10th Mar 2008, 18:22
I also have a 1998 Malibu. We just bought it on Valentines day, In 3 weeks we have had to replace the transmission, the harmonic balancer, leaks in coolant lines and countless leaks in the fuel line. I am OK with routine maintenance however the repairs that are huge are starting to wear on me. we also have the issue with the ABS light. I really wish I'd researched this car a little better before buying.
10th Apr 2008, 09:30
Me and my mother, both have Malibus.
Mine is a 1999 with the 2.4 Ecotech in it (previously hers).
Hers is a 1998 with the 3.1 SFI.
Two years ago, while towing a 20 foot boat with my car (1999 2.4 Ecotech), the engine overheated and blew (my fault), because we had towed all summer, every weekend, a 4 hour drive with this boat. It finally blew after 7 trips in the fall of 2006. This same year, the left ball joint went.
Other than that, and the alternator, which died the fall of 2007, I have had no problems with this car. It has its original battery, and the only repairs done have all been standard tires, brakes and oil.
The 1999 2.4 Ecotech still has its original transmission, which now has 450 000 kms on it, and works perfectly.
The only issue is my parking wire is getting loose; have to jiggle it when on a hill.
For the 1998 3.1 SFI, it has had the issue of the left wheel bearing going, and that's it. The reason for both cars having their left wheel bearing going, is because we live on a corner, and the left wheel hits our slightly heightened curb at the end of our driveway at least 4 times a day.
These are amazing cars. I have two of them, and have multiple friends with the same vehicle; never any problems. The only one that has been scrapped, was a good friend who rolled his.
I am 18, and drive my car as if it were a Porsche on a track in Germany. The tires spin out of the driveway every time I leave. Same for when I leave school. I race friends driving F150s and Chargers all the time (usually don't win, but it's damn close).
This car is by far the best I've seen on the road. If you guys are actually seriously having these problems, I can't imagine what your doing to them, because after towing with this second engine and playing around in the snow with this car, I have had none of the same issues.
GM's hold up great when they are driven by people who don't think cars fix themselves.
Years ago, the decision was made to make the cars lighter, quicker and better on gas. In order to accomplish this goal, they sacrificed the over sized and over kill parts that were in cars in the 60's. Now it is about performance, not raw ability to be beaten to hell.
18th Aug 2008, 11:02
My girlfriend owns a 99 Malibu, it is not a bad car. It now has 111,000 miles on it and ever since it has reached 100,000 miles it has been having its faults.
The drivers door window motor is starting to act up, the 1, 2, does not work for the air switch, and the damn tapping on cold starts, and even when warmed up there is still a tapping. It's not the lifters because we've already checked them. I would just like to know who has figured this problem out.
Other than those few problems, the car has been great, I love to take this car out on the town with the 18" wheels we put on it. I got to tell you it's the best looking Malibu that I have seen.
9th Oct 2008, 17:54
I just got a battery changed in a '97 Chevy Malibu and my fuel gauge, cd player, and lighter are now broken.
Anyone else have this happen?
29th Jan 2009, 10:37
1997 Malibu 3.1.
Bought used two years ago with 35,000km on it.
Nothing abnormal in servicing except its ability to eat front wheel bearings???
The air conditioner keeps developing leaks??
We are getting 9l/100km, its reliable and has a huge trunk. Overall its been not a bad used car to buy. We are at 100,000km and have no hesitation to take it on long trips. If I had to buy it again I would. The only big ticket item was the intake manifold gasket but we knew that going in and with the low purchase price we still came out ahead. My only frown is its on its 3rd set of bearings, oh well, still way less money than a new car loan and if it gets crushed or stolen I'll have no tears.
3rd Jun 2010, 16:05
This is all crazy to me. I know when you buy a used car, you get what you get, but for some of you who bought the car new, I have and had all the same problems over and over again. It's really a shame when you put in all your hard earned money into a car, but it's really worthless!!! I feel like driving the car into a ditch!!!
I hate the car; I went from a Subaru (which I loved) to a Malibu only because the Sub was in an accident. I would never in my life buy another Chevy. I wouldn't even take one as a gift. They suck, and that's why people buy Honda's and Toyota's and anything else that's not American. NEVER AGAIN!!!
21st Jun 2010, 14:53
I got the 1997 Malibu free from my grandparents. It has 70k miles. They were tired of fixing the belts, pullies and starter over and over. I have had the car a year, and have replaced the belts twice, power steering twice, pulley twice. Seems to be a problem! But the car was free. If I can ride it through next year I will be happy.
12th Dec 2010, 21:13
I bought my 1997 Chevy Malibu in 2001 with 57000 miles on it with one owner, highway miles.
One week later it dropped a lifter, first major repair. The vehicle's paperwork did show some abuse, maintenance wise.
The vehicle's paperwork also showed a shutdown of the dash panel controls. This of course was before I owned the car.
I soon found that there were certain things peculiar to this vehicle. Like most of the comments listed here, I too faced the situations of brakes, rotor and bearing problems. The belts and idler pulleys, along with the ABS light, which has been on for ten years that I have owned the car.
The anti-theft system has shut me down a few times, replaced the ignition system lock which solved that problem. The heat/AC blower #1, #2 also is not working. I notice that some of these models have the tendency to rust out badly around the gas cap lid area.
In defense of this vehicle, at least on my part, and for the car I own, some of this is wear and tear, which is normal. I have driven the car every day since I have owned it with only a week at the longest down time, only once at that.
I like the style of Malibu, which is comfortable, powerful, a good family car. The car has 192000 miles on it at this time.
Two interesting things that I have noted about the car, is that in ten years, I have never put a plug in this car, they are the same ones that were there when I bought it.
Secondly, without warning, the radio will come on blasting loud for no reason I can understand.
I am going to try and get 200000 miles this coming year.