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2009 Chevrolet Malibu - Twice burned

Anyone having problems with catalytic converters on Chevy Malibus? I have had problems with 2 different Malibus, both around 70K miles. Cost me $1000 each time.

Why did it cost you $1000? Twice? Were they more than 8 years old? The manufacturer covers these, by law for 8 years or 80,000 miles.


Specified major emission control components are covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles from when the vehicle is first put into service, whichever comes first and regardless of ownership. The specified major emissions control components covered by this warranty are specified in the Clean Air Act and are the only components subject to this warranty. The specified major emission control components only include the catalytic converters, the electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU) and related emissions-related software, and the onboard emissions diagnostic (OBD) device or computer. Some manufacturers may cover additional components. For details, consult your vehicle’s warranty manual.


I was under the impression burning oil would kill a catalytic converter more quickly. If it’s happened twice… I’d say you’re treating the symptom, not the problem.

And you should definitely go to a muffler shop or something for the replacement. $1000 sounds like a dealer price to me. A muffler shop could probably do it for less than $300.

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We never knew there was a warranty to cover this and we had TWO SEPARATE 2009 Malibus. Bought the first one in 2011 with about 24K miles on it and had trouble with it in 2016 at 70+ miles. Fixed it for $1000 at a local mechanic. That car was in an accident in 2017 and was totaled. Bought another 2009 Malibu after the accident with 56K miles It now has 73K miles on it and now it has the same problem. We have only just found out that they had problems with this or wouldn’t have bought another one. There are 3 parts to the catalytic converter and had 2 of them replaced at Tuffy before we found out about the warranty. for $500+ and they want another $500 to fix the last part. Husband took it to Chevy dealer that sold us the first one (Second one came from a Mitsubishi dealership) and they said it has no warranty, I see it listed on the printout they gave him.

The car is now too old for that 8/80 warranty to apply . . . so the dealer was correct to say it has no warranty

Exactly what are the symptoms?

Massive exhaust restriction, causing the car to not get up to highway speed?

Check engine light on?

If so, what exact codes?

Some Malibu’s used a “closed couple” converter which apparently could cause some grief. There’s a tsb for that configuration, 06-06-01-010B. You might be able to see it yourself by googling.

The original warranty was extended another 2 years and 120K miles when they discovered there was a problem with the catalytic converter. The first Malibu needed repair in 2016, so it was only 7 years old anyway. Dealer didn’t say no warranty, said no recall. The printout they gave my husband says the emissions warranty is 10 years 120,039 miles.

You’re contradicting yourself

Earlier you said

So which is it?

I misspoke. The point is, they gave him a paper that said it had a valid emissions warranty that was good for 10 years which means until 2019, and 120,039 miles (it only has 73K miles on it now) --120k from mileage when it first went into service. We bought both USED!

I believe warranties take effect, based on the car’s “in service date” . . . which could have been in mid 2008, depending on when your car was built

You’d better find out when your car’s in-service date was . . . that’s typically the date the car was first registered

db4690 is dead on correct about “in service dates”.

I pulled up the bulletin on this and originally it applied to earlier model Malbus and a few others. Then an addition was made which added the 2009 Malibus.
Apparently this has to do with exhaust manifolds cracking; a.k.a. a poor design.

However (and there’s always a however…) the bulletin states that it applies to the 2.4 engine only. This model has 3 engine options with 2 versions of one engine. So which engine do you have?

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Both cars had the 2.4L engine. When they ran the report yesterday at Chevrolet, it mentioned with a check mark, the 10 years, 120K miles on it, meaning it was eligible.

So you didn’t have to pay for the repair as it states in the original post? It was covered by the warranty?

You can try contacting GM and the first step should be finding out when the “in service date” is. The "in service date means the first day it was sold to the original owner OR the date it became a dealer demonstrator.

In other words. if the car was sold in July of 2008 or put into service as a demonstrator in July of 2008 then the 10 years have started at that point and the 10 years was up last month.

If the car was put into service on August whatever comes after today’s date then the warranty should apply.
GM should provide some answers.

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Just thought of something that should have hit me a while back.

You say the converters have been replaced. That is not the same as the bulletin involving the cracked exhaust manifold. THIS is the procedure that is given a 10 years/120k miles extended warranty.

So on the chance there could be some misinterpretation; what is the problem? Converter or exhaust manifold?

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I just looked up parts for this 2009 Malibu 2.4 on rockauto

it seems that the exhaust manifold IS the converter, if you get my meaning

I get it. I’ve seen converters as part of the header pipe but never in the exhaust manifold.

I am already in touch with GM and getting the run around. What I really want is the MAILING address for the CEO of Chevrolet to make my complaints.