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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    I have fit one booster seat and two car seats in our car ('05 Maxx). It is tight but three car seats will fit. Keep in mind, in our car anyway, there are only 5 LATCH anchors so one position has to use the seat belt.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks for the reply. The problem is we can probably fit 3 car seats in a row, but the buckling and unbuckling each time is going to be very difficult and annoying. We're trying to put off the van purchase for a while.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Good luck with the three car seats. It will be a very very tight fit. Of course it will depend on the width of the car seats. Many of the car seats seem to have tons of padding and are pretty wide. If you have a booster seat or a thinner forward facing seat, it can be done.


    Good luck.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks dtownfb. Seems we're hanging around on the same forums. Saw the excellent review you gave on the new GM vans on the Minivan Ranking board. If I remember correctly you traded in your Malibu for a new Quest, right? Hope it's treating your family well. Our Malibu is still running like new, but we can't wait to have a van.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I did a weird trade that worked for us. I traded my Malibu and our 96 Ford Explorer for the Quest and bought a 2000 Intrigue from a friend. I had never done that before. And I knew i was upside down on the Malibu but we had to replace the Explorer since it had 145k miles and would not pass inspection (wife had an accident and the tailgate door was bent so baad the window woudl not close; and the tranny was startign to slip) and we could not afford two new car payments. So we got a very nice deal for the Quest. We were able to get from under the Malibu and have a manageable car payment for the Quest.


    My Quest has been very good to me. I haven't experienced the problems that others have had. I love the way it drives. I like the stylign of the van mostly because it doesn't look like all the other minivans. It does have a very ope feeling that we both like. The kids love the DVD player. it is great on long trips. But to each his/her own.


    I didn't want to come out and say it in the Uplander board but I will be shocked if they match the sale numbers of the Venture. There are about 5 or 6 vans that are better then the GM triplets. Plus there is no price break with the GM vans. And no side airbags. That is a big no-no esp. when the competition makes it standard or offers it as an option. Once I sat int he Grand Caravan SXT and saw the price, it was no comaprison. I'm not a big fan of the GC but it has the space, features and price.


    Good luck van shopping.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I was thinking about doing a similar trade as well, but backed off mainly because we decided our Malibu was worth keeping. I knew we were (and are) upside down on our Malibu, but it'd been a very reliable ride. And I figured since we already took a hit in virtual depreciation, it made more sense to keep it. When we can afford to get a van, I'll just trade in my other old car. FYI, we like the Quest the most, for its weirdness :)
  • Hi. Just picked up an 05 LS a week ago. So far, pretty good. Question about the content-protection alarm. This light in the instrument cluster is supposed to go off every three seconds, right? Is there anyways I can shut it off? I tried leaving the door unlocked but after a minute the light started flashing again. I think this has to do with the "pretend alarm". I have my DIC set to RKE.


    Does this light cause any drain on the battery? I know it is a small thing, but I carpool and can go a full week without starting the car. Can this cause problems later on on a weaker battery?


    One other minor thing. Driving down a narrow street at night the other day, an oncoming car flashed his highbeams at me. I checked, but my highbeams weren't on. Can this mean my headlights aren't positioned well?




  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    The flashing security telltale has a neglible impact on battery drain because of the flashing rate. Nothing you can do to eliminate it, sorry. The only thing I could mention would likely end up drawing more current than you would save.


    WRT headlamps, did you happen to have anything heavy in trunk? I know too obvious of a question but thought I would ask.
  • Thanks.


    To answer your question, no. The trunk is pretty much empty.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Josephus: the lights on both the 'Bu and Maxx are too high. If you have another car, have your friend/wife drive your 'Bu and you'll see what everyone else has to endure. I constantly get flashed; so I went out at dark and lowered the lights a bit. All you need is a 7/32 allen wrench; or your fingers will also work, since the two brass screws are pretty easy to move.

    When I see other 'Bu's/Maxxes at night, I also think the lights are a bit harsh to be around.
  • johnnyvjohnnyv Posts: 11
    I've been having the battery indicator light come on intermittently too.


