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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
134,506 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rebuilt or new engine (4 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 082014

Malibu 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 256,000 miles


I have no damn car .... how much worse can it get . I am disabled with 3 kids and one disabled child and a car that is fricking useless . Its complete bullshit and Chevy can go to hell for making this piece of sh*t car

- , Pearcy, AR, USA

problem #6

Dec 012011

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles

I have a 2033 Chevy Malibu. I bought it in October of 2010. I first had issues with it around May of 2011. It was the 10 minute anti theft system issue. Now my car cuts off while I drive. I wanna go home for Christmas and I am to afraid to put my car on the road. I brought a new fuel pump and had my fuel line blowed out and its STILL cutting off!! I don't know what to do about it now. I know I don't want to spend unnecessary money on this car. I am now thinking of trading it for a more dependable car. If anyone knows a good solution to my problem email me at Thanks

- , Jackson, MS, USA

problem #5

Apr 152011

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,045 miles

I bought this car when it had 122,000 miles on it already so I wasnt expecting much, But after putting 30,000 miles on it. I've had to replace the calipers, rotors (twice) brake pads (also twice), and tires. So after all that i was driving home last friday and all the sudden it starts losing power and the engine has a big knock. So I pull over pop the hood and didnt see anything leaking. So I drove it to the nearest exit and pulled into a car pool lot to wait for a tow. I get it back to the garage and just decided to start taking it apart to find out what happened. I took off the front valve cover and the rocker arm bolt had stripped out of the head and the push rod was hitting the valve cover. So I called around to find out what to doand just decided to replace the head so the threads would be good. I went to a salvage yard to see what they had and both of the heads they had, had the same problem (stripped rocker arm bolt holes). I decided to get one just so I had a spare in case i messed mine up. I took apart my engine swapped out the valves and rocker arms etc. Bought all new gaskets, new head bolts, spark plugs, wires. I had to helicoil the hole to fix it and now that thats working again.

Now the transmission is acting up, it hits hard into 2nd and slips going into 3rd after that it feels fine. Im lost and just want to get rid of this car. Well theres my complaint/s. Oh almost forgot the wheel bearings or brakes are starting to make noise again....

- , Grand Blanc, MI, USA

problem #4

Jul 252009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


The car has alot of problem, 1st the engine and now, it turning into electrical.

- , Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 222009

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine failure

(my parents car that I WAS GONNA GET!) It all began with the catalytic converter..It got real messed up & wouldn't go past 20mph on the highway unless we floored it. After that, we got it fixed. Then we took care of it, well..for no apparent reason..the gasket had blown & it was $2000 to repair. Then firestone wanted us to get the O2 sensors replaced for maybe about another $500..yeah right, tha'ts a whole 2 weeks worth of food right there. Later on, maybe about 4 or 5 months later...the gasket blew again. Coolant was leaking hardcorely into the engine making a mild shake. We had to keep adding coolant so the car wouldn't overheat & the engine started developing this ticking noise. Well..a cylinder had broken, there was a journal that went bad & all this other stuff. So then we took it to go trade it in. We drove about 25 miles running very horribly & making a very loud ticking noise(embarrassing). We finally ended up at the dealership & as soon as we drove into a parking space it stalled. So anyone who has this car....GET RID OF IT, ITS NOT WORTH YOUR MONEY!

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

May 252008

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,500 miles

Alright I Bought A 2003 Malibu Ls Back In August Of 2006 With Only 50,000 Miles I Really Didn't Have Any Problems Till After The Warranty Finished A Few Months Ago My Coolant Light Keeps Turning On At least Twice A Week And Most Of The Time The Reservoir Tank Where You Put The Coolant In It Throws It Out Thru The Relief Hose At least 2 Maybe 3 Times A Month And It Pisses Me Off Also There's A Weird Nasty Fish Smelling Sludge In The Tank Also The Oil Light Turns On Once In A While And When I Check The Oil Its Perfect Like WTF!!!...

5/25/07..My Car Started Shaken Out Of The Blue Really Badly My Check Engine Light Turned On And The Car Was Struggling Trying To Move When I Hit Or Tapped The Gas And It Started To Back Fire Like Crazy Also It Started Smelling Funny Like If Something Was Burning I Took It To Auto Zone To See What Could Be The Problem They Ran A Computer And The Computer Said Something About Master Cylinder 1 And They Said To Change A Vacuum,,Spark Plugs,,Spark Plug Wires,,Ignition/Coil,,Fuel Injectors,And Then To Fill The Tank Up And Put Injector Cleaner And The Car Will Go Back To Normal......Well I Did All Of That Spent So Much Money And What Happened The Check Engine Light Turned Off The Car Went Back To Normal And BOOOM!!! 1 Hour Later The Damn Light Turned Back On And The Car Started Doing Everything It Did Before But Worse Then The 1st Time And The Damn Dealer Refuses To Touch The Car Because Its Not Under Warranty And To This The Car Only Has 83,000 Miles Now Im Having So Much Trouble With It..WTF!!!

Oh And On Top Of It All Im Still Paying The Car Off I Got A 5 Year Loan On The Damn Car!!!!!!

My Message To The American Cars Is F*ck You!!! I'm Going Back To Imports They Give You Less Problems And When They Do Give You Problem There Cheap And Easy To Fix..

If Anyone Has Any Ideas On What That Problem Could Be Please Send Me A Message Letting Me Know I'm Open For Ideas Or Suggestions.

- , Bridgeport, CT, USA

problem #1

Jul 142006

(reported on)


  • 72,000 miles

bearings in the motor failed. four thousand dollars for a rebuilt or new motor when this vehicle was properly maintained!!!!!! It only has 72,000 miles on it!!!!!!!!! Chevy will never get my business again!!!!!!!!!!!

- , North Branch, MI, USA

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