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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,227 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Chevrolet Malibu cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #19

Apr 032009


  • 120 miles


Five years ago I replace head gaskets on a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. Recently, my vehicle will not hold antifreeze and the temperature gauge raises. I have was told by a mechanic that the head gaskets blown again. I have heard several people with the Malibu are having problems with this. Is there a recall or compensation to the owners for this obvious manufacturing defect.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #18

Nov 262008


  • miles
Gasket is causing antifreeze leak into engine and the car is overheating. Have use about a few bottles of antifreeze back to back. Its going to cost so much to repair. Im waiting for a recall from GM. The sooner the better.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #17

Sep 242008


  • 53,490 miles
My car over heated twice. The first time I realized that the antifreeze was very low and I filled it up and went to my meeting. After my meeting was over and began to drive the car, it over heated again. I had to refill the antifreeze 3 times before I got it to an auto shop (as I was driving). Once I got to the auto shope, I was told that the antifreeze was running in to the oil pan. Currently, I don't have a car because I was told by the mechanic that the engine was no good and they had seen several cars like mine (same year) with the same motor problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #16

Mar 112006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


Antifreeze leaking intake manifold valve gasket defective.

- Dix Hills, NY, USA

problem #15

Apr 122007


  • miles
I have a 2001 chevorlet Malibu which has close to 67000 miles, and now its showing signs of coolant leaking, and coolant has to be topped up every 200 miles or so, and the coolant used was dex-cool, GM recommended. Also there is a problem with air conditioning (A/C) unit as it was not cooling at all, and when checked the freon. Gas leaked out, and yet to find where the leaking is from. Mechanic mentioned the coolant problem was there in all Malibu models starting 1998. Please let us know if there was any recall for the above mentioned problems.

- Yukon, OK, USA

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problem #14

Jan 242007


  • 50,948 miles
I have a 2001 Chevy Malibu, with 51000 miles my coolant light kept coming on. I took it to the garage. The mechanic filled the coolant. Two months passed and the coolant light came on again. The mechanic filled the coolant and I made an appointment. It turned out, the coolant was leaking into the engine. I was informed my car had a faulty manifold gasket. It cost me $600 to have my car repaired. I hope there is a recall soon. I here that many GM vehicles have this problem.

- Mercerville, NJ, USA

problem #13

Feb 072007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I have purchased two (2001) Chevrolet Malibu's that experienced the same problem. The intake manifold gasket is defective which causes antifreeze to leak. I experienced the problem with my first Malibu back in 2005. Based on documentation of consumer complaints that I submitted to the dealership, the repair was covered outside of the warranty and I only paid the warranty deductible. My second Malibu was purchased used from a non-GM dealership in the fall of 2005. I purchased the second car due to the first one being a total loss in an accident. I am now experiencing the same leaking gasket problem with the second car. I contacted GM directly to inquire about having the car fixed. The car has 103,341 miles on it. Regardless of the mileage, the mechanics that I have spoken to say this is a manufacturer's defect because the gasket(s) are cheap plastic. As of date, GM is not willing to cover the cost of the repair which costs $700+. the dealership that I use to service my vehicle will only offer a discount on parts and labor. The dealership is not at fault. It is GM's responsibility to correct this problem. I have 61 pages of consumer complaints referring to the same leaking gasket problem with the Malibu.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #12

Jan 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I need to know who I can speak with in regards to GM having a recall on the intake manifold gasket for 2000/2001 Chevrolet Malibu's. I have been told by the manager at advanced auto parts that several Malibu owners come in to purchase coolant, as well as myself, as our gasket is leaking, which causes us to have to refill at least every other month or sooner. I have also checked online and there are several other people having the same problem, to the point that I felt a recall should be done. Some individuals noted that they contacted their car dealer and the gasket was changed to a newer one that they are using in the newer cars. However, I contacted my dealership and was told that there's nothing they can do, as there are no recalls on the vehicle. I need someone to contact me asap regarding this problem. It's not fair to myself, the consumer, to have to pay out of pocket to get this manufacturer defect corrected. Too many people are having this same problem for it not be recalled. Please, please contact me at 410/917-7327. Thank you for your immediate attention to my concern.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #11

