Last post on Feb 09, 2013 at 9:37 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
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Chevrolet Malibu, Sedan
#560 of 4972 Ticking 3100 V6's
May 26, 2001 (5:49 am)
Hello everybody. I have a 1998 Chevy Malibu LS and has owned it since new. The V6 has roller lifters and rockers for fuel efficency and more power with less friction in the valvetrain that will rob power. Those noises are most likely the pushrods pushing up on the rockers and the rollers on the lifters and rocker arms making noise until properly lubed with engine oil and engine operating temperature reaches the first or second notch above the half mark on the temperature gauge. This is completely normal. I have over 70,000 reliable trouble free engine miles with no oil use in between 5000 mile oil changes. Do not worry or panic. The only major repairs I have had were Alternator and a brake job that was first done at 56,000 miles. Yes I get some brake rotor vibration with the so call new rotor design, but because I ignored it for awhile, it has actually smooth out. To get that perfect new car brake smoothness I'll get them resurface one day. This car has been driven every weekend for 3 years (no lie) for over 300 miles and she's still strong as brand new with 27 to 32 mpg of gas. Small gas tank makes this car look like a guzzler but it actual isn't.
Anybody with A/C problems meaning system cutting on and off at will should have dealer look at wires near the Air Intake hose on a sensor. Had to a chevy dealer that had the car every spring and could only temporarily fix it. Took it to my selling dealer and the fix was done right and hadn't been back since. These compressors are the Delph Thermal System V5 model and it's a continuous varible operating unit that cools interior on the demand of the system and outside ambient air conditions. Ex. Very hot outside, compressor runs at full capacity and both varible engine cooling fans run at full speed. Cool outside, Compressor runs at lower capacity and the engine fans run slower and quieter. It's a smart car but it can be annoying when you want cold air anytime, but it saves gas and part wear.
Malibu in SC
May 26, 2001 (12:03 pm)
I had an intermitted dash rattle with 2000 Buick Regal. No rattle at all most of time, but a very bad on some pavements with some speed, for miles. Not a big problem - my wife did not pay attention at all. However, the specific pitch was annoying me very much.
The service adviser at dealership refused to fix it: too much work for the small nuisance.
I found a road near the dealership where the rattle happens reliable every time. Than I made an appointment for a test drive with service manager. He did not like the rattle too and ordered the problem to be fixed.
My car was at dealership for 3 days. The dealership mechanics had to dismantle the dash three times - the rattle disappear only after the third attempt.
A month later the same rattle appear again. This time the mechanics and manager found the dash panel to be warped. They ordered the whole new dash panel, replaced it, and the rattle disappear.
So it helps to be persistent.
#562 of 4972 njdevilsrn on service bulletins
May 26, 2001 (6:31 pm)
My brother bought a Malibu a couple of days ago so I'll keep up with the service bulletins posted in NHTSA and NTSB. He doesn't have much use for computers. As long as I'm looking up stuff for my car, I may as well look up stuff for his as well.
The dealers are supposed to notify us of recalls aren't they or do we have to find out about them on our own as well?
May 27, 2001 (3:14 am)
TSB is not a recall,safety problems are a recall and you will be notified.An engine knocking is NOT a safety related problem.
#565 of 4972 can anyone give me advice on whether to buy a Malibu or not?
May 27, 2001 (3:39 pm)
Hi, I looked at several '97 Malibus this weekend. They are nice looking cars, in my opinion. I'm worried about their reliability though, or lack of. (I'm new to this community). Consumer Reports says to avoid the '97 and '98 models, and other places I've visited on the internet don't think much of these cars either. Edmunds here likes them, and so does a Consumer Guide book I bought. I'm confused as to what to believe! Would some of you be nice enough to give me your opinions? I'd appreciate it.
May 27, 2001 (6:48 pm)
Most probably, the reliability is already reflected in the car price.
I have a 98 Malibu, built in July 97. Base with 3.1l V-6 engine. Bought is used, with 15k miles, and have it for almost 3 years now, 41k miles on odometer.
