1998 Chevrolet Malibu
1-10 of 16 reviews
Test drive review

1998 and still driving it

by from Spring, TX on March 8, 2017

I bought my 1998 in 2000 used. It runs great and I've had no major issues with it beyond normal wear and tear. I believe my nine year old son will probably be driving it when he turns 16.
I bought my 1998 in 2000 used. It runs great and I've had no major issues with it beyond normal wear and tear. I believe my nine year old son will probably be driving it when he turns 16.
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

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Test drive review

Not reliable

by from Seattle, Washington on May 14, 2007

This car has cost me so much in repair bills. I spent over $5000 in repairs that were not covered by the dealer. I'm not sure about how much the dealer paid in repairs, but it must have been more than...
This car has cost me so much in repair bills. I spent over $5000 in repairs that were not covered by the dealer. I'm not sure about how much the dealer paid in repairs, but it must have been more than I spent. Gas mileage was good around 26-28 miles to the gallon. Confortable ride. Cracked intake manifold, suspension coils broke, manifold gasket went out more than once. Brake pads are to hard for rotor and cause excessive wear, (not counted in the $5000 worth of repairs) Avoid 1997-1998 models. Reliabiliy is why I scored this car so low. It had great power and handling, so I was suprised when I started bringing it to the shop after I purchased it.
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Purchased a used car

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

PIECE OF ROLLING SCRAP METAL!

by from usa on April 25, 2007

Worst car I have ever owned in my entire life. Four days after buying it the engine locked up. The dealer replaced it and gave me a year warranty on it. A few months later I had more engine problems w...
Worst car I have ever owned in my entire life. Four days after buying it the engine locked up. The dealer replaced it and gave me a year warranty on it. A few months later I had more engine problems with it and the dealer would not honor the warranty. It cost me another $500 to get it going again. Transmission went out six months later, this cost about $1,100 to replace. The cataylic converter went out a while later costing another $300. It has gone through several sets of front brakes and rotors over the last 2 years. It looks great, but I wish I would have just kept my beat up 1989 Chevy Corsica It had almost 200,000 miles on it when I traded it for this rolling piece of scrap metal and was the most reliable car I ever owned.
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

suspension coil broke

by from Long Island on June 13, 2008

I bought this vehicle 4 years ago, and it's had relatively few problems. I love the affordable features like a/c & cd, and timeless styling, which still looks current (heck, I think they're still bein...
I bought this vehicle 4 years ago, and it's had relatively few problems. I love the affordable features like a/c & cd, and timeless styling, which still looks current (heck, I think they're still being built as fleet cars). My criticism is with the inferior materials used in the making of this car. Last year, the break line burst after corroding. I was in my driveway but easily could have had complete break failure on the road. Winter salt might be to blame but I think European cars use anti-corrosive materials. This week, a suspension coil broke. The car was sitting in the driveway, and suddenly the driver's side wheel dropped several inches. The repair for both sides to even it out is over $700, which is cheaper than a new car. What will give out next I wonder. Again, New York potholes might be to blame. The car is fast, comfortable, roomy, and not too big. When I owned a '92 VW Passat, the timing belt broke, and the VW never ran more than a week at a time again. The body & interior of the Passat were amazing and made for eternity but the 4 cyl. engine was an exotic piece of junk. I wish I'd kept my Mitsubishi Mighty Max. On the Malibu, the paint is starting to bubble around the gas tank. One of the Malibu's tail lights has always filled up with water and leaked water into the trunk. The water then collects in the spare tire reservoir. This nasty water is impossible to get out, and freezes in the winter, slowly eroding the bottom of the trunk. A new tail light assembly only slightly improved the situation. The tail light rubber seals are cheaply made. I could take this Malibu apart with a screw driver, which also makes it easier to fix for mechanics.
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

cheap to keep

by from pa on January 29, 2007

super reliable. some have intake manifold leaks, but it is an easy fix. gas mileage easily as advertised, get into the thirties on a regular basis. would buy another one
super reliable. some have intake manifold leaks, but it is an easy fix. gas mileage easily as advertised, get into the thirties on a regular basis. would buy another one
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Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

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Test drive review

dont buy

by from illinois on May 9, 2009

i have had nothing but trouble with this vehicle. mechanics have said why did you buy this it is the worst vehicle made. they were right. i have put a lot of money into this car just so i can keep bre...
i have had nothing but trouble with this vehicle. mechanics have said why did you buy this it is the worst vehicle made. they were right. i have put a lot of money into this car just so i can keep breaking down. i am in the process of buying a new car but to let everyone know how horrible this car is!
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Work

