Bolt Patterns for Every Generation of the Chevrolet Malibu

Bolt Patterns for Every Generation of the Chevrolet Malibu

The Malibu is one of Chevrolet’s staple cars that has been around for decades. With that said, there are several generations with varying trim levels and specifications.

For this article, we’re going to focus on the bolt pattern and other accompanying bolt and wheel specifications for each generation of the Chevy Malibu.

We have also included the specifications of the classic Chevelle Malibu submodel that was produced way back in the 60s to 80s.

What is the bolt pattern of a Chevy Malibu?

Malibus made from 1997 to 2005 and 2016 to 2022 use a bolt pattern of 5×4.53 inches (5x115mm).

2004 to 2012 Malibus use a 5×4.33-inch (5x110mm) bolt pattern, while those from 2013 to 2015 use a 5×4.72-inch (5x120mm) one.

Malibu bolt patterns from 1964 to 1983 measured 5×4.75 inches (5×120.65mm).

Production YearsBolt Pattern
1997 – 20052016 – Current5×4.53 inches (5x115mm)
2004 – 20125×4.33 inches (5x110mm)
2013 – 20155×4.72 inches (5x120mm)
1964 – 19835×4.75 inches (5×120.65mm)

Wheel and Bolt Specifications for Each Chevy Malibu Generation

Aside from the Malibu’s bolt pattern, we’ve also mentioned that we’re going to include other relevant specifications for each of its generations.

We have included bolt specifications, namely, the center bore diameter, the type of wheel fastener used, thread size, and the torque specification required for tightening the fasteners.

In the same vein, we’ve also included the tire and rim size of every Chevy Malibu trim level, and these two will be collectively referred to as “wheel specifications”.

Knowing these specifications will save you the trouble of running into fitment issues should you decide to change your wheelset at any time.

9th Generation (2016 – Present)

The current generation of the Chevrolet Malibu has 3 different trim levels on which the wheel specifications are dependent.

Apart from these, the bolt specifications will remain identical across all trim levels within this generation.

Center Bore Diameter: 70.3mm

Wheel Fastener: Lug Nut (5)

Thread Size: M12x1.5

Torque Spec: 103.2lb-ft (140Nm)

Trim LevelTire SizeRim Size
1.5L Turbo205/65R166.5Jx16 ET407Jx16 ET40 (2019 and newer)
1.8L225/55R177.5Jx17 ET45
2.0L Turbo245/40ZR198.5Jx19 ET498.5Jx19 ET41

8th Generation (2013 – 2015)

Since the 8th-generation Malibu was sold in almost a hundred countries with differing model year ranges, we decided to keep things simple and focus on those produced for the 2013 to 2015 model years.

Center Bore Diameter: 67.1mm

Wheel Fastener: Lug Nut (5)

Thread Size: M14x1.5

Torque Spec: 110.6lb-ft (150Nm)

Trim LevelTire SizeRim Size
2.0L Turbo235/50R18  8Jx18 ET42 
2.4L225/55R178Jx17 ET41
2.5L215/60R167.5Jx16 ET41

6th to 7th Generation (2004 – 2012)

Unsurprisingly, both the 6th and 7th-generation Chevy Malibus, just like their bolt patterns, also share the same set of bolt specifications.

The various trim levels (engine options) for both generations are also exactly the same, making it considerably easier to keep track of their numerous tire and rim sizes.

Center Bore Diameter: 65.1mm

Wheel Fastener: Lug Nut (5)

Thread Size: M12 x 1.5

Torque Spec: 103.2lb-ft (140Nm)

Trim LevelTire SizeRim Size
2.2L205/65R156.5Jx15 ET41

215/60R16215/55R17225/50R17225/50R186.5Jx16 ET417Jx17 ET387Jx17 ET387Jx18 ET41
3.5L205/65R15215/60R166.5Jx15 ET41
3.6L225/50R17225/50R187Jx17 ET387Jx18 ET41

5th Generation (1997 – 2005)

Both 2.4-liter and 3.1-liter trim levels of the 5th-generation Malibu were originally produced from 1997 to 2003.

Shortly after, the 2.2-liter Ecotec-powered Malibu Classic was introduced, and it extended the generation’s production for two more years.

Excluding the tire size, it has kept the same wheel and bolt specifications that can be found in earlier trim levels.

Center Bore Diameter: 70.3mm

Wheel Fastener: Lug Nut (5)
Thread Size: M12x1.5

Torque Spec: 103.2lb-ft (140Nm)

Trim LevelTire SizeRim Size
6Jx15 ET42
Malibu Classic 2.2L205/65R15

4th Generation (1978 – 1983)

The 4th-generation Malibu was actually the first to separate itself from the Chevelle nameplate, and it has included a great number of trim levels and specifications to go with it.

