"I purchased my car [2001 Chevrolet Malibu] used (~88000 miles on it with a clean title). It was beautiful, spacious and ran well. However, the car has now started to fall apart (it now has 130,000 miles). I understand that there is normal maintenance required for all cars, new and old and that some parts just wear out. However, since purchasing the car (~3.5 yrs ago), I have had to put significant amount of money into it, equivalent to at least 1/2 of what I paid for the total car.
You have been warned:
-new brakes ($$)
-leaky intake manifold gasket (coolant was leaking out from engine, not into it, Thank God) ($$$)
-water pump ($$)
-the radiator cap has never fit correctly (so the coolant drips)
-the current problem--the car wouldn't start. The mechanic (competent or no) replaced the ignition switch and cylinder ($$$$). ONE DAY after getting it back, the car stalled while turning a corner and is now back in the shop. (the (not) competent mechanic does not know what is wrong with it yet, but it looks electrical ($$$$$)). (This problem may/may not be associated with the original problem and/or work that was done, this has yet to be determined)
-Miscellaneous: The struts and/or shocks in the front sound like they are about to go as well.
So, if you choose to buy this year (2001) of Malibu, good luck! Some of these problems have been addressed on several forums, so I know that I am not the only owner of a 2001 Malibu that has had problems."
"We had a 2001 that we bought when it only had about 17000 miles on it, and when I crashed it, it had over 100000 miles on it. We never had one problem at all!!! It got around 20+ miles per gallon. We just loved this car!!! One of the reasons we choice a Malibu was because of the safty rating... good thing that held true, I walked away from my accident w/out a scratch on me!!! If you were thinking about getting one you should!!!!!!"
"Constant trouble with the rear brake lights, had to have the ignition & hazard switch replaced almost immediately. Paint began flaking early on. Had to replace the gas filter often. Problems with the air conditioner early on, with it kicking on and off. Blows hot air, most of the time. Took it in twice to be fixed, and still have the same problem. I've talked with several people that own a Malibu, 2 with the same year and model, and they have the same problems. I won't buy another one."
"Car is OK. runs and drives pretty nice, and was a pretty good value. had many smaller problems, all of which seem to common manufactures defects. gaskets made of wrong material, $1200 to fix. turn signals havent worked for year, which chevy admitted to defective hazards lights. blower only works on high, lights work when they want to. and radio station only plays one station. and have heard the same problems from other people with same car. poorly made."
"I bought a '99 malibu from a car dealer in 2004. It had only one owner who used it as a commuter car. One month after purchasing the coolant system went bad, although the engine never overheated, the head still cracked. After replacing that (at a cost of $2300.00) I noticed a ticking noise in the engine... it now has a "sticky lifter" which could seize at any time. Aside from those problems, it will randomly shut off at any given time, and the dashboard lights come on and off randomly. This car has been nothing but trouble, and I heard from both my mechanic and other malibu owners that they have experienced the same problems (with the coolant system and electrical system.)
The good things about it are its size, its very comfortable even for adults in the back seat, and it still looks "new" after 8 years."