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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
92,531 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. replaced intake manifold gasket (7 reports)
  3. replace thermostat and fan switch with a coolant flush (5 reports)
  4. replaced hoses, radiator, thermostat (4 reports)
  5. correct the design or use another manifold gasket maufacture (1 reports)
  6. got a new cap for the reserve tank (1 reports)
2001 Chevrolet Malibu cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Feb 242016

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 208,000 miles


I have an 01 Chevy Malibu LS and its got an overheating problem. I've almost bought an entire new cooling system, but she still wants to overheat on me. I've replaced the thermostat, radiator, new coolant tank, new hoses, new fans, but it still overheats on me. Anyone else have this happen to them?

- , Loraine, IL, USA

problem #24

Mar 102013

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

the second time, replaced reservoir radiator flushed coolant system and finally thermostat.

- , Trinity, TX, USA

problem #23

Nov 232013

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,000 miles

the third time could not afford to fix. car has sat in my driveway since the event occured.

- , Trinity, TX, USA

problem #22

Nov 012012

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,150 miles


The first time, replaced reservoir radiator, flushed coolant system, and finally thermostat.

- , Trinity, TX, USA

problem #21

Jul 202011

Malibu LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,325 miles

Still paying for this car that i have not been able to drive for all this time. Everytime we thought the problem was fixed the car overheats again.

- , Visalia, CA, US

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problem #20

Oct 022010

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I purchsed this car Oct. 2010 from Shelor in Christiansburg VA. The SAME night we bought it the car overheated when sitting in a parking lot and leaked all the antifreeze. The company haggled us about us with a rental. They say there was a cap that needed to be replaced on our radiator extension. Ok. The car continued to overheat (almost to 3/4) and I returned back to Shelor to have them check the problem. They say their diagnostic testing and test drives reported the car was working fine and no overheating occured. WELL. Here I am almost a year later with the same problems happening EVERY day since the day we purchased it. The car will overheat sitting still, in drive thru's, and in traffic. Once you get going the air flow cools it down. I also have to turn the air conditioner on to get it to cool down when sitting still in a drive thru or traffic.

If that's not enough to deal with; my husband and I went to a local store 5 minutes from our house two days ago and the car started to heat up while he went in the store. I turned the AC on (as I always do) to get it to cool down and the smell of horrible antifreeze just poured into the car. We get home and pull the car up onto ramps only to see antifreeze pouring out of the drain from our firewall. I took my car to Shelor yesterday only to wait almost 3 hours for them to tell me my car has a heater core leak and the technician just "happened" to see a intake manifold gasket leaking. OK. This seems to be a numerous and well known problem with Malibu's. I love this car, but the constant stare I keep on my temperature gauge is unbearable. The repairs for this problem is going to cost me $600 and how lucky am I that it isn't covered under warranty. I cant trade my car in because I still owe too much, and they REFUSE to take any blame for not finding this problem the day we had the car.

Am I stupid to think that the constant overheating of my car (the prolonged intake gasket leaking) may have caused my heater core to leak? They seem all connected to me and I'm FURIOUS that GM wont take any responsibility for this. We have to continue paying for this car REGARDLESS of whether the problem gets fixed or not. I dont know about everyone else, but I cant afford that much money to fix this problem, when it should have been noticed in the first place! Ugh I'm sick of this car now and I just want a different model. STUPID STUPID GM.

- , Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #19

Nov 012011

Malibu LS 3100 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles


In all the years that I have owned vehicles, this one was the biggest pain in the ass. I've owned everything from foreign to domestic cars, driven about everything under the sun including semi trucks. I acquired a 2001 Chevy Malibu when I had lost, yet another sh*tty product of GM, the fuel pump to my 2000 Chevy Blazer. I had talked it over with a good friend of mine and he says its a common thing for the intake gaskets in all the V6 models that GM produced. They were made of poor quality plastic gaskets. I just cant believe that a mutli-billon dollar company cant produce parts that are worth a damn. what happened to the old days where they were invincible and indestructible? just a warning to all new to come GM owners, don't buy it! GM eco tecs have poor quality parts in the upper motor and lifters, 4.3 vortec V6 have crappy intake gaskets and a piece of trash fuel pump. stay with V8. it will only last a bit longer.

