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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    I'm totally chill, I just think that for cschmieg1 to make the comment that our problems are because of the way we take care of our cars, was totally wrong of him. Anyway, it's my car and I'll treat it how I want (Not that I treat my car bad).
    Holy cow, bcmalibu99ls, how come your odo on the bu is so low? Just keep watching to see if oil leaks from either side of the engine...if so, you probably have the gasket problem. Well, good luck.
  • breetai52breetai52 Posts: 91
    I'm putting only about 500-600 a month on the car. I live less than 3 miles from work so I only put miles on it when I drive to visit family. And once it warms up here in MA I might start jogging to work again. :)
  • credman41credman41 Posts: 12
    bcMalibu99Is.....I expect my '02 "Bu to outlast me.... I had 192K on a 92 Lumina with the same 3.1 engine. Changed oil every 3500 mi. Of course, usual breakdowns of Alternator, water pump, etc. but the engine was still going strong. Only reason I had to trade the Lumie...the power steering finally went due to-LACK OF MAINTENANCE....I noticed a small dripping about 2 years ago, ignored it, and suffered the consequences. If I had replaced a seal then, I'd still have the Lumie, and I loved that fault, and it won't happen with my 'Bu.
  • jtrujillo86, my mileage is so low because, like breetai52, I live very close to work, and since I already live in one of the top North American resort destinations (Vancouver), I don't really need to drive too far in order to have a fantastic vacation :-)

    credman41, it's good to hear your Lumina had such a great engine. How come you didn't fix the power steering? Was it too expensive? It couldn't have cost more than a new Malibu, could it? :-)
  • credman41credman41 Posts: 12
    Cost of replacing the rack 'n' Pinion steering was about $1500 because I had driven the system dry too long. I kept pouring PS fluid in every couple of days and, at one point, lost the cover to the inlet...took me 2 days to get a new one and by then it was too late. At $1500, for a 10 yr. old car, we felt it was time to bite the bullet. And, I got such a great deal on my 'Bu that it cost me $0 up front, due to my having a GM Mastercard that it was well worth the trade. Again, it was my fault for not taking the "ounce of prevention".....
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    $1500 for a new rack?????? They must have had a boat payment due that day. i just replaced the rack in my Explorer with a remanufactured one and it only cost me $550. That includes the alignment.
  • I bought our 2000 Malibu in June 2000, and couldn't have been happier when I bought it. A great looking car with a smooth, quiet ride. I even posted a message on this board about how much we liked the car. However, for the past year the car has been missing very badly. We've gone through 3 fuel pumps from the dealership. It seems to run OK for a few weeks then starts acting up again. Many times it just stalls out. The car is now out of warranty. I've thought about selling it, but I keep going back to how much we like the car when we bought it, plus we would probably take a beating on the sale price. Has anyone else had problems with their Malibus missing or stalling out?
  • Hey, BlueMalibu, I think that's the first time ever that I've heard someone having so much trouble with Bu's fuel pump. I mean, three pumps??? Could it be that the dealer is not changing it, but still sharging you (or GM, if in warranty) for the repair? Is there are any way for you to be sure that your original pump has been replaced?
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    I, too would question 3 fuel pumps being replaced by the same dealer. Either he is not diagnosing the problem correctly, or makes lots of money on fuel pumps. I would check your receipts carefully, as for a time, GM and Ford both had a policy that guaranteed a specific repair for as long as you owned the car..which meant that you only have to pay for a specific repair once..even if it broke multiple times. I would check to see if this policy is still in effect, and then if the car fails again, I would go to a different dealer. If you kept your receipts, and the problem turns out to be a bad computer module, for example, I would think you would have a good case to take to the GM regional office for reimbursement due to incorrect diagnosis/repair by this dealership.
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    Hey guys. It was finally warm enough here in Denver to turn on my AC today. I figured that since I haven't turned it on since September, it would take a while to cool down...heck no! That thing was cool in less than 3 minutes! I was so surprised. The only thing I hate (well, two things) when I turn on the AC is that it uses much more gas and the cooling fans turn on. I hate the cooling fan thing because my car sounds much louder. Oh well, it's better than the vehicle over heating, right? Anyway, talk to you guys later.
  • I just had my brake pads changed. I noticed that one side of my pads were completely wear down, while the other was still good. Has anyone else noticed that with their car. I'm just curious.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Sounds like you may need an adjustment with your calipers.

