Which Chevy Malibu Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Chevrolet produces and sells the Malibu mid-size automobile. The Malibu will continue to be produced for the foreseeable future, assuring a steady supply of replacement parts to keep your Malibu operating.

But the performance of all model years of Chevy malibu is not the same.

Due to engine and gearbox failure, starting troubles, pass lock problems, and reliability concerns, the years 2002 and 2010 Chevy Malibu as well as a few others are not acceptable.

There are several Chevy Malibu years to stay away from. If you want something safe and economical to drive, there are plenty of possibilities. I can assist you in making the best decisions to save money while enjoying every drive.

Chevy Malibu Years to Avoid (With Reasons)

Transmission failure, engine and fuel complaints, electrical glitches, broken front coils, and lighting troubles are among the most commonly reported Chevrolet Malibu faults.

2002 Chevy Malibu Problems:

226 Malibu owners have reported engine issues with their 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. Coolant leaks and damaged intake manifold gaskets are the most common complaints.

 The passlock sensor in the ignition lock cylinder may fail, resulting in an anti-theft system failure and a no-start situation.

The ignition key might become caught in the ignition lock cylinder if the automatic gearbox shifter fails. Because of a malfunctioning blower motor resistor block, the HVAC blower motor may cease working at one or more speeds.

2003 Chevy Malibu Problems:

The electrical system of the car is the most prevalent malfunction, accounting for 282 instances. With 83 issues, the vehicle’s engine and cooling system is the second most prevalent issue.

If the key is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy in the event of a collision. The sensor may also fail to recognize the key chip and refuse to start the vehicle. Low fluid levels or leaks, torque converter issues, and clutch issues are all unavoidable.

2004 Chevy Malibu Problems:

The Check Engine Light may light or begin flashing if the ignition module or ignition coil fails, causing the engine to misfire. Brakes Are Noisy, Steering system noises, wind noise, brakes vibrating, and remote keyless entry systems are some of the most prevalent complaints.

2006 Chevy Malibu Problems:

With a steering issue, the 2006 Malibu barely lasts 150,000 kilometers. The suspension is a complete disaster.

Owners had just spent over $1,000 on the suspension alone, and not even a week after the repair was completed, they heard the same noises it had been making before it was fixed.

2007 Chevy Malibu Problems:

The passlock sensor in the ignition lock cylinder might fail, resulting in an anti-theft system failure and a no-start scenario.

When the automatic transmission shifter fails, the ignition key might get jammed in the ignition lock cylinder. When the ignition module or ignition coil fails, the engine misfires.

Power steering not operating correctly is also a concern.

2008 Chevy Malibu Problems:

Among 426 issues, steering is the most prevalent problem. With 221 complaints on carproblems.com, the electrical system of the vehicle is the second most prevalent issue.

2009 Chevy Malibu Problems:

The Ignition Module or Coil in the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu might fail, resulting in the engine misfiring.

With 683 issues, the most typical problem is linked to the vehicle’s steering. According to carproblems.com, the second most prevalent problem is connected to the vehicle’s electrical system, which accounts for 327 issues.

2010 Chevy Malibu Problems:

The most prevalent issue with the 2010 Chevy Malibu is transmission. It usually went out without notice around 90,000 miles. There were no warning indicators that it was failing; it just stopped moving into gear, even though the fluid levels were adequate.

Some 2010 Malibu owners may attest to this. This is an indication of a fractured wave plate, which if left untreated for a long period might lead to transmission failure.

A CarComplaints.com member likened the jerking-forward sensation to getting rear-ended. At only 29,000 miles, a fellow 2010 Malibu owner claimed that her technician discovered huge bits of metal in the gearbox pan after she brought her car in for service.

2011 Chevy Malibu Problems:

There appears to be a fault in the electrical system at times. The gauge lights will take a while to turn on. 

A prematurely failing joint bearing may cause the u-joint to separate, resulting in the full loss of steering control and an increased risk of an accident.

This model may require steering column replacement due to issues with the electric power steering system.

It’s also possible that you won’t be able to start because of a failed pass lock sensor.

2013 Chevy Malibu Problems:

Electrical system issues account for over half of the 801 events reported to the NHTSA for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, with 364 reports.

Many drivers are reporting that their headlights are not turning on, even though other electrical components, such as the radio, are functioning well.

