1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 SFI V6


Ignorance is bliss... ignore the details and you'll be happy with a fancy car :p


1) Front brakes (ugh), partly my fault because the first time I changed pads and rotors too early... until I got ceramics (1 1/2 years and still have those... although I'm pretty sure they're on overtime).

2) Alternator/Battery: Has been rebuilt twice and battery replaced twice as well (once under warranty)

3) A/C switching/cutting: Getting worse and worse, I'll probably have to Jimmy (no pun intended) the control unit to fix it (too expensive to fix at the shop), also I have NO heating whatsoever.

4) Water pump: Has gone under twice or thrice (I don't really remember)...must be the orange gooey coolant.

5) Gaskets: They were leaking since I got it, but let it go until it really leaked @ 105000 miles (coolant light would go on once a week). Fixed @ 120000 miles.

6) Electric System: I'm sure is defective as hell, 'cause my radio/AC/power windows cut off a lot (once it happened in the middle of the summer with temps up to and including 108), which takes me to...

7) Lights: Front lights go out at least once a year; back lights blow out ever so often... assemblies allow water inside, they're crap.

8) Serpentine Belt: Squeaks and breaks too often.

9) Auto Tranny: Who was the idiot that decided not to put a lousy dipstick in so we can check the fluid level? Now, that guy's a dipstick!

10) Rattles/Squeaks: What can you expect from a cheaply old raggedy GM made car?

11) Steering: Had an expensive repair due to fluid leak, and it's leaking again!

12) Check Engine light is on: Don't know why, don't care to know (last time it was canister related, and I fixed it by resetting a vacuum tube)

General Comments:

Other than those eleven things (and some I might be forgetting), the car feels and drives like the old GMs (sans the engine noise and the rattles). It surely is a dream to drive on the road, up to and including 80 mph (yes, it still goes that fast and more)... once I took it up to 105 mph before the fuel cuts off.

Fuel economy is on par with the new EPA estimates (15 city/26 hwy for me). Car seems to have a life of its own: sometimes it wakes up rather peppy and other times it hesitates to accelerate. Also, since it's pitch black, when washed looks like a BMW!

Some suggestions if you own a Malibu:

1) Get better tires! I have Cooper Cobras and, although a bit noisy, they're a gem!

2) Don't use the orange stuff for cooling. That may be the cause for faulty gaskets.

3) Get ready so $pend $pend $pend! Maybe it's better to take out the daytime lights fuse and turn on the things manually.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 29th January, 2008

2000 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 V6


Great Value, Great Car. Reliable


Just a few minor details went wrong, nothing important, first the wiper's reservoir tank leaks and I have to refill it every week.

The CD stereo was replaced under warranty because it kept displaying an "error" message, but GM replaced it.

On a hot summer day once the coolant's reservoir tank spilled over half the coolant's liquid, I just refilled it with regular Prestone liquid and it never happened again. It happened only once 1 year ago.

I had to replace the battery 2 years ago because the positive pole was broken, I can't tell how that happened, but can't blame it on GM, maybe on a routine manteinance came loose.

The rear bumper is very strong, last year while going in reverse I accidentally crashed at low speed a VW bug sedan, the VW door and fender was completely smashed as if it was made of paper unlike my rear bumper was nearly intact, you can't tell it crashed ever, my insurance company paid the VW owner, but I'm amazed how well my Malibu did hold together.

Overall this car works great.

General Comments:

Great car, Great Value. I love my Malibu.

It always works, I never have to worry about having any kind of mechanical problems, it's very reliable.

The front seats are comfortable, the back seat is not so comfortable, but the interior space is huge for a car of its class.

The suspension feels like you're floating on air compared to Dodge Stratus. Very comfortable ride.

I really liked this car.

I'm saving to buy a 2005 Malibu.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th April, 2004