1997 Chevrolet Malibu - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 48 Total Reviews
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Money pit after 100,000 miles
By matty on 07/17/10 18:27 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought this Malibu with 50k on it. It now has 140,000. One thing I noticed on this car was that as soon as I hit 100,000 all the nickel and dime crap would break. I had to replace all the pulleys because a bearing went bad, replaced the ignition cylinder lock which turned out that if it fails you need to buy the ignition switch as well. I try to do my own repairs this repair went from 35 bucks to 285 in parts I had to buy both. (awesome engineering, way to go gm) the build quality with gm has been crap for many years as well as the other 2 manufacturers. Things break that shouldn't. Driving down the road one day and the overhead light just came off. Come on! Really? Average.
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Only buy if you need a cheap car
By K Webb on 05/22/10 21:13 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan

Review

Multiple problems. Was fine for me for the two years, but buttons fall off in the climate control, intake gasket leaks, and car just isn't built great. If you only have $1500, buy it. Don't expect any money back.
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Could be cheaper to maintain
By Would I do it again? on 01/31/09 09:59 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu 4dr Sedan

Review

Rebuilt transmission $2,500, replaced steering rack $800. Rear brake adjusters seem not to work well on this model which causes high front brake wear. Have put two sets of rotors on and many pads on front. Have replaced the water pump twice. Due to the way the water pump is driven from the timing chain. It has a long shaft. That is subject to a high side load on the front bearing from the oil pressure activated chain tensioner .Chevy dealer here wants $800 plus to do the repair. Spring rates on the front struts are high which causes the front shocks ride at a extended height that causes early front shock failure. Replaced 3 sets. The car now has 166k and still going
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1997 Chevy Malibu LS-V6
By Anthony on 11/14/08 20:08 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought this car in 2002 with 90,000 miles. It now has 171,000 and I only had to replace 3 parts, altenator, water pump, and thermostat. They were really cheaps parts and I've never had to replace anything else besides tires and brakes. It's a really good car and I recommend it to anyone. I've added a cold air intake for a few extra horses and it shows
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Poor quality
By consultant3 on 04/23/08 12:54 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu 4dr Sedan

Review

Purchased car from family/original owner at 40k. 6 cycl. 40k replaced alternator, brake pads and adjustment, battery and tires by 30k, by 70k serp belt, headliner-visor worn, a/c - Freon, now at 78k, oil pan gasket leaks, est. -up to $300. Suspension is bad, you feel every minor bump. This is the fifth and last gm for me. Imports are not perfect, but, this is terrible! I might try a Mazda?
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Great bang for the buck
By love my chevy on 02/05/08 13:54 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan

Review

This car is so fun to drive. The perfect mixture of performance and fuel economy. We bought this car with a lot of highway mileage but it was a great little car. It still is and we have only had small problems that were easily fixed and back on the road. Even the usual gasket problem didn't affect it until over 120,000 miles. I can't complain. Beats the old Ford Taurus by a long shot.
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'97 Malibu Review
By MalibuFan on 05/27/07 11:42 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought the Malibu used with 40,000 miles on it. It was our second Malibu, with the first one totaled in a wreck. We drove the second Malibu to almost 140,000 miles before selling it. Overall, a good car with good gas mileage. We did replace the power steering pump, all of the front pulleys, and alternator during our 100,000 miles of use. At the time we sold it, the head gaskets were needing to be replaced (A $900 expense if done at the Chevy dealership). We would purchase another Malibu.
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Not a bad car
By Cory R. Yost I on 04/08/07 19:56 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu 4dr Sedan

Review

Ever since I have had my license I have always bought GM cars. I believe in supporting the American auto companies and I have never had very many problems with them, and if I did they are cheap to fix. I recommend this car to someone that is looking for a standard and reliable vehicle!
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Crappy car
By jescalex on 04/08/07 00:35 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu 4dr Sedan

Review

This car has been through 2 water pumps, one timing chain, (due to a dumb mechanic!), I have had brakes put on 4 times. It wears tires quick. Everything that goes wrong is very expensive to fix. Brakes alone for this car are $150. This car is not worth any amount of money paid for it. I know it's a used car but 2 water pumps in 6 months. That's nuts!
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She's a good car
By OftheNorth on 03/08/07 20:38 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan

Review

I know lots of people have had problems with their Malibu's, but I've had nothing. The car was purchased new and has been driven in the mountains, cross country, in city commuting mode and more. Its never failed me. It's currently serving me well in the Canadian north, where it fires up every time, even in -40 weather (without being plugged in). It gets good gas mileage (~35mpg) if one goes easy on the highway, but in city traffic, the best I can usually muster is 22 mpg. Not good there! It's a comfortable roomy car, and would make for a good first auto for a new driver. It's safe, not too fast and they're cheap to get parts for (most of the time!) While I'm no Chevy fan, iIdo like this car.
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