2003 Chevrolet Malibu LS 170hp 3.1 V6 from North America


Disappointed that a car with less than 100,000 miles is falling apart


Loud noise under the car - had to replace wheel bearing assembly and lower control arm bushing - $450.00.

Replaced another lower control arm bushing and replaced a CV axle - $320.00.

Replaced bearing place, shock and strut assembly, four wheel alignment - nearly $500.00.

Twice had to replace brake pads and rotor - $215.00 each time.

January 2010 - the car would not start - again. Replaced fuel pump and filter - over $700.00.

May 2010 - the car does not start again. Supposedly the pass lock sensor has to be replaced - cost $737.00.

Near the rear wheel - one inch square of paint fell off - tried to touch up the bare spot.

General Comments:

I have no problem with routine maintenance, but this year having the car not starting several different times is getting costly with tow bills. Replacing a fuel pump and now it needs the lock sensor. Repair shop said these are common problems with this car. I did not know about these costly common problems when I purchased the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th May, 2010

31st May 2010, 17:25

The fun has only just begun. At roughly 100k miles (first one I owned at 94k, 2nd at 103k) the intake manifold gasket will go. Put aside some money, maybe $800 for this, and might as well shop around now so you know which mechanic will do this the cheapest. On the 3100 engine GM used a plastic material in there to save money, and basically they melt.

2nd Jun 2010, 02:21

Agree with the comment above. I might just suck it up and dump the car off if at all possible. My Malibu seriously cleaned me out by 110K miles. GM makes some very good vehicles, unfortunately, this is not one of them. The 3100 and I'm pretty sure that the 3400 are notorious for the intake gaskets going out. I think the fours in these cars are a little better though. I don't know, I was able to get out of mine, and I wish you the best with yours. At the least the new Malibu seems like a solid car...

2003 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 V6 from North America


Long term review of the 2003 Malibu


Not much at all. These are the repairs that were performed outside of routine maintenance items:

- Water pump replaced at 90,000 miles after a small leak was discovered; very first repair the vehicle required.

- Passenger side hub assembly replaced at 95,000 miles when the ABS light came on.

- AC control panel replaced at 120,000 miles after I finally got tired of fooling with it to make it work.

- Check engine light came on at 125,000 miles for a bad secondary O2 sensor.

- Intake gaskets were replaced at 130,000 miles after the lower intake developed a small external leak.

That's been about it.

General Comments:

This has been a fantastic car, which seems to be rather unusual. It has out-lasted my previous GM vehicles in terms of parts longevity, and has been far more dependable past 100,000 miles.

This car still feels like a newer vehicle, even with 140,000 miles. I still take it on long distance trips as it has never let me down.

I've never had a problem with the ignition switch, and parts such as the alternator, AC compressor, starter, radiator, etc. are still original. Very comfortable on the highway and returns 32+ mpg.

The ride is butter smooth, and the cabin stays good and quiet even at highways speeds above 70 mph.

Interior has held up very well, as there are no rattles, broken pieces, worn buttons or fabric, etc.

All features still work as they should, including all four power windows... which has surprised me considering these always went out on my previous GM cars.

I have not had a problem with the brake rotors warping or premature pad wear... in fact, my first set of brake pads lasted 65k miles. I have been told that I am very hard on brakes. The rear drums have never needed servicing.

I got a great deal on this car (LS model with sunroof, rear spoiler, leather, gold package, etc.) back in 2005 when it had only 25k miles, and I still remain extremely satisfied with my decision. I've already gotten my money's worth out of it, and I am confident that it will last much longer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2010