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10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just found this thread, I'm Eric Aldas originally from a suburb near Chicago, Illinois. I'm 18. Currently out in Idaho for college, I have a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT (I believe, since there's no badge on the back) with around 112,000 miles. I've had this car since June and have been slowly trying to make it my own (with a weak budget haha)

my overall interests are
1. debadging the rear end badge and replace with a 97-03 malibu badge, chroming out the front badge
2. getting rid of some sticker residue on the rear end (any tips? it bugs me everytime I see it)
3. tint (obviously)
4. replacing door handles with LTZ chrome handles
5. muffler delete probably
6. It's rice, but if I don't upgrade vehicles in the next 2 years, to put a small pedestal spoiler.

I have done
  • replaced headlight bulbs
  • installed backup sensors and camera (license plate cover)
  • replaced the map, dome, license plate, and trunk lights
  • switched out the wheel covers (O'Reillys had random 17in ones for 5 dollars because of a sale)

The lower font bumper is extremely scratched up and the front valance is drooping because of 3 nails that broke off from the part of the actual bumper. (still trying to figure out a solution

I also have a knocking noise with the right/ outside flow option for AC/Heat, I've seen a post about it on here but haven't looked into it, I just press the circulation button and it stops.

I drove throughout the states in September and curious if I should switch out the radiator, since it's full of dead bugs

and recently my car got hit in a parking lot by a truck, causing the rear passenger fender and side brake light to be roughly damaged. luckily no huge mechanical issues so far.
Car Automotive parking light Wheel Vehicle Tire

10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the forums, and welcome to the 'Bu Crew man! I hope your ride serves you well!
Those blue interior lights look pretty sick. I almost considered making mine purple, but with as clumsy as I am, if I drop something in the dark I'd never be able to find it with that light color 馃槅 And I really like the idea of throwing on the retro Malibu emblem! I thought about doing the same on mine, but ended up just leaving the stock bowties and plasti-dipping them grey instead, lol.
Big bummer about your car getting hit so soon too. I had a Fedex truck scrape and dent the s**t out of my rear bumper at my old job, and had to get a whole new one (of course it happened the same day my dashcam arrived, but before I'd had a chance to install it), so I feel ya on how awful that is.

From the looks of your 'Bu I think its an LS (same as I've got!), judging by lack of the LT or LTZ badging on the trunk, lack of the chrome strip along the rocker panel moulding, and the mirror covers being matte black. If you're ever interested in updating those, it's decently easy to find parts at a junkyard. The mirror caps can be popped off pretty easy with a screw driver, and the rocker panel mouldings can be worked off somewhat easily too to be swapped. Just make sure you buy replacement clips in case you break any during the swap process. I made all those same upgrades on my car for $125 (replacement bumper included) off a guy parting out his 2012 on FB marketplace, so that might be a place to check if you're interested in those "upgrades." I'd also recommend looking to snag some LTZ tail light housings, as they look a little better than the big blocky stock red ones IMO.

Also, if you've got a drill at home, a 3M rubber eraser wheel is GREAT for getting that sticker gunk off without affecting the paint. I had some annoying dealership decals that were stuck on my tunk lid from the old folks that owned my car before me, and it took all of it off in seconds leaving nothing behind, with no marks in the paint. I definitely recommending grabbing one if you've got the tool to make use of it.
thanks so much! i honestly never put much thought into it so I should've realized it's an LS lol, sucks I do not have a drill, I might back at home in Chicago so I'll check that out, and I'd totally do the lights but I only have my apartment parking lot to work on my car, and barely any tools, so taking off my bumper and everything seems excessive, especially cause I just learned how to do simple stuff like interior lights a few months ago. is there a different for the LT and LTZ mirror covers? or are both chrome or whatever they are.

10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome to CMF!

You can decode your VIN on various sites, including NHTSA.

If you get the LTZ taillights, don't forget to get the harness that plugs into the rear fuse box or you won't be able to light 'em up.
oo good point, and I'll definitely consider it once I'm back home and have more tools and storage to work with haha.

10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This will make mods difficult or limited on what you can do. Tint is great but unless you've had practice and have a heat gun this is one that I'd have the pros do (with warranty!) And use good tint - it worth it.

Not really a "mod" especially anyone but you will notice is ceramic coating. I get so so much simple joy watching hydrophobic properties in action

Chrome door handles... You do you to your 'bu if you like it then go for it. Not my flavor and the chrome vinyl wrap on my interior door hand scooped a chunk out of my finger when it started to peel so not for me.

I dig the interior blue lights those look good. LEDs?
forsure! yeah I have a friend back home who works in a shop and I'll probably do tint with, and shoot that sounds rough, sorry about that.
I replaced the I believe 561 and 2825 bulbs inside (map and dome lights) with ice blue lights off of Amazon, both pairs cost like a little under 9 dollars total, and there was no shipping charge so that was awesome.
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