Going on 14th year since new. Fairly reliable car given normal maintenance. Beside the normal problems others have reported, such as sticky flasher, stuck A/C button, wrapped rotor, etc, I really cannot complaint too much. I did replace the water pump and thermostat, shocks all around 100K miles, the ABS sensors at 115K and again at 153K, by-passed the anti theft system at 147K, fuel pump at 159k, all of these problems were well documented for the model year. Other than that, everything still works approaching 160K. My goal with this car is 250K miles, but I am not using the car as much as I did before and I will see when and if it can get there.
To Start off, I don't care about the negative comments foreign car fans have to say. The Chevy Malibu is an amazing car! I got my '03 in'04 as a first car and i'm happy i did. This car got me home EVERY time. Yes i've changed the Intake manifold gasket and fuel pump but like they say, take care of the car, car will take care of you. Just recently, I was coming down the mountain road covered in black ice. Going the 50 mile speed limit, the car hits the black ice and crashes, hitting the side wall. She still started right up and drove us down not to far to safety at a chain instal shoulder. She took all the damage which cost her her life. This car saved my life and the lives of my friends.
Where do I begin...I bought this car used four years ago with 77k, it was my first car so you cant really be picky. After three months the problems began, head gasket, bad electrical wiring, brakes needed replaced every 6 months, rotors needed replaced once a year, the fuel pump needed replaced, also replaced the ignition and the body control module due to the fact they told me it would solve my problem of my car not starting while sitting in the sun...no mechanic could ever figure out what the problem was! Signals occasionally didn't work, sun visor fell off, seat recliner handle fell off. I took good care of this car, always kept it well maintained but this car did not take care of me!
Loved car until intake gasket leak, warped brake rotors, anti-theft sensor went out, 4 AC control plates, and now has a slight jerking when softly accelerating. Bought used in 2004, am second owner. Up to 98,000 miles. Decent acceleration from stop if you press gas 3/4 way down. For passing on interstate, floor it and it'll downshift. Am doing mild hypermiling. Average between 22 to 24 mpg in city. Use cushion with opening for tailbone. Seat bucket now painful to my tailbone. Very little rust caused by rocks and parking lot car doors.
I got this from my mother who purchased it new. I prefer a different brand, but had to keep her from driving. I'm having same problems as others. I've had to have the AC button fixed several times. You'd think that Chevy would offer some kind of rebate or recall to those of us who have to have it fixed since this is a problem with most of the '03s, but they don't. Once is bad, twice is inexcusable. I also have trouble with the brakes when it rains. Glad to know others are having the same problems. I thought it was just me.