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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
81,290 miles
Total Complaints:
118 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (45 reports)
  2. leave ignition on for 10 minutes and restart (30 reports)
  3. have GM research and fix their problem!!! (18 reports)
  4. had ignition module and harness replaced (5 reports)
  5. had the ignition cylinder(where key is inserted)replaced (5 reports)
  6. replacing sensors for anti-theft (3 reports)
2002 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #118

Apr 042012

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


I was given this Malibu from my parents with very low miles, it worked fine a few months and then started having the anti theft lock out problem. What a pain in the butt, not a reliable car as you never know when its going to start. Pray to God you don't have an emergency!! Many other numerous problems so I traded it in. This car is a Lemon and a throw away car.

- , Delafield, WI, USA

problem #117

Feb 102016

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

I loved my little Malibu, it was the first car that I have never really had any issues with. Until recently. For how common this issue is in these model vehicles I think that GMC needs to issue a recall to fix their manufacturing error. I put my trust in money into this vehicle and now I go to start my car to go to school or work and I am uncertain how long it will to take start if it even does start! The problem occurring happens when I try to turn over my engine, it'll turn over then die with the Anti-Theft light blinking at me. My vehicle is acting as if I am trying to steal it and won't start for me. GMC please issue a recall and fix it!!!! My little Malibu is now unreliable and I do not have the money being a full time college student and part time employee living on my own, to fix it.

- , Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #116

May 252015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,574 miles

One day the car is working perfectly -- next day after parked overnight in my garage it sounds like it is trying to turn on to run but just kept grinding. Contacted AAA of which I am a member -- mechanic came out and though it was a fuel pump problem (taped on it to try and get it running with no luck) . Needed to tow into a garage. Had to wait until the next day because it happened on a Holiday -- ruined the holiday for me. Next day AAA came out and towed it into the dealer which I had selected. At 1 PM that afternoon I was contacted and told it was an ignition passlock sensor that needed to be replaced and would cost $354.92 + tax.

Asked the service rep. why because I had just had it in for a recall with regard to the key problem. Told it had nothing to do with that. I agreed to the service.

At 4:30 pm was notified that the car was ready for pick up -- as I was getting ready to have my husband take me to pick up the car -- I was contacted again and told not to come because they were unable to start the car and would need to keep it another day.

Finally, the next day I was called and told the car was ready for pick up....... I paid the originally quoted price but no one was conveniently available to ask what the problem had been that warranted it to be kept for a second day. The part that was replaced was a cylinder. Why, when I only have 63000 miles on my car should this have happened?

Talk about a pain in the butt. When you need to rely on the car to get to go where you want.

- , Wyoming, PA, USA

problem #115

Apr 192015

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,700 miles


So yesterday I went to try to start my 2002 Chevy Malibu and it would not start. It did the thing where it would crank, but not start. The theft system light was on and flashing. I did the 10 minutes with the key in the on position where the theft light flashed and then turned solid before turning off. Then I turned the key to off and my car started up; while my car did start this was an inconvenience and obviously a flaw in the anti-theft security system dealing with the car.

I believe a recall needs to be issued because not all car owners know this trick and some of us don't have time to waste to allow the anti-theft system to reset.

- , Peoria Heights, IL, USA

problem #114

Jun 012011

Malibu 4 Dr Sedan 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles

Anti-Theft System. First time in Tigard, OR driveway would not start. Towed to dealer, 18000 miles. Pd $600 to replace ignition sensor. Approx 3 yrs later, after getting gas in Surprise, AZ, would not start. Towed to dealer. Pd $400 to replace ignition sensor. About 3 mos ago, in Tigard driveway, wouldn't start, drove wife to work. 10 min. fix. Neighbor picked me up after I took car to wife's work.

A couple weeks later, same thing. Took car to wife's work. Walked 3 miles home. A couple weeks later, theft light came on and stayed on for over 2 weeks. No starting problems. 2 weeks ago, wife at work, wouldn't start. Did 10 min fix, started. She was late for appointment. 1 week ago light came on during drive home, and went out.

This car is VERY UNRELIABLE. We bought it new in 2002 and have only 42,000 miles on it. Do NOT TRUST this car............. Even tho this is the only problems we have had with the car.

- , King City, OR, USA

problem #113

Jul 142014

Malibu LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

hi my name is judy p. I'm 63 years old I called my aaa number a service guy came to the house and he told me to bring it to the car dealer where I bought it. it wouldn't start so he had to call a tow truck. I don't know what he did but it didn't fix it. The second time it wouldn't start I called my aaa got a guy that told me to keep the ignition key on the on position until the anti theft goes out take the key out put it back in and the car will start.which it did. He told me to bring it to an audio place. I brought it there they told me it was the black box and called the dealer where I bought the car. they told me to call the dealer when I get home. I called them explained to them what was going on they told me it was not the black box and to bring it to a chevy deal er.

