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)
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