I have a 2001 Chevy Malibu and have had nothing but problems. Started the day I drove it off the lot (brand new) engine was chugging, blinkers broke. Took it back, dealer fixed blinkers, denied chugging noise. Took it home, then the wipers broke, it wouldn't start. Back to the dealer, fixed on warranty, still denying the growing chugging noise.
6 months or so, brakes need replacing, car won't start again. Theft system, back to the dealer. Dealer still saying they can't hear the freight train noise in engine. Won't fix that, but fix the theft system (reset).
1 Year and 25k miles and chugging noise is now extremely loud and very undeniable, it sounds like a semi truck in low gear. Back to the dealer... oh crap, it's a piston bad, dealer replaces engine, car in shop for a month and a half, driving crappy loaner for the whole time while working outside sales.
New engine, back on the road for 1 mile and car dies completely with smiling infant in backseat. Alternator, dealer replaced, took a week. Car back on the road for one week, radiator goes, back to the dealer for one week. Back on the road again, wheel bearing goes after a month. Replaced.
Regular replacement on a yearly basis of wheel bearings (my mechanic said he's only ever had to replace one before in his career as a mechanic). This is to match the extremely bad issue with the brakes.
Called Chevy, got a super extended warranty on crappy car.
3 years, car is going OK, but noticing paint chipping. Patch paint spots with provided paint sample. 4 years, ran out of paint to patch, covered rotting front of hood with primer and a hard plastic bug guard.
4 years (and four wheel bearings later) car seems to be OK, no major issues other than it doesn't really seem to be starting reliably due to the theft system issue.
Current, nearly every part has been replaced on car to date, I've purchased it twice over in repairs and don't really want to sell it because it seems to be running. I've completely disabled the theft system (it's really easy to do, if you want the instructions, google disable chevy malibu passlock yellow wire).
But wait... what's this? Another wheel bearing needs to be replaced? Yeah, time to go. Paint is chipped badly, and honestly, I'm not selling the g-d car, I'm taking it to someone who will crush it when I've wrung every possible bit of use out of the piece of crap.
This car did not qualify for the lemon law because they fixed it and it wasn't the same thing wrong every time, it was something different. So, you should know, it's OK if EVERYTHING is broken on your car. Buyer beware and DON'T purchase one of these cars.
Feel free to e-mail me if you want the directions to disable the theft lock system: firstname.lastname@example.org
I purchased my 2001 Malibu 3 years ago. I'm the second owner and have had very minimal problems. Basic tune ups for the most part. I was told by a mechanic that this vehicle is known for it's horrible brakes, when I went to get a simple brake job done that cost me over $800.
Recently I went through touchless car wash and it stripped a 6" in diameter of paint of the passenger side. There was absolutely no previous damage to my vehicle anywhere.
I have been informed to try taking it to a GM dealership, but worry that the car is 8 years old and GM will just shrug me off. Doesn't sound like they back up their vehicles too well from what everyone else here has said. At this point though, I have nothing to lose!
I have a 2001 Malibu. I am having electrical problems with. I too had the problem with the blower only working on certain speeds. I found a site on the web that told you how to remove the switch control in the dash and clean the contacts on it. Did as they indicated and have not had a problem with it since.
My current electrical problem is sometimes after I start the car, the horn will beep by itself one time. On occasion the theft system light will come on while I am driving, but I don't notice any issues when it does. I have also had an issue with the idle where the car idles high. I did have an issue where I would go to start the car and it would not do anything. Wiggle the battery cables and the car would start.
The one time the car just shut off on me on the freeway. Had the vehicle towed and found out my positive battery cable was corroded inside the casing of the cable. That was replaced and have not had that same problem since.
Well it seems the problems with the Malibu have not been corrected for this model over the years. I own a 2005 Classic that has developed the same issue with the Theft System. It is happening enough now that I plan to disable it completely.
I notice on one site that you can disable it with a code using the radio. Only the person didn't say were you get the code number. If anyone knows where I can find the code, I would appreciate it.
Now my newest problem is the turn signal. The blinker thing that makes the clicking sound under the dash will start and stop all by itself. The turn signals don't come on, just that intermittent clicking that is driving me absolutely insane. Any one know what the problem may be?
I have had my 2001 Malibu for two years, and the theft system messes up constantly. I even leave my key in the ignition 24/7 and it still messes up. I have had to put my car in the shop at least 15 times. Constantly was leaking antifreeze, oil, and transmission fluid. Tires wear way too fast, along with the brakes. Its just ridiculous. Very bad car to buy. I will never get another one!!!
I too had the clicking noise of my turn signals when they're not on. It means there's a light out somewhere and you have to find it. In my case, my rear license plate light was out. Once replaced, the clicking stopped, & I haven't had that issue again.
I don't have time to type about my other issues right now.
Where did you find the info on how to clean the the connectors on the A/C - heat controls?