1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 from North America


A safety hazard and waste of good money


Unexplained buzzer going off Intermittently. Dealer unable to diagnose problem when car was under 10,000km.

Car shook violently on braking and rotors had to be replaced at approx. 20,000km. Rotors were again replaced for the same reason at approx. 60,000. This is a safety hazard and we avoid transporting children in the Malibu. This is common to all Malibu's.

Brake lights continually burn out due to water leakage into lens. Common on all Malibu's.

Intake manifold gasket had to be replaced at approx. 30,000km and now needs to be replaced again at 64,000km at a cost of $900 plus. This may permanently damage the motor, but the dealer will not admit to this. Common on all GM 3.1 L and 3.4 L engines.

Interior fan switch does not work on first two settings (1 and 2). Common on all Malibu's.

Paint failing and peeling off.

Unexplained noises from rear of vehicle area.

General Comments:

The Malibu is a lemon. The documented list of problems common to all Malibu's is significant. GM continues to document the problems, but will not do issue a recall.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th June, 2004

1998 Chevrolet Malibu 4 cylinder from North America


A great family car. Comfortable seating, large trunk, roomy interior, great looking exterior!


Bushings on the Front End Passenger Side had to be replaced immediately upon purchase of vehicle.

Check Engine light is very sensitive, sometimes just changing from regular unleaded to premium will make the light come on and not go off until that fuel is replaced.

New brake pads within a month of owning the car, replaced again about 6 months later, then again last year I had to put new rotors and pads on, they need replaced again.

Battery Charging System light is on and will not go off, though we have replaced the alternator, the battery twice and checked all the fuses and wires.

Interior Dome light does not work and has never worked since purchasing the car.

Glove box would not shut and is now permanently open until I can figure out how to jerry-rig it shut, I checked on fixing it and the whole door has to be replaced to the tune of $200.

The reflectors on the doors kept coming off so I have since J.B. Welded them on, so we will not lose them.

Driver's Seat belt is broken, it will not catch.

General Comments:

I love this car. I absolutely love my car. In the past ten years I have owned: a 1992 Buick LaSabre, 1995 Ford Escort, 1990 Ford Tempo, 1994 Chevy Lumina, 1996 Ford Windstar and my 1998 Chevy Malibu is the best of all of them. I put a lot of miles on my car and spent less than $500 at any time on repairs for my car. I have owned it less than two years and put over 75,000 miles on it in that amount of time. I have always felt this car was dependable and well worth the $8,995 it cost me to buy it. Even though O am having some problems with it now as far as the Battery Charging System and the Check Engine Light, I have no plans to get rid of the car and hope that it will last until my oldest son is ready to drive, when I can turn the car over to him, knowing it is a good car. We currently own a Chevy Pick-Up truck which replaced a previous Chevy Pick-Up truck and have found both to be wonderful, dependable trucks. When we purchase a new vehicle it will be another Chevy. We have a wonderful dealer, Sturgeon Chevrolet in Licking, MO that provides great service for my vehicles even though I did not purchase my Chevy's from them, although I will next time. They have more than earned my business. I cannot brag about them or my Malibu enough.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th June, 2004

5th Feb 2006, 07:40

I just wanted to make sure you were aware, if you don't screw the gas cap on till the clicking, it will activate your 'service engine soon' light. If your light comes on, take off the gas cap. Then, replace it, but tighten it hard till you hear a loud clicking. Some of GM gas caps don't say this on it, but they all do it.