    Was your problem the alternator or something else?
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    My mom just bought a new base Malibu yesterday. She picks it up Tuesday. She was looking for a smaller car (my parents have a LaSabre) and she figured this was a good mix of size and value. I will let you all know how she likes it.
  • chrpaichrpai Posts: 32
    I too have been "flashed" and sure enough my brights were not on. I guess some drivers just think they are on. Perhaps they are aimed to high, otherwise the lights don't seem to be those super bright blueish lights. ( Sorry I have a life other then cars and I don't know what kind of lights those are called but gosh they are annoying as I get older. ) Also nothing in my trunk other then my laptop for work.
  • xenon lights. They provide a better range
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Well my mom picked up her base Malibu (though it has alloys). It's a nice ride though it's all dirty already thanks to all the snow this week. I took it for a spin and I think the Ecotec is pretty nice though a 2.4L Ecotec would make it perfect. So far so good.
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    Give the Ecotec time to break in and loosen up. You'll have all the power you need then.
  • tr39nctr39nc Posts: 1
    My 2000 Malibu seems to have an electrical relay problem in fan and radio. My fan only works on levels 3 & 4, not on 1 & 2. On the radio, the two center buttons do not light up and I can only receive about two stations with any clarity.


    Is the radio problem most likely in the radio or the antenae or an electrical circuit somewhere?


    What about the fan?


    Has anyone else had similar problems?
  • My Battery Light Indicator came on in my 99 Malibu and sure enough

    it was the alternator.Was replaced under my extended warranty no problem. Mechanic tested the battery and it checked out OK. Would NOT

    drive too far if it comes on again as a bad alternator will eat your battery pretty quick. Hope this helps.


  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    There is a resistor in the fan circuit that has most probably burnt out. It's under the dash on a printed circuit board. A replacement costs about $25 but it can be a pain in the neck to install.


    Don't know about the radio though.
  • If I remember correctly, an antenna wiring harness in my 1998 Malibu took a whack about 18 months ago, which left only one FM station strong enough for the "seek" buttons to find. AM was a total no-go. Think the repair was like $160...


    Aside from the odd electrical glitch and the suicidal brakes, it was a good car. I miss it. :(
  • Yeah, I've got the same thing on my '99. The first two fan speeds don't work. The part may be $25, but the final bill would be close to a thousand. Unless it's critical for you to have the first two fan speeds, save your cash for bigger and better things :)


    And now a question for everyone: since almost ALL "classic" Malibus 1) have an intake manifold leak around 5 years/50K miles (good-bye 1,000 dollars), and 2) the above fan problem (usually even sooner, and good-bye another $1,000), as well as 3) premature brake pad wearing (good-bye $200-300 every 2-3 years), how many of you are willing to bet a farm that GM had no clue about the above problems when they were testing the "classic" Bu?


    Methinks they knew it all too well, and let it slide for whatever reason. And now we are paying for it. Thanks for nothing, GM!
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    i put a fan motor resistor in my car for $28, you mean I saved $972 WOW LOL.
  • If it's something someone without any mechanical experience can do, please tell us how to put in a resistor, to get those first two fan speeds back.


    And while you are at it, perhaps you have a 20 dollar solution to the intake manifold leak, and another 10 dollar solution to the brake pad problem?


  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I had the resistor repaired under warranty. However, I remember it was about $25 part and 0.5 hour labor. The labor would cost about $40, not $1000. BTW, my dealer charges labor in 0.5 hour increments. Probably, according to some handbook. It means 0.5 hour minimum for all small repairs, except the very small, which are free.
  • I must have misread the information about the cost of the fan repair. Tell you what. Next time I have a scheduled service, I will ask the dealer how much to fix the fan, and will let you know.


    If it costs less than $100 to repair, it's not that big of a deal.


    I did read on quite a few occasions, however, that the entire blow motor thing had to be changed. Maybe, the mechanics figured out a much cheaper way of fixing it?
  • I just read where the Malibu was the 12th best seller in the U.S. year to date (albeit one month).
  • Regarding the fan speed inoperative on speeds 1 and 2.I had the resistor replaced under extended warranty on my '99 I asked the service advisor what the cost out of warranty would have been and she said

    $32.00 for the part and 1.0 HR Labour.My Stealership charges $99.00 ! per Hour on mechanical work so $130.00 plus tax would about do it.I'm sure a good local mechanic would do the job much cheaper.As for the brake pads wearing too quick,we all know the factory pad/rotor set-up on these cars is a joke.I rode mine till the rotors warped (about 35,000 KM)

    and went to a thicker rotor and ceramic pads on my mechanic's advice. So far I've got over 60,000

