Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    i'll have to disagree with you too. to me it's very obvious that the malibu doesn't match the accord's (let alone a BMW) fit and finish and material quality.

    for example, try opening the glove box. how does it open? now check the other two car's glove box in question.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 13,651
    Jerry Flint criticizes the Malibu for being boring. And the Camry isn't? They say the Malibu'slooks don't match up. But is the Accord a thing of beauty? Hardly.

    Flint is right when he claims that it is all about perception. I get a charge about the folks who pay big bucks for scheduled service on their Hondas, where all sorts of stuff gets replaced, then turn around and claim that they are trouble-free. Meanwhile the typical GM car maybe gets the benefit of an occasional oil change and tire rotation. The CR reliability ratings are based on owner reporting, remember. So the typical Honda owner says nothing broke. Whether or not it actually did may be another matter.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    Seems like Canadians are more loyal to the big three than Americans. As to the above post that Honda and Toyota owners don't report their problems when there actually is, is simply not true. I don't know how you got that idea. From my own observation, I see more late 80's and early 90's Camry and Accord than Lumina, Cutlass Sierra, Taurus, Intrepid or any other American mid size cars.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Err, we have a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu vs. Alternatives discussion ... how about we meet up there with these comments and let this dedicated discussion focus on it's subject.

    See ya there!
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Just exactly where is the 2004 Malibu's fit and finish not up to an Accord or BMW's finish? I park everyday with my Malibu next to to one of those in our works parking lot. Somebody here said the Malibu's steering wheel was "skinny and odd looking". I made a point of comparing my steering wheel with the Accord next to me. Blow me if I could see if the Accords looked "fatter or better looking". In fact if you changed steering wheels and badges you wouldn't notice the difference. Well, they are at least the same color you know....

    I see just as much plastic in the BMW and Accord as in the Malibu. Unless somebody convinces me that the BMW and Accord has "better plastic". I'm going to take a tape measure and measure the area of plastic in all three cars. I'll measure the gaps in the doors. I'll see which doors close with the most satisfying thunk. I have a project now for my lunch break now. I'll keep you posted.
  • did they have to make such an ugly steering wheel on the new Bu? Should've kept the old wheel - MUCH better looking, and without that outrageously hideous yellow bowtie
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    While I don't think the Ecotec is quite as good as the Honda and Toyota 4 cyl. motors, I do think the V6 is much better than their 4 cyl motors and it's about the same price. Point is, why get a 4 when you can get a 6 that is more refined, has more power and gets the same gas mileage?

    Malibu is a value leader in the midsize segment in my opinion. As word gets around and CR gives it a buy rating as I'm sure they will, sales should continue to pick up.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    I don't think the 6cyl. would get as much as the Ecotec 4cyl. I'm getting 36.8mpg on the freeway with my Ecotec. This mileage is helped by the fact that there is no steering assist pump being driven by the engine. The 2004 Malibu has electric steering which uses no power when driving straight as opposed to a hydraulic pump which which consumes energy in the same situation. Engine vibration, an energy sapper, is also very low, helped in part by the fact that the aircon compressor and alternator are bolted directly onto the engine block. There are no brackets with accessories hanging off. I don't feel any vibration when I turn the aircon on.

    There is a lot of sophistication in the design of the Ecotec engine that tends to missed at first glance.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    it's hard to believe that you don't see a difference in fit and finish between your malibu and the BMW/accord.

    forget about your tape measure. there are different levels of plastic quality!

    after you open and shut the glove compartments of the cars in question try looking at the exterior mirrors. are sure you don't see a difference in quality?

    next. try closing the trunk lids of these cars.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    if the honda service department finds something broken they just go ahead and replace that part free of charge and keep it a secret from you so you can think your car is reliable. ya RIGHT.

    part replacements (like belts) are NOT part of any scheduled maintenance until you get to a very high mileage interval.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    So now I'm getting all paranoid about this "fit and finish". I cut a piece of cardboard the width of the largest gap in my 2004 Malibu doors. Hardly any difference between doors I might tell you. Then I walk down to the carpark and in doing so I check the gaps in doors of Volvo's, BMW's, Toyota's, Accura's, and etc., etc. Well, guess what? My Malibu has no bigger a gap than any other car. I do the same with the trunk lid. Same result!

