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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,600 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Apr 022014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles


2002 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle just would not start. The cam shaft sensor was replaced.

- Suring, WI, USA

problem #27

Jul 222014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
2002 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regard to intake manifold gasket leaking.* ld the consumer stated GM used dex-cool engine coolant which caused problems with the engine. The repair shop flushed out the dex-cool and replaced the coolant, with a different type of coolant. Also, the intake manifold was replaced at a cost of $477.31.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #26

Sep 262012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 91,800 miles
I was driving down the road at 35mph when the car just started smoking.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #25

Oct 152011


  • 77,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 30 mph, the engine stalled without any illumination of the warning indicators. The engine failed to restart and the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who was unable to duplicate the problem. The failure recurred however, the vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the malfunction. The approximate failure mileage was 77,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #24

Dec 202011


  • 160,000 miles
I been running errands. I stopped the car to go into the store, got back into the vehicle and the ignition would not turn over. I was stranded with my 5 year old, had to get a tow to repair shop. I was told the ignition switch was bad, cost me $347. On 12/29/11 same issue, car would not start this time luckily I was at home. I had to get a tow to the repair another $51 and was told the ignition switch must have had a default and I received a new ignition switch, at no charge. Two days ago, almost 2 weeks after last repair, it happened again this time in the parking lot 12 degrees outside car would not turn over called a tow to the repair shop and was told all this time it was the auto theft system was bad and caused the car to not start and also was the cause of the ignition switch to not start the car. I was charged $388, plus a tow fee, for the repair of a new ignition lock cylinder( the part used a the auto theft system). Basically, this auto theft system has caused me over 700 in a month time and left me in dangerous areas with no way of getting home. This needs to reimbursed by GM because if this auto theft system was placed on the car as a benefit and protection to the owner of the car to stop theft it is not helping the owner at all only putting the owner in more harm because it is causing the owner to not be able to start the car with the key. How much since does that make? this is something extra added to the car that is not needed; that is why we have car alarms. I don't need them to add an auto theft system to my car and it stops me from being able to get into the car and drive. What if there was an emergency I needed to deal with, I have children in the home. The last time the car wouldn't start it was only 12 degrees outside and freezing cold. Please tell me how to get a petition of a recall for reimbursement for repairs. This is unsafe!

- Bedford, OH, USA

problem #23

Mar 232002

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 82,414 miles
Driving 2002 Chevy Malibu. Vehicle randomly shuts off everything. Engine, head lights, tails lights, dash lights, car just goes dark. This has happened several times in the last 30 days. So far car resets and restarts before rolling to a stop, but this happens at all speeds and conditions.

- Belleville, MI, USA

problem #22

Feb 122011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles


Having coolant leak, did not see any coolant leaking on the ground. Changed water pump, thermostat, and radiator; still did not fix the problem. Found out intake gasket was cracked and had it fixed. Coolant still leaking, having to add coolant every day to every other day. Was told reservoir cap did not fit well. Replaced reservoir and cap and had vehicle bled. Ran fine for 3 days, then coolant starting leaking out again. Cant seem to find the problem of what is wrong with this vehicle. For a 2002 this vehicle does not have bad mileage, only 84,000 miles. This vehicle was bought brand new. I have read so many problems with this vehicle on the internet. Someone should do something about this. Chevrolet needs to do something about this. Chevrolet sold lemons when they sold these cars, that's for sure!!!

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #21

Aug 152010


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated the vehicle would not start. The ECM was repaired to correct the failure. The failure recurred within one year. The contact believed the failure was associated with the pass lock security system. The dealer advised the contact to bring the vehicle in for diagnosis. The vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were approximately 110,000.

- Belleville , MI, USA

problem #20

Mar 152010


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated the vehicle would turn over but would not start. The vehicle was towed to a local repair facility six times where three crankshaft sensors along with two other unknown sensors were replaced. In addition, the vehicle was taken to the dealer yet the dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not contacted. The current mileage was approximately 65,000 and the failure mileage was approximately 55,000.

