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4.4

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,309 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1998 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #18

Nov 012005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,657 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

1998 Chevy Malibu: Faulty intake manifold gasket resulting in coolant leak, gasket has been replaced twice within 100,000 miles (may be related to mandated usage of dexcool antifreeze in vehicle per manufacturer).

- Walton, KY, USA

problem #17

Sep 032005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1. I checked the coolant level in the reservoir and noticed coolant was needed. I put water into the reservoir (car was on) and everything seemed to be fine. I drove the car about 10 miles. I stopped to put gas in and noticed water/coolant coming from under the car. I replaced the water and drove to a mechanic. The mechanic told me that my intake gasket needed to be replaced; he showed me the leakage coming from the side of the engine. He also stated, this is a common problem with this type of car. Similar comments had been made to me in the past in regards to the intake gasket; mechanics, auto part sales men and the dealer where I get my car serviced had all been concerned in the past for this area of my car, but until now everything had been fine; 2. failure of the intake gasket prevented the engine coolant from maintaining the proper coolant level, the consequence was that I needed to take time out of my day to inquire about this matter and seek advice in preventing further damage; 3. I have an appointment to fix the problem on Tuesday (9/6/05). I will not have my car for a full day due to this problem and the estimate to fix the car was $550 to $600 dollars.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 012003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased my 1998 Malibu, it's had nothing but problems. Since I bought this car in November of 2001 with in less than a week of purchasing I had to take the car back to dealer and have them fix a problem because check engine light was on, I am unsure of the exact problem but I do know the car did not pass emissions and if I had to pay for it, it would have cost me over 500 dollars, I have replaced my front brakes on 3 occasions, I have fixed the leaking transmission 2X, I have replaced the tail light bulbs about 4X, I replaced the alternator and the lining is coming off the trunk. These are all problems I had in less then 2 years of owning the vehicle. Since March 2004 I have been unable to drive my vehicle. I have replaced the fuel pump, water pump, 2 of the injectors and there have been other small repairs here and there. Every time I fix something within less then a week of driving it there is something else wrong I am unable to repair it until I can save enough money to put more into it. I am currently replacing the injectors which I have already paid 600 dollars and have 4 more to go. I am worried that after I put this money into it I will still have more problems, I have been told that there is some electrical problem in the dash but they are unsure exactly what it is because the car will not run long enough to figure out. Nobody can tell me everything that is wrong with because I need to fix one problem before they can be sure of the next. This car was the worst purchase I have made. I was unable to register my vehicle last year due to all the problems. I have been on several web sites and about this car and everyone is having similar problems and putting out thousands of dollars in repairs.

- Kearns, UT, USA

problem #15

Jul 022005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,900 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The engine leaked coolant and oil from the block, which is not supposed to happen. My car then overheated on the road which led to my coolant bursting out of the overfill tank. The engine then started to steam, and all the coolant laid there on the road. I was told by 3 different shops that it was the head gasket that needed to be replaced, which cost me $1000 in parts and labor.

- El Granada, CA, USA

problem #14

May 122001

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
Number of problems since the car was purchased new in 1998. The front brakes have been an ongoing problem, the cooling system has a leak at the intake manifold and numerous other major problems that everyone I talk to or read about is having the same problems with this car. Chevy will not do anything about it.

- Granite Falls, NC, USA

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problem #13

Aug 052004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
Radiator fluid leeks because of bad manifold gasket.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #12

May 092003

Malibu

  • 72,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was told I had a coolant leak which caused my cam to break in my engine. I had to replace my engine with a used one. I contacted GM for some help and they gave me none. They would not recognize the problem with the manufactured defect on the coolant system. I am out of pocket nearly two thousand dollars on a car that should be still going strong with the original engine and still, uncomfortable with this used engine as I may have the same problem again down the road. I am very upset and disappointed with GM because I put a lot of trust in them and their vehicles and they let me down. Not only that, but I have had consistent brake problems. Something needs to be done about this. There are too many people having the same problems with this type of vehicle and it would be a sad thing to wait until there are fatalities to rectify the situation.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #11

Jun 252003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
Intake gasket leaking, needs replacement.

