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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Could say the same for Camry and Accord.
  • I am wondering what makes a car "premium" anyway. The horsepower? The upholstery? The number of airbags? Traction control, DSC, brake assist? What?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    My guess premumm has to do with the average price of the car. Malibu tops out in the low $20's. Century and Accord are inthe mid $20's.

    Who knows? Either way it is a nice award for Malibu. It appears GM is starting to get their act together. But only time will tell. Of course their sales were down 2% ths past January.
  • We got a fantastic deal on our Malibu. But even if we had paid only $2,000 less that MSRP, it still would have been a great deal compared to the cost of an Accord or a Camry. I once owned an Accord (and a Civic, for what its worth), and have rented Camrys. While they are certainly very fine cars, they are in NO WAY worth $4,000 to $8,000 more than a comparably equipped Malibu. It is insanity, or close mindedness to think otherwise. We have had ours for three weeks, but I have reviewed all postings on potential problems. The potential problems are very few. Every car, even the best, have a number of particular problems. Our other car is a 99 Volvo V70 wagon (a $38,000 car), and if you were to see the sites on that car you'd run away as fast as you could. Yet the our V70 has been excellent. And the Malibu appears MUCH MORE reliable than the V70 from the postings. This Malibu is a tremendous car for the $. Don't believe anything else. As one of the reviews said, a car is really good when it impresses its owner, not just an observer. Now, if only GM would make all there cars like the Malibu, instead of like the Cavalier (a real piece of garbage)!!!

    In reference to dtownfb, you are right. The Malibu is NOT in the same category as the Camry of Accord. It needs its own category, as it costs sooo much less, but is possibly better!
  • Turn your blinker on (either left or right, doesn't matter) and drive without turning and with the blinker blinking for about 3/4 of a mile. See what happens!

    Oh, and make sure you are not somewhere where other drivers would shoot you for having your blinker on for that long without actually turning!
  • Hi I'm very happy with my Malibu, is a great car, I have this car for about 1 year and I never had a problem with it. I recommend this car to everyone.
  • Just want to add to my post #1431.

    We just returned from a 300 mile round trip to Tyler, Texas (from Dallas). I have recently rented a Camry for a similar round trip to College Station for work. The Malibu was just as quiet on highway and around town (except engine when floored for passing - big deal). Power was better with Malibu. Malibu ride was just as compliant, but better in that it was tighter and not as "floaty" as the Camry. Much better road feel with the Malibu. Overall, Malibu was definetly better. Accord ride (I test drove one before getting the Malibu) was rougher, though slightly better handling. I NEVER thought I would say this about a GM car. No comparison when $ is factored in.
  • buguybuguy Posts: 16
    Great to see all the good posts about reliability and value for price paid. Absolutely correct about our chevys. Not too far from 80,000 on my 99 and it runs as well as or better than the day I drove it off the dealers lot in late 98.' My son lives at the dealership with his camry. A very nice quiet car but way too many little problems. Reading other posts I see we have fewer than most for consistent complaints. We know what are the problem areas and I think GM might just be starting to address them as well. When gas prices go to $2 per, our 25 to 30 mpg in a good size family sedan with a huge trunk, will look even better. Thanks chevy. We knew you could do it....
  • Hi, everyone! I've been reading this forum for some time and enjoyed what all you guys to input for Malibu. I have a '00 Malibu LS with 45K miles (I'm the first owner, and hopefully, the last), and my comment on it is a basic and solid car, with lots of functions and spacious trunk. I've serviced (oil changes) the car regularly, and at 33K had changed the disk brake pads (the mechanic said it was usual wear, though it seemed a little more than usual). Today I'd like to ask for your suggestions and answers for some of my questions before I take it to the dealers for some problems my Bu experienced recently:

    1)During the last 2K miles I found the gas mileage has decreased from about 25~26 mpg to 22~24 mpg (highway/local drives about 50/50, and I've made a 400 mile trip during the Christmas, and only got 25~27 mpg for pure highway drive, which is way lower than the 29~30 mpg I got in similar situations before). It could not be because of the weather, since I've seen no similar such things in the previous winters (I live in Michigan). Several days ago the Check Engine signal came out, but the next day it disappeared totally. I am wondering whether this is a problem and whether it causes the mpg decrease. Also is it possible that some service job, like engine tune-up can possible solve the problem (mpg decrease). If anyone of you have had a similar experience or know what is going on please give me a suggestion.