In my experience the car was not exactly reliable - a lot of things was repaired. On the other hand, none of problems was dangerous or made the car undriveable. Mostly small things like bad speakers, sticky door sensor, bad resistor in the A/C switch, a cord holding the fuel tank cap broke. Fixed them when changed oil. Often just a drop of lube was enough to fix. Was covered by warranty.
Currently the illumination of the power window switches does not work, and the glove box door became creaky... Do not plan to fix this till the 45k miles service.
There were three expensive repairs, though:
1. The first does not concern reliability: the car was rear-ended, and needed $5,000 body work. The repair took almost a month.
2. Warped brake rotors needed replacement. Cost about $400 at dealership, took couple of hours.
3. A coolant leak developed through the intake manifold gasket. Costs $550, covered by extended warranty. I was for a whole week without the car: the repair itself took 3 days, plus 4 days waiting for the extended warranty approval and payment.
As you see, most of repairs needed only couple of hours or so and are not expensive. Though, the car have two weak points:
1. Some brake rotors are prone to early warping. At 8-15-20k miles. 50k would be normal... This is not a safety item: the brakes works even better. But the warped rotors are eating pads rather fast - they will serve only 7k miles or so.
The symptoms: the brake pedal is pulsating when braking, at first at highway speed only, 70 mph or so.
Most probably, with the problem is already fixed with older car, built in 1996-97. Or the specific car have no problem with this random production defect. Nevertheless, check for warping when test-driving.
Adjust the price $400 down if rotors are warped. Replacing rotors and pads will cost about $400 at dealership, and probably half of this at independent service stations. Some aftermarket rotors are better than original, and have a warranty.
2. This concerns the V-6 engine only, and happens much less often than the brake rotor problem:
The intake manifold gasket is somewhat prone to leak. If the coolant leaks outside the engine, this is less important, but if antifreeze gets inside, into oil, corrosion will happen soon inside the engine.
The pressure test of the coolant system costs than $30. I would suggest to perform this test before buying the car. I probably would not buy a car if my mechanic has a slight suspicion that the coolant ever leaked inside the engine.
#568 of 4972 Same ??'s As katty2u - Should I Buy A Malibu?
May 29, 2001 (12:06 pm)
I currently drive a 1988 Chewy Celebrity (used to be my Dad's car) and Ii am going to have to buy a new car since this "GM Senior Citizen" is in the shop on a monthly basis with something new wrong with it (it's currently there now having the engine mounts replaced). I've narrowed it down to either a 2001 Impala (which I lust after) and the 2001 Malibu, which is more in my price range. Would it be wise for me to purchase a Malibu? The base or the LS? Any major problems? Next year, we'll be moving out of Chicago to the Las Vegas area and I will need a car that is a real "road warrior" since you drive everywhere; do you think the Malibu can handle it? Not to mention the 1700+ miles drive out to Vegas in the first place? Do you think it would be a good car to have in the desert? Safety?? I know I sound kind of silly but I'm so confused!!! I've done research on soooo many cars, and the Chevy models keep coming back to me!! I refuse to put any more money into "Ye Olde Rust Bucket" (even though it has sentimental value attached) and I may have to do this car purchase sooner than I wanted. I'm hoping the Celebrity will last me at least until September (WITHOUT any more costly repairs) and then shop around for the new car. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.. and sorry this is so long.
By the way, that ticking noise that was mentioned I also hear in the Celebrity's 2.4 V6 (think it's a v6) engine. I thought it was just a normal sound coming from a GM engine!!
#569 of 4972 still thinking about a Malibu
May 29, 2001 (8:26 pm)
Like my title says, I'm still thinking of buying a Malibu. The brake problems worry me. I don't want to be in the repair shop every month. Yurakm was kind enough to post his opinion. What he said about a coolant leak worried me. I had a coolant leak repaired in my '90 Buick Century earlier this year, and it was quite expensive to repair.... now I"m told my Century needs an exhaust manifold, so I am looking to get rid of it. that's why I'm considering a Malibu. Also, my car with a 3.3 liter engine has a tick in it too, especially when I accelerate. I'm still confused though, and I"m rambling now!