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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
87,700 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 1 of 5)

problem #97

Jul 012016

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


Had to replace the faulty intake gasket twice. The second time had to do the head gasket also. This is a known defect in these vehicles. I thought this would be the worst issue I would have to deal with in this car but I was wrong. In 2017 the Theft System would end up being the final thing that killed off my car. Its still driveable but you will get stranded everywhere you go since the theft prevents the car from starting and there is no known solution so whats the point of keeping it after that?

- chrissyl., Battle Mountain, US

problem #96

Nov 262012

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

I've had a chevy my whole life. and now I hate GM. went to check out my 2001 chevy malibu for winter and now I need an intake manifold that is leaking and mixing in reservoir where antifreeze is and near the engine there is a puddle and need front breaks and a battery which those 2 things are normal. It started about a 1 year ago and they thought it was the radiator and replaced that. But my main concern is this manifold that I don't have this kind of money in one sitting to fix. I got to get to work and this is the worst thing. Damn ass GM needs to fix this problem. I think I'll go to a reporter and put all over the news until GM fixes our problem with the 2001 malibu or malibu in general. I hate GM and used to love their cars. I hope they go out of business and nobody buys their cars anymore. Its all their fault.

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated don't have money to buy another car.

- gerrim, Hammond, IN, US

problem #95

Jul 092012

Malibu LT 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Replaced intake gaskets and found out one of the heads is cracked and will have to be replaced. Been a Chevy man all my life but now after reading all the complaints that GM will not own up to I will not buy anymore, Toyota Toyota Toyota

- jamesdl, Carlsbad, NM, US

problem #94

Nov 112008

Malibu LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles


Continuous oil leakage problem is very annoying also there is coolant leakage from almost everywhere. Mechanic's quote was greater than the residual price of the car.

- shawnjoy, Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #93

Sep 012006

Malibu 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

It all started back in 2006. My wife's 2001 Malibu was in the shop for a defective 2nd gear in the transmission, with just over 50,000 miles. (a whole other story all together) when the mechanic told me the IMG was leaking. It was already in the shop so I said go ahead and repair it. Well, here it is 2011 and it appears that the head gasket is now leaking. Well, while doing research on the issue, I found this site and realized I am just one of the unlucky, no longer loyal, chevy owners. (Again, a whole other story) How did this company get a bail out? And why did they need it, the revenue alone for IMG repairs must have been enormous. So I will be clearing my schedule this Sunday, purchasing a six pack, (maybe two) and replacing the head gasket with a friend in my drive way. (wish me luck). Oh, and I will call GM and see what they have to say. The car now only has 69,000 miles on it. (We don't get out much)

- sprocket4b, Port Jefferson Station, NY, US

problem #92

Dec 012010

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,471 miles

The car has had numerous problems since it was bought brand new in March of 2001. Specifically the intake manifold has been replaced twice. The first time it was replaced the mechanic used an after market part that claimed to remedy the problem. They also got rid of the Dex-Cool coolant and substituted a different brand. At that point in time they also replaced the water pump. In December of 2010 it began to leak again, I took it to a different shop this time where they used an OEM manifold and Dex-Cool to fix it. Both time it cost over $1,000. I really love the car but hate all the problems that come with it. Also, I was sent a check for $50 by the Dex-Cool litigation.

- Mike B., Ballwin, MO, US

problem #91

Jan 112011

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles


Bought this car for my daughter, paid $500 for it. She has had it for less than 6 mo. This is the first American car I have ever purchased, and it will be the last.

- revcogg, Wisconsin Rapids, WI, US

problem #90

Feb 022011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,844 miles

Car started running rough, then starting losing heat, then it started overheating and i kept putting coolant in all ongoing for about a month, then all of a sudden there is no oil, no coolant no heat and I'm on the side of the road. It is staying the night at a shop unknown amount o his problem yet, but Im very unhappy to see so many have had this same problem, i have found sites that were talking about a l wasuit as far back as 2004... did anything become of this?

- Brandy B., Tacoma, WA, US

problem #89

May 012006

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

That was the FIRST time I had to replace the head gaskets ! I had to do it again after ALL THE ANTI FREEZE leaked out of my car in someone's driveway !! Cost me another $500, & only one day out of work as a friend of a car dealer did the job for me & right away !

What a piece of junk this car has been !

- Jane J., Cranston, RI, US

problem #88

Mar 012009

Malibu 3,3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

have to add coolant every so often which is expensive over time. and as i am living on fixed income, i am unable to afford lump sum 800 to fix. also oil pressure regulator also had to be replaced after an oil change. car has only 60000 miles on it. i will never recommend gm to anyone again.

- Ruth S., Tulsa, OK, US

problem #87

Sep 022010

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


The good people at chevy really need to get their heads out of their ass holes and do the f*cking recall on this i for 1 and sick and tired off people being abused and not acknowledged when obviously the reapirs need to be paid for by them for dodgy workmanship, i went to a mechanic and was told the same that there was always a problem with this gasket and me and the wife were told $450 which we cannot afford to pay for, this is our only vehicle and demand chevrolet take full responsibility and recall this immediately!!

I will be calling chevrolet to complain every day and every hour to get my voice heard!!

Sorry u guys have to deal with this problem too!!

