1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 from North America


Bad performance


Ignition keys was replaced three times, security theft protection problem.

Brakes - rotors, pads four times.

Two fuels ejectors.

Tune-up at 60000, promised times was 100000.

Lights for check engine on and off for year.

Computer was change qt 80000.

Fan Blower not working on 1 and 2.

Left automatic window not working.

Trunk is wet all the time.

Left side two doors, and spot close to gas tank rusted beyond repair.

High-pressure hoses on power steering.

Engine head gasket and oil caps.

Now have recall on rack and pinion, but cannot do it because dealer ship not providing a loner, sad GM not paying for it.

After 50 m/h car is shaking and not going straight on a highway.

If it is not enough let me know what is.

General Comments:

The car has more problems than it should for that price.

All recalls was made on miserable problem not affecting real problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th April, 2004

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 V6 from North America


A sour lemon


The ABS light comes on periodically, of course the dealer "cannot duplicate problem".

The coolant light kept comming on, so I topped it off with fluid. The next thing I know is the main bearings are shot and I had to replace the motor, at $3,800, ouch!

The transmission is slipping.

General Comments:

The Malibu looks and handles good.

I am very disappointed in the durability of this car. There is a reason why a used Honda costs more than a new Chevy, and that's because you can get a more reliable car in a Honda.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th March, 2004

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS V6 from North America


A class action suit waiting to happen


I bought the car used in 1999, within a week I could adjust the driver side seat.

In 2000, the key wouldn't turn in the ignition. I called the Roadside assistance hotline and the operator said to take a book and bang on the key, while in the ignition, then start. I had to do this several times for the next 6 months, resulting in the theft sensor malfunctioning. This caused the car not to start. If it did start it would backfire. I took it to the dealer and they diagnosed it as a bad starter coil ($330).

Not even a year later, the same problem occurred (car would not start) - the dealer replaced the theft sensor.

In 2002, the interior started falling apart.

The driver side visor fell off.

The arm rest came off.

The cup holder will not open.

The CD player will not play.

The front speakers crackle.

In addition to all that, the driver side door will not unlock or lock with the remote or the power lock switch and the window will not go down or up.

In April 2002, I needed a brand new battery. I changed it myself - now the fuel gage always reads empty. This will cost $400 to fix.

In September 2002, I had to change the alternator at 75,000 miles.

In March 2003, the intake gasket was leaking antifreeze and had to be replaced ($750).

In October 2003, the water pump froze and which caused the serpentine belt to break ($330).

Also, in October 2003, I had to buy another battery.

In November 2003, I've replaced the tire on the passenger side 3 times.

The car vibrates at high speeds (>70mph). Took to my mechanic who says that the car needs a new control arm ($400).

At this point, I am feed up. I took it in to use a trade in a was told the the car is worth nothing. I was considering buying another GM car (A Grand Am), but after reading reviews I am leaning more towards foreign cars.

General Comments:

As a single woman, I would not recommend this car to anyone, especially women.

Women must constantly look out for their safety and well-being and having a car as unreliable as this one is dangerous.

After reviewing all the complaints about GM cars, I'm considering a class action suit. Something has to be done to make GM stand up and be accountable for making lemons.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th December, 2003

8th Dec 2003, 14:27

It would seem that you are the victim of a mechanic who is either deliberately deceptive or a poor troubleshooter:

A bad starter coil CANNOT be the root cause of a backfire. Fueling problems (like fuel being shut off due to a defective fuel sensor) or ignition problems cause backfire.

A vibration is usually a tire out of balance. Control arms do not wear out. If they do, they do so only after the car is very old. Control arms can be damaged if you hit something such as a large pothole or a curb. Vibration at a particular speed (esp. 60-80mph) is almost without exception a tire balance problem ($10/tire). 2nd is a bent rim. When the control arm was replaced, your mechanic probably also balanced the tire, so your problem disappeared.

The rest of your problems (especially fit & finish interior stuff) are likely the result of GM's cost reduction initiatives.

27th Sep 2004, 13:51

I agree with you. I have a 1997 Malibu and I bought it used and have major problems with it since I bought it. One is the fact that it had an after market theft system on it. I had it removed, but the theft system light will still come on and it locks up my engine and the car will not start, but I do not have a theft system on the car according to the dealership and the company who took the after market system off???

Also, my car vibrates after you hit 70 MPH and I just had the tires changed and rotated.

20th Nov 2004, 08:47

Have you had the recalls done? It seems to me the problems you had /are having, had recalls, I had recalls and the dealership took care of them with no problems, I bought my car brand new I love it general maintenance has to be kept up on any car new or old. My 1998 Malibu LS has been a good car to me I live in upstate New York lots of weather changes exc.. i drive 80 miles a day to work 5 days a week, it is a durable car and I am going to give it to my son and purchase another Malibu LT model, sorry you had so many problems with your I guess I was one of the lucky ones.