Used 2002 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews
I bought my Malibu in 2003 when the transmission in my old Grand Prix started to go. It was a rental previously, and I knew this going in. I will say though, despite it's faults, I have a hard time saying the car is complete junk, because my kids (ages 9-11) rode in it when they were babies. I will start with what I believe to be the minor faults, but they can cost: 1. 15 inch tires are getting hard to come by now, and being FWD, it eats up tires quick, if not rotated properly. 2. It only uses the front disc brakes for stopping, thus eats brake pads fast. The drums are only used for parking brake. That said, I will now go into the more expensive repairs I have had: 1. Fuel pump went out 5 years ago, driving down the road. 2. The starter has a safety switch, that will go bad in time, and require replacement, unless yu know how to bypass it, which I did. 3. The biggest....the head gaskets from the factory, are junk and a ticking time bomb. He manifold gaskets are plastic and will crack in time. You will start to lose oil and coolant once they do. I overheated the car 2 winters ago, causing the heads to warp, which required mill work, than changed the gaskets with Fel-Pro gaskets, use regular coolant, and since than, the car drives almost like new. It was a complete PITA to get the top half off and put back together. Just beware that if you have one, and are approaching 150k miles, you have a time bomb on your hands. I recommend flushing the cooling system, to help slow down erosion of the gaskets. Total time and money, we spent 4 days, and around $400 to fix. 4. The fan sensor, which turns the electric fan on and off, went bad, which caused my overheating problem. Would have cost $500 for a new one, but rigged a wire and toggle switch, and it now works. I just have to remember to shut it off, or I will have a dead battery. Interior: Not much, very basic, which I like. Over the years, the arm rest on the drivers door has developed a hole, a couple holes in the driver seat, and the headliner is starting to droop some. All in all, I would have to say that through it all, I should have considered more when buying a car, but I can't complain 100%, because after some work and money put in it, it still runs. Would I recommend it to anyone else? No, especially for anyone wanting a car that lasts a while. The only reason we put money into it, is because we couldn't afford to buy a new vehicle. After the first of the year, the Malibu will be retired to a local driving car only, and one used for a backup, as I will hopefully have a new vehicle.
The 2002 Malibu is extremely normal. It's practical, a bit faster than you might think, but its boring looks keep it in the "grandma car" category. Pros: -Practical size. Not to big on the outside, plenty of space on the inside. -Reluctantly fast. At first I thought I was driving a slow car since I got it from my grandmother, but it's actually pretty quick compared to these new eco-friendly 4-cylinder sedans with a million gears that won't let you touch 4,000rpm. If you coax it, it'll move. Cons: -Looks. It's not ugly, it's just boring. Silver lining: cops won't notice you. -Lots of little repairs. Annoying things like the indicator keeps clicking for no reason.
I bought this car used from Hertz (at 24,000 miles) in 2003, and 11 years later it's at 152,000. I've used it for lots of city driving in San Francisco (those hills and traffic are hard on a car), highway driving, and trips on rough roads in the Sierra. Engine is still going strong, and I haven't had to spend much on repairs. The biggest (and scariest) problem was a fuel pump failure while I was on the road. The anti-theft system can be annoying when it won't let you start (has happened to me about 4 times over the years), but all you need to do is wait it out for 10 minutes.
I sadly had a wreck that totalled our 2002 Malibu last Wednesday. It was a very bad wreck with a fully loaded double-sized gravel truck hitting us on the rear passenger wheel. He was speeding along through a red light and hit us at roughly 50mph. The car withstood that awful impact so my son and I did not get hurt badly or worse yet- killed. We do have assorted bumps and bruises and a couple of very severe headaches but no broken bones, no serious cuts. The Malibu protected us beautifully- I'm glad to know it was such a safe car.
I bought this car new for $16,000. Everyone who I showed it to and let ride in it guessed $22,000 to $25,000. Average 24 MPG with 3.1 litre V-6.
Over 100K miles and it has yet to break down. The only mechanical problem so far was when an electrical problem caused the fan not to work at the lower speeds. This is my concept of a luxury car. Although nothing about it is spectacular, there is nothing that is truly deficient. It still runs just about as smoothly as the day I bought it.
