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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
91,467 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace intake manifold (3 reports)
  2. replaced intake manifold 2x so far (2 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
1997 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

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1997 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 062011

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 178,700 miles


I really like my malibu but this is bull sh*t gm should cover it who puts plastic on hot metal and gases

- , Euclid, OH, USA

problem #5

Nov 172008

Malibu LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,850 miles

I truly hate my 1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS. My parents bought it in November 1997 with about 900 miles (dealer-driven) on it. Two months later, the brakes were being repaired. I have lost track of how many times it has been in the repair shop for the brakes. But today, I went in for an oil change and rear brake inspection, and the service rep told me to come out and look at my car. Once again the intake manifold gasket was leaking and needed to be repaired, the second time in about 3 years. 1 1/2 years ago, another gasket (can't remember the name) was repaired by GMC. I saw the proof under my hood, with all the leakage spilling on the other engine compartments - what a mess!! I agree with others on this site, with GM not responding to our complaints and reimbursing us for their costly manufacturer mistakes. This car is a lemon and I can't wait to get rid of it when I move back home to California in 2009 - that is, if it lasts that long!!!

- , Champaign, IL, USA

problem #4

Jul 231999

Malibu LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,256 miles

Very Common problem, leaking coolant takes out the starter. Gets worse and worse.

- , Fort Wayne, IN, US

problem #3

Jan 172003

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


bought this car new, amongst other numerous problems, this is the most frustrating.

in 2003 i had the intake manifold gasket replaced account it was leaking antifreeze

into the engine oil and was constantly low on coolant. Now after 4 1/2 years, low

and behold it is leaking again, not into the engine but down back of the motor onto

the transmission. not sure how much longer before it starts leaking INTO the motor..

i would love to be added to a class action lawsuit.. This car is a piece of sh*t

- , Dekalb, IL, USA

problem #2

Oct 052007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,995 miles

I bought a used 1997 malibu right after my son was born in may of 06. The car seemed perfect like it was in perfect shape. About 2 weeks after we bought it everything went down hill from there. I was driving and it just shut off and would not start back up. The coolant light came on. I took it in and spent 1500.00 they had to replace the alternator, flushed the cooling system, replaced battery, lower intake manifold gasket and related parts. Then right before that I also had replaced number one oxygen sensor, new intake air temp sensor, harness connector and cluster. That was all within a month of getting the car. Then come feb 07 I feel about every week something goes wrong. I have replaced 2 tires because they went flat. Happen at differ times but within the same week. Breaks, half shaft and wheel barings. Then about a month after that I noticed my coolant was leaking real bad. I have a crack in my radiator and then my water pump and some other part that connects them went out so I had to replace that. Now my car was making a loud ticking noise by the belt so I took it in. They tell me that the pully is bad my motor mounts all of them are so bad they can't get any worse my engine shakes like crazy, need to replace my belt tensioner and serp belt and again LOWER INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET leaks. I just replaced that a little over a year ago. The passanger window would not go down for months then it just started. Now all the other ones are making a noise. And I am sure there is so much more wrong with the car. I paid 3300.00 for this car and since I have had it I have put a few bucks shy of 3000.00 into and now they tell me all that stuff wrong and said I was looking at about a little over 1000.00. I am a single mother and that is my only transportation to get me to work and my son to doc apts. I don't have money for a new car or the credit thanks to my ex husband. This car is a piece of sh*t and I will never buy antoher car like that again. I think everyone is right when they say GM should give us our money back...All I hear are bad things about this car and why should we have to suffer because they made a piece of sh*t me there are much better words I would like to use for this car but I am trying to keep it clean. I do not wish anyone to buy a car like this.

- , Eaton Rapids, MI, USA

problem #1

Jan 312007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I replaced this intake manifold two times. I had the system flushed several times, changed the thermostat several times still does not heat up, rack and pinion not stable. This malibu is a piece of sh*t they need to recall all 1997 and give all owners a new malibu. GM need to be sued for this type of car they put out.

- , Kansas City, KS, USA

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