shot and with running changes should see more of the 'gotta have' stuff some expect, like OHC and sport trim models.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I agree. GM deserves big brownie points for going forward with this car, especially the Maxx. Innovative concept that may well catch on. Took some guts, too, after the near universal rejection of hatchbacks as/and econoboxes in the past.
  • Running changes going to include?
  • hbund216hbund216 Posts: 162
    We are planning on buying a 04 Malibu soon. Anything to watch out for? Thanks
  • So far it seems the 04's are pretty bullet proof.

    Good luck on your purchase.

  • Granted, we haven't had a torrent of complaints about 04s exploding on the streets, but there have been only 50 thousand or so made, and they have been on the road for about four-five months. Wait at least a year and until JD Power's initial quality survey
  • hbund216hbund216 Posts: 162
    We got it today. They had the exact one that we were looking for. A LT in the medium gray without any options. We'll see how it goes.
  • has options? I thought it was loaded. What options did you skip?
  • hbund216hbund216 Posts: 162
    there is a package that gets one a sunroof, homlink and automatic dimming rearview mirror. Also skipped the 6 cd changer, XM, and On-Star. Love the color. I'm not driving it but hope to after it's broken in. There are minor fit a finish issues. But they are no worse than my 2000 Accord.
  • Just a quick post. Things have come up and right now I can't "waste" time posting. ;)

    Yesterday, there was an '04 LT with sunroof and 3K miles in the local paper (being sold by a dealer representing a competing make, so I'd gather the purchaser didn't like it. Either that or it was full of problems). First used one I've seen (and have only seen one on the road so far as well). Price? $19,500, and I'm sure that could be negotiated down.
  • Hey guys,

    I just saw the option list for the 05 Malibu sedans and Maxxes. Although I can't go into specifics, it looks like a lot of the options you guys are wishing for on the 04 will come true in 05 along with more option packages.

    It looks like somebody is listening to the customer!

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Rumor has it Chevy will be upping the Ecotec displacement and power to be more in line with the current Accord/Camry/Altima 4 cylinder output. I thought using the stock Cavalier Ecotec this year was a bit wimpy. Personally, I'd welcome a sprightly four. Even the current four actually got superior handling reviews in one of the Big Three (Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Road and Track) write ups.
  • I wouldn't think that Dave ("triedntru") can reveal ANY info at this date, since it would discourage purchasers of the '04.

    I'm still spinning my head over the fact that the '05 is due as soon as it is (to correct things that should have been introduced on the '04s). Now, don't want an '04, and rebates on the '05 will never get above $1,000, if at all, before late spring '05. I'm NOT keeping this "car" (if I can even call it that any longer!) past late Dec. (and that's pushing it).

    I have too many other stresses in my life. Guess I'm leaving GM, for real this time. Onward, ho. So much for my screen name, huh?
  • Used current model year cars pop up all the time at auctions. Could be many reasons why it's for sale. Most likely the owner couldn't pay for it!
  • was a one-owner trade, and it was a Honda dealership, by the way.

    I didn't go so far as to mention what I wanted to in that post, but I'll do so now. The depreciation is bad, real bad.

    But, the Mazda3 5-door that now has my eye is apparently also going through the suspect first-year teething problems (brakes, PCM, airbag sensors). However, because Mazda handles rebates differently from GM, on that I could wait until Dec., get an '05, and get a rebate (too new for one now), plus a huge year-end discount on the deal. GM doesn't work that way lately. Big rebates are in the summer and fall.
  • Deperciation is bad of course if someone trades in after 6 months. Dealers get rich from people trading in often and emotional buying decisions.
This discussion has been closed.