Howdy, Stranger!

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

2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • spratt1spratt1 Posts: 53
    Thanks for everyone's information. Sounds like the only particular problem is with the brakes/rotors. I will watch them carefully and go to the semi-metalic when necessary. Other than that sounds like a very good car.

    We purchased a 2003 LS, but not the leather option. Anyone know where to get custom (accounts for the steering wheel spoke and in the right color) leather wrap for the steering wheel. Not the one size fits all type at the auto parts store.

  • Hey guys,

    I hear someone wants to know about brake problems. Hears one. I have (had) a 2000 Malibu. Recently the brakes started locking up on me. I'm not a car expert, but the way I descibe it is that the pads would make soft contact with the rotor. Just enough to make a skipping noise (just like if you were to run your finger along a plastic bowl that has just been washed) the front of the car would vibrate a lot and there would be sub-par braking power. I took it to the dealership twice and they said they couldn't find anything. There was a lull so I thought it was a kink that had worked itself out, then it started up again. I told the dealership (again) and it was scheduled to go in this Tuesday. The car must have heard me on the phone because of course, it didn't give me any trouble at all. Well, until Sunday that is. The brakes lock and this time virtually zero braking power. I went out into an intersection and got hit in the rear. Here is the funny part. The car got hauled away and later that day another wreck was put beside mine (well, the damage to my car wasn't bad enough to call it a wreck, yet). The other car apparently exploded and the flames spread to mine. I haven't seen it yet, but according to the police one side is black and the inside is melted. What can you do but laugh? Anyway, any ideas as to what the brake problem might be? Not that it really matter anymore, just curious.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    You can find a real leather steering wheel cover at They charge $50, plus shipping. Once in awhile, one shows up on EBAY, but size and color may not be right.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Most car manuals tell you to take it easy on the brakes for the first 700 miles or whatever so they can break in and will last longer. Many people don't do this and I'm sure it leads to problems regardless of which car you drive. Brake problems are not unique to the Malibu, lots of cars have them and I think it's partly because people go hard on them, especially in the beginning.
  • buguybuguy Posts: 16
    Those of us in the frigid NorthEast have to watch the level in the power steering resevoir. Every year about this time my 99 Bu looses about an ounce to the ground and the steering growls when making moderately sharp turns either way. If too much is lost the steering wheel will shake like a bad CV joint in sharp turns. It is common to chevy and Grand Am with the same system. During the very cold mornings the seals do not expand enough on initial start up to prevent a slight fluid drip. There is no fix, it is easy to just add up to the line with fresh fluid and a very cheap remedy. The dealer will find nothing if the car is taken in for service. They will also deny the problem. At 0 degrees or below it is a 100% failure rate on these cars. Just a little FYI. Thankfully Spring is just around the corner.
  • robby8robby8 Posts: 17
    I too have had my share of rotor problems. My 2000 Malibu with 50 000 km(31 250 miles)has had three sets of rotors and they have been machined twice. My question is however, can I take my car for its regular maintenance to a mechanic that I trust instead of the dealer and not void the warranty? I am pretty sure you can, but I just want to get some confirmation of this. After just spending $870 for a 50 000 km check which included new brake pads and machining the rotors again, I have lost confidence in the dealer. Any thoughts would be appreciated
  • Robby, it appears you have turned into a cash cow for your dealer. Since the profit margins on sales of new cars are so low, dealers get their revenge when you go back for service. You may want to check your manual and warranty brochure for warranty info, but my guess would be if an independent mechanic helps you with rotors, it wouldn't void the warranty for the rest of the vehicle. You are not in BC, by the way, are you? If yes, I'd like to know the name of your dealer, please
  • I have a 2003 LS when I engage cruise it works fine. My question is on my 1998 LS I have a little cruise dash light come on . On the 2003 no light, bulb problem or removed to save 10 cents.
  • toonzeetoonzee Posts: 19
    Malibu LS, with Preferred Equipment Package.
    List 22060.00. 3000 chevy rebate, 750 Phila area auto show rebate. Dealer takes 1870 off sticker. This brings me down to 16440. $5620 total off sticker. Than for some unknow reason GM sends me an email saying they are giving me a total of 2060 in rebate money to be used by Jan 31, 2003. (don't know why or how I got that incentive, I have a GM card, only 400 bucks in earnings previous to the GM gift). So needless to say, if I jump on this deal, the price will be down to 14380. I have a 1995 GMC Jimmy, Kelly blue book, and edmunds says I should get 4690 or so on a trade. Bottom line, does this sound like a good deal. And yes the dealer will give me 4700 for the Jimmy. So essentially, after all is said and done, I am paying about 9700 bucks total, counting the trade. Any input greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • buguybuguy Posts: 16
    Toonzee, even without the rebates the malibu is an excellent car for the money. With what is being offered to you in the way of trade, rebates and incentives, it is spectacular. I am considered a "gearhead" and wont part with my 99' 4 cylinder. The 2002 and 3's are even better and being an LS adds to the option package. Only concern is the intake maniford on the 6 at about 60,000 miles but I would be surprised if GM has not addressed the problem on new engines. I did a comparison to the camry when looking in early 99 and feel I made the correct decision with the chevy. First American car for me in 30 yrs. I will get another if this ever wears out. You will use brakes like potato chips but it depends on your driving style, hilly areas where you drive and how much highway use it gets. No worse than others of the same weight. The cruise control is #1 in the industry. Airconditioning while not ice cold will take very little away from the engine or fuel mileage. Parts are quite cheap and available. Good luck. I hope you take advantage of the bargain.
  • spratt1spratt1 Posts: 53
    Really sounds like a great deal. I'll mention our deal which was similar to yours and is why we jumped at it.

