2002 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 Series V6 from North America


A decent car with an engine equivalent to a ticking time bomb


The front brake rotors had to be replaced at 10,000 miles.

The strutts were rattling and had to be replaced at 30,000 miles.

The engine is rattling and sounds like a diesel while running.

General Comments:

In relation to the front brake rotor problem, the rotors were very poorly made by General Motors and is not covered under warranty because it's a general wear item.

The strutts were replaced under warranty.

The engine started the diesel sound about 15,000 miles. I have had it looked at by 3 different dealerships. They tried saying it was a timing problem and reset the computer. Finally I took it back to a dealer that I had already taken it too. They said that it was engine slap. They said that all Malibu's experienced this and that General motors use to replace all the pistons, but stopped repairing it a while ago. According to the dealer, General Motors said that this did not harm the engine in the long run. Any clinking or clanging in an engine means that metal is scraping on metal or banging against metal which means something is being worn. I took it to another dealer and they said there was a loop hole in the information about the piston slap from General Motors and they will fix it under warranty. Note that I purchased an extended General Motors warranty. General Motors did not want to honor the warranty for a serious internal engine problem. This makes me question ever buying another General Motors automobile again. All other aspects of the car are fine except for family car handling. Which I guess you would expect from a family car. It has lots of body roll. But a nice smooth ride with a lot of elbow room.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th November, 2003

2002 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 from North America


A shopping cart would have been better than this


Where to start? When I bought this car, everything was fine, until 5,000 km, when the check engine light was continuously on, the dealer refused to replace it, even though it was well under warranty.

At 7,000 the trunk release was broken, the dealership had told me that it had been somehow my fault and refused to replace it, still under warranty.

It was a while before anything else went wrong with it, the next thing that went wrong must have been the worst, but hopefully for the dealer, it was one of a kind, at 47,000 km, it started burning oil, how so soon, I'll never understand, but what happens, happens.

General Comments:

All in all, this car is moderately decent, I don't at all times like it, but when its running, and there's nothing wrong with it, it's acceptable. The dealer was very annoying, the most annoying had to have been when they told me that I broke the trunk release. They made me pay $500 for their defective material.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th September, 2003

15th May 2004, 19:57

It sounds to me like all of these problems were relating to the dealership, not the actual car itself.

2002 Chevrolet Malibu Base 3.1 V6 from North America


Great Car!


The only problem I had with the car was that the doors made a faint creaking sound when opened or closed. I never took it into the dealer because I determined it was the rubber boot around the door control arm. It wasn't a defect, just a design oversight. I decided it wasn't anything to get myself into a fit about.

General Comments:

I owned a 1999 Malibu, and decided to get this car when I turned over my '99 in December. Chevy made some nice changes to the car in the past few years. The ride is smoother and much more quiet. They also worked out some of the rattle noises that was present in the '99 model.

The engine was also beefed up. The '99 Malibu had a 3.1L V6 that ran at about 125 horsepower (later '99 V6 Malibu engines were upgraded to a 150 HP model). The 2002 V6 sported about 150 horses with a good torque ratio that gave it more bang for the buck.

They also seemed to improve the ABS and overall brake system. I did not get as much premature wear on the shoes and rotors as I did with the '99 Malibu (that was fixed by adding higher quality rotors and ceramic pads).

I wish they would have redesigned the seats to offer more lumbar support, for long road-trips started to take a toll on my lower back.

I liked the RDS feature on the radio, but the volume control was not sensitive enough. I always wanted to get the volume level between clicks, instead it was either a bit too soft or a bit too loud.

I regret the fact that I had to return the vehicle this month due to losing my job, but I plan to get a new Malibu when the economy picks back up again and my finances are in order.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2002