How Long Do Chevy Malibu Last?

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The Malibu is one of the oldest vehicles made by Chevrolet. It graced the market back in 1964, more than half a century ago!

It has been bought and loved by thousands of people all around the globe. Many people ask about this sedan, how long do Chevy Malibu last?

The number hovers around the 200000 to 250000-mile mark, which is pretty respectable.

There is no doubt that there are longer-lasting vehicles, but the Malibu will still last a long time.

You may have gotten the answer to your question, but there are many other things that you should make yourself familiar with regarding Malibu.

This article will get into the details of its reliability to better understand if it is worth your investment.

So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it!

What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of A Chevy Malibu?

Let's learn about the Chevy Malibu's mileage life and learn some tips to increase the longevity

As I stated in the introduction, a Chevrolet Malibu is expected to last anywhere between 200000 and 250000 miles. Although this number is not special, it is not bad at all.

If you take a look at it from another perspective, you will easily understand that it will last you for more than a decade.

If you are one of the average Americans who drive around 15000 miles annually, you can also expect Malibu to exceed the 15-year mark. That is pretty good.

Now, the car can be driven for a lot more miles, but after this period, it will ask for expensive repairs and cause issues that will make owning it not viable anymore.

But it will provide you with a reliable experience during its rated lifespan.

Does Chevy Malibu Last Longer Than Other Similar Vehicles?

This section of the article will compare Chevy Malibu with some of its top competitors.

I will not be comparing the specs and features but their longevity, reliability, and the number of complaints. These are the things that should matter the most.

1. Chevy Malibu Vs. Honda Accord

The first car compared to the Chevy Malibu is the Honda Accord. This competitor is famous all around the globe, thanks to its amazing reliability and an investigator of features.

Let’s see how it holds up against one of the oldest cars on the market:

  • Both of these cars have racked up thousands of complaints over the decades. The Honda Accord’s total number of complaints is three times that of Chevy Malibu.
  • With it hovering around 12000 while the Chevy Malibu at a comfortable 4000, Chevrolet’s offering easily takes the lead.
  • Although it was a close competition, the Honda Accord took the lead in this round. Believe me, when I say it was pretty close.
  • It is slightly more reliable than Chevy Malibu, which means that it has a lower chance of fatal failures in the long run.
  • The Honda Accord can touch the sweet 300000-mile mark. This is amazing and beats the 250000-mile limit of Chevy Malibu.
  • If you drive at an average of 15000 miles annually, the Honda Accord will be able to last three years more than the Chevy Malibu.

Although the Malibu put up a good fight in this competition, the Honda Accord pulls ahead. It is reliable and will last for a longer period.

So, if you are deciding between the two, I would suggest going for the Accord.

Related: What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Honda Accord?

2. Chevy Malibu Vs. Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry has been around since 1983. It is a power horse, and its owners have loved every model.

It has been tried and tested but let’s see how it holds up against the Chevy Malibu.

  • When talking about how many complaints have been registered against these vehicles, the Toyota Camry surprisingly wins.
  • It has lesser complaints compared to Chevy Malibu, which means it will allow you to enjoy your drives more.
  • Once again, the Chevy Malibu loses in this round. Let me tell you how close it gets.
  • I compared the latest 2021 models of both of these vehicle, and according to JDPower, the Chevy Malibu scored 80 while the Toyota Camry scored an 82.
  • The Toyota Camry is a true competitor for the Honda Accord rather than the Chevy Malibu.
  • This is because it can last for 300000 miles, which makes it better than Chevrolet’s offering.

The Toyota Camry and the Chevy Malibu are amazing vehicles, but there can be only one winner.

After checking the results of this small competition, I think it can easily be concluded that the Camry is better than the Malibu.

Related: How Long Does A Toyota Camry Last?

3. Chevy Malibu Vs. Nissan Altima

The final car that I will compare with the Chevrolet Malibu is the Altima from Nissan. This car is another popular one on the market. It is reliable and can last for quite some time.

Let’s see how it holds up against Chevrolet’s offering:

  • The Chevy Malibu takes a comfortable lead in this round. Although it is a good car, it will cause more issues than Nissan’s offering.
  • It has around 4000 complaints while the Nissan Altima crosses the 5000 barriers.
  • Even in this final competition, the Chevy Malibu loses to the Nissan Altima. The scores of the Altima are very similar to the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, which means the Malibu, is not in their league when talking of the reliability.
  • There is no denying that it comes pretty close.
  • Once again, the Altima beats the Malibu in terms of lifespan.
  • It can last for a minimum of 250000 miles, which is the maximum for Chevy Malibu. It can touch and even cross the 300000-mile mark, which is amazing.

Once again, the Chevy Malibu does not stand a chance against this vehicle.

It puts up a fight, but it is simply not in their league, whether it be the Nissan Altima or the other two cars on this list.

Related: How Many Miles Will A Nissan Altima Last?