- , Vernon, CT, USA

problem #112

Apr 132014

Malibu LS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,400 miles


Prior to my purchase of the Malibu, the used car dealer threw one part after another into it to fix the intermittent no start problem. Spark Plugs, Plug wires, battery, coil pack, and fuel injector cleaning and they stopped short of dropping the fuel tank to possibly replace the in tank fuel pump. A little reading on my part on the intranet discovered the problem after it started occurring after my purchase. It appears that the passlock sensor(antitheft device) behind the ignition switch is faulty. The dealer will only replace the sensor(with the same defective design), but will not bypass it! Don't take it to the dealer for repair! Find someone who is comfortable and familiar with cars and electronics and have it bypassed using the method prescribed by this website( It essentially fools your body module into thinking that the module into thinking everything is functioning properly at all times and that no thief is trying to steal your car. The cost for what parts you need will be very minimal, but the labor can be costly if you cannot do it yourself and require paying to have it done. The problem disappeared in GMs after the programmable keys were developed. Good Luck.

- , Easton, PA, USA

problem #111

May 152012

Malibu Coupe 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

One more extreme complaint about this 2002 car from hell (Malibu). My first experience was being stranded and having to walk home because car would not start, but after hours of online research, I found out it was the security system. You have to wait 10 mins and go through a process because the car thinks it's being stolen,so the fuel pump shuts off. It got so bad I could not buy gas,because the car would'nt start and I would have to sit at the gas station for 10 mins while the anti-lock system reset. I got the ignition fixed for $325 but I am still paranoid, I have had nothing but expense with this car and since I found this website I see there are over 3000 complaints on the 2002 Malibu. I was told by my mechanic you can not by pass the anti-lock system due to all the codes so you have to replace the ignition system as I did for $325.

- , Springfield, OR, USA

problem #110

Sep 022012

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

my chevy malibu won"t start, my mechanic replaced the fuel pump already and still have the same problem,am very sure this is the problem all you guys have with the pass lock system,,, f*ck!!!!!

- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #109

Feb 162012

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

this car is almost mint, but don't start, mostly when its warm, like after you shut it off. they should recall. I thought maybe coil, but not sure.

- , Mosinee, WI, USA

problem #108

Dec 012008

Malibu LS 3.1V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles


I got in my car one day and it would not start, I was baffled then noticed the anti theft light blinking. I went on line and googled "2002 Chevy Malibu won't start" and the first link was for .... THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POPPING UP FIRST .... and it told me to put the key in the ignition in the ON position and leave for 10 open the door and close the door........ turn the ignition off pull the key out....... then start the car AND IT WORKED!!!! I was so grateful for that post because I had and still have no money to get it fixed.

Then one day I was sitting home and the alarm just went to blaring and my handsome husband had to dissconnect the battery to get it to stop, then my super smart big brother just disconnected to horn relay and that stopped the noise for good but now I have no alarm and no horn which sucks when I'm road raging just kidding.

Everyone I know with car has the same issue with their car alarm and for the life of me I can't understand why there isn't a recall for this stupid thing!

- , Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #107

Jul 022012

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

This Chevy is a real piece of electrical junk. If you want some excitement added to your life buy this make and model (2002 Malibu V6). One can never tell what will happen when the key is turned as it may not start/check engine light might come on/headlights will not come on/dash gauges will not register. Usual fix is to manually turn on the lights and wait say 3 minutes for the gauges to wake up.Problem is that any sequence and any combination of these electrical problems can be experienced!! I can even live with this chaos but when the anti- theft system kicks in and the car will not start the car becomes unreliable and totally useless( not to mention the towing and repair costs to make a fix that will last for some brief indefinite time before the cycle is repeated).

I was wondering why so few 2002 Malibu models were on the road and the explanation is that the unfortunate owners have been dumping these turkeys!!

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #106

Jun 202012

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,583 miles

Took the car to a dealer two times and ask them if there was a recall on it said no . Payed over $500 for each time .The third time i looked on line and saw the ten min fix and tried it and it worked .

- , Pinckneyville, IL, USA

problem #105

Jun 152012

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

OMG!!! I love my car... Its paid for and its pretty! However, 3 separate occasions my car has stopped. I would drive home and the car wouldnt crank up. I had it towed and they told me it was the Fuel Filter. Then it happened again about a month later... He told me it was the Fuel Pump! (This cost me $400!!!!) So the car seems to work fine till about 3 weeks later I noticed the car driving funny again. Mind you I noticed that my "ANTI THEFT" light comes on sporadically and I hear a sound like the car door is open when its not. The Friday before Fathers Day its pouring rain outside and I'm at my parents house headed to see a sick friend in the hospital. THE CAR DOESN'T START AGAIN!!! I'm beyond pissed.. The guy tows it again and tells me he sees NOTHING wrong and it must be the devil~"SERIOUSLY?" So, I get to GOOGLING & find this website and see SEVERAL folks with the EXACT same issues. TOMORROW I'm having the Anti Theft Deactivated by the dealer! Hopefully this works... Wish me luck!

- , Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #104

Apr 162012

Malibu LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,226 miles

this GM chevy car unable to start shows antitheft system light ON what to do?when you start,problem in starting & charging.GM motors should come up with a good solution to avoid such problem's as the customer's are not satisfied in investing money to buy this bullshit car.

- , Riyadh, Central Province, Saudi Arabia

problem #103

Jul 012010

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

There are enough complaints for Chevy to take responsibility & fix their cars!!! My Malibu is a one owner, never wrecked, & very well maintained!! Even brand new Malibus have this issue, as well as all the other complaints.. Will never own another Chevy!! All sorts of electrical problems!! The anti-theft light comes on, car won't start, & I have to sit stranded for 10 min. with ignition turned half-way back. I didn't have this problem until I had to replace a $300 fuel pump!! I'm not sure how to fix this for good...

- , Winchester, KY, USA

problem #102

Jan 102012

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

The wife went out to go to work in the car she inherited when her mom died , we've had it a year , it started just fine.....she was cleaning the windows of frost....letting the car warm up etc....when all was done she sat down and tried to put the car in reverse (seatbelt was on) , the trans shifter was locked....she came inside to see if I could help , I went out to try the shifter button , it was locked solid....wiggled shift arm , front and back , sideways , pushing on button....the shifter was locked solid....the engine running , but it would NOT shift.....she used a different car to go to work......we shut it off and I called son-in law (mechanic) he said to check the fuse ,so went back out and started the car again, no shift, locked tight, I checked but there is no fuse for that point I noticed the anti-theft light blinking , I leaned over to chk glove compartment for a users manual , I bumped the brake pedal , no book in glove compartment , so sat up and noticed anti-theft was on , but not blinking , so automatically put foot on brake pedal, and the light went out , so reached down to move shifter and it worked , put in reverse and backed up and back in 2 or 3 times , NO problem.....was doing research on users manuals when ran across this site and read of the many problems.

I agree with many off the complaints , I used to be a die hard GMC man , but in 2004 they (the dealers) were arrogant and would not deal for a new truck (offered 1/3 as much for trade in , no kick backs , 8.9% finance , wife was driving Fords at work , so she suggested we try FORD , I was reluctant , but with attitude of GM , went and drove a Ford, was nice so we talked.....offered twice as much for my trade in ( a 10 yr. old 3/4 ton GMC diesel) , offered $4500 incentive , plus 1.9% finance if thru Ford , also thru in steps and would pay for 5th wheel hook up , then to top it off , she asked about supplier discount , that ended up another $6700 off , so I now drive Ford....we ended up saving about $14,500 total.

I don't like the Malibu ( to low , too small etc) , but if this is going to be an ongoing problem , will talk her into getting rid of this thing!.......

- , Reeds, MO, USA

problem #101

Jul 312010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

2002 Malibu LS.. passlock issues. I had a local dealer put in a new cylinder in March of this year which was a waste of money. I had read that starting the car in neutral would avoid the problem, which worked for a while but now it happens regularly. I was to be to a friend's for Christmas Day and the bloody car will not start. Chevrolets are a piece of junk

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #100

Jul 042011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,186 miles


- , Petawawa, Ontario, canada

problem #99

Dec 152011

Malibu LS 3100

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

Can't believe GM let me down, I have been a GM enthusiast my entire life, Drag Racing and auto restoration, so I promote the CHEVY thing to my three sons who all eat breathe and survive by breathing CHEVY. That was until my daughter in law purchased a 2002 Chevy Malibu with low mileage and clean as a pin and garage kept by the original owner. She was coming home from work after picking up my grandbabies and the car died, so i did my typical diagnostics Air, Fuel and Spark, it lead me in the direction of a fuel problem, turns out that GM has this "BULLSHIT" passlock system built into this PIECE OF SH*T!!! that disables the fuel injectors, after scanning the web for a diagnosis i came to the conclusion that all of the so called resistor tricks don't work so I am currently waiting on a NEW ROCKIES pro vats bypass, not sure what kind of let down this will be, so I am not getting my hopes up by any means, one thing is for sure General Motors Corp. will no longer live in my families domain, the 1969 Camaro can stay but the rest of this sh*t is out of here! and that includes a 2008 Silverado, 1996 GMC Sonoma pickup, 2002 Tahoe " TOTAL POS" they are all up for sale and i am not kidding!! just purchased a KIA with a 10 year 100000 mile warranty, GM should have went under when they needed a bailout, they would not be missed at all, i have enough antique Chevys to keep the good memories alive! BYE BYE General Motors Inc.

- , Norfolk, VA, USA

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