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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,937 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.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #16

Oct 312011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 88,010 miles


Car engine will shut down at random times showing anti-theft light. Even while driving. This is a dangerous situation.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #15

Oct 012006


  • 35,000 miles
Vehicle's anti-theft system frequently locks up, preventing driver from starting car for a minimum of 10-15 minutes. Has failed on average once per two months since 2005. Have had the ignition switch replaced multiple times yet the problem persists.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #14

Aug 242011


  • 80,000 miles
My car has always had little quirks that didn't seem right about it since I purchased it from my Chevy dealer. It was under warranty at the time so my level of concern wasn't as high as it is now. Things like a sporadic start to the engine while trying to crank the car and the car shimming or quivering when driven faster then 70 mph (highway). I have taken the car back to the dealership for assessment which all came back inconclusive. This last experience merits this complaint. I stopped at a red light taking my hands off the wheel to adjust my seat belt. I glanced over to my steering wheel and it begin to dance/rock right to left and left to right. My hands were clear of the steering wheel and my foot firm on the brakes. When I proceeded to drive once the light was green, I put my foot on the gas that is when my warning signal chimed, and the power steering message flashed on the message center screen. Simultaneously the steering wheel locked up and it became extremely difficult to steer. I begin to maneuver the vehicle into a nearby parking lot. I realized that turning the vehicle took a great amount of effort. After getting in to the parking lot and turning the engine off I waited for about thirty minutes then I proceeded to restart my engine to see if the same trouble would occur. I drove around in the parking lot for about fifteen minutes to see the I would encounter the same issue. The car seemed fine considering, I drove it home. I have not had any problems since but it was a horrifying ordeal.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #13

Dec 242010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 111,282 miles


12/24/2010 while driving a 2004 Chevy Malibu my engine light came on and then the steering wheel locked up while driving and it made a sudden jerking stop. This was the first time this happened but it scared both my daughter and I. then in addition to keep replacing my headlights and tail lights pretty much every other month they blow out and need to be replaced. For both incidents a local mechanic was consulted and he recommended that I contact a GM dealer ship to check for recalls. I did that and received information that there has not been a recall for the current situations but there has been many similar complaints with the same make and model car and was referred me to the nearest dealership to be checked.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #12

Aug 192008


  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was driving approximately between 25-35 mph; proceeding to make a turn. There was a loud popping noise coming from the steering wheel. The power steering warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. Also, the engine warning indicator illuminated at a different time. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and an independent mechanic for service repairs. The components were replaced on separate occasions which consists of the steering column, gas cap, fuel module, and tie-rod. The PCM was also reprogrammed. The service repairs were performed at the dealer on three separate occasions. The failure mileage was 29,000.

- Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #11

Jul 102009


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving less than 3 mph, the power steering failed. The contact drove forward out of a parking spot, but the steering wheel would not turn. She had to exert great force in order to turn the steering wheel. In addition, the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The manufacturer would not assist because there were no recalls for the steering. The manufacturer referred the contact to NHTSA. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were less than 128,000.

- Newtone Falls, OH, USA

problem #10

Apr 122008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 70,889 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact's vehicle will not start on several occasions. She took the vehicle back to the dealer three times, but they were unable to duplicate the failure. The most recent failure occurred on April 12, 2008. After driving off the dealer lot, the contact made a stop and the vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle is currently at the dealer, but they are still unable to diagnose or duplicate the failure. They also will not attempt to change any parts to locate the failure. The failure mileage was 70,889. Updated 05/21/08 updated 05/20/08

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #9

Dec 062006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,500 miles
Coolant low indicator came on dash board. Took car to dealership was advised coolant leaking on gasket. Parts were replaced, engine light then came on next day took car back was advised needed to order part for catalytic converter. Parts still haven't came in and engine light still on. Was told the Malibu has a complex exhaust system.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #8

Apr 062004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
Vehicle continued to stall and cut off. There have been instances where the vehicle shut down and had to be towed. Vehicle is at the dealership, again they are unable to duplicate the problem.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #7

Dec 012004


  • miles
Electrical problems and numerous starting problems. While driving, the door locks unlocked, engine dies with no warning. Nar the steering wheel locked up, the hazard lights stopped working, the alarm would go off, the power rear view mirrors were inoperative, the vehicle would buck and surge, the steering wheel would shake, the vehicle would start rough and the tachometer would bounce.

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 082004

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 2,700 miles


While driving vehicle will just stall. However, the very first time the vehicle would not start. Consumer had the vehicle towed. The vehicle has done this a total of 5 times. Consumer has taken the vehicle in several times. Dealer had the vehicle eleven days, and they could not find anything wrong with it.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #5

Aug 172004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,560 miles
The vehicle became hard to start. It has been an ongoing problem. The power steering locked on the highway at 20 mph. After pulling off the road and restarting the vehicle and getting it to the dealer, they replaced the steering column. No defects were found on the starting problems. Now the vehicle accelerates on its own. Ea04018_cat

- Covington, KY, USA

problem #4

Jul 042004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Check engine light illuminated while driving. Vehicle stalled intermittently. Vehicle had been to dealer on three separate occasions, and they were unable to duplicate the problem.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #3

Jun 302004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While traveling at any speed vehicle stalled. Without consumer had several close calls of being rear ended. Vehicle was serviced several times, but problem recurred.

- Old Hickory, TN, USA

problem #2

Jun 172004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 53 miles
Vehicle experienced an ongoing problem with stalling while driving. This occurred twice a week. Vehicle had been to the dealer on two separate occasions, and dealer replaced the ignition switch, but problem recurred. Vehicle was taken a second time to dealer, who was unable to duplicate the problem.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 012004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The power steering failed when car was first started in the morning, the car had 1,000 miles at that time. I called a tow truck and when he came to pick it up the power steering worked fine, he said that the computer might have bypassed it when the car was started, I contacted the service department and they told me that the car had to be malfunctioning at the time they checked it or they couldn't do anything about it. The second time the power steering failed the car has been driven around 6 mi., the car was idling at the time and she turned the motor off and took the key out and then restarted the car the steering worked ok then. The third time the power steering failed was when I was backing the car in the garage, at this time the car had 2,000 miles on it. When I restarted it the power steering worked ok. I contacted montgomery Chevrolet and talked to the service man there and he said that they couldn't do any thing about it unless it was acting up at the time and it wasn't. he said that I could leave it. It was 1,000 miles between the first and second time it happened and around 100 miles more on the third time. We were lucky that all of the failure happened in out driveway or in the garage. Pe04031_cat

- Shepherdsville, KY, USA

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