Life Expectancy Of Chevy Malibu Car Parts

The lifespan of a vehicle means the longevity of its parts and hardware. There is no vehicle without its hardware.

In this section of the article, I will be talking about the lifespan of individual Chevy Malibu components, so you can understand better.

Average Lifespan Of Chevy Malibu Brake Pads

The brake pads of the Chevy Malibu are nothing out of the ordinary.

They don’t have any special materials, but they still do last longer than OEM ones that other manufacturers include in their vehicles.

The brake pads installed on Malibu can last anywhere from 30000 to 70000 miles.

Although there is nothing special about the lower range, the maximum one is 10000 more than other vehicles can achieve.

Now, you may be wondering about the 40000-mile gap. Well, that is because some people are aggressive brakers, resulting in the pads wearing out much faster.

When it comes to replacing the brake pads on the Chevy Malibu, you should not delay it.

If you continue using worn-out ones, it will result in the loss of efficiency of your brakes, leading to an accident.

The replacement will cost you around $300. Because it needs to be done every three years, it is not bad.

Average Lifespan Of Chevy Malibu Battery

There is nothing special about the battery preinstalled in the Chevrolet Malibu. It is a traditional one that can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years.

Now, that is pretty decent. The battery on Malibu can only reach the five-year mark if it is operated in temperatures that are not so high.

The battery is mainly responsible for powering the electronics of the vehicle.

If you are one to pack your Chevy Malibu up with heavy electronics, then you can expect its lifespan to be shorter.

When talking about replacements, they can cost anywhere from $100 to $300. You should not go too cheap or too expensive but buy one that has a good price to performance ratio.

It is recommended to opt for an AGM battery as it is better than traditional lead-acid ones.

This also includes resistance to vibrations, which is a major factor that can affect battery longevity.

Average Lifespan Of Chevy Malibu Tires

The tires on the Chevrolet Malibu are expected to last around 60000 miles.

This is on par with OEM tires that other vehicle manufacturers provide. So, you can expect them to last for around four years if you drive for around 15000 miles annually.

Now, the story completely changes when it comes to talking about aftermarket tires. There are many different qualities of tires, ranging from high to low quality.

The good ones can last anywhere from 60000 miles to more. On the other hand, the low-quality ones can go for a maximum of 10000 to 12000 miles.

The lifespan of the tires of Malibu can be affected due to high temperatures or off-roading.

Both can greatly accelerate the wear rate of the tires. So, if you are on to go off-roading, you should buy tires designed for such usage.

Average Lifespan Of Chevy Malibu Transmission

Unlike other vehicles, whose transmissions last as long as the vehicles themselves, the transmission on the Chevy Malibu have an expected lifespan of a maximum of 180000 miles.

Although this number is not bad, it means that there will be a major transmission repair or replacement required during the vehicle’s lifespan.

A transmission replacement is pretty costly. It can easily cross the $1000 mark.

So, if you are buying a Malibu, you should be aware that this replacement has to be done once during the lifespan of the car.

The same can be said for the repair too. The transmission failing is because it has a lot of moving parts. This is the case with all vehicles, except for electric ones.

There is a lot of friction, which results in the transmission wearing down and then failing over time.

Average Lifespan Of Chevy Malibu Spark Plugs

The spark plugs that come preinstalled in the Chevrolet Malibu are pretty good.

They can last for 50000 miles, which is on par with other vehicles that can be bought right now. What this means is that a pair can last for more than three years, which is pretty decent.

When talking about replacement spark plugs for the Malibu, there are many things that one must know. There are different types, which can be used for different amounts of time.

The best ones are platinum and iridium, while the more common ones are copper. In the case of Chevy Malibu, which is a family car, it is recommended to install platinum spark plugs.

They are durable and can last a long time without causing any issues. They do cost a bit more than the OEM ones but investing in them is definitely worth it.

You should replace the plugs on time unless you want your sedan to have a misfiring issue.

Average Lifespan Of Chevy Malibu Key Fob

In the case of the key fob of the Chevrolet Malibu, you should only worry about the battery life.

The key fob itself will work as long as you want it to. There have been no reports of it failing under mysterious circumstances.

The battery of the Malibu key fob can easily last for three to four years. There is not a lot of circuitry present, which means that the depletion will be very slow.

So, you will have to worry about changing the battery once every few years. What you should not do is lose the key fob to your Chevrolet Malibu.

The official replacements cost and double-cut keys can cost up to $300, which is simply insane. That is a lot to access your own vehicle.

That is why it is recommended to keep your Malibu key as safe as possible.

What Is Good Mileage For A Used Chevy Malibu?

If you have decided that you are going to opt for a used Chevrolet Malibu rather than a new one, then I must say that it is an excellent decision.

Unless the lifespan of a vehicle is too low, I always advise my readers to buy a vehicle that is used.

The reason for this is that you are getting a better deal. It is the same vehicle but has been used a bit.