I will preface my comments with this: I do not trust GM for a second and was very sceptical when buying this vehicle and fully expected a potential headache. I purchased this car used in 2009 at 58,000km (36,000 miles). Presently I have 84,000km (52,000miles) on it plus 10 Canadian winters. Replaced original tires at 80,000km. Battery went last year, also original. Replaced brakes once only because I wanted new pads and discs in the face of approaching harsh Canadian winter. You really couldn't ask for more. This car so far cost me $5k for three years of ownership. Taking a bus woudl have been more expensive! Absolutely love it! Go GM! Terrific value for not much dollar
This car is relatively fun to drive, has good gas milage for a V6. Driving all the way from Appleton, WI to Mount Rushmore and back in three days was a breeze. The equipment level is fantastic, and the absance of traction control has never been a problem. This and the Hyundai Sonata are the two cars my heart goes for: Affordable, comfortable, and low cost. Note I did not use the word cheap.
For three years the Malibu was a wonderful car to own. I liked the engine power and the extremely comfortable driver seat. However, the car started developing severe coolant- related engine problems at 60,000 miles. I did some research and discovered that this is a common occurance with Malibus. Last week I traded it off and bought a brand new Honda. If you buy a Malibu, you will eventually have coolant-related engine problems. I faithfully maintained mine and it still happened. The Malibu has a serious design flaw in its cooling system. Buy at your own risk.
We had a 2002 Malibu that we originally bought in 2007. Never had any major issues with it and because of high mileage hubby put on it driving 90 miles back and forth to work, we decided to look for another car. We found a 2002 Malibu (this one is loaded) with 80,000 miles on it and promptly bought it. My husband is a back yard mechanic of sorts (built a '66 Chevy II from the ground up into a pro-street car) and so he does regular maintenance on it and changes the oil religiously and tune ups and such. Sure, we've had to change the brakes on both our vehicles, but that is the norm. Great, great car.
I find it comical how similar everyone's story's are. I have to laugh because this car has been a nightmare. The electronic issue is just ridiculous, no one should have to wait ten minutes to start their car because the car thinks someone's trying to steal it. I have only owned the car for a little over a yr & put nearly $3K into it. Fuel pump, gasket, water pump, coolant leak, brakes, catilitic convertor, spark plugs... you name it I've fixed it. I refuse to fix the electronic cylander or put new tires on it. Don't ever buy this car. I wouldn't even sell it to someone. I'm junking it.
I bought my Malibu in September 2010, and immediately the problems started. I can't even begin to think of the number of times this car has been in the shop. So far, I've spent over $5,000 on it out of pocket, and that's not counting the work that was performed under the dealer's warranty. This car is nothing but a money pit. I'm telling everybody I know to avoid this car, and to avoid Chevrolet in general like the plague. They produce poor quality vehichles and don't stand by their work.
An Accord it's not, but then again, for an extra $400 OTD price that I got this vehicle for over a 2002 Honda Accord Value Edition I got a V6, Power Everything, Keyless Entry, ABS....I could go on....suffice to say, well worth the $. It's not a head turner, but I was looking for a comfortable car my wife can shuttle my daughter around in that's safe too. For that purpose, it couldn't be a better vehicle. The only issue I have is the doors have been making a "grinding" sound, but I saw there is a TSB on that issue.
I really like my Malibus. Occasionally they have had some repairs needed - A/C switch, blink switch, door switch. But Overall I'm very, very pleased. Great pickup and go and excellent handling a high speeds in the rain - (freeway driving). The 2002 realy hugs the road well. I did buy the extended warranty. My dealership (Thorobred in Arizona) takes GREAT care of me. Best service of any company I've ever dealt with. I'd buy another !!!! (Many who boo hoo are asian supporters)
I bought this car in 2005, and it has been in the shop nearly every year. Last year, it was in the shop 3 times, and it it would be on it's way again if I wasn't getting rid of it! The fuel pump, lower intake gasket, anti-theft sensor that won't turn off (the key IS in the ignition), and then some routine maintenance things. I don't mind paying routine up keep of a car, but the parts and labor is outrageous for the most basic things! The thing that appalls me the most- Chevy KNOWS about these problems but has done nothing to make it right by their customers. Will not own GM again.
Overall this has been a great car for me, driven cross country numerous times (Florida to Wisconsin/Wisconsin-Florida) at least 10 round-trips. Traveling for job (1500 miles/week). In it's later years, some more maintenance issues, but with a little prevention, and well cared for it can go. In the 5 years I've owned it, have put $1500 into the car for repairs outside of general maintenance.
