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fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
64,695 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (14 reports)
  2. have to replace engine (1 reports)
  3. new pistons (1 reports)
2001 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #16

Oct 022010

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


my engines always knocked when i first turn on the car,my mechanic said as long as it always goes away your good but it stopped going away now that its at 140,00 cant believe how slow the engine takes to bring my little car up a slant quite ridiculous for a v6 no power at all to the dam car!!

- , Sanford, ME, USA

problem #15

Feb 092010

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

The car has a bad knock and though it may have been something in oil but it is not. The car does not have a continuous knock it comes and goes but happens often like every minute and when accelerating.

- , Canton, MI, US

problem #14

Mar 102001

Malibu STD 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles

Dealer said when it was new, that it was an injector click, common problem no need to repair. It has gotten worse and it now has 41,000 miles and NO warranty remaining. It now does not seem to ever stop even when hot as it once did. Noise is now a definite knock.

What is best diagnosis?

- , Portland, IN, US

problem #13

Mar 052009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles


I can relate to y'all out there. what's up with this intake manifold thing? Had mine replaced and now there's this knocking in the engine. Cars overheating. Hole in the coolant reservoir and the Brakes tend to lose pressure every so often ( gotta pump the brakes )- The AC don't work ( the switch goes off /on on its own ). One major problem I had was the lights in the back was retaining water and messed up my electrical system.

The latest is this knocking and one mechanic says- "its a sign that your car is about to go...". and Yes, go to another dealer............Aloha

- , Pearl City, HI, USA

problem #12

Sep 192007

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,351 miles

Basically, these cars knock it is a well known problem. It has something to do with GM Changing their assembly process and not matching up pistons to engine blocks 100%. So the piston wobbles inside the bore when cold until it expands enough not to wobble anymore. Some say it doesn't effect the engine much, others say it spells and early demise for the engine. Either way it defiantly isn't a good thing and depending on how bad you got it could be cause for serious concern (new engine or cylinders) probably a whole engine because it will scratch the block. My car recently started ticking 24/7 no matter how warm the engine. But it runs fine and doesn't burn through oil, it just ticks.

- , Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #11

Jan 232009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,886 miles

soo, i'm deff. only sixteen, and this just happens to be my first car. So you know, i'm in high school i'm a cheerleader..blah blah i have to go places..but because of my mali.. getting there has been real unofficial! that ticking like...ughhhhh.. it's sooo unattractive!. i've heard stories of horrible fist cars..but mine i'm sure takes the cake..even though i'm veryy thankful i have one:)

has anyone had problems with their hubcaps coming loose?.. like seriously!

everything is wrong with mali..i just need a new car..the motor in the window for the drivers side, the cup holder thing, the hubcap, uhhh.. THE ENGINE.. well whatever makes that noise.. i just needed to complain lol

- , Bossier City, LA, USA

problem #10

Mar 152007

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,326 miles


So what do I need to do to get on in a lawsuit against GM!They need to fix this car!

- , Farmington, MN, USA

problem #9

Sep 222007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

I had a master seal replaced in 8-2006 for about $2000 along with brakes and rotors at 40,000 miles. Now one year later I've got a rod knock. The 1,2, and 3 dont work on the heat/air conditioning control. The car lights and horn beep like a car alarm but I dont have one after I turn the car off and lock it from the inside. It will cost about to drop an engine $3500-4000 and the blue book is $5500. The car/body itself is in excellent condition. There is a class action suit in Canada for these complications that happen when a manifold defect allowed coolant to leak in to my motor/oil. I'm going to try and join that class action suit against GM as they knew it was a problem before the vehicle hit the market. Unfortunately I have a 2003 Malibu too. Brakes replaced very early on but thus far no other issue.

- , Middle River, MD, US

problem #8

Jul 012007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.2L L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My car does the same crap. Every time I crank it it knocks for about 5-10 minutes. It just started to do it. It also leaks antifreeze like crazy. Maybe the intake manifold gasket. I wonder if these problems are connected.

- , Minden, LA, USA

problem #7

Jul 052005

(reported on)


  • 12,500 miles

Engine eating itself and sounding like a diesel at 12,500 miles---engine replaced under warranty---no wonder the japanes e are smoking you guys---you make garbage---NEVER NEVER again will I but a GM vehicle---first new car i have ever bought---26,000 miles now ----and has had---brakes 5 times, enigine replaced, CD player 2 times, turn signal sender, heater bloer motors, wheel bearing ABS sensor---ABSOLUTE PIECE OF GARBAGE

- , Holland Landing, Ontario, Canada

problem #6

Feb 012007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles


When car is started there is about 5 minutes of lifter noise (ticking) when kept at idle.

- , Haysville, KS, USA

problem #5

Jan 292007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

I have the engine knocking problem too. I can't stand it! I have no other option but to drive it until it quits because you'll never get a good dollar for it. My service manager said that they have replaced the pistons in other 3.1s and the problem went away for a little while but came back. At least my wife knows when I'm home before I walk in the door.

- , Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada

problem #4

Mar 232006

(reported on)


  • 50,000 miles

this vehicle is garaged overnight and on start up in the morning there is a little man with a hammer in the engine making wierd noises for 4.5 minutes before it quiets down to an acceptable level. The dealer tells me that this common for this engine and I shall have to live with it. why do north american vehicles have so many problems compared to Japanese or Continental ones.

My previous vehicles were all imports and I bought this one to show loyalty to the Auto unions but I shall never buy another. There is just too much aggravation to get things fixed. Even if the engine is fixed by the dealer this problem will come back within 40000 miles

- , Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

problem #3

Mar 152004

(reported on)

Malibu LS

  • 63,000 miles

I have a VERY LOUD knock when the engine is cold, it is not so bad when it warms up. Have been told that it is a problem with the 3.1L engine and that I'll have to live with it until the engine dies. My mechanic recommends NOT having the valves, lifters checked. Several of his other customers have found this to be a waste of time and money as the problem never goes away.

- , Brantford, Ontario, Canada

problem #2

Feb 192003

(reported on)


  • 20,000 miles

load knock, BAD when cold, bad when warm. I had the District Service manager abuse the car by revving it up very high for a prolonged period. This suceeded in expanding the pistons to a point where the noise was less. I was told a report to repair was to be entered in my file. Upon checking with Jerome Taylor Chev Olds, I was informed the repair was denied. NOT WHAT I HAD BEEN TOLD ORIGINALLY. This DSM is now retired. I am taking the car in next week for further review.

Also the heater quit working. A replacement chip was put in under warranty.

Finally I have been noticing WEIRD noise from my braking system. I have already had to replace the liners.

- , Kingston, Ontario, Canada

problem #1

Apr 082003

(reported on)


  • 60,000 miles

valves rattling and when oil checked found gel like substance in oil filter

- , Natchez, MS, USA

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