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

good car; don't expect Mercedes engineering

by from Georgia on August 15, 2011

We've had good luck with this car. Over 150K miles and it has been a dependable commuter car. Some of the parts are inferior though. For example, belt pulleys are plastic and one exploded on me while ...
We've had good luck with this car. Over 150K miles and it has been a dependable commuter car. Some of the parts are inferior though. For example, belt pulleys are plastic and one exploded on me while driving on the interstate (replaced all pulleys with aftermarket steel ones); plastic interior parts break around the dash; FM radio is weak and AM radio does not work. I think the key is to change the oil regularly. Oh -- the fuel gauge broke and apparently this happens frequently enough that there is a Technical Service Bulletin on it -- but the dealer won't let me have it and NHTSA charges $25 for it on their webpage. Since the taxpayer bailed these guys out, the least they can do is spring for a lousy TSB.
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Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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Test drive review

Not a bad car.

by from Cincinnati, OH on May 28, 2012

I bought this 98 Malibu LS from my niece who bought it new. It had 150K on it when I bought it and it was in decent shape still. She had kept up the maintenance on it well. While she owned it, she had...
I bought this 98 Malibu LS from my niece who bought it new. It had 150K on it when I bought it and it was in decent shape still. She had kept up the maintenance on it well. While she owned it, she had to have the intake manifold gaskets replaced TWICE. (This is a VERY common problem with GM's 3.1 liter engine. They know it but won't stand behind it. A Chevrolet technician told me that GM never did solve the problem in production.) There is debate over what causes the intake gasket to blow. Some say its due to the GM's corrosive DEXCOOL coolant. Some say its poor quality gaskets. Some say the intake manifold bolts stretch and loosen. Whatever the cause, its not uncommon to have the intake gaskets replaced over and over. I drove the car for about a year and a half (10K miles) and had the intake gaskets blow again (3rd time). About three months after that repair, the timing cover gasket started leaking coolant as well. Other than the coolant leaks, it has been a very reliable car. Average looks, decent MPG for a V-6, nice ride for a midsize car, average comfort. I've heard of another common problem with these Mailbus: Body control modules going bad which keep the car from starting intermittently. I did not experience this problem with my particular Malibu.
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

Got my moneys worth, and still driving it.

by from Atlanta, GA on September 2, 2008

Purchased Dec 03 for $4,000. Looked good, and ran well at the time. Spent around $1,200 on the A/C the following summer, they never got it right. Doesn't always cool at slow speeds, but great on the r...
Purchased Dec 03 for $4,000. Looked good, and ran well at the time. Spent around $1,200 on the A/C the following summer, they never got it right. Doesn't always cool at slow speeds, but great on the road. Replaced tires shortly after purchase. Brakes last Winter, 109K on car at time. I now have 113K, the tires just around 30K, 1/2 the Guarantee millage, but according to Sam's, expires after 4 year. The CD player just stopped playing, and the AM doesn't work. Shop, said replace antenna. Hey for 4 Grand, plus another $1,600 for repairs, and tires = $5,600. It still looks good, runs well, get 18-30 miles to the gallon. I really can not complain to laud. If I just could find some one to fix the A/C correctly, I would keep it another 4 years. I had 180K on my Corsica, and I purchased that used. It had the same engine, but a 3 speed trans.
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Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

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Test drive review

Worst car I have EVER owned!

by from Everett, WA on March 23, 2008

I bought my Malibu LS about four years ago, and less than six months after buying it, I was forced to dump over $1K into it just to get it moving again. Since then, it has been nothing but a headache ...
I bought my Malibu LS about four years ago, and less than six months after buying it, I was forced to dump over $1K into it just to get it moving again. Since then, it has been nothing but a headache for me and has almost spent more time in the shop than being driven. I have put almost as much money into keeping it running as I spent on the purchase price. Every time I get something major on it fixed and/or replaced, something else major breaks or cracks or blows up. I just spent about $1k on getting it running again, and the engine is now smoking. I refuse to 'fix' it again, and am now searching for an Audi or VW. I will never, EVER, buy a Chevy again, and I would love to have my 1985 Nissan hatchback back.
Comfort
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Exterior Styling
Interior Design
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does not recommend this car

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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