19th Dec 2010, 18:39
I own the 1997 Chevy Malibu LS with the 3.1L V6 engine. I purchased the car used in 2006. The car had only 66,000 miles and change on it, and it only had one previous owner who kept meticulous maintenance records (they came with the car, and showed nothing but routine maintenance), and I also did a car fax on the car, which reported nothing unusual.
When I purchased the car, I did have the dealer replace the switch for the Heat/ A/C blower motor, as it only functioned on speed 5. Past that, I have done general routine maintenance (oil changes, brakes, rotors, wiper blades, various lights, etc.) I also flushed the radiator of the orange coolant and replaced it with the standard antifreeze (on recommendation from my mechanic). I have had the issue with the anti theft control module once, about 2 years ago, which resolved itself, and have had no problems with it since.
In the four years (almost 5) I have owned the car, major repairs include: transmission pan (my fault), driver's side front wheel bearing (twice in two years), I changed mechanics after the first after it was discovered he was doing sub-par repairs on my friend's vehicles as well, tensioner pulley (if you consider that major), the module for the emergency flashers (which also controls turn signals as there was an issue with them not coming on), and now I am getting ready to replace the power steering pump (again my fault, because I didn't check the fluid level often enough after discovering it a little low the last time, which was 8+ months ago, and it ran dry and fried my pump).
Overall, I have been very satisfied with this car. I am an EMT and I use my car routinely (between 200 and 400 times a year) to make emergency calls with my volunteer fire dept, so as you can guess I'm not exactly easy on the car, and it has performed flawlessly for me on every such occasion. I have definitely gotten my money's worth from this vehicle.
19th Dec 2010, 19:15
I have a 2003 Malibu 3100 SFI and it's a good riding car when it wants to go.
I've replaced the ignition lock cylinder (if your anti theft light is on or blinking it might leave you stuck), brakes, head gaskets, the tapping noise, my cooling fans don't work, A/C doesn't work, inside car fan only blows on 5 1,2,3,and 4 don't work. I would be happy if my cooling fan in front of the engine would work any suggestions on fixing that? I just changed the thermostat and it will idle a little over the half way mark 195 for like 10 minutes then it starts to overheat..