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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
87,684 miles
Total Complaints:
97 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. gasket replacement (32 reports)
  2. not sure (25 reports)
  3. replace gasket (19 reports)
  4. have it repaired with an aftermarket gasket (14 reports)
  5. waiting for a recall! using "stop leak" until then (7 reports)
2001 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Aug 152007

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


My brother bought this car used at 40000 miles. I have long done most of my own car repairs (being a farmer, I have lots of tools and good mechanical ability). And it's a good thing I am because he has had one problem after another with this car. I like to joke that he should car his car "Christine" after the Stephen King story about a possessed car. In addition to the infamous leaking manifold, it has experienced numerous bizarre electrical problems: not starting, gauges going crazy, lights not working, etc. Several times it just refused to start. He came across the leaking manifold about 3 months after he bought it. Fortunately it was just at the seeping point, but I told him he needed to get it fixed fast because it could ruin the entire engine. They wanted $800 to fix it, but I did it for him and it cost about $100 for parts. It wasn't an easy job, though. I was surprised when I took the manifold off how flimsy the OEM gasket was. Our local Chevy dealer has a mechanic working full time doing nothing but replacing these gaskets on this and other Chevy models. Really profitable for them I am sure! He has also gone through 2 alternators, which is really strange because alternators are usually pretty reliable on a car.

Just advice--if the car won't start, turn the ignition key to the "on" position and leave it there for about 10 minutes, then turn off and try to start again. This has the effect of "re-booting" the computer on the car, and can often get you going again.

- , Leigh, NE, USA

problem #36

Jan 212008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

This car is a piece of crap. I just bought this used from the dealer not even 2 years ago it had 60,000 miles on it. Right when i got it i had to put new brakes on it. Then at about 78,000 miles the ignition coil went out in it and now the piece of crap intake manifold gasket was leaking engine coolant. I am disappointed with the engineers that built this car, I will never buy another chevy again.

- , Bremerton, WA, US

problem #35

May 192007

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Stupid ass Chevy Malibu, I bought it brand new with 0 miles from the dealer, i let my parents borrow the car and at 39,600 miles the thermostat got stuck and overheated the car. The problem was due to the Head Gaskets. Again The same problem occurred now at 148,000 miles. This time I need to replace the engine. The whole time i had have problems with the car, either Fuel Pump, head Gaskets, Leaking Coolant. Also the Headlights burned out, i replaced them a total of 5 times. Also the Blinkers stopped working and you have to pound on the hazard lights in order to start working again. Never again buying a chevy Malibu 01 LS. These Cars SUCK ASS.

- , Fresno, CA, USA

problem #34

Jul 062007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


I own a 2001 Chevy Malibu. The day that i bought the car the low coolant level light came on. I filled it with fluid and about 3 months later the light came on again. I looked under the hood and could not find where the leak was. The car started leaking faster and faster to the point where i was filling the coolant up every weak. Looking under the hood again to my horror i saw that it was leaking from the engine block. I new this wasn't a simple repair as it cost me $800.00 to fix.4 months later its leaking again. Im sick with this car as i have already replaced the brake caliper and hazard switch along with the horn that went out. I will never by G. M vehicles again!

- , Garden Grove, CA, US

problem #33

May 222007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,125 miles

on tuesday may 22 i took my car in to the dealer for a $39 oil change and was told it was going to cost me $1000 to fix my car and that i could not drive it. they gave me a free rental car ( which for $1000 bill is not free to me) they told me i could not drive it because antifreeze had leaked into the oil and it must be fixed. i took the rental and went home and on the computer to look this up only to find out this was a common problem with my model car if this is so THERE SHOULD OF BEEN A RECALL ON THIS PROBLEM but of course was not. my car is 6 years old and only has 60,000 miles on it that is only 10,000 miles a year i have always taken very good care of all my cars and faithfully take it in for maintenance all the time. THIS SHOULD NOT OF HAPPENED i called GM in Detroit and they said they would try to help BUT because i took my car to a Buick dealer and not a Chevy dealer and the warranty was up the dealer i took my car to did not want to do anything with Detroit. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE CHEVY, BUICK, PONTIAC ITS ALL GM PRODUCTS. so after owning chevy's from when i was 16yrs. to now i will NEVER own another chevy again.

i have had a1948 chevy a 1957 chevy a 1965 mailbu a 1975 nova

a couple of pontiacs and buick and a 1995 lumina and last a 2001 malibu so after 43 years of GM cars THIS IS IT NO MORE!!!

- , Bridgewater, MA, USA

problem #32

Dec 042007

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I have been reading all of these problems on here. This makes me mad. I have had problems with this car but, this one tops it all. Right at Christmas and I am a full time college student putting myself through college with out my parents help. I don't know what I am going to do. This is something GM needs to take care of. I have taken care of this car as though it was my child. Any advice welcome!

- , Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #31

Jul 312007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


I paid 5000 for this car back in '05 and added 60k miles to it before getting this problem. oil in the antifreeze. otherwise it has been a good car

- , San Jacinto, CA, USA

problem #30

Oct 052007

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

Bought this car in 2004 with approximately 65,000 miles on it. Was told at that time that Malibu's had a manifold gasket problem but this one showed no indication that it was heading that way. Looking back, the coolant always seemed a little low.

In October 2007, my wife was on the way to visit family about 400 miles away and called me saying that the car was making weird noises and had lost all power. She said that the temperature gauge was in the red. I was 2 1/2 hours away. She was with our daughters (5 years and 8 months) at the time and pulled off the freeway. She was about 3 miles away from Flagstaff, AZ. No way she was going to walk into town with 2 little girls. However, she did not want to wait for 2 1/2 hours for me to show up to rescue her.

I had the coolant flushed twice in the 3 years that we owned the car. When I finally got the car to a mechanics shop, we had to leave it for a 2 weeks to get the repairs done. Of course it was the head gaskets that needed to be replaced. It cost us $2000, 2 weeks, and a LOT of stress at the time.

To top it all off, the mechanic would not even put ANY warranty on his work because they said that because I had flushed the coolant twice, it showed that I knew that there was a problem. They told us to get rid of the car as soon as possible so that the next time it had mechanical problems, we would not be the lucky recipients of the repair bill. We finally traded off the Malibu a week ago and could not be more relieved to wash our hands of it.

GM will never own up to the fact that it produced a very flawed motor/coolant combination that the Malibu is. It would open the floodgates of litigation and claims against them. Don't expect any admission from them, let alone compensation. It is not coming!

- , Maricopa, AZ, USA

problem #29

Nov 282007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,700 miles

I brought my 2001 Chevy Malibu in for a scheduled oil change. The day before this the coolant light came on. Upon draining the oil the attendant noticed some moisture in the oil and sludge residue on the inside of my anti-freeze reservoir which was low on coolant, hence the idiot light being on. Another attendant who was actually changing my oil mentioned that this make and model is known to have a leaky intake manifold. There has been several of these Malibus come through here with the same problem.

After researching on the net, I discovered that I am far from the only 2001 Chevy Malibu owner with this type of problem (Intake manifold leak). I am in the process of getting this professionally looked at and if it is actually the intake manifold that is leaking, you better believe that I will be contacting GM first to see if they will cover ALL repair expenses. Otherwise I will be contacting Consumer Protection as well as the Attorney General for the state of CT which is Richard Blumenthal. This is obviously a very common defect with the Malibu's and hopefully GM will resolve this. I have always owned American made vehicles but if this reoccuring problem (Intake manifold leak) that has plagued thousands of Chevy Malibu's does not get resolved by GM, including repair cost, I WILL NEVER BUY A GENERAL MOTORS/AMERICAN MADE VEHICLE EVER AGAIN!!!!...............and that makes my very sad that I can not count on my own fellow Americans.

- , Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #28

Nov 072007

(reported on)

Malibu STD 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I have contacted Chevrolet and they say that they have no evidence of issues with the Malibu? I told them to check your web site. I also told them that my next vehicles would be of a foreign name. I think the United States ought to look at who really won the wars that the US was and is involved in. We always end up using the oppositions products when we are thru winning the war. Who really won????????????

- , Marathon, NY, USA

problem #27

Oct 242007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


It started with what appeared to be a leak from the low level sensor, I went about two months with just adding to the reservior, perma-seal on the sensor threads and finally a new sensor. The other day I was driving home from visiting friends and the light came on, again. Didn't really think anything of it, just add more fluid when I get home. This time the temp. gauge went all the way into the red. Obviously I stopped and let it cool off before finishing the few blocks home. I called a mechanic (since I am mechanically stupid) and explained the situation. The shop I spoke with stated that this is "becoming a routine issue with these motors." Then he told me that it was going to take $746 to repair the intake manifold gasket. Great shop, friendly people and from the way it sounds, relatively resonable priced.

