pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
103,550 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. full spring strut replacement (8 reports)
  2. replace springs (3 reports)
  3. replace spring and strut (2 reports)
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problem #13

Sep 012010

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,120 miles

Purchased the vehicle privately. Noticed when test driving that there was a loud clunk when turning the wheel. We thought it was the steering as we couldn't see anything rubbing against the wheel. Upon purchase took car to the mechanics to thoroughly get looked over and found that the front strut was broken and needed to be replaced.

- Elizabeth G., Belleville, Ontario, canada

problem #12

May 272010

Malibu LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

After sitting in the driveway for a week I jumped in to go somewhere. It felt like the car was stuck in a hole so I gave it a little gas and the front right tire blew (the outside tire bead came off). I moved the car into the garage and in doing so it made quite a bit more noise than rolling on your average flat. Upon inspection, the coil spring had broken and punctured the tire ... and by rolling into the garage I sliced the full 360 on the sidewall of the tire. I can only imagine what would have happened if this happened anywhere buy my driveway.

- bossil, Frankfort, IL, US

problem #11

Jan 052010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,732 miles

Like a couple of others on this page, my right front strut broke right after putting the car in reverse and moving a couple of feet. Mine also made a startlingly loud bang. Not knowing what had happened, and the car still being driveable, I continued on my errand. However, as soon as I would turn left, or curve to the left, I noticed a somewhat heavy, regular rubbing sound coming from the right front wheel area. Upon stopping to investigate, I saw that the strut coil was broken and angled in such a way that the tire was rubbing against the coil when turning the wheel to the left. I drove right back home and parked it until I take it to my mechanic tomorrow morning. Like others that had the same problem, I am so thankful this didn't happen while I was driving at a high speed!

I just joined this site, and am delighted to find others to whom I can relate with about car problems.

- kingofhang, Peterborough, NH, US

problem #10

Sep 282009

Malibu 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,390 miles

I wasn't sure at first what it was, because out of 29 vehicles I've owned previously I had never had this problem happen. Pulling out of my driveway (luckily) the front left corner of my '99 Malibu slammed into the ground at the curb with out warning and then a loud screech and grinding noise followed, so I pulled back into the drive, parked and looked inside the wheel well to see the spring coil snapped at the strut brace folded down like a mushroom. After removing the wheel and seeing the broken spring grinding a trench into my brake rotor, I was Livid. Thank god I'm a mechanic, went to the pick'n'pull and bought a full spring and strut assembly and two relatively new rotors for $50.00+tx. Took 2 hours in my driveway and now she's ready for another 165000km, (hopefully)

- Rayce H., Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #9

Nov 212008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

Driving down the highway going over the expansion joint on an overpass and heard a load 'bang'. Pulled over to investigate and found the left front coil had snapped at the second lowest coil. Never have I had a spring snap as this had. Didn't think much of it until I now have the rear passenger spring snap.

- A C., Calgary, Alberta, Canada

problem #8

Dec 232008

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

2 days before Christmas, I want to go shopping for my wife, i put the car in reverse and i heard snap and the air coming out of my tire. The spring broke and shot through the sidewall of the tire. Best solution is to go to the junkyard and take a complete strut and spring out of a car and reinstall. Good Luck.......

- tanasj, Bridgeview, IL, US

problem #7

Jul 072007

Malibu NA 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Same thing happened to me. I was bringing it down to the shop, put it in reverse and it snapped, really loud. Smoke coming from wheel. Terrible. I hate this car!

- wtf, Wyoming, MI, US

problem #6

Jul 212007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

i'm really upset with all the forums i have read with all the problems that people have had with the malibus.... it's really sad and i'm really upset that it happend to me and that it cost so much!!!

- Tasha D., Lebanon, IN, US

problem #5

Feb 072007

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Tire came off the bead, jacked car in air over night. Next day I was lowering the car back down and I heard the spring break. This is the 2nd time of this happening to me!!! Gonna buy new ones for both sides!

- hesser6, Blah Blah, NY, US

problem #4

Feb 072007

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Car was sitting in my driveway while I was at work. Break was so loud that the neighbor came out of his house next door according to my girlfriend. Bought strut and spring off another 99 from a dismantled one.

- hesser6, Blah Blah, NY, US

problem #3

Dec 262006

(reported on)

Malibu 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

My brother was driving down a city street (thank God!) when the front right suspension coil snapped. The coil fell down into the wheel well and ripped the tire to shreds. At first we thought it was just a blowout of the tire so we just put on the spare without looking closely at why this happened. Since the coil was still in the wheel well, it ate through the spare too. To top it all off, it was Christmas Day! I can't imagine what would have happened if we were driving 70mph down the highway when the coil snapped. I've read several reports of this problem occurring in the '99 Malibu, so if you own one you might want to have the suspension checked before this happens to you.

- Brett G., Falcon Heights, MN, US

problem #2

Dec 112006

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

My wife had just dropped off our child at school. She turned a corner and "Bang!". That was it. The Left Front Coil snapped at the bottom. We were lucky that the tire did not receive any damage.

The car was not drivable so my wife took it to a local shop.

We ended up going with after market NAPA parts as an entire strut/coil assemby for both sides was cheaper than what the dealer offered.

This is my second time doing this repair in the last two years!

This car is a LEMON!!

- kbrown019, Brampton, Ontario, Canada

problem #1

Nov 272006

(reported on)

Malibu LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Gentlemen: Please notify Chevy Malibu owners to change their front springs & struts at 135,000 km at the latest.

Nov 22- evening. I heard a clunk from under my 1999 Malibu, & shortly after smelled burning rubber. I stopped, & the smell went away. While creeping home (three blocks later) at 15 km/hr, BANG- the front tire blew.

One broken coil spring & I am lucky. The front coil spring on the 1999 Malibu front Strut has no retainer, so at highway speeds it could have done a H*** of a lot of damage. The spring should be designed to break inwards, so the spring "telescopes", instead of shattering into fragments.

Damage Resulting: Luckily, the broken spring went through the tire at a very low speed. The Wheel, front suspension, etc, are undamaged.

HOWEVER, at highway speed, the wheel could have broken, the vehicle could have rolled.... the suspension could have been wiped out... YIKES! The repair is $1,250.00CDN, Plus the tire.

Update from Sep 13, 2019: Note to people who are advising getting a used spring and strut from a wrecker; UNLESS aftermarket struts are not available this is a questionable choice. also, replace the knuckle hardware with NEW bolts. I found that bolt supply has the same strength rated bolts- at approx. one tenth of GMC's part outlets.

- Reg S., Calgary, Alberta, Canada