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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
87,925 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. replace ignition lock cylinder (3 reports)
  3. reset computer, wait 10 min. (3 reports)
  4. replaced new battery (1 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #11

Dec 272016

Malibu LT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,500 miles


Sometimes when I turn the key to start the vehicle, the vehicle will not start and the engine lights do not light up. At other times the vehicle starts up and runs fine.

- , Irvine, KY, USA

problem #10

Mar 132013

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

The key would not turn the car on and would not come out of the ignition. The drive shaft was updated with parts and a new key was made this allowed the car to come out of drive. I then had the water pump go out right after I tried to start the AC and drive to work.. This car was just paid off and booommm the problems began.

- , Lancaster, CA, US

problem #9

Mar 192013

Malibu LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,456 miles

I have a 2003 Malibu. Won't turn over or even give me power. Tried the theft system reset. Nothing. Tried a boost. Yet again nothing. Tried new battery. Nothing. I am at my wits end with this car. Because it is my work vehicle, I need to get it fixed, yet, at same time, I don't want to dish out thousands just to fix it and have it break down again.

This is not the first time that it has done this to me. It has happened three other times in past two years. Battery has been replaced, starter and also alternator. I see others with same type of problems and, like them, I don't understand why they continue to make such a sh*tty vehicle. Do they have so much money that they are willing to pay for the funerals of people that die behind the wheel of their cars???

Time to trade up to a Ford.

- , Grande Prairie, Alberta, canada

problem #8

Jan 122010

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles


Problem started in 2009.Was fortunate to be able to read the instructions to spend the 10 minute wait.This has happened about 8 times so far but as the comment goes its a pain in the ass.The car has 33,000 miles on it.Bought new.I am fortunate there have been no emergencies.Since I worked for GM for many years its not surprising some of the cars run at all.

- , Warren, MI, USA

problem #7

Nov 192008

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,962 miles

Car wouldn't start after coming out of a store. Couldn't get to work. Had the car towed to the dealer. They said the battery was no good. Car is hardly broke in and the battery is already done. Cost $ 160.00 for new battery total repair for this problem $376.64

- , Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

problem #6

Aug 022009

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Anti theft lock out occurs every time you try to start the car. Must leave ignition in on position for 10 minutes to reset while your car sits there with the lights on and the dash board all lit up while the battery drains.

- , Akron, OH, USA

problem #5

Jun 242009

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 204,851 miles


I have had this car since 2004 with 19,997 miles & have had no major problems. My last one was the fuel pump gave out around 98,000 miles & was replaced with a new one. until about 3-4 months ago, I started having starting problems that have come & gone until yesterday. Today the car completely died when I got gas @ the nearby gas station. No lights nothing at the turn of the key... dead. Popped the hood fiddled with the electrical wires. The lights reappeared & attempted to start & all the gauges in the cluster housing all turned to the right, like starting a Pontiac grand am. After a couple more attemps, the trunk latch opened, my headlight blew out & it turned over... with help of the gas pedal to keep it from stalling out again. I do not know the source of the problem but I am open to suggestions. I will try the toggle switch & see what the outcome of that. Thanks for the advice & I'll be back!!!

- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #4

Oct 282007

(reported on)

Malibu LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,409 miles

Okay, well I bought this car 8 months ago. I sold the dealership a perfectly good car..The reason why I had to was that it was a standard car and I couldn't drive it. Anyways I was 5 and a half months pregnant at the time..I told the sales associates that I needed a durable and dependable vehicle, to safely drive my baby around. I explained that I didn't want a car that would break down on me within a couple of months. So, they sold me this 2003 Chevy Malibu. Since I have bought the damn thing, I have had numerous problems and have brought it back into the dealership 7 times, for idling problems, rotor problems, wheel problems, trunk leaking problems. The rotor problems, I actually had to bring the car back in 3 times before anything was actually done to it, but I am having problems again with them. So, in August(the day before my wedding), I had my car over at my mothers house. The horn starting honking continuously. I couldn't make it stop, so my "to-be" husband took the horn fuse out. We put it back in a week ago (after about 2 months) and everything was fine. Yesterday I was driving and the Theft system light came on, and on, and on. I kept shutting off the car to make it turn off, but in the just continued to be on. I got home, and parked my car..and went back 2 hours later to leave..and the car wouldn't start. 24 hours later, it still won't start. This car is a piece of crap and with all the problems that I have seen with other peoples 03 Malibu's, these problems should be recalled or these cars should be taken off the road for good. That car is dangerous and people should be warned not to buy one!!

- , Coquitlam, BC, Canada

problem #3

Sep 112007

(reported on)

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I went to start my car and it would not turn over so I had to have it towed to the dealership and they told me it would be $650 to fix the ignition switch. In the mean time the car is now running because the dealership told me they "reset" the computer. I told them I would take my chances with it and drove off after paying the $85 diagnostic charge. Well 2 weeks later it does not start again. I call AAA and the tow comes out and the driver tells me it's the Anti-Theft Device, wait 10 minutes and the car will start. Low in behold it worked. So why didn't the dealership tell me this is the problem. Funny they told me the "reset" could last 3 weeks, a year, or forever... but they still wanted to milk me for $650. So I do a google on this and find I am not the only one with the problem. What the hell is wrong with GM if they know this problem exist and don't fix the problem with a recall or a fix! I will never buy a GM car again!!!

- , Hopkinton, MA, USA

problem #2

Jul 312007

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3100

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This car has been nothing more than a nightmare. The anti-theft system goes off and the horn starts honking erratically. Drives about as well as my grandmas big wheel, gets on average 14 mpg. Something is very wrong with this car... Ohh it is missing a blue oval

- , Jackson, MI, USA

problem #1

Nov 292006

(reported on)

Malibu 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

After 38,000 miles the car would not start one morning. I took it and and was told that the ignition cylinder had to be replaced. One of my things that have gone wrong with this thing.

- , Warren, MI, USA

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