20th Feb 2003, 13:24

I own a 2000 Malibu LS. I bought it used as a GM certified vehicle back in July of 2002. Everything seemed to operate just fine. I bought it with 29.000 miles and now have about 42,000 miles on the odometer.

Within 3 months the front rotors gradually started to pulsate so I tried switching the pads since they were only $16 for new ones - that didn't help - the rotors are warped (I should have known). Now my driver's side rear brake is making a terrible screeching noise. I removed the drum and inspected it without finding anything unusual (no stones or broken parts and good shoe wear). Since then my brother pointed out that Consumer's Report rated the brakes for the Malibu's with a solid black dot - their worst rating.

My fuel gauge is now staying on full until I get about 140 miles on the tank of gas. I have run out of gas twice while my gas gauge says I still have a quarter tank left. I'm going schedule it in for this item.

All this winter I have noticed that my mileage dropped from an average 29-31 mpg to about 22-24 mpg. My temperature gauge has been reading 3/8 instead of 1/2 on the gauge since it got cold. I bought a new thermostat which I'll install this weekend. My guess is that the engine isn't running optimally since it takes about 15 miles of driving to get the heat to really come out of the vents.

All this being said, I'm happy with my Malibu. It's a much better vehicle than my last one (1992 Cougar - 143,000 miles). I think for the money I spent that I got more features than I would have with other cars I looked at. My biggest problem is the brakes right now since I ignore my fuel gauge and fill up according to my mileage on my trip odometer. I think GM should do something about the brakes because I've heard of other people having to replace the rotors every 20k miles or so.

22nd Feb 2003, 15:57

I own a 2001 Malibu and have about 65,000 miles (mostly road miles) on the odometer.

I have had a problem with a slight hesitation when driving at highway speeds ever since it was new. The service people kept telling me that there was no problem. I have problems with water getting into my trunk well. And have also had to replace front rotors and calipers. I now have a problem with my turn signals not working and then working and then not working again.

I also, on occasion, smell antifreeze, but do not see any puddles on the ground or in the engine.

25th Feb 2003, 14:45

I too have a 2001 Malibu, with 62,000 miles. I have done the brake replacements, lower end gasket at $800, check engine light was on. ABS light is now on and it is in the shop again for clunking noise from underneath!! I tried to trade it in a few months ago and would have eaten $5000 in trade... The saga continues.

26th Feb 2003, 12:30

I too have had 98 Malibu Problems. Owned two of them and it is amazing the similarity of problems. The two even squeaked in the same place. My daughter was involved in head on collision in the first one. I must compliment the safety of the car. The car was totaled, but she came out without a scratch. Both had the intake leak problem. Being somewhat mechanically inclined, I took on the task of replacing the gaskets myself. I found out there was a "improved design" that is supposed to prevent this from happening again. The job was not that bad, certainly not worth the 600 dollars plus parts the dealer wanted. Took me all day Saturday, and had to buy a good torque wrench, but it came out well. We will see if it happens again. As for the brakes, they will go about 20000, but what the hey, I got the Autozone lifetime pads and they can be replaced in 30 minutes. If you are somewhat handy, they are a good value because they are easy to work on and as cars go they are rather inexpensive to buy used. My first one was a base model, but the insurance replaced it with an "LS" with all the goodies including sun-roof and CD and still had some money to boot. I do agree there are some design flaws that need to be addressed. But I don't look for it to happen.

28th Feb 2003, 08:41

I own a 2000 Malibu. I have had nothing but problem after problem. I first experienced what they diagnosed "piston slap" at 5,000 miles. I was told that the cause was due to the piston not being coated. However they did replace the portion of my motor because I was persistent. Now I am experiencing driving and my car just dies. No warnings what so ever! It is currently in the shop and they think it may be the fuel pump module and can't be 100% certain. I hate to put $700 into this car if its not the fuel pump module. Has anyone experienced the similar problem? Please advise. I am totally devoted to Chevy, but I don't think that I will ever own another Malibu. To add salt to injury, I too, will lose $5000 if I trade it in. It's never a win-win situation.

28th Feb 2003, 19:51

Malibu's are junk. Get the Impala or the Cavalier. Good cars. Just regular maintenance. AND check out the reviews on the Impala and Cavalier.

3rd Mar 2003, 09:41

I bought a 2000 Malibu LS back in May 2001 with about 32000 miles on it. I have had to fix the #1 and #2 settings for my fan, but that's about it. The car runs great, but after reading all these comments, I'm a little hesitant to buy another one after this one because I might not get as lucky.

10th Mar 2003, 15:18

I too have had problems with my 2001 Malibu. I have had it for just about a year now. After having it for a couple of weeks, I had to have the rotors turned, then have them replaced in November, and they continue to shake when I stop. I've noticed several noises coming from the front end and under the car, especially when going over the smallest of bumps-struts? Last week on the highway going between 55-70, the RPM jumps up a little then goes back to where it was. It does this several times with a few seconds in between then stops, then does it again. My turn signals too have stopped working at one point or other. I had a rental last fall and the turn signals never worked on it! My air bag light has come on before along with the door light. I have had several problems with keeping the setting for my door locks. I am really disappointed that this car has had so many problems and that they are not being addressed by the company. Apparently, our safety is not their #1 concern.

10th Mar 2003, 16:16

We purchased a 1999 Malibu LS in July of last year. We also had problems with the blower switch not working @ 45k miles.

We're @ 55k miles now and it sounds like the wheel bearings will need to be replaced.

Otherwise a nice ride.