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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,550 miles
Total Complaints:
30 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new transmission (22 reports)
  2. rebuild transmission (6 reports)
  3. not sure (2 reports)
2010 Chevrolet Malibu transmission problems

transmission problem

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2010 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Apr 132020

Malibu 1g1

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles


Owned this car less than 8 months. Had checked by mechanic before purchase.

- James B., Killeen, TX, US

problem #29

Jul 192019

Malibu LT Ecotech 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles

GM knew about the 6t40 6 speed transmission and the wave plates breaking. I deliver auto parts to transmission shops and "wow" what a problem this has been.

The transmission quit when my wife was driving the car and her and her girlfriend had to push it up the driveway and I had to pay to get it towed 50 miles and had to replace the transmission. I complained to Chevy and later got a call from GM.

Basically, I was told it is not a safety issue. Not a safety issue? Really?

I can't see why GM can't at least help out a bit. Of course they tell you you did something wrong but it is a defective part.

- Marty P., Metamora, MI, US

problem #28

Apr 052019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,264 miles

I bought this car in December of 2009, in spring of 2011, they had to fix the transmission. Warranty covered the cost of repair. In 2016 same problem again, whet to a transmission specialist cost 4000.00 in repair. And on april 5th 2019 again transmission stopped working!!! Now it's going to be scrapped!! I think I'm losing close to 4000.00 in exchange value for a new car!!! Thanks a lot GM! What a lemon!!!

- Michel B., GREENFIELD PARK, QC, Canada

problem #27

Mar 132019

Malibu LT 2.4L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,500 miles


Bought the car 4 months ago. Wednesday, I backed out of a driveway and the car wouldn't move after backing out. The car would not stop revving, and had to put it in neutral. I was able to limp the car home, with it dying many times. I have been told I need a new transmission. It has 96500 miles and I have been told it will be 3000 dollars to fix from a local mechanic. I was quoted 4400 by a GM dealer. Very angry, even more so knowing that others are doing this also. I have filed complaints with GM and the federal government in hopes for a recall.

- Laura B., Duncan, US

problem #26

Oct 052018

Malibu LT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

87,000 miles I was the only owner, and on my way to work car just jerked and wouldn't go into gear. Car was towed to dealer where they told me trans need to be replaced for $3600. I WILL NEVER BUY another Chevy!

- Mimi H., Baltimore, US

problem #25

Sep 162018

Malibu LTZ 2.4L I4 F Dohc 16v

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,300 miles

2010 Malibu LTZ just stopped without warning! Very scary situation! Fortunately no other car crashed into me but that would've been a likely scenario. Not only a costly repair but an extreme Safety Issue!! Apparently and unfortunately I’m not alone. Chevy should step up and help us all out and pay for our costs. Like many others, never a Chevy again!

- Andrew B., West Chicago, US

problem #24

Jun 292018

Malibu LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,040 miles


I bought this car 02/2014 and it had 57,000 miles on it. I got the extended warranty for peace of mind. The warranty ended on 03/2018. I was driving to work on June 28th or 29th when my RPM went up and I noticed the car wouldn't go into gear. I took my foot off of the gas when the car finally went into gear and jolted really hard. Luckily I was only a few blocks away from work so I babied my car to work and parked it there and got a ride home that night. Hoping that it was just low on fluid or bad fluid (there is no dipstick so I can conveniently check it)

I called around to get quotes for a tranny service. The closest place was 2 blocks away. The next morning I went to back it out of the parking spot to take it up there and there was no reverse. I had someone help push it out but in neutral it kept stopping like if I had my breaks on. I was able to put it in drive and it moved. I put it on manual mode so it wouldn't try to get into second gear and drove to the place going between 10-15MPH.

The mechanic said that the car was very clean underneath with no leaks. He drained the same amount of fluid that it takes so it wasn't low. However, he said that it was liquid metal coming out. Even with new fluid there was still no reverse or second. He recommended that I take it to a transmission specialist. At 96k miles and I have done all recommended maintenance since getting the car it showed no signs of going until it went. Rather than try to find out what is wrong with it and put more money into this car I decided to eat money on it and trade it in and wipe my hands clean.

This car has been nothing but issues since 2 weeks after I got it. It was riddled with recalls that had to be fixed multiple times for the same recall. The mechanic that did the tranny flush said he has seen multiple issues with the transmissions on Malibus and recommends against his family getting them or the Cruze. First and last Chevy I will buy. I went back to Ford.

- Sara M., Kennewick, WA, US

problem #23

Jan 292018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


- Cynthia R., Atlanta, GA, US

problem #22

Sep 102017

Malibu LT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,400 miles

The transmission was ok when I backed out of the garage to go to church. I drove about a mile down the road with no problem. I parked the car. When I got out of church and put the car in reverse and reved the engine it slowly backed up. It would go in drive up to about 40 mph the engine roaring like the transmission would not change gears. Unfortunately, no warranty. When I bought the car brand new the transmission was replaced with a new one at 3,000 miles due to a gm recall. I will never buy a chey again. I just bought a new 2018 Subaru Legacy.

