25th Aug 2007, 15:35
I own a 98 Malibu with the 'lemon package'.
The front brakes are horrible. Have had to change the rotors/pads a couple times. Have a new set of rotors/pads on it now, and it sounds likes the driver side pads are dragging/shot when braking (even though they are brand spanking new). With the car parked and firm pressure applied on the brake, I get a nice creaking noise.
My ABS light enjoys popping on at random times.
I also had trouble with anti-theft system, causing the car not to start or die while going down the road. Determined the problem was in the ignition lock cylinder (a small amount of lubricant seemed to take of this problem).
My A/C seems to have trouble switching from the outside vent to the recycled air settings. I have to switch to defrost to get it to change.
I had paint peeling off around rear wheel well when spraying off my car at the local car wash (this happened when the car was just a year or two old). My local dealers fix for this was cream colored appliance touch up paint... my car is bright white! Upon a closer look at the front and rear bumpers I notice that I can actually see the black plastic on certain edges due to such a lousy paint job.
I am very disgusted with Chevy and GM, and will never buy another car made by either of 'em. I advise everyone else to do the same.
The front brake problem is a major safety issue and should be grounds for a recall. It's such a widespread problem that almost everyone is experiencing. It's obvious these guys aren't too concerned with their customer's safety.
7th Sep 2007, 19:28
I have owned a 1998 Malibu since new, it is the last GM automobile I will ever own. I am an automobile collector and I do all of my work myself, the Malibu is a horrible car. Here's the list of problems I have had:
1. Engine was losing coolant. This is caused by leaking lower intake manifold gaskets which are difficult to replace. I have replaced mine twice. GM produced an improved gasket set in 2003. ($150 parts and 2 days of my time each time this happened).
2. ABS light would not go off. This was caused by a defective sensor in one of the front wheels. The bearing and hub assembly has the sensor built into it so the whole thing had to be replaced. ($150 part and 6 hours of my time).
3. Tail lights not working. I have replaced two of these--the first one was leaking and water became trapped in the tail light and corroded the circuit board. The second time, the heat of the brake lights caused the plastic sockets to deform and then the brake light would not work. ($300 for used parts and 3 hours of my time).
4. The fan switch would not work on positions 1 and 2. I fixed this by replacing the resistor board located under the dash on the passenger's side. ($40 part and 1 hour of my time).
5. The car is on it's 4th set of brake pads and second set of rotors. The brake pads only wear on one side--I forget which (Inside or outside). The rear brake shoes hardly have any wear. ($150 parts and 6 hours of my time to repair the front brakes).
6. Alternator failed. I replaced the diode module in the alternator. ($40 parts and 3 hours of my time).
7. Turn signals would "click" for no reason. I removed the turn signal switch from the steering column and cleaned with electrical contact cleaner and re-installed the switch. (No cost, but 2 hours of my time).
8. Replaced water pump. ($75 and 3 hours of my time).
9. Replaced power steering hose ($100 and 2 hours of my time).
10. The check engine light will not go off. The computer codes tell me I need a new EGR valve. I ordered that today. ($250).
11. The A/C works intermittently--I haven't dealt with that yet. I am just trying to keep the car on the road at this point.
The car presently has 240000km--all problems began at approximately 90000km.
I know there are many people who are very loyal to GM, but it's time to give your head a shake. I am now making a deal on a foreign car.
19th Sep 2007, 21:12
I have owned a 1998 Malibu ls since 2002 & have had normal problems with GM products from this time frame. I also own 2 2000 GM products that have same problems as the Malibu. this last year has been the worse for a car that had only 31000 (4 years old when we bought it). It now only has 76000, & am doubting it will survive the next 5 years as I like to own my cars at least 10 years with good maintenance. if you are going to buy any GM product in this time frame find out if possible it has had head gasket replaced. Lost of coolant is happening to my 2000 olds van & looks like head gasket is problem, but no visual evidence yet shows in oil or coolant. My 1998 Malibu has been a good car & looks real good inside & out so not all bad news. ABS light, check oil lights are constant "dummy lights" that my mechanic says nothing wrong, fix if ya want or ignore. Hopefully I get 5 more years out of these vehicles, but I think I'll pass on a GM product for a while.
24th Oct 2007, 21:07
Wow, I am glad I am not the only one, I have a 1998 Malibu and has been nothing but problems since I bought it.
Same problem with the front brake pads only wearing on one side.
I've had to replace the intake gasket twice.
The A/C works whenever it decides to, which really sucks when you live in Arizona.
ABS light theft light, e-brake light and check engine light are all constantly on. My instrument panel looks like a freaking Christmas tree.
I could go on and on about this car, but won't. It is the first and last American car I will ever buy.
29th Oct 2007, 17:40
I have owned two 98 Malibu's. I think they are a great car.
Most of the problems I see everyone talking about are not out of the ordinary for being 10 years old and high mileage. Things like alternator, shocks, coils, are not meant to last 50 years.
I have had a problem with my ebrake light on, and it randomly would ding at me when going down the road. My solution was to take out the ebrake sensor. only do this if you check the brake fluid regularly. The brake still works and no dinging!
I have had to replace my pads quite a few times, but also replaced rotors and callipers, so I just thought it was poor maintenance by the previous owners.
Have had to replace the lower intake gasket; luckily I knew what to look for and caught it before antifreeze got in the oil.
As far as a radiator leak, my overflow tank had a crack in the seam, nothing some gorilla glue won't fix.
Had no A/C when we bought it, but had it charged professionally and works great for the last two summers, with the exception of the light going back and forth, but all blower speeds work.
Yes I know, this seems like a lot of problems, but when you consider that my car has 193k on it, and I own it with no payment, it's a great car.