1997 Chevrolet Malibu from North America




This car was in the garage more than it was on the road!!

Head gasket blew at 23000 miles.

Brakes and pads replaced every 3000 miles.

AC motor replaced at 23000 miles.

An unknown electrical problem that took four return visits to the mechanic.

Gas, temp., RPM., MPH., gauges would go out of control at least weekly.

General Comments:

Never, never, never, buy this car.

I can't remember everything that went wrong with this car but I was on a first name basis with my mechanic.

The repair shop felt so sorry for me after the last visit that they gave me a rental for a week free of charge!!!

It's a money pit.

It's a lemon.

It was a nightmare.

After the last repair bill I realized I could not afford this car and traded it in for a foreign.

I'll never buy another American made car.

The only good thing about it were the comfortable seats. GM should be ashamed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th January, 2002

19th Jan 2002, 15:52

I have a 1998 Malibu LS, I am currently on my 3rd engine with this car, all of them covered under warranty. The 3100 SFI engines makes a loud tapping sound on cold starts. Dealers are known for telling you that it is normal. Don't believe it, it is not normal... tell them you are going to file a LEMON Law Suit and you will get much more respect. Trust me, this is my third engine, and will probably have to replace it again because all 3100 SFI engines have this problem, but if they want to continue to put engines in here and give me new rentals to drive around for weeks at a time, that is fine with me.

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 from North America


If built right, has potential


Front brakes and rotors have been replaced continuously.

The fan motor did not work in 1 or 2, but operated in all other ranges. The resistor assembly under the passenger dash melted.

Water leaks from engine intake manifold. A common problem.

Sometimes the car will not start and the light comes on. Unable to diagnose so far.

Front end noises. Replaced struts, and hub bearings before 50k miles.

Poor tire wear, needs constant alignment.

Alternator does not cool sufficiently and burns up.

Battery failure - don't expect more than 2-3 years out of the cheap factory battery.

Clicking noise from the engine when cold.

Serpentine belt tensioner replaced 45k miles.

CD player broke 25k miles.

Squeaks and rattles from day one.

Express down on the driver's side window repaired under warranty after 7 attempts.

General Comments:

As you can see the Chevrolet Malibu (Motor Trend Car of the Year) is a mechanics dream. Chevrolet appears to be pretending they don't know about these and other known problems that many Malibu owners have.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th October, 2001

10th Nov 2004, 07:26

I own a 97 Malibu LS (purchased new) and have experienced many of the same problems you've listed. Also had a problem with the fuel filter quick release (it wouldn't release at all). Took it to the dealer a couple of years ago to fix an intake manifold leak and replace the fuel filter. Although I was charged for the replacement, it was not--the dealer couldn't even remove it! I knew it wasn't replaced because the filter coupling was practically destroyed.

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LE 6 cylinder from North America


Money pit


Front brakes replaced at 15,000 miles.

New pads & turned rotors at 26000 miles.

New pads at 2800 miles.

Complete brake job at 46,079.

New pads & turned rotors at 53000.

Adjusted and cleaned front brakes at 58500 miles.

Complete brake job at 61000 miles.

I cannot afford to keep this vehicle, I have complained to Chevrolet, and was told they were not having problems. Yet several friends that are GM mechanics say there is a brake problem with this model.

General Comments:

Nice car to drive if you can afford the repair bills.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th July, 2001

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS V6 3100 from North America


A great family car for a decent price


Electric windows.

Engine light for the temperature.

It had Firestone tires - I had problems with two of them right off - I replaced them with another brand.

Squeak in the rear.

General Comments:

Mainly I liked this car very much. The little things that had to be worked on by the dealership were a pain. The car ran great, and besides the warning light problems etc... it was a great car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2001

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS from North America


Be wary


A light on the dash sporadically comes on, I think it is the coolant light.

Only had the car one day, bought it used with 100,000km. I think I got hosed. The brakes squeak, and it appears the dash or glove box squeaks. Not impressed.

General Comments:

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

Review Date: 18th October, 2000

3rd May 2001, 00:06

This car needs help. Problems since about 12,000 miles.

Buttons on the A/C control unit worked when they wanted to.

Brakes squeak and had to be replaced once.

Bearings in the front end were replaced.

Gasket on the back windshield came off while driving down the road.

All of these problems came up within the first 22,000 miles.

1997 Chevrolet Malibu 3.1 V6 from North America


Complete brake job @ 70,000kms, headlight cases have been replaced 3 times due to fogging - seals breaking. Our glove box squeaks over bumps, but it cannot be repaired, don't know why. Shocks & struts were also replaced before we bought it (bought used with 30,000 km on it). Other cosmetic type problems.

General Comments:

The car is a great car, it's very comfortable and very smooth to drive. Accelerates very well and we would certainly buy the same type of car again. The problems we've had have all been cheerfully fixed by the dealer. Chevy is most definitely the best dealership I have ever dealt with.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th August, 1999

1997 Chevrolet Malibu 3.0 V6 from North America


Coolant light kept coming on.

General Comments:

Nice family car...much cheaper than any comparable model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 1998