    Sticker on LS w/options = 21,600
    less factory rebate = -3000
    less our GM points = -3000
    less dealer discount = -2500
    Total = $13100

    They then gave me $16,600 for my trade

    Result: They wrote us a check for $3500!

    You are in that same ball park of a deal. Couldn't do much better.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Get a new car and walk away with $3500. Not a bad deal.

    toonzee: If you like the way it looks and rides, BUY IT!!!!! that's a great deal. The Malibu has gotten better since the late 2000 model year.

    Good luck.
  • toonzeetoonzee Posts: 19
    the car for this price. Just picked it up, can't beat the deal, or the value for the money. What most surprised me was the fact that the dealer didn't try to rape me on the trade in to make up for the discounted car price. Thanks again guys, got the metallic red, with the spoiler, aluminum wheels, etc. Sweet looking.
  • I have a 99 Malibu with a 4 cylinder engine and 35,000 miles. I noticed the other day wet a spot size of half dollar on the driveway 6 inches in from the right front tire. Took it to my local mechanic and was told the water pump was leaking by the weep hole. TSB 01-06-02-012 tells you to "install a coolant collector which traps and absorbs normal weepage of the pump".
    Has anybody had this problem, and how was it fixed. My way is to replace the pump, but parts and labor cost $800, and the TSB says weepage is normal.
  • buguybuguy Posts: 16
    Robertp4....I am enjoying the same car, engine, year and think you need to replace the w/pump. Honestly, it should not be coming out the weep hole. It means a seal is bad. Also, $800 might be the dealer cost of replacement but a garage will do it for 1/2 that. The reason for the unreasonably high price is the pump being run by the timing chain rather than the serp belt. Good idea until it fails. 77,000 on my 99 with the 2.4L and no drips at all. From past notes on this site it is mentioned that the high cost of the water pump is one of the reasons for the demise of the 2.4. Now going to be a 2.2. Sad to see this great 4 leave the scene.
  • Buguy
    Thanks for the info. Both my mechanic and the dealer state it is about 6-7 hours work shop manual book. However I called Chevy direct to see if they will pick up some of the cost. They will call me back in 2 days. Will keep you posted
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I know everybody already knew the Malibu won the best initial quality award in 2002, but I still feel compelled to make a comment on this. Last night just for fun I got on the JD power's website and checked out their ratings on Malibu, Accord, Camry and some others. Surprisingly they gave the Accord and Camry only 3 stars (out of 5) in the Mechanical quality catagory, and gave the Malibu 5 stars! Actually the Malibu got a 5 star in interior quality as well.
    I just thought that was very interesting.
  • Tamu, yeah, it's been discussed before that 2002 Bu beats them Japanese silly. Too bad for those of us with earlier year models :-)
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    Tamu. Yup..Malibu is beating several of the cars costing thousands more. Now if Chevy would only use that info in an advertising campaign, they might make more sales. Also, I would like to see Consumer Reports do a fair analysis of the Malibu..course knowing that bunch-if its not foreign made, its no good.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,659
    Man, someone is making money off you folks.
    The water pump kit is about $150, that is a new water pump too.
    Water pump R&R is about 6 hours.
    So figuring a high $85/hour, that brings it to $580,plus incidentals of about another $60
    Which brings it to $640.

    Now, the part that YOU should pay close attention to is the parts in the TSB I have made bold.