- adi19782009, Fort Worth, TX, US

problem #86

Jul 042008

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

This Is a crock of sh*t!!!!!! These bastards need to pay for this f*cking sh*t. I think this is a piece of sh*t car and really deserves a recall. I think anyone that has had to replace your head gaskets more than once deserve a new car through Chevrolet. I have to have my gasket done because they went out again and I just had them replaced when it first start running hot and nearly blow in 2008. These people who made these cars should get there ass kicked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- alesias, Greensboro, NC, US

problem #85

Nov 042008

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,760 miles

This is the second time in two damn years, I've had the same problem with the same sh*t. Now the mechanic tells me he can replace the f*cking gasket again for $100 less than before.He said he fixed many of these cars with the same damn problems.

- ddd615, Los Angeles, CA, US

problem #84

Jun 262010

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

i hate this cooling system, first the cap, then the pump, airlocks, intakes, and now im told it was designed by F O R D . is this true! if so what happened to buying a Chevy cause you cant stand the other guy> its like going to dinner with your wife's Ex_husband AND YOU HAVE TO COVER HIS MEAL.

- Jason T., Remus, MI, US

problem #83

Apr 082010

Malibu LS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I purchased my 2001 Malibu 3 days ago and had to have the power steering pump replaced. After that was repaired there was still a leak so replaced the water pump. After replacing the water pump I found out the intake manifold gasket was leaking antifreeze. I can't afford to have my car in the shop for the amount of time and money it will take to repair it. I also would like to be in on a class action law suit if Chevy refuses to recall and repair this issue. Love the car but can't afford all the repairs that seem to be a result of bad workmanship on Chevy's part. My husband is a Ford person and had a fit when I said I was buying a Chevy, now I will never hear the end of it. Wish I would have checked this web site before purchasing the car.

- Nadine Z., Youngtown, AZ, US

problem #82

Mar 052010

Malibu 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,100 miles

I have been leaking fluid like the rest of the owners that have complained. I have had oil changes done every 3,000 miles. Over the last 2-3 oil changes, I have had issues with the car running hot over a period of time. Each time my fluids were topped after the oil changes, but the car seems to continue to slowly lose coolant. Mechanic told me today (3/5/2010) that the car will need a new manifold intake gasket.

- joey_15215, Fort Meade, MD, US

problem #81

May 152002

Malibu 3.1L.V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I bought this car in 2002 it had 25k miles it wasn't a year yet when i started smelling the anti freeze. I found the leak and cost me like $600.oo dollars to repair. Well now its happened again!! this car sucks I bought Chevy thinking that they were good cars (in the old days) I was wondering if the fumes can be harmful when your breathing them in when running the car. We should all contact Chevy to file our complaints. How can I start this.?

- danielnv, Las Vegas, NV, US

problem #80

Jan 122009

Malibu LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

I did not have any idea they had this problem i had my oil changed at the dealer ship i bought the car new. They are one that chevy decided to drop.I WOULD HAVE FIXED UNDER WARRENTY IF I ONLY NEW . NOW ALL MY PROBLEM I GUESS but i AM THINKING OF GETTING A LAWER ABOUT THIS ONLY HAVE 66000 MILES ON IT.

Update from Feb 6, 2010: FIXED on 02/04/2010 I am told not to put DEX COOL back in as this is the reason for this problem.I was luckey and found a good service person that came highley recommened.Did the hole job for 540.00 almost 50% less then dealerships.

- gaul, Portland, OR, US

problem #79

Aug 012009

Malibu ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I inherited this car when my mother passed 2 years ago so there's extreme sentimental value in addition to transportation needs. Coolant poured from underneath. I couldn't even make it 2 blocks after cooling it down and refilling the system. I even tried the stop leak and it worked for about 2 weeks. Ultimately, I had to have it towed to the shop and was quoted almost $2000 to replace the head gasket. Come to find out it's the intake gasket. Who determines what repairs are "recall" worthy? And what more does it take to get the job done? Every mechanic I've spoken to cuts me off with, "I already know." Even though the cost is less than it would be for the head gasket it's still outrageous. I've been without a vehicle for months now. Being a single mother of 4, disabled and stranded is not ideal...let me tell ya.

- Terri R., Pevely, MO, US

problem #78

Nov 242009

Malibu SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,917 miles

click to see larger images

leaking intake manifold gasket leaking intake manifold gasket leaking intake manifold gasket leaking intake manifold gasket leaking intake manifold gasket leaking intake manifold gasket

I had the oil changed and the fluids topped off and went to Wal-Mart and grocery stores and drove around town. I unloaded the groceries and smelled that antifreeze smell and then noticed it coming out the bottom of the car. The leak was on the backside of the engine. The blackish gasket material was hanging down side. I couldn't get a picture of it being next to the firewall but that's what the mechanic said. Our dealership closed because of the bail out settlement so I had to take it to a local mechanic for repairs.

What's messed up about the whole thing is that the dealership warned us about the problem 3 years ago and the costs of repairs and defective materials used in the gasket materials. I can't believe that CHEVY would pull a stunt like this. I have been buying Chevys since 1950.

Recommendation: Don't buy a GM/FORD union made vehicle because of their cheap materials that are used to substitute the high cost of labor.

- Dean D., Fort Morgan, CO, US

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