This is an outstanding car. It's never let me down. A little standard maintenance, and it runs great, handles perfectly, has real pick-up, and the control has gotten me out of scrapes other cars would've never gotten out of (I know; I've had a lot of cars).
If anyone has issues with it not starting refer to GM service tech bulletin no 01-08-49-020 concerning the ignition lock cylinder/switch replacement revision dated December 2001. I am so sick of this problem, have contacted GM since they seem to have issues with ignitions, they need to look at this model. According to the local dealer, no recalls never took place. Fear that if it does start and I go somewhere will shut off while on road.
bought at 87,000 miles I haven't had any mechanical issues after a year. I drive it almost every day for 100+ miles as a delivery driver. I think the only people that review this car are the ones that are pissed that it isn't working how a car should.
I bought this car with about 110K on it. I've had this car for about 3 years now and it has over 130K on it. So far really nothing has gone wrong with it just needed to fix the gas cap once which was no more than a hundred bucks and the brake pads twice so far. But overall no engine problems. The car drives smoothly but a bit heavy (which I prefer). As long as you get it in for your yearly service nothing should go wrong. It's a great car and will get the job done. Just a little bit of rusting on the body but overall engine sounds great and never anything major. GREAT CAR!!!
My parents bought this car for me from a friend of my grandma's when I first got my license at 16. It had about 50k miles. Since day one, it has been nothing but a money pit. For the past 3 years, it has gone in the shop at least twice a year for repairs. The first problem that I encountered was that the air condition would always switch to outside air at random, and when it did that, it would shut the air condition off for a couple minutes. Then the next major problem was that the brakes needed to replaced. All this in just the 1st year of owning the car. Next year the brakes were at it AGAIN. This year, the intake gasket needs to be replaced AND the air condition is broken again.
I actually have a 1997 Malibu that I purchased through Enterprise Auto in 1999 (June) I am very happy with the car. I purchased the car with 40000 miles on it and presently it has 78000 on it. I work for the rail road and this car has been as far as Port Washington to Speonk with no problem. It has never let me down.
This is actually my 6th car in 12 years. I have had everything from Hondas, Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles, Chevy's, and Fords. I was reluctant to but another Chevy, however, after intensive research I found the Malibu. This car received major good reviews from a lot of car publications. I have had my car for almost a year and I am completely satisfied. I am really hard on cars, especially the brakes, and my car has held up VERY well. I have a fully loaded LS, this was one of the best purchases I have made.
Just bought our 2002 Malibu and very happy with it.In 1989 bought a Corsica (V6) new and still own with 157,000 miles, bought a new 1992 Chevy S-10 4x4 pick-up(V6) now has 110,000 on it, this is my 3rd new GM car in 13 years, also leased a 1996 S-10 Blazer for 3 years, all great cars/trucks for me. Maintain them and they run for alot of miles, my youngest girl will be driving the Corsica soon and see no reason why we can't see 250,000 miles on it.
Bought in '04 w/56000 miles. By November '08, car has 152,000 miles. Maintainence is key to a happy car. Oil changed every 3500 miles on the dot. Driven cross country and in flatlands, got 30+mpg. 25 in higher elevations. All milestone recommended services performed. Intake manifold gasket replaced after reading about class action lawsuit. (Dexcool decision). Waiting on my claim check. Changing seats to leather this week as old seats wore out. Windshield to go after winter due to "sandblasting" on highway. Can't see on sunny days. Car has passed all NY State Emission Inspections legitametly. What a surprise. Looking keep til it hits 200,000 miles or dies. Whichever comes first
I've had the car for almost three years. It gets very great gas mileage, usually around 25-27 with city/highway mix. The brakes usually need changed every year, and still are not the greatest. If you have the money, upgrade to drilled rotors and yellow stuff brake pads. I've replaced alot of minor things, but nothing major. The seats are comfy, but the cloth is made cheap. The car has a good amount of horses, for a V6, and the gas pedal is very touchy. This car handles very well on wet/icy/snowy roads. The car has enough room to fit 4 friends comfy.
this car is awesome it handles like my old sports sedan yet this did not cost thirty grand a lot more pep than i thougt it would have honey we can keep the kids!
