Chevrolet Malibu V/Classic, generation #5

Models Chevrolet Malibu 5 V/Classic

Chevrolet Malibu V/Classic 5

Year of production 1997 - 2005

Model: Malibu (1964 - ...)

Wikipedia (Malibu):

1997 Malibu Brand Positioning, & Models


Malibu is positioned in the Chevrolet lineup as a sedan for informed, thoughtful people with high expectations of safety, dependability, accommodation, driving pleasure and rich, enduring design who seek an affordable value in a great midsize sedan.

Malibu is the result of the Chevrolet goal to design a functional, practical, high-quality, well-contented sedan with import execution at a Chevrolet price. Offered in Malibu Sedan and upscale LS versions, the new Malibu has what it takes to become the best value in the midsize sedan segment.

Several basic concepts were used in the design of the new Malibu:

  • Quality and reliability targets were set by benchmarking features of import competitors
  • Flexibility of design was achieved, making Malibu equally at home taking the kids to softball games or driving an important client to a meeting
  • Harmonious interior and exterior styling make Malibu a contemporary sedan from any angle.

The all-new Malibu was also designed from a "human factor' standpoint. An integral part of the execution of design was to ensure that Malibu owners could perform their various driving-related tasks successfully and with ease.

This process began by benchmarking features of competitive vehicles. In fact, more than 250 elements of each vehicle were evaluated. The total collection of these elements is referred to as the "User-Vehicle Interface."

After benchmarking the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, targets were established and requirements were provided for Malibu to help ensure that the design would meet or exceed owners’ needs.

An occupant-packaging method for designing the vehicle from the inside out was applied to ensure that the interior space met the needs of different-size owners. Instrument panel features were tested early by prospective owners in a dynamic driving simulator, which is based on the same principles as high-tech flight simulators. These tests provided valuable data many months before the first Malibu prototype was built.

Other interactive computer-generated images of new vehicle concepts were presented to and tested by potential owners well before actual parts were produced.

The motivation behind these efforts was to make the human factor -- the driver -- an integral part of the design and execution of Malibu.

Standard features that are especially appreciated and were reinforced in clinics with potential Malibu owners include:

  • Driver and front-passenger air bags
  • Air conditioning
  • 4-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • PassLock theft-deterrent system
  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • Tilt-Wheel Adjustable Steering Column
  • Battery-rundown protection.


The 1997 Malibu line features two models:

  • Malibu: 4-door sedan
  • Malibu LS: uplevel 4-door sedan (not shown).

Malibu LS offers the same standard features as Malibu Sedan, plus:

  • Zoned rear-window defogger
  • AM/FM stereo with cassette player, TheftLock, speed- compensated volume, automatic tone control and premium front and coaxial rear speakers
  • 6-way power driver seat
  • Electronic speed control with Resume Speed
  • Low oil level warning light
  • Power windows with driver’s Express-Down and lockout features
  • Luggage-area convenience net
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • 3100 V6 engine
  • Three [3] headliner-mounted passenger-assist handles
  • Front and rear floor mats
  • Split fold-down rear seat
  • Foglamps
  • Power outside rearview mirrors
  • 15" aluminum wheels.
1997 Malibu Competitors

Malibu competes in the midsize segment -- the core of the automotive market and the fastest-growing segment in the passenger car industry. The midsize segment accounts for more than 30 percent of the U.S. passenger car market, with sedans accounting for 76 percent of these sales. The segment is projected to grow significantly.

Chief competitors of Malibu are:

  • Ford Contour
  • Plymouth Breeze
  • Mercury Mystique
  • Chrysler Cirrus
  • Ford Taurus
  • Mazda 626
  • Mercury Sable
  • Toyota Camry
  • Nissan Altima
  • Honda Accord
  • Dodge Stratus
1997 Malibu Demographics

  • Median age is 45 years
  • Average annual income is $50,000
  • 55% of Malibu buyers are female
  • 70% of buyers are married
  • 45% of buyers are college-educated
  • 45% of buyers have children in household
  • 40% work in a professional/managerial capacity.

Malibu has diverse appeal to younger singles and families, as well as middle-aged singles, families and empty nesters. Malibu prospects are both value-conscious domestic buyers and budget-stretched import intenders.

1997 Malibu Overview

Malibu is an entirely new model for 1997. Following are a few key standard feature highlights:


  • Driver and front-passenger air bags
  • Air conditioning
  • Tilt-Wheel Adjustable Steering Column
  • Rear-seat safety belt child comfort guides
  • Child security rear-door locks
  • Electric trunk release
  • PassLock theft-deterrent system
  • Covered auxiliary power outlet
  • Center console with storage bin and center armrest storage compartment
  • Retractable cup holder in instrument panel
  • Theatre lighting.


  • Automatic Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) with automatic exterior lamp control
  • 5-mph front and rear body-color bumpers and fascias
  • Basecoat/clearcoat paint
  • Two-side-galvanized steel (including roof)
  • 15" steel wheels with full wheel covers (standard aluminum wheels on LS)
  • Argent-color grille
  • Body-color body-side moldings and door handles
  • P215/60R-15 blackwall tires.