    2)I want your suggestions on whether to take the car to the Chevy dealers or other shops. My impression with the Chevy dealers is that they have very rigid schedules (not open on Saturdays) and usually charges more, but maybe they can give more authentic service and genuine parts.

    Thanks in advance for your kind suggestions and reply.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    1) if yu are experiencing record cold waether like we are here in PA, the weather is the most likely culprit for you decrease in MPG. Even if you are doign 50/50 driving, those short tris in this cold weather will kill your gas mileage. I've seen the same thin gin our Malibu this winter. Been averaging about 22-23 when this summer and fall was around 26 mpg.

    2) Malibus are not difficult to maintain. I would go to a private mechanic after the warranty is up. Cheaper and just as good.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    There are two things you mentioned that could be a good clue. First, a decrease in gas mileage, and 2nd, the Service Engine light coming on. With 44K on the car, you could be having trouble with either the O 2 sensor, or the EGR valve. I think the O 2 sensor checks for unburned fuel in the exhaust, and adjusts the injectors accordingly. The EGR valve recirculates part of the exhaust gas back to the intake manifold to aid in engine warmup. The O 2 sensor is a fairly common failure since it sits in the path of the hot exhaust gases, and the EGR valve, which is also located at the exhaust manifold can start sticking due to the heat. Both can cause a loss of gas mileage. If your "check engine" light came on, it should have posted a code in the engine control module (computer), and the dealer, or good mechanic with a code tool, can read out the code, and tell you what the trouble is. O 2 sensors are not expensive, and easy to replace (on most cars). The EGR valve can be a bit of fun depending upon engine, and whether or not the bolts have corroded/rusted. However, neither is major surgery, and it would probably be wise to get it checked at your first opportunity, as both of these problems can cause further (expensive) troubles if ignored.
  • Both of your responses are very helpful. Thanks a lot, dtownfb and deminin! The thing with my car is that the Check Engine signal was on only several times, on one afternoon and night, and off since then. I learnt from the net that you can retrieve information from the OBD II computer only within three driving rounds, and after that the info is gone. Unfortunate I could not do the reading within 3 rounds, so I cannot get anything from the OBD II reading now. About the O2 sensor and EGR valve, I'll definitely check them soon. Since I have an extended warranty (75K/60m), can any of you tell me whether O2 or EGR can usually be covered by warranty? Thanks again for your help. It's a pleasure talking to you guys.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Without any knowledge of the warranty you have, my guess is it probably is not covered. O2 sensors fail on all types of vehicles. Nothing major. I had one replaced on m Explorer. Cost about $150 total. I waited about 10k miles between when the check engine light came on unitl I had the work performed. Some warranties may consider that a wear and tear item but I could be wrong.

    I did have the EGR valve replaced on my 1989 Tempo. the only signal I received was the car stopping at a traffic light in the middle of a busy highway in Jersey. Drove for 2 and half hours and the car decides to fail then. Shut the car off then re-started it with our any trouble. Later found out that the EGR valve failed and all the gunk built up and block the fuel from getting to the engine. Who knows? Most of that cost was cleaning not replacing the valve.

    I would ask your mechanic to take a look at it the next time you get it serviced. NO harm in getting it diagnosed.
  • I bought a 2000 Malibu LS, fully loaded. To make a long story short: calipers replaced, 2 full front brake jobs, ignition cylinder replaced, blower resistors replaced twice, strut mounts replaced, as well as AC evaporator and seals replaced and not to mention coutless rattles and sqeaks (particularly from the brake pedal linkage, sound inside). Also, all the above works was done by two different dealerships, and they still couldn't get rid of some things that kept happenning over and over again. The car had 55,000 kms and only 5,000 left on the warranty. I had not YET been hit with the 3.1 coolant leak/gasket problem, but I know it was right around the corner for this car. And not to mention the low resale value too!

    So, I got rid of it and bought a 2002 Nissan Altima 3.5SE 5-speed. I have now rediscovered the joy of driving, with the VQ 3.5 engine, one of Ward's Top 10 engines in the world. :)

    ps: In the same week, my wife traded her 2000 Sunfire for a 2001 Nissan Sentra!
  • Does anyone know if the 2001-2003 Malibu can seat 3 children in the back seat, including 2 children in car seats.

