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Chevrolet Malibu Engine Problems



  • Bought my 2000 Malibu LS used with 102,000 miles. That was 2 1/2 years ago. It now has 223,000 miles and still make a terrible tapping noise when you start it cold. But, it still gets almost 30 mpg consistently and takes me 160 miles roundtrip to work each day. The tapping is no big deal.
  • I own a 2004 Chevy Malibu w/ the 3.5L V6. When I am driving the car at about 35 mph and let off the gas to coast, the rpm naturally goes down to about 800 rpm. When i go to accelerate again the rpm revs up to around 1800 and then goes back down to normal rpm for accleration. Is this normal or should I be worried?


  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Sounds about right to me, the converter goes through a unlock and then lock phase.
  • This only happens sometimes. Only certain times I drive the car, then the next time it might not do it. You feel a slight jerk when it revs up and then comes down. I am not sure if it is just at the shift points or what. I fugure if there are no lights on the dash that are on then I shouldn't be worried?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Well the slight jerk does not sound right. That is one smooth transmission, the only time I get a rough shift is when down shifting the L under about 50 MPH.
    Take it in if under warranty, some codes will set without a light.
  • nb25nb25 Posts: 2
    My daughter bought a 2000 Malibu with 100,000 miles to drive and from college. It runs well but the temp gage seems a little high - in the 190 f range. The coolant level seems fine. Does this sound like a problem? Would a radiator flush help?
  • marked1marked1 Posts: 15
    2000 malibu 100k mileage suddenly started having loud rattling sound, engine
    light came on. Looked and sounded like engine misfire. checked the codes and came up with code P0304 cylinder #4 misfire. checked cylindrer 4 compression and spark-ok.
    Fuel injector found also warking. PUZZZLED. With the engine, running removed
    ignition wire from spark plug #4 -got electricuted ( DON'T DO THAT) but the noise
    gone- interesting. Removed front valve cover and found 1 bolt backed out from rocker arm hence not putting any pressure on the valve spring (not sure intake or exhaust) . it explains why cylinder comression was ok- the valve was closed all the time. torqued the loose bolt and installed front valve cover. started up and it's fixed.
    Why the rocker arm bolt was loose- probably because it wasn't torqued wright when
    lower intake manifold gasket was replaced in 2002 by an independent repair shop.
    that's my 2 cents. Have a great day.
  • marked1marked1 Posts: 15
    So your temp gauge shows a tad over long middle mark (180 f). you might need
    to addres this issue before it gets bigger. Radiator flush- big no no. if it was my car
    i would replace thermostat and coolant as preventetive maintenance. you are better
    of to use a-c delco thermostat and match the coolant that you are having now, most
    likely red colored dex-cool. ( be 100% sure not mix different coolant types).
    Next, is your engine overheating when driving at free way speed or idling, let me know.
  • beldaranbeldaran Posts: 3
    Every once in a while my 2001 Malibu would idle really high, where I had to stomp on the breaks to keep it from lurching forward at a stop light. We're talking 2000 rmp when stopped. I tried to take it in twice and it quit doing that before I got it in, so no one knows what was wrong with it.

    Now the issue is back, combined with what seems to be the opposite problem, when accelerating, I can't get it to go past 45mph on occasion. I can get the rmp up to 5000, but I'll be stuck at 45. I'll let off the gas completely, the car will lurch a bit, and then I can coax it up to 50 or so. Then it may do it again, or it may accel. smoothly up to 60 for me.

    Anyone have any ideas on where to start looking on this one? Are the issues related at all?
  • zbleskizbleski Posts: 1
    it seems like a transmission problem but its been changed. when going up a hill the car will sometimes fluctuate anywhere from 250rpm to 500rpm when trying to accelerate uphill. this also seems like its thinking about downshifting but doesn't shift and occasionally when it does downshift it will still seem to do this please give me some feedback on this issue thanks
  • Last night my husband and I went out to eat. When we got in my 06 LT-V6 Malibu with 61k it wouldn't start. I have never had a problem with my car and I bought it 2 years ago and it was only 6 mnths old. We called a friend who came and gave me a jump and she started right up. My husband and I booked it home so she wouldn't leave us stranded and I noticed the temp. gauge wasn't working, but I just figured that I was because the battery was low/dead. We got home and changed out the battery for a new one and now my check engine light is on, temp. gauge still won't work and she starts really rough now. I went through the computer and turned off the auto-start thinking that might help and it didn't. I'm going to make an appt. today to see if we pull any codes, but if it comes up something major besides a fuse or a relay I'm selling the car. :confuse:
  • beldaranbeldaran Posts: 3
    For the record, my issue was a completely clogged catalytic converter. I got that replaced and it runs correctly, idles correctly and had better be good for the next 2 years.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    dont know if a bad cat or not would be the problem since you had a bad battery first......the temp gauge is another issue...mine stopped workign once...never at it looked at and started back operating correctly in a few days......I beleive its associated with the ECM...they may have to reflash it......suggest it and see what the service manager might do for ya
  • 01malibu01malibu Posts: 8
    2001 Malibu 3.1L V6 (218,000 miles).
    The idle randomly races to 2,500 to 3,500 rpms and passing gear seems to dissapear but I can still manualy downshift with the gear selector.