  • 2.4 Liter L4 Twin Cam engine (Malibu Sedan only)
  • 3100 V6 engine (optional on Malibu Sedan, standard on LS)
  • Power steering
  • 4-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS)
  • 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with second-gear-start capability
  • Battery-rundown protection
  • 4-wheel independent suspension
  • One-piece hydro-formed front chassis cradle design.
1997 Malibu Safety Features

General Motors is a world leader in automotive safety research, development and testing. All GM vehicles, including the 1997 Malibu, benefit from the expertise at General Motors.

Malibu provides a systematic approach to safety that emphasizes crash avoidance and minimizes the consequences of unavoidable collisions.


  • Standard 4-wheel anti-lock brake system helps maintain steering control and minimizes wheel lockup on most slippery surfaces.
  • Narrow pillar widths and an oversized interior rearview mirror help provide good visibility.
  • Brake/transmission shift interlock prevents vehicle from being shifted out of Park without first depressing the brake pedal.
  • Unique hazard light design allows operation even with service brake applied.
  • Horn can be operated by pressing on the center of the steering wheel hub pad which covers the air bag.


Safety is further enhanced on Malibu thanks to its standard automatic Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) with automatic exterior lamp control. The DRL system approach to safety is straightforward: It makes Malibu easier to be seen.

Automatic Daytime Running Lamps should not be confused with foglamps or other add-on exterior lighting, since they utilize existing lighting systems. Here’s how DRL works: The system operates the front low-beam headlamps only. When the ignition is turned on, the parking brake is released and the shift lever is not in the "Park" position, the headlamps are automatically illuminated at a reduced intensity. If any one of these conditions are not met, the headlamps turn off automatically.

Although General Motors has offered the DRL system on a number of vehicles for several years, not all systems were available with automatic exterior lamp control. The new Malibu system has a light-sensor which automatically turns on the headlamps to full intensity and turns on all other exterior lamps when it’s dark outside. When it’s light outside, the system switches the headlamps from full intensity to DRL, and all other lamps are turned off automatically. The system is bypassed when the driver utilizes the headlamps manually.


  • Malibu meets federal dynamic side-impact standards.
  • Standard driver and front-passenger air bags, designed for use with safety belts, help restrain front passengers in the event of a moderate to severe frontal impact.
  • Crush zones are designed to help absorb energy in a front or rear crash by deforming in a controlled manner.
  • Laminated windshield safety glass and tempered side and rear safety glass help reduce occupant injuries.
  • Energy-absorbing steering column and instrument panel can help reduce the chance of injury from impact in a collision.
  • Child security rear-door locks, when activated, prevent rear-seat passengers from inadvertently opening the rear doors.
  • Rear-seat safety belt child comfort guides permit children (and smaller adults) to comfortably wear the rear-seat shoulder safety belt by gently adjusting the belt away from the face and neck.
  • Adjustable front-seat shoulder safety belt guide loops offer several positions for optimum safety belt comfort.


A safety cage surrounds the passenger compartment with a reinforced system of structural components to help protect occupants during a crash. Pillars, side-door beams, integral roof structure and a unique full-frame front chassis are included. High-strength steel reinforcements provide rigidity and allow a narrow pillar design for good visibility. Much of the energy in a front- or rear-end collision is absorbed by the car’s crush zones, which consist of the upper and lower metal rails that frame the engine and trunk compartments.

The upper rails and hood absorb some of the energy in a crash. In a frontal collision, the hood buckles in a controlled manner and is designed to prevent intrusion into the occupant compartment. In addition to the upper rails, the lower cradle system also helps absorb energy from a frontal impact.

Working in conjunction with the safety cage are many other safety features focused on occupant protection, including head restraints, high-strength door hinges and latches, side-impact cross-car reinforcements, energy-absorbing knee bolsters and an energy-absorbing padded instrument panel. These features have been designed to work in harmony to provide protection in the event of a collision.


Outboard seat-mounted safety belts have been designed into Malibu for both protection and comfort.

Front safety belt buckles are seat-mounted to accommodate various fore and aft seat positions without having to adjust the safety belt. The safety belts are designed for easy buckling and unbuckling.

The rear safety belt buckles are designed to route "through" the seat cushion for convenience and easy reach. This unique safety belt positioning improves rear-seat occupant comfort in the event of an impact.

An adjustable shoulder safety belt guide loop is standard for front-seat passengers.

  • This adjustable shoulder safety belt guide loop allows a variety of comfortable settings -- regardless of occupant size.
  • The adjustable, pillar-mounted guide loop contains a "ratchet up" feature that allows easy adjustment in the upward direction. The loop can easily be moved up without having to depress any release mechanisms.
  • An ergonomically designed, pillar-mounted release button allows the occupant to lower the guide loop when necessary.
  • The guide loops move a full 2.5" up or down.