- Minoa, NY, USA

problem #10

Sep 222002

Malibu 4WD

  • miles
I was on a major highway when I tried to get over in another lane. I could not because my steering wheel would not turn. So, when I could get over I heard a loud bang under my hood. All my lights lit up and I could not stop my car. I tried to make it home and my car started smoking. I called my mechanic and found out that my belt had popped off along with the pulley that was burned badly. My antifreeze was leaking also, I went alone w/my mechanic to get the part and was informed by autozone that it was a recall on this part. I was not notified at any time buy the company. I called and reported it this morning and was informed that is not true. I have the part to show that this is a danger because the part is a cheap piece of plastic. The corporate office was al so rude and stated my warranty had expired and that it was nothing they could do. Also, I called the dealer and was informed there was no recall and they were not gone to handle this situation. Nlm

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #9

Dec 072001

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
Antifreeze was leaking into the engine causing the check engine light to illuminate. Nlm

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #8

Apr 182002

Malibu

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Consumer states coolant is leaking around the water pump area, dealer was not notified at this time. Nlm

- Airville, PA, USA

problem #7

Dec 072001

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
Antifreeze was leaking into the engine causing the check engine light to illuminate. Nlm

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #6

May 012001

Malibu

  • miles
I bought the extended warranty and I feel my car is a lemon. Every single person with a Malibu has had problems and we really need help since Chevrolet wants to ignore the problems. With all the problems I will have paid for this car twice after all of the repais I have incorred.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #5

Oct 102001

Malibu

  • miles
Engine cooling fluid is leaking from underneath. Dealership is aware of problem.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #4

May 131998

Malibu

  • miles
The coolant was leaking into my engine. I was told the engine block was cracked, after being without my car for 4 days, they told me it was just a gasket leaking. They then "as good citizens" repaired my car under warrenty and charged me $73.95 for an oil change and fuel filter because these things had to be done while they were investigating the leak. I had just recently had my oil changed. Within the first few months of having my car I noticed serveral problems that I reported to the dealer and was waved off several times. I even rode with a service manager who explained that the ticking in the engine, the whinning my window made when rolling it up or down, the squeeking in the front and back of car were all normal because my car was settling like a house does. These noises and squeeks are normal!!! shortly there after, my wheel bearings were replaced, my window failed to roll up while on my way to work when it began pouring rain. The ticking noise was explained three years later, since the coolant was leaking into my engine. I have replaced break pads, and my rotars and am on my way to replacing both again at 36,000 miles. The ticking noise in my car is still present and now the air conditioner goes out intermittently while driving. I replaced the lamps in my break lights twice before another Malibu owner told me it was a problem in the circuit board. I am not happy with this vehicle and can't wait until I can afford to get rid of it. I will never buy another Chevy unless the choose to rectify this situation. After reading the other compliants I now see I am not the only person to ever report the leaking of the coolant and am frustrated since I was told this was never seen before!!!

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #3

Sep 122000

Malibu

  • miles
Vehicle would overheat and engine check light would stay on while driving at low speed. Vehicle would not overheat while driving at high speed. Dealer was notified. Feel free to provide any further information.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 202000

Malibu 4WD

  • miles
My Malibu has had both front brake shoes replaced twice. The rotors and calipars replaced the altinator replaced. Now the coolant system is leaking all over the engine. The passenger window will not roll down everytime. The dashboard is loose and rattles. My A/C light in car clicks on and off. The left tailight burned out twice. That's all that I can think of right now.

- Haltom, TX, USA

problem #1

Nov 051998

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
Alternator, engine cooling system, main computer, grounding wirtes, engine, and the glove compartment has failed.

- Littleton, CO, USA

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