    Water Pump Weep (Install Coolant Collector) #01-06-02-012 - (11/30/2001)
    Water Pump Weep (Install Coolant Collector)
    1996-1998 Buick Skylark
    1996-2002 Chevrolet Cavalier
    1997-1999 Chevrolet Malibu
    1996-1998 Oldsmobile Achieva
    1999-2001 Oldsmobile Alero
    1996-2001 Pontiac Grand Am
    1996-2002 Pontiac Sunfire
    with 2.4L Engine (VIN T - RPO LD9)
    Some owners may comment on leakage of a few drops of coolant after parking their vehicle. A technician may notice that the water pump may show a staining around the weep hole.
    The occasional drop of coolant and the staining may be the evidence of normal coolant weepage. The weep hole prevents normal coolant weepage from accumulating around the bearing seal. For more information on this normal condition, refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 00-06-02-009.
    Replacing the water pump for this normal weepage is likely to result in a repeat of the customer concern. To address customer concerns and promote customer satisfaction, a coolant collector has been developed to trap and absorb normal weepage of the pump. The coolant collector is a hinged, two-part collar that easily snaps around the neck of the water pump. Installing this new part is quick and effective and reduces unnecessary water pump replacement.
    The coolant collector has a limited capacity to absorb coolant. If diagnosis with a pressure test of the coolant system indicates a failed pump seal, or if the customer concern is for coolant consumption, installing the coolant collector will not correct the condition.
    Coolant Collector Installation
    Raise and suitably support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in the General Information subsection of the applicable Service Manual.
    Place the open hinged coolant collector around the narrow neck area of the water pump. Position the hinged portion towards the front of the vehicle. Close the coolant collector, ensuring the tongue enter the latch. Exert pressure to lock the coolant collector in place until an audible click is heard, which ensure retention.
    Lower the vehicle.
    Parts Information
    The coolant collector is available as part of an updated water pump kit and is also available separately.

    Part Number Description Qty
    12573729 Coolant Collector 1
    Parts are currently available from GMSPO.
    Warranty Information
    For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:

    Labor Operation
     Description Labor Time J3701
     Water Pump, Coolant Collector - Install 0.3 hr
  • buguybuguy Posts: 16
    Opatience....great information. I have been fortunate. no leaks or noise from mine in almost 75,000 miles. Hoping it doesn't start leaking. I can't remember ever hearing of another engine/waterpump combination that is more difficult to replace. This coolant collector seems like more of an appeasement than a waterpump fix. In the past when the pump leaks out the weep hole it means replacement is advised in short order. GM thinks if you keep from seeing the antifreeze under the car all is well! I think it is more likely a way to keep the EPA from yelling about contaminations in the ground under our cars. And I though Ford had all the "better ideas!"
  • 1998 Malibu - 55800 miles.
    Intake manifold gasket leaking coolant.
    $690 repair plus additional cost of oil and coolant change.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    I don't know about the specific problems related to the 2.4L engine, but a few years ago I had an Olds Firenza with a 4-banger, and about one week after it went out of warranty, I started getting a minor leak at the water pump. It looked like a major project to replace the pump, so I added a can of "Bars Leak" to the radiator. The leak stopped within a couple of hundred miles, and the next time I flushed the radiator, I put in another can. I think the Firenza had about 90K miles when I traded it, and never added another drop of anti-freeze after the Bars Leak treatment. I would certainly try that before I spent hundreds on a water pump..just a thought.
  • Tamu, could you be so kind and post the link to that page about the malibu quility, that will be wonderful. Thanks alot.
  • djoller1, sorry to hear about your coolant leak! Could you please tell us if you've ever replaced your coolant prior to leakage? If yes, how many miles you had when you changed it? Thanks!
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Hi Malibu19, here it is:

    And use the "I know what I want".
  • Thanks alot Tamu, that is pretty interesting. I'm glad to see. I really wish chevy would use that info in the advertising.

    Also, i had a coolant leak also. It was a long time ago though. I still had under 36000 miles, cause it was fixed under factory warranty. Not only did i have a coolant leak, but from the same spot, they said i also had a oil leak. They replaced something, and tightened something else, and fixed. Haven't come up again since. Now i have 120,000 miles.

    Also, some very sad news. I have detected my first rattle in my car the other day. It's soft almost faint, but I can still hear it.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I've seen a Malibu ad several times on TV in the last month where they mention they beat Accord and Camry in initial quality. Problem is, it will take time to convince a lot of people that it's not just a fluke and that American based car makers do make good cars now.

    I know it, but like the girl who sits next to me in the office says, "Honda or Toyota or nothing". Can't change her mind no matter what.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Before we start parading the down Main Street touting that Malibu beats the Accord an dCamry in Initial Quality, take a closer look at the report again. The Malibu is not even in the same category as the Accord or Camry. The Malibu won the award for Mid-size entry. The Accord and Camry are in the premium midsize category although Buick Century did win that category.

    It's still nice to see that Malibu has improved.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    calling the Century 'premium' is a HUUUUUUGGGGEEEE strectch. Premium, my butt.
This discussion has been closed.