    So what are we really looking for here? I was in the plastic manufacturing business for many years and can tell you most car manufactures are sourcing their plastic (it's actualy PVC - polyvinylchloride) from the same source. PVC is is usually made using the DuPont process. UV stabilizers are then added to protect against sunlight. I suppose a car manufacturer could ask the blenders to cheapen the product. I don't know. Hopefully the plastic will last the lifetime of the car.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    hope you don't get in any trouble with your cardboard tests. i gave you my suggestions. do what you want with them. but how much trouble is it to look at the exterior mirrors of the cars in question?

    my "plastic" observations just go by looks and feel. surely you can see some cars have higher quality plastic than others. VW/Audi very very good. GM (excluding cadillac) not so good.
  • 37453745 Posts: 152
    Yeah, I thought that somebody might think I was trying to steal their car. But I've developed a fine eye now. I can see without my cardboard if gaps are up to standard. And, the winner of the great gap contest is.......Subaru!!!! They beat both Mercedes and BMW with the smallest gap of all around the doors. I don't know if all models of Subaru are like this but the ones I saw were very good.

    Maybe I'm going blind but I see nothing wrong with the exterior mirrors on the Malibu. Warts and all, the new Malibu is a very fine motor car and I'm not sorry I bought one. I see the Ecotec model is being sold for $17360 now. I was able to get mine at that price with 0% APR over 3 years. I had no car to trade so the dealer wasn't able to screw me there. I think that's a fair deal.

    BTW, in you observations of fit and finish, did you notice how the windshield and rear window on the new Malibu were attached. VERY interesting. Take a look next time you see one.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Folks, as I mentioned, this recent conversation belongs in our 2004 Chevrolet Malibu vs. Alternatives discussion.

    These discussions are linked to from a number of places on our host site and elsewhere, and it is important that the folks who follow the links find the conversation that the title represents. This discussion is not a comparo, so we can't really get lost in comparison discussion, especially when we have another very appropriate place for that to take place.

    So please follow that link to continue. Thanks - I appreciate your understanding.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Our 02 Ls finally has its 1st minor problem. The turn signals started to act up recently and work intermittently. Everything else is fine. Does anybody have any idea? Is it a loose fuse, bad contact of some wires or something? Thanks.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    Same thing happened to me. Get a dealer to replace the turn signal flasher which is located under the emergency flasher on the dash. My dealer first replaced the multipurpose arm which was not the problem.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    "Warts and all, the new Malibu is a very fine motor car and I'm not sorry I bought one"

    no argument with me on that. just think some competing cars have better fit and finish.

    "in you observations of fit and finish, did you notice how the windshield and rear window on the new Malibu were attached"

    nope, but i'll take a look next time i see one and hopefully i won't be chased away by the owner.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
  • njscribenjscribe Posts: 23
    My brother has a very nice 01 malibu that he likes, but I would say the 04 version is so improved it should be considered as another name plate rather than part of a lineage. The quality of materials and design seems significantly upgraded.
  • The classic Bu looks like a beauty queen next to a warthog, compared to the new Bu. A HUGE embarassment for Chevy to lay such an egg in the design department. And the steering wheel is simply a scandal. They should pay people to place their hands on it. I won't be seeing driving that thing, sorry, Mr. Lutz
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    I like the looks of the 04 Malibu, especially in black. I also like the steering wheel, it feels good and looks good. I also like the gold bow tie in the center. I just loaded my Malibu for my trip to Michigan with ALL the items I brought down in my 93 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. Tight fit, but it's all in there. Enjoy the ride.
  • kpugh2kpugh2 Posts: 20
    The wife has the above car sinde late Nov - 03 In 4 months she has traveled 7K+ and averaged 26.1 mpg. This has been all trouble free miles
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    No, I meant the 6 cyl. Malibu will get the same as the 4 cyl Camry and Accord. Ecotec is a good motor from what I hear. I have just read it's not quite as refined as the Honda or Camry 4 cyl motors. I'd personally take a V6 over a 4 cyl car but that's just me.
  • at an auto show yesterday. Looked very unexciting, though the steering wheel wasn't as aggravating to look at as I thought. The biggest surprise from GM was a HUGE, and I really mean H-U-G-E concept truck called Chevrolet Cheyenne. That thing makes Silverado look like Mini Cooper. Perhaps, GM is trying to ward off Toyta's new FX full-size truck, and an upcoming truck from Honda
  • triedntrutriedntru Posts: 73
    A while back, a person posted about a phenomenon on the new Malibu where the radio presets will change depending on which key fob unlocks the doors.

    I finally had both key fobs at the same time, and my wife had recently been driving the car. When I unlocked the car with my key fob, the radio was on to the station I normally listen to. I turned off the car, and locked the car using my fob. Then, using my wife's fob I unlocked the car, and upon starting the car, the radio had switched to the station she listens to!

    I went back and forth several times in this experiment. It seems to me that this would be a feature worth advertising.