Also included as standard equipment is the rear-seat safety belt child comfort guide, an exclusive General Motors feature.

  • This system permits most children who have outgrown the use of a child restraint and small adults to more comfortably wear the rear-seat shoulder safety belt without it interfering with their face or neck.
  • This device is installed between the rear seatback and quarter trim, where it is concealed from view.
  • To use the comfort guide, simply pull out the guide and route the shoulder safety belt into the guide clip. The guide is attached to an elastic cord and gently moves the shoulder safety belt out of the way of the passenger’s face and neck.

    In addition, the safety belts have been designed to allow child restraints to be properly used without the need for the extra clips or retainers.

  • A unique locking latch on front-passenger and rear outboard safety belts allows forward-facing child safety seats and occupants to tighten up the lap safety belt with minimum effort. All models include three-point, body-mounted safety belts for the front seats.
  • This safety belt system helps protect occupants in the event of a severe frontal collision.
  • The retractor design can help reduce safety belt forces on the chest in moderate to severe frontal collisions.
1997 Malibu Feature Availability


LS Sedan

Air Bag -- Driver and Front-Passenger S S

Air Conditioning -- with CFC-Free Refrigerant S S

Center Console -- Front w/Covered Storage Armrest S S

Convenience Net -- Luggage Area O1 S

Defoggers -- Rear-Window O S

Defoggers -- Side-Window S S

Door Locks -- Power O S

-- Child Security, Rear S S

Floor Mats -- Front and Rear O S

Gauges -- Tachometer, Trip Odometer, Coolant Temperature S S

Mirrors -- Inside, Dual Reading Lamps O2 S

Scotchgard Protector S S

Seats -- Cloth Bucket, Front S NA

-- Custom Cloth Bucket, Front O2 NA

-- LS Custom Cloth Bucket, Front NA S

-- Driver, 6-Way Power NA S

-- Split-Folding, Rear O1 S

Speed Control -- Electronic with Resume Speed O2 S

Steering Column -- Tilt-Wheel Adjustable S S

Stereo -- AM/FM S NA

-- AM/FM with Cassette Player O S

-- AM/FM with CD Player O O

-- AM/FM with Remote Cassette Player and CD Player O O

Sunroof -- Electric, Sliding (Interim Availability) O O

Trunk -- Remote Release S S

Warning Light -- Low Oil Level O3 S

Windows -- Power with Driver’s 
Express-Down and Lockout Features
O2 S

Wipers -- Intermittent Variable S S


LS Sedan

Exhaust System -- Stainless-Steel S S

Foglamps NA S

Daytime Running Lamps -- Automatic 
w/Automatic Exterior Lamp Control

Mirrors -- Outside, Driver's side Remote, Body-Color S NA

-- Outside, Twin Remote Electric, Body-Color O2 S

Paint -- Basecoat/Clearcoat S S

Tires -- P215/60R-15 Blackwall Touring S S

Wheel Covers -- Full S NA

Wheels -- 15" Aluminum O2 S


LS Sedan

Battery -- with Rundown Protection S S

Brakes -- 4-Wheel Anti-Lock S S

-- Power, Front Disc/Rear Drum S S

Engine -- 2.4 Liter Twin Cam S NA

-- 3100 V6 SFI O2 S

PassLock Theft-Deterrent System S S

Remote Keyless Entry System O2 S

Suspension -- 4-Wheel, Independent S S

Transmission -- 4-Speed Electronically Controlled
Automatic with Second-Gear-Start Capabilities

S -- Standard. O -- Optional (some options may be available only as part of a Preferred Equipment Group). NA -- Not available. 
1Included only with optional Custom Cloth seats. 2 Requires optional PEG. 3 Included only with optional 3100 V6 engine.

1997 Malibu Interior Features

Malibu has a harmonious, stylish interior design filled with comfort and convenience features. The instrument panel is ergonomically designed to provide the driver with the easiest, fastest access to necessary controls and features. Quality, convenience and serviceability were the key concepts behind the instrument panel design, which was based on feedback garnered from Sedan customer clinics.


  • The glove box has a pivot system designed to maximize access while minimizing intrusion of the door into the front-passenger’s knees.
  • A non-traditional pivot point and special bushings are used to ensure long life and smooth operation.
  • The glove box handle is located on the lefthand side of the door, closer to the driver.
  • To further enhance accessibility, the lock cylinder is even closer to the driver than the handle.

The ignition switch is located in an easy-to-reach position on the instrument panel. The location and orientation of the switch is specially designed to fit a natural wrist position.

The hazard switch has been placed top-center on the face of the instrument panel (left of the center outlets), is both large and accessible for added convenience, and works with the service brake applied.

Steering column stalk controls have been simplified with a "one control per stalk" concept. The left stalk controls only the lights; and the right stalk controls only the wipers. Electronic speed control, when ordered, is located on the steering wheel pad, for operation without moving hands from steering wheel (standard on Malibu LS, optional on Malibu Sedan).

