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Old 11-23-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
dakota1820
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Default new here need some advice

i am looking to buy a malibu and have some questions. first why should i get a malibu over the competitions cars? what are some common issues? and how are they to work on? i am a young married man with my second kid on the way and am looking to spend about 3500 bucks. all help is appreciated. thanks guys. glad to be here.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:05 AM   #2
DrivenDaily
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Default Re: new here need some advice

Common issues:
> heater control module tends to stop working
> ignition lock AND electrical switch (2 separate items to do 1 function) wear out and it is a lot of labor savings to R&R them at the same time

Other members will have some other input for you, but overall it isn't all that bad of a car. Don't pay more than KBB for it - less if you can.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: new here need some advice

Also the electrical power steering in 05 and 06 (maybe 07, I am not sure) models had problems. We had an 06 though and didn't have any problems although my step daughter's 05, that she used to have, from time to time would have problems with it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
dakota1820
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Default Re: new here need some advice

where heads and intakes ever an issue like they were on other GM vehicles?
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: new here need some advice

Heads and intakes? Not really.

Head gaskets and intake gaskets? ButOfCourse, it's Goverment Motors!! *grins*

If you're looking for a car like a Malibu, don't forget the Cutlass (same car, different trim and dash), Alero, or Grand Am of the same vintage (around 2000) (Alero/Grand Am are same platform, and share major mechanicals with the Malibu and Cutlass.)

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Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
dakota1820
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Default Re: new here need some advice

engines would be either a 3.1 or a 3.4 right? are they both known for head and intake gasket troubles?
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: new here need some advice

it would actually be a 3.1 or 3.5, i have had mine for only a year but i have only had one issue with the radiator but it was from where the previous owner had gotten into an accident and caused it to leak but other than that i have had no problems with it at all and it has been a perfect car. It is a pretty great ride for the price range, it will have electric power steering if it is a 2005-2007 but i have had no problems with mine (other than it can feel a little sloppy when you start driving it a bit rough like i tend to lol). But other than that the ride is good the gas mileage is good even with the 3.5 and all around it's a great car for the price
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: new here need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by nutcrunch View Post
Also the electrical power steering in 05 and 06 (maybe 07, I am not sure) models had problems. We had an 06 though and didn't have any problems although my step daughter's 05, that she used to have, from time to time would have problems with it.
I just had my power steering replaced under the extended TSB for it (10 years/150K miles), after seeing the 'POWER STEERING' message on the DIC about a month ago.
I have just under 80,000 miles on mine. Otherwise, no problems.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:01 AM   #9
dakota1820
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Default Re: new here need some advice

yea the malibu is 3.1 then went to the 3.5. the 3.4 i was referring to is in the grand am and such. like posted above. is the 3.5 better than the 3.1? i will be looking at them probably from 1999-2002
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: new here need some advice

1999-2002 would be a 3.1 in the 'Bu, a 3.4 in the Alero and Grand Am.

The 3.4 is a bored and/or stroked 3.1, or the 3.1 is de-whichever (I don't remember which one changed, but one did between them).

They can and quite often do (aftermarket!) use the same gaskets.

Both have the same generic problems with lower intake manifold gaskets.

This is NOT a 100% faillure item, now! Don't misunderstand me! It's just that these are more prone to wearing out than I personally think they should have been.

The 'Bu and Cutlass are also prone to the A/C control head failing - there's links here on how to repair the head, so that's not a major problem.

They're all prone to the ignition switch itself failing, and due to how they're located, it's usually more labor effective to swap both the switch and the lock cylinder at the same time.

Overall, they're nice cars - build quality is better than a lot of the older GMs had, but not as good as we may have come to expect from new cars.

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335K miles on original motor and tranny (only motor work 2 x LIM replacement), Monroe SensaTrac struts front and back (new at approx. 300K miles), and Alero discs in back. LS fogs added with custom wiring. HID high beams, HIR low and halogen fogs. Raybestos Pro Grade front rotors and Bendix D747 ceramic pads on front.

Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
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