2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine?

irv

Messages
2,137
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
I just finished purchasing a 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 ltr engine for my son. (Haven't got it home yet) I know it's too late to be asking now, but I am curious on the good the bad and the ugly with regards to these cars? I looked and looked until I was blue in the face for a car and this is best one I could find. It has 140,000 kms on it (87,000 miles) and is almost fully loaded, minus the sunroof. Leather/heated seats, climate control, remote start, adjustable gas and brake pedals, etc. It came with new tires, new brakes and a cat back exhaust system, (stock) safety and etested for $4,200 dollars. The only thing wrong or one that bothered me a bit was the rust bubbles on the rear passenger quarter, which, from the looking I did, is common for these cars. I will likely leave it until the spring to make sure it is a good car and my son likes it. The car will be rust proofed/sprayed within the next couple of months as well. When I pick it up, hopefully tomorrow, it will be getting an oil/filter change and a good going over. I plan to use either PP or PUP 5W-30 and I believe this engine takes 5 ltrs/quarts exactly? Any issues or concerns with this car that I should be aware of? The reviews I did prior all suggested it is a pretty dependable and reliable car. The car was owned by a 58 yr old woman and judging by the mtce records, she was somewhat anal about things, especially oil changes. Thanks in advance. cheers Sorry, meant to add, what size wheels/tires are on this car and what will all fit/work when it comes to purchasing snows? Embarrassed I didn't look. blush
 
Last edited:
Messages
128
Location
-
I drive its twin sister, the Saturn Aura, although mine has a 3.5 V6. GM did a great job with these cars, very refined, great soundproofing. From my experience, I'd almost guarantee that you'll want to check the rear springs at that mileage - the stock ones do not last long so I'd recommend replacement with the Moog variable rate ones which are much beefier and ride great. I know base models came with 225/50r17 but yours being a top line is probably a 225/45r18 or something like that. That Ecotec engine seems to be a pretty good engine. Not a lot of power, but no DI (the early DI Ecotec engines do not have a good reputation). One the topic of the suspension, replace the front sway bar links with Moog problem solvers because the stock ones are going to be making noise at that mileage - they have tiny knuckles and the boots rip open easily.
 
Messages
10,637
Location
Phoenix
I had an '08 Aura with the 2.4/4 speed, solid car and powertrain. iirc it did take exactly 5 quarts, I always used the AC Delco filter which is made by Hengst - the same company that makes the filter housing. Always nice to get a well maintained car at that price point with maintenance records, thats a tough find!
 

irv

Messages
2,137
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted By: VetteElite
I drive its twin sister, the Saturn Aura, although mine has a 3.5 V6. GM did a great job with these cars, very refined, great soundproofing. From my experience, I'd almost guarantee that you'll want to check the rear springs at that mileage - the stock ones do not last long so I'd recommend replacement with the Moog variable rate ones which are much beefier and ride great. I know base models came with 225/50r17 but yours being a top line is probably a 225/45r18 or something like that. That Ecotec engine seems to be a pretty good engine. Not a lot of power, but no DI (the early DI Ecotec engines do not have a good reputation). One the topic of the suspension, replace the front sway bar links with Moog problem solvers because the stock ones are going to be making noise at that mileage - they have tiny knuckles and the boots rip open easily.
Great information, VetteElite. Thank you! Cheers2
Originally Posted By: dishdude
I had an '08 Aura with the 2.4/4 speed, solid car and powertrain. iirc it did take exactly 5 quarts, I always used the AC Delco filter which is made by Hengst - the same company that makes the filter housing. Always nice to get a well maintained car at that price point with maintenance records, thats a tough find!
I honestly didn't think finding a "good" one would be this hard to find. Of all the looking I did, the good ones seemed to be hours away, there was never anything, within reason, near me. I liked everything about this one. The new tires, brakes and exhaust, plus the fact it was a 58 yr old woman who had all her receipts. Being a private sale rather than being on a dealer/used lot meant a lot as well. Not that they're all bad, but I have a hard time listening to them and their spiel which is geared, most of the time, to B.S. you and trick you into believing "this" car is best one we've ever had in. crackmeup I tripped a couple guys up just for sh*ts and giggles and the look on their faces when they realize you know a thing or two is hilarious. Glad to hear these engines are pretty stout. The reviews mostly say the same thing but I am happy to read it from members/owners as well. The gas mileage will be great as well and my son's insurance, compared to an Impala, is about $50-$60 cheaper a month too, which is a lot for a 17 yr old kid still going to school. I appreciate your reply, thanks. cheers
 