The radio and HVAC controls were designed near the top of the instrument panel (radio above HVAC controls) to be easily accessible since they are frequently adjusted during driving.

The center console offers ample storage space:

  • A storage bin is located in the center armrest, as well as beneath the armrest (accommodates up to 6 compact discs)
  • There also is a storage bin with a coin holder located in the front of the console, along with a storage bin (unless the stereo system offers both a cassette and compact disc player) in the center of the instrument panel
  • The center armrest folds up out of the way, and a cup holder is molded into the console just to the rear of the shifter
  • This cup holder is designed to accommodate a variety of cups, cans or bottles
  • An auxiliary cup holder is located on the left side of the instrument panel, and can double as a small storage bin
  • Dual pull-out cup holders, located in the rear of the console, can hold two cups or juice boxes for rear-seat occupants.

    Convenience features continue into the area of serviceability.

    Two fuse blocks -- one on each end of the instrument panel -- are easily accessible with the front car doors open, by simply removing a snap on the cover. Neither is hidden under the instrument panel. Five spare fuses and a fuse puller are provided on the left-side fuse block cover.


    An important part of the electronic conveniences found on Malibu is a sophisticated microprocessor-driven instrument cluster. This cluster features full analog displays, including speed-ometer and standard trip odometer, and a vacuum-fluorescent "two-color" PRNDL display. In addition, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used for telltale indicators, eliminating the nuisance of burned-out light bulbs.

    Malibu has been designed to provide a quiet driving experience. Acoustical enhancements and noise-absorption components have actually been "designed in," not added as an afterthought.

    Vibration can be a major contributor to unwanted vehicle noise. Malibu has been designed from the ground up to fight vibration with a strong and rigid body structure. This body structure provides the necessary "backbone" to minimize unnecessary vibration, as well as a solid foundation to mount other vehicle components.

    • Heat-expandable seals have been strategically positioned within the framework of the Malibu body. When they are exposed to heat in the paint-baking ovens, they expand several times their original size and act as "baffles" to reduce noise from rocker panels, the engine and the road.
    • "Roof deadeners" are baked onto the roof panels and provide damping that results in low road vibration and noise.
    • Expandable foam is placed between two layers of steel on the tunnel section of the floor and provides road noise isolation.
    • A thick, high-frequency mat is used on the engine side of the dash, where it absorbs engine noise before it can be transmitted to the passenger compartment.
    • Additional floor sound deadeners and acoustical materials have been engineered into the floor to contribute to interior noise reduction.
    • A one-piece carpet system has been designed to provide a better fit and an additional layer of sound absorption.

    Extensive engineering has also taken place under the hood of Malibu to help minimize engine noise to the interior.

    • A double-wall steering boot is used to minimize any noise transmission via the steering column. This boot acts as a

    double sealing device as it is sealed on both sides of the dash, in the engine compartment and in the passenger compartment. Basically, the engine noise path is blocked in two locations before it can enter the passenger compartment.


    Front bucket seats, standard on Malibu Sedan and Malibu LS, are designed to provide outstanding comfort and visibility. Standard manual seat adjusters in Malibu Sedan ensure a comfortable seating position for a wide range of drivers. A six-way power driver seat adjuster is standard on Malibu LS models.

    A split-folding rear seat with a pass-through feature is standard on Malibu LS and optional on Malibu Sedan, providing added storage space by allowing long items to extend from the trunk into the rear passenger area.

    • Cloth front bucket seats (standard on Malibu Sedan).
    • Custom Cloth front bucket seats (optional on Malibu Sedan) includes split-folding rear seat and luggage-area convenience net.
    • LS Custom Cloth front bucket seats (standard on Malibu LS Sedan). Includes split-folding rear seat and luggage-area convenience net.


