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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
99,245 miles
Total Complaints:
30 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (17 reports)
  2. reset passlock system (4 reports)
  3. did what it said on this site (2 reports)
  4. replace anti-theft switch in behind ignition switch (2 reports)
  5. align key in ignition the same way every time (1 reports)
  6. check fuel filter plus pvc valve (1 reports)
2001 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Jul 302016

Malibu LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,156 miles


This is the first time I have used this site. This "anti-theft" problem has me convinced it will make it difficult for a real thief to steal my car, but don't do this to ME...REPEATEDLY!!! This is the second time it has occurred and the first time was really upsetting because it was snowing, cold, 8:00 in the evening and I was quite a distance from home and it was totally unsuspected, no indication whatsoever. I managed to get a ride home after having the car towed to a Chevy dealership that was not too far from where the car stopped. It cost me $600 for them to fix it and now it has happened again ( that was a year and a half ago). From reading the comments from this site, this is a frequent problem and there should be a recall and refund to all of those customers who got bilked on this problem. The dealership knew of this problem and never told me the frequency of this problem and what to do if it SHOULD occur again, this is collusion. I just happened to get on the internet to see if this problem could be overridden and came upon this site with a list of probable solutions, which I will attempt ( wish me luck) This is infuriating and the government should make them pay all customers back for any problems they experienced and permanently fix this problem without any expenses incurred by the customer. I saw one customer who listed a number ( I'll have to go back and get it, hopefully) and I will call that number to complain. I've had other issues with this car, but I'll get back with those, once I clear this existing problem.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #29

Jun 112014

Malibu LS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,000 miles

The car is a piece of sh*t car, stalls making right hand turns, ideals hard at stop lights only, loss of power on hills, stalls but starts back up. Took air box apart and found raw fuel in the air box, put computer scanner on and it said misfire on a cylinder, also said bad cat. Did tune up and put a new cat on it, cleaned intake, everything, seems to be running right and when I put the computer on it still reads the same codes which were fixed. If anyone can help please, help I'm stumped with this car, can't find what's wrong with it.

codes- random/ Multiple cylinder Misfire, Evap Emission Control system malfunction, Evap Emission control system leak (small).

Also car smells like raw fuel burning

- , Milford, PA, USA

problem #28

Sep 262013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

the car would not start, ended up needing a replacement fuel filter and fuel pump, it worked like normal afterwards.

- , North Logan, UT, USA

problem #27

Jan 082013

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles


Thank Hera for my friend "Big Al" (who told me about this site)

Also, thank the goddess for the users here who don't just post COMPLAINTS, but also post SOLUTIONS.

Keep fighting the good fight!

- , Rocky River, OH, USA

problem #26

Nov 122012

Malibu LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,430 miles

if i let my car sit for about 10 minutes and get in and try to start it, it wont fire right away. i have to hold the key over and slightly pump the gas, even then sometimes it wont fire. when it does finally start, it barely idles up. i have to press the gas for it to rev up.

- , Fort Saskatchewan, A.B, Canada

problem #25

Dec 232011

Malibu 3100sfi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Car turns over but will not crank. replaced fuel pump and crank sensor. started ran for a while but now it won't start. need help....

- , Calumet City, IL, USA

problem #24

Oct 202010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


There's nothing new to say...everyone has said it all. The car sounds like it wants to start, mechanics tell me I need a new fuel's the anti-theft monster. I can go months with no issues, then twice in one week it will happen. Once I sat in the sun in the parking lot in 115 degree heat...waiting ten minutes. Thank goodness it started cause I sure didn't want to walk home three miles in that heat, carrying my dog. (She couldn't walk on the sidewalk in that heat.) I've been stuck so many places and from what I've read here and elsewhere, GM doesn't care. I wonder what kind of car their wives, mothers and daughters it's not a Chevy. My next one won't be a Chevy either. Unfortunately, I just bought a mobile home, cleared out the savings to do it and am in between jobs. How do I start my new one if I have no car and no money to get another? wouldn't start today and the ten minutes didn't work. I'm going to try it again tomorrow. I've read that waiting can help, or keeping the key turned til the security light stops blinking may work. Or spending money to get a new ignition switch may work...did that once six years ago. Obviously, it worked for awhile. So if it doesn't start tomorrow I get to park rent, mortgage or get car fixed. This sucks, GM!! I hate to say that I won't buy American again, but I don't like Fords either. My Hyundai was a good car. Maybe some day.

- , Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #23

Jun 272010

Malibu 6 cylinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I started having the "theft light" problems with my car this summer where the car was working fine and then suddenly would not start. The first time, I paid for a $200 tune up and the second time, AAA told me how to reset the pass key. I read about everyone else's problems here and there was one post that said that the issue always happened with his wife using the spare key. The same had happened to me when my daughter used her key. One day, I was thinking about that post and how if the ignition is key sensitive, maybe it is sensitive to which side of my key I randomly put in the ignition. I looked at my key and it looked to me like one side was more worn down than the other. I decided to experiment with this idea and used a Sharpie marker to put a mark on the key to designate the side of the key I would always use in the "Up" position. So far, it has worked. I have had the light on after my daughter used her key but by using my own key consistently, the theft light eventually went off by itself and I didn't have a problem with the car not starting. I have been running my experiment for about a month and a half now and I am convinced that this may be a simple solution. My next step will be to have the dealer make me another "official" key for when this one eventually wears out too much. I am optimistically hopeful that I have "fixed" my car's theft light problems. I'm not sure it will work with other cars but it would be simple enough to try out and won't cost you anything at all. Good luck!

