1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS from North America
One giant maintenance headache for almost 5 years
Coolant level sensor Approx. 25,000 miles.
Coolant level sensor approx. 35,000 miles.
Engine coolant leak approx. 50,000.
Intake manifold replaced 65,000.
Water pump replaced at 65,000 miles.
Tail light bulb replaced--burned out for the last 30,000 miles or so, and I have been told by many that the bulbs in Malibus are problematic.
Air conditioner turns on and off randomly. Fixed at 65,000 miles, but problem began at approximately 40,000 miles.
Serpentine belt replaced at 65,000 miles.
Ignition wires burned out at 65,000 miles.
Brake pads and shoes replaced at least twice in the first 30,000 miles.
The factory-installed Firestone tires would not pass inspection after about 12,000 miles. Tire wear is a chronic problem with my Malibu.
This is a fun car to drive. Handles superbly, has great acceleration, and I love the trunk and the folding back seat. Very roomy for four people, and I have traveled very comfortably in it on several long trips.
But, something is always wrong with it. The coolant system has given me trouble since it was a year old, and now I have to have the water pump and intake manifold replaced because of coolant leaks. Those two things, plus a list of about a half-dozen other maintenance problems (some routine, some not) cost me $2100 this week, and it's only got 65,000 miles on it. Most of my driving is on the interstate, not "stop-and-go," and I am diligent about regular maintenance such as oil and filter changes, and tire rotation. There is no reason why this car should be having the problems it's having now.
My family has owned two GM blazers, 2 Luminas, and one Malibu, and every single one of them has been nothing but a string of serious maintenance problems. My wife drives a Geo Prism and now I'm worried about what's going to go wrong with it.
I will never, but another GM car for as long as I live. I used to drive a Toyota Celica. I never had a single problem with it. My next car will be a Toyota.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 31st August, 2002
27th Apr 2003, 12:22
Since I posted this review, I've replaced the tail lights two more times. The A/C is a continual problem. Also, my wife's Geo Prizm just had a $1200 repair bill for rear struts at under 50,000 miles. Granted, this is an unusual problem for Prizms, but I will never buy GM again. Their cars a simply terrible.