I've also had mine since 1999 and it still runs great. I've spent maybe 3k in 9.5 yrs getting things fixed, and I probably overpaid. You bought a used car so you have to realize it will require some maintenance. You might be able to get some gasket cord off mcmaster and some adhesive to fix that tail light.
I have a 2002 Malibu LS in 2010, and it now has 130k miles and is still going strong.
I've owned it since 2004. I've had a few minor quirks with it that are common, but small stuff like the AC control panel and a wheel hub.
The engine has been utterly dependable, and I trust this car to drive anywhere. I don't know why so many people have so many major problems with this car... I don't consider myself to be a very lucky person, but apparently I got extremely lucky when I bought this car. It's truly been great... it starts every single morning, and gets me everywhere I need/want to go all day long, every day.
I have purchased a 99 Malibu and I have had some serious problems.
The windows get stuck, I had to replace the door motor and the panel, engine coolant motor, a lot of belts, brakes and they are still squealing. I had them cleaned and some parts (I have no no idea if they should have been replaced).
My car locked up, I couldn't get it started, and the locksmith came out and he started it. It was like the steering wheel or the ignition locked up. I replaced the battery, pads, shoes drums, rotors, lights, light brackets.
I have also repaired alternator. Now it is leaking fluid from the overflow hose and making noise when I start it and drive it. I don't know what is causing it.
It's just been costing me a whole lot of money. I bought this car for my family, because we needed reliable transportation. I am scared to take it to a dealer because I think I may be charged for repairs that are not needed. Can anyone help me? I need my car to have transportation to and from work.
I like Chevy, but if it is costly I may have to try and go to another brand if I can afford it. Thank you for listening.
"Now it is leaking fluid from the overflow hose"
Sounds like a blown head gasket to me. That causes compression in the cooling system. On idle there's usually not enough pressure to cause the coolant to overflow, unless you have a complete head gasket failure. But at running rpms, the compression leads to the water running out, because the pressure relief valve of the cooling system is activated, letting out water.
Head gasket failures on the 3.1 V6 is very common. We've had 2 cars with that engine, and they both blew a head gasket. One as early as 55K miles, the other one at less than 100K miles. Some say these engines runs forever, but my experience is that they are a pile of junk. Head gasket failure, and one of them blew a connecting rod bearing, and we drove the car to the junkers at less than 120K miles. We were simply fed up with the car.