Went from a '92 Lumina w/193,000 miles to a '02 Demo Malibu w/6,000 miles. Love my Malibu. Hope I don't have the same brake probs. w/the Malibu, but, judging from the comments here I just might have them. No one bothered to mention the Stainless Steel exhaust which NEVER got replaced on my Lumina, as well as the original shocks. Saved a small forune on them alone. Good power, plenty of space in the Malibu. Very much like it.
So far, so good. It's easy to drive, I got a good price with no down payment, so I really can't complain.
Love the leather interior. Love the torque. Love the steering overall drives like aforeign car ie Volkeswagon Passat
At 58000 miles this car has never been back to the dealer for fixes! Excellent on gas as I get close to 30 mpg, it has pleanty of pep and is nicely road responsive. I would buy another one in a minute. I hope they don't screw up the new model coming.
Car was won on "The Price is Right" and sold to Car Max with 123 miles on it. I was the lucky one who bought it. It's a base model with the power/cruise option pack. The car is really much more than many people say - good comfort, good power, comfortable seating that encourages long trips with little fatigue. Have put 16000 on it so far with no complaints. Would like to see more in the way of storage in the center console, and a metal ash tray instead of the plastic one (smoker). Only thing I don't like is the common problem with all new cars - no vent window. Sorry to see this body style discontinued - new one stinks.
This is my 3rd Malibu from 1997(the other was a 2000). Each one has been better than the previous one. This is the first Malibu that I bought used, it was one year one when I purchased it, and this is best by far, better than the other two.
I have 15,500 miles on my car and have not yet had any problems that other people have complained about. It is very comfortable w great speaker sounds. I bought it to make the multiple drives from Texas to Pennsylvania pleasurable, and it is. My previous car was a Cavalier which was a POS and an egg crate. I will be a repeat Malibu buyer!
I have had my Malibu for 18 months now and I love it. I have all the options expect the engine heating block and the gold package, and I have not had any problems. It is fun to drive and very comfortable.
Car now has 35670 miles and had to change some of the reviews. Have had it in twice for warranty. 1. to replace heater/ac controls (ac switched to outside air on its own accord). 2. Had the upper strut mount replaced. Still no break problems. I am pleased with the gas mileage of 31 on the road and 25 city. Interior integrity is still excellent. Hate the painted bumpers - high speed bug hits knock off the paint and it shows. Still, overall it is an excellent car and I am still very happy with it. Now, to see how the next 15,000 miles go!!!!!
Have driven it for three years and it has not been in the shop for anything other than a burned out headlight. Has been very dependable and is really a nice car on the road as well as in town.
I usually don't leave reviews like this, but maybe I will save someone from the headache of owning this piece. I bought my 02 Malibu in 2010, and it only had 80k miles on it. Now, with 130k miles and regular checkups, I've had to replace the ignition switch, fuel pump and filter, water pump, the wheel baring twice, the master cylinder and entire brake system, oxygen sensor, the throttle body sensor, the temperature gauge, spark plugs,2 speakers, 2 batteries, 2 sets of brand new tires, and the door handle. This adds up to a significantly higher amount than the car is actually worth, and guess what? My head gasket just blew and flooded my entire engine. Thanks, Chevy, thanks a lot.
When I bought my Malibu I thought I was buying a reliable American car. That is not what I got. Ever since I got the car there has been problem after problem. I am tired of repairing this vehicle and will never buy a Chevrolet again because of this.
I am a social worker and needed a 4 door sedan that is priced within my means. This is excellant vaule,and the workmen ship is excellent.
I bought this car from a little old lady who lived next door to me and only drove it to bingo. I got it around 60K. As it neared 100K everything started to go. Catalytic, engine stuff, electrical problems galore. I spent almost $2K in repairs in one month on it. Now the transmission & brakes are about to go and my A/C just quit today. I wish I wouldn't have put the $2K in. I could've used it as a down payment on something better! I do like the layout of the car, though. It is a very roomy sedan and everything is easily accessible.