Now, what about the mileage of a used Chevy Malibu? Well, you can buy one that has up to 100000 miles on it.

The reason for not getting one with a larger number on the odometer is due to the fact that you may need to drive the car at least for a few years.

So, if you buy one that is already reaching its maximum rated mileage, it will be spending more time at the mechanic rather than at your place.

So, it is recommended to buy a used one that has fewer miles on the odometer, even if it is a bit more expensive.

How To Increase How Long Your Chevy Malibu Last

The Chevy Malibu is a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle.

What this means is that just like all other similar cars, you can take many steps to ensure that it will last for as long as it is possible.

Let me list down the common ways of doing so:

  • The first thing that is strictly enforced is maintenance. I, myself, have seen cars that have failed prematurely due to them not being maintained properly.
  • From an oil change to the filter, everything must be replaced on time to ensure there are no major problems.
  • The next thing to do is to make sure that all repairs are done on time.
  • One major reason for cars failing earlier than they are supposed to is due to high-level repairs not being done on time. An example of this is the electrical system.
  • The final thing that can be done to improve the lifespan of Chevy Malibu is to use high-quality shock absorbers.

The reason for this is that they can absorb vibrations and bumps, which can help the engine not be bothered by problems such as parts or screws loosening.

Problems That Limit The Life Of Your Chevy Malibu

Although the Chevy Malibu is a reliable sedan, there is no denying that it has its own list of issues. The problems that I will be discussing here are those that are the most common ones.

These ones are most likely to reduce the lifespan of the engine.

Let’s get straight into it:

  • Glitches in the electrical system.
  • Fuel system issues.
  • Reduced engine power.
  • Failure of the transmission system.

As you can see, all of these mentioned problems are those that can seriously degrade the lifespan of the Chevy Malibu.

The inaccurate readings of the fuel system can cause stalls or loss of engine power. The loss of power can result in a serious accident.

The transmission system failure is just as serious of an issue. Replacements are usually not as good and are not as long-lasting as the original ones.

Related: Chevy Malibu Starting Problems

What To Look For When Buying A Chevy Malibu

As Chevy Malibu is no different as compared to other cars on the market, there is a whole list of things that you should check.

These checks are essential if you are buying a used Malibu as they can be the deciding factor of whether that specific vehicle is worth your money or not.

  • Rust.
  • Condition of the tires.
  • Number of owners in the past.
  • Mileage.
  • Condition of the engine.

All of these checks are extremely necessary as they will help you get a rough idea of how much work is required by the car.

Rust can reduce the lifespan of Chevy Malibu by compromising its structure. Tire replacements are not cheap, and you should take a look at how much they are worn out.

Mileage is the most important thing. If the vehicle is close to its advertised range, then there is no point in buying it.

Related: Best And Worst Years For Chevy Malibu

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is The Chevy Malibu A Reliable Car?

Yes, it is. The Malibu, in its half a century of history, has gathered many complaints. Considering the fact that the number is only 4000 is insane.

This number also comprises small issues, which are isolated. Although Malibu could not win against its competition in terms of reliability that does not mean that it is a bad car.

Q2. Does Chevy Malibu Have A Lot Of Problems?

Yes and no. When it wants to, the Malibu will spend its entire lifespan without any issues.

But when it comes to it, it will cause so many issues that owners will regret buying it. Now, this is rare, but it is possible.

Some common problems are:

  • Failure of the transmission system.
  • Faulty sensors.
  • Engine stalling.

These issues are pretty serious.

Q3. Is It A Good Idea To Buy A Used Chevy Malibu?

Yes, it is! In fact, I urge you to buy one that has been used.

The reason for this is that the Malibu is a reliable vehicle, regardless of the fact that it has been used by someone else other than you.

On the positive side, you are getting the same vehicle but at a lower price. Just make sure to buy one that is far from its maximum lifespan.

Q4. Does Chevy Malibu Rust Easily?

Rust is something that appears on every vehicle. The problem usually arises after the car has been driven for more than five years.

In the case of the Malibu, there was a rusting issue, but it was early on its tenure.

The recent models have had little to no complaints about corrosion, which means you have nothing to worry about.

Q5. Is Chevy Malibu Expensive To Maintain?

You are going to be surprised by the answer. The Malibu has a yearly maintenance cost of only $290. For the first five years, the total cost becomes only $4801.

That is pretty good and is lower than average. This means that Malibu is a low-maintenance vehicle and is viable in the long run.


The market is filled with vehicles, whether they be electric or gasoline. Some dominate their fields while others don’t.

The Chevy Malibu is certainly one that is a part of the first group. It is not only better than most cars in its class but is reliable too.

You clicked on the article expecting a single-line answer to the question, how long do Chevy Malibu last?

Well, I think you not only got it but received more information than you bargained for.

I hope this article helped you in deciding about investing in Chevrolet’s offering.