How Long Does a Chevy Malibu Last and How to Make It Last Longer: Longevity, Reliability, and Value

The Chevy Malibu is a midsize sedan that has been in production since 1964.

It is one of the most popular and affordable cars in its segment, offering a spacious interior, a smooth ride, and a range of features and options.

But how long does a Chevy Malibu last? How reliable is it, and what are some of the common problems and maintenance costs?

In this article, we will answer these questions and more, based on the latest data and expert reviews.

A picture of 2023 Chevy Malibu[photo courtesy: MotorTrend]
The Chevy Malibu is a midsize sedan that offers a spacious interior, a smooth ride, and a range of features and options.[photo courtesy: MotorTrend]

Are Chevy Malibu Reliable Cars?

One of the main factors that affect the longevity of a car is its reliability.

Reliability refers to how often a car breaks down or needs repairs due to defects or wear and tear.

A reliable car will have fewer problems and lower maintenance costs over time, while an unreliable car will have more frequent and expensive issues.

According to various sources, the Chevy Malibu is a fairly reliable car, with an average rating of:

These ratings are based on surveys from owners, mechanics, and experts, who report on the frequency and severity of problems, as well as the cost and difficulty of repairs.

Some of the common problems that Chevy Malibu owners have reported include issues with:

  • the engine, transmission
  • electrical system
  • brakes
  • steering
  • fuel system

However, these problems vary depending on the model year, mileage, driving habits, and maintenance history of the car.

Some problems may be covered by warranty or recall programs, while others may require out-of-pocket expenses.

Which Chevy Malibu is the Best?

The answer to this question may depend on your personal preferences, needs, and budget.

Each trim level of the Chevy Malibu has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you may want to compare them based on factors such as:

  1. price
  2. performance
  3. fuel economy
  4. features
  5. appearance

Some of the general pros and cons of each trim level are as follows

Trim Level Pros Cons
L Lowest price; best fuel economy Least features and options; no advanced safety and convenience features
LS Additional features and options; optional packages for appearance and comfort Same engine, transmission, and drivetrain as L; no advanced safety and convenience features
RS Sporty look and feel; distinctive features for appearance and performance; optional packages for safety and convenience Same engine, transmission, and drivetrain as L and LS; lower fuel economy; higher maintenance costs
LT Most powerful and responsive engine; most features and options; optional packages for luxury and safety Highest price; lower fuel economy; higher maintenance costs

How Long Can a Chevy Malibu Engine Last?

The engine is the heart of any car, and its lifespan depends on many factors, such as the quality of the engine itself, the type and frequency of oil changes, the driving conditions and habits, and the preventive maintenance performed.

Generally speaking, a well-maintained engine can last for over 200,000 miles without major problems.

The Chevy Malibu offers two engine options:

  1. a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque
  2. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque

A picture showing the engine of a 2018 Chevy Malibu 1.5T[photo courtesy: Car and Driver]
The average lifespan of the 1.5-liter engine in the Malibu is between 140,000 and 160,000 miles[photo courtesy: Car and Driver]
Both engines are designed to run on regular gasoline and have direct injection technology for better fuel efficiency and performance.

According to some sources, the average lifespan of the 1.5-liter engine in the Malibu is between 140,000 and 160,000 miles, while the average lifespan of the 2.0-liter engine is not available. However, some owners have reported that their engines have lasted for over 200,000 miles with proper care and maintenance.

To extend the life of your Chevy Malibu engine, it is recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for oil changes and other services.

The owner’s manual suggests changing the oil every 7,500 miles or every 12 months, using synthetic blend oil that meets the dexos1™ specification. You should also check the oil level regularly and top it off if needed.

Additionally, you should avoid driving in extreme temperatures or conditions that may cause overheating or damage to the engine.

How Many Miles Does a Chevy Malibu Average?

Another factor that affects the longevity of a car is its mileage.

Mileage refers to how many miles a car has driven since it was manufactured.

A high-mileage car may have more wear and tear on its parts than a low-mileage car, which may result in more problems and repairs over time.

The average mileage of a Chevy Malibu depends on several factors, such as:

  • the model year
  • condition
  • usage
  • maintenance history of the car

According to some sources, the average annual mileage of a Chevy Malibu is between 10,000 and 15,000 miles. This means that a typical Chevy Malibu can last for about 13 to 20 years before reaching 200,000 miles.

However, this does not mean that every Chevy Malibu will last for this long or that you should avoid buying a high-mileage car.

A picture showing the 2023 chevy Malibu[photo courtesy: The Driver Adviser]
2023 chevy Malibu[photo courtesy: The Driver Adviser]
Some cars may last longer or shorter than others depending on how well they are taken care of and how they are driven.