- , Clinton, AR, USA

problem #18

Apr 052011

Malibu Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

the car keeps overheating this f*cking car is a piece of sh*t i thought it was solidly built until it kept leaking and serpentini my dealer wont fix it cheap rich bastards dont buy from them it never ran good since i bought it lemon laws my ass they told me spoken promises are hard to enforce 3 more years of payments totaling 14,000 dollars and nothing to show for it rip off on the price and i thought i had a promise but i have to give them credit great at lying and cleanig make exellent maids who throw your laundry out the window

- , Berea, OH, USA

problem #17

Apr 302009

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,475 miles

Once again a problem with the damn cooling system. After replacing the gasket a year before this, it' sstarting all over again.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #16

Jun 302010

Malibu LS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,576 miles

I also have a 2001 Chevy Malibu with overheating problems. So far i have had the intake gaskets replaced with non OEM gaskets, water pump replaced, thermostat replaced and hoses from the intake replaced. In fact, i just left the mechanics today after the water pump was replaced. He said that all the fans and everything was working fine for him. He idled the car for about 45 min and the temp never went above the mid-line on the gauge. As i was on the freeway the temp stayed ok but as soon as i stopped at a light the temp shot up. I don't want to have to replace the radiator as i have already spent almost 1200 dollars. I guess i will try the cap thing. No more domestic pieces of garbage

- , Renton, WA, USA

problem #15

Jul 212009

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 116,500 miles


I am a nanny, which means I almost always have 2 kids in my back seat. I was taking them to the Public Museum Tuesday morning. I parked in the parking garage, and as I was getting out to unload the kids & their cargo, I smelled coolant. Walked around my car, and near my front passenger tire there was orange-ish fluid streaming out...coolant leaking, indeed. It spewed a lot. Loaded the kids back up into the car and took it to the nearest auto shop. Mistake. Within an hour, they told me it was several different things (i.e. blew a head gasket, leaking intake gasket, nothing...). The price they gave me was about $1,500. I decided not to listen to them, since I didn't like them in the first place. Took it to my mechanic. He said it was just the thermostat. Replaced that, the fan switch, and did a coolant flush. $100 out the door. Annoying, especially with kids, but nothing too detrimental. My mechanic did tell me (and I already knew) that Malibu's, and many other GM cars, typically have cooling system issues, mainly with the intake gasket. The car has 116,000+ miles on it, and though this time it was minor, the day will soon come where repairs are not just $100. I am trading in my Malibu, and getting a Pontiac Vibe...Toyota motor with an American name.

- , Kentwood, MI, USA

problem #14

Dec 092008

Malibu 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

my car has been leaking antifreeze for a year and a half nobody could figure it out. They then explained it was the intake manifold.Which is $800.00 to fix.

- , Yardley, PA, USA

problem #13

Nov 192008

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I had a Honda Civic for 8 years when it just recently broke down on me. The repairs were more then the car was worth so I decided to get rid of the Honda buy another used car. Oh what a mistake. I hate this car!!! It has been nothing but trouble since I have had it. The car is overheating now and I was told I need to replace the IMG. I will never buy America again. I hope the government doesn�t bail them out b/c they suck!!!!

- , Miami, FL, USA

problem #12

Mar 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles

gm needs to fix this to many people are having the same problem

- , Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #11

Mar 142006

(reported on)


  • 61,000 miles

Had a intake manifold gasket replaced and GM will not cover any portion of it because it was not done a GM dealership. Dealerships are not open on weekends and you need to make appointments. If I would have left this go unattended, I can pretty well assume that I would have had some major problems with the car overheating and etc. I researched the internet and discovered that this is not a new problem but an existing one. Why can't GM acknowledge this and work with their customers!!! No wonder people are going to foreign car markers.

- , Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #10

Mar 122008

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I know next to nothing about cars, but I have been hearing of several Chevy Malibu's having the problem with the intake manifold gaskets. Apparently the Dex-cool antifreeze I've been putting in my car has been part of the problem from what I've been reading. I'm pretty poor and I really hate spending 525 on a car that is bound to have more similar problems in the future. I want GM to reimburse me.

- , Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #9

May 152007

(reported on)

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I'm so sick of Chevy and Dex Cool!!!!! We just had to replace our IMG at 70K miles, what a bunch of crap. Look at all of these complaints!!! I'm so fed up!!!! I found this web site for a CLASS ACTION SUIT, scroll down to the Dex Cool and fill out the form.... maybe we can get our money back!!! asp

- , Rosemount, MN, USA

problem #8

May 152007

(reported on)

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

Let me preface this with I will never own GM again.

I came into this car when it was at 25k miles. Not bad. Everything was fine. Then, at around 57-57k miles, it starts overheating. First we replace the thermostat, overheats again. Then, the gaskets and the radiator. Still not fixed. After this repair, I kept to filling up the coolant tank as I had been busy with finals.

Then, last week, I was on the interstate. It overheats and immediately shuts down. I had to have it towed. Do you know how scary it is to be stuck in between an exit and the traffic?

I'm not sure what all has been done to it this time around, but I am not feeling optimistic about it after reading all these reviews. I don't think anyone has even glanced at the manifold.

One more malibu down.

- , Kennesaw, GA, US

problem #7

May 152007

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Well this same problem has happened twice to me. 4 months apart, the dealership only guarantees their work for 2 months. Lucky me, huh? What they did not know was that I am a trained mechanic, I am just out of practice with "idiot proof" cars like the Crapabu. SO am facing the same issue AGAIN last January and I decide that the dealership has had enough of my money, so I decide to do the work myself. Here is what I discover. The heating core, was FULL OF AIR. Some of you who have had this problem occur in winter more than likely noticed this prior to the failure of the cooling system the heater quits working. Since this was my third dance with this particular problem, I quit driving the car as soon as this happened. I went to a an autoparts store, and as I was gathering parts for the repair, another customer - a GM mechanic no less, told me a secret. He said that I need to periodically bleed the cooling system. He said that most mechanics are not aware or if they are do not take the time to do this. Now it is messy to do this and make sure you take proper precautions when doing so. Here is how you do it. START WITH A COLD CAR. LOCATE A METAL PIPE COMING ACROSS THE TOP OF THE ENGINE OUT OF THE RADIATOR. THERE IS A VERY SMALL NUT AND VALVE ASSEMBLY ON THE PASSENGER SIDE OF THE ENGINE BAY PRIOR TO THE RETURN TANK. NOW START THE CAR AND VERY SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY LOOSEN THIS ITEM UNTIL YOU WILL HEAR A HISSING SOUND. STOP LOOSENING AT THE HISSING SOUND. THEN WHEN YOU SEE ANTIFREEZE TIGHTEN IT BACK UP.

I replaced the gasket (and would you believe the dealership used the same P. O. S gasket that is OEM) replaced the hoses and water pump. I have not had any problems with the cooling system since then (40,000 miles later). I bleed the system about once a month when I start to notice that operating temp is higher than usual. I am posting this here in hopes that some of you can stick it to the S. O. B's who sold us these pieces of SH(* and smugly take our money to "fix" them. And by the way, Mr. Goodwrench, my 97 F150 has 412,391 miles on it. Oil, Tires, Plugs and 2 batteries. I pray every night, KIA will someday own GM. I really do.

- , Fairview, TN, USA

problem #6

Dec 172007

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I don't know if adding comments to this type of website does any good, but it seems like the only recourse anyone has. I bought my 2001 Malibu brand new. This is the first time we've had a problem. I called the GM help line and told them that I too have an over-heating situation, which is the result of the Intake Manifold Gasket. I told them that I was aware of many others that were reporting the same problem on the Internet, and asked what they could do. The response was simple... take it to a dealer, have it diagnosed, then repaired. While I do have the bumper to bumper warranty, since I have not taken it to the dealer for each and every oil change, that warranty is no longer valid, which upsets me because I asked when I bought the car, since I live many miles from a dealer, could this be done at a local repair shop? They said "yes".

The way I see it is that foreign car makers are out-selling those in the US, and if they really want to compete, perhaps they should start by making a good product, then standing behind it.

If there is a Class Action Lawsuit out there... I'd like to be included. With this many complaints, they should have issued it as a "warranted repair".

- , Crestline, CA, USA

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