    KM on them and they still have alot of thickness left on the pads and the rotors are stiil straight.Also chucked the Firestone Affinity's

    and got 4 Michelin Harmony's MUCH better and Quiet Too. Sorry for the Long Post as I tend to Ramble. BD EYES
  • How is the thickness of the rotors related to the life of brake pads? Do brake pads care if they face 10mm or 20mm of metal, when they touch the rotors during braking?
  • chrpaichrpai Posts: 32
    Ya my '01's brake system was a joke. Is the hardware on the '05 better or did going to 4 wheel disc brakes just double my problems?
  • I've found that even a rotor that is slightly warped will chew up brake pads at a faster rate.

    for some reason the inner pad wears faster due to the constant high/low rotation( I guess). At any rate I would rather have a thicker rotor to allow one or two re-surfacings.The stock rotors on these cars are not even thick enough for one cut, as they would be past the allowable discard rate for thickness.My point being is that you get what you pay for when it comes to brake hardware. IMHO


                BD EYES
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    Has anyone else noticed conflicting data at which the torque peaks at on the 3500 V6? About half of the sources claim it's at 4400rpm and the other half claim it's at 3200rpm, including different GM websites. GM's media website lists it at 4400rpm in the table, but if you click on the "Performance Plot" just above where it says that the curve shows that the torque peaks at 3200rpm.
  • I don't know about the actual torque peak, but 3200 rpm sounds very low. 4400 rpm is more believable
  • I own a 2001 Malibu with 63K on it. Sunday night I had driven the car about 20 minutes when it made a "creaky" noise during a right hand turn. Every subsequent turn after was "creaky". Upon pulling into my garage and turning off the car, I heard a weird "boiling, bubbling" noise that lasted a few minutes. Monday morning's commute was the same: after about 20 mins, the turns became noisy. I don't notice any "tightening" of the steering. I checked the Power Steering Fluid and it was dirty and perhaps a little low. My husband refilled the fluid and Tuesday morning's commute was the same. I don't know where to go from here and don't want to spend money unnecessarily. Any ideas on this one?
  • Meg, whatever it is, it doesn't sound normal, and driving with a malfunctioning steering is not very healthy :) Cars do require occasional maintenance, so take it to a dealer and have it looked at. If the steering fails when you are driving, imagine the consequences.


    Please keep us posted!
  • tommctommc Posts: 66
    Our Blazer started leaking at the intake at 13K miles, under warranty, the dealer fix was to put some sawdust pills in the radiator. Has fixed the leak so far so there is an under 20$ solution to the intake leak that is apparently recommended by GM. What on earth that company is coming to I have no idea. How do they stay in business?
  • Hi, I am going to change the coolant in my 4 cyl 98 Malibu. Does anyone know where is the fill port after I drain all the coolant out? There is no radiator cap. I don't know if filling through the recovery tank will work. Thanks in advance.
  • Hey, Khanh

    I've got a 99 Bu with a V6, but my manual also shows a 4 cyl engine on page 5-11. It shows that 2.4L L4 engine has a coolant surge tank with a pressure cap on the left side of the engine (if you are standing in front of the car and looking at it). That's where you put the coolant. How's your '98 holding up so far? How many miles you've got on it? Cheers!
  • My 98 Bu is holding well. I only have 60k on it though. The engine is running well and start everytime. There is no leak of any kind from it. The only snag that I have is the ABS ocasionally light up when I go over bump but disappear when I restart the engine. I brought it to the dealer and they said it is a loose connector at the wheel and no charge to fix it but seem to happen again. I have not perform any maintenance on it beside oil change and filter. I have the transmission fluid change at 50k but it was unescessary because the fluid look brand new when they drain it (independent shop charge $40 for that). I change the plug myself at 50k but I think also unescessary because the double platinum tip still look new. I changed them anyway since I already pull them out. The only major problem was the replacing of the alternator under warranty. So this car cost me the minimum to operate. My wife 2000 Rodeo on the other hand is leaking trans fluid fluid and need 60 K service ($500 dealer)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Pretty sure the 3.5L peak torque is at 3200 RPM. Its a low-rev pushrod afterall, and not much is going on above 5000 RPM. Id be shocked if this engine, which provides very respectable off the line acceleration, peaks at 4400RPM.

  • You are right Alpha. It is 3200 rpm and not 4400 rpm.
  • Now, in addition to a low revving engine, Chevy needs better looking cars. Just look at Chrysler 300C - the thing is selling as if it was made of gold. All it took was good design. GM vehicles, on the other hand, have ways to go to catch up with Mazda and VW
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I just bought a Maxx, giving my 01 Elantra to my daughter. Even though I loved the Elantra's engine, finding it smoother and quieter (amazing since it's a four rather than a six)-- I've got to admire the fact that the Maxx's mileage is almost as good (with a displacement 75% greater.) Add to this the fact that the engine is lower maintainence-- no timing belts to swap out for hundreds of dollars every 60,000 miles-- and I think GM's move towards modern, low reving OHV engines is justifiable. In fact, it was one of the reasons I bought the car.