    So far our 04 Malibu LS with nearly 7,000 miles has performed flawlessly, with awesome mpg.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Yes, this personalization feature of radio (by key fob) was added to a later edition of owner manual
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    What kind of mpg are you getting? You have the 6-cylinder, right?
  • triedntrutriedntru Posts: 73
    Yeah, ours is the 6 cyl, and we were getting 30-32 mpg pretty consistently on the long highway drives. My wife mostly drives it now, so I haven't had a chance to check recently.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    This feature was on my 2001 Malibu LS. It's a nice feature esp. since my wife likes country music and hate it. Hate is rather strong considering I do like watching the videos and muting the sound.
  • I caught a short story on regarding an investigation by the NHTSA into the Malibu's power steering... it seems they have received complaints of power steering failure during driving - no accidents or fatalities noted. Thing get more and more interesting.
  • My '99 Bu regularly gets 30+ MPG highway driving. I think around 35-36 was the record. Perhaps yours is still new, and you would get better MPG down the road?
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    I just got a recall for my 1997 Malibu (wich I sold in October) for something that had to do with the steering. What's up with that? What goes wrong...anyone know?

  • After less than four years, my beautiful blue 2000 Malibu LS has been sold and replaced with a Honda CRV. It still makes me a little sad, because the Malibu in my opinion all in all isn't a bad car. In fact, I think it was the nicest looking car I've ever owned, and that's from someone who also has a 99 Accord. Haven't seen many of the new ones on the road yet, but hope they do well. There were some reliability issues on the particular model I had, which was one of the reasons for selling it. I could see it becoming a perpetual drain on the wallet. I hope they worked out the problems with the new model.
  • m257257m257257 Posts: 8
    "General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news) said on Monday it has recalled 108,000 of its 2004 Chevrolet Malibu sedans to reprogram an anti-lock brake system and fix a seat belt anchor that could detach."

    Link to full article: 749&e=2&u=/nm/20040419/bs_nm/autos_gm_recall_dc
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    This is precisely the reason year after year the Japanese keep gaining market share. They are going to gain even more market share at the end of this year and probably even next year and beyond.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Yep. Everyone knows that Japanese cars are never, ever recalled.

    Yeah, right.
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
  • All manufactures are cutting corners to increase profit. Honda (Japanese) Odyssey again for transmission ( They must have bought the plans from Chrysler)
  • hbund216hbund216 Posts: 162
    While it is bad PR at least GM recalls cars when they have problems. I drive a 2000 Accord without any recalls. No recall for the pulsating interior lights at low and high speeds. And no recall for the seat track breaking for the third time. These two issues are well known to this car. Honda does not recall they just extend the warranty like they did when the transmission on the Accords were defective. Sadly this makes for great PR. At the end of the day I rather have the car that has been fixed and runs properly.
  • triedntrutriedntru Posts: 73
    that I gleaned from reading the aforementioned article, is that GM is constantly testing and constantly improving the Malibu, even in circumstances that prove to be "severe" or "rare."

    I'll admit I'm totally biased, but no accidents or injury has ever occurred because of these circumstances, and I'm glad that GM is taking the initiative to improve them without pressure from an outside group.

    It has been my impression that the Asian car companies would rather hide or ignore a problem rather than fix it, as evidenced by the post from hbund216. Remember the Asian economy crashing and hearing "Oh, me so sorry." a few years back? Remember Firestone?
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Honda and Toyota are notorious for not doing recalls when they should. I was surprised they actually owned up to the transmission issue though they claim only 10 vehicles have had the problem. Ya right!
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    is for a steering rack problem. There is a pinion bearing that, if it gets worn too far, can cause the driver to have excessive effort when trying to turn, or the vehicle may turn the wrong direction (turn left when wheel is turning right) There have been no major injuries caused by this problem, but GM has recalled a large number of monte carlos, lumina sedans and malibus to have the rack inspected and the lower bearing replaced with an updated part. In a few cases, the steering rack may need replaced.

    As for GM's giant pile of recalls, please note that the vast majority of recalls are done as preemptive strikes. 'In case, one day, in certain situations, this part might break, we'll replace it now.' There are also many dinky recalls, such as one that crossed my desk the other day for '04 malibus. It involves the information sticker on the passenger's sunvisor. Affected owners will be sent a new sticker, with instructions for installation, within the next month or so.

    If you want to know if your vehicle is involved in a recall, call your local dealer. Be sure to have your vehicle identification number handy. Also note the media has info on new recalls quicker than the dealers do. Usually we get detailed information a month or two after the media does a story on a recall.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Sorry mitzij, we're not letting GM off the hook for this recall. How about the thousands of engines that are affected bythe poor design of the intake manifold gasket? How about the bad design of the alternators that cause the headlights to flicker? How about all the electrical gremlins in so many of their cars? How about the early develoment of piston slap in their V8 engines inthe Silverado pick up trucks?

    GM picks and chooses what they are going to recall based on waht woudl cost them the most money if it were to fail. So you recall the steering rack becuase it's failure could lead to injury or death. But you let the alternator go becuase its failure doesn't affect human life. It may cause road rage from other drivers which could endanger your life.

