I got this car in December of 2015 from my grandparents. This car is in wonderful cosmetic shape. Mechanical on the other hand it did well for the first year and this winter things little pitty things started going wrong one by one, sensors here and there and then it started using coolant like crazy i was putting 1-2 bottles of antifreeze/coolant in the car then the heater quit working properly and the electrical has started messing up then last week the car blew a head gasket. The interior of the car had gray leather the seats in this car are very cheap feeling and have almost no support the only good thing about this car is that it has a great stock stero system and a very large trunk.
My grandma bought this car new with only a few miles. She wasn't easy on the car. She would run hard from red lights and the car pulled a big mountain 5 miles long and another 30 something every day for 11 years for her work. The car now has 207,500 miles on the original engine and transmission and STILL has great passing power! I am 18 and I bought this car from her last year. I take it on very long trips(200 miles at a time). People don't think it's reliable anymore with so many miles, but I feel very assured that it will get me there and back! It's a very pretty car and has great trunk and leg room! I think this car will reach 300,000 miles no problem. Quite on roads and rides very smooth
The 3100 SFI engine is nearly bulletproof! Has great passing power and overall power! The interior is sleek looking and the transmission shifts smooth. Very quite and and great car for road trips or a daily commute.
None! They made this car perfectly! The only thing that GM messed up on was the intake gasket in the engine. They made it with plastic and every single 3100 engine had to have that gasket replaced. But once you replace it with a new and improved one, that problem is solved.
What can i say the 1999 chevy malibu is a great car for the guy who knows what he's doing. Never had a problem i could not fix, if any! i have had it now for 10 years now and am going to keep it. A little fine tuning and you feel like your driving indy. It's V6 engine is perfect spec. To go in and beef it up, i'v added a twin turbo pac, engine mods, tuned the suspension added extra trac-bars. OK not everyone can do this but for me GM is a greatly made car, i know i take them apart and see the quality that's there. i'v taking other cars apart and brother there not what they seem..at least the ones that come from the dealers, cheap metal, plastic, sometime's the guys that make them are lost.
Edmunds very good work to the point and informative thank you!
I'm starting to hate my 1999 Malibu. I've had it for approx. 5 years now. It has run hot numerous times. I've changed the head gaskets in it twice (along with getting re-worked heads installed [due to them cracking]). Cracked heads happened in 2011, and again this year (2013). Both times an old friend of mine helped me out by getting the heads "milled" for me (approx $500 total), and putting them back in. Saved me tons of money btw. Now I'm having problems with it running hot again. The "check engine" light stays on. My error codes were PO401, P1404, & PO306 four days ago. It went off when I cleaned the EGR valve and removed the carbon that had accumulated in the hoses, but it's back on now.
The PO306 code indicates that there is a misfiring in cylinder number 6. I'm now researching if it affects the catalytic converter ... and how. Maybe that's what has the car running hot now ... My only 'favorite feature' was to dive the car when I NEEDED to ... now that seems to be less and less as the days continue to pass .... Since I've owned this car, I've had to change the water pump, get the heads worked over twice, get new head gaskets twice, cleaned the EGR valve and changed the gasket, along with all the other miscellaneous costs associated with repair (fluids, caps, rings, lubes, etc.) I can't necessarily complain about the tune-ups (you have to have those) ...
Ultimately. this car has been a major PAIN in my a**. The EGR valve was probably getting stuck in the open position due to the gunk that is left by the coolant (in my opinion, though I'm not a mechanic). My first 'suggested improvement' is ... Get Rid of that D*MNED DEX-COOL ...
For the most part, my Malibu is a pretty good car. It gets good gas mileage, has needed power when you need it and is comfortable to drive. It is a plain in styling. However, they are meant for small/medium families. Quality is ok for the Malibu. However, the head gaskets can be a potential problem if left unchecked. Engine also has the typical "click clack" sound when started cold. Click sounds eventually disappear after running for a few minutes. Transmission shifts well.
Ample power from the V6 engine, available features (cruise control, power windows, AC), comfortable ride quality on long trips.
No traction control available. The Grand Am/Alero cousins have those features available. LS edition should have a spoiler available as well.