Jan 052006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,500 miles
(1) coolant leaking immediately after putting it into my vehicle. (2) my car has overheated three times on the freeway. It will not accelerate, starts violently vibrating, then smoke bellows out of my hood when I finally stop. I have been stranded on the freeway three times with my two-year-old in the car, as well as my unborn child. (3) I have taken my vehicle to a Chevrolet repair man who found a technical service bulletin on the problem issued by Chevrolet. He explained the intake manifold was manufactured crooked causing coolant to leak into my engine and dilute my oil which will eventually burn my motor and ruin it completely. When I contacted Chevrolet, they were very unhelpful both times stating I had to pay a Chevy dealership to diagnose the problem and that they might help me with a little cost assistance but not much. It is about $600 to fix this problem that is not normal maintenance or wear-and-tear. It is a manufacturing defect. I have had several people E-mail me about the same problem after posting a comment about it on a website.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #10

Apr 082004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
The contact had the egr valve, thermostat, water pump, intake gasket, and head gasket replaced. Additionally, she had the block inspected for cracks. It has been 18 months since the replacement of the aforementioned defects, and the check engine light came on again, and there was a decrease in the amount of gas mileage. The dealer reprogrammed the computer, and informed the contact that the vehicle was running properly. The manufacturer has only offered a discount on a new vehicle.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #9

Nov 102004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles


Failure- slight leak in coolant from intake seal, continuous running of fans, and check engine light stays on. Correction- new thermostat, new sensor for the fans, and new seal for intake seal, $900 worth of service.

- East Point, GA, USA

problem #8

Sep 292005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
We were told this is becoming a common problem that we lose the coolant intake on the engine of our 01 Malibu resulting in a $1000 repair - this dealer has experienced multiple failures on this particular engine.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #7

Jun 252004


  • miles
While driving home from work in 90+ degree heat my car overheated to the point where I had to have it towed in and was told by the mechanics that my coolant had been leaking and causing the car to over heat there blowing the head gasket and causing me to have to pay $1200+ to have another engine put it. I have heard this is a commom with the 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. I don't know what the repair shop done with the old motor, but it was fried.

- Wildwood, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 262001

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
2001 Chevrolet Malibu has developed problems with the braking and the cooling systems.** answer required***. one month after the vehicle was purchased the rotor assembly was replaced. The vehicle would turn over but it wouldn't start. The dealer replaced the fuel pump. When accelerating the vehicle's coolant light illuminated on the dash. The dealer determined that there was a leak at the by pass pipe at the lower intake manifold. The alternator was replaced under warranty. The hazard and turn signal switch were replaced. The right outer tie rod were worn loose. The dealer replaced the right outer tie rod ends and set the front end. The right front wheel bearing was replaced. The ABS malfunctioned.

- Bridgton, ME, USA

problem #5

May 212005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
I had to have the fuel injector cleaned about ayr after I got the car? now I am told I have to have it done again! also the engine is leaking andthe coolant system. I hear it might not happen again as GM made new parts for the engine so it shouldn't happen again. My mechanic feels the engine should have been recalled. He also told me that I should have brought the car to him when they diagnosed the car as needing the fuel injector cleaned the first time---it shouldn't have needed it and probably didn't. I feel I may be taken advantage of again by this dealership. I hope this car is recalled for the wrong or bad engine itting parts. I was one who replaced the hazards before it was ever recalled-I could have been killed the way they were acting half hazardly! I did and then this same dealership told me that I hadn't that the wrong part-the old part was put in the car and replaced it. This is deland chevrolt/Cadillac in deland fl. They said they replaced it with the right part but I doubt they did.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #4

Apr 012004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,332 miles
Noticed smell of burning coolant and took vehicle in for service. GM dealer replaced intake manifold gasket. Contacted Chevrolet directly by phone, who did not acknowledge that problem was common, nor offer any type of compensation. Total service cost $1050.19 (parts and labor).

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #3

Jan 012003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
Engine cooling. Manifold gaskets leak allowing oil and coolant to enter into engine. Been adding fluids for a year. The gasket must be defective and a recall issued. I have read many similar complaints on you site.

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #2

Sep 102003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,925 miles
My upper and lower intake manifold gaskets need to be repaired. Under ca. Emssions law the intake manifold is covered but not the components or parts. The gaskets should not wear out this fast on a new car that has been keep in good repair. These parts should be recalled.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 272003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
1) leaking coolant from intake manifold into engine, required gasket replacement and coolant / oil change 2) turn signals work intermittently, had to replace turn signal switch 3) A/C does not work, blows hot air, dealer unable to repair 4) brakes weak, vibrate. Replaced with after market components (powerslot rotors and performance friction carbon metallic pads) 5) automatic door locks inoperative, dealer unable to repair 6) poor fuel mileage, best is 28 mpg highway (cafe violation??) 7) starter failed, replaced with rebuilt unit.

- Tipton, IN, USA

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