- Joseph B., Cranston, US

problem #21

Apr 282017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

I want GMC to honor the recall part in my 2010 Chevy Malibu

- Kathleen H., Cedar, MI, US

problem #20

Jul 172017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,040 miles


My father bought this car NEW from a dealer. he was 80 years old, vehicle immaculately is a 2010 Chevy Malibu....I received it last year and it seemed as if I had a NEW CAR, Until it wouldn't move last week...luckily it was home..Towed it...yep needs a whole new tranny...3,400 dollar repair. 7/20/17 ordered a new one from GM..will receive a 100,000 mile warranty on this one, but yet my car has only 94,000 gently used miles on it...they told me it only had 5 year 60,000 mile warranty on the original one.. Extremely upset. please don't let this happen to you,, luckily we were not on a trip.

- stanbalam, Holland, 49423, US

problem #19

Jun 192017

Malibu LTZ

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I knew I shouldn't have purchased a Chevy. Transmission gone at 90000 miles. Only 3 owners and my parents were one of the 3, I'm the 3rd. Regardless, this shouldn't happen at 90000miles. Never buying Chevy again.

- Lisa H., Shawnee Mission, KS, US

problem #18

May 202017

Malibu 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

This should definitely be something that GM pays for and not me! - Very frustrating - Never going to buy a GM again.

- Cynthia C., Denver, CO, US

problem #17

Oct 202016

Malibu LT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

A car with 91000 miles on it and the transmission completely self destructs. Not my car, my wife's. I don't drive it. Could not be repaired due to the damage. This is a KNOWN issue with this vehicle and transmission. Had to be replaced by my local Chevy dealer.

- Leslie M., Schenevus, NY, US

problem #16

May 202016

Malibu LT 2.4L`

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

In May 2016 my 2010 Malibu transmission just stopped working. It was said when it was rebuilt that the wave spring broke in half. Why doesn't GM stand behind this flaw!

- Gregory M., Pittsford, NY, US

problem #15

Oct 122016

Malibu LT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,612 miles
I expect this letter to fall on deaf ears, but I have to get it off my chest. For 40 years I have been a loyal customer of GM and own or owned some of the following cars: Cutlass Supreme, 3- Cavaliers,1- Sunbird, 2- Alero’s, 2 –Vandura’s,Cobalt, Malibu Convertible, 2 -2010 Malibu’s, Buick regal, and these are just some if the ones I remember. 
In 2010, I bought a Malibu and liked it so much, my brother bought another. The Vin #’s are:
    1G1ZD5E00AF253361<p>    On October 12,2016 My brothers Malibu had Transmission trouble and it was replaced with a rebuilt. The symptom was that when you accelerated, the engine revved up but the car did not accelerate. I never thought anything of it, figuring maybe he bottomed out and lost transmission oil. But a month later (November 14,2016), I had the exact same trouble with my transmission. In fact, I was leaving Friday, November 11,2016 for a weekend trip to Toronto and was merging into traffic when it happened and a car had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting me. It happened again about 200 feet later, so I turned around and went back home to take my wifes’ Cobalt. It happened again on the way home. I did not like driving on the highway with the cobalt. Monday, November 14,2016 I took the car straight to Gravel Decarie, and told the dealer I might consider suing GM for a hidden defect. He then said he would not repair the car unless I signed a waiver. I had no choice. It was sign a waiver or have a car that did not work. So, under duress I signed the waiver and the car was repaired and picked up on November 22,2016. That did not mean I was happy, and if I decide to sue GM, the waiver would mean nothing because it was signed under duress.<p>    In reading the invoice it says 

Cause: Internally worn components.

If I was unhappy before, I was now even unhappier. I bought what I thought was an American built car, avoiding German, Japanese, Korean and other foreign built cars, only to find it contains a Daewoo Korean built transmission using pig metal. The components are ‘worn’ after only 42,000km. This is unbelievable. I had called GM and spoke to a guy ‘David’ who was supposed to call me back within 48 hours. He did not. But on Saturday night I found a message on my phone at home to call him, so I did the next day. I called three times, left 3 messages, and never got him. On Tuesday, November 15,2016 a girl from GM called me again at home at night, to see if I was happy with the settlement. I told her absolutely not. She said that I should realize that the warranty was over and GM was helping me. I told her, that under normal circumstances I might have been happy, but not with two cars in a month with the same KM and age. Maybe if I had 80,000 or 100,000 km it would be a different story, but certainly not 40,000. I live 4km from my office. I drive to and from work every day, and rarely put on any highway mileage. Actually I had put on more highway mileage when I first bought the car and had to drive to the selling dealer who was 3/4 hour on the highway from my home. Gravel did not exist at the time, and when Gravel opened up, I began going there.

In spite of GM’s bankruptcy, I stuck with GM. I could have switched to BMW, Lexus, Acura, Honda, Nissan, Mercedes, or others, who are also near my office, rather than drive the distance I did to buy GM in Iles Perot. I have no idea how many people I have influenced to buy GM cars, but I can tell you many.

