The Chevrolet Malibu is known for its superb comfort, excellent handling, and impressive fuel economy. It’s also affordable, making it a great option for those looking for a new ride. However, the vehicle may present some problems and breakdowns. We have listed the common Chevrolet Malibu failures , in case you want to know them.
Whether you’re planning to buy a Chevy Malibu or already driving one, it will be helpful to read about its reliability ratings and common problems you may encounter as your car racks up mileage.
How good is the Chevrolet Malibu?
The Chevrolet Malibu has a good reputation in terms of reliability. The model was given a reliability score of 4.0 out of 5.0, placing it ninth out of 24 cars in its segment. Meanwhile, consumers gave the 2021 Malibu an predicted reliability score of 89 out of 100.
Common failures of the Chevrolet Malibu
Just like any other vehicle on the market, a Chevrolet Malibu can also develop problems as it ages. Here are some of the common Chevrolet Malibu failures reported through its model years:
1. Engine power loss problem
Engine related issues top the list of 2016 Chevrolet Malibu problems. Several owners have complained of reduced engine power, noting symptoms such as excessive vibration and a hissing noise coming from the engine . In most cases, an engine overhaul is necessary to resolve the problem.
2. Passlock sensor failure
Passlock sensor issues are a common complaint on various Chevrolet Malibu model years (1997-2016). In most cases, the passlock sensors in the ignition lock cylinder of affected Malibues are prone to failure . A no-start condition can develop when this happens.
Some owners have also reported problems with their vehicle’s anti-theft system. Most mechanics recommend replacing the ignition lock barrel to fix the problem.
3. Transmission failure
Some 2010 Chevrolet Malibu owners have complained of transmission failure around 101,550 miles. Some also noted symptoms such as jerking and difficulty changing gear.
In most cases, the transmission in affected vehicles had to be replaced or rebuilt to resolve the issue . Fixing this type of Chevrolet Malibu transmission problem can cost up to $3,260.
4. Turn Signal Switch Failure
Turn signal switch failure is a common complaint on 1997-2006 and 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. Once the switch fails, the hazard or turn signal flasher will continue to click even when the turn signal is off. Replacing the faulty turn signal switch usually solves the problem.
5. Problems with the closing of the electric doors
Problems with the power door lock top the list of common 2009 Chevrolet Malibu failures. The door locks on affected Malibu will not lock or unlock at certain times.
Several owners have reported that this problem usually occurs during the summer months when the temperature is high. To fix the problem, owners of the affected Chevys had to replace faulty components in the power door locks.
6. Problems with headlights
Some 2009 Chevy Malibu owners also have complaints about their headlights. Their wires shorted while others had to replace their broken headlights twice in a short period. There were also reports of problems with its low beam headlights.
Depending on the exact cause of the problem, you may need to replace the harness connector, headlight assembly, or switch to resolve the issue.
7. Failures in the CD player
Some 2005 Chevy Malibu owners have also reported problems with their CD player. Reports show the CD player malfunctioned around 72,150 miles. The problems usually started with a stuck CD.
If you encounter similar problems, it’s best to take your Chevy to a mechanic for repairs, especially if you have limited knowledge of your car’s stereo components.
8. Power steering malfunction
The power steering on some 2004 Chevrolet Malibu may malfunction after around 81,600 miles. According to the owners of the affected units, their power steering goes out intermittently from time to time. Several drivers complained that their power steering would lock up abruptly while driving.
Problems related to your Chevy’s power steering system need to be fixed as soon as possible to avoid car accidents. In most cases, replacing a faulty steering column fixes the problem.
9. Intake Manifold Gasket Problems
Premature wear of intake manifold gaskets can cause coolant leaks on some units of the 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. In addition to replacing the damaged gasket, some mechanics also had to perform a coolant flush to fix this problem.
A cracked intake manifold gasket is common among General Motors (GM) vehicles manufactured from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s. Experts speculate that the coolant GM used for its vehicles reacted with the intake manifold gasket. . This causes the gasket to crack and leak coolant. There are several class action lawsuits related to this issue.
10. Front coil spring failure
If you are thinking of buying a used 1999 Malibu, beware of front coil spring problems. Some owners have reported hearing knocking noises when turning the steering wheel.
Most owners had to have their springs and struts replaced to resolve the issue.
Aside from the problems mentioned above, your Malibu can develop other problems over time. But do not worry. As long as you investigate and resolve any faults immediately, you will be able to get the most out of the life of your Chevy.