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.

General Comments:

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.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu 6 cylinder from North America


A nice looking money pit


My struts and bearings had to be replaced the first month I had my car.

The windshield was not properly put on and leaks water into my car.

Doesn't start all of the time.

ABS light comes on for no reason.

Theft system light comes on for no reason.

Two of the buttons on my factory radio are out and have been since a month after I bought my car.

The air conditioner had to be fixed, it still leaks water onto my feet.

The steering wheel is unusually worn out.

General Comments:

This car looks very nice, but has way too many problems.

It handles very nicely and has good pick up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd August, 2002

13th Aug 2005, 12:04

Ya I have the same problum I have the ABS light comes on and needed to replace the power steering pump and my power door lock just went.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 6 cylinder from North America


A reasonable car with expensive overtones


Brakes needed replacing at 60000km. The rotors were machined, but warped within 6 months and replaced with new rotors. These were replaced again at 150000km with another brake job. Its best to get new rotors each time.

A front wheel bearing went and its costly as the bearings are in a housing and you have to replace the whole thing.

The air conditioning switch is going on and off. The dealer advises you have to replace the whole dash unit including fan, temperature controls for $180 Can. You can't just replace the switch.

Tires wore at 100000km.

1 and 2 position switch on fan control had to be repaired.

General Comments:

The car runs quite well, but the cost of repairs is high and General Motors should make parts available at cost when they know the problems, but the warranty has expired. They should also stop only having huge chunks of car available for parts at high prices, you should be able to buy individual switches etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th August, 2002

22nd Jul 2003, 19:34

I am very glad to know that I am not the only person having problems with my Malibu LS. It is a 1999 and seems to have a lot of the same problems as others here are having. I bought the car with pride and now just want to get rid of my headache. I have had the following problems in less than 10 months of owning my Malibu:

Brake pads replaced in May - already half worn.

Plastic pieces inside the car have broke easily; the lever on the passenger side, the plastic piece on driver's side buckle.

The theft light comes on while trying to start my car and will shut off the gas line. Waiting at least 15 minutes and then I am late for work.

The ABS light comes on for no reason either.

I have been told by two mechanics that the reason my car sounds like an airplane taking off is because my Hub Bearing (different from wheel bearings; it's a whole unit) is bad, and that this is common in Malibu's. $110 just for the part!

I love the way my Malibu drives, good gas mileage and has every feature possible, but I am so ready to just get rid of it.

Thanks, Rachel.