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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,064 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 9 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Sep 252008


  • 123,000 miles


The anti theft system on the 2002 Chevy Malibu does not allow the owner to start car and have to sit in a parking lot for 10 minutes for it to recognize the key, not safe for a female and teen girl drivers. This occurs every 10 starts and Chevy will fix for 500 dollars, with no guarantee.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #18

Jul 032008


  • 114,600 miles
I was driving my car and the theft system light came on, when I shut the car off it refused to start again. I had heard that if you turn the key forward for ten minutes that it would reset and the car would then start again. In my case the car wouldn't start. I had to have it towed to the GM dealership and have it put on a tester. They then informed me that the cars BCM had gone out the whole computer system and the anti theft system. Therefore it cost me $1,250 dollars. I find that to be crazy. GM needs to recall these parts on this car I could have bought another car for that amount!!!

- Muskogee, OK, USA

problem #17

Feb 122008


  • 55,655 miles
I have a 2002 Chevy Malibu and the anti theft system has shut off the gas line 5 times in the past 6 months. The car will not start I had it towed to the repair shop where they put it on the computer and found no problems. After putting the key in the on position and waiting 10 minutes it starts. Is there a recall on a defective anti-theft system?

- Gray , ME, USA

problem #16

May 152008


  • 60,000 miles


Ran several errands and the car started fine three times that morning. The fourth time it would crank but not turn over. Let it sit for 30 minutes and tried again. Same problem. Let it sit for 4 hours. Same problem. Also, car making random turn signal noises for the past month. Mechanics are now replacing ignition cylinder and switch to the tune of $600. Wish I would've read about this problem online to try other solutions first.

- Middleton, WI, USA

problem #15

Jan 282008


  • miles
I am continually having problems with my 2002 Chevy Malibu. I had the theft system continually come on and paid $700 to fix that. Fuel pump went bad...$500. I had the coolant system leak and paid $800 to fix that. Every time I get my brake pads replaced, the rotors need replaced too, until the last time when the calibers had to be replaced as well $900. Now I am having difficulty starting my piece of junk.

- Wesley Chapel, FM, USA

problem #14

May 262007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu with just over 50,000 miles use. Over the past 6 months the car has exhibited a failure to start. A little research shows that this is the result of a common failure of the GM passlock system. The temporary fix is to reset the system by turning the ignition key to the on position and waiting 10-15 minutes. Needless to say, this is very annoying and inconvenient. At this point it doesn't represent an immediate safety issue, in that the ignition system isn't shutting down while the vehicle is moving. However, I am concerned that the inability to move the vehicle does represent a safety issue. My stepson uses this car to travel to work and to college. I don't want to have to worry about his safety if he can't start the car in an emergency situation, e.g., to avoid criminal activity. If this were a small thing to have repaired, I wouldn't complain so much, but my mechanic tells me it will cost nearly $500. As I said above, this problem is quite common--or so my internet research tells me. GM should recall this poorly designed mechanism. Thank you. --ted kriner

- Williamsville, NY, USA

problem #13

Feb 012006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


My car is a 2002 Chevy Malibu. I am experiencing turn signal failure and hazardous emergency light failure the turn signal works on occasion only. There are times when it does not work at all ( many occasions ). an average % of how often it works is about 5 %, the other 95 % of the time it doesn't work at all. My emergency lights won't come on sometimes. There is a clicking noise being heard within the car almost all of the time. The sound appears to be coming from the hazard emergency light switch. Also, my remote keyless entry is not working. It won't unlock the car doors or the trunk. I have to press it at close range at least about 10 times maybe more before it will unlock the car doors or open the trunk.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #12

Jun 272006

Malibu 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles
Malibu 2002 purchased on May 18, 2003 with 33,000 miles. On July 15, 2003 there was a problem with the coolant system and car overheated. According to dealer car was fixed. On June 1, 2004 there was a problem with the electrical system. June 27, 2006 with 72, 000 miles, there is oil in coolant reservoir and a coolant leak. There was a lower intake leak and leak at water pump. The lower intake and water pump was replaced but on July 17, 2006 the same problem came again. July 17, 2006 only a few weeks after the problem with oil in the coolant reservoir, same problem occurred and dealer does not want to take responsibility for it.

- Reedley, CA, USA

problem #11

May 112006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
Car has failed to start on numerous occasions and no one has been able to tell us why. We have had to replace the head gasket, which had not fixed the problem. Our wipers only work on high. Our heat only works on number 4 and 5. while driving home on the freeway during rush hour with my baby daughter in the car, the car just decided to die on me. I had to try to get out of the passing lane, so that I could pull off of the road. My radio and heat still worked, but car would not restart. My oil and battery and cruise control lights were on (I had not even used the cruise control) and my car just would not start. It took me an hour to get my car to start again, now I am afraid to drive it any distance for fear of being stranded.