A high-mileage car may still be in good shape if it has been well-maintained and driven gently by its previous owners. Conversely, a low-mileage car may have hidden problems if it has been neglected or abused by its previous owners.

Therefore, before buying a used Chevy Malibu, it is important to check its:

  1. history report
  2. inspect its condition
  3. test drive it
  4. have it evaluated by a mechanic.

These steps will help you determine if the car is worth buying or not.

How Far Can a Chevy Malibu Go on a Full Tank?

The fuel tank capacity of a Chevy Malibu is 15.8 gallons.

This means that on a full tank of gas, the car can travel for a certain distance depending on its fuel economy and driving conditions. Fuel economy refers to how many miles a car can travel per gallon of gas.

Driving conditions refer to factors such as speed, traffic, terrain, weather, and load that affect the fuel consumption of the car.

According to the EPA, the 2022 Chevy Malibu has an estimated fuel economy of 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway for the 1.5-liter engine, and 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway for the 2.0-liter engine. Based on these numbers, we can calculate the approximate range of the car on a full tank of gas as follows:

  • For the 1.5-liter engine, the range is 458 miles in the city and 569 miles on the highway.
  • For the 2.0-liter engine, the range is 347 miles in the city and 522 miles on the highway.

However, these numbers are only estimates and may vary depending on the actual driving conditions and habits.

To get a more accurate estimate of your car’s range, you can use the trip computer or the driver information center (DIC) in your car.

These features can display information such as the average fuel economy, the current fuel level, and the estimated remaining range based on your driving patterns.

How Far Can a Chevy Malibu Go on Empty?

Sometimes, you may find yourself in a situation where your car is running low on gas and you are not sure if you can make it to the nearest gas station.

In this case, you may wonder how far can your Chevy Malibu go on empty. This is not an easy question to answer, as it depends on several factors, such as:

  • the accuracy of your fuel gauge
  • the reserve capacity of your fuel tank
  • your driving style
  • conditions

The fuel gauge in your car is not a precise instrument. It is designed to give you an approximate indication of how much gas is left in your tank. However, it may not be accurate due to factors such as temperature changes, fuel quality, electrical issues, or sensor errors. Therefore, you should not rely solely on your fuel gauge to determine how much gas you have left.

The reserve capacity of your fuel tank is the amount of gas that remains in your tank when your fuel gauge reads empty. This is also known as the “fuel light zone” or the “low fuel warning zone”.

This is meant to give you some extra time and distance to find a gas station before you run out of gas completely. However, this is not a fixed amount and may vary depending on your car model and year.

According to some sources, the reserve capacity of a Chevy Malibu ranges from 1.5 to 3 gallons depending on the model year and engine type. Based on this information, we can estimate;

Estimate how far a Chevy Malibu can go on empty

  • 1.5-liter engine with a reserve capacity of 1.5 gallons, the range is 44 miles in the city and 54 miles on the highway.
  • 1.5-liter engine with a reserve capacity of 2 gallons, the range is 58 miles in the city and 72 miles on the highway.
  • 2.0-liter engine with a reserve capacity of 2 gallons, the range is 44 miles in the city and 66 miles on the highway.
  • 2.0-liter engine with a reserve capacity of 3 gallons, the range is 66 miles in the city and 99 miles on the highway.

However, these numbers are only estimates and may vary depending on your actual driving conditions and habits.

Driving faster, heavier, or uphill will consume more gas than driving slower, lighter, or downhill. Therefore, you should not push your car to its limit when it is low on gas.

Driving on empty can also damage your car in several ways.

  • It can cause dirt and debris from your tank to clog your fuel filter or injectors, which can affect your engine performance and efficiency.
  • Can also cause your fuel pump to overheat or wear out faster, which can lead to costly repairs or replacements.
  • Furthermore, it can increase your risk of running out of gas in an unsafe or inconvenient location.

Therefore, it is advisable to avoid driving on empty as much as possible. Always keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your car at all times.

You should also plan ahead for your trips and locate nearby gas stations along your route. If you do encounter a low fuel situation, you should slow down, turn off any unnecessary accessories or features that consume gas, and find a gas.

 

Conclusion

The Chevy Malibu is a midsize sedan that offers a spacious interior, a smooth ride, and a range of features and options.

It comes in four different trim levels: L, LS, RS, and LT. Each trim level has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences, needs, and budget.

You may want to compare them based on factors such as price, performance, fuel economy, features, and appearance.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about Chevrolet makes and history, don’t forget to check out our website for more interesting and informative content.

You can also check out these other articles on our blog:

 

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