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I just bought a 2001 Chevy Malibu, it is my fourth of this generation. I have plans for it but I might have bit more than I can chew. As it's at 199000 miles. Don't know the problems I'm going to run into, without having to buy a new motor and transmission.
 

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Welcome! It's great to have you aboard here. We actually love pictures too, so feel free to upload pictures of your ride. The motor was decent in those cars as long as you take care of it and since it's made it that far, I'm sure it'll last you a while longer. But if you have any questions or issues, feel free to post them!
 

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Thank you I'll post pictures tomorrow, I've been doing a ton of research in order to keep it running longer I know it needs and oil change and I'm pretty sure it also needs a transmission flush. Pretty much all the fluids. When I did the test drive and activated the cruise control it seemed to slip. It also seemed to run hot after purchase so I stopped let it cool and put coolant in it. I believe it was bone dry. It already had a missing window on the drivers rear side. But I planned for that and bought a poster and used the plexiglass from to repair it till I get the actual window replaced. Other than it idling a little puttery and the engine light on that's all the known real issues I have with it. I figure I can't be to picky for the price. With plans to completely customize it. So I know it's an investment. But I'd still like for it to last till I'm able to afford the big items such as new engine, transmission and modifications.
 

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I would actually advise against a transmission flush. With the vehicle having almost 200k miles on it, doing a flush may actually cause more damage than it would helping it. I think that Malibu uses the same transmission that was in the Impala of the same years. They're very sketchy to me and it's why I dumped my 05, but I didn't know much about repairing my own vehicles back then like I do now. With all that being said, it should be relatively safe to do a simple drain and fill. Some suggest replacing the filter as well. You can do that but I'm not quite sure I would. I guess it would be fine since contaminants trapped in it isn't helping an old transmission from slippage, etc. If the tranny was much newer, then I'd say go ahead and do the flush but in this case, especially if it's the original one, I'd stay away from flushing it.

Now, in the past few months I've become very partial to using AmsOil. Being an older motor with definite wear in it, it probably wouldn't hurt to use AmsOil OE or even the XL boosted for a little bit of cleaning. I plan on using it in my 03 Impala once I get that darn drain plug off that was wrenched on by Hercules himself. AmsOil can be hard to get but if you have an Auto Value near you, there's a good chance they may stock it. It costs a bit more but if you truly care about your vehicle and want it to last, it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. Project Farm on YouTube did a huge head to head oil challenge and AmsOil came out as number 1. I like the fact since we have a lot of temperature swings here in Michigan, that AmsOil does well in the cold but also very well in handling the heat. Heck, we had some temperatures this past winter that dipped down to -16 so it's good to know it has my back when I need to go to work in the morning. I know some will also say that it's not truly needed and that it's more for higher end vehicles but for me and as much of my hard earned money I put into not only buying my 'Bu, but also modding it, I'd prefer to settle for "very good" and not just "good enough". But since the 03 Impala suffered a blown head gasket in its life and has also done a lot of sitting over the past five years and was just recently made mine, I'd feel better knowing it has the extra cleaning power in it to help clean out any coolant/oil mixture residue and other gunk that could be built up inside the engine.
 

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Thanks I really appreciate your input, because I was trying to determine between which and had thought the flush was the better option.But you say otherwise. So I have another question since the bolt is so hard to get off and I wouldn't want to strip it, would I be better off taking it to AAMCO? And just provide the oil you specified? And when I'm able to replace the transmission all together? As I plan on completely modding mine out as well with time.
 

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You could definitely take it somewhere that has an air tool, but I certainly wouldn't recommend them putting it back on with one. You could also try a 12 point socket adapter which can get a bit of a better grip on it. That's the problem with my Impala, I stripped the oil plug. I have a new one I can put on but I'm going to try a 12 point socket that's just a hair smaller than the 13mm plug and hammer it on and try getting it off that way, I just haven't had the chance to try it again.

If you do replace the transmission, then by all means put it on a flush/drain and refill schedule. When trannies get older, they tend to have wear and pieces that can break off so when you do a flush, you can actually rid the tranny of these pieces and therefor cause more slippage or other wacky things. That's why I mentioned just a standard drain and refill to make sure there is nice, fresh fluid in it. I changed mine out for the AmsOil Signature Series ATF fluid and mine shifts quite smoothly. It still has the same drain interval as regular ATF fluid so it's not like their motor oil that can last upwards of 12,000-25,000 miles before it needs changing. Just as a note, I'm not sponsored or anything of the like by AmsOil, but I truly appreciate the benefits it has over stuff bought in the auto parts store. I originally refilled my tranny up with Parts Master fluid from Auto Value and it worked out pretty good for a while but after about 15,000 miles, it definitely wasn't as smooth as it was originally and was somewhat dirty but of course that can be because I still had some of the older fluid that didn't drain completely from the original drain and fill. I just hate that we can't really check out fluid levels/condition on the 6T40 trannies like you can on the 6T70s that are coupled with a V6. Although with you, you should still have a dipstick to check the fluid so definitely check out its condition!
 

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If you find a 6-point socket or wrench that fits perfectly, use it. It will be able to make more contact than one that is sloppy, reducing the possibility of rounding off the corners.

You can also try a large pair of Vise Grips or other brand of locking pliers. Just make sure you grab the plug's head so that the palm of your hand is pressing down on the top of the pliers and not the locking handle. That is the best way to use any pair of pliers, including locking pliers. Try not to use a hammer on them, either, as it could dislodge them, stripping the head as it goes. Just apply hand force, and do so gradually.

You can also add some chemical to the mix by using a penetrating oil or a spray to help with frozen bolts.
 

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Thanks I really appreciate your input, because I was trying to determine between which and had thought the flush was the better option.But you say otherwise. So I have another question since the bolt is so hard to get off and I wouldn't want to strip it, would I be better off taking it to AAMCO? And just provide the oil you specified? And when I'm able to replace the transmission all together? As I plan on completely modding mine out as well with time.
If you intend to "completely mod out" this high mileage Malibu, you definitely need to find a replacement transmission with lower miles. It wouldn't cost that much to get. The engine might not be up for it either.

What made you pick up this car with so many issues? The repairs exceed the value of the car. What mods do you have planned?
 
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