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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm new here because I'm thinking of purchasing this: http://www.applewoodauto.com/used/Chevrolet/2009-Chevrolet-Malibu-1168a7130a0a010900cdc97bc2f96d3e.htm (new to me) Malibu 2LT 3.6L V6, and wanted to get your impressions of the car in general (not this particular one necessarily), and know what kind of problems any of you have experienced with this model and model year in general. I'm trading in my '03 Cadillac Seville STS which, although a gorgeous car and blast to drive, is quickly becoming a money pit.

If someone could comment on whether the car in this ad seems reasonably priced (all things considered) and if you notice anything that throws a red flag I'd like to hear it.

Positive comments welcome too, of course. What kinds of problems can I expect, other than regular wear & tear with this model and year? Edmunds says steering problems but one never knows how many people actually report these things.

Thanks everyone.
 

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That's the trim that I drive. It's a great car with a very upscale interior and a powerful engine. Because of the 6-speed auto, I have no problem exceeding the advertised fuel economy.

One point of concern is that the V6 needs to be appropriately maintained with Dexos 1 oil and reasonable oil change intervals (4k-6k miles). If you can get service records, that would be something to check the history of. If mistreated, the oil can get low and cause damage to the timing chain tensioners.

If you buy the car, use midgrade gas (recommended in the manual) and consider cleaning the engine with a bottle of injector cleaner and/or seafoam.
 

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That's the trim that I drive. It's a great car with a very upscale interior and a powerful engine. Because of the 6-speed auto, I have no problem exceeding the advertised fuel economy.

One point of concern is that the V6 needs to be appropriately maintained with Dexos 1 oil and reasonable oil change intervals (4k-6k miles). If you can get service records, that would be something to check the history of. If mistreated, the oil can get low and cause damage to the timing chain tensioners.

If you buy the car, use midgrade gas (recommended in the manual) and consider cleaning the engine with a bottle of injector cleaner and/or seafoam.
That's awesome info, cp, thanks so much. Did you buy the car new or used? How are the interior materials holding up? Also, which stereo system do you have and how is the sound?

Really appreciate your feedback and impressions, it's very helpful. Did you have a chance to look at the listing I'm thinking of buying? That would be great if you would.

Oh one other thing, does yours have a sunroof?

Thanks.
Andy
 

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That's awesome info, cp, thanks so much. Did you buy the car new or used? How are the interior materials holding up? Also, which stereo system do you have and how is the sound?

Really appreciate your feedback and impressions, it's very helpful. Did you have a chance to look at the listing I'm thinking of buying? That would be great if you would.

Oh one other thing, does yours have a sunroof?

Thanks.
Andy
I bought new, and I'm now just over 50k miles, so not far from the 90,000km in the listing. My interior has held up fairly well. No trim has broken. My driver's seat cover began fraying at the seam between the suede and leatherette but it may have been a factory defect and I had it replaced under warranty with no other instances.

I do have a sun roof, use it all the time. No leaks or problems, but the sliding cover rattles over bumps when open (I've heard this is a common issue for any sun roof equipped vehicle).

I have the low-end stereo (not the Bose) and I find it plenty powerful and clear. If you're a bass nut, you may want to install a sub.

I looked at the listing, which is why I voiced concern over the V6's maintenance. Also, just to clarify: Dexos 1 oil includes Mobil 1 and many other synthetic 5w-30 oils.
 

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Oh, one other thing. Get the dealer to change those tires for you. Goodyear Eagle LS2s are some of the worst you can buy. Get some michelins, BFG, or Continental at 235mm width.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Moved from Gen8 General Discussion area...
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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I owned an '09 V6 3.6L 2LT and would still own it today (and nearly paid off, too :() except for the color - it was BGM (black granite metallic) and inside it was all black. Not a bad color and wasn't hard to keep clean, but it was all one color. I had very few issues with it.

I traded it at 20K miles for my '11 V6 3.6L LTZ shown below (and in my signature as of this writing). It has 38K miles on it now. The engine had to have the crank and 2 connecting rods replaced at 20K miles due to oil starvation. The PS pump was replaced at 38K miles (two weeks ago).

Both were purchased new, although the '09 actually had 1252 miles on an out-of-state dealer trade! Both of them have the sunroof with the same issues: rattling sun shade and when open the sunroof glass sounds like a diving board over certain bumps. Both had one headlight get condensation and the left rear window needed a new regulator.

The link you posted shows a silver 'Bu and it says it has the I4 2.4L engine, but down at the bottom it has a listing of the V6 3.6's features and options. Which is it?

If you get the V6 you'll get hydraulic PS but all of the 4's got electronic (EPS). It has less feel and provides more assist than my V6 does. I like and prefer my hydraulic especially after driving a 4-cylinder for 10 days. The V6 also has a LOT more power and gets respectable mileage. I get 27-29 without blinking, and with only a little effort I get over 30. (The EPA rating is 17 city/26 hwy!) My city average is 18/20 winter/summer.

I had Badyear Eagle LS2 (doesn't that mean "Limited Slip"??? ;)) on the '09 and for 10K miles on the '11. From 10K to 37K on the '11 I had Hankook Optimo H727 and they were only marginally better than the LS2's. Now I have the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus in 235/50-18 and they stick like glue! cp-the-nerd has the Michelin Primacy MXM4 and loves them. Get the V6 and some really good tires and you'll fall in love with the car the first day!

