21st Nov 2007, 20:08
Hi all Malibu owners.
Here may be some solutions to your problems that are very common.
1.) Coolant leaks - common areas for this leak are the water pump and the lower intake gaskets - caused by the gm dexcool coolant that when not flushed (rec: 24000 miles 24 mo.) can become acidic and eat away at the gasket material. (open radiator cap with cold engine and notice gel around radiator neck, that is not oil, but dexcool that has become acidic) if your car is out of factory warranty have this flushed and replaced with a regular ethylene glycol green antifreeze. look on front and rear of engine block and you can see where the coolant leaks from the gaskets. good fel-pro gaskets and a switch to green takes care of this issue.
2.) ABS Light - the ABS sensors commonly fail in these vehicles. this repair can become costly because the sensor is and internal part of the front wheel brgs.
3.) ABS, Brake, and service vehicle soon (not service engine soon, they have two different lights) - this issue may be cause by a bad alternator. even though the alternator may be charging properly it can send out AC signals that confuse the computer and trigger these lights.
4.) No Start - issue with the security system of this vehicle usually internally in the ignition switch assembly.
5.) Brakes wearing unevenly - replacing the brakes with high quality ceramic pads (adaptive one - napa) and properly cleaning the brake slides will cure this issue. many "mechanics" do not perform this task and just put pads in and be done. properly cleaning and lubricating the brake slides will allow the caliper and pads to move freely. this will allow the inner and outer pad to wear evenly.
6.) Front brakes wearing quick - many "mechanics" do not properly clean and adjust the rear drum brakes. with the rear brakes out of adjustment the front brakes are overworked and wear prematurely.
7.) Blown blower motor inop. on certain speeds - this issue is common on these vehicles. check airflow into airbox (leaves piled up on cowl area, plugged cabin air filter if equipped) any restrictions to the airflow causes the blower motor to be overworked and burn out the resistor.
8.) Clunk noise over bumps - this can be caused by many common suspension issues. (ball-joints, sway-links, tie rod ends, control arm bushings that come un-bonded and allow play in control arm) these issues should be diagnosed properly and dealt with on a proper basis.
9. Poor shift or slipping - changing your transmission oil is a very overlooked yet important preventative maintenance item. you should have the fluid flushed and changed every 30000 miles. or 30 mo. (25000 miles. 25 mo. during harsh driving or weather conditions) at 60000 the transmission oil filter should also be changed. there is no dipstick on these transmissions to check the condition of the fluid. so it is very important that this service be performed.
Hope this information helps.
Written by a qualified ASE certified automotive technician. Any questions or comments, please write and I will try and help you the best I can hardrock4445@gmail, com (replace the comma with a period, this is to prevent spam).
21st Jun 2008, 01:22
I guess I'm not alone, I have a 98 lemon, and it was a great car for about a year. That's when my a/c decide to work whenever it felt like it, the ABS light use to come on from time to time now it always on, for some reason my E-brake lights is on, took it to a mechanic and couldn't find any reason for it to be on. Had to re-wire the fuel pump because there's a short somewhere. My brake lights last about a year before they burn out. I gave up on the brakes and just replace the pads and rotors once a year, I've replaced the intake gasket twice and it's leaking again. I only drive 10 miles a day, can't imagine how bad it would be if I drove more. This car is killing me financially but I can't afford to go out and buy a new one, wish I could sell it but couldn't with a clean conscious. My wife has a 1993 Toyota with 210,000 miles and hasn't any repairs except a speed control sensor and CV boot.
26th Aug 2008, 12:42
I have a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu - The air conditioning switch stopped working a few months back and then the next day it started again. I could only use it on 1-2- or 3 - Last evening on the way home from work, it stopped all together. Of course it was 105 degrees out (Phoenix, Arizona area). My husband looked on the web and found other people with the same problem. He is now on his way to the Chevy dealer to get "resister" part that is underneath the dash on the passenger side - hopefully this will fix the problem.
16th Sep 2008, 14:34
I have a 1998 Chevy Malibu. The coolant leaks into oil. I am going to replace the intake manifold seal; will this fix it for good?
29th Oct 2008, 22:12
There is really no hope for this car, it just gets worse so get rid of it while you can I would not recommend it to anyone, it's just a really bad lemon!!!
21st Nov 2008, 21:49
I have had my 1998 Malibu for ten years. The only problem the car has ever had is the front brake pads.
20th Apr 2009, 00:04
I have a 98 Malibu, also. I haven't had any major problems with it other than normal wear and tear. But now I have developed a problem with my coolant. When driven down the road about 10 miles or so, the coolant reservoir starts leaking very badly, to the point I have to add more coolant just to get home. I changed the reservoir just in case of a small crack, but the problem still exists. Does anyone have any input for me? Thanks.
14th May 2009, 10:33
I have a 2002 Malibu LS, the second of these cars I have owned. My previously car was a 2000 and thankfully I had no problems with it. Unfortunately I was in an accident and had to replace it. I had no issues with buying the same car because I had such good luck with the other one.
This car...has issues. The anti theft deterrent light keeps coming on and then the car won't start. This has happened at the most unfortunate of times.. Like when I'm trying to get to work and has made me late twice. I have taken it in for service and no one knows why this keeps happening.. It seems though to happen most often when it's damp out.
My brakes have been replaced a few times already, and recently the brake pedal when it's depressed makes the most horrible creaking sound. I had the brakes checked and was told they were still good.
I haven't has any problems with the AC or heat (yet). Sometimes the car will beep when the key fob is pressed, and sometimes it doesn't sometimes the doors lock automatically when the car is put in drive and sometimes it doesn't. I can't figure this out. I really think that whoever manufactured this car should take some responsibility for the problems that honest car buyers have had, and cover some of the costs we have had. Does anyone know whether there has ever been a recall on these models? I have yet to find that out.
20th Nov 2009, 19:47
I owned a 2006 Malibu (bought it new) had the car for 3 months.
During this time I replaced the front brakes and rotors twice.
The first time I took it to a GM dealer and they told me the brakes were fine, a week later I couldn't handle the noise so, I took it to yet another dealer and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with them.
I took it upon myself to check them. It was metal on metal, on the inside shoes. How they could not see this! (3,000 miles on the odometer) Although it was under warranty, I replaced the rotor and pads out of pocket.
About a month later we took it on vacation (about 1,000 miles) and it started making the same noise.
This time when I took it to yet anther GM dealer, I requested to see the brakes while they had it up on the lift. The brakes and rotors were replaced for the 2nd time. I was lucky my wife became pregnant, with our 3rd and had to get a FORD minivan.