Messages
542
Location
Texas (south)
Terrible cars. There's a reason why it was not run above 90,000 miles. Our Impala is a piece of shoot. Powersteering issues, gasket issues, stabilitrak issues.
 

irv

Messages
2,137
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted By: FermeLaPorte
Terrible cars. There's a reason why it was not run above 90,000 miles. Our Impala is a piece of shoot. Powersteering issues, gasket issues, stabilitrak issues.
Every post you make is a negative troll post. I personally can't understand why you haven't been removed yet? shrug
 
Messages
128
Location
-
Originally Posted By: FermeLaPorte
Terrible cars. There's a reason why it was not run above 90,000 miles. Our Impala is a piece of shoot. Powersteering issues, gasket issues, stabilitrak issues.
Different car, different platform, different factory, different engine, different transmission. But OK. By the way, I have 160,000 miles on my "terrible car that won't run above 90,000" miles. And I actually have the same exact 3.5 engine you have.
 
Messages
35,782
Location
ME
Not bad for four grand. GMs make the some of best bland boring used cars, you just have to grab them on the low end of the depreciation slope. cheers
 
Messages
1,092
Location
ohio
I've got an 08 and a 10 in the extended family, both have the 2.4l. One has 190,000, the other one Has 100,000 miles. Both are very reliable. I maintain both and it's only been brakes, batteries, tires, sway bar links and one v.v.t. solenoid (46 bucks). They seem to be decent cars.
 
Messages
4,626
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Never been a fan of the VVT Ecotech's..... *Remove BOTH VVT Solenoids are inspect for metal & plastic debris on the solenoid screens. *Check how many miles have accrued since codes were cleared along with Pending/History codes.
 

irv

Messages
2,137
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted By: caravanmike
I've got an 08 and a 10 in the extended family, both have the 2.4l. One has 190,000, the other one Has 100,000 miles. Both are very reliable. I maintain both and it's only been brakes, batteries, tires, sway bar links and one v.v.t. solenoid (46 bucks). They seem to be decent cars.
Everything I have read about them also says the same thing. Many that I looked at had high mileage, or a lot higher than the one I purchased. Of course I know nothing is guaranteed with the one I purchased, but I think my odds are pretty good is will basically be a trouble free car. Time to get around to bring it home. Thanks everyone for the info, I appreciate it very much. cheers
 

irv

Messages
2,137
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Sorry to bump this up but I was wondering everyone's thoughts on getting collision coverage for this car? I opted out today but I am not sure I made the right decision? I figured for only a $4,000 dollar car and trying to save my son some insurance costs, which go up significantly with collision coverage, I thought this was a good idea? He is 17, responsible, and so far has been a really good driver. I did not ask for the total with collision as the lady I spoke with said, since our insurance is due in November, wait until then to review the paper work and dollar amounts. It is going to cost him $336 from today until November 8th. I know there are likely differences between U.S. and Canada as far as coverage goes, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on my decision as well. Thanks. Cheers2
 

