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2000-2011 Chevrolet Malibu



  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Thanks to you both for your research.

    Maybe the hiway mileage change is a combination of these two factors. Chevy engineers might think "Hey, if we lose 1 mpg on the Malibu hiway rating due to emissions changes let's take 2 more off so the hiway mpg is below the Cobalt."
  • kduongkduong Posts: 4
    Hi, can anyone please tell me how to remove the rear drum on my 98 Malibu 2.4L?
    Thanks in advance.
  • My new Malibu ran fine for the first 1672 miles until yesterday. After driving about 40 miles from home to my daughter's house and parking for about 20 minutes, I restarted the car, drove a block to the first stop sign, and felt my brake pedal slowly go all the way to the floor as I (fortunately) managed to stop. I drove my son-in-law about a mile to his work, and decided to park the car after the brakes got more mushy. There were no error lights of any kind on the dash. I called Chevy Roadside Assistance, and got the car towed to the nearest Chevy dealer a couple of miles away (not the dealer where I bought the car), then caught a ride to work on the local dealer shuttle. Much to my surprise, they found nothing wrong with car! After a road test and check for computer error codes, they could not reproduce the problem. I told them I would not drive the car until they found the cause of the soft brake pedal, and my wife drove over to give me a ride home.

    This morning I drove to work in my trusty Silverado, and decided to call AAA to tow the car from the local (huge) dealer to the (very small, owner knows me by my first name) dealer where I bought the car. I retrieved my keys from the local dealer service advisor, and while I was calling AAA, started up the car, and slowly pressed the brake pedal all the way to the floor! :mad: While I was waiting for the tow truck, the service manager came by and told me that he had driven the car yesterday for 2 miles and had not noticed any brake problems. When I told him that I had just felt the brake pedal go down to the floorboard, he told me that if you press the brake pedal hard enough, it will always do that! :confuse:
    Since I had already determined that I was NEVER getting any vehicle more advanced that a skateboard serviced by this dealer, I decided to just walk away before I broke something.

    Anyway, my Malibu has been towed to the original dealer, and since I'll be in Las Vegas for a conference all next week, they'll have plenty of time to fix it.

    BTW, I haven't even made the first payment yet, and I really love this car!.

    Oh well, :lemon: down, and :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: to go....

    Thank you, I feel better know.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I had a similar problem with a Honda CR-V; it occured at about 3 mph when I mashed the brake pedal to stop for a pedestrian who suddenly entered the crosswalk. The pedal just went to the floor, while the car barely stopped.

    The dealer hasn't been able to replicate the problem, and it hasn't recurred, but a friend told me that the ABS systems can cause brakes to act in unexpected ways, particularly at lower speeds. Anyway, I doubt it means the car is a lemon, but keep pressing until you get a proper explanation. The Honda dealer told me the same thing, that the pedal is supposed to go to the floor if you keep pushing it, but it only happened that one time and hasn't happened to me on other ABS equipped cars. I don't think the service techs have gotten a hand on this little problem, which is apparently not unique to Chevy.
  • ronbo10ronbo10 Posts: 45
    I read today a reviewer's road test of an '06 Malibu with the ecotec (epinions- not technically a forum), and the reviewer gave it lots of kudos. In spite of the EPA mileage rating of 24/32, he stated that he was getting between 36 to 41 on the highway (probably according to the Driver Information Center, though reviewer didn't specify), and 31 to 32.5 on twisty roads. Overall he was very impressed, with the only real criticism being with the stock Bridgestone tires.

    BTW, I noticed that the Ecotec Malibu comes stock with disc/drums front/rear, but ordering it with ABS gives it 4 wheel disc brakes, which is a $440 option, if I recall.
  • wxman4wxman4 Posts: 53
    Hello all. I have an '05 LT.
    The switches for the rear door windows do not illuminate at night.
    The mirror switch used to select the left or the right mirror for adjusting does not illuminate either. The actual 4-way adjustment button does illuminate.

    Is this the same as everyone elses, or do I have a problem?