    Don't get me wrong, GM is not the only manufacturer to do this. But to try and claim that they are trying to save the general public is absolutely ludicrous. It's about PR and the almighty dollar. Oh yeah and the lawyers.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    So cynical. It's about customers and repeat sales. And getting it right. The solution for YOU is simple. If you detest GM so, don't buy their cars. Many did and didn't buy the cars. GM is improving. ALL US manufacturers were much, much worse than the Asian manufacturers back in the bad old days for car manufacturing of the 70's/80's.

    There really IS nothing to see here. Can we get back to discussing the Malibu?
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    I'm glad you got my point.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Actually I don't hate GM, I'm disappointed with them, Ford and Chrysler. But my shot was not at GM but all car manufacturers. It jsut so happen this is in the Malibu board. I now have 2000 Olds Intrigue. I did a two for one, 1996 Explorer w/ 145k miles and 2001 Malibu LS w/33k, to buy a minivan. And purchased the Olds used. It's a shame they got rid of Olds when they had arguabley there best lineupr of cars.

    Anyway... my post was in reaction to Mizij post. My read on that post (please correct me if I am wrong) was that GM was being honorable in doing these recalls. Honorable has nothing to do with any recall by any manuafacturer including the Asian car manufacturers. They recall for one of a few reasons: safety, lawsuit, or sales/reputation. The recalls on the Malibu are necessary because of safety concerns and sales. The Malibu is a very important vehicle for the future of GM. They have many cars that are to spinoff this platform in the coming years. So they must restore (which is what the re-design is suppose to do) and preserve (improved reliability) this model name for the future of their car line. HOnda did not issue a full recall on their transmission until they saw their sales for the minivan starting to decline (Sienna is outselling the Odyssey this year) and their reputation for reliability is being tarnished. So it's not just the domestics but all car manuafacturers do this. I'm not a GM basher and I know they along with Ford and DC are improving theri reliability. It bothers me that they have let so many other things go like the alternator, rotors, manifold gasket, etc.

    Now back to the Malibu.... Is it me or did they raise the "beltline" on this vehicle? I finally saw one up close yesterday. Our college uses the Malibu in their fleet and I notice this. Is this due to the revised thicker grill and trunk? It seems liek a lot of upcoming cars (300C, Taurus replacemnt) have this feature.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    I was not saying GM is being honorable by doing recalls. My point was that most recalls put out by automakers are for minor things, like the sticker on the visor that many people are inclined to remove the second their car is purchased. There is a recall on older cavaliers and malibus regarding the installation of a relay in the ignition system to prevent overheating in the case of repeated attempts to start the car. The media portrayed this recall as 'you car WILL catch on fire if you don't get this dangerous thing taken care of immediately.' I had several people call me, seriously distressed about this recall. The inflated reaction is caused by people who spazz every time there is a new recall.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    This is getting off topic, but there is sometimes no reason for the recalls/or extended coverage the manufacturers choose. For example, Ford just announce they would extend the coverage for cougar owners (a car they last built two years ago) on the fuel pumps to 100K. They ignored the Contour owners who happen to have THE EXACT SAME FUEL PUMP!!! I own two.....go figure.......
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    2004 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey

    Entry Midsize Car:
    (1) Hyundai Sonata
    (2) Oldsmobile Alero
    (3) Chevrolet Malibu

    Premium Midsize Car:
    (1) Buick Century
    (2) Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    (3) Mitsubishi Galant (tie)
    (3) Toyota Avalon (tie)

    So where's your precious Accords and Camrys?
  • Nicely done indeed quality-vise. I was (and still am) upset about the sad design, but such good quality somewhat compensates.

    Here're some good quotes:

    Domestic automakers as a group ranked last, behind Japanese, Korean and European automakers. But the difference in number of problems from the top-ranked Japanese to the bottom-ranked American automakers was so small it was statistically insignificant, said Kim Hill, an auto industry analyst at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

    "You're talking about one defect per Lexus (the best-quality vehicle in J.D. Power's study) and two defects for a Hummer," which was the bottom-ranked brand in the study, Hill said.

    Japanese automakers had an average 111 problems per 100 vehicles, while Korean manufacturers ranked second with 117 problems. European automakers posted 122 defects per 100 vehicles while American automakers had 123 problems.

    Hill and other analysts say a better gauge of vehicle quality is J.D. Power's annual Vehicle Dependability Study, which measures reported problems after three years of ownership. That survey is expected to be released in late June..........

    In J.D. Power's study this year, GM was the top-ranked American automaker with 120 problems per 100 vehicles, a 10 percent improvement from last year. 20023120.xml

    So, here we are. Buy a domestic and face 1.23 problem per vehicle, or overpay for a foreign car and face 1.11 to 1.22 problem per vehicle. The choice is yours.

    Of course, long-term reliability may differ substantially, but that's another story
This discussion has been closed.