    • Medium Neutral
    • Light Gray.
    • Medium Gray


    Malibu offers a large list of standard comfort and convenience features:
    • Theater lighting gradually dims interior lights when doors are closed instead of turning them off abruptly
    • Standard Tilt-Wheel Adjustable Steering Column adjusts to a comfortable position for a wide range of drivers
    • Standard air conditioning uses CFC-free R-134a refrigerant
    • Rear-seat heat ducts increase passenger comfort
    • "A-pillar"-mounted HVAC vents circulate heat and air quickly throughout the passenger compartment
    • Headliner-mounted passenger-assist handles, located at each outboard passenger seating position on Malibu LS, help make exiting and entering the vehicle easy
    • Cloth seats, door panels and floor covering are treated with Scotchgard™ Protector to resist stains and make cleanups quick and easy
    • Key convenience chimes provide a pleasant reminder when vehicle systems are inadvertently left on.
    • Intermittent wipers allow drivers to adjust wiper speed to weather conditions
    • A Remote Keyless Entry system (standard on Malibu LS, optional on Malibu Sedan) activates automatic locking functions. This system also utilizes “rolling codes” to prevent a potential thief from monitoring and recording the signal from the transmitter and replaying it back to the vehicle to gain access
    • Power windows with driver’s Express-Down and lockout features (standard on Malibu LS, optional on Malibu Sedan); windows lower with a single touch of the control
    • Radio and HVAC controls are mounted high in the center of the instrument panel for easy driver access
    • A luggage-area convenience net is standard on Malibu LS (available on Malibu Sedan with optional Custom Cloth seats) and helps prevent rear cargo from shifting during driving
    • Malibu features dual remote body-color breakaway outside rearview mirrors (dual manual remote OSRV mirrors are standard on Malibu Sedan, while power outside rearview mirrors are standard on Malibu LS and optional on Malibu Sedan)
    • Auxiliary power outlet is ergonomically located for convenience, and covered for safety and durability
    • An electric trunk release conveniently opens the trunk from the inside of the vehicle
    • Dual mirror-mounted reading lamps (standard on Malibu LS and optional on Malibu Sedan) provide interior illumination for reading, map referral, etc
    • Front and rear floor mats (standard on Malibu LS, optional on Malibu Sedan) help protect floor carpeting from stains and wear
    • Standard front-door map pockets provide additional storage space
    • The passenger-side sunvisor on Malibu LS features a lighted vanity mirror for added convenience.


    A zoned rear-window defogger (standard on Malibu LS and optional on Malibu Sedan) is designed to clear the center of the rear window first, where clear visibility is needed most.

    The rear-window defogger consists of an electrical grid, similar to conventional systems, which actually heats the glass to defog the window. However, this is where the similarities end. The Malibu window defogger has been designed to clear thecenter of the rear window first. This allows the driver to have the most important area of the window cleared as quickly as the available power will allow.

    The window consists of two zones that draw different amounts of power.

    • The first zone covers the safety standard vision area.
    • The second zone completely surrounds the first, and clears afterward.

    Traditional systems typically clear the glass unevenly by distributing power throughout the grid pattern all at once. Since the "zoned" system "focuses" power according to zones, owners have the advantage of being able to see clearly in this critical vision area quicker than would otherwise be possible.


    Malibu offers the convenience of an instrument panel- mounted ignition switch. This European-inspired design positions the ignition module in a location that is easier to see and reach than the traditional steering column-mounted design.

    The system uses a four-position switch: Off, Accessory, Run and Start. The range of motion has been reduced from the traditional 135 degrees to only 90 degrees. The system includes the popular GM PassLock theft-deterrent system, which has proven to be an effective and cost-efficient anti-theft device.

    In addition, enhanced door-lock security is designed into the door-lock module to provide added protection against tampering.


    Based on customer feedback, Malibu features large, easy-to-read instrument gauges along with easy-to-find, user-friendly controls.

    Backlighting, or "illuminated jewels," eliminates any nighttime fumbling for the following controls:

    • Driver power door-lock switch
    • Front-passenger power door-lock switch
    • Power mirror switch
    • Driver master power window switch
    • Front-passenger power window switch
    • Sunroof switch (sunroof optional)
    • Hazard-warning switch
    • Decklid-release switch
    • Console PRNDL
    • Foglamp switch (Malibu LS only)
    • Ashtray
    • HVAC control head
    • Instrument cluster
    • Radio.


    Malibu features an audible chime system designed to "pleasantly" remind the driver of oversights such as key in ignition, headlamps on, safety belt not fastened, turn signal on, parking brake warning and check gauges.

    The "key-in-ignition" chime warns the driver when the keys have been left in the ignition. A chime sounds when the driver door is open and the keys have been left in the ignition in the "off" or "accessory" position. The chime changes to a less-urgent repetition rate after three seconds for customers who intentionally leave the key in the ignition (such as when listening to the radio with the door open).

    The "headlamps-on" chime warns the driver that the headlamp/parklamp switch has been left on. A chime sounds when the driver door is opened if the ignition is inactive and the switch is on.

    The "safety belt-not-fastened" chime warns if the driver safety belt has not been fastened. A chime sounds for six seconds when the ignition is switched from "inactive" to "active," and the driver has not yet fastened the safety belt.

    The "turn signal-on" chime reminds the driver that the turn signal has been left on. A chime sounds when the turn signal has been left on after the car has traveled for more than three- quarters of a mile.

    The "parking brake-on" chime warns the driver that the parking brake has been left on. A chime sounds for eight seconds if the parking brake switch is active and vehicle speed exceeds three miles per hour.

    The "check gauges" chime warns the driver when a malfunction is detected. A chime sounds after the engine has been running for more than five seconds and any of the following telltales become active:

    • Low oil pressure
    • High temperature
    • Low fuel level
    • Brake
    • ABS
    • Service vehicle soon
    • Volts
    • Low coolant level
    • Check oil level (with 3100 V6 only)
    • Door ajar (with transmission in Drive or Reverse)
    • Low washer fluid.