  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    The way you describe your vehicle's operation is the way it is supposed to work
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The base Malibu is a heck of a deal. It MSRPs in Canada now for $19,995 (about $16K US).
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    e2helper had the software upgrade today for starting and idle improvements, only time will tell it cures the problem. My neighbor with a build date 5-04 has no hot starting problems, will let you know if it helps.
  • sean3sean3 Posts: 158
    Recently Returned a 2005 Malibu V6,
    I must say I was suprised..I am a foreign car fan..I put about 900 miles on it with 8,000miles..The first thing I noticed was How smooth and quiet it was, thought this is a GM prouct?, It got excellent MPG. the steering did not bog the engine, or make the PS pump whine at all. all in all very quiet..although I can't imajine having the smaller engine in this car, the V6 was very adequate, but nothing special.. but seems perfect for this car..the readout was interesting on MPG and stuff, but It was poorly organized..the sterio was awesome for a rental unit...but again the readout and functions were not...the interior seemed solid, despite a rattle under the steering colum, the seat design was a little weird, but the seat sructure seemed great, along with a power height ajuster...both visors had problems, one wouldn't stay in any given position, and the others mirror flap had no tension...the center armrest was not centered when closing it (probably due to heavy use) the car itself seemed perfectly weighted, the doors had a quality sound, the engine was quiet, No glove box light? the styling at first was a turnoff, but it grew on me, this car was dark Navy Blue w/tan interior...side mirrors were akwardly shaped, and not body colored....this car had traction control which I do not know if it ever activated...I did use the button _+ shift a few times, but It really adds nothing to making this car fun to drive...

    I I thought the side windows were a bit akwardly framed, with to much thick rubber, and was not a smooth look..seems it may not age well...I thought the front end was kind of bold looking, with the chrome bars...not bad though...the back end is a little different...maybe they should eliminate the rear chrome a bit...My biggest suprise with this Malibu was Its smooth Engine-Tranny-Ride. No drivetrain vibration...seems like a good platform, if they only made it a bit more edgy looking, I really didn't like the styling of the sides of the exerior, it jsut didn't have that finished a lesser degree the rear end also...Hopefully GM keeps up on the Quality, because this is sure not the GM of the 80's 90's, But it's nothing special because imports have been doing it for over a Decade..but this car actually got me to question the Media baby's...Accord and Camry...But GM cars also seem to be Just adequate..I would love to by a GM car, this one was sure a step in the right direction...hopefully not to late for GM.......2week rental experience...Sean
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Great write up Sean, thanks very much for taking the time to do so. Couple your experience with the added features found on the Maxx, and you do indeed have one great car. If I was sedan shopping, I doubt I would go running to my GM dealer to buy the 'Bu over the Accord. However, the Maxx is unlike anything else on the market, and is well worth purchasing.
  • I had seriously considered a Camry. My last car was a Chevy Prizm (Corolla twin), and I liked the Toyota motor. The Camry is a great car with a price much better than the Accord. Honda also screws you on options. Don't get me wrong...very nice cars, but they should be for the initial cost of ownership.

    Anyway, I fell into a 9 month old 2004 GM program Malibu LS. The larger of the cupholder inserts was missing and both of the trunk cargo nets were gone. The car looked like it was only a few months old (as it was), and I drove it home for $11,000 plus my 1998 Prizm with nearly 200k miles. The Prizm MIGHT have been worth $1,000 (the passenger side door didn't open, the clutch was beginning to fade, and it was a base 5 speed).

    The LS sedan is AWESOME! Quiet, smooth, nimble (with the Goodyear Tripletreds at 35 psi), and frugal (averaging well over 37 mpg with the factory tires from 15,000 miles (at time of purchase) to 29,000 miles (a month ago). The tripletreds have cost me about 2 mpg so far, but I still feel this may improve to only half that amount once the outer rubber wears a bit. Besides, the Tripletreds run circles around the factory tires in every aspect except for fuel mileage.

    The sedan is not a BMW, but after driving Camrys extensively (and living with a Corolla twin for several years), I would choose the 'bu LS V6 over a Camry V6.

    For the price it was a steal. I will only know the true outcome if it lasts me 4 or 5 years (which will mean I will have had it for 160k - 200k miles).
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Drove two different 2006 Malibu 4 cylinder "base" or LS trim line models this weekend, on separate days at separate dealers.

    Fine acceleration, more than adequate for a single commuter and occasional family use (the 4 cylinder does lose a little acceleration with a big - I mean big - salesperson next to you instead of a skinny short salesperson).

    I am very impressed by how capable the 4 speed automatic is in this car. I had expected the transmission to struggle to match gears and give good acceleration with just a 4 cylinder motor, but it is fine - swift up to 80 mph, and smooth and quiet with low rpm cruising at that speed. After all the problems I have heard with 5 speed automatic transmissions and CVT's maybe it's not bad to stick with a proven design for a little while longer.

