1997 Chevrolet Malibu from North America


Worst car I have ever owned


I've had this car for just over a year, and in that time, it has been towed to the mechanic four times.

The first time was for a broken pulley - it was made out of plastic.

The second time was about four months later, when another plastic pulley broke.

The third time, the car wouldn't start. The mechanic ran a complete electrical system check, but couldn't find out why it wouldn't start. They put on a new battery, and that seemed to do the trick for three weeks.

The fourth time it had to be towed was three weeks after I got the new battery. I was driving normally, and the air conditioner stopped. I flipped my turn signal to make a turn and the entire car, including the steering system, shut down. I could barely turn and narrowly missed getting hit.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd August, 2002

13th Sep 2002, 13:41

The prob. is your alternator. The 97 Malibu had 2 different production lines, they seemed to find what the prob was electrically because they started another line the same year. I know because I have one. Other than the brakes that I had to replace (the brakes are bad though, make sure to get lifetime warranty brakes and take it in whenever you have trouble) and an alternator too, this car has been reliable for me. We've had it 4 years and that's it... so far. It seems everyone else that has written something may have the 1st production line car and not the 2nd.

26th Sep 2002, 01:59

I've got an 81 and I drive it daily. runs perfectly, only prob is the drivers seat has a rip and the ceiling material is coming unglued. Not bad eh?!!!

29th Mar 2005, 14:44

Don't even bother comparing your classic Malibu to the 'updated' version they came out with in 1997. The only thing these two cars have in common is the Malibu name. The 97 - 03 Malibu's were riddled with problems that GM never seemed to get around to correcting. Those that bought a 'problem free' Malibu were lucky, those of us who didn't were faced with constant and expensive visits to the dealership for one repair after another.

1997 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan 3.1 from North America


This car doesn't ask much of owners and


Replaced front brakes and rotors at 45000 kilometers.

Replaced drive belt at 110000 k.

Rust broke out around the gas tank at 120000 k.

General Comments:

The dealer met me half-way on the cost of the brake job, which made me very happy.

When the rust broke out around the gas tank, the dealer contacted G.M. General Motors then picked up half the cost of all body and paint on that whole section of the car!

The car rides and handles like a dream. I should know, being a guy from the true "muscle era" of the 70's. I got rid of those low profile tires it came with, and slapped on a set of good radial tires. What a difference!

All this car has ever asked of me is to keep it clean, and for regular maintenance.

(By the way, I was recently offered $9000.00. Not bad for a car with 135000 kilometers, EH!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2002

1997 Chevrolet Malibu from North America


Get out while you still can!


Replaced the alternator and two batteries.

I am currently on my fourth set of brakes, pads and rotors.

Replaced the serpentine belt. Also the water pump, thermometer and gasket that went when the belt broke.

Replaced head gaskets, reconditioned heads.

The blower hasn't worked on speeds 1 and 2 for the last 50,000 miles.

The drivers side window has never seated properly in the seal.

The air conditioner randomly shuts itself off.

And right now it is in the shop being rebuilt because the camshaft broke! Chevrolet's response - That's too bad.

General Comments:

I have a base model with the 3.1 L V6. Love to drive it, performs well, handles well, really a lot of fun for a family sedan. Thrilled with the big backseat and the trunk room. However, in the last year I have spent more money repairing the thing than its remaining value, which is sadly low anyway. Under no circumstances would I ever buy another Malibu. I may never buy anything from GM again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th February, 2002