1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS from North America - Comments

26th Jan 2011, 03:55

'WE' own a 1998 Malibu LS with a 3.1 Liter engine. Only problems (to date) have been 2 intake manifold gasket replacements (w/i 20k miles) and a non-stop series of left rear brake light failures (NOT bulb related)! Already replaced bulbs, cleaned all sockets, etc. Lasts about 30 days.

ANY further ideas???


28th Mar 2011, 19:45

I have a used 98 Malibu LS 3.1.

I have only had it for 2 weeks and my car is already overheating, I can only turn the ignition on if the key is in the right way and I kinda pull down and turn. Also the gear shift the PRNDL has a loose top.

This is my first car so I guess I will be learning a lot. Does anyone else have a transmission reservoir that leaks at the seal?

I guess I should have done my homework before I bought this.

29th Jun 2011, 13:41

I have a 98 Malibu LS (3.1) and have dealt with common problems as follows...

(1) Brake lights. I noticed that the sockets in the original circuit boards had melted and and burned in places. I ordered replacement circuit boards online (can't recall where). I think it was $30-40, and all is well now.

(2) Intake manifold gasket. Had replaced twice.

(3) Fan speeds missing. 1 and 2 don't work. I deal with 3, 4 and 5.

(4) A/C on-off-on-off-etc problem. Usually find a spot on the temp knob that works and then pull off the knob. I found this PDF on fixing the underlying circuits with a pencil (http://www.imcool.com/articles/aircondition/AC_ControllersAreRepairable.pdf). I haven't tried it, however.

(5) ABS sensor light. I ignore it. I have verified that my ABS works, whether it is on or not. Still... I don't trust them completely, and choose to drive defensively to compensate.

(6) Water pooling in rear passenger side floor. This has only started in the past couple of weeks. It seems to be coming in the door. The armrest shows signs of water damage, and the hinge was wet and showed signs of rust. I haven't had time to pull the door apart to see what's going on. I do have an aftermarket sun roof, and think a drain may be clogged.

(7) Grinding sound from brakes under heavy braking. My mechanic said there wasn't a problem, so I just ignore.

(8) "Clunk" from suspension over speed bumps, entering driveways, etc. Haven't addressed it.

(9) Passenger side power mirror flops down. I used a medium "alligator" document clip to hold it at the proper angle. Thankfully the L-R adjustment works.

(10) Occasional "chirping" coming from (what I think is) front wheels. Best I can tell this is a product of me manually shifting my automatic transmission in heavy traffic. Doing this means that I run in 2nd or 3rd for extended periods. Don't know why this causes this sound, but if I don't do the manual shifting, then the car doesn't chirp.

That's all I can think of at the moment...

11th Jun 2012, 12:30

8.). It's not "theft needles". It's a sensor on the top of the key cylinder called a Pass Lock sensor. It's the anti-theft sensor, and you are correct in that when it fails, it forgets the key's passcode. Another piece of crap electronics from GM. What it does is literally disables the fuel injectors, so you are not going anywhere. I bit the bullet and purchased a replacement key cylinder from Autozone for $178, and installed it myself.

1) What resister do I need? I am having that issue with the blower motor.

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