1999 Chevrolet Malibu Base 2.4 liter 4 cylinder from North America
This car is disappointing
The brakes were replaced by the dealer 3 times in less than 30,000 miles. Finally I had after market brakes put on, which have lasted over 40k. (Do this!)
The original tires, Firestone Affinitys, sucked and had to be replaced before 20k, they had cupped, separated, just bad. Firestone gave me the runaround, and I had to keep going back to get tires, one at a time. When the second set ran out, we did not use firestone, nor will I EVER buy that brand again.
Other problems: battery flat died with no warning after 2.5 years, chevrolet would not cover because the car was out of warranty with 38000 miles. Fuel regulator valve failed. The alternator went out after 3 years. I've owned a bunch of cars, never had to replace an alternator in my life until this car. CD player was a constant problem, wouldn't play, gave error messages, had it replaced twice, same problem with the new units. I think it is a car design problem. It may be getting too hot behind the unit. The tilt steering jammed recently, and disabled the steering lock mechanism. Can't figure this out. WHY would this break?
Drivers side sun visor came off in my wife's had while she was pulling it down a few months ago. It is a snap in piece in this year car, and broke. Replacement cost is $75, she bought good sunglasses instead for $20 on the internet. Salvage yards can't keep this part for this car. They go out as soon as they get one you could use.
If I had bought this car used and paid less than half what I bought this car for, I wouldn't be as upset. But I bought this car new from Stearns Chevrolet in Graham, NC. Brand new, first owner. Thank goodness I work near the dealer because I live 15 miles away. They were real good about getting me a vehicle to drive while the car was being worked on, but I was there so much everybody knew me by name. How crazy is this. It's good for Chevrolet that I didn't understand the Lemon Laws when I bought this vehicle, I wouldn't have had it but a year, they would have gotten it back, and I would have a Taurus, Accord or Camry. The car has lost value so quickly you could hear it fall.
The car looks good, the overall design is attractive, the interior is good, the size is a winner, 5 people fit comfortably. Great features, stereo sounds really good (watch out for the CD player though). When the tires weren't falling apart, the car handled great. I got the aluminum wheel package which I think is really money well spent. The wheels were $310 from the factory and look a lot better than the plastic standard wheel covers.
Bottom line: if it's what you want, buy the thing used and cheap.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 24th July, 2003
I've had very similar problems with the CD player on my Malibu. Though I haven't had to go as far as to replace it, if it is in use for more than an hour at a time, it's hot to the touch.
Often my Cd's will come up the same way.
Bought this car used, have replaced the engine twice. Although I think its because I like to race it... anyway, I love this car! I put high performance brakes, tires, etc. Got 147,000 miles on it now and still going strong. (71k on this revision motor).
Trust in aftermarket for this car! OEM equipment stinks.