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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,285 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.

2008 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Apr 172014


  • 65,000 miles


I was traveling on route 15 from va to md. I stopped for gas, got back on the highway going around 45 and the timing chain broke which destroyed the motor. The mechanic who replaced the motor said this was a common problem with this particular motor and GM was aware of it, but have not issued a recall. The mechanic said the oil needed to be changed regularly or the engine was more prone to this problem. I did change the oil regularly and have records to prove it.

- Middletown, MD, USA

problem #14

Sep 022013


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle shook violently and the engine power reduced warning indicator illuminated. The speed decreased and another vehicle crashed into the rear of the contact's vehicle. A police report was filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #13

Apr 012014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 88,845 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving 35 mph, the check engine, dome light, door ajar sound, seat belt warning lights illuminated at the same time. The engine lost power after the above warning signals displayed. The failure recurred three times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the body control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure recurred with seat belt and service air bags light illuminated. The vehicle was not taken back to a dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 88,845.

- Rock Island, IL, USA

problem #12

Sep 112014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 106,884 miles


While driving 50 mph down the highway in my 2008 Chevy Malibu (106,800 miles) the traction control light came on and information center read "engine power deduced" and my car slowed to 20 mph almost immediately with no warning to me or the vehicles behind me. Luckily there was a wide shoulder and I veered off to avoid being rear ended as I had my 3 child all in car seats in back. I called the dealership but as they weren't open yet, I did what I had to as one of my children is a special needs child and was almost time for his seizure medication and drove the car on to my mother in laws 4 miles away. I drove down the shoulder of the highway for approximately 1 mile to make it to my mother in laws turn then the next 3 miles to her house was less congested with traffic luckily. The car had a slight shake to it almost and something seemed like it was rattling almost under the hood but a slow rattle not like a knocking sound tho. After the dealership opened I took the car to them after shutting off and restarting car ran normal again. They said they could find the issue in the history. Chevy told us the cam shaft solenoid had internal failure and needed replaced. We got it fixed and changed spark plugs and did a small tune up to make sure that was the whole issue solved. Last night just a day later the same thing happened as my husband was driving the car. This is an issue with many newer Chevy cars some still with just 50,000 miles on them. It is a major safety concern and needs to be addressed with GM in a recall I am afraid before more lives are taken due to faulty engineering and parts! please look into this further! Chevy also found a crack in the exhaust manifold that they are replacing for free already as well as multiple other recalls we are awaiting parts for.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #11

Aug 162014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 65,786 miles
While driving on the 101 a 5 lane hwy, we were in the hov lane. The car completely stalled, we had all electrical on the dash light radio worked but the car wouldn't start back up. Previous occasions it has stalled, this is the 5 or 6th time! I take it in to service and they say its one thing and other week goes by and it does it again.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #10

Mar 112014


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph, the vehicle became hesitant to accelerate and stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to restart however, the power steering failed causing the steering wheel to seize. The problem recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 93,000.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #9

Jul 132014


  • 66,240 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while attempting to park, the vehicle suddenly stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the dealer stated that the parts were not available for repair. Additionally, the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) however, the contact stated that the recall had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 66,240.

- Merchantville, NJ, USA

problem #8

Jun 012010


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the driver side and passenger side rear seat belts had separated from the seats. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who indicated that the seat belts were improperly installed during manufacturing. The seat belts were replaced but the defect had recurred on the passenger side. Also, the contact indicated that later the rear middle seat belt had separated from the seat. In addition the contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defects. The failure mileage was 36,000.

- Bloomfield , IN, USA

problem #7

May 162014


  • 39,555 miles
Turn signal isn't operating correctly, it no longer cuts off automatically, three of my four door latches aren't working--don't respond to key fob (the one that works), have to lock all three doors manually. Check engine light comes on after filling up car and has been on for about 7 months with no one at the dealership knowing why. Also have a problem with water settling in my car every time it rains. Key fobs both went out also but only one is now working at 75%. all of these problems have been going on since I first got the car with the dealership either pretending as if I did it or that they do not have enough staff to correct the problem. I know this was only done because I am a female and the car was under warranty. I am so disappointed!!! I bought this car brand new with only 100 miles on it and it seems as if GM wants their dealerships to do this. I know so many people with the same problems from the same parent manufacturer (Tahoe, enclave, Impala, Malibu) this car seems to have a lot of minor/major problems that all rear their ugly heads at various times of ownership..thinking about getting rid of it even though it was my dream car and almost paid for!!!! GM needs to get on the ball!!!

- Pineville, LA, USA

problem #6

Apr 262014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
My 2008 Chevy Malibu 2lt is experiencing issues where it basically loses power to the engine. The code that came up is P2135 and the messages were service traction/service ESC/engine power reduced. Once the engine is shut down, it won't start until the codes are cleared. My husband & I were driving at 50mph and all of a sudden the car wouldn't let us go more than 20mph and we were almost hit by cars behind us and barely had enough time to get over. I am very upset about this issue because I take very good care of my car and there was no warning sign that something was going wrong prior to all of the messages coming up (engine light etc).

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #5

Jul 012013


  • miles


2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle sudden acceleration issues. The consumer stated as she attempted to accelerate, the vehicle did not move for several seconds. The engine kept revving and making a loud sound. The odometer went from 60 mph to 0 and the tachometer vacillated from two to five. Suddenly, the vehicle accelerated. Then the engine began revving again and the situation repeated itself. The vehicle was unable to maintain a steady speed and when it slowed down again, the consumer was nearly rear-ended. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test, which revealed the pressure control solenoid internally shorted out.

- Burlington, MA, USA

problem #4

Jan 142013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the doors on the vehicle would not lock with the key fob, but it did lock with the key. The contact stated that the check engine light also illuminated on the instrument panel and the air conditioner smelled like the coolant was burning; however, the vehicle did not overheat. The failure was not diagnosed by a dealer or mechanic. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was 50,000.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #3

Feb 112013


  • 44,000 miles
Chevrolet Malibu ltz 3.6L, as you drive down the street at any speed the traction control light comes on check engine light comes on and the display say check traction press ESC I have had it checked at the Chevy dealership where I purchased the car and the tech said the engine misfired that it was probably due to bad gas or a particle in the gas but it has happened about ten times with gas from several places and all grades regular to premium and know the check engine light has come on and am know taking the car back to the dealer to have them scan the car again I have had the car a little over a month, if the dealer decides it is no longer there problem I will report this problem and hassle I have gone through to GM management and will return the car back to the dealer or owner of dealership for a refund.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #2

Jun 062012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Steering shakes violently, while driving or stopped, to the point of losing control. Condition is intermitent. Vehicle has been checked by dealer and diagnosed as needing a steering control module. So far Chevrolet has not offered a fix, except to replace it at a cost of 743.00$ with the same part that is defective? engine light came on at 70000 miles and dealer replaced cat conv at no charge. The third issue is door locks stopped working at 74000 miles, and will only open manually. The steering is a very dangerous condition and I fear will cause a accident.

- Oceanside , CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 012012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that she refueled the vehicle and once the vehicle was restarted, the check engine warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis however, the dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact then took the vehicle to an independent mechanic where they advised her that the fuel cap needed to be replaced. The fuel cap was replaced however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 52,000. The current mileage was approximately 54,000. Updated 1/15/13 updated 1/28/2013

- House Springs, MO, USA

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