Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

Print this page


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
88,513 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. had gasket replaced (5 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
  3. replace lower and upper intake gasket (2 reports)
  4. bought can of head leak from bars stop leak (1 reports)
  5. replace the engine (1 reports)
1999 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1999 Chevrolet Malibu:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1999 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #11

Apr 152014


  • 88,000 miles


GM should have recalled and fixed. Problem very common. Two months after I got this fixed the AC quit working and a fuse kept blowing -- another commonly reported problem.

- , Rochester, IL, USA

problem #10

Dec 152011

Malibu LS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have just now been told that my intake manifold gaskets will need to be replaced soon and this will be the third time since I have owned the car. The first time it cost me 976.000. I bought the car in 2004 and it was a 1999 then. I was led to believe that each time the new gaskets were superior to the previous ones and they would no longer be a problem. I think GM is a POS. I am a single grandmother raising two grandchildren and don't make much money. I was totally shocked when I began reading all of these complaints. I Kept reading and reading and each one told my story. The more I read, the more pissed off I got. I am trading my car in and definitely will not be buying a American car. It is funny how they manage to sweep this under the carpet. I just got done putting some of that piece of crap Dexcool in my car also. I've spent so much money I could have bought another car. Thanks GM.

- , Tahlequah, OK, USA

problem #9

Oct 022001

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,641 miles

This is nothing but adding to an Over-Flowing pot of Chevy Malibu V6 problems... problem occurred Three separate times since the car was bought New. Now, 153,000 Km's later its the THIRD Head gasket issue. Time to go back to Ford.

- , Calgary, Alberta, Canada

problem #8

Jan 122009

Malibu 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


This car has given me several problems the brakes are no good on these cars constantly changing my brakes, my head gasket blew in 2008 due to using Dex-Cool antifreeze, than in 2009 my lower intake gaskets was leaking due to the Dex-Cool. Stop using Dex-Cool because it will destroy your engine eventually.

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #7

Oct 062008

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

This is second time I have had to have the lower intake manifold gasket replaced in my 1999 Chevy Malibu this is ridiculous, the first time was at 60,000 miles now four years later at 115,000 miles it is leaking again I am fed up with Chevrolet. I will not buy a Chevy ever again, things that you did have to have replaced until your car hit 100,000 or 150,000 miles are going out on chevys as early as 30,000 or 40,000 miles I have been a Chevy man my whole life but I am done.

- , Rockford, IL, USA

problem #6

Feb 042008

Malibu NA 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Seems all these 3.1 engines leak at head gasket supposed to be caused by DEXI COOL instead of spending big $$ on gasket repair and even replacing gasket myself bought can of head gasket stop leak from BARS at Advane motors for 40 bucks pour into upper radiator hose filled coolant level been driving now since February no leaks and all is well for that repair like all these cars do that from what I have read dern crap

- , Ringgold, VA, USA

problem #5

May 142007

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles


I kept up with the scheduled maintenance. The car is eight years old and in excellent condition with only 46,000 miles. Now I am having problems with the intake manifold. I am so upset because I don't know where to get help. This is my only transportation. I need help to get this fix!!!!!!

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #4

Jul 142007

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

I am another unsatisfied GM customer. I have had the Engine Check light displayed twice in the last three weeks. While checking out that problem the mechanic told me that the Intake Manifold Gasket had probably cracked as he noticed a leak. It will cost $700 to fix. OK, I've had the car for more than 100,000 miles. Somethings going to wear out but three problems in three weeks? These cars should hold up much longer than this.

- , Ffx, VA, USA

problem #3

Jul 142004

(reported on)

Malibu LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Poor cheap junk: I've had more than 12 cars in my driving life: VW and GM most of them, and NEVER had this kind of problem. I have had only 3 American cars so far, Chevrolet Cutlass Eurosport 92 (fine!), Chevrolet Malibu 99 (Pain in the ass) and Ford Windstar 99 (Getting near a P in the A).

At less than 35,000 miles, (I bought the Malibu 99 LS with Leather upholstery, new with 0 miles in the Odometer, at GM Dealer), I began to notice the coolant fluid level to drop quickly, and needed to refill (expensive 35USD Gallon!, it takes only a "special orange coolant", other owners know this) every week or so. I came to this while driving uphill, the coolant level warning light went on. After checking if reservoir or hoses were leaking, no stains on parking space, so taking a closer look, the Dealerīs mechanic noticed a little reddish "pond" accumulating over the tranny casing sections. The man estimated both gaskets would need replacement, at $600 to $800 USD both. I refused, put a For Sale sign and sold it 6 months later for pennies to somebody that loved the car, after paying 24,000 USD in Mexico for the new piece of crap (read other complaints, same user, same car). My advice as in the other complaints: Sell the junk ASAP, otherwise you will have to suffer as I did. Bad design, engineering and finish. CRAP= MALIBU 99 (and 97, 98, 00, 01, 02...). GM used to be a respectable brand, but this NAFTA thing is killing quality for the sake of free trade. Thanks for reading! Gabriel Zamora. Mexico City

- , Mexico CIty, Edo de Mex, Mexico

problem #2

Oct 052006

(reported on)


  • 153,000 miles

It began with a dissipation of coolant in the reservoir and it surging out coolant after medium journeys. Had to add coolant every day. Leak was just a drip, and majority of loss fluid seem to come from coolant backing uo into the reservoir and over flowing. Never used any other but DEX-COOL Coolant.

The fact that this is common among Malibus using a specific type of recommended coolant suggest that the cost of this problem should not be borne by owners. I am ready to discourage relatives and friends from purchasing GM vehicles, and I certainly will not buy another GM car.

The auto consumer is really holding the doo doo end of the stick when it comes to these kinds of problems. We follow all the rules and recommendations vis a vis the kinds of fluids we use and service deadlines. Sadly this kind of dilligence is futile when you have vehicle with an endemic manfacturers technical problem, and it is allowed to linger past models after models. Thanks GM.

- , Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #1

Aug 202006

(reported on)


  • 92,000 miles

We paid $800/- to repair leaking engine gasket in February 2006 and again within six months coolant started leaking and showing red light. Sometimes it is showing hot engine. After refilling coolant it is not showing light couple of days but it comes back..

- , Troy, MI, USA

Not what you are looking for?