Print this page
2011 Chevrolet Malibu transmission problems: transmission went out. broken gear

Transmission Went Out. Broken Gear

2011 Chevrolet Malibu

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Chevrolet dealer.

9.2

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,860
Average Mileage:
84,950 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. rebuild transmission (5 reports)
  3. I paid $2535.00 for a rebuild (1 reports)
  4. replace solenoids and wave plate (1 reports)
2011 Chevrolet Malibu transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #12

Jun 082018

Malibu LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,036 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I find it really upsetting and disturbing to own a 2011 Chevy Malibu with 94,000 miles on it then to have the tranny go out I'm a single parent raising two kids with no support or help not even from the father and could barely even afford my bills let alone and now gotta come up with $700 just for a rebuild on my tranny.

To make matters worse the company won't even sell the parts needed to fix it their making it so you have no choice but yup spend hundreds on fixing it when you could spend 80/120 doing it your self .obviously I can't afford the cost I think that they built it with one thing in mind that being money, like they don't make enough already (GREED).

I've gone to multiple Auto places trying to get the solenoid or the wave plate and the solenoids have been discontinued and I feel that it's BS and shouldn't be allowed. If they're going to sell a vehicle then I feel that they should sell each and every part that's on that vehicle. Had I or any other person I'm sure known that certain parts on the vehicle wouldn't be sold to the public I'm sure that would turn them away instantly because cost for repair at Shops and other places is outrageous these days and most people can't afford it so why would they buy a vehicle.

- Mandy N., Auburn, US

problem #11

Apr 182019

Malibu LTS V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,600 miles

My 2011 Malibu LTZ's transmission went out without any warning. Buddy of mine has a 2010 Equinox with same engine/transmission and his went out a month ago and found out this occurs all the time with these engines. I had him test drive mine to see if he had any warnings- he thought the car operated just fine as did I. Got off the highway and boom would go into gear. No reverse or 1st just felt like driving in neutral. I babied that car, took great care of it and serviced it on time every time. I only put about 9-10,000 miles on a car a year so imagined I would drive it for another several years. I will never purchase another Chevy. They should have recalled these transmissions.

- Jeremy W., Fairfield, OH, US

problem #10

Aug 292017

Malibu XLT V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

My complaint is like most of the complaints I have read on here. We purchased our Malibu (used) in June 2016 from a little old lady who was the original owner. The car was never ragged on, it just hit 70000 miles and was taken in regularly for preventative maintenance and yesterday my husband was driving on a busy road with our kid in the car and turned a corner and out of the blue the car wouldn't drive! They were standing on the side of a busy road in morning rush hour traffic in the rain :/ We had no indication leading up to this that there was any transmission problems and now the shop says we have lost 3 gears and reverse and it will be $2500-$4000 to have it repaired. We are still paying on the loan and after reading about everyone's troubles I really don't want to put anything into this car. This is the first time I have bought Chevy and I will never buy Chevy again!! I can't believe this is such a common problem and the company does not offer any assistance to take care of a problem caused by their poor manufacturing. It's really bad business and I can't believe they can get away with it.

- Trisha B., Sterling Hts, US

problem #9

May 022017

Malibu Malibu Lt V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

FIRST OF ALL, I NEVER HAD A WARNING. I JUST HAD THIS CAR SERVICED FOR IT'S ANNUAL OIL, FLUIDS TO E CLEANED. NEVER IN A MILLION YRS DID I SUSPECT THE TRANSMISSION TO GO OUT ON ME. MY SON DROVE IT EARLIER THAT DAY AND TOLD ME HE FELT SOME PULLING, EARLIER THROUGH OUT THE WEEK I FELT LESS POWER IN THE GAS BUT I FELT IT WAS DUE TO BAD GAS. BUT FOR IT NOT TO WANT TO GO IN REVERSE OR INTO DRIVE THIS WAS NEW.

MY SON CAME TO WHERE I WAS STRANDED AND HE SAID THE TRANSMISSION LOOKS LIKE IT WENT OUT. I AM VERY ANGRY TO BE PAYING FOR A CAR THAT I CAN'T DRIVE AND TO FIND THAT THERE WAS REPAIRS LISTED FOR TRANSMISSION FAILURE, SHIFT INDICATOR MALFUNCTION BACK IN FEB/ 21/2014, APRIL 30TH 2014 ALONG WITH (ELECTRICAL SYSTEM RECALLS 14V252000-C103519) WITH COUNTLESS RECALLS THAT I WASN'T NOTIFIED FOR .

