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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
72,850 miles
Total Complaints:
49 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. wait 10 minutes and car starts (16 reports)
  2. not sure (12 reports)
  3. recall the stinking thing (4 reports)
  4. replaced ignition switch (4 reports)
  5. turn key on until lght goes off then turn key off for 30 seconds (4 reports)
  6. added an after-market remote starter, which bypasses the anti-theft system (2 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #49

Feb 012018

Malibu ES 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles


I've been stranded due to anti theft, no start. Doing the "wait ten minutes" thing don't work. Recalled and taken in and fixed. Less than a year later its doing same thing. I was wondering if they will fix again free of charge.

- cindyvaughn, Lodi, US

problem #48

Mar 012016

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

No help, only suggestion is wait or replace parts that are more than book value of car.

- Dave K., Barnegat, NJ, US

problem #47

May 302014

Malibu 3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

When I go to start my vehicle the anti theft system blinks and car won't even turn over. In order to fix the problem turn the ignition key to on position and wait for app. 10 minutes the blinking anti theft will go off. Turn the key to off and then back to start and the car should start up this will reset it. I have had this happen to me a few times started my vehicle one time since this started happening but, stalled out. Now, my problem is not the blinking anti theft system. Every time I try to start my vehicle I have to try to get a jump from someone but, my car still won't turn over. After I unhook the cables from jumping the vehicles I try to turn the key and it is completely dead. I know it's not the battery because I just put a brand new one in there. It totally drains your battery! PLEASE READ TO EVERYONE POSTING ON THIS SITE! If you don't contact NHTSA and let them know about all the issues that your vehicle is having there will never be a recall. Through all your complaints on this website I have a lot of the same issues with my vehicle and there should be a recall, but, if they don't know about the issues they will never put out a recall! So, please call 1-800-551-4123 and include all the issues you are having if we have enough of us that call and complain they will put a recall out and GM will have to pay for it rather than hundreds of dollars coming out of your pocket! please share with others so, news gets around! My car also when i started having major problems it completely shut off while I was only going 30 miles an hr. but, can you imagine if I was on the express way and that happened I could have died along with the other passengers, this needs to be fixed!

- hippielove83, Saginaw, MI, US

problem #46

Jan 152014

Malibu V6-191 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,450 miles


We bought this car from a close relative who rarely used it.(Which explains the low mileage) It had 14,000 mi. on it when we bought it in 2013. It ran OK at first, and then one day we tried to start it up and it wouldn't start. Our neighbor, being the owner of a Hot-Rod, said it was the fuel pump, another mechanic friend of ours said it was the starter. The car was still basically "Brand New" still. I called a mechanic who by chance had heard of these Chev's that won't start until you open the door and leave the key on for 10-15 minutes and then it STARTS.

Well, we're kinda hurting for cash so we continued using it and when it wouldn't start, we'd open the door with the key on and wait until it decided to start. Well now it's happening much too often. Sooo! We took it to the local Chevy dealer who told us it's either the fuel pump @ $600 or the ignition module @$600 that's causing it to not start. We really don't have that kind of money for them to TRY to fix it with no promises it will be FIXED?

I'm so glad I found this site and I'm hoping and praying that somebody can help us out with a remedy that won't cripple us. It seems like there are thousands of others who've purchased this vehicle (year,make,model) and have gotten strapped with this same problem. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated, because we really can't afford to pour thousands of dollars into this car or to go out and buy another.

Thanks Tom


problem #45

Dec 002000

Malibu 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

This problem showed up after I paid $350.00 to replace the fuel pump.

Also had to replace lock cylinder and signal switch.

- Bill N., Enfield, CT, US

problem #44

May 042013

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,500 miles

After seeing other people have this problem with the theft system, then their car didn't run right, makes me believe my car is starting to have the same fuel pump issue starting. My car has started to run weird, surges or acts like its not getting gas for a split second. The car has been running great until about 2 and half weeks ago. I hope it doesn't die before I set up an appointment with my mechanic.

