1999 Chevrolet Malibu LS 3.1 from North America


Shame on Chevrolet!


A/C recirculate button cuts off and on-has been replaced and still does it.

Driver side window stopped working and control had to be replaced, but dealer did not put door back together right. Window works now tho.

Gas gage is broken. I have to reset my tripometer every time I fill up with gas and have to refill when the trip says 230 miles or I will be walking.

Low coolant light always comes on. Leak in coolant, but we don't know from where.

Paint is coming off the hood and bumper and hood is now rusting. Hoping for rust-through so Chevrolet will have to fix the hood for free.

Trunk leaks water.

Black smoke comes out of the tailpipe when the car is cranked up.

Had to replace radio because the original one was not installed right. The wire that plugged in to the back of the radio just touched the radio and got mostly static.

Ticking sound comes from underneath hood.

Transmission slips. It makes a noise like it is going to fall out of the car when I shift from reverse to drive or park to reverse or drive.

Speedometer is off by 5MPH.

Squeaking brake pedal.

Rear suspension squeaks.

Fog lamp lenses hold water.

General Comments:

Both sun visors should have a lighted mirror.

Never have had to replace any bulbs. The originals from the factory still work-all of them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd January, 2004

12th Jan 2004, 11:44

I find it hard to believe this reviewer and that he is the original owner/purchaser of this car. Also, don't include complaints about "what your dealer hasn't done" in a review that should address universal issues specifically involving the car manufacturer and you, the owner.

I am a second owner of a 1999 Malibu (45,000 miles when purchased) and while it may not be as "tight" or well built as a Nissan, I'm at 85,000 miles and I haven't had to do anything aside from regular maintenance except for getting a valve replaced in the infamous Dex-Cool coolant system... all it takes is a little TLC and regular maintenance.

1999 Chevrolet Malibu 3.1 V6 from North America


It has a shaky future


The car needed new rotors on the front, to correct a problem with a shimmy when depressed.

There is a slow leak in the coolant, but I can't tell where it is coming from. After reading many reviews, I think it is coming from the lower intake gasket. It runs out of coolant, and the light comes on about once a month with no puddling underneath.

General Comments:

All in all this car seems to be pretty good. It is quite peppy and serves my family pretty well. I must say I am a little scared after reading all the horrible reviews at this site and others. Seems like it is mostly in the 97',98',00' models, but I guess I will find out later.

I do all my own work and don't like the car in that aspect. I change the oil every 5,000 miles myself and haven't had any major problems yet. As a mechanic I would like to say that it is not good to make a car that is so hard to work on. There is not enough empty space in car engine bays these days. For instance in order to change the rear plugs you have to reach all the way around everything and search with your fingers. I suppose manufacturers are subtracting unneeded space to make them more compact.

I would like a little larger car with more room to get to the components of the engine that will inevitably break down. A car should be built around ease of repair not anything else. If you don't think so then look at all the poor people that put everything into these cars only to get screwed by the dealers.

Do not buy a NEW car unless you absolutely have the EXTRA money to spend because cars are completely unpredictable.True, some are better than others, but you never will know until you get it out on the road for a while.

Looks mean nothing on a car if you can't drive it. There are many people who say "It is a fast, good looking car, but I wouldn't recommend it". Please let the manufacturers know this. The future of autos needs to be like computers. They are becoming more and more user friendly because people want to actually use their car, not have it in a repair shop all the time.

Take an example from Apple computers. They are moving more and more towards user friendliness. In fact, everything is, so why not cars too. We have so many problems with dealers because they don't care about us as much as we do about ourselves. It's just a hard fact of life. If your car breaks down and you can't go to work, you will stay up all night trying to fix it, right? The dealer will only do what he has to, and if you were in his shoes you probably would too. That is the way it works with cars. Problems are hard to find when you are dealing with such an unfriendly system. Maybe I should invent this thing, and help all the innocent car owners out there. Haha!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2003

30th Dec 2003, 22:54

Not much useful information about '99 Malibu, but an awful lot of babbling about Apple computers and other stuff totally unrelated to your experience with this car..

30th Jan 2004, 09:52

I too had lots of problems with the brakes. After my warranty ran out, I took it to my mechanic. He said the dealer installed composite rotors which aren't the best, so my mechanic gave me solid rotors. I've been running about 16K miles for a year now and the rotors have not warped; my mechanic just checked the brakes... he said they are in excellent condition. I do all highway miles.

The coolant leaking and "disappearing" is probably due the lower intake gasket. It seems to be a problem on most GM V6 engines, from what I gather from reviews. My car is in the shop for this problem right now, will cost about $700; the coolant is most likely disappearing into the engine, which is not good. I made sure I took care of my coolant problem as soon as I noticed it as you will blow the engine without coolant. I hope this will not cause further engine problems down the line.

I too, like others on this site, have had the fan problem on settings 1 & 2, that was fixed and is OK.

The rear brakes lights and turn signals kept going due to the a grid problem, that also was fixed and has not reoccurred.

GM had modified a lot of the parts because these are all common Malibu problems, so if you replace it, it should be good for a while.

I have 97K miles on my Malibu. Overall, I think it has been a reliable car, with some problems, but nothing that couldn't be fixed and nothing that was really reoccurring except for the brakes (we'll see about the lower intake gasket). I hope to get another 30-50K miles on it before I get rid of it.

Good Luck!


15th Dec 2008, 14:58

I have a leak with my intake manifold gasket too. I've put in about a half gallon every two months. I tried some of that stop leak stuff about five months ago and the light hasn't come on since. It seems to have at least slowed the leak. I am afraid of what my mechanic will say to me though. I just figured I could buy a lot of coolant for $700.

Now that you mention it I've had problems with my brakes warping too.

I got the 1 & 2 setting fan switch thing worked on about four years ago and haven't had any more problems. The AC still is underpowered and shuts off a lot when it's hot.

I had the passlock fail on me once which required a tow but now it's fine.

Overall, I think it has had a very low cost of ownership and has never left me stranded anywhere.