- , Rochester, NY, US

problem #22

Jun 202010

Malibu 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

i am so sick and tired of this anti theft system with this car. ready to pull the hair out of my head, already cost me over 200 and they did nothing. now it is 90 degrees and was stuck off the side of the road. does any body know the secret to getting this car started????

you bet Chevy should have a recall. or at least have some good faith in their product, no wonder why the japs have it over us. can we sue Chevy for defective products??? oh ya, i will buy another one of their products??? i don't think so.

- , Gloucester, MA, US

problem #21

Mar 012010

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

car working fine last time she drove it, 24 hours later engine wont turn over. After waiting 10 minutes with the key in the on position (had to do this twice n a row), we're finally able to restart daughters car. this should be a recall. thankfully we had another car for her to drive (2 days) until we figured out the problem by searching online and trying this.

thank you to everyone for posting this solution and this site.

we'll need to find a more perm solution if this continue.

- , Lompoc, CA, US

problem #20

Aug 032009

Malibu LS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles


Just had the intake manifold gaskets fixed and had to wait a month to have the damn thing crank. Looked it up in the Chilton manual and found that the factory had marked the firing order backwards. Amazing what happens when you get that right. Drove it about 45 miles and water pump started leaking. Left to take the thing to get repaired and it shut off at the mailbox down the street and now it won't start.

- , Summerville, SC, US

problem #19

Jun 162009

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My Malibu would turn over: however, it would not start. It appears that the car is not receiving fuel. I brought it to a shop and they replaced the ignition. I was informed that the ignition controls the fuel system. This first happened in Sept, 08. I repaired it and picked the car up. About a week later the same problem occurred. I towed it back to the shop and replaced the battery. The car ran fine until 06/16/09. I have paid a significant amount of money on repairs and towing. I am now facing the same old problem. I'm at my wits end and am debating whether to just return the car, for it is a lease. I will try to start it one more time and if it does not start it will be returned. I recommend that people do not have their cars fixed at TOTAL AUTOMOTIVE 5580

- , Chilliwack, BC, Canada

problem #18

Sep 162008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

I had same problem starting my car, but since I replaced the fuel filter, my 2001 Malibu is working fine now.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #17

Aug 282008

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,186 miles

the "theft system" feature is a joke. my wife went to start the car after work and nothing. the engine wanted to start but wouldn't turn over. we bought the 2001 Malibu used with 65,000 mi. and this is the first problem it's given us. I'm an electronics tech and from personal experience i have learned that most catastrophic failures are caused by 5 cent pieces. So after i calmed my wife down, i went online to see what problems people were having with this model Malibu. Site after site listed this "theft system" light problem. This site was the most helpful and straight forward. your suggestion was to switch the ignition to the "on" position and leave it there for 10 minutes, then switch it to the "off" position for 5 seconds, then start the car. it was that easy. sure enough the car started the first time. I'm not quite sure what causes this problem, I've read that the ignition doesn't read the key correctly and thus disables. the engine. my wife uses the spare key and this happened to her so maybe it's true. you should be able to disable this feature like you can disable the passenger air bag, but i guess that makes too much sense. thanks to all that add their problems and solutions here, it saved us money and got me a really nice dinner.

- , Garden Grove, CA, US

problem #16

Jun 072007

Malibu Sedan 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,320 miles

This was the second time that this had happened in just a little more than a year

the dealership of course said that it wasn't the same part, however when I contacted

GM they stated they changed the part number. It was the same part, originally

this cost me over 750.00 until I had them share the cost.

- , Kansas City, MO, US

problem #15

Aug 142007

Malibu LS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Went to the store, came out car would turn over but not start. It was the anti theft, had ot towed to Chevy dealer, cost me well over $400 for new theft something. Was so mad no idea about turning key to start for 10 min. Car only has 45,000 on it.

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #14

Sep 012007

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

i have a Malibu that wont start and i know what the problem is it the theft system i have to leve my key on start for 10 min till the theft system light gose off its a pain in the ass when im running late for school im a Chevy lover but i have a 1989 ford f-150 that starts better than my 2001 Malibu take note i paid $700 for the truck and $6,300 for the piece of sh*t and im loving my ford sorry gm but thanks to this car you lost a customer for life i used to only drive Chevy but iv had more problems with them than my ford ford just got a customer

- , North Branch, MN, USA

problem #13

Sep 012007

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

i love my car it means a lot to me but the piece of sh*t wont start i know its the theft system but it is still a pain in my ass it will cost $300.00 to fix the problem but im in high school working part time and i dont have alot of money. in the mean time i have to leave the car on start for ten min then turn it off than it starts right up! i hate it cuz than if im running late for work or school than im even more late. luckily for me im fortunate enough to not have sold my FORD F-150 its an 1989 and its always ready to go it starts within the 2nd turnover its left me stranded less than my 2001 Chevy Malibu that i haven't even made the 3rd payment for this car wasn't cheap for an 18 year old still in high school the car was $6,300 and the truck was $700 and the truck is so much better if anyone has a better solution on how to fix the f*cker please please let me know at thats my e-mail thank you! for letting me bitch about it on here thanks again mike mitchell

- , North Branch, MN, USA

problem #12

Oct 292007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

i have an 01 Chevy Malibu i turn the key but the fuel pump doesn't always kick on i just put new fuel pump sending unit and pick up in it. i am still having same problem. try to start and it cranks but wont start. after a while i might get lucky and the fuel pump kicks on and it starts. once it starts its fine till i try to start it again. can some on please help. thanks

- , Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #11

Sep 172007

(reported on)

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,500 miles

Yeah, it won't start, I gotta go pick up my kid and it won't start. Just replaced the fuel filter just 2 months ago, the battery is working because the lights and all the interior stuff is working, never had a problem starting. Could be the starter but the car is turning over like it is just about to start and then just doesn't... I don't know. Its been a decent car, but this just sucks.

- , Helena, MT, USA

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