    Doesn't surprise me as the braking system in the Malibu is definitely a weak spot in the car.
  • About how much does that cost, or can it be easily done bymyself?
  • whemmewhemme Posts: 4
    My 1998 Malibu suffers repeated problems with warped front brake rotors which seems to be major problem with this car. My rotors were resurfaced at 10,500 miles and then the rotors were replaced with new again at 18,000 miles - all under factory warranty. Now at 33,000 miles the rotors are warped again but the car is now out of warranty. Per a suggestion I saw somewhere, I am going to install new Raybestos rotors next to see if I can stop this problem from repeating itself over and over again. Does anyone have a different solution?

    My car also had the problem with intermittent operation of the air conditioning. The little green indicator light in the A/C button on the HVAC control unit in the center console would go out and would require the A/C button to be pushed again to restart the A/C. This problem got worse and worse until the A/C could not be kept on. It turns out that this switch on the HVAC control unit is a problem in a lot of Malibus - just tapping on the HVAC control unit near the A/C switch (not pushing on the switch itself directly) could cause the little green light to come back on and the A/C to resume operation.

    To fix this problem, the complete HVAC control unit must be repaced with new. The switch itself is not replaceable as the the HVAC control is a sealed plastic encased unit. Refer to the following website for additional information about this problem:
    Check the 3 followup messages at this location also.

    The GM P/N for this assembly is 22626483 for the version for a car equipped with rear heated window.
    The current list price for the assembly is $162.40. I don't know the P/N or cost for a Malibu without the rear heated window. I was able to purchase this part new at 50% off list from this online dealer:

    Their charge was $81.20 plus $9.18 handling charge plus $7.06 UPS ground freight for a delivered total of $97.44. This part is relatively easy to install yourself using the folowing procedure:
    1) Use a little pocket screwdriver to pop off the black trim plate around the ignition key cylinder. It just snaps in place.
    2) Then pull out the ashtray and grasp the bottom of the radio trim plate and pull out. It just clips in place also.
    3) You don't have to unhook the cig. lighter. Just lay the trim plate down on the console with the lighter still plugged in. You may have to move the transmission level out of the PARK position to open up space for the trim plate
    4) Then, there are two screws in the control head - one on the left side and one on the right side. Remove both and pull out the control head. Then remove the 4 connectors on the back and reinstall the new head in reverse order. Two of the connector are electrical and the other two are fiber optic lighting connectors. Be careful to unlock the latches holding these connectors in place. They will come off easily if proper unlatched. If you don't unlatch them properly and pull too hard on them - things might break!
    5) Then install the new HVAC control unit using the above steps in reverse order.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Thaks for the info whemme. Only 33k miles on a 1998. You must do a lot of walking.

    chevymalibu19: I can't imagine it would cost any more then just an hour or so of labor. Not unless something is wrong. Next time you have the oil changed and tires rotated, I would have them look at it.
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    I too have had uneven break wear. I have had my car for 10,000 and I changed the break pads about 1,000 miles ago. When I took the breaks off I noticed the left had a lot less pad on them than the right. I don't know what the deal was, but the dealer just told me to replace the pads. I went in about a week ago though, and they told me my rotors need to be turned. Oh well, what can ya do?
  • Thanks for the advice on my Malibu. I forgot to mention that in addition to the 3 fuel pumps (actually they just replaced two - one was the original), the dealership also completely cleaned out the fuel system last fall. They didn't charge me for that even though it was out of warranty (real big of them). However, the car still continued to miss & stall. I shouldn't have waited this long but I did. I'm going over to the dealership tomorrow to see what they can do.
  • Check this out...