    • Standard electronically tuned AM/FM stereo with seek- scan, digital clock and extended-range rear speakers on Malibu Sedan.
    • Electronically tuned AM/FM stereo with seek-scan, automatic tone control, digital clock, cassette player, TheftLock security feature, speed-compensated volume and premium front and coaxial rear speakers (standard on Malibu LS and optional on Malibu Sedan).
    • Optional (both trim levels) electronically tuned AM/FM stereo with seek-scan, digital clock, compact disc player, speed-compensated volume (SCV), automatic tone control, TheftLock and coaxial front and extended-range rear speakers.
    • Optional (both trim levels) electronically tuned AM/FM stereo with seek-scan, 12 FM presets, digital clock, compact disc player, automatic tone control, speed-compensated volume, remote cassette player, TheftLock and coaxial front and extended-range rear speakers. Both uplevel Malibu audio systems feature:
    • Speed-compensated volume automatically adjusts volume as speed increases or decreases, to compensate for outside noise
    • TheftLock theft-deterrent feature helps protect Malibu audio systems by enabling the owner to electronically “lock” the radio receiver by entering a 6-digit personal identity code. The receiver will not operate if removed when “locked”
    • Automatic tone control sets equalizer levels with one touch for talk and music programs.
1997 Malibu Exterior Features

Malibu has aerodynamic, contemporary exterior styling designed for an overall harmonious look with the interior.

Aggressive aerodynamic targets were established for Malibu early in its development. An overall aerodynamic package has been achieved with the design of such features as flush-mounted door handles, hidden windshield wipers, a "U-lip" windshield seal, a frame-under-glass door design and a wind-noise-reducing "spiral ground" antenna.

The exterior of Malibu is highlighted by such features as an argent-colored grille, body-color moldings, body-color door handles, body-color bumpers, optional front and rear mudguards, a stainless-steel exhaust system and, on Malibu LS, foglamps.

Malibu also features "reflector-optics headlamps" with a "flash-to-pass" feature. These headlamps are designed for optimal illumination, with the added convenience of minimal effort to indicate a desire to pass.

Another simple yet effective feature is an easy-open gas cap that is spring-loaded for quick opening and closing, and works with the Malibu Enhanced Evaporative Emissions system to create an improved vacuum seal. A gas tank cap tether holder in the filler door provides convenient storage during fill-ups.


Standard basecoat/clearcoat paint resists fading and provides a high-gloss shine for long-lasting exterior beauty. The clearcoat system is formulated to minimize the effects of acid rain and other environmental damage. Clearcoat finish is used with all Malibu exterior paint colors -- solids and metallics. Fascias have molded-in body color and lower-body panels have an anti-chip coating for durability. Malibu undergoes a six-step paint process which provides an impressive level of protection and finish.

The six steps include:

  • A phosphate coating applied to the bare metal
  • An electrodeposition primer applied
  • A sprayed-on primer surfacer
  • An anti-chip primer applied to localized areas of the vehicle, such as the front hood area and lower rocker panel area, to protect against paint chips
  • The basecoat applied to provide the rich color desired
  • The clearcoat applied, which provides a high luster and high level of protection.


Paint colors available for Malibu include:

  • Dark Jade Green Metallic
  • Dark Cherry Metallic
  • Medium Opal Blue Metallic
  • Light Sandrift Metallic
  • Medium Malachite Metallic
  • Silvermist Metallic
  • Dark Carmine Red Metallic
  • Bright White
  • Black


The Malibu bumper system provides customers with additional value in protecting the car from damage during low speed (up to 5 mph) crashes.

  • The design encompasses not only the federal barrier/ pendulum series, but also the rear pole and corner barrier tests.
  • Federal bumper standards require that all cars sold in the United States pass four pendulum hits, followed by a flat barrier at 2.5 mph. However, the 1997 Malibu exceeds this requirement with the test speed doubled to 5 mph. This means the bumper system needs to absorb four times the energy of that present in the required 2.5-mph test series.

The front bumper system utilizes a unique blow-molded bumper beam and u-bolt attachment. The advantages of this new design include less mass and improved packaging. The blow-molded beam is also designed to accommodate severe cold weather conditions when plastic components may have a tendency to crack under extreme stress.

1997 Malibu Design & Manufacturing

Several basic concepts were used in the design of the new Malibu. Quality and reliability was achieved by setting aggressive targets and using best-in-class competitors as performance benchmarks. Flexibility of design was achieved, making Malibu owners equally comfortable taking the kids to soccer practice or driving an important client to a meeting. Harmonious interior and exterior styling make Malibu a contemporary sedan when viewed from any angle.

And, of course, customer feedback is evident when examining any feature, including safety, power and performance, appearance, comfort and convenience, and ease of ownership.

"Human factor engineering" played a large role in the design of Malibu. This process began by benchmarking features of competitive vehicles with a procedure that evaluated over 250 elements of each vehicle with which owners interact directly. The total collection of these elements was referred to as the "User-Vehicle Interface." After benchmarking the strengths and weaknesses of the competition based on user needs, targets were established and requirements were provided for Malibu to help ensure that the design would meet or exceed the owner’s needs.


