Malibu vs. Bonneville - what to do? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Lounge For casual talk about things unrelated to General Motors. In other words, off-topic stuff. And anything else that does not fit Section Description.

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-12-2007, 04:12 AM   #1
Senior Member
Posts like a Camaro
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Jenison, MI (Near Grand Rapids)
Posts: 1,070
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
theJMFC is on a distinguished road
Default Malibu vs. Bonneville - what to do?

So as a few of you might know, I picked up my '93 SSE a month or so ago, and have been chasing down and killing little annoying problems ever since. It'* not quite there yet (needs brake work, perhaps a wheel bearing or two, inner tie rod end, airbag light fixed... you get the idea), but it'* getting there.

Meanwhile, I'm being offered a really good deal on a '98-ish Malibu. I'm not sure of the year exactly, but somewhere around then. The deal is basicly... whatever I want to pay for it, I may have it. It'* family though, so I wouldn't pay like $200 for it or anything. Bottom line is that I'd be getting it for nowhere near it'* market value.

The problem is that I have two cars already. The wife loves her LeSabre, so that'* off-limits. It'* between the Bonneville and a Malibu. What'* a guy to do?

I don't know a ton about Malibus. I know it'* smaller, and 3100 powered. I know it'* been well taken care of. I guess I just don't know if I would be happy with it. Are they a pain to work on? Do they drive nice? Do they have problems, or will they last a long time?

Sorry for the rambling, but I was just broadsided with this offer tonight, and I wanted to get some opinions.
theJMFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 06:20 AM   #2
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Twin Falls, Idaho
Posts: 7,545
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Hans is on a distinguished road
Default

my friend has a 2000ish malibu and has had an amazing amount of problems. He just got it out of the shop for a transmission rebuild...Some massive failure at around 60k without warning.

Other issues I remember him mentioning/ranting about:

- AC/climate control has had issues, over a $1000 to fix at the dealer, I dont know the details
- Highway vibrations, still not fixed after the dealer has replaced several hundred worth of parts, still has a minor vibration on the freeway
- Brakes are crap, he'* had the calipers and rotors replaced and it still develops vibrations.
- Random electrical problems that the dealer can not figure out.
- Window regulators fail just like the 00+ bonnevilles, probably common gm problem
- Alternator died


This guy drives this thing very lightly, and keeps up on maintanence but it seems to be a massive money pit. Again, his might be a rare case but I know he is always asking for a ride to work while his car is in the shop

Regardless, just like the 00+ Bonneville'* that have all sorts of body-related problems, the motor is bulletproof it seems. Probably very close to the 3800 is reliability. Good power too for what it is.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 07:13 AM   #3
DINOSAURUS BOOSTUS

Expert Gearhead
 
BillBoost37's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Enfield, CT
Posts: 41,391
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
BillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of lightBillBoost37 is a glorious beacon of light
Default

I had a few as rentals around the 2000-03 timeframe. Zippy little car with most of the comforts we are used to... I haven't had to work on one though.
BillBoost37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 07:53 AM   #4
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
tallbump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Erie Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,808
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
tallbump is on a distinguished road
Default

I have known Malibu owners who were happy, but I don't know anything repair wise. I had an rental that was an 06, and I loved it.
tallbump is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 09:42 AM   #5
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: EDUBB
Posts: 144
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
jhill52788 is on a distinguished road
Default

Buy the car cheap and sell it for high
Free money is always good
jhill52788 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 09:55 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Purgatory
Posts: 0
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
vital49 is on a distinguished road
Default

Check out carsurvey.org. It'* full of complaints about that car.

One major thing that hasn't been mentioned so far is the LIM gasket repair.

If you decide to pass on it, and they're looking to unload it, lemme know! I wouldn't mind buying it to fix up and resell.
vital49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
Senior Member
Posts like a Turbo
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 350
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Adeianos is on a distinguished road
Default

An ex of mine had a 99 Malibu, that her parents bought her new off the lot for her 16th birthday... When she had it, it was in the shop more than in use... Every little electrical system died in that thing at least once, the transmission had to be rebuilt at 75k, it had to be replaced completely at 113k, and the engine blew (literally, there was a hole the size of my fist in the block) at 135k, they finally junked it and bought her a 92 SSEi which as of March of 06 (when we split) was running strong at 210k. Keep the bonnie.
Adeianos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 12:26 PM   #8
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 3,693
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
GoldenBullet is on a distinguished road
Default

my friend has a malibu, she likes it but the little thing seems to break down alot. keep the bonnie, its a much better car imo.
GoldenBullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 12:32 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Purgatory
Posts: 0
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bonneville92V688 is on a distinguished road
Default

They are pretty reliable, aside from the 3100 eating LIM gaskets. LIM gaskets on the 3100 are VERY thin, and fail literally every 40k miles if you are running Dex. Oh, and NEVER EVER overheat a GM 60* V6. That means, if you have a failing waterpump, stuck thermo, or anything to make it overheat, STOP, shut it off and let it cool down, and fix the problem. Otherwise you will be left with either warped heads, cracked heads, destroyed lifters, or a shot bottom end, as it seems the 3100/3400 gen of the 60* V6'* cannot handle much coolant in the oil. Also, the trans is crap, the 4T45-E can't handle the power from the 3100/3400 it is mated to, so it gives out. Other than that, well kept, they will last a LONG time. My friend owns a '01 with the 3100, and it has 189k on it, and still goes strong. Trans was rebuilt, and never had a problem again.
Bonneville92V688 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2007, 03:18 AM   #10
Senior Member
Posts like a Camaro
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Jenison, MI (Near Grand Rapids)
Posts: 1,070
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
theJMFC is on a distinguished road
Default

Thanks for all of the responses, guys. Sorry I haven't responded quicker, but it'* been a hellish day...

I assumed that they put a 4T60E in those things, with the power the 3100 puts out. A weak transmission is one strike against it then.

Vital: It'* actually in great shape, nothing to fix.

I have thought of the "buy low, sell high" idea. The difference in "low" and "high" could put me in a nicer H-body than I have now. I would have to run this by grandpa first though, and make sure he'd be OK with me intending to make money off of his generous offer. Knowing him, he would be fine with that, but I could still feel a bit guilty about it... Especially since I'm one of like 15 grandkids. Why me, you know?

He'* also the original owner of my (sold) '89, for the record.

It'* odd that most of you have had negative experiences with Malibus! I always heard that they were pretty darned reliable. The brakes and the intake gaskets, I was aware of though.

I don't really think I would be happy with a Malibu. I like my 3800'*, especially in H-body form. But that said, I'm not completely sold on my current Bonneville either, which makes it more thought provoking.

I guess I'll probably have to just tell him where I stand on it, see what he wants to do.
theJMFC is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I got this one from sse1990 on the malibu club ssesc93 Lounge 7 09-02-2004 01:18 PM
Malibu People? (Okay, He went home, Whew lol) Damemorder Lounge 12 08-29-2004 01:03 AM
MALIBU OWNERS! sse1990 Lounge 26 02-21-2004 02:17 PM
Had some fun with a Malibu bonnie94ssei Lounge 6 10-10-2003 08:56 PM
2002 Malibu vs. 1993 Pontiac Bonneville SE russianpolarbear General GM Chat 21 05-21-2003 07:13 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:23 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.