"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."
"This is the most reliable car I've ever owned. except for, I had a new key at at walmart and it set of the anti-theft. Ive read posts that people have replaced every different part in their cars and it ends up being the key. overall I love it."
"I absolutely love my Malibu! She has gotten through so much. She can handle the snow and wet roads just fine and has no issues getting up to speed! When you take care of your car your car will take care of you! I had a minivan hit me and the Malibu didn't even have a mark! This car is a serious trooper!"
Pros: "Gas miles, super dependable, durable, roomy, comfy"
Cons: "Not a very pretty car, not best HP"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought mt 99 Malibu in April '11 as a beater to get me around for 6-12 months so I could save up for a better car. I took what I could find. It had all its service records for the last 5 years so I took it. It was the best $1500 I ever spent. It had 112,000 miles when I bought it, and I just scrapped it in December with just over 160k miles. Let me start by saying, when I purchased the well taken care of car, the previous owner let me know it was in need of an oil change (he was a 3k miles oil change like clockwork kind of guy). I put it off, and forgot, and forgot some more, and the whole time I owned it I NEVER did get that oil change, however the oil was still pretty golden-ish a week before it was scrapped. The most money I had to put into it was an alternator in the summer of 13, and I replaced the rotors and breaks at that time as well. The big issue with it, was the cables between the battery needed replaced. But, it also needed new tires. I was going to put the money into the car, but the garage told me that my frame was rotted and was not likely to pass inspection in 5 months when it was needed again, and the break lines were in need of replacement as well. If the frame was salvageable, I would have sunk the money into the car (needed about $700 worth of work for it all fixed less the frame) but it wasnt worth it when I would only get 5 more months out of it. If the car was from anywhere other then the North (where we get tons of rot from all the salt on the road) I would be driving that car for another few years before needing any more work on it. And as ugly as the car was (mine had major body rust from the salt) I would have driven it til it falled apart. It is the most reliable car ever, and I will be replacing my temp car I currently have for a new malibu teh end of this summer!!
Oh, when I bought the car, I almost immediately noticed a slight tranny slip. I had it looked over, and there was nothing wrong with the transmission or engine. It didnt have alot of HP, I think becuase of that issue, but my brother said it was likely a shift sensor (which is nothing to worry about). I only noticed it when I was going up hill about 45 MPH but you put your foot in it and force teh shift and all is fine.
All in all, I did not take very good care of my car, and used it hard, I took long road trips all over the states, and it was so good to me. Great on gas, alot of room inside and a gigantic trunk. It also had a great factory radio. Sounded like I had a mediocre system put in it!!"