Last post on Feb 09, 2013 at 9:37 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Sedan
Jul 09, 2003 (8:27 am)
I agree the body style has somethign to do with it but to be honest, people who buy in this segment aren't necessarily looking for cutting edge styling. Remember the Honda Accord was the best seller in 2001 when that model was 4 years old and still sold over 400k units as a five year old model. I do think it has to do with marketing and reliability. The malibu has not aged well. And we are discussing the same problems that they had with the 1997 models as the 2002 models.
I would like to see Chevy put that extra $1000 - $2000 into the overall quality of the car. A little better quality for the interior parts, a bigger gas tank (14 gallons is ridiculously small for this segment), sturdier seats, disc brakes, better braking system, thicker rotors, etc. Once you do that then you have an American Car that is now just as good as the imports regardless of the price. There's nothing wrong with the ride or handling of the Malibu. It's ride is on par with the Accord and it handles better then the Camry. It's just those quality items that take a few months to a year of living with to discover. One example is the reclining lever for the seat backs. I'm terrified that one day this thing is going to break off.
Hopefully the 2004 Malibu addresses some of this.
#1718 of 4972 RE: a few questions & comments by jtrujillo86
Jul 09, 2003 (8:44 am)
The dashboard work seems pretty reasonable. As far as the other 3 items I would definitely get the rear sway bar fixed since that does affect the handling of the car. The coolant sensor is problem worthwhile if you plan on keeping the car for a few more years. The small block V6 are notorious for their intake manifold leaks where the coolant gets into the engine. Without the sensor, you may be missing the signals of this leak. The air vent woudl be the last thing I fixed. See if you can do something with balck electreical tape. Even if you could get it to stay in one position, at least it wouldn't be rattling.
Paint job: I would take it to an independent painter. That's what a dealer will do any way not unless they have their own shop. You may be able to get it done for about $800. It won't be the premier paint job but it will hold up for a few years.
Transmission fluid and filter: have an independent shop do the tranny fluid replacement. You should be able to get it done for around %150-$175. $250 is too much. Remmeber this is not a super sophisticated car. Most garages can do this basic maintenance job. Save yourself some money.
Hope this helps.
#1719 of 4972 RE: whare does GM make their money
Jul 09, 2003 (8:54 am)
chevymalibu19: I don't know the intricacies of the automotive industtry but I will try and make a guess on some numbers I read about 3-4 years ago. I know for a fact that Ford made approx. $8000 profit for every pickup they sold about 3 years ago. Some of that profit may have been in financing (this was before 0% financing). And the Explorer was somewhere around $5000. CArs like the Focus, Taurus, Escort are closer to break even and help to keep the CAFE (fuel economy) numbers in line. Considering that Ford sells over 425k Explorers and 950k F-Series pickups, the number add up pretty quick. I'm sure GM is very similar to Ford. GM has been selling a lot of pickups and SUVS lately and very few cars which is why they are losing market shares in those areas.
I'm sure someone else can chime in with a more complete explanation of this because I'm sure their is more to it then what I explained. But at least that can explain how they are keeping their heads above water even with the rebates and 0% financing.
Jul 09, 2003 (4:14 pm)
"But There is no reason for them to dominate Chevy like this"
the combination of impala and malibu tends to do ok as a combination in the segment, however, the Malibu getting its butt handed to it on the sales charts, when chevy has more dealers in more markets, is Amurchan, etc., there is really no excuse for Chevy's mainstream offering to not at least match Camry and Accord sales and to do that they must STEAL sales from those other two cars.
And making an 'American' flavored sedan won't get the sales. The mainstream chevy sedan must have all the same persona and look and feel and reliability of the two Japanese leaders to steal sales from them.
-tight body gaps and interior assembly gaps
-mellow inoffensive style
-good interior plastics
-smooth control actions
-firm, comfy seats
until Malibu gets that, no dice. that's what the market is buying. going against that and continuing to make cars with the 'GM flavor' won't get the job done.
2004 bu may correct some of this. I do like the interior design (except the cheesy looking shifter). still no OHC v6, rear discs, or good styling.
of that 182,000 bu sales, how many were to fleets? subtract fllets and rentals and honda and toyota each may have a 3 to 1 or more margin on the bu.
#1721 of 4972 RE: regfootball
Jul 09, 2003 (7:52 pm)
Approx. half of the Malibu sales were fleet and rental in 2002.
Jul 09, 2003 (9:04 pm)
so that's possibly a 4 to 1 ratio?
Jul 09, 2003 (9:24 pm)
Hey! Thanks for the advise. Actually it's only the rear sway bushings that need to be replaced (not the bar), but like you said, it effects the handling of the vehicle. As for the coolant sensor, I have had the intake manifold leak and have already had it fixed, so the sensor is just a pain in my a**. I'll try tomorrow to see if electrical tape will fix the vent (I'm crossing my fingers).
About my dealer visit: They ended up charging $141 to clean the lense on the dash which wasn't bad. It now kinda feels like a new car since I haven't seen the cluster very clearly since I've had the car. I had asked my service advisor to also replace the bulb on the "Check Oil" light, but she must have forgot. I didn't notice the dealership because it was running when I picked it up. She didn't charge me for the bulb replacement, but that means if I want it replaced, I have to pay $141 more to have the dash taken apart AGAIN and pay $$ for the bulb. I guess I can always check the oil the old fashion way.
I am excited for the new 2004 Malibu! If I could save some $$ I would love to get one, but I'm graduating at the end of this year and $$ for collage will be top priority. I guess I'll have to stick with my car for 4 more years. I really don't understand why people are dissapointed with the '04. The whole car is an improvement over the current generation. The only thing that bothers me are the rear drum brakes. I haven't had trouble with mine, but disk brakes are so much easier for me to change myself. Hopefully the new gen won't have rotor trouble. By the way, what is the advantage to having an OHC engine over our current pushrod engines in the bu? I have 61K on mine and the only problem (if you want to call it that) is that it's kinda noisy when it idles. I walked passed a brand new bu in a parking lot the other day and it was soooooo quiet compared to mine. I was very envious.
Anyway, thanks again for the advise. I appreciate it.
#1724 of 4972 1 more quick question
Jul 09, 2003 (9:52 pm)
I am looking for new tires and wanted everyone's opinion. I found Firestone Affinity tires for $61 a piece. I know some people hate theirs, but what is the general consensus? If you don't like the Affinity tires, what kind do you recommend?
Jul 10, 2003 (2:29 am)
Like I said before, placing the antenna on the roof in front is very bad - in the back it would have looked much more natural. And that hideous huge yellow bowtie in the middle of the steering wheel...can you say U-G-L-Y? And the front just doesn't look as good as it used to. Speaking of the front, what are those GM designers thinking? New Silverado - UGLY, new Malibu - UGLY, new Colorado - don't even look at it, unless you want to have nightmares.
I am keeping my current Bu till it drops dead, and then GM would have to improve design, if they want my money again - no way I am driving the new Bu
Jul 10, 2003 (5:49 am)
We found the Firestone Affinity tires that came on our Malibu when purchased new to be very bad, especially on wet roads. We went through several bad experiences and so replaced them with only about 1,000 miles on them.
Our replacement tires are the Dunlap A2 Sport. They are a world of difference, and very good on wet roads. The difference has been night and day. They are highly rated by Consumer Reports and in the Tire Rack surveys.