    Component Description:
    Bulletin Number: 040202
    Bulletin Date: FEB 2002
    Vehicle: 1999 Chevrolet Malibu
  • deciding3deciding3 Posts: 13
    I'm looking to buy a new car and found a 02 maxima se with 32k miles for 15K (cloth and stereo is not bose! Is that a good price?
    My other options are 2002- 626/galant at 10K or 2002 -malibu at 10.5K.
    While, I realize that these cars are not really comparable and that the maxima is better, which do you guys think is the better deal. Price is quite important to me, but i can spend more if I know it will work out better in the long run.
  • jtrujillo86jtrujillo86 Posts: 300
    Don't go for the Malibu if you're looking for long lasting quality. If you take care of it well, I'll bet you'll get a great life out of the Maxima with very little problems. I hear the 626 is a really problematic car and as for the Galant, I wouldn't buy a Mitsubishi if my life depended on it. My sister owns a 1998 Eagle Talon which has an engine built by Mitsubishi. If the Galant's engine quality is the same as the Eagle Talon and Mitsubishi Eclipse, you'll be in the shop a lot. (That's how I am with my Malibu.) Anyway I would opt for the Nissan. Happy hunting.
  • deciding3deciding3 Posts: 13
    Thanks for the info. you are right about the quality of teh 626 and galant. I test drove all the cars today and they were no good. So I have dropped the mitsubishi galant, 626 & taurus from my shortlist.
    So only the maxima and malibu are left to decide between! Like you said the malibu has reliability problems. If i buy the malibu from Hertz that can give a good warranty, would that help. test drove both today and the malibu was better than I expected but the seat was a little uncomfortable. could have just been the one i drove. With the price at 10K for a malibu 2002 miles and 15.5K for maxSE 02, my mind says malibu cause its much cheaper. but my heart says maxima! So i'm still in a dilemma!

    FYI:This is a message I just posted on the maxima discussion list:
    I've been following your discussion forum for a while and wanted to ask you guys for some help.
    I'm getting out of college this Spring and looking for a car. I have shortlisted my choices to 2 cars:
    Chevy Malibu 2002 25K miles for 10K
    Nissan Max SE 2002 25K miles for about 16K
    While, price is certainly a big factor to me as I'm just getting out of college and also I don't really need a maxima type of car right now. But I can get the maxima through financing if the deal is good and if it'll be a better and more economical car in the long run. I wanted to know what you guys thought about it as most of you own maximas. Also, would you know anything about the difference in insurance rates for the 2 cars. I'm thinking that the maxima will have a much higher premium.
    Please let me know what you guys think being firsthand owners. I have shortlisted to these 2 cars using help from discussion forums, and i'd really appreciate information. Thanks!
  • spratt1spratt1 Posts: 53
    Depends on several things.

    If you want the car for a long time, the Maxima would be a better choice for reliability. Even though the cost is $5,500 more now, that would disappear in say 10 years.

    However, if you only keep it for 3 to 6 years I believe you will come our ahead with the Malibu by at least $3,000 to 4,000.

    That said, you should also consider the feel of the cars. The Malibu ride, handling and power is, in my opinion, the best for the money in it's class. We drove the Accord, Camry and Maxima, and for the $ we took the Malibu. We love the ride, feel it is better that the other three. The Accord is the only one with better handling.

    Now, this also assumes you are looking at a LS Malibu. We did not like the seats or fabric in the base Malibu. Interior is also better in the LS, and you get antilock brakes. Antilock is standard in the Maxima, and the interior is better than a NON-LS Malibu. I would take the Malibu if it is an LS, the Maxima if the Malibu is not an LS.