I bought this car used in 2012 to replace my old beloved Ford Escort wagon. At first, it was a decent enough car though I hated the automatic shift (thought it was too high). I loved the power of the engine and the relatively smooth ride (also pretty good car to drive in the snow!). Less than a year of ownership, I experienced problems with overheating (the previous owner had switched from Dexcool to regular antifreeze) and had to replace the thermostat TWICE. Then, I had ABS problems and expensive suspension issues. Rust issues forced me to replace parts underneath (we live in New England). What really bothered me though was the theft system failure problems of having the car not start occasionally as if I were trying to steal my own car! Very annoying and inconvenient, and I heard it was expensive to fix so I didn't. I had this car for five years and finally got a newer car (2006 Toyota Camry). I did manage to sell the Chevy Malibu, but only got $300 for it (so glad to be rid of it!). Looking back, I definitely got what I paid for: I only spent $2500 for it and drove it for five years (even with repairs it was a good deal, no car payments!). However, I would not buy a Chevy again!
I got this car for my 16th birthday with about 40k on it. Immediately, we had to replace the computer in it, as well as the ignition switch. Then the brakes went out. Then I had a leak in my engine coolant (too expensive to repair at the time- $800++, and still unfixed). Then the catalytic converter. Then the fuel pump. Then the brakes again. Then the theft system shorted out. Then the ignition switch again. Now, the computer is acting up again... I have to reset the computer each time before I start it. It only has 96k on it now. We have spent at least $5k in repairs on this car. Probably more. My dad just bought a new Malibu, and it seems nice though. Time will tell. I won't buy 1.
Worst care ever. Lower intake manifold seal replaced for $1100 due to dex-cool eating apart the gasket. Turn signal shorted due to the hazard switch that Chevy decided to put right next to the a/c vents where it could accumulate moister. Why they wired the signal switch to the hazard switch just shows what type of corners they cut in manufacturing. A/C blower replaced. Random beeps heard from the stereo. Intake manifold gasket started leaking again and required constant coolant. It was just disappearing from the car! Went through tires every 5,000 miles. They never wore evenly despite an alignment and balance. Chevy should have stepped up and recalled this car. Last Chevy I ever Buy
I've had my Malibu for 11mos and have changed rotors twice-the first time was the day after I drove the car off the lot. My automatic doorlocks, lock/unlock when I drive. My hazard lights and turning signals work sometimes. Overall I like the car & have gotten used it but the trouble I have to go through to leave it at the dealer for repairs is incovenient. My gripe is with the manufacturer. The car needs to be recalled. My father is a Chevy-man. He has owned a El Camino and currently owns a Corvette, S10 Pick-up, and 2001 Blazer. So, I went from Toyota to Chevy. I'm not a converted fan. Matter of fact, I plan to trade-in this one soon.
We bought this car brand new. The first couple years were ok. Today this car is the biggest regret for a car I have ever owned. First, the brakes were junk. Then the catalytic converter went, then the fuel pump, then the heater core, then a engine seal for the coolant, then the ignition module, then another set of brakes, and finally a #350 sensor for the computer that was also giving it starting troubles. I cant even remember the other stuff that has gone wrong. To date I have about $3000 to $4000 in repairs and the car only has 96,000 miles. I have a 08 Silverado and a 98 Cavalier and they are great vehicles. 02 Malibu is junk!
My experience with this car has been terrible! Started only when it felt like it. Unfortunately I have had to sink alot of money into this car for repairs. Its a decent car to drive. It only has one cup holder in front which is not a good thing for a passenger. So far, I have had to replace the entire ignition and harness, the fuel pump, brakes are junk, heater core, engine coolant seal, and numerous other smaller things. All these repairs were needed when the car had less than 90000 miles. I have approximately $3000 so far in repairs. It is currently in the shop as we speak.
I bought the car at 37000 miles and drove it thru several states and Canada (about 8000 miles total), and couldn't ask for a better ride or drive, but the brake pedal went too low before I got back. I took it to the dealer, and because it happened in the 3000 mi/30 day warranty on used cars, they supposedly fixed the brakes. They didn't feel any different after, and I know the brakes and rotors need replacement now. I had the same problem as others with the no start or shutting down while driving. Just paid $500 for new ignition switch. Only time will tell if it recurs, or if I get the engine leak problem too!
I bought this car in October of 2003. Its had brake pads, rotors, and calipers. The A/C hasnt worked since around 36,000 and GM wouldnt cover it. Also i avoided the dexcool related problems by replacing it around 60K with a Prestone Universal coolant. Also the car has very poor electrical systems. (replaced over 30 lights) Other than those things, its been great, never left me stranded. I bought it because of the deal I got on it.