1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS 6 Cylinder from North America


This is a good car if you can keep up with the repairs


Brakes and rotors reground/replaced too many times to recall. At least twice a year since buying the car.

Alternator replaced at least 3 times.

Water pump replaced.

Serpentine belt replaced.

AM portion of the radio went out. Dealer fixed it after I showed him what I found on the Internet about the problem.

Air conditioning and heat wouldn't work until the dial was turned past '3'. I found the fix on the Internet, took it to my shop and they fixed it. A resistor needed to be replaced.

The air conditioning would cycle on/off quickly. The switch was defective and replaced under warranty.

The 'Check Engine' light has been on since last July. The repair shop says I need a new Catalytic Converter for ~$700. I will fix it when I have the money.

The lights on the radio buttons have started to go out.

All of the power steering fluid drained from the system. Luckily, this was caught before damage was done to the system. No leak was found.

General Comments:

The car is OK. Not the best car I've owned and not the worst.

I have found that the driver side seat is very good and provides my back with good support. I can drive long distances (~300 miles) with no discomfort in my back.

The car doesn't have good acceleration and is very sluggish going up hills.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2005

1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1L V6 from North America


98 Malibu LS - defects = very nice


When I bought the car, I didn't realize the brakes were almost gone. The dealer did not tell me either. I ended up replacing the front brakes and rotors. Cost was $375.

The cassette player was broken when purchased, but I knew this ahead of time. I never bothered to have it fixed.

The tires that originally come with the car (Firestone brand) wear out very quickly, and they warp when they do. Replaced tires several months after purchase with another brand. After those wore out (they lasted a decently long time), I replaced all 4 with Yokohamas.

Head gasket started leaking, which can let the coolant (Dex-cool) into the engine, eventually ruining it if left alone. Dealer fixed it. Total cost around $1200, of which I paid roughly $550, the rest covered by extended warranty.

ABS light went on. Turns out wire harness broke on the front driver's side tire, disabling ABS. Dealer estimated the cost would be around $280. I have not fixed this yet.

Last year (2004), alternator stopped working. It was replaced. Cost around $200.

The heater/AC fan only works at setting 3, 4 and 5 (does not work at 1 or 2). I have yet to fix this.

Glove compartment latch broke, so it doesn't close all the way.

General Comments:

If you purchase this car, I suggest to replace original Chevrolet parts with aftermarket models, especially when it comes to braked and rotors. Also get the mixed-metal brakes, they last a lot longer.

In addition, consider purchasing an extended warranty, first asking the dealer what it covers and especially what it doesn't cover.

Be especially watchful about the head gasket being leaky (you will notice a rattle, like a tak-tak-tak sound in the engine), or the ABS light turning on and staying on, which could be a sign of one of the wire connections being broken.

After driving the vehicle 100,000 miles, I suggest to use synthetic oil instead of regular oil. It adds lifetime to the car, not to mention you can drive it for 5,000 miles before the next oil change, as opposed to 3,000.

Finally, I use Bosch platinum-tipped spark plugs. They seem to add power to the car, which is always cool.

Overall, aside from what I believe to be manufacturer's defects for this model year of the Malibu, it is a very nice car to drive. Very comfortable, decent power (for cruising, it is by no means a sports car) and good handling. If it was for the fact that it now has around 124,000 miles on it, I would not be afraid of using it for long trips.

For the money, I think it is still a decent buy for a V6, medium-size sedan. It does have great trunk space.

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

Review Date: 19th January, 2005

22nd Oct 2005, 07:08

If you goto the junkyard or auto parts store you will be able to purchase the chip for your heater to work properly it should cost your around 20$-30$for that part. I have had my 98 Malibu since 2000 bought mine used as well and have done all the work on my own that I possibly can. Ask Question will be glad to answer.


25th Nov 2005, 23:14

I have had my 1998 Malibu since 2001 and have not had, but two routine problems up until now. (replaced my break pad once and replaced the plate that the lights go on in the back.) I have noticed that coolant is leaking, but I believe it is from the intake manifold. I have had to replace the surpentine belt (I actually did it myself) but with 150,000 miles on the car and it being paid for I did not think that was too bad. The belt is only about $10.00. That was in 2002. My dad always taught me that if you take care of a car it will take care of you. I have hit 150,000 and plan on fixing the current problem. Hopefully I can keep on driving. I am a single mother of two and in nursing school full time. I can't afford a car payment right now so... I only paid $6000 for the car 6cyl 3.1L and 68,000 miles. Lets hope...