15th Nov 2010, 18:32
I too wished I'd read this before buying my '98 Malibu... I've had almost all the same problems. My mechanic tells me that the ABS light is my wheel bearings going bad, which constantly need replaced... and it feels like my ABS are kicking in during dry, hot weather. Very scary, especially with kids in the car!
In the past year, I've been well over $1000 into the car. Brakes constantly need replaced, as well as my entire back end. Then, it was leaking gas. And, one of the back windows will go down when it feels like it. And, wheel bearings.
Today, the wonderful car decided to start shaking & making a horrible noise. I had trouble getting it off the road & stopped... then with no keys in the ignition, it lurched forward (it was in park). I found out I couldn't turn the wheel anymore. When the tow truck came, he couldn't even push the car, it wouldn't move. Can't wait to find out what the problem is, the driver wouldn't let it fall off the truck & wreck itself.
And, the rust! I live in the North, but there is rust popping up everywhere... mainly the rear tire wells & by the gas. As I drive around, I notice rust on the same places on other '98's ~ yay.
I understand that the car is getting older, and I'm at 120,000 miles, but my last car was a Ford, which was older & had over 200,000 miles. The most expensive repair was the alternator.
Even though I can't afford to get a new car, I secretly want this car to die, I'm beginning to hate it & all the money I sink into it. Never, ever again will I buy a Malibu, and probably not a Chevy.
24th Nov 2010, 19:24
I have a 1998 Malibu and had the plugs and wires replaced. There is a vacuum connection on the rear passage side of the upper intake manifold that the was not reconnected. I need to know where to connect the other end of the vacuum line (3.1L V).
Thanks for the help.
11th Dec 2010, 02:08
WELL... I have a 98 MALIBU... and the first problem was the battery.. it went bad.. so with that problem, it threw my fuel gauge off track... Thanks to a wonderful website like this, a guy gave me the idea to get a paper clip and put it in the trip reset, and lift the teeth up on the fuel gauge, so I fixed that problem myself, YAY!!!
My car will not keep antifreeze, so I'm going to buy some stop leak (THANKS again).
My car has been been making a roaring sound from the front passenger side, and now my ABS and BRAKE lights are on.. So I'm looking forward to fixing that, and will keep the hub bearings in mind...
I've replaced tail-lights and reverse lights... my power mirrors aren't working, so I'm not sure if it's the fuse or what.. my A/C doesn't work, but my heat blows on 5 (and that's fine), even though I don't like my passengers to deal with that...
My windshield is cracked, and that probably came from that windshield problem everyone else is having...
MY CAR WAS BOUGHT AT A STEAL ($1900), but I'm looking forward to spending money to get it up to par and keep it up... I DO LOVE THIS CAR!!
1st Mar 2011, 23:49
I have a 98 Malibu, and I have to say that I have had only a few of the problems on this list.
I purchased my car in 2001 with 79,000 on it. In the past 10 years, I have had the brake pads replaced basically once every 2 or 3 years. The theft lock turns on occasionally, but it's more of an inconvenience than anything, usually happens more often in warm weather. ABS light turns on while driving sometimes, but it says in the manual that will happen, and they say to pull it over, turn it off, and turn it back on. I do that and it's fine. Also, everyone should learn how to properly pump their brakes anyhow.
I currently have about 183,000 miles on it. Battery has been replaced once. Pretty routine with oil changes, once in a while I would go past the 3K mark. Alternator has been replaced once. I has a faulty hose years ago that was letting air into the engine, causing it to stall.
It wasn't until recently that I have been having more frequent and more expensive problems. One of my calipers broke and was leaking brake fluid, $300. My engine temperature sensor was broken and leaking antifreeze, causing the car to stall when warm, $200. Now my front engine mount is faulty, $275. I've also had my ignition system and my muffler replaced.
Overall, this car has treated me very well. Also, I too have the rust spot under the gas cap. My car's getting pretty aged now, and as sad as I am to see it go, I plan to buy a new car in the next six months, and trade the Malibu in before it completely eats itself.
I would say though, educating yourself on proper car maintenance and keeping track of the maintenance you do is the best thing for your car.
2nd Mar 2011, 22:10
@11 December 2010; Don't use stop leak or any product like it. It is NOT a fix, it only prolongs the problem, and in some cases makes it worse, plus it dirties up your cooling system fluid and parts! Any GM certified mechanic will agree! The only time I recommend stop leak products is if the car has high mileage, and will cost more to fix the leak than what the vehicle is worth! Otherwise, don't use that kind of products.