    Thanks for your help.
  • bryancosbryancos Posts: 282
    Hi everyone... normally I'm perusing the GMC Envoy forum, but this past weekend we traded in my gf's dying minivan and picked up a used 2002 Malibu w/ 30Kmi for just under $10K after trade. According to the CarFax report we pulled, it is a former rental fleet vehicle, so despite the relatively high mileage being such a new vehicle, I'm hopeful that it was very well maintained on a regular basis as most rentals are. Question for the 2002 owners: Have any of you needed to take the vehicle in for many of the TSB's that I've found listed? With only 6K mi remaining on the factory warranty, I plan to have as many issues resolved while I can. Based on your ownership experiences w/ this car, would any of you give a thumbs up to a third party extended warranty such as that offered by Warranty Gold here on Edmunds?
  • Thanks for your information and suggestion!
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Sorry to hear about the many problems you had with your Malibu and congrats on the Altima. It's a sweet car especially with the 5-speed! I really hope y'al will have better luck with the Nissans. You know every auto maker makes lemons but it still sickens to know somebody that actually ends up with one.
  • You are very correct. My dad bought a 1988 Cavalier in 1991 and sold it in 1998. These were lemon cars, but his gave him no problems!
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    With regard to the O2 sensor and EGR valve, and many other parts, check your warranty info closely. Most of these new fancy gizmos are installed because of the EPA and Federal Emissions guidelines. As such, many of these parts carry extended warranties as mandated by the Federal and some State governments. Some of these parts go as high as 8 years or 80K miles. If you can catch the car in a failing mode, and get a good code readout, you may get lucky and be covered by the original warranty. As to the extended warranty, you will have to read the fine print. Most of those policies only cover the items that are very unlikely to break.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    to bcmalibu: I give up what does happen? I tried to for a good 10 min,nothing . I have a 2002
  • Well, what happens is that it well ding, just like a warning down, to remind you that you left it on. It's a really neat and thoughtful feature. My is a 98.
  • if you leave your turn signal on for 3/4 of a mile (time doesn't matter), but the funniest thing is that the Bu's turn signal is so obnoxiously loud, that the warning chime is all but excessive, hehehe
  • Thanks for your info. I'll likely do the checking this weekend, and I'll tell you guys what turns out.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I have a booster seat and a child seat in my Malibu. I doubt you can fit another chld in the middle. The car seats made today are very wide and they tend to overlap the seat belt positions. Luckily our second vehicle is an Explorer.
  • wilfj1wilfj1 Posts: 52
    Ok..... if you leave the signals on for about a mile, a chime warnig sounds. Amen
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    I just did the first oil and filter change on my new LS. Whoever put the oil filter on at the factory is either the biggest guy at the plant, or some dude with his impact wrench set to max! I've had overtight filters before on new cars, but this one was the worst. After I finally got it off..used a cheater pipe on the filter wrench, I really inspected the filter mount and threads for damage. Luckily, all looks ok, and no leaks at the new filter. Unless you have plenty of tools and patience, you may want to let the dealer do the first change..maybe the dealers people understand the concept of snug + 1/2 turn. Come to think of it, maybe thats why the plant cinches the filter down...I spent $ wants 25.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I had the same experience deminin. Check out my post a while back. The filter is actually quite easy to get to, compared to my Geo storm anyway...
  • aub789aub789 Posts: 19
    Greetings, currently own 98LS with 78k miles. Have recently noticed odd noise emanating from under front end when making sharp turn to right or left (mostly left). Sometimes a "squeak" and sometimes a "clunk" and most noticeable when turning up and left onto my driveway; never hear it when driving normally on street or highway. I intend to take to dealer this week for a look, but I'm wondering if any members here can give me a clue as to what I'm dealing with, seriousness, possible costs ,etc? Thanks for your help!
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    With 78K, you may get lucky and just have a worn out strut. Most original shocks and struts start showing their age at about 40 to 50K. You may also have problems with a CV joint at one of your front wheels. Can you tell which side its coming from? Look at the inner center of the wheel for a rubber boot covering the end of the stub shaft. If there is evidence of damage to this boot or what appears to be oil around the area, that may be your trouble. There are also numerous steering and suspension links and pivots that could be starting to wear, any one of which could cause the problem. If you can hear or feel a noticeable clunk, it shouldn't take a mechanic too long to find it with a little prying and poking. Have you noticed any difference in the effort needed to turn the wheels? Sometimes the steering gear asm goes bad, but that usually shows up as hard steering when the engine is cold. At any rate, let the dealer look at it, and if in doubt, get a second opinion from another dealer, or try an independent garage/mechanic if the expense sounds too high.
This discussion has been closed.