1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 from North America


If someone tries to sell you one, run fast and don't look back!!!


Where do I start? The first month I had the car it was in the shop more than I drove it. I had a rental car twice (compliments of the dealer) and drove my salesman's truck twice.

Problems that the dealership actually fixed were the rack and the lower control arm and bushing.

The post on my battery broke, causing my gas gauge to quit working. Went back to the dealership and they told me it would cost $400 for a new dash panel. I fixed it in about 5 seconds and it only took a little skill with a paper clip. The battery, on the other hand cost me $90.

Anti-lock brake light kept coming on so I brought it back in. The "head" mechanic told me if it was his car he wouldn't worry about it. Being I have two children, I worried. I took it to my regular mechanics because I was done with the dealership. Right away they knew it was the wheel bearings. One was worse than the other, but I'd eventually have to do the other. I had them both replaced within a week of each other. Bye bye tax refund, that cost me $600. But I no longer had the anti-lock brake light coming on.

Next problem after that. The control arm and bushing that was supposed to have been replaced by the dealership was coming out. Reluctantly I called the dealership to see if that fell under their repair warranty. I was 6,000 miles over their 12,000 mile/1 yr warranty. No luck there. I went back to my regular mechanics and paid $300 to repair it. My mechanics told me there was no way that it was ever replaced. I trust them, I've been going there for over ten years.

Next up was the intake gasket. I was leaking antifreeze. I looked on the repair history I received from the dealership and it stated on there that they checked for an oil/coolant leak, but didn't find one. I certainly did. I can't say that there wasn't one when they looked, but in the same breath, I can't say that there wasn't one. That little escapade cost me $400.

Then went the alternator. That one cost me $300.

I had the plugs/wires changed & the injectors cleaned for $427.16. Now I've had to bring it back in twice for a mysterious random misfire that no one can seem to find the source. So since I've had that all done, the check engine light comes on and the motor chugs at least once a month, then it quits and runs fine. I'm at my wits end with that car, but like most, I owe more than it's worth. I'm stuck with that heap of metal until I win the lottery or it just dies all together and I'll be paying for a dead horse!!!

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

Review Date: 9th June, 2004

13th Jul 2004, 07:48

I too have a 1998 Malibu LS and have had everything mentioned in the review replaced on my car as well--with the exception of the battery. This car is horrible and to think I bought this car out of loyalty to my grandfather (he worked for Chevrolet for over forty years.)

19th Oct 2007, 21:28

For the misfire check the brake/torque sensor some times it may stick open and give the sensation of a fish bite.

18th Jun 2012, 18:26

There's one thing you must remember when having problems with a car.

NEVER GO TO THE DEALERSHIPS. Seriously, all they will ever do is say that the car is fine, and resort to nickel and diming you. It never fails.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu Standard 2.4L 4 cylinder from North America


(at purchase) Previous owner replaced front brake psds. I have now replaced the l axle boot and put on a fresh set of tires.

General Comments:

Car runs smoothly and is powerful enough. Love the ride. Car was previously a rental agency car. Checked by 2 mechanics before purchase and 1 while axle boot and routine maintenance was done. All said car was in great shape. Was told no fluids were leaking and everything looked tight and "new". All said that this was destined to be a reliable car - a "great buy". After reading other comments, it appears some are great, some rotten. considering it's mileage, it would appear that this is one of the great ones. If things change, will add a comment.

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

Review Date: 7th June, 2004

24th Jun 2006, 09:53

I've been reading through the comments too. You'll notice though, that the ones with the most complaints own the 3.1 V6. I've noticed that most of the comments from those who own the 2.4 are much more favorable.