"I have had NOTHING BUT TROUBLE since, literally, the very day the factory warranty ran out. GM says there is nothing wrong with this car, but I beg to differ. This car is trouble. Head gasket, 4 alternators, 6 batteries, ignition switch, rear window motor blown, ignition lock and barrel so stuck that the barrel actually fell out of the dashboard...I am meticulous with maintenance, so it is not me. I have another Chevy, an '01 Silverado, and it is PERFECT @150,000 miles. The Malibu has 80,000 miles and has been nothing but problems since around 35,000 miles. GM refuses to admit that this car is a LEMON. I am disgusted and cannot wait to trade it in. Also, it sometimes takes 2-3 tries before it starts, the transmission shifts so hard that it feels like I'm being rear-ended, the power-entry doesn't work on the driver's door...the pitiful list goes on and on."
"Purchased my 03 Malibu 2 years ago at just 37,000 miles (it was previously a rental). Since then it has done nothing but let me down. Now at 58,000 miles, I have been left stranded at work 5 different times, 2 of those were extremely dangerous situations in which I was driving the car out of the parking lot and onto a busy street and the gas pedal decided not to let me use it anymore! I have replaced the brakes 3 times. Lets not forget that, as mentioned before, the air conditioning has a mind of its own. Most recently I was driving the car when it began shaking violently and making the most unheard of noises...come to find out it is a broken rocker arm, which let me tell you, is not cheap to fix. Between towing fees, repairs and the fact that this car is terrible on gas and brakes, I'd say its been a money pit and a waste of time. Save yourself the nightmare."
"This call is a horrible car. Apparetnly the coolant that Chevy tells you to put into the car causes holes in the gaskets and thus ou will end up paying 1200 to fix this problem. I HATE this car and I will NEVER buy a chevy car ever in my life!"
"I purchased my car [2001 Chevrolet Malibu] used (~88000 miles on it with a clean title). It was beautiful, spacious and ran well. However, the car has now started to fall apart (it now has 130,000 miles). I understand that there is normal maintenance required for all cars, new and old and that some parts just wear out. However, since purchasing the car (~3.5 yrs ago), I have had to put significant amount of money into it, equivalent to at least 1/2 of what I paid for the total car.
You have been warned:
-new brakes ($$)
-leaky intake manifold gasket (coolant was leaking out from engine, not into it, Thank God) ($$$)
-water pump ($$)
-the radiator cap has never fit correctly (so the coolant drips)
-the current problem--the car wouldn't start. The mechanic (competent or no) replaced the ignition switch and cylinder ($$$$). ONE DAY after getting it back, the car stalled while turning a corner and is now back in the shop. (the (not) competent mechanic does not know what is wrong with it yet, but it looks electrical ($$$$$)). (This problem may/may not be associated with the original problem and/or work that was done, this has yet to be determined)
-Miscellaneous: The struts and/or shocks in the front sound like they are about to go as well.
So, if you choose to buy this year (2001) of Malibu, good luck! Some of these problems have been addressed on several forums, so I know that I am not the only owner of a 2001 Malibu that has had problems."