(RECALL 14V252000 CAMPAIGN #103518 HYDRAULIC BRAKES)-( RECALL CAMPAIGN#C-103520 EXTERIOR LIGHTING RECALL)-(RECALL CAMPAIGN #C-103521 SPEED CONTROL)-(RECALL CAMPAIGN#C-103522 ELECTRICAL STABILITY)-(RECALL CAMPAIGN #C-114433 SEAT BELT)-(RECALL CAMPAIGN #C-105066 POWER STEERING)

NO LISTED RECALL FOR THE TRANSMISSION ITSELF WAS ALARMING. this list just goes on. I need help

- Desiree B., Columbus, US

problem #8

Sep 092016

Malibu LX 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,500 miles

For a 2011 with only 50,000 miles I don't feel the transmission should have gone out. My last car was 11 years old and I should have kept that instead of trading in for this lemon. I need my car for work and am now borrowing my moms car til this gets fixed, she is not happy. Was hoping to have this car for my son when he goes away to college next year.

The car started jerking at red lights and the engine rpm would go up and down and the car would jerk horrible and then I could only drive 20 mph, had to get it towed.

- Jill J., Hometown, IL, US

problem #7

Oct 202015

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

I purchased this vehicle in July of 2011 BRAND NEW. Took good care of it, but ended up with high mileage due to my mother being mortally ill. I moved to be closer to her which put me nearly 2 hours from work. Anyhow, because I my high mileage my 4 year old vehicle is not covered for the power train warranty! After researching this issue online, I have discovered that the transmission on this model and year go out ALL THE TIME! Why hasn't their been a recall!? I specifically bought a NEW vehicle to save me from costly repairs; I still owe 12k on my loan! A vehicle should be able to at least last the life of its bank loan! I will NEVER purchase another Chevy, and will be recommending to everyone I know the same advice.

- Jessamy P., Covington, WA, US

problem #6

Feb 182016

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,200 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transmission went out. Neighbor had the same car her transmission went out also. Told me to trade it in but I didn't listen. She was told that they had fixed a few cars with the same problem. Auto repair shop that I took my car to told me they also fixed the transmissions for other customers. They said Chevrolet knows about the transmission problems because a memo was sent out. No re-calls have been issued and if they do your car mileage has to be within 20,000 from re-call date. I can't afford to trade it in or get a new car. I wouldn't get much because I still owe it. Almost paid off. I didn't have the money to pay for the repair. I had to borrow it $2400. Not a happy camper. I will not buy a Chevrolet car again!!!!!! Especially when they know there is issues with the transmission.

- Lydia V., Tempe, AZ, US

problem #5

Jan 232016

Malibu

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,363 miles

When I bought this car I was never told that the 5 yrs. and 100,000 miles did not apply when you buy a used car. I was told I had warranty so not to worry. I brought a 2011 Malibu in 2011 knowing it was a flight car, however you think you have 5 years when I really only had 4 years.

I took care of all of my services calls etc. so when this transmission went out I said " with me only having 80.343 miles on it I am fine. unbeknowst to me, my warranty expired in August of 2015 not August 2016. I am on Social Security and get one check to take care of me (disabled) with the car note and insurance I can barely make ends meet. Then to be told it will be somewhere over $2000 to repair and I still owe two years on the car I am PISSED.

GMC told me they would have someone call me because I was irate about this happening I have yet to hear one peep. This same thing happened to my friend. 5 years and transmission goes out. Is this Malibu DEFECTIVE ? I will not recommend to anyone else to buy a Malibu again. I never had a days trouble with this car until I pulled up to a stop light and my car would not go forward. No warning, no lights, no message come across the screen, NOTHING !

- Dorothy H., Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #4

Jun 212015

Malibu LS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I purchased my 2011 Chevy Malibu in April of 2012, with 56k miles. In April of 2013, at a little over 70k miles, my transmission failed and I was informed by the Woodbridge VA, Lindsay Chevy Dealership that it required a total rebuild and all parts needed to be replaced. My car was still under the warranty and therefore, I did not pay for the services.

Around May 5 2014, I received a recall notice for issues with the Electrical system/ ABS system/ Body Control Module, etc. I took my car back to the same shop for repairs, in which my car was kept for 30 days & returned claiming to have been fixed. Upon receiving my car back I've noticed my car having issues with the electrical system, such as the headlights keep going out (yet the bulb is good). My radio constantly shuts off on its own & randomly switches to AUX and the interior lighting is constantly flickering! Not only do I have electrical malfunctions, it makes this odd noise & the brakes lock up whenever I slow down to around 20mph (usually when turning a corner) and this “ESC” message appears.