- Dj H., Racine, WI, US

problem #43

Feb 152013

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


I am usually a calm person but this problem has me seeing red. My daughter has a Malibu that she purchased when she was in high school; she now attends a jr. college. In the past, she has had a problem with the Malibu that re-surfaces. The first time, the car would not start, we had to have it towed to the garage closest to us. First, my husband went through all the usual things that need to be checked and all of it was fine so paying for the tow was the next step. The mechanic knew what the problem was and did what I now call 'the 10 minute fix' and sure enough it worked. He did ask about her key but it was a Chevrolet key and was the one that came with the car. Yes, it was purchased used. Thank goodness it happened when she was at home.

Several months later, the same thing would not start but this time she was in a parking lot away from home and could not reach us. Thank goodness she was able to get in touch with someone who picked her up and brought her home. We used the '10 minute fix' and got the car started and went to the garage that we usually use for all our repairs, etc.

We told them about the first time that it happened. They checked it all the usual things which were ok. They looked at the key and said that it was not the original key that had come with the car. They installed a new ignition cyclinder and re-set everything. No problem until today!

This time, she was about 60 miles away from home. A mechanic who lived close by checked out the car and is not sure what is wrong with it. Tomorrow we are going to where the car is to check it out. From what she and her boyfriend have told us, we are sure that the 'old' problem is back.

I am mad that this keeps happening, especially when she (and we) take such good care of our vehicles.

Thank goodness I decided to check out the internet and found this site. I have discovered that we are not alone. This 'anti-theft' system seems to lock out the owners more than keeping the thieves at bay. I have done my best to remain civil but my patience is being to wear thin with this senseless problem that the company should have resolved by now.

- madmsmom, Mt. Olive, MS, US

problem #42

Aug 012012

Malibu 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

Yes had the same problem call stalling while driving, seen the post where you cut the yellow wire in the ignition while the car is running put a toggle switch inline, and so far problem solved !!!!! Car does not stall anymore and no more problems starting.

- jackstraw700, Chicopee, MA, US

problem #41

Dec 012009

Malibu LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Awful - have been late to work and appointments many, many times due to this!!!

- courtland, Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #40

Jun 012006

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

I bought this car in 2006 and shortly after I one day could not start the car. The anti theft light was flashing. A friend that at one time owned a 2003 Malibu told me to turn the key to on position and wait 10 minutes for the anti theft light to stop flashing and go off, then start the car. That method works every time but I am telling you this crap happens so often it has become more that a pain in the ass. Some days it happens 4-5 times. It may not happen again for a couple of weeks and then suddenly I am stuck somewhere again. I am so over it and do not understand why this has not been recalled. Something needs to be done about this!

- Sheryl R., St Petersburg, FL, US

problem #39

Oct 202011

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


2003 Malibu is crap!!! I'm so sick & tired of being stranded when my car won't start because of the passlock system. I've had a fuel pump replaced, new keys made, computer codes cleared, door switches replaced, ignition lock replaced, water pump replaced...nothing fixes this. Currently, I'm missing work right now (2nd day in row, after being stranded in parking lot at 1am the other night, and breaking key off in ignition out of frustration, car towed and key replaced). Car started fine after that. Today, same problem - no start!!! One thing I've recently noticed is for the car to start, I have to wait 'daytime" so the daytime lights will not come on, so I can begin the 3 x10 minute reset procedure. (not cool when I should be at work at 630am) Not sure if this is even what makes it work, but I know the car will not start when dark. period! I have to keep the battery charger (for new battery!) handy because the relearn procedure will drain battery. I AM SO FRUSTRATED WITH THIS PIECE OF CRAP theft system. Is anyone familiar with this product? It's called New Rockies PRO VATS bypass system. I wonder if it will fix my problem. I'm gonna get fired over this. GM IS WELL AWARE OF THIS ISSUE, AND LIES TO CUSTOMERS WHEN YOU CALL TO COMPLAIN, CITING THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH COMPLAINTS FOR A RECALL. BUT THEY ALSO WILL NOT TELL YOU HOW MANY HAVE BEEN MADE NOR HOW MANY ARE REQUIRED. WITH THE GOVERNMENT BAILOUT OF GM, YOU THINK WE, AS TAXPAYERS, WOULD BE ENTITLED TO A RECALL SINCE WE BASICALLY PAID FOR IT ALREADY.