- Alamonte Springs, FL, USA

problem #19

May 242010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 63,500 miles
Chevy Malibu 2002 V6 - coolant leak problem.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #18

May 012009


  • 40,000 miles


2002 Chevy Malibu, 80,000 miles brakes always noisy even when new..brakes and calipers have to be replaced every 2-3 months with minimal use......hazard light and turn signal intermittently.....ignition lock-out....could not start car or remove key from the ignition....lower intake manifold gasket failure......left headlamp field of vision narrow and short.

- Liverpool , NY, USA

problem #17

Dec 012003


  • 1,800 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. Ever since the vehicle was purchased brand new, the electrical system has not worked properly. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they reset the computer. He also stated that the red light indicates that the anti-freeze is low. Anti-freeze would leak out the tank and damage the water pump and balancer. The contact wants the manufacturer to repair the vehicle because he was not warned about the faulty tank. The current mileage was 81,000 and failure mileage was 1,800.

- Bloomfield, CO, USA

problem #16

Oct 012008


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. While leaving the highway at an unknown speed, the contact noticed that the turn signals failed. The failure has occurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but they could not determine the cause of the intermittent failure. The dealer replaced the upper and lower head gasket seal, but the failure was not corrected. The rack and pinion failed and was replaced in 2006 and again in October of 2008. The failure mileage was 30,000 and current mileage was 52,300.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #15

Nov 022008


  • 55,000 miles
This GM/ Chevy Malibu was diagnosed to require a head gasket because the coolant leaked inside the engine. After a little research on the internet, there are several complaints of other owners with the same problem.

- Mentor, OH, USA

problem #14

Mar 252008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
Intake manifold gasket leaking, causing contamination of antifreeze and motor oil. Repairs cost mr $770 dollars. It seems to be a common problem on 2002 Chevrolet Malibu's.

- Macedonia, OH, USA

problem #13

Feb 092008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I found out that my intake manifold is leaking and that GM knew about this problem with the 02 Malibu. When I called to ask about it they said that my VIN # was not included even though I am having the same problem.

- Cumberland, MD, USA

problem #12

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 #11

Feb 282007

Malibu 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,700 miles
- the contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu, which was purchased on 02/28/2007, and worked well until 03/16/2007 when the engine light turned on. On 03/23/2007 the vehicle would not start, and was taken to the dealer, and the dealer has been unable to get the vehicle to turn on since that time. The contact stated that there was a 3 year warranty on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 54,700 and the current mileage was 54,667.

- East Oragne, NJ, USA

problem #10

Mar 102007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,843 miles
Engine coolant light came on. I replaced 1/2 gallon of coolant. At my next oil change, I noticed an orange gel on my oil cap. I figured it was an internal coolant leak; therefore, it was probably a head gasket leak. I took my car to local Chevrolet dealership for service. The service technician determined it was an intake manifold gasket leak. If the gasket was not replaced promptly, the engine oil would fail to lubricate the engine properly. The result could be catastrophic damage to the engine. 8jb

- Pataskala, OH, USA

problem #9

Nov 222006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,240 miles
At 62,000 miles I noticed that my engine coolant light was on. I filled the coolant. The light continued to come on and I filled it a few more times, but could not pinpoint the leak. Then, I realized that this was the same problem that I had earlier this year with my 2002 Chevy Impala. The head gaskets needed replaced. I was leaking water into my engine. Can you imagine buying two new Chevy automobiles in the same year and 4 years later having both engines fail for the same reason. Seems like Chevy is hiding a major problem. I see other complaints like this on the internet. I did not contact Chevy since the warranty expired. Now, because of my internet research and the same problem with my Impala, I know this is a common problem. So, I took my 2002 Chevy Malibu at 62,000 miles to the same garage and they were able to replace the head gaskets and give me a price break and fixed it for $252. Boo to Chevy.

- South Park, PA, USA

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