 When shifting into or out of reverse, cars will either fail to start or switch off. The issue with the broken headlights is concerning.

2016 Chevy Malibu Problems:

People said that auto and stop had stopped working, but their car cut off completely every time they stopped, forcing them to cut it on.

The most common cause of automobile shutoff is transmission failure and loss of full power. Several caution lights are illuminated, and there is a slight problem.

What Are The Worst Years of Chevy Malibu?

The most often reported problems with the 2002 Chevrolet Malibu were passed lock difficulties, starting problems, and the anti-theft light being illuminated.

Other factors, such as higher repair costs or more faults at lower mileage, may have exacerbated the problems with the 2010 model year.

Most Common Problems of Chevy Malibu

Engine Power is Reduced:

All the avoided years have engine power issues. Wheel bearing failure, engine stalling, and power steering loss were all reported on the previous Chevy Malibu model from 2013 to 2015.

Because the accelerator pedal position sensor in the Chevy Malibu is broken, engine power is limited. The engine’s output is thus lowered.

Electrical Glitches:

Owners of the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu have reported 279 issues and flaws. Electrical Fuse Replacement for GM Chevrolet Malibu 2004-2015.

While driving, the dashboard light turned on and off many times, and the car almost died.

During driving, the engine power is automatically lowered, reducing the power. When you’re driving down the highway and your check engine light turns on, the vehicle’s strength is reduced, allowing several accidents to occur.

Delayed Acceleration Problems:

Sluggish acceleration is a sign of a greater issue with your Malibu that needs to be addressed right away before it does additional harm.

When the client tries to accelerate quickly, it feels as though something isn’t catching. The throttle body, MAF sensor, and map sensor need to be changed sometimes.

Failed Passlock Sensor:

The passlock sensor in the ignition lock cylinder may fail, resulting in an anti-theft system malfunction and no start.

One user claimed that his 2005 Chevy Classic would not start. It spun but did not turn on. The Security Light does not blink. The passlock was reset by leaving the key in place, however, it did not operate correctly.

Transmission Failure:

There are several models affected, but the 2010 and 2011 Chevy Malibu have the most transmission problems. People had to spend more than $3000 on repairs.

The worst year for the Chevrolet Malibu was undoubtedly 2010, owing to a gearbox that has been known to fail at less than 100,000 miles.

126 of the 1,251 complaints filed with the NHTSA are related to powertrain difficulties, with the majority of them stemming from the same transmission issue.

Steering Problem:

When the power steering works, it vibrates and pulls continually, and then the pump goes out, causing the customer to express their unhappiness. And this occurs not in a single model year. 2006,2008,2009 model has serious steering problem.

Problems with the Chevrolet Malibu’s electric power steering system may necessitate the replacement of the steering column, according to 843 reports.

Power Door Lock Problems:

The 2009 Chevy Malibu has a lot of this. Many customers claimed that the door would not lock or unlock at random times, which may be aggravating.

This ’09 model’s locks have a lengthy history of failure. They go up and down with the remote or when the car is turned on and off. This is more common in the summer.

There are other issues like headlight problems, oil leaking, fuel system problem,

Which Chevy Malibu Years are Safe to Buy Used?

  • 2015 Chevy Malibu
  • 2017 Chevy Malibu
  • 2018 Chevy Malibu
  • 2019 Chevy Malibu
  • 2020 Chevy Malibu
  • 2021 Chevy Malibu

Customers have said that the 2015 Malibu is one of the best yet. By no means a luxury sedan, but a fine, robust, agile car with excellent fuel efficiency.

It gives the automobile an agile and enjoyable driving experience. Furthermore, 2017’s highway gas mileage appears to be excellent. The interior design is just outstanding.

The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu prioritizes long-distance comfort above performance, but it stands out for its crisp handling and innovative hybrid engine.

According to customer reviews, the year 2020 boasts a strong engine, elegant design, comfort, and most importantly, reliability.

The 2021 Malibu is a wonderful choice for families and commuters alike, as it is roomy yet not extravagant. Highs Nice ride and handling balance, attractive appearance, and a fuel-efficient basic four-cylinder.


You can easily make the appropriate option now that you’ve read about the greatest and worst years for Chevy Malibu.

Yes, I’ve already stated why you should avoid it, but some Malibu versions are safe to buy, as it is one of the most dependable family-friendly midsize vehicles to drive.

Related Posts:

Similar Posts