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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Yes, definitely time for maintenance... the motor is still running strong, no leaks (knock on wood).
Going to start with the A/C, does anyone know details of what type of recharge kit i should get?
*update - i got the A/C pro kit last night and charged it up. Took a while to get cold but it seems like it's working again now, hopefully it lasts a while
 

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I inherited my 1LT 2010 Malibu 2.4L w/ 6 speed auto from my parents at about 135k. Had regular oil changes, that's about it. It's at almost 147k miles and still runs well. There's been lots of small issues, but nothing major. Here's a quick rundown.

#1: The engine ticks when cold, and apparently has done that for years. If you let it warm up adequately before driving, the sound completely stops and runs like new.

#2: Shifts have also been sluggish for years. we are talking at least 5+ years. However it sometimes shifts hard going in and out of 3rd and 5th, and I have had it slip into reverse twice in the past year.. (was in reverse, applied gas, just revved the engine and didn't move the car, then the car jerked backward). I just baby it, and it does well overall. Someone here mentioned that that 3-5-R clutch plate is a weak point in these 6 speed autos, so. I'm sure it's that. Just hoping it takes its time before it completely goes out.

#3: At about 90k according to my father, it blew a fuse for the rear defroster. Replaced it, blew again almost instantly. Haven't messed with it since.

#4: About 100k, brake light strip in window went out. He also fixed that, was really annoying to get to from what he said.

#5: About 110k, it was discovered that there is some sort of coolant leak. It's mild enough to where it doesn't even make it to the ground. It definitely is not making it into the oil. Not totally sure what is going on with that, but my father would just top if off every few weeks and it has run completely fine like that for years. No overheating or abnormal temperatures whatsoever so long as the coolant is kept up.

#6: About 120k, engine light for P0011--still happens intermittently, but engine light never stays on for more than a couple days in my experience. Also had evap leak code--sanded some rust/debris off of gas cap, issue has not come back since. New battery, tie rods, and rear brake pads.

#7: About 137k, ABS and Traction Control light came on, with "SERVICE TRACTION". Not "SERVICE ESC" or "ENG PWR REDUCED" as many others report. Car runs perfectly besides ABS and Traction Control being disabled, and "SERVICE TRACTION" appearing upon startup.

#8: All the while, the car had been getting louder and louder. Exhaust pipe eventually rotted out and dragged on the road at about 139k. Got that replaced for around $400. Car hadn't been maintained well in terms of washing/rust management.

#9: New thermostat at around 140k, as well as new tires. Passenger's side headlight went out, fuse was blown as well which only allowed for high beams to be used if you pull back on the stalk to "flash" them. Programmed new key fobs as well as those broke.

#10: Exhaust manifold replaced at around 144k, new front brake pads, spray-cleaned caddy as it was getting clogged--hopefully bought some time there.

And here we are, at almost 147k. Car runs very well overall, but occasional rough shifting does bring some concern. There has been no transmission maintenance on this car as there should have been, and often if you get to this point, messing with it can cause more harm than good from what I've heard. I'm sure the transmission is what's going to bring this car down eventually. I'm hoping it waits at least a year or so before that happens. The car has run primarily on the highway as well, so 147k isn't actually as bad as it sounds.

The struts are definitely worn as the driver's side strut creaks and clunks, but I don't think it's worth the money to repair the whole suspension on a car that probably only has a couple years left max (based on the tranny behavior and clicking engine on cold start).
 
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