    The car is smooth riding and quiet (very quiet compared to a Focus, and quieter than our CR-V), but takes long sweeping cloverleaf exchanges a lot faster than I had expected. I won't call it sporting, but it isn't the same car as the wallow-y base Impala I drove a few seasons ago (I understand all Impala's have a firmer suspension this year) and has a lot better ride and handling than the CR-V. In fact, a 4 cylinder Malibu would be more than adequate for me for my 40 mile each way freeway commute, for 200 plus mile trips to Yosemite, and for the occasional family road trip.

    I like the fact that you can access all the gears in the automatic via pushbuttons on the shift handle, so you can choose a lower gear for descending mountain roads - which saves the brakes. Or choose an appropriate gear for curvy roads and eliminate gear range "hunt." (This isn't "tiptronic" but it IS more versatile than set-ups where you can only access some of your lower gears, like on our CR-V and former Neon.)

    The only negative was overly light steering on one of the cars; the other sample I drove had nicely weighted steering, you wouldn't know it was electic instead of conventional boosted. Could the electric steering be out of whack on the "skittish" car or needing a software update? Overinflated tires? Who knows.
  • The Malibu Engine 'Ecotec' is smooth because it is build by Honda.
    Of course GM will never admit it.
    It is also found in some Saturns including the Relay.
  • Autowrite, you are just plain wrong.

    The various versions of the 4 cyl Ecotec (2.0L, 2.0L supercharged, 2.2L, and 2.4L VVT) are GM engines, designed by GM, built by GM, and put in GM cars (including Opel and Saab).

    The Saturn Relay is a MINIVAN - try moving a minivan with a 4cyl engine! (By the way, it has the pushrod 3.5L V6).

    The Saturn Vue DOES use a Honda 3.5L V6 (same as the Pilot and Odessey) in the V6 versions, but it uses an Ecotec as the base engine.

    Get your facts straight before posting.
  • Just picked up a 2005 Malibu Classic. For those that don't know this is basically a 2003 Malibu manufactured as a fleet vehicle in 2005. It sports a 2.2 Ecotec engine which leaves a lot of room for upgrading.

    My problem lies in finding parts. I need a sway bar for the rear-end because the stock one just sucks. I also would like to do uppers on both front and rear strut towers. Anyone know where I can find these?

    As far as the motor goes, I know GM offers a factory supercharger which would be nice but my finances won't sport that currently. What I would like is a good intake, header, exhaust combination. Any suggestions?

    Are there any other performance enhacing mods I can do this car for little or no money?

    What about a basic weight reduction kit?

    Thanks for the help!!

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    What you are proposing is totally un-economic, unless your goal is a "sleeper" stoplight racer. Some cars lend themselves well to aftermarket upgrades, like J-body cars, Neons, VW's, etc. simply because they developed a following of enthusiasts and thus there are cheap aftermarket parts available. For the Classic, there are no enthusiasts and no cheap aftermarket parts, esp. critical stuff like suspension upgrades. You can probably get a supercharger on the Ecotec, at least that part of the car is "enthusiast." But, what a cost, and it will be illegal.

    The CHEAPEST sleeper out there is the Pontiac GTO, once it's debadged it looks like some snoozer out of the 70's or 80's, but man is it fast.

    Save some coin, wait until you can pick up a legitimate hotrod.

    Unless you were just pulling our leg?

  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I had a 98 Malibu. The best thing that happened with it were performance tires. The car changed its character: it was fun to drive with new tires, but it was boring with stock tires.

    The performance tires were Firestone Firehawk SH-30. Now they are out of production, but similar Bridgestone 009 are available.

    The Malibu had 3.1l V-6 engine, though.
  • If you don't mind my asking, what are you driving now?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    2000 Buick Regal GS and 2004 Buick Regal GS. Great highway cars, and very good acceleration, but Malibu was more nimble.
  • Makes sense -- I have had my share of hotrods -- 89 S-10 with a 350 that I showed once or twice... it was more for tearing the pants off of people at stop lights. I upgraded to a 1967 Camaro that I showed a few times in New Mexico. I switched to a 1989 Camaro RS Convertible with a pretty stacked 305 in it. Fun Times.

    Now I'm about to start a family and needed an affordable family car. Based on what I can see about the motor it's got a TON of possibility.

    All I want is a bit more meat at the low-end -- looks like a 4-2-1 header, high flow cat and muffler will help with that and along with it a short-ram intake.

    With the stock motor the suspension is already sub-par at the line and even on the highway when I lay it to the floor. This is where I'm having the hardes time for parts. I will probably wind up having a buddy fab these up for me. All I want is a sway bar for the rear end and cross members for the strut towers front and rear.