    If I shift it into nuetral and coast and turn the ignition off then cycle the igintion key on and off several times then restart it ussually resets the idle but restorts back to high idle shortly thereafter.
    I seem to get better results if I stop, turn it off then turn the key to the ON postion and move the gear selector from P to 1 several times and cycle the key ON and Off it does temporarily reset the idle.
    It does this everytime I drive it ussualy after it's warmed up. I've replaced the Air Idle Control with no results and is getting worse.
    Please help with this...........
  • dbishop31dbishop31 Posts: 2
    i have a 2000 chevy malibu 3.1 v6 engine
    had to replace headgasket,intake gaskets,valve cover gaskets all that stuff. started it up the idiling was rough it wanted to die on me took it to be check was told it was 3 different censors changed them but it is still idiling like it has a miss in it but only when sitiing still and it does it in all gears but runs good if the gas is being pushed
    could someone please help me on how to fix this problem
  • 06malibune06malibune Posts: 3
    My Malibu does that also, but not as bad. It's an 06. Have you checked your plugs and wires? I know with my car I can sit there and watch the Tack and it'll bounce, but it has always done that since I bought it. I've taken it to the dealer and had Dios ran and they tod me that it's normal. I disagree, so asked about the plugs and wires. The dealership told me that Idon't have to change them til I hit 100,000. I believe in changing them at least once a year. I have yet to do it for The plugs and wires are expensive, but I know that when I get it done it'll be so much better. One last thing what kind of gas are you running? Stay away from Ethanol. That is also very hard on your engine. These cars were not built for that kind of fuel. If I run Ethanol I only get 25 to 28mpg, where as if I run just reg. fuel I get anywhere between 33 and 38mpg. Hope this helps you.
  • eggmoeggmo Posts: 1
    took the car in twice now...first time they said I had 2 bad injecters, one pushing too much gas one not enough, replaced the injecters said it was good to wasnt. second time in they said it was carboned up..did an upper cylinder wall cleaning and steam cleaned it then replaced one plug...said it was good to go. still the same problem,any sugestions besides going to a different dealer to have it looked at?
  • I have a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu. When I try to start it, it keeps turning and turning, but never starts. However, If I step on the gas pedal slightly while trying to start it, it will start and it revs like normal. However, as soon as I take my foot off the gas pedal it dies. I had the battery checked and it is good. Any thoughts?
  • I am so happy for you that you have gotten 223,000 miles on that car with 30 mpg. That is awesome.
  • beldaranbeldaran Posts: 3
    When my 2001 Malibu did that, it was the Air Idle Control. $60 part, 2 screws (torx head) and it's right on the top so I replaced mine myself.
  • dbishop31dbishop31 Posts: 2
    thanks but i have already put new plugs and plug wires on the car i have changed every sensor that the diag. said was wrong the hole top half of the motor is new it was changed all the way to the heads it is still ideling very bad
    don't know what else i can do at this point
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    09 CTS with the non-DI 3.6 and no misfire here at all,almost a year old with 15K on it......when you say a misfire....I assume a cylinder not firing from the plug....have you replaced the plugs? say you have checked new 09 Mailbus, G8s and CTSs and they ALL exhibit the same misfire.....fine that one hard to beleive so perhaps we need a better description of this it a hestiation on acceleration, or during sustained driving...or at idle?......when you say GM told you....was that from you dealership or was that from the GM help line?....

    BTW, please turn your CAPS off!
  • The misfire does not apply to D.I. 3.6 ltr. engine.Dealer service techs. have experianced the misfire on brand new cars on there lots.A service writer told me since i complained of the misfire,every car coming in for service with this engine has the same problem.This is a constant miss and no plugs have been changed but 2 injectors and 1 oxygen sensor have been changed.I recently went to a Cadillac dealer and was told GM engineers are working on a fix.The Cadillac dealer had the car for 2 days was unable to fix the misfire.I have also been in contact with GM customer service,i get the same story engineers are trying to find a fix.For your information i work for an engine manufacturer,maybe thats why i am more aware of the misfire than a normal person would be.Thanks for your interest in my problem.maliblues1
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    perhaps....I havent noticed anything but a smooth operation in my NON-DI CTS...and this problem hasnt surfaced at all over on the major cadillac forum for the CTS.......

    does the miss occur at idle only?
  • you have to pay close attention to feel the misfire,it feels like a slight tremor and it may just do it once or two or three times in a row. the misfire occures at idle and between 1000-1500rpm.i can really feel it when the car is first started cold.i was at the cadillac dealer today to see if they had heard from gm engineering,not a word.i am surprized no gm tech. has replied to my thankful you didn't buy the direct injection 3.6 while i was there a customer came complaining of a engine noise.service writer and the mechanic who worked on my car told the customer the noise comes from the high pressure fuel pump and is "normal".they both said this is a common complaint for this engine.if i were a cadillac owner i wouldn't even want to hear the you think this customer and others who have this problem will buy another cadillac? we both know the answer to this. have you read of this problem on cts blog site ?
  • josephusjosephus Posts: 32
    I been having a misfire with my V6 2005 Malibu. At least that's what they say it is. It started a few weeks ago, I would notice it on the highway at around 80km when the engine is warm. Feels like I'm driving on a washboard. Car shakes for a couple seconds. Keeps doing it intermitently.

    Dealer was at odds when I explained it. Took it on a test drive and felt it.Believes it is a "fishbite misfire". Suggested I pay for a fuel injector flush, which I had to pay for inspite of being under extended warranty, because he said it was "maintenance."

    That was two weeks ago. Still does it. He now suggests I use super clean fuel, which I've been doing to no avail.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I guess noise and the misfire you state are relative or rather sensitive to various individuals....some notice it or it bothers them...others it far as your question about the DI noise....No havent seen it on the major cady forum I look into either....
  • dealer tech. told me its a programing issue,92 octane gas,injector flush or replacement will not fix the problem.GM engineering is "supposed to working on a fix".i have had this problem for over a year,went to 3 different dealers,stll have it.Thank You GM !! This will be the last american car i buy.Malibues1
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