I contacted Chevy & asked if there are any recalls for this matter & I was told “no, my car was fixed for all recalls for my model” and that was it. This issue continues to occur today, it’s very alarming to have your brakes lock while entering a highway. This also happened during a snow storm and I almost crashed!! On or around June 19 2015, with about 115000k miles, my car suddenly stopped accelerating in the middle of I95 highway; I was able to pull over and turn my car off. I attempted to restart my car and drive but it would not go into any gears and then it suddenly completely cut off and wouldn’t turn back on. Considering that my transmission failed before, I knew it was my transmission again.

I had my car towed back to the same shop that serviced it before and the first rep was very inconsiderate and only wanted to inform me that I no longer have a warranty & I would have to pay for any repairs. I tried to explain that this is a 4yr old car and already on its 2rd transmission and that they claimed to have fixed the transmission just two years ago! Why would I have to replace a transmission every two years? Again, the rep was cutting me off and would only state that I don’t have a warranty and would have to pay. He then told me it’s not Chevy’s problem and that I need to contact General Motors, they just do what they’re told to do by GM’s standards.

Frustrated and feeling defeated, I hung up and called GM. I got in contact with a senior adviser by the name of Gerry, I explained my situation and she has been very kind and doing her best to assist me in this matter. Gerry offered to pay for the diagnostics test and I was then put in touch with Gregory (who is also very kind and caring) from Chevy to handle my car. Gregory (Chevy Service Center) received my vehicle, completed the test and called me with a quote for $5,000+ and claimed I will need a new transmission.

I was shocked at the amount and asked what can be done, I explained how I had it replaced just two years ago and he explained that unfortunately the warranty was only good for a year. I asked if there was a payment plan and was told no, I have to pay cash. I asked what is wrong with my transmission and was told it’s something internal. I asked if I could have a printout of the diagnostics test and was told that it’s a closed system test and that it’s all codes and they will need to tear down my transmission in order to know what’s truly wrong.

I again requested to see this document and Gregory emailed me a cost quote and explained that the cost for a brand new transmission is $4,106.45 and that the $5k+ quote he verbally told me of included new tires. I told him I didn’t ask for tires, I just want to know about my transmission! He informed me that if I agree to pay for the brand new transmission replacement, that I would receive a 3yr warranty with it. Frustrated again, I told him I was not satisfied with this offer and told him I would get back to him. I called Gerry from GM (again) and told her everything I was informed via voicemail, explaining that I do not understand why I received this payment quote when they do not even know what’s wrong with my current transmission. I do not understand why I have to agree to this amount first.

I told Gerry that I want to know exactly what is wrong, so that I can determine what the best option is for me. I also explained to Gerry that my transmission was completely rebuilt before and according to my paperwork, the total cost was $3,076.22, why is there a difference? I also do not understand why the cost is so high when all parts were new and how does the service center already know that they will not be able to use any of those parts? The very next day Greg called back and I was told I would receive cost assistance of $1,800.00 towards my bill and would be responsible for paying $2,300.45. I was also informed that I would no longer receive a brand new transmission with the 3yr warranty and that I will now receive a rebuilt transmission and a 12 month warranty or up to 12k miles. I was unsure if this was the best option and so I again told him I wanted to think about it and get back to him.

I then received a phone called from Malcom from Chevy Dealer services, I was told that he knew my troubles and wanted me to come to the dealership to work out a deal. I was told that he thinks it would be best for me to trade my car in and start over with a brand new 2015 Malibu, no money down, with a 5yr- 100K mile warranty and a 3yr maintenance package. Desperate and excited, I left my job early and came down to talk to him. I was sent to consult with a sales rep by the name of Adiea (spelling). Shortly into our conversation and after running my credit I was told that I wouldn’t be offered anything for my 2011 Malibu, because it was no good, not running and they would never be able to fix it/ sell it. I was also told that I didn’t qualify for a new car unless I had a co-signer, in which she turned to my mom (who was with me) and asked her to co-sign for me!

Appalled, I told her NO! I came down here with the impression that they were well aware of my situation and would be offering me some sort of decent deal. I asked what about my current loan and why do I need a co-signer when I have been working on my credit and recently pulled my scores and they were not bad. Adiea then informed me that my credit isn’t good enough; as a matter of fact she can tell I’ve been using a credit cleaning service and that looks bad. It looks as if I do not pay my bills and just wanted to dispute everything. She also said that I owe too much on my Malibu and that I should just “let my car go”. I asked her what does she mean “let my car go” and she told me to let my car get repossessed and buy a new car with them. I was livid and felt hurt and insulted! I broke down crying and asked her since when is it “bad” to fix your credit. Why would I want to have repossession on my credit, when I’ve worked so hard to get it to where it is today and that I have never been told such things before. She then tried to convince me that repossession isn’t that bad and that credit agencies only look at payment history and not that I have a repossession. I couldn’t believe the bad advice she was giving me and felt that she was telling me anything just to get a sale.