Despite having a more complicated list of specifications, we’ve managed to summarize this generation’s details for you in the table below.

Center Bore Diameter: 70.3mm

Wheel Fastener: Lug Nut (5)

Thread Size: 7/16″ – 20 UNF
Torque Spec: 100lb-ft (135Nm)

Trim LevelTire SizeRim Size

185/75R14 195/75 R14 205/75R14

6JJx14 ET0

185/75R14 195/75 R14 205/75R14205/70R14
All 1982 – 1983 Trims Only6.5JJx14 ET-6.35

3rd Generation (Chevelle Malibu) (1973 – 1977)

The 3rd-generation Chevelle was the last model that the Malibu name was ever used in before the latter was eventually made into its own separate model.

Alongside the generation’s 2 other submodels (Chevelle Deluxe and Chevelle Laguna), The Chevelle Malibu boasted all sorts of body styles and engine options.

But regardless of the body style or engine, all of its trim levels utilized the same set of wheel and bolt specifications as seen below.

Center Bore Diameter: 70.3mm

Wheel Fastener: Lug Nut (5)

Thread Size: 7/16″ – 20 UNF

Torque Spec: 100lb-ft (135Nm)

Trim LevelTire SizeRim Size

All Chevelle Malibu Trims
205/75/R156.5Jx15 ET-5
215/70R15215/75R157Jx15 ET-5

1st to 2nd Generation (Chevelle Malibu) (1964 – 1972)

Both the 1st and 2nd-generation Chevelle Malibus have the same wheel and bolt specifications as the 3rd generation above.

The only difference is that these two generations offered thinner 195-millimeter tires paired with smaller 14-inch rims that were not options on the 3rd-generation Chevelle Malibu.

Center Bore Diameter: 70.3mm

Wheel Fastener: Lug Nut (5)

Thread Size: 7/16″ – 20 UNF

Torque Spec: 100lb-ft (135Nm)

Trim LevelTire SizeRim Size

All Chevelle Malibu Trims
195/75R146.5Jx14 ET-5
215/75R15215/70R157Jx15 ET-5

How to Retighten the Bolts on the Chevy Malibu

When all is said and done, It’s also important to make sure that your bolts properly do their job by checking if they are torqued up to spec.

The last thing you need is one of your bolts to suddenly come loose as you’re driving along, so read on and learn about how to properly tighten your Chevy Malibu’s bolts.

If you haven’t noticed, every single generation of the Chevy Malibu uses a 5-lug pattern. As such, we’ll be using a simple tightening guide that’s applicable for all 5-lug applications.

5-lug pattern

Using a torque wrench such as this one, tighten the lugs one by one following the star pattern demonstrated above.

If the car is on the ground and you’re simply retightening its bolts, then you can go ahead and tighten them up to the recommended torque specifications of your Malibu.

But if the car is currently on jack stands and you’ve completely removed the bolts, tighten them up to about half of the recommended torque value only.

After that, lower the car back to the ground and finish torquing them up to spec from there.

As a general rule, you should check the bolts again after driving for 50 to 100 miles. This is especially necessary if you’ve recently changed to a new set of wheels.   

If there are any changes to their tightness, retorque them to the same value accordingly.

While some manufacturers may advise checking them earlier, checking at 50 miles is the most common industry standard and would suffice.

The Chevy Malibu’s Tire Change and Rotation Schedule

Aside from making sure that your bolts keep your wheels nice and snug at all times, you also need to consider the current state of your tires.

If it’s been a while since you last changed or even rotated your Chevy Malibu’s tires, then this quick guide will give you an idea if it’s time to do so.

The Malibu comes with a lot of different tire sizes from the factory, but on average, they will last about 60,000 to 75,000 miles (97,000 – 121,000km) depending on how frequently you drive.

Even if you don’t drive that often, it’s still recommended to replace your tires every 4 to 5 years.

One good way to find out if your tires are already too worn out is to look for the “tread wear indicator bars” between the grooves of your tires.

Indicator Bars

These bars will be deep between the treads on new tires. But if yours are already up to the same level as the treads themselves, then it’s time for a tire change.

If you still have a considerable amount of tire tread left, then you should still be rotating your tires for even wear.

FWD Diagram

Since the Malibu is a front-wheel drive (FWD) car, the FWD diagram shown above is the most optimum way to rotate its tires.

As for when you should rotate them, it should be every 7,500 miles (12,000km) added to the odometer.

Try to take note of your car’s mileage after every tire change or rotation, so it’s a lot easier to keep track of your tire’s tread life.