2nd Jul 2006, 08:15

2001 Malibu purchased from dealer with 35,000km on it.

Has not been too bad with repairs to date, but was bothered by the following.

1. A/C kicks in when vent is switched to cool with the other switch set to re-circulate the inside air.

2. Slow coolant leak (intake manifold gasket).

3. Piston slap (we all know about that one).

My wife drove the car until the warranty lapsed, and just did not notice this prior to my driving it regularly, and at that point the warranty had lapsed. Have not asked if they will repair, but seeing as there may have been something I had done since buying the car, like rewiring the entire electrical system on my own (sarcasm intended), this anomaly would certainly not be due to their fine NA work ethic.

Had been wondering for a long time why my coolant had been disappearing with no traces under the car. For those who don't know, there is a class action suit that has been filed against GM Canada for their faulty Intake Manifold Gasket (IMG).

I went by a dealer this past Friday, and found out the my piston slap, which has grown excessively louder since around 90,000km (now just over 94,000) has now turned into a piston replacement/engine job for around $3,400.00 (with taxes). The good news is the IMG will be repaired when the work is done!

Here are reasons how and why it happens, plus a link to a GM technical service bulletin stating that to fix it the pistons need to be replaced, but it won't affect the life of the engine (or 1/4 life in my case)


I will be going after GM to cover some of these costs (which I think is only fair, since the car is at 90 plus K).

The alternative would be to end up paying for it all, and never buying another GM vehicle again.

How's them apples GM?

7th Jul 2006, 00:14

I have a 2000 Chevy Malibu and I have had similar problems to many of the posted comments, such as my A/C control not working at 1 and 2, and brakes. I replaced it and it's working now.

One major problem I have, and can't figure out, is once I am on a hill and I accelerate the gas, it starts to hesitate back and forth. Can anyone tell me what this is or how I can fix it?

11th Jul 2006, 08:34

I have a 2001 Malibu and it has been a fairly reliable car up until I hit about 60,000 miles. It has always had the infamous engine knock in cold weather. We noticed the surging when going up hills while cruise control on. Not the normal associated with cruise control and hills, but rather rpms would surge, but speed slowed. Then we noticed that wonderful little "check engine" light which has resulted in having to replace the O2 sensor, catalytic converter... and now after just 5 months, the "check engine light" is on again!!!

24th Jul 2006, 20:24

Hello, I purchased my 2000 Malibu with 15,000 miles on it. I too have notice several of the same things. Here we go.

*Turn signals stopped working half of the time. There was a recall, and they were replaced.

* A/C turns on and off whenever it pleases, and I constantly need to press the button to turn on the A/C again. Annoying in 115 degree weather.

* Leakage of oil in the coolant system. we replaced all gaskets, and flushed the coolant system. Later finding out that there was a bulletin out to all GM dealerships that different screws and torque value needed to be changed on the intake manifolds. Still have coolant missing, and needing to be filled constantly.

*SURGING PROBLEMS WHILE DRIVING. ONCE I GET TO 2000-2100 RPM AND GOING UP A HILL THE CAR STARTS TO SURGE BACK AND FORTH 200-300 RPM'S! Hearing what are possible solutions, we will look into that.

* Piston tapping since I had it. I have been told that is normal for the 3.1 liter V6 in the Malibu.

Don't get me wrong. Hearing from what other Malibu owners have been talking about. I feel blessed to know my car doesn't have as much problems. The surging is the only thing that really concerns me. the engine sounds strong, but I am annoyed my the surging. I have a friend with a computer reader that will help me figure out what the Check Engine light is telling me.

Has anyone solved the surging problem, if so, please post for all of us, that are concerned about the surging.

Thank you.

25th Jul 2006, 01:10

I own a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu LS with 52002 miles. I had just bought it last Sunday, which is exactly when things began. After leaving the dealer with my family and about leaving Fry's, as I shifted out of park into reverse, the surges began. It at least has surged/slipped 11 times for the one week that I have had it. It is now in the shop for the dealer to duplicate it and to fix the window that they had cracked upon test driving it. I am frustrated for buying a car that lies about everything. Mine as well as others has every single problem listed by others before me. The only reason of keeping this car is due to the dealer keeping my trade plus 2 grand I paid. The process of getting a lawyer or attorney is in progress, especially for selling me a car that was "inspected by their best technicians for used cars".

24th Sep 2006, 22:06

Has anyone determined the cause of the engine surging problems with the Malibu when going uphill?

7th Nov 2006, 11:13

I own a 1998 Malibu with 130,000 miles on it now. It is my wife's car as her parents passed it up to her when she moved to Atlanta from J-Ville. It is a Piece-O-Crap. Here is what we have had go wrong with it just this year alone:

At about 110,000 the intake manifold gasket went and we had it replaced for about $650.

At about 127,000 the Drive Belt snapped and a plastic pulley (Only in America would you use a PLASTIC PULLEY) broke. We had to have the water pump, pulley and drive belt replaced. $600 more.

At 130,000 the engine started surging when driving steady at any speed over 60 miles an hour. We have no Check Engine lights coming on, so our Mechanic has told us it is likely the MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR or the TEMPERATURE SENSOR. He said the Check Engine light would be on if it were an O2 Sensor. We shall see when we take it in on Saturday to have it looked at.

13th Nov 2006, 07:13

It turns out there was a service bulletin for the Transmission Filter on these Malibu's. My local mechanic was able to change it, perform a transmission flush and the transmission is so much smoother and no more engine surge at this time.

14th Mar 2007, 13:15

I own a 2000 Chevy Malibu and it is the biggest LEMON piece of crap I have ever owned in my LIFE! Every issue that has been brought up here is what I go through. I bought the car at 45000 miles and have had issues with it from day 1. The air conditioner does not blow on 1 or 2, you have to set it on 3 or higher and even then the airflow isn't great. All the dashlights on the radio have gone out - can't see a thing in the dark. I have had to replace the fuel pump. I have also had to replace the rotars, have had hazard and turning indicator problems and had to replace the hazard switch, Front wheel bearings had to be replaced, cooling system leaks, overheating the car, replaced thermostat and water pump, intake gasket was leaking all over the place so the mechanic replaced the orange antifreeze with green. After all that, they tell me I should have never put green in because it is forming silicone in the reservoir and corroding the aluminum housing, and the stupid thing is STILL overheating! I give up - I'm not putting anymore time or money into this crap car. I will NEVER NEVER buy a Chevy vehicle again!