- wendifromtexas, Houston, TX, US

problem #38

Sep 082011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Problems with the auto theft system happened to me 3 times within the past month!!! Had to use up 2 AAA tows to have my mechanic look at it--fortunately he was able to get it started. Because of THIS SITE I was able to use the 10 min bypass theft system--today I called Chevy and filed a complaint--this problem still not recalled!!! I was told that if it happens again to call Chevy roadside assistance& have them tow it to dealership-- Thank you all so much for helping me get past this ridiculous problem!

- Linda M., Pittsburgh, PA, US

problem #37

Aug 202011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

It's really annoying that every time I think it aint gonna happen again, it happens when its the worst time ever. It took me forever to even figure out what the problem was.

- Malissa W., Conneaut, OH, US

problem #36

Apr 102011

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,458 miles

Bought car new. Been a great car. Only replaced front wheel bearings in 8 years. Wouldn't start this morning. Got on Net and found the 10 minute "on" solution and it started. Anti-theft light has been coming on intermittently while driving for about 2 weeks. Don't know what I'll do next. At least spring is here !

- Robert C., Freedom, PA, US

problem #35

Jun 172008

Malibu 6 cylinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

The theft system should be on the recall list. I have know idea why this has not happened yet. !!!!

- lcheney, Gentry, AR, US

problem #34

Sep 292010

Malibu LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,700 miles

Won't start This is the 3rd time towed home.Anti theft won't go off.My 16 year old is being stranded.I've tried the 10 min thing nothing is working.I don;t have the money to have it towed to the dealership in New Port Richy.How do i get rid of the antitheft thing?

- Cathy W., Oldsmar, FL, US

problem #33

Jun 282010

Malibu LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

My car, like the others, began having trouble starting and the theft system light turns on. What works for me, is to turn the key to "on" and wait a few seconds (I'd say about 5 seconds). If the lights and fuel gauge turn off or never turn on, the car is not going to start. So, leave the key were it is and wait for the lights and gauge to go on. This can take a few seconds, or it can seem like half a minute. Once they are on, you can turn the key to start the car. I usually wait a few more seconds before starting, because occasionally it will be a tease and turn back off again (resulting in the car not starting, obviously). If it does this, just keep it at "on" until it comes back. If it turns off while trying to start, I turn it off and start over. I've never had it "tease" more than once before it starts.

Obviously, this is not a permanent fix, but it will get you started a lot quicker than the 10 minute trick. This usually only takes a few seconds, and at most it's been less than a minute for me. Hope this helps. I do plan to get my car to the shop and see what they can do, since this is definitely still a problem. I'm sorry to see what bad luck some have had with their Malibu, as this is the first major issue I've had and I bought it new. I still love my car, have had many compliments on how smooth it rides, and hope to get this resolved soon.

- luvmychevy, Winter Spgs, FL, US

problem #32

Mar 122009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

My boyfriend read the owners manual and it explained how to fix it so that is what he did and it worked okay till the next time

- Cindy P., Abilene, TX, US

problem #31

Feb 242010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

OKAY NOW I'M MORE THAN PISSED my car sits in the drive way and it more than likely will cost me more than blue book trade in value to fix the car grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

- Cindy P., Abilene, TX, US

problem #30

Dec 242009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

This time my son used the spare key and it worked after that until.............

- Cindy P., Abilene, TX, US

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