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Posted: 1/28/2006 9:48:48 AM EDT
I rented one for a couple days while my Trailblazer was in the collision shop.

Not a bad car, would have been down right nice with a better options package.
Would make a good daily commute car. Large trunk, decent leg room, and the V6 version gets decent mileage while still having some good acceleration

Took some getting used to sitting low though. The floor is a couple inches below where the door frame isand the seat is short. On my Trailblazer the floor is even with the bottom of the door frame and then the seat is nice and tall on top of that. So even without considering the ground clearance differences I was sitting a lot lower than I'm used to
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:14:52 PM EDT
We get a lot of them through the shop, and they would appear to hold up quite well.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:24:03 PM EDT
I had a 2000 model that I put about 150K miles on. The transmission went out so I traded it in. That was the only problem though in the 150K.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:10:14 AM EDT
Got over 100K on my 2000. Good power (170hp) and around 29-30 mpg.

Only problems were a fuel pump about 3 months ago and a hazard light switch which was done on a recall.

I put over 20k a year on the car and it cost vs miles driven value is IMHO very good.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:47:44 PM EDT
I forgot about that hazard light switch. My signal lights went out and I had to replace that pretty soon after the warranty went out. I didn't know there was a recall, so I had to buy the part and install it myself.
I could only find the part at the dealer, and they wanted something like $150 for it, so I told them to give me one for a '97 model instead. It was the exact same part they brought out when I told them I wanted it for the '00 model, and it was only $50 this way.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:52:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 97echo:
I forgot about that hazard light switch. My signal lights went out and I had to replace that pretty soon after the warranty went out. I didn't know there was a recall, so I had to buy the part and install it myself.
I could only find the part at the dealer, and they wanted something like $150 for it, so I told them to give me one for a '97 model instead. It was the exact same part they brought out when I told them I wanted it for the '00 model, and it was only $50 this way.



I replaced mine before the recall came out but I keep all the paperwork and they even reimbursed me for the time I spend to install it so it was really free!

I paid around $40 or so, the $150 price was really too high. Mine is a 2000 model too.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 3:56:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/5/2006 7:27:04 AM EDT by oneshot1kill]
I'm surprised no one had an intake gasket start to leak coolant on thiers. I see leaking intake gaskets on these cars more than anything else, even on low mileage motors. Unfortunately this is not exclusive to the Malibu, it applies to all cars that use the 60-degree V6 motor, most of the time we get them on 3.4 or 3.1's, but this basic engine design has been around since the '80's, starting out as the 2.8L V6, with a few changes along the way.

The biggest problem with the leak is that you wouldn't know it unless you had it checked because they still run fine and the leak is sometimes slow enough that you may not use enough coolant to notice. Plus they can be hard to see due to the typical locations of the leak.

The problem here is that they don't always leak externally. What happens -especially with DexCool- is that the small internal leak at the water passages begin to eat away at the aluminum, causing pits and valleys in the head and/or intake manifold that can be too deep to repair. That's if you let it go for a while, I've only seen a few that were damaged enough to need a new head or intake.

GM has known about this for a while, first they designed a new improved intake manifold gasket, which basically didn't work, it only lasted a little longer. Then they revised the torque settings on the intake, specifically the four corner bolts would get a higher torque than the four center bolts. It used to be the same torque all around, but since the new gasket didn't do the job, they wanted to crank down a little harder on the corners of the manifold, which not surprisingly is where the coolant passages are always leaking. When they got to the later year 3.1L and 3.4L 60-degree V6, they went back to even torque all around, but that may still vary by year.

Other than that, and the trans dipstick that they omitted, I like the cars but wouldn't buy one new.


ETA: More info.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:15:04 AM EDT
One thing I did not like about it was that you could not check your transmission fluid. There was no dipstick.
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