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Old 07-22-2020, 12:26 PM   #1
paqman
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2000 Malibu Classic common issues

Hey guys, not super familiar with these cars, but there is a 2000 Malibu Classic for sale near me for $2500 with only 102k miles on it, new tires, looks to be in great shape. I'm looking for a cheap reliable daily driver that will mostly be for my high school daughter to drive. Before I go and look at it, wondering if you could give me an idea of common things to look for, as well as common problems with these cars, things to ask the owner, etc. Thanks!
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Old 07-22-2020, 01:34 PM   #2
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Re: 2000 Malibu Classic common issues

If it is the six cylinder engine- go for it... The four cylinder is a POS. I've known six Malibus with 4 cylinders- 4 of them crunched the engine-- mostly to do with that bicycle chain driven oil pump..Those 4 cylinder engines did not like below zero weather- thick oil would shear keyway on oil pump and destroy the engine.

Also, rust just below gas cap is an issue on most all of those bodies--just annoying cosmetic issue. Look under it- if it was garaged, you're probably good- but most outdoor sleepers are full of brake line and gas line corrosion- a terrible mess to fix/replace.
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Old 07-22-2020, 02:04 PM   #3
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Re: 2000 Malibu Classic common issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by brcidd View Post
If it is the six cylinder engine- go for it... The four cylinder is a POS. I've known six Malibus with 4 cylinders- 4 of them crunched the engine-- mostly to do with that bicycle chain driven oil pump..Those 4 cylinder engines did not like below zero weather- thick oil would shear keyway on oil pump and destroy the engine.

Also, rust just below gas cap is an issue on most all of those bodies--just annoying cosmetic issue. Look under it- if it was garaged, you're probably good- but most outdoor sleepers are full of brake line and gas line corrosion- a terrible mess to fix/replace.
Thanks for that info! That's good to know about the brake line and gas line corrosion. This is the V6. I don't know how long the current owner has had it, but I believe it is not garaged currently, going to look at it tonight. It will be an outdoor sleeper for us however, so if it did look good currently, is there anything I could do to prevent that stuff since ours will not be garaged? Edit: I would assume that corroding gas/brake lines would be more due to the local weather right? We have salt on the roads in winter here, so I would assume that would do it, but why would having it garaged help?

I've been watching the local classifieds for a couple weeks, and this car and one other have stuck out to me among them all. The other one is a 2003 Mercury Sable, also a V6, with 95k miles on it. Seller is asking $3000. I drove that one and it did great. Also new tires. (haven't done an in-depth inspection). Only thing I really liked better about that one has the bench front seat allowing for a 6th seat. (I happen to have 4 kids so it would come in handy occasionally.) Although I don't like the 6th seat for $1000 more lol. If he came down to $2500 it would be a tougher decision. I know this is a Malibu forum, but if you have an opinion on that versus the Sable/Taurus feel free to share! :-)


Edit: Got a reply from the Mercury owner, they will go to $2500. So that makes the prices a bit more comparable. I posted another thread in the Mercury forum to see if there are any pitfalls on that specific car to watch out for.
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1997 Ford Escort ~145k miles (SOLD)
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1983 Honda Magna V45 ~13k (SOLD)
2004 Mazdaspeed Miata ~90k (SOLD)
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2007 Suzuki Boulevard M50 ~12k (SOLD)
2001 Nissan Maxima - (TOTALLED)
2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue (SOLD)
1991 Nissan Maxima (TOTALLED)
1989 Pontiac Grand Am (SOLD)

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Old 07-23-2020, 03:09 AM   #4
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Re: 2000 Malibu Classic common issues

Both prices seem WAY too high. Back in Sept. '17, I traded in my '04 Malibu Maxx LS with only 40K miles and the most any dealer would give me was $1000. Probably sold it for $4000, but that's because of the very low mileage. I think you're asking for trouble with either of these old vehicles. At least buy through a dealer and get some kind of warranty. I had a '98 Malibu LS (you're calling it a Classic, but Malibu Classics were only for the '04 model year, earlier ones were plain Malibus) and it was nothing but trouble (even with a V6). GMs dark days seemed to clear by '03-'04.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:06 AM   #5
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Re: 2000 Malibu Classic common issues

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Originally Posted by wpbharry View Post
Both prices seem WAY too high. Back in Sept. '17, I traded in my '04 Malibu Maxx LS with only 40K miles and the most any dealer would give me was $1000. Probably sold it for $4000, but that's because of the very low mileage. I think you're asking for trouble with either of these old vehicles. At least buy through a dealer and get some kind of warranty. I had a '98 Malibu LS (you're calling it a Classic, but Malibu Classics were only for the '04 model year, earlier ones were plain Malibus) and it was nothing but trouble (even with a V6). GMs dark days seemed to clear by '03-'04.
Well I went and drove the Malibu yesterday. It has a few issues, oil leak among them, so I'm taking that one off the table. But as for the price of the Mercury goes, that's about as good a car as they come for $2500 on the open market. I mean I've been watching the local classifieds for a while, and they do come up, so it's not like it's a once in a lifetime deal, but it's pretty normal for what I've seen. And you can't compare what a dealership will pay you for a trade-in with used car prices in the local classifieds.

I mean I'm not happy that I've got a cap of $3000 for my budget either, but that's the way it is. Just trying to find the best thing I can for under that. Most of the cars I've seen under this price range from dealerships are utter crap with super high miles. There are some decent cars on the private market for this price if I just keep watching. Just takes some time to find them.

I'd love a warranty, but in reality, when you're spending $2500 on a used car, it's a bit of a gamble.

Thanks for the advice, I'm going to pass on this Malibu. I'm gong to go check out the Mercury again today, but I'm not sure I want to deal with the dreaded rear suspension sag on those either, so I may pass on that as well, but we'll see. Either way, I have my price tag, and I have to live with it, and find the best I can.
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Current Vehicles:
2008 Nissan Altima ~ 105k miles
2010 Nissan Maxima ~ 63k miles
2007 Toyota Sienna LE ~ 135K miles

Goners
1997 Ford Escort ~145k miles (SOLD)
2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 ~13k (SOLD)
1983 Honda Magna V45 ~13k (SOLD)
2004 Mazdaspeed Miata ~90k (SOLD)
2001 Ford Mustang GT ~86K (SOLD)
2007 Suzuki Boulevard M50 ~12k (SOLD)
2001 Nissan Maxima - (TOTALLED)
2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue (SOLD)
1991 Nissan Maxima (TOTALLED)
1989 Pontiac Grand Am (SOLD)
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