I told her that I truly do not even want to deal with Chevy products again and that I only reason I came was because I really need a car and thought they were trying to help me. In tears, I told my mother I felt that I left work for false pretenses and that my time was wasted & I wanted to leave. We did. I then called my brother and explained everything to him and he too couldn’t believe what was going on. He requested Gregory’s contact information, so that he could have him explain why I cannot receive a copy of the diagnostics test and or why I am being told to pay such a high amount. After speaking with him, my brother explained that Greg informed him that once I agree to let them open my transmission, which would cost about $900 (will be included in total repair cost); I would then receive the details and an accurate cost estimate for repairs.

Although I appreciated Gregory’s patience and help, I still felt confused and frustrated. I called Gerry from GM again and explained what I was informed and all of my frustrations. She asked me what was I informed in regards to the diagnostics test and I told her that Greg only said that its only codes and that he doesn’t know anything until they open it. Gerry agreed & understood my feelings and apologized for all of the confusion. She told me she would contact Gregory and that I should not have received any quotes for anything until they know for certain what’s wrong with my transmission. I told her that I have agreed to let Chevy examine my transmission and that once they know & inform me of the exact problem, I will then determine my next step. Gerry informed me that she will be following up with everything and doing her best to help resolve the situation to my satisfaction.

I do appreciate Gerry and Gregory’s assistance, however it’s unfair that I have had this car for 3 years and it’s already on its 3rd transmission. My car is only 4 years old and aside from the transmission issues, numerous recalls have occurred. I just received another recall notice for seat belt issues and was told that I should not drive the car; however Chevy currently does not have the parts available to fix my vehicle yet and will notify me when to bring it in. I cannot believe how I have been treated throughout this process and that this is how General Motor’s is represented. I feel that my car was junk to begin with. No one should have to replace/ repair a transmission 3 times within four years! General Motor’s is distributing faulty, cheap equipment and I feel cheated! I took a chance buying an American made car… this was my first and will be my last! UNPROFESSIONAL!!!!

- wilsona630, Stafford, VA, US

problem #3

May 252015

Malibu

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I purchased this vehicle only 2 years ago from a dealer in Fitzgerald, Ga. The transmission has been slipping now for about a month and finally went out yesterday. I am a single parent and this is my only way of getting around. I have to catch a ride back and forth an hour away. I still owe about $14,000 on this car that does not run. I don't think that this is fair at all.

Also when I took it to the shop to confirm that it was gone out, there was another person there with the same vehicle and guess what? His transmission had went out also. I do believe that this is something that is a factory issue. All the vehicles that I have previously owned have been used and older model vehicles and the only problems I had with those were minor things.

I purchased this vehicle which is a newer model and is being told that the transmission is going to cost just as much as one of the used vehicles I have purchased. This really disgusts me because times are really hard and I am working and trying to go to school .This has really caused a set back for me!!!

- Kimberly W., Scotland, GA, US

problem #2

Nov 142014

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

For being a newer car it has giving me more problems then any other car I've owned. The fact that I was out of a car for a week because they were fixing it was truly difficult and having to take time off to take the car in is the worst part. And now it starting to act up again makes me wonder if they replaced it or just a temporary fix.

- mrkaguirre, Chula Vista, CA, US

problem #1

Sep 262013

Malibu LS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,200 miles

I bought this Chevrolet Malibu brand new in August of 2010. My father picked out the car because Consumer reports said it was a safe and solid car. I flew from Florida to Ohio to buy the car and drove it back to Florida. I loved this car until a few weeks ago when the transmission broke in a second, with no warning.

I stopped at a traffic light on the highway, put my foot on the brake and went to go when the light turned and the car would not move. There was no warning. The car was perfect until the transmission went out. The garage said the gear was completely broken and he had seen that in "several newer Malibu's and Impala's".

I had a rental car for 8 days because the second kit they got was also defective. I have paid $341.00 a month for this car, for over three years. I still have three years to go and I'm really angry that a 3 year old car with 47,000 miles could have a transmission go out. I don't want this car any more and I don't know if I can get the $10,000 I need in trade-in to pay the car off so I can get a new car. It sucks because I loved this car and now I don't trust it.

- Pam B., St. Petersbur, FL, US

Not what you are looking for?