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fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
63,149 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. the dealer replaced the intake gasket (2 reports)
  3. please file all complaints here (1 reports)
  4. replaced bolt under throttle trigger (1 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Malibu cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #7

Jun 102011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,768 miles


crap, here I am trying to write something ,,, kind of like a blog..............well, after I replaced the water pump, a week later as I was iddleing at a gas station, someone pointed to the car leaking antifreze, and sure enough it was, went 2 lines over the normal temp. gage and I filled it up and it's been running at a normal temp. so now I carry a two gallon jug just in case it decides to leak all the liquid out again, any one with ideas? or acctualy the problem solver?

- , Newburgh, NY, USA

problem #6

Jun 152011

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

ok I have been searching online as to what my problem could be, I too thought it was the head gasket. But to my knowledge and to other people who I have asked if it was the head gasket, their answer was, only if you see white smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. smell rotten eggs ( coolant leaking into the engine). so I know its not that. A little more on that in later as to why its not that. I have replaced hoses on my car, 4 of them. 2 being the heater hoses behind the engine between the block and heater in the car. I replace the lower hose to the radiator and its bypass hose. the one that really showed the difference maker was when I replaced the lower hose to the radiator, it had build up of gunk on the male connector. I had chipped it off and used a wire brush to clean it very good. After that my car has not over heated but has been losing coolant. I then replaced the heater hoses because those as well as the bypass and lower hose for the radiator were wet and moist. They were not dry as the others were. I replaced the 2 heater hoses and everything worked out just right, car sat at mid temp and only went up a little. I then noticed a smell of boiling water (I didn't put coolant back in till I made sure the leak was fix, so I put water in) and looked around and found a bolt under the throttle trigger. I had puddles of coolant on my engine near the throttle trigger and just didn't know where it was coming from, but now that I found the source. This should be an easy fix. I have had this car since it had 20k miles on it and kept it in good shape, do my own repairs that I know of, give it an oil change when needed, do my own maintenance on the car that I can do without the mechanic. But overall I have not had any issues with the car. Makes me wonder if I was lucky or if other people who say they do take care of their car really don't.

Update from Jan 13, 2012: update on this this issue.....that bolt was just lose, when I purchased the car from the dealership they didn't tighten the bolt got to love dealerships. now to the real meat of the problem, so I took apart my engine (took me 3 days to put it back together but got it done.) had bought the head gasket seal set, I said screw it going to get it done. when I took off the cylinder heads and look at all the gaskets not one was bad. said to my self ok well I'll replace them all one by one, well my father in-law told me well how does your cylinder heads look, I said well they look used. he laughed and said look for a machine shop and have them resurfaced, I said ok. didnt' know what that ment so I looked it up and found a place. they charged me 200 bucks to resurface both cylinder heads and did a valve job and installed the new gaskets as well. when I picked up the cylinder heads they looked brand spanking new, the guy also told me that one of my cylinder head had a bad leak hence my issue I had in the first place. well I got everything back together and now my car runs excellent and no issues at all, if you come to this issue it could be that the cylinder block is leaking.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

please go to this web site click vehicle owner then complaints and file all of your complaint to this government website to get this recall approved the more people that submit this the better chance we all have please help your self as well as every other American with this issue.

- , Menifee, CA, US

problem #4

Dec 232006

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles


i have a 2003 Chevy Malibu when i got it it only had 23,000 miles on now the car has 64,000 and now all the problems are happen to it like leaking antifreeze and the clicking that comes from the turn flasher its a piece of crap!!!! GM should do a recall on the Malibu cause the gaskets are cheap!!! if a new what this car had in store i should of just bought a ford

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Jul 252008

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,477 miles

I went to the dealer to get my oil changed because I was taking a trip. I was then told that I had a leak and my intake gasket needed to be replaced. At this time I was unaware of any problem. After getting my car back and returning from my four hour trip (2 hours each way), the next day my coolant light came on. I put more dex-coolant fluid in and I thought that the problem was fixed, but the next day when I started the car the coolant light came on. I thought the light was a mistake because I know I put coolant in the container. So, I when on my planned trip that was an hour each way and on my way back my car over heated ten minutes into the ride, and the car started to decelerate. I put more coolant in, let the car sit for ten minutes to cool off a little. I then took the top off of the container that held the coolant. The fluid bubbled and these rusted particles floated to the top. I was able to make it home without the car over heating again, but that was a scary ordeal to go through especially when you have kids in the car. So, back to the dealer for me!!

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

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problem #2

Mar 102008

Malibu Limited 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

I have had to add coolant to my car about five every 6 weeks since March 2008. No leaking in the driveway and cannot identify what is happening. I talked to a friend and he said that it sounds like the coolant is mixing with the oil and I may need to have the gasket replaced. I did a search of my complaint and came upon this site.

Amazing that there is no recall. My instinct is to sell this piece of crap and buy Japanese.

- , Elk Grove, CA, US

problem #1

Jun 222005

(reported on)


  • 31,800 miles

I have had this car into the dealer on several occasions and they inform me that the leak does not occur when they do the pressure checks. The dealer replaced the water pump after I had the car for only six months. I don't know what is happening, but I know something is not flowing correctly. I am very frustrated. Need help now, car is in the shop as we speak!!!

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

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