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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
80,637 miles
Total Complaints:
118 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced intake manifold gasket (58 reports)
  2. not sure (31 reports)
  3. replace gasket (13 reports)
  4. run to the hills and buy an import (6 reports)
  5. submitted my name to class action lawsuit (4 reports)
  6. replaced with non-plastic gasket (3 reports)
2002 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #98

Jul 072010

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 188,000 miles


I have spent so much money on coolant,and replacing the part that i will ever buy a Chevy product again. My turn signal also have a mind of its on. They work when they want to. never again will I buy Chevy!!!

- , Dothan, AL, USA

problem #97

Jul 072010

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

NEVER BUY A CHEVROLET!!!!!!!!!!!! GM makes the worst cars and it is no surprise they are going out of business. My car only has 45,000 miles and I find out today that I have a crack in the gasket seal of the intake manifold and a crack in the water pump. I took my car to Brakes Plus and I have been on the phone with Chevy and they offered no solution to my problem other than to take it in to a Chevy dealership, pay $100 and have them tell me that it is not a "manufacturing defect" and tough luck. I can't believe there has not been a recall on this. Why would I take it to Chevy to have them replace it with the same defective gasket so that this crap can happen again??? Unbelievable.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #96

Jun 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

This is awful that Chevrolet will not recall vehicles with this problem and fix it for the consumer. Shouldn't be happening

- , Federal Way, WA, USA

problem #95

Oct 012009

Malibu 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


I am looking into this. I have very low miles for the gasket to go out. Then to see this. Yeah, I think it should be a recall on all Malibu's. If they want to keep people buying American. How are they wanting us to trust them if we can't trust our own products. Cars are alot of money. People work to hard and the prices in this economy and the warranty and good anywhere.

- , Caseyville, IL, USA

problem #94

Nov 232009

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,068 miles

I can't believe this isn't something recalled yet after so many complaints. When I brought my car into the shop, they knew exactly what the problem was and that they had seen it so many times. More people need to be complaining about this so can be a recall.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #93

Feb 012010

Malibu LX 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I recently had acceleration problems and I was looking online for possible causes when I ran across this problem happening to other people. I was counting myself lucky that I had not had it. little did I know I was about to. 600 spent on a Catalytic Converter and a tune up. That fixed that problem thankfully it was not the fuel pump that I thought it was... yet.

Radiator light came on monday 2/15 I put more in and it came on a couple days later I had not seen a puddle until 2 days ago when I saw it dripping. I was hoping it was just a hose since I have a lot of miles on it. obviously I was wrong. to the tune of 725$ my mechanic will fix guessed it...the intake manifold. Since I drive 2.5k-3k miles a month I have to have my car. The only good news is the mechanic said they have come up with a revised version that has metal and they have had any come back to them yet with the same problem. I will definately tell them do NOT put dex cool coolant back in. I dont care what the manual says.

While I didnt really want to buy this car having poor credit I had no choice. so 1300$ this month in repairs on top of an almost 400$ car payment. How can anyone afford that in this day and the shape of economy. What will next month bring? the fuel pump(about 600)? or the anti theft device/ignition switch failing(500 if repaired properly)?

a lot of the above problems come back for a lot of people only to have to pay them again 6 months later. I think this is why GM is begging the goverment for money to bail them out. Maybe they should take those million dollar salaries to the people that need them and fix the cars they sold.

I wont ever recommend a chevy again to anyone thats for sure since they dont stand behind there products. As this should have been factory recalled and they ignored it. My next car definately wont be from one of the big companies as they dont know what they are doing with the money Im giving them therefore I wont be giving them anymore. Good luck to any current Malibu owners

- , Bryan, TX, USA

problem #92

Dec 162009

Malibu 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


bought a pre-owned Chevy Malibu about 3 years ago. seemed like a really nice car. noticed that my temp light was popping on every two or three months then more like once a month, now about two weeks...doing some other work on the motor today and noticed antifreeze on the back side of my motor...that would explain alot....went to internet for help with other problems and happened onto this my surprise this is a BIG problem for lots of others...Don,t want to spend the money to fix right now so i,ll be driving it as little as possible....THANKS CHEVY for your screwed up engine....HELLO TOYOTA....will be in touch with you soon....

- , Madison, TN, USA

problem #91

Dec 282009

Malibu L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I had the intake manifold replaced about 3 years ago at about 62000 miles. and now at 87000 miles it leaked again. It caused the coolant to leek into the oil and freeze in the oil pump and the relief valve froze and blew out the oil pump gasket. Which means that not only does the intake have to be changed but also the oil pump. I've been told that the intake manifold in the Malibu has been known to fail quite often. The cost to me is about $1500 to replace both. It makes me wonder if I will abuy another Malibu which I was seriously thinking about. I've had GM cars before and and was very happy . Now I'm not so sure if I will get another one. Marie Vitetta

- , Rye, NY, USA

problem #90

Nov 072009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles

The leaking intake manifold gasket caused me to have to replace two oxygen sensors and a catalytic converter last year -- that was $850. Now, this year, the car started overheating on a three-hour road trip... I put coolant in and it was fine to get me to my destination, but on the way home it started overheating and wouldn't stop. (Of course this happened in the sticks on early Sunday morning, so I was stranded for a day.)