Malibu is manufactured using a "doors-off" processing system. The heart of this manufacturing system is the ability to check quality throughout the build process.

  • The vehicle progresses through the build process without the doors attached to the body. The doors are actually built simultaneously on a separate sub-assembly line.
  • Quality checks have been built into this process. Window regulators, locks and other electrical components are inspected as the door is built. This ensures a quality product will reach the body later in the vehicle build process.
  • This process allows for greater use of robotic applications in the door sub-assembly process, further enhancing quality and consistency.


A "net gauge hole body-side" build process is used on Malibu to ensure dimensional accuracy.

  • Four body-side gauge holes are precisely located in the body side and rear quarter-panel area. Once these gauge (location) holes are established, they are then used throughout the vehicle build process for placing the doors and setting the rear quarter panel. Over 27 build operations depend on and utilize these gauge holes.
  • By using a consistent gauge hole throughout the build process, dimensional accuracy can be achieved to a degree that is not possible with traditional processes, resulting in tight body panel fits.


Modern manufacturing technology is abundant throughout the Malibu build process, and is particularly apparent in the manufacturing of the front chassis cradle.

The "heart" of the chassis cradle is a one-piece, hydro-formed tubular steel component which is the backbone of the structure.

  • Hydro-forming is a metal forming process in which structural frame members, having closed cross sections, are formed from tubes.
  • Fluid is pumped into the component (tube) at high pressure. The result is a component exhibiting enhanced structural integrity.
  • Holes are then made in the chassis that will be the attachment point for various suspension and steering components for dimensional control. This contributes to improved vehicle wheel alignment and, ultimately, improved handling and tire life.
  • Improvements in serviceability evolve as less component variation helps to ensure proper re-assembly in the event of a repair.
1997 Malibu Body Structure

Malibu was designed from a "clean sheet" approach to deliver excellent body structure. The goal was to provide a high level of safety and occupant protection, comfortable and responsive ride and handling, and a smooth and vibration-free idle, all in an environment that is surprisingly quiet and free from road disturbances.

A full roof molding provides an integral rain gutter that channels water to the front and rear of the vehicle.

Also, owners will have an easier time finding the correct "jacking location," as an easy-to-find opening and a "half-moon" notch has been designed under the vehicle where the jack is positioned for lifting.

As part of the "safety cage," reinforcements were designed into the lower section of the “B” pillar and the lower part of the rear door frame to help provide increased occupant protection in the event of a side impact.

Body stiffness is a major factor in how a car performs to these characteristics. It is the skeleton of the vehicle to which all other components are attached. Consequently, this skeleton should prevent unwanted movement and/or vibration inside the vehicle from those components. Malibu has achieved the high stiffness goal using several design innovations.

  • The rear corners of the body utilize a strengthened, one-piece inner wheelhouse. This helps minimize the effects of road disturbances (bumps, pot holes, etc.), since the strut cap is at the receiving end.
  • To further strengthen the rear of the car, all four corners of the luggage pass-through (standard on Malibu LS, optional on Malibu Sedan) area were reinforced. While this design improves torsional stiffness, it also provides a greater luggage pass-through area when the fold-down rear- seat feature is used.


Malibu has a full-frame front chassis cradle design. This modular design includes a one-piece, hydro-formed tubular steel component, which acts as the structural backbone.

The full-frame cradle design delivers a more pleasing and responsive driving experience, and also enhances occupant safety. Several product advantages result from this concept.

  • Structural rigidity is enhanced, providing a crisp and solid foundation for the suspension system.
  • The cradle helps protect the oil pan due to its low structure.
  • Due to the lateral stiffness exhibited by the full-frame cradle, drivers will experience responsive handling. Accurate vehicle wheel alignment can also be expected, due to dimensional and structural integrity standards.

The completed cradle is attached to the vehicle body without the use of rubber bushings. By utilizing a "direct-mount" system, driving responsiveness is further enhanced, while vibration frequencies have been minimized. By eliminating these bushings, vehicle ride engineers were able to eliminate some of the vibrations associated with a typical rubber-mount system.

1997 Malibu Engines


Standard on Malibu Sedan, the LD9 engine produces 150 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 155 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics Second Generation) is standard.

