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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
80,410 miles
Total Complaints:
100 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (36 reports)
  2. leave ignition on for 10 minutes and restart (30 reports)
  3. have GM research and fix their problem!!! (18 reports)
  4. had the ignition cylinder(where key is inserted)replaced (4 reports)
  5. replace tumbler (in the ignition) (2 reports)
  6. attach a wire from front strut bolt to fuel pump relay leg (1 reports)
2002 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #100

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 #99

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 #98

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(http://www.bergerweb.net/PasslockFix/). 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 #97

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 #96

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 #95

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 Carcomplaints.com .... 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 min.....next 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 #94

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 #93

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 #92

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 #91

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 #90

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 anti-theft....at 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 #89

Jul 042011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,186 miles


- , Petawawa, Ontario, canada

problem #88

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

problem #87

Dec 082011

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

this bullshit has been going on for 4 months the wait 10 minutes has worked in the past. but now twice it hasn't worked I'm a person that travels and takes care of the elderly. i have missed many of my clients due to this bullshit. Ive chatted with a lady from gmc and she claimed she hasn't heard anything about this. her name was laura, i told her she needs to get on some of the sites and read the complaints that there are plenty of them. gmc was bailed out because of their incompetence & now they want to screw us and not stand behind there crappy product. what will i have to do to get this problem solved? get robbed or raped while waiting for this piece of sh*t to start? so will there be a recall or a class action lawsuit? well i'm going back to my car now which is 40 miles away to see if it will start. doubt it i will. definitely will sell this piece of sh*t and go get a real car. you go FORD, gmc can shove this up there asses dont buy a bailed out gmc product...

- , Monmouth, IL, USA

problem #86

Aug 142011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,383 miles

i have a 2002 chevy malibu and the anti theft light is on again alredy replaced the key switch for the 3 rd time i am about to take the car back and say NO more 02 malibu that i will own I think that they NEED to make this one of the MAJOR recalls for this part that needs to be looked at and why this is an on going thing for ALL the 2002 malibu i did do the key to the start position for 10 minutes and then tried to start it and NOTHING happened if i got to replace this switch AGAIN i will NOT get another car like this one again

- , Easton, PA, USA

problem #85

Jan 152009

Malibu 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Anti-theft & passlock sensor problem, 110,000 intake head gasket replaced due to leaking antifreeze, hazard light ticking noise on and off hen turn signals used repetitively, and currently both fans will come on dropping heating temperature to 90 degree averages. I' m glad I'm out of the colder climate of Eastern Nevada and in the warmer climate of California.

General Motors should either compensate majorly or replace the vehicles.

- , Oroville, CA, USA

problem #84

Jul 142011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I've noticed and read several complaints about the anti-theft system on chevy malibu's so I thought I would add my input. On Thursday I was leaving work and started my car. I had to try 2 times before it turned over. I wasn't to concerned and didn't think to much of it. I put it in drive and got about 200 yards before the car turned itself off. Luckily I was in an area where I could coast to the side walk and park the car. I tried to start it again and I had to wait about 15 minutes before it decided to turn over. I brought myself home. On Friday I started the car for work from my home and it started. It took me to work no problem. I initally thought maybe the battery was going out but thought that the car started, so if it was a battery it would have been dead over night. I left work, went outside and the car started. I was happy! Got a block from my home and in shut itself off while I was driving. I had to coast to the side of the road. I waited a few minutes and it started.

It is now sitting in my driveway and I am scared to death to drive it. The theft system light comes on. My spouse is trying to work on the car now. It won't start. I researched other complaints and solutions but nothing works. So I guess I am now a member of the Chevy Malibu Anti Theft System Club. I am so annoyed I could spit nails. This is SO unsafe as I could have caused a serious accident had I been in the middle of traffic and my car decides it THINKS someone is stealing it. I have no money for a new vehicle. This one is paid for and my spouse said we've gotten our moneys worth but I don't agree. The car is a piece of sh*t. My a/c doesn't work either. Hasn't in a while and I live in Florida! Today it is 98 degrees!

I will NEVER buy another GM car again. At this point while I'm in tears I am wondering if I just need to buy a bike.

- , St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #83

Jun 062011

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

First I would like to thank all the people who helped me figure out what the ignition problem was about before I went to a dealer. Only to get jacked around. Instantly, I seen the two main problems I was having my anti-theft is all of the sudden not allowing the car to start, and my turn signal is clicking whether it is off or on. I turn the radio up and try to ignore it. Well just tried the sit and wait ten minuet thing and car...started!!! Thank you so much I was ready to light a match to the car and report it stolen. Just kidding-I swear..lol So I just got off the phone with J.D.Byryder where I bought the car two months ago..I told them I was going to bring it up there and park it and get a lawyer, quick. They are going to replace the whole ignition system. THEY SAID IF YOU BUY THE IGNITION SYSTEM STRAIGHT THROUGH GM IT IS, THEN UNDER WARRANTY AND WILL HAVE TO BE IFXED NO MATTER WHAT FOR FREE.Still does not help the hassle and the bull sh*t factor that GM who got bailed out by our taxpaying dollars will not bail out its own people who keep them in business. Yes, people I am on this problem if there is a lawsuite to be had we will all bann together and class action it. This makes you late for work, loose jobs, miss appointments, or kids stuck unsafely for hours in a parking lot at night time. Just like anything else it takes somebody getting hurt or killed before it matters. Fortunately/Unfortunately?? its not deadly but we are stuck with a car that will not start. I paid $10,000 2 months ago (past the 30day lemon law of course) so that I had a car that was dependable tired of breaking down and making myself go broke in the process of being dependable. And this...I will be returning with something for all of us. This will get fixed if I have to hire three attorneys. And they will have to pay for the legal fees too.

Thank you for all of your help atleast I can start the damn thing so I can take the car back and throw it in their face to say fix it. I know the car lot is aware if this sh*t I could tell and sold it to me anyways knowing I am a single mom trying to get my masters, and just wanted to supply their vacation funds for the month. GM SUCKS and I am going to shout it from the top of every mountain top until somebody hears us!!

- , Sunman, IN, USA

problem #82

Aug 142011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,383 miles

what needs to be done is a recall on this at no charge to the owner of a 2002 malibu, and to see what can be done about this problem

- , Easton, PA, USA

problem #81

Sep 122005

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

This is not the only problem....leaks antifreeze, engine knocks, blinkers work when they want, This car is UNSAFE!! Should be recalled and blown up~

- , Houlton, ME, USA

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