2012 chevy malibu common problems

2012 chevy malibu common problems DEFAULT

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu

While many people thought that Toyota and Honda had taken over the mid-size family sedan market with models like the Camry and the Accord, Chevrolet surprised the whole market with the Malibu. Available with either a four- our...

by Valerie Johnston on December 09, 2015

While many people thought that Toyota and Honda had taken over the mid-size family sedan market with models like the Camry and the Accord, Chevrolet surprised the whole market with the Malibu. Available with either a four- our six-cylinder engine with a very sleek interior design, the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is a real winner with families and with young and old drivers, alike.

Key Features

The 2012 Malibu includes GM OnStar navigation, giving you turn-by-turn navigation and a clear LCD map display when you need it. In addition to that, you can also get the Malibu with a remote start feature (optional on the 1LT trim and standard on the 2LT and LTZ trims). With the car still locked and secure, you can go ahead and start it from afar to let it warm up while you stay warm inside.

Changes for 2012

For 2012, the Malibu now allows more options for those who don’t necessarily want to spend the money on an LTZ trim model. You can now get an Uplevel Package, and when you buy a 1LT trim model, you can choose between the Sunroof package and the Convenience package.

What We Like

The suspension in this car is really plush. It absorbs bumps, dips, and other road imperfections with ease, and you’ll feel like you’re gliding along on a cloud. We love the idea of buying a domestic sedan that stands up to the import competition.

What Concerns Us

We’re not as impressed with the four-cylinder engine as we are with the V6 version, and we could see times when loading the car down with your whole family and all of your luggage could cause problems for that small engine, especially if you’re going over high terrain.

Available Models

The four-cylinder model has a 2.4-liter, 169-horsepower engine, while the V6 model has a 3.6-liter, 252-horsepower engine. There’s a trade-off, though, as the four-cylinder model gets higher gas mileage (22/33 MPG city/highway) than the V6 (17/26 MPG city/highway).

Major Recalls

Some 2012 Chevrolet Malibu models have been recalled due to the risk of breakage for either the driver-side or passenger-side front seat belts. This can be dealt with at any Chevrolet dealer.

Common Issues

The most often reported issues with the 2012 Malibu are problems with the engine failing to start or erratic throttle responses. These are easy to detect and avoid when shopping for a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu.

chevrolet malibu 2012 interior

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The Chevy Malibu is a popular car on the road today. Its appeal boils down to the features it offers with the inexpensive price points you see at dealerships all over the country. Really, who wouldn’t want to get more for less money?

However, despite the popularity it mustered among General Motors drivers, it also has another thing going for it, and it’s not something good. This car has seen its share of complaints for several years – the worst one being the 2010 model. Car Complaints shows why the 2010 version is definitely the one to avoid.

Chevy Malibu transmission problems

The Chevy Malibu at the North American International Auto Show

The transmission is the most common issue reported for the 2010 Chevy Malibu. In most cases, it went out at around 90,000 miles with no warning. Some replaced it with a repair cost of approximately $3,000, and one customer had to replace it twice in 10 years. There were no warning signs of it going out; it would just stop going into gear. Many customers said even the fluid levels were fine, making this problem more of a mystery.

It seems that the manufacturer identified the problem as a wave plate that broke inside the transmission. GM Parts Super Store said that the cause is from shifting gears numerous times. To fix it, you have two options. You could either have the transmission replaced, or you could have someone rebuild it for you. The third option would be to replace the wave plate long before it gets to the 98,000-mile mark, which is what they report to be the average number of miles it occurs at.

Other problems plaguing the 2010 Chevy Malibu

The second most common complaint with the 2010 Chevy Malibu deals with an engine stall issue. Many drivers became frustrated when their engine died while driving at low speeds in traffic. Quite a few of these experienced it with less than 500 miles on the car. Repairs performed include replacing the alternator, battery, ECM (engine control module), and the camshaft sensors. None of them seemed to work as the customers claim the issue continued.

Another frustrating issue for Malibu drivers involves the brakes. Owners reported that at random moments, the brake lights would come on when the brakes weren’t actually pressed. When they pressed the brakes, the lights would go off, which could confuse drivers behind them. Some owners complained that other dash lights would also come on at the same time like electronic stability control. In 2015, they put a recall out for the body control module replacement to repair the brake light issue. However, drivers, who had it done before, continued to experience the problem randomly after that.

What other model years of the Malibu have issues?

According to U.S. News & World Report, the 2010 Chevy Malibu is not the only model year to have complaints filed against it. In fact, the 2008-2012 model years had the most problems reported. The issues range from faulty brake lights to door lock problems of power steering issues. A recall went out for the 2008 to 2009 models for replacement of the steering motor control unit and a torque sensor. You can get the same repairs done with the 2010 to 2012 models if your vehicle falls under their new extended warranty of 10 years/150,000 miles.

The 2013 to 2015 models also received complaints. These included power steering issues, engine stalling, and wheel bearing problems. The 2013 model has a recall for the generator control module replacement that they felt caused the starting and stalling problems on the Malibu Hybrid models. The newer models from 2016 and up have some complaints reported, but they seem to be quite a bit fewer than the previous models.

If you’re looking to purchase a Chevy Malibu, the newer generations seem to be the best bet at this point with fewer complaints. If you purchase an older one anyway, be sure they have the recall repairs completed to give you the best chance of not getting plagued with the same issues other drivers experienced.

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