    Turns out the rubber on this car is horribly rated and perhaps I'll notice a major difference after upgrading it. This may resolve much of my suspension issues although I still would like to sport it up a bit more.

    A shift kit and a torque convertor should be all the tranny will need.

    I will definately post my findings as it comes.

    Thanks for the feedback!!

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    So you ARE serious!

    Please be sure to post then. I think the Malibu classic with the 4 is an interesting platform - actually more powerful than the original BMW 3 series, and probably better handling (if you put better tires on it).

    Eibach makes lowering springs for almost everything. You might start looking there.

    Keep us posted. I am probably getting a Malibu (new version) with a 4 cylinder. I won't touch the motor (if I wanted more power I'd get the new G6 with the 2.4 instead) but may fiddle with the suspension parts, if anything is available. The Classic would probably benefit from strut ties; I am not sure the new version would.
  • I am sorry I got my facts wrong.
    The information was given to me my a top importer of used vehicles coming in from the United States and they are importing used Cayenne, Scion, Hummer, Eclipse; among others.

    You can buy a used Scion from them but new ones are/were not available in Canada. Another note you might want to check out is the Toyota Echo Hatchback was only sold in Canada, not the United States as reported in Canadian car magazines and Canadian news sources. I am only talking about the Hatchback edition.

    The 1st American car I owned was a 1967 Plymouth Valiant; which I bough new. Before 1967 Canada imported the Dodge Dart and called it a Plymouth Valiant. My 1st car was a new Austin 850 (MINI); which caused me nothing but grief. My last vehicle was a 1992 Ford Taurus with the long-stroke engine. At 283m kms I had to trade it in as the power brakes' device broke. I try to keep my vehicles till they are not worth keeping up the expenses. I currently own a 2002 Honda Odyssey EX, which I bought new and have had no trouble with it. It currently has 136m KMS.

    I started to dig into the Ecotec engine history, after your comments, and found a history back to the 1910 era. There were Vauxhall mentioned in different years, as well; plus the German Opel.
  • Hey guys,

    This is probably the 300th auto theft problem post on here, well here is my version of it. My 2000 Chev malibu does not want to start at all, i talked to the mechanic and he said something about the ignition or the auto-theft system, just like the other posts have said. BUT, here is the weird part we called a tow-truck to get the car towed and he knew a secret combination to bypass it. He said he couldn't tell me how to do it and I was wondering if anyone knew on here?


  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    This isn't "tiptronic" but it IS more versatile than set-ups where you can only access some of your lower gears, like on our CR-V and former Neon.

    *cough*2004 Malibu*cough*
  • redmaxxredmaxx Posts: 627
    ROFL! That is the funniest I have heard yet.

    Sorry. (Assumes a serious look)...You can find the procedure in your manual, but I can't remember what it is off-hand.
  • pjabpjab Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 Malibu and when the weather turned cold, a crackling noise is coming from the dash area. When I brought it to the dealer, they told me that they would not replace the dash because GM did not have a service bulletin on the problem. Has any one else had this problem? I can not beleive that I can not get this fixed by GM. This will be the last GM car I buy new - pete
  • Let me get this straight, you have 1 dash problem with your car and you will never buy a new GM again? Do you know there are people with Honda's that have TRANSMISSION problems, that gladly strip over the same rock twice.

    A minor problem like with the dash, can be had in any car. If you car has been trouble free i don't think you should jinx it by giving up over a dash problem.

    Meybe you could try to go to different dealers or talking with other people at that dealership. Let them know that if they want your business then they should find a way to help you.

    Do you really have to replace the entire dash because of one noise? Are there any positive aspects to your car, like say your fuel economy?
  • My dash creaks and rattles when it is cold. I have the '04 Sedan LS. I also have a Chevy truck that deos the same. And a '99 Oldsmobile. And I had a '98 Prizm and '87 Buick that also did.

    About 90% of the world's vehicles are driven by people who live in climates that never get below about 20 degrees F. Manufacturers design their products as best they can, but I believe it would be quite a feat to design a dash, which is fastened in numerous places, that either does NOT expand or contract at all in temperature extremes from 150 degrees F down to -30 degrees F, or allows for this movement without screwing up clearances with surrounding parts.

    You ask for too much. Maybe GM should refuse to sell you a vehicle until you move to a temperate climate.
  • "You ask for too much. Maybe GM should refuse to sell you a vehicle until you move to a temperate climate."

    I agree!
This discussion has been closed.