- Rochester, NH, USA

problem #10

Nov 262005

Malibu 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,492 miles
I first purchased this Malibu 2002 in Feb 2002. Nov 02 ( 9 mos later) I had to have my ignition switch replaced which was under warranty. Around the same time my turn/hazard signal went out and I haven't had it replaced yet after 4yrs of having this car. If I want to use it I have to keep pressing the hazard button to make it come on. Nov 2005 I tried to start my car, but it kept cutting off. My dad stated it was the fuel pump. I had the fuel pump, crank sensor and module replaced. My car still didn't start. Finally my dad went under the steering wheel and pressed this black button (cut off switch) and that was the only way it would start. I have to travel 25 miles to work so I was tired of worrying about the car. I thought it was the theft system. I took my car to the dealer 11/29/2005 they had the car until 12/15/2005. I was told that it was my ignition switch, crank sensor and my alarm/automatic starter. I was out of $366.73 to the dealer and taking a cab to work at 5:30am for X7dy coasted$210. I was also out of money for a rental car for the last 7ys they had my car plus gas on both because they used all gas in my car. I have had X2 ignition switches put on my car, I have to change my tail/park/brake bulb seemingly every 6mos. I am only getting my hazard/turn signal replaced when NHTSA reviews it as being an defect. I am having a hard time with the speed of my car also on the E way. I have to put my foot to the floor in order to make it take off at 60mph. I have to put gas in my car every 3dys. I last changed my fuel filter 1yr ago and again having it replaced 1/1/06. My check engine light came on 1wk after I got my car out of the shop on 12/22 and it has been on since. My coolant light comes and goes off every now and then. I have had my coolant/fuel flushed. I had it winterized what's the problem. If we have 47-50 people complaining about the same thing why cant it get done. Please respond and help us Chevy owners asap/wf.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #9

Oct 292005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles


About two weeks ago, I began to notice intermittent failure of the turn indicators on my 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. About 70 percent of the time, they function normally but they randomly fail and just as randomly begin working again. The problem seems unrelated to power on/off cycles of the turn indicator system or vehicle. Likewise, road vibration intensity doesn't seem to have a direct impact on the condition. When the failure occurs, the four way hazard warning system still functions normally. The failure affects both sides of the vehicle. Neither dashboard indicators nor turn indicator lamps function during the failure. The sound associated with the operation of the flasher unit is also missing during failures. I have replaced the flasher unit and the problem was unaffected. I reinstalled the original flasher. It is available for inspection.

- Pullman, WA, USA

problem #8

Oct 102005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,330 miles
BCM code and ECM code failure. Only 65000 mile on car and the main computer of Malibu 2002 is going out. Excellent maintenance kept. Out 7,000 dollars because of problem.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #7

Sep 032004


  • 12,000 miles
No incidents, crashes or injury's while in my possession. The 2002 Chevy Malibu I bought used in 2004 only had 11,000 miles on it. It was a government used car. Several months after buying the car the blinkers stopped working and then began working again. They now work when they want to work. Now, almost a year later at 41,000 miles the horn blows a short beep anytime. The car may be running or not, there may not be anyone even in the car. This has been going on for about a month and a half and now there is a beeping tone inside that I have not identified. It doesn't do it constantly but I notice it when I start the car. It is a short "alert" beep, kind of like an alarm. It beeps once, pause, and then about three times pause and then once more. Just wondering if there were any recalls for this as the warranty is not in affect any longer. In addition to these there has been about three occasions where my car hestitated when starting kind of like the battery was drained. Could this be from the horn blowing all day and night? have also replaced brakes more often than I thought I should.

- Tucker, AR, USA

problem #6

Feb 092005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Turn signals on my vehicle sometimes work, sometimes don't, had the same problem with the radio - fuses are located on opposite sides of the vehicle (pulled fuses out and were fine, put them back in and both items worked - temporarily).

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #5

Apr 022005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The vehicle quit twice. Took vehicle to the dealer, and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Currently, the vehicle is in the driveway. The first time it quit was around April 1, 2005. No one else looked at the vehicle. It will turn over but not start.

- Port Arthur , TX, USA

problem #4

Jul 252005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
In 2002, I bought a 2002 Chevy Malibu. Since then it's been giving me a lot of problems. The first problem was the water found in both tail lights; this was under warranty. Then there was water coming in the driver side window, the brakes, and the torque needing to be reprogrammed. Then it was the headlights going out and I got them replaced at a walmart; mind you, since the 1st problem, none of this has been under warranty. Now it's the airbag gone bad, cooling system gone bad, and the brakes again, along with a fuel pump. The calipers have to be replaced still, the airbag needs to be checked out, and the car is in the shop now to diagnose what is wrong within the fueling system that makes the car not start. Oh! I almost forgot, I purchased a battery 2 weeks ago because that went out. I always stay on top of my service for the car. This car is 3 years old and I bought it new off the lot. It sucks!

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #3

Apr 152005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Having problems with the left and right turn signals, they work intermittently. This started happening about 4 months ago around April 15, 2005. This problem has gotten worse happening everyday instead of every now and then. The dealer hasn't been contacted. This problem occurs in all weather conditions and while driving at any speed.

- Harlem, GA, USA

problem #2

Nov 222004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
My turn signals work intermittently my, fuel pump failed at 38,000 miles, coolentent system acts up off and on it overheats and then it might work just fine, head gasket starting leaking at 39,000 miles, motor is very loud and noisy when it first starts, it misses out while running but parked, gas gage doesn't read properly it bounces all over the place.

- Claremore, OK, USA

problem #1

Aug 012004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
Problems with vehicle's radio equipment. The vehicle would lose the time and the radio would lose stations when the vehicle was turned on, the temperature gauge read above normal, the cruise control would cut off and when the engine was cold there would be a hesitation.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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