    For at least 4 years, the only problem you may have with the Malibu is the brake rotors. But those are cheap to replace.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    For a person your age, insurance premiums could be a real consideration. Check with your insurance company, and they can give you a comparision quote. The Malibu insurance is quite reasonable in most cases. We traded the wifes little 93 Escort wagon for a 03 Malibu LS a few months ago, and the difference in insurance was only about $10/month thru State Farm. The Maxima is a great car, but probably will cost much more on insurance. For $5,000 difference, if you are on a budjet, the Malibu would probably be the wiser choice. If you are buying from Hertz, ask to see the cars maintainace records/history, and you might even want to have an independent garage inspect the car before you buy. A few dollars spent to have a good machanic check the car out could save you lots of grief later on with a used car.
  • buguybuguy Posts: 16
    Deciding3, been watching you trying to make a decision between the two cars. $5000 can buy lots of brake pads and rotors on a Malibu. It really isn't any more problematic than any other car if it is taken care of. You could need an intake manifold gasket down the road but possibly not. Transmission is a strong point on this car and though not as quick as the maxima, it has plenty of power for an inexpensive car. Insurance price over the long run needs to be considered. Stainless exhaust means no replacement for many years if ever on the malibu. Over all the parts are very inexpensive. Might not be a better car for the money out there than the bu. Tapping 80,000 on my 99 and spend $34 on brake pads. Total, finito, thats all for repairs. Waiting for the 2004 Epsilon to come out for a test drive. Just be sure to check the maintenance record from Hertz... bet it's been well taken care of. Good luck..
  • spark1espark1e Lancaster, PAPosts: 19
    Hi folks. My wife's car is a 99 Lumina LTZ, and my car is an Impala. Obvious Chevy bias. This fall my wife's Lumina lease expires and I suggested we get her a Malibu. I have a dealer/friend who finds me a car as I describe.

    I've started reading a few pages on this discussion and have learned a bit about the Malibus. Any advice on year models to go for or stay away from?

  • credman41credman41 Posts: 12
    Hi y' '02 Bu calls for 5W30 oil in the manual and on the oil filler cap. I noticed that the place that does my oil changes (every 3200-3500 mi.) uses you think that's a problem? Why the lower weight if the normal 10W is OK ??? Would it affect the engine, or mileage? Any help is much appreciated...
  • buguybuguy Posts: 16
    credman41, the reason for the light weight oil (5w30) is primarily for fuel mileage numbers. The lighter the oil the better the fuel economy. Looks good on paper and for EPA #'s. That plus easier starting in the winter in New England and other cold climates. That's the good part. The bad part is excess wear over the life of the engine. The mechanics that rebuild engines tell me they would never use a 5w30 in their own cars. The crankshaft bearings (plain bearings) take a beating with the light oils. I am sure there are some high mileage engines out there that used the recommended light oil but overall a 10w30 used year round in every climate hot or cold will give you better performance over the life of the engine.
  • credman41credman41 Posts: 12
    thanks buguy....doesn't appear that 10W30 will harm the engine, so I'm pretty sure I'll keep putting it in. As far as I'm concerned, the 1 or 2 mpg difference isn't worth the potential harm to the engine. I'd rather it lasted longer with the heavier oil.....
  • aub789aub789 Posts: 19
    Hi folks. My 98 LS with 81K has developed an increasingly louder squeak in right front wheel area when going at low speed and over bumpy road. Downright embarassing with guests in the car! Took to dealer who informs me both lower control arms need replacing (but the left side doesn't squeak!) for a mere $800. Says that it is not a safety issue, and if I can live with the noise I can save the $800. Can anyone enlighten me why I need to have both arms replaced, and is $800 too much to pay? Thanks for your collective wisdom!
  • Drive a Hyundai before you buy anything. What have you got to lose. Just about $3000 and 2 years worth of warranty. I have a 2001 Elantra and it is the finest car I have owned. I have been buying new cars for 32 years and have had chryslers, chevys, fords, american motors, dodge, olds and buicks. For $3000 less than a cavalier you get a 5 yr/60,000mi bumper to bumper and a 10 yr, 100,000 mi drivetrain warranty. It is quieter than the american cars and better riding, The engine is smoother and more poweful. I know some of you elitists won't drive a korean car. Bad for you. Try it , you'll like it.
This discussion has been closed.