On November 10, I scrapped a Cavalier that my Daughter-in-law had been driving. My son was supposed to use my wifes’ car Friday while we were away,( as he had also sold his Xterra), to go buy a new car at Gravel. Since I took my wifes’ car, he called to ask why, and I told him about the problem with my car. He put off buying the car until I got back. When I told him what happened with my car and my brothers’ car, GM and the dealer, he then went Friday, Nov 18 and bought a BMW with an extended warranty for $60,000+. He is picking it up tonight. He said he did not need these hassles and would trade the BMW before the warranty expires. This car was for himself. I asked what he will do for a car for his wife and he said he would have to think about it, because she does not want such a big car. I have a wife and three grown kids who I have supplied with cars. I give allowances to employees to buy their cars, provided they buy cars I approve.

Today I compared the two invoices from Gravel for the two repairs on the cars. One was $2312.33 and the other was 3650.92 (mine). I called Gravel find out why the big difference and he said that on mine, there was also a leak in the cooling coil from the radiator to the transmission. He said that when the car was built, it was the old technology as GM was going bust, and that the newer cars are better built. That was very depressing. Looks like I might really have a lemon on my hands and should start looking for a new car before more goes wrong. My accountant came by this afternoon and picked me up for a meeting. He was driving a Mercedes. I asked how he liked the car and he said it was now his third one. He said he had a Cadillac before and had too much trouble with it and loves the Mercedes,

Now that I have put $3600.00 into the car, I will likely keep it 1 more year and then trade it. With this experience, I will likely look at other manufacturers for the cars I buy, now and in the future, as if there is no loyalty from GM, then why do they have my loyalty? I have a GM car with points still on it, which I will likely just abandon. If GM can’t build it right and does not stand behind what they build, then it is not for me. I expect the answer to this letter will be the same as I got on the phone. “Thank you for your comments which I have noted and thank you for calling GM”.

- Lyon K., Montreal, QC, Canada

problem #14

Oct 172016

Malibu LT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Transmission should not go out at 92,000 miles. Only 6 year old car. It had the same problem that 2009 models had, wave plate broken in the transmission. GM covered the 2009 models out of warranty but won't cover the 2010. GM lost a customer.

- David R., Tulsa, OK, US

problem #13

Sep 162016

Malibu LS 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,600 miles

Driving back from the grocery store when without warning my car made a noise and acted like it didn't want to drive while in gear. I pulled over on the side of the road to try and figure out what could be going on, and as I attempted to pull off the car wouldn't drive as I gave it gas, it just wouldn't move. I had got it towed and after a mechanic looked at it I was told that my transmission had failed and would need to be replaced. Of course I am very angry at this point because I have only had my car for 2 years as of August. I immediately called the dealership where I bought if from to let them know and to see if it was still covered under warranty since I was told all the great things that GM certified cars come with and to my surprise I wasn't covered under any type of warranty at all, and the only thing they recommended was for a discount on a new transmission costing me well over 3,000. Of course I don't just have that kind of money laying around and I was so mad because I had always kept up the maintenance on it as they had records of it as well. I contacted GM and they weren't even trying to help because again it was out of warranty. I have never been so frustrated over a vehicle that I have only had for 2 years. I have bought older cars from buy here pay here lots with only a 30 day warranty and have never had any major problems with the powertrain of a vehicle, and the first time I get a car off of the lot from a dealership this is what happens! I had even received offers in the mail to buy an extended warranty but just ignored it not thinking anything this major would happen to a car from such a reputable maker such as GM, but now I know and lesson learned to never buy from them again especially when they are aware of this problem and choose to ignore it and cost the customer thousands of dollars for repairs, and their only solution is to change the warranties for the models that are 2011 and newer.

- Angela S., North East, MD, US

problem #12

Oct 102016

Malibu LT 4 Cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

My 2010 Malibu's transmission just stopped going into a forward gear period. When I say stopped I mean stopped in the middle of the road. I left worked pulled up to a stop light and stopped, when the light turned green I pressed the gas and nothing. I have never had a check engine light or any other warning come on, no noise, no jerking, no anything. At first it was almost unbelievable due to the lack of any warning or noise or anything. So having a pretty extensive knowledge of autos but not an expert on transmissions, I had my car towed to a very reputable transmission shop. They tried to pull any codes and nothing, but not surprising for GM vehicles. Checked the transmission fluid, good fluid level and smelt good. So you know whats next, remove the transmission and start looking. Disaster, completely shredded, I honestly could not believe what I was looking at. This amount of damage to the transmission without any warning at all, without any sound at all, with out any jerking, slipping or anything. If I had not seen it I would have never believed this could happen.

So, I have to have my car to get to and from work so 4000.00 roughly, yea I just happen to carry that around at all items. No need to contact GM, they could care less, they have proven that on many occasions even in front of a congressional committee. So I will fix it, get rid of it when I can and no longer be a GM customer. Yes GM, I am only one person but those one's start adding up and from what I have been reading you have a lot of ones already .

- Brian S., Savannah, GA, US

problem #11

Aug 312016

Malibu LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


- Joan H., Paris, TN, US

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