Overall it's a decent car, but there are some common issues. Vibration around 50-70 on some, EPS goes wild on some, steering clunk on some, electric locks fail too often ($8 per door fix - see thread in How-To section).
 

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Wow DD, you made the Malibu sound like a lovable money pit of constant problems. : P
 

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sister just got a 2010 LT2 with sunroof 3.6 L 6 spd auto in optional diamond white tricoat in very good condition for $16000 in pa usa 30,000 miles, hard to compare canadian!
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Oops, forgot the image I said was included. My signature is a crop of this...

 

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Wow DD, you made the Malibu sound like a lovable money pit of constant problems. : P
Oh, heck no! I pointed out a few issues but they're all easily overcome.
 

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Just FYI i'm pretty sure if you have a sunroof, you have premium audio (cp-the-nerd). There was both a Bose premium audio and Monsoon (which isn't marked).

I just got home today from a trip to Mackinaw Island and averaged 30 mpg at 75 mph. i was very pleased. We took my wife's 2.4L 6 spd G6 last year and only got 26 mpg. It was under powered and constantly shifting down to 5th with every change in terrain.

Problems so far include both rear door lock actuators going out, replaced under warranty. My driver's front seat heater has stopped working. Also, in the winter, my front struts are pretty noisy over bumps at slow speeds. Also one of my rear speakers went out and they wanted $75 for a new one (monsoon premium audio). It has been discussed on here that possibly they don't keep enough compression when the air gets colder, or the gas shrinks too much not giving it enough dampening.

Overall I enjoy the car. I really like the get up and go it has. The V6 moves! I feel a few of the problems I've had could have been better engineered by GM to not fail so quickly. For this reason I will be trying a different brand next. Probably Ford fusion. I do love my car though just kind of losing faith in GM as a whole.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
WOW! This is awesome feedback and information.

The story is this. I let my heart rule my mind and made a HUGE blunder by purchasing a 2003 Cadillac Seville STS (black/black) just 4 months ago. It is gorgeous (well, at least to me). If you like the Cadillac drive, this is a great car. It had 104K miles (169K km) and I didn't do my due diligence before purchasing it. I have since then put over $4K in repairs, and it STILL needs struts, shocks and tires (all previously undisclosed) to the tune of about $5K.

So as much as I can't bear to part with this car (I truly love it, even though it's so badly made), I have to consider my shallow pockets. I was looking at a Buick-Caddy-Chevy dealership and initially saw a beautiful 2009 STS4 black/black, for a reasonable price. GM fixed most of what was wrong with my model year and earlier.

While waiting for financing, I looked at their lot and saw the Malibu that this thread is about. I thought maybe I should look there, since generally speaking I suppose it's cheaper to repair than a Caddy, and all cars as they age have problems. With the Caddy, every day I get in the car I wonder what is broken. Yesterday one of the audio control buttons on the steering wheel lost its backlighting. $200 to repair (at a dealer, I'm not good at any mechanical work).

To answer some of your questions above, this is a V6 3.6L. Comes with 3 months free OnStar (I already have it in my STS), 3 months free XM, remote starter, and everything else. NO sunroof, which is a bummer but based on your reports of rattling, maybe it's better.

The other thing is that I like to personalize my cars. So I looked at carid.com and found a SLEW of great-looking mods for the Malibu, everything from billet grilles to chrome accents (I won't overdo it), spoiler, nicer wheels (I hate the stock GM ones), etc. etc.

Once I find out what they can do re: financing and a final deal using my STS as a trade, I'll make a decision. I am also doing my due diligence this time - full CarProof, GM service history, CarFax, everything.

I'll let you all know, but in the meantime, thank you SO MUCH for your great (and I must say, what a pleasure to read intelligent, honest, and helpful) posts!!
 

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Just FYI i'm pretty sure if you have a sunroof, you have premium audio (cp-the-nerd). There was both a Bose premium audio and Monsoon (which isn't marked).
Monsoon and Bose were the premium stereo at different times and were not offered as separate options. You know you have premium audio if you have a 6 disk changer (and 8 speakers), I do not. The stereo may have been bundled with the sunroof on later years, but not mine.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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My '09 2LT had a sunroof and "standard" audio. My '11 LTZ has a sunroof and Bose "premium" audio. Of the two the "standard" audio seemed to be of better quality than the Bose, but that is subjective.

Glad that our input has been helpful. Most of us really like our cars but we don't wear rose-colored glasses, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Monsoon and Bose were the premium stereo at different times and were not offered as separate options. You know you have premium audio if you have a 6 disk changer (and 8 speakers), I do not. The stereo may have been bundled with the sunroof on later years, but not mine.
Forgive me if you guys already know this but do you know about the VIN Decoder utility? You can get all the options as they were ordered from the factory:

www.compnine.com
 

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It used to be completely free, then it went offline, and now it's takin' names and kickin' butts.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
sister just got a 2010 LT2 with sunroof 3.6 L 6 spd auto in optional diamond white tricoat in very good condition for $16000 in pa usa 30,000 miles, hard to compare canadian!
That would be about the same nowadays in CA$. So for the one I'm looking at, which has about 69K miles, is one year older than your sister's, and has no sunroof, their asking price of $12995 is reasonable, it seems, would you agree? Did she get hers from a dealer or private sale? Could also make a difference.
 
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