Last post on Feb 09, 2013 at 9:37 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
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Chevrolet Malibu, Sedan
Jun 29, 2002 (9:23 am)
I turned in a 1989 Toyota Tercel with 189,000 miles for my new 1998 Malibu LS. BIG MISTAKE. In all the 11 years and miles on the Toyota, aside from normal wear and tear items, I had to replace my alternator twice. Since 1998, I have replaced (most AFTER warranty) four sets of rotors (the NTSB website has over 10,000 complaints of bad Malibu rotors) which was finally fixed by changing from GM to Raybestos, the starter, the alternator, the water pump, I just replaced the intake manifold, the air conditioner control button keeps shutting itself off, the fan control went out after two years so I have only the top two positions, and I now have a new "clunk" in the front end. I do a lot of highway driving, and the car has 86,000 miles on it. But hey, I thought these cars were supposed to be as good as Japanese cars! I know two other people who have Malibus, one a 1999 and one a 2001. They are beginning to have problems, some the same, some different. You know, if this was a new model, ok, I'd throw Chevy a bone here because it's REALLY a nice ride and I love the sound system. But the Malibu has been around FOREVER and there's just no excuse for not having it right by now. So, I'm going today to buy something else. I'll probably miss the ride but I won't miss the ever present doubt about the car's integrity (I hope). With the price of cars today, we shouldn't have to make allowances for shoddiness. That just lets the makers off the hook and does nothing to improve reliability. I wanted my American car to impress me. It has, Just not the way Chevy wanted it to. Hope you all have better experiences than I did.
Jun 29, 2002 (6:02 pm)
Thanks. I think I'll just inflate my tires a couple of psi higher.
#1006 of 4972 2002 Malibu runs fine
Jun 29, 2002 (7:19 pm)
Have a base 2002 Malibu. Have had no problems at all. There was a recall for the left lower beam headlight not meet fed standards, and that was dealer replaced. I live in a mountainous area, and have driven the Affinity tires thru snow and heavy rains with no problems. I really found no appreciable difference between base and LS. Cars are mechanically the same, just different bells and whistles.
Jul 07, 2002 (1:05 pm)
We have a 98 model, LS with everything but the sunroof, and are most displeased. Interior parts started coming off shortly after purchasing, door panels, etc. In one case, they replaced the middle armrest in the front, and it doesn't match the rest of the leather. The A/C switch went out, the front grill pops out, the transmission control went out, the cassette player doesn't work, the CD player was replaced three times and still doesn't work, brakes suck, on the third set in 60,000 miles, overall, a very bad car, which is a shame, since it looks so nice. yes, it was fixed under warranty, but I want to drive my car, not leave it for days at the dealership getting fixed. I've had two terrible GM cars now, last one was a pontiac, so I think I'm going to go to Honda or Toyata now.
#1008 of 4972 2002 Brake Problem
Jul 08, 2002 (3:00 pm)
Three days ago I test drove a Malibu LS and found it satisfactory for my needs. Since the car I drove was a demo and I didn't like the color, I bought a different colored one. I didn't test drive that one, but I should have. As I was driving it home, I realized that when I applied the brakes while going about 55 mph the steering wheel started shaking when the car slowed down to about 35 mph. It doesn't happen every time I brake, but often enough to be a problem. I'm taking it back to the dealer in a couple of days. Since rotor problems on that car have been mentioned on this board I'm assuming that the problem is due to that. I would appreciate any advice on what to tell the dealer when I take it in. My fear is that he will tell me that it's normal for ABS brakes to do that, or to wait until the brakes are broken in before they do anything about it.
#1009 of 4972 RE: Brake Problem
Jul 11, 2002 (8:33 pm)
The issues with the brakes are very well documented and now almost mythic or stereotypic or apocrophyl...whichever is correct.
To make a long story short...if you dealer gives you hassle, raise the "I'm calling the regional folks" card. I also think if you scroll back a little you will find the TSB info?
Jul 11, 2002 (10:28 pm)
Hi ya'll! Is everyone on vacation or something? The board is barely moving! Anyway, I thought I'd ask. I have a weird problem with my cassette player. When I start playing a cassette a message is flashing saying CLN (meaning clean the player). So, I cleaned it, and nothing happened, the message is still there. How do I get rid of it, or is it permanent?
Also, there's a small plastic button (looks beige, or off-white) right next to the radio volume knob. What is it for? I've never seen do anything. I got a 99 M'bu
Hey, those of you fellas who got a new radio with RDS, I drove an Impala with an identical system, and let me tell you, they made the station-select buttons much smaller! What a huge inconvenience, you now have to look to see which button you are pressing. Are they saving on plastic or something? In my M'bu I don't even look at the buttons, cause they are so huge.
By the way, does anyone here have a M'bu with more than 100K miles on it? I am wondering how long these things last. A car engine should last about 250-300K miles before being rebuilt, right? And after it's being rebuilt, I guess it should last at least another 100K? Does anyone have an idea?
#1011 of 4972 RE: Brake problem and Some issues
Jul 12, 2002 (11:26 am)
brake problem: definitely get it checked out. It should be fairly easy to fix the problem. The rotor issue is not exclusive to the Malibu or even GM. A number of midsize cars have had this problem including L Series, Alero, Grand Am and Taurus. They all went to the thinner rotors to save weight and cost. It's good because it keeps the price of the vehicle down but bad because the rotors don't las t like they used.
some issues: I think the motor will last well over 100k miles. This motor has been in production for years. The only negative against it is the intake manifold gasket leak that plagues the GM small block V6 engines.
I have 2001 Malibu with 16,800 miles on it and have been pleasently surprised with this vehicle. No it's not as refined as the Accord or Camry but for $3k-$4k less, it was exactly what we were shopping for last July. My biggest complaint about the car is the tires. But they are not bad enough to replace. I cna live with them for another 30k miles.
Jul 13, 2002 (6:49 am)
At 30K I replaced Affinities (they were OK) with Aquatred IIIs. Cost me 700 CAD, but let me tell you, these tires rock! Out of this world! Especially in Vancouver, where it rains 162 days a year on average. These tires simply cut through water, at any speed. I've gone through puddles huge and small, and I am yet to get an even slight hint that a car may get out of control. Simply amazing, worth every penny. Not much of an investment if you live in Phoenix, but if it rains a fair bit in your area, I highly recommend you spend a little extra to get your Malibu some exquisite shoes. And they look good too!
#1013 of 4972 bcmalibu99ls
Jul 13, 2002 (6:10 pm)
The same experience with Firehawk SH-30. Outstanding in rain on winding roads.