2003 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 V6 from North America


I'd walk before I'd buy this car again


Shortly after purchase, I was driving down the highway and lost all power. The car just shut off. I took it to the dealer and they were unable to duplicate the problem. It has happened numerous times over the last 2 years.

I have had to replace the EGR valve twice, once at 23K and again at 41K.

Around 27,000 miles, the transmission started to jerk real badly when cold. Within weeks it became a constant issue. I had to replace the transmission at 35K and still does not shift normal.

My sunroof was stuck open twice, requiring dealer repair. I don't even bother opening it anymore, plus it leaks when it rains.

The windshield wipers were stuck in the upright position numerous times.

Tons of electrical failures. Stereo, gages, power features (windows, locks, mirrors) have all failed and have resulted in numerous trips to the dealers. There are times when all the gages Gas/Speed/Tach will all just stop working. Then, like it never happened, they will all start up again.

51,000 - engine starts making VERY loud knocking noise and has no power. I had it towed to the dealer and was told that the heads started to leak water into the engine, and that I needed a new engine costing about $3000.

General Comments:

This was my first GM car and it will be my last.

I purchased this car for my growing family, as my Dodge Neon was no longer big enough. From Day 1 this car has been nothing but a nightmare. My Neon, at 175000 miles required little other than routine maintenance, while this car was well cared for and barely made it to 51000.

I am very disappointed in this vehicle. The only good things that I can say about it is that the seats are very comfortable and it would make a decent family hauler if it ran better. Also, when running right, it would return very good gas mileage, about 30mpg on the highway.

For the price, it would be a good car for the money, but unfortunately, it's not. When looking at this site, I found that there are many people experiencing issues with the 3.1 motor. The engine supplies enough power for this car, but otherwise seems disposable. GM clearly does not care about their customers and the dealers are horrible. When I had the car there this morning, I asked if there was anything they were doing to prevent this from happening to future customers. The mechanic just looked at me and said "Most people are smart enough to buy the Extended Warranty." What a joke. I walked right across the street to the Chrysler dealer and purchased a new 2008 Sebring. They Chrysler guys were even nice enough to give me what I still owe on the in-operable Malibu towards my new vehicle. Plus I got a lifetime warranty. I could not afford to put the safety of my family at risk in the Malibu.

With a poorly made car plus an unwilling dealer/manufacturer, it can only lead to a headache. Please, do yourself a favor and stay away from this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th May, 2008

1st Jun 2008, 22:00

I had the Exact same experience. What's weird is I purchased a Sebring also to get rid of this piece of crap. I bought a used 2007 that already has 50+ thousand miles on it, and I have yet to have a single problem. It's really weird how different the quality is between the two makes...

10th Jun 2008, 22:43

Agreed. My Malibu has the same problem with the stalling. Of course, the GM dealer can't seem to find anything. I'm very frustrated with this car and I can't wait to get rid of it. The part that really gets to me, is that the dealer just doesn't want to help. I give up, I'm buying a Ford.

12th May 2011, 18:28

I have a 2003 Malibu and haven't done anything major to it. It is a great running car, and I'm getting ready to put a tune up on it at 90000 miles. I love my car and GM!

2003 Chevrolet Malibu V6 from North America


Overpriced Garbage


The brakes and rotors are constantly requiring replacement.

The 2003 Chevrolet Malibu center console is loose. It was tightened and loosens up again. It's just not very good quality workmanship.

The security system is a pain. If you don't have the shifter in a specific spot, it won't let you remove the key. If you're too rough with it, the security system shuts down the entire car, and you need a tow back to the dealership.

It supposedly has a security system, but Chevy wants over $200 for the keyfob since I bought the car used (2 years old). $200 includes the cost to scan the system for the right security numbers to unlock the doors. I've just used the key, the repairs are over $1000 already.

Very rough suspension.

No amount of alignments seems to help this car. It's just not aligned properly (the new ones are like this too).

General Comments:

Do not buy this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th January, 2008

27th May 2008, 12:17

My mother owns a 2003 and she has twice been unable to start the car due to the security system. Has had to have the car towed and part replaced twice. Very expensive. According to dealer part could last a year to 5 years. Unbelievable!!! Especially since the car only has 15,000 miles on it. I own a 2001 Honda, never had a problem with the security system, Part is defective not that they will admit that. She has owned Chevy cars for 50 years but will never buy another because of this.