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2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? #4844443 08/19/18 09:50 AM
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irv Offline OP
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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 by irv; 08/19/18 10:02 AM.

2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in all 3.
Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: irv] #4844471 08/19/18 10:30 AM
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VetteElite Offline
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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.

Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: irv] #4844521 08/19/18 11:48 AM
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dishdude Offline
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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!


2018 Challenger SRT 392 PUP 0w-40 Wix 57899XP
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Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: dishdude] #4844531 08/19/18 12:01 PM
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irv Offline OP
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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


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in all 3.
Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: irv] #4844537 08/19/18 12:04 PM
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FermeLaPorte Offline
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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.

Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: FermeLaPorte] #4844561 08/19/18 12:31 PM
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irv Offline OP
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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


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in all 3.
Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: FermeLaPorte] #4844563 08/19/18 12:33 PM
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VetteElite Offline
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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.

Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: irv] #4844608 08/19/18 01:18 PM
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eljefino Offline
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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

Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: eljefino] #4844616 08/19/18 01:26 PM
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Malo83 Offline
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My 08 Malibu LTZ has been a great car, with the 3.6 and 18" wheels. thumbsup

Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: irv] #4844780 08/19/18 05:29 PM
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caravanmike Offline
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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.


Oils I use: Any 5w-30,5w-20 conventional

Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: irv] #4844849 08/19/18 06:59 PM
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clinebarger Offline
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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.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: caravanmike] #4845155 08/20/18 06:18 AM
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irv Offline OP
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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


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in all 3.
Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: irv] #4845527 08/20/18 02:05 PM
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irv Offline OP
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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


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in all 3.
Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: caravanmike] #4854804 08/29/18 06:00 PM
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irv Offline OP
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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


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in all 3.
Re: 2008 Chev Malibu with a 2.4 engine? [Re: irv] #4854859 08/29/18 06:55 PM
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caravanmike Offline
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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!


Oils I use: Any 5w-30,5w-20 conventional

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