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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,056 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Feb 032009

Malibu

  • 93,000 miles

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

Vehicle passlock system prevents starting of vehicle. Has occurred numerous times, incident date shown is most recent. The vehicle is old, things will break, things will go bad. That is understood, but after visiting many websites and reading an untold number of identical complaints, two things are apparent: 1) GM is aware of the problem, and 2) GM is unable to give customers experiencing this problem constant, permanent, or satisfactory resolution. Not when you have different dealerships providing different diagnoses for the same problem, and not when, after components are replaced, the complaint resurfaces. It's not a worn out switch we're complaining about. It's a theft system which is preventing a lawful operator with the appropriate vehicle key from starting the vehicle. This problem should be recalled because it is the result of poor engineering and customers shouldn't have to pay for repairs due to faulty engineering. Particularly when the problem component/system was installed in vehicles even after the manufacturer became aware of the problem.

- Sherman, TX, USA

problem #16

Aug 282008

Malibu

  • miles
I have a 1998 Chevy Malibu that does not start due to a faulty reset passlock system. Chevrolet does not know how to fix it. It is clearly dangerous since I am going to get mugged or worse waiting the 10 minutes it takes to "fool" the anti-theft system and get the car to start. There are over 1000 complaints all over the internet, in various years of manufacture of this defective Chevrolet product. There must be some solution to this. The other night I was in a dark parking lot for 20 minutes waiting for my car to let me drive home. I called GM again and was told they still do not know why this is occurring in the Malibu but just that it has something to do with the passlock system and the car "thinks" it is being robbed. Please rob my car. Then I will be safe!!

- Trenton, NJ, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Jan 232005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

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

This car has been nothing but a nightmare for me. And to add insult to injury, the local Chevy dealer says there is nothing wrong with the car. (though it doesn't stop them from charging me for all the expensive repairs that have been made) this car has many, many electrical problems. I purchased this car as a "certified GM" back in July 2001. There are just too many issues to list on this forum. Most recent, was coming home last night with my son in the car. For no reason at all the headlights failed, leaving me w/ 1 fog lamp as the other went w/ the headlights. On a gravel road, w/ no lights. Found ourselves in the ditch. Still waiting for the tow truck to pull the piece of crap out. Son got a nice goose egg out of the ordeal from hitting his head on the door on the bumpy ride down the ditch. I am so fed up with this car.

- Newhall, IA, USA

problem #13

Jul 112004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
I bought this car used, and have had problems since the day I drove it off the lot. Car was sold with "check engine" light on, and it took 2 repair visits for it to be fixed. Numerous minor problems have had to be fixed in the last 2 months that I have owned the car. New transmission put in at 69000 miles. Once I received the car back from the dealership, "check oil" light was on, but oil level was fine. Brought the car in to the dealership so the mechanic could reset it. After that, all gauges on the dash periodically quit working while driving, and mileage was not being recorded while gauges were out. When the gauges come back on, the "service vehicle soon" light is lit. The vehicle is currently at the dealership for repairs for this problem with the gauges for the 3rd time in the last month. I definitely feel that I got a lemon and am unhappy.

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #12

Aug 022004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Upon purchase, lighter/assessory fuse blown. Replaced fuse, recently blown again. Now blowing fuses at any try of use.

- Avis, PA, USA

problem #11

Aug 152001

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles

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

When the gas tank was full the gas gauge read empty and when the gas tank was empty the gas gauge read full. The steering wheel made noises, the A/C light did not stay on and the A/C blew hot air when the button was not activated, the key would come out of the ignition and would not stay in and the vehicle would still drive without the key in the ignition. The brakes would have to be replaced at least twice a year, the antenna did not pick up an adequate number of stations, (case efficiency decreased from 350 to 250 to refill the can), when two batteries were replaced, the gas gauge did not work, and condensation would set in the rear lights and burned them out.

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #10

Aug 252003

Malibu

  • miles
Water leaked onto the electric system and caused left back tail light to fail.

- Henderson, NC, USA

problem #9

Jul 092003

Malibu

  • miles
Intermittently, the ignition switch did not work properly. The dealer changed the new key and the problem remained. The theft system light had come on and shut off the fuel system off. The consumer was stranded until the vehicle restarted. The key still didn't work when the new key was made.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #8

Jun 242003

Malibu

  • miles
Brake problem, ABS faulty as well, transmission slippage. Electrical system faulty I.e.; ac fan does not turn on until turned to 3, theft system intermittent. Many people have posted these same problems. Is it going to have to take a death before something is done?

- Stone Lake, WI, USA

problem #7

Jun 092003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

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

While driving, the vehicle lost its rack and pinion steering and all power of the steering wheel. Dealer notified. The power window control panel on the driver side arm rest popped out, the vehicle pulled severely to the right (dealer couldn't find the problem). The dealer finally replaced the lower control arms, brake rotors, 2 sets of tires/almost completely bald at the time only 13K miles. The rims had to be forced off, the front rotors had become rusted at 20K miles, the ignition wire harness had come apart, the power steering hoses had come loose, lost fluid and power steering while in motion, the trunk leaked, the ABS light had come on twice a week, the front end squeaked and rattled, the antenna wire was loose, the right head lamp had permanent moisture with no crack, the A/C would shut on/off intermittently, the alternator failed at 60K miles and the waning light had come on for only five minutes, the engine leaked oil, and the right windshield wiper pivot housing had broken.

- Paxinos, PA, USA

problem #6

Jan 012001

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
Defects in 1998 Chevrolet Malibu. I have spent over $1000 trying to repair the ABS system (including replacing the wiring harness for what GM call an "updated wiring harness, " replacing left and right wheel barons, and replacing the ABS relay). The brakes consistently have trouble and pulse when trying to stop the vehicle. I am also experiencing considerable trouble with the computer system in the car. The anti theft light and air bag lights come on and stay on, creating codes in the computer, with no visible reasons for the codes. The gas pedal has also been repaired twice as it has a tendency to stick. The left rear strut mounts have also broken and have had to be repaired (quite costly). I am becoming increasingly concerned for safety while driving this car.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #5

Jun 082002

Malibu

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 1998 Chevy Malibu. This vehicle will cut off while driving. I bought this vehicle brand new in June 1998 and had to take it to the shop for repair the next month. The service department at shaver motors has never been able to fix it. There is something wrong with this car's electrical system. I was driving in Chicago on 80 90 toll road and this vehicle stopped for no reason while I was doing 55 miles per hour. I listed one incident date but have had numerous other problems. Also, when I first purchased the vehicle I had to replace the tires after less than 3000 miles, they were also bad.

- Gary, IN, USA

problem #4

Feb 282002

(reported on)

Malibu

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Used four set of brakes. Sensor had internal electrical failure, J4355 sensor, crankshaft position replaced. Radio has never worked right despite radio supposely sent off for repair. Two positive battery bolt and cable replacement and on another occasion discovered post broken off in battery.

- Nichols, SC, USA

problem #3

Dec 012000

Malibu

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Theft prevention light comes on intermittently, unable to start vehicle at that time. Dealer replaced passenger's lock sensor/cylinder, and switch twice. At this time light comes on while driving. Dealer has also replaced the passlock system and oxygen sensor.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #2

Feb 172000

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
Transmision slips, temp/elec. Problems, major vibration when applying brakes-hi & lo speeds

- Lakehills, TX, USA

problem #1

Sep 011998

Malibu

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Emergency brake light / chime remained on after brake was released, electrical system malfunction.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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