irv

Messages
2,137
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Malo83
My 08 Malibu LTZ has been a great car, with the 3.6 and 18" wheels. thumbsup [Linked Image]
Nice looking car, Malo!
Originally Posted by caravanmike
I've got an 08 and a 10 in the extended family, both have the 2.4l. One has 190,000, the other one Has 100,000 miles. Both are very reliable. I maintain both and it's only been brakes, batteries, tires, sway bar links and one v.v.t. solenoid (46 bucks). They seem to be decent cars.
Oil change is done as is the rustproofing. I purchased a 5 ltr jug of Valvoline Maxlife full synthetic Dexron VI last night at Wally World for $31.89. From the reading I have done, the transmission filter is internal so one can only change the fluid, unless one wants to go to the length of tearing the transmission apart to get at the filter. I have no idea if this car has ever been done so I plan on changing it out soon. Sounds like 5 ltrs is all it takes but I will measure how much comes out to be sure. How often should I change the transmission fluid? The manual says every 50,000 miles but some of the vids I watched said to do it much sooner? I plan to use my ramps in my driveway and do it that way. One vid said the car should be perfectly level with floor jacks on all 4 corners? Also, for those that own or have owned a older Malibu, did you experience a front end clunk? I did some reading and this issue seems quite common. I found this but since I am taking his car in tomorrow for a front end alignment, I am going ask if they can do it? It's annoying to say the least but I think this is the only cure unless you purchased the update steering shaft? http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AlSmitty/2010-03-06_164922_Steering_Shaft.pdf
 
Messages
1,092
Location
ohio
I replaced the sway bar links on the front and the clunking went away. The are the ball joint type sway bar links. Just the littlest of play and clunk!
 

irv

Messages
2,137
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted by clinebarger
Never been a fan of the VVT Ecotech's..... *Remove BOTH VVT Solenoids are inspect for metal & plastic debris on the solenoid screens. *Check how many miles have accrued since codes were cleared along with Pending/History codes.
Sorry, Clinebarger, I somehow missed this post. Thanks.
Originally Posted by caravanmike
I replaced the sway bar links on the front and the clunking went away. The are the ball joint type sway bar links. Just the littlest of play and clunk!
I think I also remember reading something about those? The place I am taking it tomorrow (Stephenson Steering here in Oshawa) are well known for being the best around so I know I am in good hands and they'll fix what is all required. I am now curious if it's those you mentioned or the problem I linked, or both? Guess I'll find out tomorrow and will post back what they found. Thanks for the info!
 
Messages
128
Location
-
The clunk is 100% due to sway bar links, and I would do them yourself in my opinion. Get the Moog problem solvers that I mentioned earlier in the thread, much, much better knuckles and they have zerks so you can keep the boot filled with fresh grease every so often. I also replaced my sway bar bushings with hard Moog ones - they made the suspension much tighter which I love (the OEM ones are very soft rubber that gives the sway bar a lot of up and down play, while the Moog ones only let the bar twist which IMO is the only thing a sway bar should do), but that job was very frustrating as there is little room to work. I've done a lot of suspension work with my Aura, and it drives like a brand new car now but with 160,000 miles.
 

irv

Messages
2,137
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted by VetteElite
The clunk is 100% due to sway bar links, and I would do them yourself in my opinion. Get the Moog problem solvers that I mentioned earlier in the thread, much, much better knuckles and they have zerks so you can keep the boot filled with fresh grease every so often. I also replaced my sway bar bushings with hard Moog ones - they made the suspension much tighter which I love (the OEM ones are very soft rubber that gives the sway bar a lot of up and down play, while the Moog ones only let the bar twist which IMO is the only thing a sway bar should do), but that job was very frustrating as there is little room to work. I've done a lot of suspension work with my Aura, and it drives like a brand new car now but with 160,000 miles.
The car is in so I am just awaiting a phone call on what all they find and recommend fixing. I also talked with my buddy who owns a garage and he said it could be more than a few things. I know part of the noise is coming from that steering rod where it goes into the floor. Just sitting in the drive turning the wheel left and right, it is easy to hear it. The other noise going over bumps and the like is likely those bushings. I am not sure what parts the place uses but I bet they are likely good ones like Moog or something similar? I'll let you know what all they find. Hopefully it isn't going to be spendy!
 
Top