1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 from North America


Many similar 1998 Malibu problems


Fan speeds 1 and 2 are not working at 45000 miles. Three and above are usable, but louder to use.

A/C switch went bad at 43000 miles. I swapped the recycle switch for the A/C switch and it's working fine now.

Number one spark plug clogs up from burning oil. Added slick 50 and the burning has stopped.

Rotors needed cutting at 20,000 miles and warped soon after a fast stop at 70 MPH. Changed out the rotors and pads with upgraded parts. No problems now with brakes warping, only some grinding noise when car has sat for a while.

General Comments:

Small gas tank.

Performance is great with the 3.1 motor. I have added an K&N air filter and my gas mileage and performance has gone up.

Seats are hard in the 98 model year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2002

2nd Nov 2004, 14:38

We purchased a used, 110,500 miles, 1998 Malibu LS 4 months ago. I believe it was the best $2,500 we ever spent! At that price we knew it had a few issues, bad RF wheel bearing, Rear tires and struts, 2 low speeds on fan did not work, and it had some body damage to the RR door. We have fixed all the above at a very reasonable cost and love driving the car. The 3.1 has plenty of power and uses -0- oil.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu from North America


I hate this car!!


I had the starter on the car changed at 23,000 miles.

The battery in the car leaked and acid got on different parts of the car. This happened at 18,000 miles.

I am presently having problems with the air conditioner and heating system. The car has been taken to the dealership on numerous occasions for this problem. If I set the air conditioner or heater to recirculate the air on the inside of the car, it will switch back to fresh air coming into the car. When placing the setting on 3 or above, the air conditioner and heating system makes a roaring noise. This problem started at 29,000 miles.

On two separate occasions, I have hard the car to just stop on me while on the interstate. The car would just die. The dash board would be lit up but the car would come to a rolling stop. The car would be hard to steer when this happened. I took the car to the dealership and was told that they could not find anything wrong with it.

General Comments:

I regret buying this car and would not recommend it to anyone. As soon as it is paid off, I am going to get rid of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th January, 2002

19th Jan 2002, 15:47

I kinda know what you mean. I also have a 1998 Malibu LS. I have had a few problems that you have had. I had my battery leak at like 49,000 miles, and I had the air conditioning problem at like 44,000 miles, that problem was resolved by the dealer, they replaced the HVAC control head.

I am starting to hear some of the same roaring noise from the blower when I turn mine on 4. Sometimes it does it and sometimes it does not.

I still have a few years on this vehicle before it is paid off. I am so happy that I have an extended warranty... I currently have 57,000 miles on it, and I have a warranty till 80,000. I am going to get rid of it before the warranty ends because I truly cannot afford the repairs that this car requires.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS from North America


Nice car, but get the extended warranty!


Front rotors replaced twice since I've got it (less than 60,000kms), last time was done for free as I just went in for pads and they were bad and ruined the rotors.

Engine light coming on and ABS sensors, don't recall the problem, something to do with the manifold, fixed under warranty.

Lower-blower motor replaced twice on heater, once under warranty, once after.

Rear-seat squeaks sometimes, found it's better if you open and close the fold-down seats a couple times.

Fan belt gone around 70,000kms.

Head gasket replaced around 85,000kms.

Bumped into a curb on ice at 15km/hour (10 mph) and it completely folded and seperated the aluminum rim - $646 new, get it from a wrecker, only $100.

General Comments:

I love the way the car drives. It is very responsive and handles corners tightly.

The interior is very roomy and comfortable, and the trunk is huge.

Good location of instruments, radio, middle storage box, and a cup holder on the left as well as the centre is nice.

Sharp looking. :-)

I love this car when it's not in the garage - make sure you GET the extended warranty if you have this car and still have factory warranty left. I didn't, it's probably cost me about $1200 (Canadian) so far.

Kudos to my dealer, Ray Cullen (London, Ontario), who have been excellent in all aspects.

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

Review Date: 14th January, 2002

15th Jan 2002, 09:39

I forgot to add, that the safety of the car is great. The car was rolled on the highway a while back, and other than front-strut repair, everything else was just cosmetic (or caused by the towing company) No one was hurt, seatbelts worked great, and the air-bags did not go off too easily -- since we went into the ditch backwards, if they had gone off, it would have probably caused more injury... http://www.rocca.org/crash/ for details.

Overall I like the car, and would potentially buy another one, but I'd definitely get the extended warranty next time.