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View Poll Results: What say you? =]
Yes 1 12.50%
No 5 62.50%
Maybe 2 25.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-09-2011, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Southwest Michigan/Miami Beach Miami
1,834 posts, read 2,629,327 times
Reputation: 946

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This is for a friend of mine.

She is looking at purchasing a 2003 Chevy Malibu,
109,xxxmi for $2500 a little rust at the bottom (exterior), cigarette burns in the interior.
She's test driving it tomorrow and is also going to get a carfax for it.

I actually think the owner is selling the car for less than it's worth, but of course I'm not going to say anything. Do you think this car is worth it, or do you think there is a reason the owner is selling it for dirt cheap?

I heard there were major problems with 2000-2003 Chevy Malibu's though.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,713,043 times
Reputation: 11465
It's not possible to evaluate the condition of the car on a net forum. What does your friend want in a car - just A to B I would guess if she's looking at this car. I would suggest taking it on a test drive long enough for the transmission fluid and etc. to get up to temperature, at that mileage I would expect it has had at lest one tune-up, if not figure it will need one soon. Is this in NY, MI, or somewhere else? A lot of people will reject a car with more than 100K and/or a car that's been smoked in a lot, so the value is pushed down by these.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Southwest Michigan/Miami Beach Miami
1,834 posts, read 2,629,327 times
Reputation: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
It's not possible to evaluate the condition of the car on a net forum. What does your friend want in a car - just A to B I would guess if she's looking at this car. I would suggest taking it on a test drive long enough for the transmission fluid and etc. to get up to temperature, at that mileage I would expect it has had at lest one tune-up, if not figure it will need one soon. Is this in NY, MI, or somewhere else? A lot of people will reject a car with more than 100K and/or a car that's been smoked in a lot, so the value is pushed down by these.

Yeah, I'm in Michigan currently. We're going to take it for a long test drive (of course with owners permit) he also told us the car was tuned up regularly and he has proof. I mean she only has $3300 what else should she do?
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,713,043 times
Reputation: 11465
Well if it's a Michigan car, there is the rust you can see and then there is more rust that you can't see. I guess if what she wants is say 5 years of remaining service life, offhand, maybe more, and just wants a car, any car, it should be OK. It would be good buying something like this to not spend your entire budget on the car since it will probably need at least some sort of work in the not too distant future. If you have a good independent shop available to do a mechanic's inspection, that might not be a bad idea.Keep in mind that the tires, brake pads etc if not in excellent shape are easy and cheap to renew, but the engine, transmission, and body are what you are stuck with when you buy it. I wouldn't reject the car if say the tires are getting close to needing replacement, just make sure the price is in line with what you actually get. Does the car have a clean title? Maybe the cheap price reflects a salvage title, which may or may not indicate real problems. An older car can just have a bent fender and hood, be "totalled" for insurance purposes, but if the bent tin is replaced and re-painted it is essentially good as new. Even some frame distortion, enough to cause some but not extreme tire wear, can be lived with in an otherwise good and cheap car if you rotate the tires frequently.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:44 PM
 
3,071 posts, read 7,443,271 times
Reputation: 1619
These cars have a bad reputation for problems. Google up "2003 CHEVY MALIBU,OWNER COMPLAINTS" and be prepared for a long read. Its hard to buy anything for 2500
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:55 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,095 posts, read 22,967,124 times
Reputation: 7957
I own a 2003 Malibu since 2004 and have 79,000 miles. I'll give you the good and the bad. I'll start with the good.

Good trunk space, good interior room, good driver ergonomics, smooth ride when struts are in good condition, decent acceleration, OK gas mpg, and if you or your passengers are short the front and rear seat shoulder adjustment prevents the strap from going against your neck (my wife is 4 feet 11 inches tall).

Now the bad. The following are problems I've had with my Malibu. See if you can find out if these problems were encountered and corrected by dealer. Biggest one is the leaking intake gasket. The GM coolant called dexcool will eventually eat away at the gasket. GM dealers have had a service bulletin detailing the new bolts and torque pattern as well as a different type of gasket. This is at your cost, they don't do it for free even though they've known about this problem for years. Next problem is the sensor for the Passlock theft deterrant system. At some point, the car won't turn over. The sensor will begin to not see the key chip and refuse to start the car. I called several repair shops and they all said I had to take it to a dealership for replacing the sensor. Another problem is warping brake rotors. If bad enough, the rotors will have to be replaced. Those are the expensive bad problems. When my wife's car is paid off I'm replacing my Malibu with a non-GM vehicle. It's not the vehicle I'm angry with, it's the fact that GM knew about all these things for years (especially the leaking intake gasket) and refused to make changes on the production line nor eat the cost of fixing this known problem.
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