I'M NOT GOOD WITH CARS, AS YOU CAN TELL BY MY COMMENTS.
Mostly everything I have done to my car has been done by my father, so cost may be less since I'm just having to pay for parts, not labor.
Having issues now with a coolant leak; have had several things replaced, but nothing is working yet. Replaced hoses and water pump, cost about $100.00; this was at about 108,000 miles.
Just had a tune up at 115,000 miles. The mechanic was amazed it was still driving, given how bad the wires and spark plugs looked. Had never done a tune up since I had the car from 05 to now. Replaced spark plugs, wires and fuel filter. Cost about $100.00; mechanic is a friend.
Have had a coolant leak issue for a while now, and I believe that's what caused this problem. I have a rpm issue where the car revs on its own. Many have said it's a sensor, but others say it's hoses from the intake to the engine. Have had one small hose replaced, but may have others.
Was in two accidents in this car, both were front problems. One had to replace the whole front and back axle. This was at about 100,000 miles. Now having problems with front bearings. They make lots of noise when at a high speed. (haven't replaced or fixed) Cost estimated at $300-400 for both front tires.
Have always had issues with brake problems with my Malibu's, I had one before this one, and this one wasn't as bad. If I keep driving the way I do, and keep braking like I do, then I believe I always will have problems, NOT THE CAR'S FAULT, I believe.
Had trouble starting car at about 70,000 miles, and had to replace the fuel pump. Cost about $300.00. This may have been caused by my excessive driving on (E) empty. But the problem was fixed.
Now I have had a Malibu for a while. Had a 98 in 2002, and then my 2003 Malibu in 2005. Both had the same issue with the A/C. It isn't just me, the Malibus have a defect in the A/C where it turns it off when on. When I purchased my 2003 Malibu in 2005, the dealer explained to me (Chevy dealer) that it was a issue they were aware of with Malibus in those years. They fixed my 2003 Malibu for no cost before I purchased it. BUT!!! It still does it, worked well for about 2 years, just left it alone because it will still work, but only if it's on 5 (still working, but still with a problem). I deal with it.
I love my Malibu, it was my first car in 2002 (98 Malibu) and my car still (2003 Malibu). I would pay another one and love the new 2010 Malibus. This car has never given me a major problem. It has gone through a lot with me and two minor accidents, and still runs like a champ.
Of course just like any car, you have repairs, especially at 115,000 miles. Most repairs were a cause of poor driving on my part, and not the car. UNDERSTANDABLE replacements.
I have had both a normal Malibu, and the LS model. Love my LS model with its sun roof and leather. Still to this day it looks good. I keep my cars looking good, and others can tell.
So those who have bad things to say about your car, first look at your driving habits and see if you may be the cause, but out of the thousands of cars that are made, there have to be some bad lemons, SORRY!!! Not everything is perfect.
A/C is the only issue I know that is a major defect in the Malibus from 97-2003. And even the 04-05 Classic that kept the model style of the old Malibu's, but changed the name.