Last post on Feb 09, 2013 at 9:37 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Sedan
#104 of 4972 Malibu99 and Teo
Oct 27, 2000 (1:47 pm)
Thanks for your input and suggestions.
For your information, I had test driven another Malibu 2000 LS (at another dealership) and the ride was excellent (mileage was also low in the 300-500 range). Otherwise, I would never have considered the purchase.
In hindsight, what I should have done is to test drive the ACTUAL car that I was about to purchase before I signed on the dotted line. Then, obviously, I never would have accepted the car. (About I drove it out of the showroom, I could have sworn I had a flat or soft tire because of the way it was handling).
I agree with you Teo that "Caveat Emptor" or "Let the buyer beware" may be the result of my actions. However, I was 1 of 5 customers who have also complained about the suspension (i.e., a possible pattern or defect might be emerging) and my recourse is simply to have Chevrolet [somehow] soften the suspension (I am not looking for a refund). As I had mentioned, if they 'fix' the suspension, the Malibu is actually a pretty decent car to drive.
#105 of 4972 Hermama
Oct 27, 2000 (1:58 pm)
Thanks for the clarification to your previous post. If that is the case then you have some "material" to start building up a Lemon Law case. However, since your car is still brand new (Very low miles, under 1000) why don't you demand a replacement?? Get the dealer's general manager involved in your situation. I think it will be much easier (and less costly and time consuming) to persue GM and the selling dealer to exchange the car for another one in their lot. See if you can explore that venue.
Good luck again!
Oct 27, 2000 (3:35 pm)
A have a base 98 Malibu with a rather soft suspension (soft for my taste). But, once, it changed to rather rigid.
With a good weather it was fine for several days: my wife and I like the rigid suspension. We were happy.
But then I drove, with my family, to a concert at one of suburbs of Hartford, CT. It was about hour drive by highway, door to door.
November evening, absolutely dark. A strong rain, mixed with snow. The rush traffic, with tired and hungry men returning home from work, many of them demonstrating the capabilities of their SUVs in this road conditions.
My tires did not hold well the very wet, slushy road. Not too bad - the car did not slip - but driving, or rather holding the car in the lane, was a hard work, not a pleasure. It need constant attention, and I felt to have little tolerance to errors. Even while this time I drove substantially slowly than a lot of people around.
So, I agree with you: this is a safety problem.
Next morning I checked the car. It turned to be, the technician overinflated the tires, when changing oil. Do not remember the exact numbers, but he inflated the tires to the maximum, as stated on the tires sidewalls. Something like 40 psi, instead of 29/26 front/rear specified by GM.
Funny thing, I changed oil at the Chevrolet dealership, so the technician had to know better all peculiarities of Malibu.
Oct 27, 2000 (7:17 pm)
Did you test drive 2001? Try that. It has new re-design suspension. You probably would like those!
#108 of 4972 Brake Problems?
Oct 28, 2000 (2:01 am)
I have a Y2K Malibu built in 9/99. Experienced the shuddering brakes early on. It was not due to improper break-in, but defective rotors. Had them replaced at 6,000K. There is a technical service bulletin out on the rotors and they are replaced free of charge.
My advice is don't wait, don't think it's your fault, and don't think that the warping is from normal wear and tear. Go to the dealer and get the rotors replaced.
My car rides great now. I have no other problems. It's quiet, has great acceleration and good gas mileage.
Oct 29, 2000 (3:29 pm)
I rented the 2000 Malibu in March for 2 weeks. What a great car. I want to buy one for my personal use, about 15k a year. Everyone tells me the 3.1 motor is no good, the heads warp at 50k and the brakes have problems. I know 2 weeks isn't a long time. I liked the way the car drove, parked and how I could enter and exit with ease. I am spoiled with my current car, an 87 Dodge Omni. 174k with no extraordinary services. Any info to clear up this decision would be appreciated. Thanks
Oct 29, 2000 (5:14 pm)
I'm not sure who told you the 3.1 is a bad engine. Actually it's a very reliable and effcient engine. They might have been talking about the 4 cyl engine that was used until 1999 but the V6 3.1 is a nice engine. The 2001 model has a redesigned suspension and brake rotors. The rotor issue was addressed in the 2000 models as well. It's nice car to have, very powerful, comfortable, quiet, and good looking. I have a 99 LS and it's been a great car. You wont go wrong withthe 2000 or the 2001. Good Luck!
#111 of 4972 hocke99360
Oct 29, 2000 (8:01 pm)
The 3.1l V-6 GM engine (and the Malibu transmission) is generally considered to be very reliable.
The 3.1l is a well-proved design, in use for years, currently not only with Malibu, but with Buick Century and Pontiac Grand Prix SE.
The engine itself is a modification of the 2.8l V-6 used with many GM cars of 80-th. The problems with engine, if any, were "debugged" a lot of years ago. Never heard about any problems with warping engine head.
The only problem I am aware with the engine, it is a bit noisy, especially when cold.
Probably, you sources mean the 3.4l overhead engine used with some Lumina LTZ in early 90-th? The engine really was not considered reliable enough. No relation, though, to the pushrod 3.1l engine (nor to another GM 3.4l, a pushrod one, used currently in the Pontiac Grand Am, Olds Alero and base Chevy Impala).
The early Malibu, 97-98, had problems with warping brake rotors. According to the Consumer Research survey, about 10-15% of the owners of the 97 Malibu, and about 2-5% of the 98 ones, complained about this. Later, GM made improvements.
On the flip side, with my 98 Malibu, there was a lot of nuisance problems, like a dead right rear speaker, a noisy right door speaker, a broken fuel cap cord, the fan/air condition not working on speed 1&2, etc. Everything was fixed fast and easy, though.
Oct 30, 2000 (7:15 pm)
Has anyone else experienced this problem with a 99 Malibu. After hitting 45 mph I get a beeping sound coming from the dashboard. This is an intermitent occurance and will happen both of highway as well as street driving. Have taken it to the dealer and they can't find anything wrong. I thought it might have to do with the cruise control buy dealer says no. Any info would be helpful
#113 of 4972 Brakes - Out of Warranty!!
Nov 03, 2000 (8:51 pm)
This is my first posting on Edmunds! I have enjoyed reading many of the Malibu comments. It seems that this is were the experts are.
I have a 98 3.1L LS. I now have 75,000km on it (Canadian Eh!) and I have to say that I really enjoy the car. The Affinity tires were no good but I now have Michelin Energy Plus'. Like most of us, we were probably over inflating the Affinity's.
Back to Brakes. I have had the rotors turned 4 times and replaced 3 times. Yes this is true and I have never gone through brakes like this on any other car I have driven. I can accept that part of the problem is the way I drive but this is too much. Last time the brakes were done was at 64K kms and they put a different type of pad on. This was to attempt to eliminate heat.
Here is the problem. To date, I have not spent a cent beyond my valuable time. My warranty ran out at 60,000kms. The rotors are starting to warp again. There is no mistaking the feel.
Any advice on approaching the dealership. I know there is a significant history here but I suspect that the dealership will say that this is not their problem.