I paid to get the intake manifold gasket replaced -- $600, plus the costs of getting a hotel room, etc. A month later, it wouldn't start, leaving me stranded AGAIN. The dealership that it was eventually towed to initially said it was the Passlock anti-theft system, which of course I'd had problems with before. $500 for that fix... problem was, by that point, the head gasket was blown. It was a decent car up until this year, when EVERYTHING started going wrong with it.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #89

Mar 312007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I'm told this is common with Malibu's. Shouldn't Chevy take some responsibility for fixing this?

- , Channahon, IL, USA

problem #88

Jul 022009

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles


I noticed my car started running really bad a few weeks ago. I thought it might have been the spark plugs. I had those changed and come to find out that I need the intake manifold replaced. The mechanic just called me and told me that the head gasket is cracked. He is going to try to seal it up but I can't afford to get that fixed. I wish I knew about this problem. I would like chevy to pay for this problem. I loved my car but I don't have the extra money to get it fixed like this.

- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #87

Oct 152008

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I was driving down the road when I started hearing this clicking noise. I took it to a radiator shop where I was promptly informed of Chevy's issues with DexCool antifreeze. I was a little taken back since the manual says the car requires Dexcool. I then took it to the local oil change place to flush out the reservoir. The guy looks at me and has the balls to ask me if I put oil in the coolant location. I said "What?!?! Are you serious?" He then told me the problems would come back if I didn't take it to the mechanic. I took it to the mechanic who was able to fix it. Needless to say, I no longer use Dexcool.

- , Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #86

Jan 062009

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

My emissions test failed because of this engine light on, due to the problems, one being... of the intake manifold gasket leak.., that has been replaced... I have now, a rejection sticker on my car,...(F** sucks), now, I fix the problem AGAIN. FOR WHAT? so, it can happen again and again and again. When will this problem be addressed thru the dealership.? It is obviously a nuisance with other car owners...let's get together a class action suite. BUT< ya know what....we need to drive our (F*car)

to work each day to pay for the bill accruing ... for this chevy malibu. GO FIGURE. time....foreign car for me....never CHEVY...chevy malibu...POS

- , Peabody, MA, USA

problem #85

Oct 302008

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Can We Just Replace The Gaskets And Clean Heads And Then Sell That F*cking Car? HELP.

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #84

Oct 072006

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

GM will not stand behind their stupid design. What kind of freak'n idiot would use a plastic Intake Gasket. This needs to be recalled. Paid up, had no choice!

DON'T BUY GM....... THEY SUCK!!!!!!!!

- , Ashland, OH, USA

problem #83

Jan 012006

Malibu 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,039 miles

My car is leaking antifreezer from somewhere, we thought it was the thermostat and replaced it but that is not the problem. We are replacing the antifreezer on a daily basis.

- , Polacca, AZ, USA

problem #82

Nov 022008

Malibu LS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,429 miles

Well this is the second Chevy Product I have owned with this Engine... I won't blame it on the car. I like my Malibu... but the 3.1 engine has got to GO... GM has known for years of this issue. I owned a 1996 Buick with a 3.1 as well and when I bought the Malibu I was cautious but the Salesman assured me that GM had fixed this issue... I am now finding out that NO they haven't. Looks Like I will have to fix it myself, Thank God for being mechanically inclined. But I will be looking at Imports once I repair it... so I can sell it. I use to want to support domestic auto makers...But not if it is going to cost me dearly...

- , Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada

problem #81

Mar 072007

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

I bought the car used in March of 07 and by the end of May my car had broke down 3 times. I had to replace the fuel pump, the whole front end came loose and had to have it put back together again and while they were working on these $600.00 problem's discovered that there was an upper intake gasket that needed to be changed that would cost me another $600.00. I had to replace my battery because coolant was shooting all over the place and ruined my battery. have had nothing but problems with this car. Still owing nearly $5000 at this point in 2008 and now finding out after having to have my water pump replaced ($318.00) that now the lower intake gasket needs to be replaced at another $600.00 and that the coolant is leaking everywhere and my car well... is a LEMON!

I don't have $600 - $1200 extra dollars to get this fixed nor can I afford not to have a running vehicle. I am a single mom with four children. If I don't have a car to drive I can't work and and if I can't work I can't support my family and who else is going to do that???? Chevy? I don't think so.

I agree with the many other people who have posted on this site that Chevy should either replace or pay for the damages that is clearly a defect made by the maker (Chevy) of the vehicle.

- , Barstow, CA, USA

problem #80

Oct 262008

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

I have had this Malibu since it was new and not had many problems. In the last year it has been losing coolant. I had to fill it about every 4 months. I went on a long trip last month and almost did not make it home. The intake gasket gave out.

I pulled the intake my self and was amazed at how the gaskets where ate up and how the antifreeze had gummed up in the water ports. GM made a good selection in coolant for the total destruction of there engines. I guess that is why there sales are off the charts now.

- , Marshfield, MO, USA

problem #79

Oct 092008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Well, I've read this forum before about complaints with the Gaskets and leaking coolant, and felt fortunate that wasn't happening to me since I was having so many other problems with the vehicle, then while having my car looked at for a suspension issue, I get the call; oh by the way, your intake gaskets are leaking, it just started, but you'll have to look into it within the next 3-5 months. Seeing as I've now officially had my entire front end replaced as of today, I'm going to hold off on this repair for now at my shops recommendation. Estimated price of repair: About $950.

- , Olean, NY, USA

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