    I find styling a bit strange on my Maxx, and somewhat boring on the Malibu, but I guess they were looking at a continued family resemblance with the earlier platform and at least the Maxx is distinctive.

    As far as the new Chrysler products, I find them striking, but not entirely pleasing-- give me the airy, open look of the 'Bu any day.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    So whats the mileage you are getting and what kind of driving do you do?
    I am planning to purchase a Malibu soon and I have a daily commute of 80 miles, mostly highway (80%).
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    the last month, however, has been about half that. Round town, I'm averaging the EPA 22+, 23. Any highway driving should raise that greatly. The only time I did any freeway driving at all (only about 40 miles on a complete tankful, I averaged over 26. I would expect pure highway driving to hit low 30's.

    I think I'm about 1 mpg down on my Elantra. Although the percentage of highway driving was usually higher on that car (just had a slow February, it's an anomoly with little travel) so it's kind of hard to tell.

    Hyundai boards usually had complaints about poor gas mileage on new cars. The car was relatively slow to improve and high MPG didn't start until 10K miles. I'm curious as to whether the 'Bu improves with age?
  • A real looker is an Acura TSX. Very cool, conservative styling. Why does GM insist on making designs which not everyone likes is beyond me.

    But then again GM keeps making blunder after blunder. Did you read about GM recently having to pay 2 BILLION dollars to Fiat in Italy, so that GM would not have to buy the entire Fiat? Yeah, that's the contract GM entered into (originally, it had to do with making diesel engines, if I remember correctly) - Fiat could force GM to buy Fiat, and it would have been such a financial disaster, that GM paid 2 bil just so that Fiat wouldn't enforce that clause.

    And then all those numerous billions of dollars GM has to pay every year for medical bills of current and former employees...

    Better hope Hummer H3 sells well, I suppose :)
  • chrpaichrpai Posts: 32
    Blacks was a nice starting point, but with the knowledge from his website in my hand I was able to negotiate another $100 off from my F&I guy. He was very comfortable to work with, I showed him Blacks, he showed me the invoice and then proceeded what he would do for me. YMMV.

    I'm glad to know about Blacks and a couple other websites, without that knowledge I may have skipped over the GMPP thinking it's just another place for the F&I guy to gouge me.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    good advice from all. chrpai, I would also be glad to give your finance guy my business. Care to ask him for me? If so, let me know the dealer's name and his first name, and I'd be glad to call him and give him some more business.
    As for offering half, I sent out over 30 e-mails to dealers all over my state last year. NO ONE gave me a decent offer. I have also tried to get my local dealers to match/beat Blacks, but they refuse. Any other ideas out there??? I'm all ears!!
  • Anyone have an issue with a noisy sunroof? I was planning on buying a wind deflector after I got the car (I noticed the noise during the test drive, but figured that a wind deflector wouldn't be much $$) Then I saw another post about this and that GM has a TSB out. TSB Number: 04-08-67-009. I then found this site as well:

    Does this mean that GM has to put this in for free?

    The other one people have mentioned is by BeneVento.

  • chrpaichrpai Posts: 32

    I don't know how to PM you and I don't want to break the rules of this board ( yet some how it's cool to say Kappers and Blacks but that's fine by me!! ) So just do a search for a Chevrolet dealer in Conroe, TX and ask for Kent. I don't have a special connection with him or anything, he just happened to be the guy I worked with and he was very cooperative. I don't know if he's interested in selling contracts outside of the context of a car purchase or not so YMMV. Black's is certainly setup to do online business and I'd like to encourage that if for any other reason then for us guys to always have a reference point when we talk to our local dealer. If I didn't have that point I probably would have skipped the deal out of fear of being hosed by some useless value added cr**.

    Anyways basically I printed out Blacks and showed it to him, he verified Blacks retail against his then showed me his invoice and we negotiated up from there. It came in about $100 less then Blacks for a 60/100K $0 deduct GMPP which I think was only a hundred or so above invoice, I don't remember exactly. He may have been hooking me up since I get GM employee discount ( Electronic Data Systems, fmr GM-E )
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Any questions about what type of links are not okay to post will likely be answered by the Rules of the Road (link above). Take a look and if you have further questions, feel free drop me an email - pat AT :)
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