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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys,

I need your advice buying this 2008 trim 2LT 2.4L Malibu.
This is my first buying experience in N. America so some things might be quite obvious for the experienced guys but they are pretty new or me.

Details;
It is a 2008 2LT model with 130000 Kms on it and the (individual) seller is asking for CAD 6,999. I have yet to go see and test drive it but I am trying to figure out as much homework as I can before I make a visit.

The Carproof information isn't really informative or I do not know how to decode it. It looks plain vanilla to me - no claims, no accidents, no police or other records. The Carproof doesn't have lien information as well, so not sure how should I treat it. I believe the seller is a third owner as he mentioned buying it from a dealership in 2012 (could be 4th, IDK)
One thing that surprises me is the Country of assembly is US and the report has no import records. Wonder if it's smuggled (but that's least likely).

I would like to know if this carproof report is satisfactory and how this deal looks like to you. What other things should I keep in mind before making a purchase?

Thanks in advance!
 

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The seller will provide you with an information package provided by the Ministry of Transport. It should list any liens registered against the car as well as any previous owners. Take a good look at this document before exchanging any funds.

A dealer would pay about $4,000 for that car. Keep this in mind when negotiating. It is very hard to sell a car privately. Currently you have the upper hand.

Info about the used vehicle information package here
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/used.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
@Drunken Elvis

Thank you for your response.

I will ask the seller for UVIP. Are there any known flaws with this model of Chevy or should I be anticipating any engine or transmission works in near future since it is already 130K Kms?

Also when you say I have an upper hand, what do you exactly mean and how can I use it to my benefit?

Regards,
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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A couple of the more important things to look for:
. . Are there any open recalls?
. . Does it have any factory warranty remaining, ie powertrain, etc?
. . Does it have a vibration around 60-70 mph?
. . Has the intermediate steering shaft been replaced?
. . Does the trans have the 3-5-R waveplate issue resolved?

This may seem silly, but have someone sit in the car and turn the key to ON but not start it. Then go to the rear and look at the tail lights. If the brake lights are on but your assistant is not stepping on the brakes then it needs some work done. Next, have your assistant step on the brakes and make sure all 3 light up fully. Then turn on each turn signal and make sure it doesn't "hyperflash". If it does, check for LED bulbs in the rear and/or front turn signal locations and if a light is actually flashing in that location.

The rest is up to you to take it for a test drive and ask if it can be a bit long. Take it on backroads and the highway. Take it to a parking lot (like a shopping mall) and park it like you normally would and see if it has any peculiarities. Drive over some speed bumps and listen to the suspension. Also listen when making several tight circles in the parking lot, in both directions.

Take it on a straight piece of road with nobody around. Get it up to about 40 mph (60 kph) and then press the brake pedal hard and hold it. Do the ABS brakes keep the wheels from skidding? Do you feel the pedal pulsating at a fast rate while holding it down with all your might? (Both of those are normal.)

Check for a spare tire, jack, and jack handle.

Make sure you can hear the turn signal "clicker" in the left front speaker. If not, turn on the radio and select several different stations. Play a CD if it has a player. Turn the volume up and listen for odd-sounding speakers.

Check the AC to make sure it turns on and gets really cold quickly, especially this time of year.

Having the upper hand means that you are in a position to direct the negotiations rather than let the seller do so.

The ... term alludes to an ancient game in which each player in turn grasps a stick with one hand, beginning from the bottom, and the last who can put his hand at the top wins. Its figurative use dates from the late 1400s. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/upper-hand
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Admin,

Thanks for the detailed advice.

I went with my friend and did a test ride as you mentioned.

All things look fine - wheel alignment, indicators, horn, AC, lights, bluetooth, mirrors, seat heating, ABS, etc. There were no vibrations or squeaking noises when making turn, braking or driving slowly.

We did our best to make sure we could find any hidden problems but we are not experts. One clearly noticeable issue was engine light. The guy had it checked couple of days ago and had a part replaced but it came back on after 2 days of replacement. The error code was P0010.

As for recall, steering shaft and 3-5-R plate replacements, he had no idea as he is the second owner and never had any work done on the engine or transmission. Not sure if the first owner did either.
What do you suggest, how should I find these out? The CarProof report I attached above doesn't say anything about all that. I have the VIN # with me.

The car has 130000 Kms on it, so I'm sure there will be no warranty left on it.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Call a dealer with the VIN and see what recalls are open and/or have been performed.

If it's a 4-cylinder make sure the EPS recall has been done, too. It relocates an alternator wire farther away from the coil packs and grounds the coils. Otherwise the EPS can induce a current in the coils and cause a misfire condition.
 

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The seller will provide you with an information package provided by the Ministry of Transport. It should list any liens registered against the car as well as any previous owners. Take a good look at this document before exchanging any funds.

A dealer would pay about $4,000 for that car. Keep this in mind when negotiating. It is very hard to sell a car privately. Currently you have the upper hand.

Info about the used vehicle information package here
Buying and Selling a Used Vehicle in Ontario
Thanks for link advice
 
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