1997 Chevrolet Malibu from North America
Hah, I can do it in one word, unreliable
I was in need of a car, and after searching extensively I found a Malibu for about a thousand bucks, with 176,000 miles on it. It started off terrific, the driver assured me the car was working, and it was running great for the initial week. I drove my car around for a month, and it's suddenly giving me problems.
The head gasket has cracked and I must replace it. My glove box is broken, the keys are non responsive on the passenger side door, so there is only one way to get in, and that's driver side. Need to replace door handles on both sides. Driver door handle sticks, so I need to pull and push at the same time. Open door indicator is flashing, even though I am SURE that all doors were securely closed.
Oh, don't even let me mention the overheating on this vehicle!
Now I know, some of those are nick knack problems, but the head gaskets and overheating is what does it for me.
My dad has a foreign marked car with close to 200,000 miles on it, and has yet had to make any major repair or maintenance.
No more American cars for me. Imports only.
The only thing good about the car is that the power steering is superb. Everything else, is a headache.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 16th July, 2008
16th Jul 2008, 08:49
The car is 11 years old & has 176,000 miles on it - what did you expect?
16th Jul 2008, 12:17
You know, that's really not too bad with that many miles. So much depends on how the car was cared for. I mostly drive imports (Japanese) but I've definitely seen problems by that mileage. One Honda Civic I bought used was worn out by 70,000 miles because the girl who had previously owned it hadn't changed the oil. The cracked gasket is the only thing that I wouldn't think would depend on the nature of the use. My dad had a Toyota 4runner that blew a transmission before 100,000 miles were on it. So whatever you get, don't expect it to be perfect when the miles are that high and you aren't the first owner--regardless of manufacturer. Sorry about your troubles, though.
22nd Jul 2008, 16:27
I have always owned GMs. Some with low mileage and some with high mileage and none ever had major issues. Maintenance is the key here. You obviously bought a car that was improperly maintained. Those engines did have issues with the cooling system, and if not cared for properly, can cause serious issues. But if cared for correctly, they are practiaclly bullet proof. Head gasket issues in those engines aren't very common at all. Usually it is the Lower intake Manifold gasket that fail's and can sometimes be misdiagnosed ad a HG failure. However, if this is left uncorrected, it can cause overheating and cause a HG failure. It doesn't matter whether its on an Import or a domestic, overheating can easily cause a HG failure.
23rd Nov 2008, 05:58
That's nothing for that mileage. My sister had a 1996 with about half the miles, and the transmission would downshift into second gear on the freeway at 70mph (dropping the speed suddenly to 50) and had a mysterious tail and headlight electrical short, amongst engine problems, etc. If you want a reliable American car, buy a Toyota, they are made in America anyways :) Beats those "American" Chevies built in Mexico.