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #26

Sep 182007

(reported on)

Malibu LX 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

Well to make a long story short. I heard lots of strange noises coming from my under the hood and from my air vents in my car. I noticed the temperature gauge had risen to the greatest point of 260'. It hadn't been smoking yet, when I took it in too have it fixed. When I got it back it did OK till I was just about home and I saw LOTS and LOTS of smoke from under the from HOOD of the car, then noticed that the temperature gauge had AGAIN Risen and was at 260'. By the time we got home even WORSE sounds were coming from under the hood. A mechanic had told me that who ever fixed it dind't fix it properly and it was the Lower Intake Mainfold. It had Cracked and we are no longer able to drive it. It is our only Transportation and we can't affored to pay for the damages. We have 16 month old a no car!!!!! I could have benn killed twice in this car and no one could have done anything about it. If this doesn't get recalled I will report it not only to the better business Bureau, but I will make sure that all these model vehicles WILL be FIXED or REPLACED for FREE!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone has to do something, and now is the time to do it before someone does get KILLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Sedona, AZ, USA

problem #25

Aug 212007

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,400 miles

At only 72,000 miles I just had another $1200 repair on this car. Car would completely turn off at highway speeds. Would start again after leaving in the on position for a few minutes, turn off and try and start again, but would only go a few miles before it would do it again. Finally ended up towing it to Chevy garage. They said I needed to have the intake manifold gasket replaced because it was leaking and causing the engine to hydrolock. $1200 and a week later finally got my car back only to have it do the exact same thing to me coming home tonight. This time made it to the shop where car is now sitting. Whatever the problem with this car is, the mechanics don't seem to know how to fix it and it is dangerous having your car die in freeway traffic. Does someone have to get killed first before they recall this car? Had earlier called GM for assistance. Sat on hold numerous times while calls were being made here and there and transferred, etc. I was told they would get back to me in a couple of days. Two days later I called them back and they said it was my problem as the car was six years old and had 72,000 miles on it. I have never had to put this kind of money into a car with this kind of mileage on it. Am not looking to buy a new Chev. any time soon.

- , Wasilla, AK, US

problem #24

Jul 012007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.2L L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

This really sucks. I'm having the same problems. My car won't keep antifreeze in it. So then I risk overheating. I changed the oil the other day and the oil was steaming it was so hot. The temperature gauge read normal though. It also knocks when I turn it on. The biggest problem is that I'm in Germany, I'm not gonna have much luck finding a Chevy place in Germany.

- , Minden, LA, USA

problem #23

Jul 312007

(reported on)

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

I don't know if b/c the car was used, or if it's just that GM cars aren't made well, but it really bothers me that I have to make this repair at 47,000 miles. I thought I was just going in for a routine oil check, and the mechanic tells me that my intake manifold gasket is leaking and needs to be replaced. And of course my warranty is up. I've only had the car for 3 years, and this is the 2nd repair I've had costing more than $600 to fix, and judging from the rest of these comments on here I'm not the only one. Please save your friends and fam the time, trouble, and money and tell them to STAY AWAY from this car.

- , Englewood, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jun 222007

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

There was a time when I was proud say I owned a GM vehicle. My dad worked at GM and we all have owned Chevys. Now they are crap! I just paid this car off last year. The very first problem that happened was quick and it was under warranty, the oxygen sensor went out. Last month it had a leaking manifold or some crap. I am a girl, I don't know. Then a few weeks ago the horn starts honking when I lock the doors which it has never done. Honks spontaneously when the car is off. Locks kind of screwed up. And then its starts shaking really bad when I start it and put it in reverse or go forward. Blue smoke blowing out the tailpipe. Take it in and have it looked at and they say the head gasket is blown. It will be $1200.00 to fix. Great! I will just pick that off my money tree in the backyard. Since I had to borrow $500.00 to fix the last problem obviously $1200 aint happening.

I was so proud to have my car paid off and now nothing but problems. Should have traded it in on a Toyota, at least from what I hear they have great customer service. GM should be paying for every one of these peoples' cars to get fixed and or reimbursing them 100%. I will be contacting a lawyer to find out my rights. GM quality, what a joke.

- , Wyoming, MI, USA

problem #21

Apr 302007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

I will never buy another GM car. At 52000 miles i had to have a leaking lower intake manifold gasket replaced, cost me 700.00. Now at 71000 miles i had to have the passlock cylinder and sensor along with a ignition switch which cost me 665.00. GM sucks and does not stand behind their vehicles.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #20

Apr 212007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

What makes be so upset is that GM knows about the problem and they are not doing anything about it. I shelled out 775.00 to get my car fixed and was without it for two days while it was getting fixed.

- , Normal, IL, US

problem #19

Apr 112007

(reported on)

Malibu LS V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,650 miles

i think my husband would do a better job at describing it but in "girl" terms it would knock and rattle. had it looked at did a complete fluid change on whole car and new hoses and plugs, etc. then started leaking lots of antifreeze. had it repaired again then leaving are house on christmas morning to travel to maryland from north PA, got about ten miles from home and started to overheat. returned home had it looked at said fluid was in the engine it would need to be flushed and that head and intake gaskets needed replacement, would cost $1,200 or more which why it is still not fixed, because i just got back to work because i had a miscarrage two weeks after the car went up to much stress the doctor said

- , Mount Carmel, PA, USA

problem #18

Apr 162007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

This shouldn't happen. Expensive repair for something the people at GM should have been responsible for.

- , Alpharetta, GA, USA

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