2001 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 from North America


Chevy's worst production model going


I was so happy when I purchased my 2001 Chevy Malibu LS, my very first car. It didn't take long to turn that smile into a frown.

I had to replace the brakes at 30,000 km.

Stock tires replaced at 35,000km.

Heater controls never worked on settings 1 & 2.

Battery replaced at 61,000km.

Severely cracked flywheel replaced at 67,000km (expensive fix).

Wheel bearings replaced at 74,500km.

General Comments:

My Malibu is a real source of disappointment, and Chevy takes no responsibility for their technical blunders.

My advice to fellow Malibu owners is get to know your mechanic well, you will be seeing him/her often.

I still have a year of payments left on this car, but after that Chevy will never get any of my hard earned money again.

Do yourself a favour and buy an import. You can pay less for a domestic up front, but in the long run imports are much more reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th April, 2004

9th Jan 2006, 23:34

Sorry, but I have 118k..on my LS.. and have never had a problem...1st turn up was at 112k miles... engine lite went on today.. so I guess there is something wrong... other than battery, tires etc... never a problem...

Sorry for the good news... among all the problems... i see here.. then again I have never had a problem with an American car...

25th Feb 2009, 11:47

What car don't you have to change the brakes? Would you rather your brakes go out and you run into a tree?

26th Feb 2009, 18:48

We spent more on ONE of our three imports than on ALL of our domestics combined over the past 10 years. And NO, you AREN'T "doing yourself a favor" by rushing out to send your money to Japan or Germany. In the U.S. roughly ONE OUT OF FOURTEEN jobs (possibly ours) is either directly or indirectly related to the U.S. auto industry. And PLEASE, none of this "Japan builds cars HERE" baloney. Japanese car manufacturers account for only 9% of U.S. auto workers and less than 1% of auto-related jobs. So if you want to cut your own throat, you have that freedom. I'll buy reliable domestics. If our Honda, Mazda and Volkswagen are examples of "superior" cars then pigs can fly. NONE of them made 100,000 miles without costing us an arm and a leg. The Honda never even MADE 100,000 miles.

2001 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 litre from North America


If you're thinking of buying one of these cars, think twice!!


I just purchased a 2001 Malibu in February 2004 with 71500 kilometers. Since then, the horn stopped chirping when locking the doors via remote, (and the tail lights don’t always flash to verify that the doors have locked). Just recently, (74000 k’s) the engine has started ticking quite loudly, but intermittently. (Only about twice a week, for approx. ½ hour intervals) and then it mysteriously disappears. I can only guess at what this may be caused by, I would assume a faulty valve lifter, as I have been hearing that these GM 3.1 liter engines are notoriously bad for them. If this turns out to be the case, I vow never again to buy another GM product.

General Comments:

One would think that in this day and age auto manufacturers could surely build a more reliable vehicle than this!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th April, 2004

10th Mar 2006, 14:56

The "ticking noise you hear is what is called "piston slap". My '01 Malibu does it when it is cold, but it goes away once the engine warms up a bit. It doesn't hurt anything that it makes the noise. But you are right, the 3.1 is known for making this noise, but it is not a big deal. Just keep your oil changed routinely and you will be just fine.

8th Nov 2007, 21:30

In response to the previous comment... the "Piston Slap" that you refer to is in fact not the issue here. I am familiar with this problem, as my engine does emit this nasty noise (undersized pistons in an over sized bore), however, my engine was experiencing a very loud, well-pronounced heavy "tapping", that would come and go intermittently. Since I initially wrote this review, I have not had the problem again (luckily, knock on wood) - but the signal lights now conk out frequently (GM recall), various squeaks, creaks and clunking from both the front and rear suspension, changed the lower intake manifold gasket at 90,000k, front wheel bearing at 102,000k, tires - well - just as most everyone else has complained about (Firestone Affinity's - garbage!), engine light comes on randomly and car runs like K-car in the middle of the winter (chug, chug), transmission seems to shift into gear rather sluggishly - I've already had the transmission serviced, but this has not rectified the issue. I don't enjoy driving this vehicle, as I don't trust it - it only has 130,000k on it so far...