Quote Originally Posted by RoadDog
We're quite happy in the Malibu which has the room and the mileage
beware, i too have a malibu, a 98 LS w/ the 3100 v6 in it. i have had 2 problems on roadtrips with this car, one that is caused by just this... roadtrips.

I was more then a Days trip away from home, 45minutes N of Burlington, VT, near the Canadian border, on a backroad at about Midnight in October 03. After driving around 18 hours straight on all backroads through new england since about 5am that morning. My check engine light comes on, my engine begins overheating, my lights dim, i lose my power steering. I know it had something to do with the serpentine belt, so i coast to the side of this backroad in the middle of nowhere after i cut it off. i get the maglight, and see the belt indeed came off.. my idler pulley had exploded.

I figured no biggy, i'll find a room and replace it in the morning. I get on my phone, no service, so I wind up walking to the next town at around midnight, find a gas station that was closed but had a payphone, called my insurance company (it was an 800# luckily) and they got me a towtruck, towed me back to Burlington, where it was Alumni night, and there was only 1 hotel room in the entire city, which came at a premium cost of 250-275$ that i hadn't planned on spending. So I goto bed, wake up, its freezing cold outside, walk to the nearest autoparts store open on sunday mornings, find the pulley for about 12 bucks.

This is when the guy advised me that malibu's have a tendency to blow these pulleys out on long trips (i.e. 3000 mile a week roadtrips) because GM decided it'd be better to use plastic to make the core of the pulley rather than metal, which wouldve cost meer pennies more. Well I'm glad I padded the GM bigwigs pockets a little more by breaking down in the middle of nowhere, no idea where i was, in freezing cold temps, just so they can save a few cents on a already profitable car to them.

So beware, the idler pulley, if you havn't replaced it yet, I'd recomend doing so, its a simple, 10mm bolt holding it on, replace it for the metal aftermarket pulley available at ALL autoparts stores, they're always in stock because they always blow out. I saved that blown out pulley as a souvenier from that roadtrip... gotta love memento's.

the other time, which is normal and i don't fault chevy, but it was a waterpump which i to had to fix on my own, when i wasn't expecting it. luckily it was an easy fix with the toolkit in my trunk. now i travel nowhere in this car w/o tools and a flashlight