Additional details on the 2.4 Liter L4 "Twin Cam" engine:

  • The improved and simplified powertrain control module (PCM) adds four times the computing power over the 1996 PCM, with one half the components. This results in improved reliability and increased diagnostic capability.
  • The 4-cylinder "Twin Cam" engine offers a large displacement, a long stroke and optimal camshaft tuning. All these features are directed at increasing the engine’s torque in the lower rpm range, which contributes to performance during acceleration, city traffic operation and freeway merging situations. Coupled with the 16-valve design, these features provide an excellent balance throughout the entire driving range.
  • Accessories such as the air conditioning compressor and generator are directly mounted to the engine block for a quiet, pleasing driving experience.
  • The dual internal fan generator has fans mounted inside the generator casting, for quiet operation.
  • An exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system minimizes emissions, enhances fuel economy and improves idle quality.
  • Malibu benefits from hydraulic engine mounts, which contribute to ride performance while isolating the occupants from powertrain vibration. Engine and transmission mounts, filled with hydraulic fluid, absorb and dampen engine movements and vibrations to provide a solid and stable ride.
  • The LD9’s injection-molded composite intake manifold is lighter than a traditional aluminum manifold. Along with a dual plane exhaust system, Twin Cam engineers were able to tune the LD9 engine to minimize noise and achieve optimum performance.
  • Smooth, quiet performance in the mid- and high-speed driving ranges is ensured with a unique “in-oil-pan” design balance shaft system. This system helps make the Twin Cam quiet and minimizes engine vibration. In addition, the Twin Cam’s induction system utilizes two resonators, a large volume air cleaner and a pre-engine expansion chamber to reduce induction noise.
  • The power steering pump is driven directly off the intake camshaft. This "direct-drive power steering" system provides high quality, reliability, durability and value, as well as mass savings and attractive underhood appearance and packaging.
  • The Twin Cam features a sophisticated Sequential Fuel Injection (SFI) system. This system results in impressive dynamic operating range and precise fuel control. SFI also works with OBD II for misfire detection. This provides the diagnostic ability to determine if a cylinder is misfiring due to improper fuel control. For the driver, SFI means smooth engine idle, as well as smooth performance throughout the driving range.
  • Stainless-steel fuel injectors provide corrosion resistance to today’s alcohol-additive fuels.
  • A fast-burn combustion chamber design allows the Twin Cam engine to operate at a high compression ratio without exhibiting detonation (the thermal efficiency of an engine increases with the compression ratio).
  • The engine coolant system features an "inlet thermostat system." This system contributes to heater performance during cold weather and also benefits engine cooling performance during hot weather. The coolant system also contributes to engine durability by reducing thermal stress caused by the thermal cycling of a pressure-side thermostat.
  • Platinum-tip spark plugs have a first scheduled maintenance of 100,000 miles*, and extended-life engine coolant has a first scheduled replacement interval of 5 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.*

*Maintenance needs vary with different uses and driving conditions.

  3100 V6 SFI ENGINE (L82)

A 3100 V6 SFI is standard on Malibu LS Sedan and optional on Malibu Sedan. This sophisticated V6 engine is powerful, affordable and fuel-efficient. OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics Second Generation) is standard.

Horsepower and torque ratings:

  • 155 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • 185 lb.-ft. torque @ 4000 rpm.

Additional information on the 3100 V6 SFI engine:

  • The new starter is smooth, quiet and reliable
  • Weight, quality, reliability and durability are improved with the addition of a one-piece flywheel
  • Increased coolant flow to the heater results in quick warmup
  • A new accessory drive, elimination of the oil filter adapter, a single-pin oil pressure switch and large- volume air cleaner make 3100 V6 engine even more reliable
  • Powdered metal thrust plate and cold-formed steel camshaft journal (both features involved with opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves) improve reliability and durability of the camshaft
  • The 3100 V6 SFI provides exceptional high rpm power for smooth passing at highway speeds and strong low rpm torque for outstanding acceleration
  • The 3100 V6 features extended-life coolant, which has a first scheduled maintenance interval of 5 years or 150,000 miles* (whichever comes first) and extended-life platinum-tip spark plugs, which have a scheduled maintenance interval of 5 years or 100,000 miles*. It also features a Hydra-matic transmission with “fill-for-life” Dexron III transmission fluid
  • One of the most basic elements impacting engine performance is airflow. The more efficient an engine breathes, the more efficiently the engine operates, resulting in more power. The 3100 V6 boasts a mass airflow sensor that provides precise air metering and control of air/fuel ratio, providing outstanding performance
  • The design of the 3100 V6 SFI features a single coolant temperature sensor that sends signals to both the PCM and instrument panel indicator improving reliability and durability
  • A well-designed intake manifold structure yields minimal noise
  • The 3100 V6 award-winning assembled camshaft is designed for durability and efficient idle stability
  • Connecting rods are made of forged alloy steel for minimum weight and maximum reliability
  • 24X ignition provides fast ignition and smooth idle. The system provides precise monitoring of engine position and efficient spark delivery, yielding excellent driveability and exhaust emissions control at low rpm levels.

*Maintenance needs vary with different uses and driving conditions.


On-Board Diagnostics are sophisticated with OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics Second Generation). The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) monitors the emissions system and its components to detect deterioration or malfunction.

  • Enhanced evaporative emissions system detects evaporative fuel system leaks between the fuel filler cap and the purge solenoid by applying a vacuum seal to the fuel tank. If there is a leak, the system will not achieve, or maintain, a vacuum. If a problem is detected, a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) is stored and indicates the type of fault detected.
  • The PCM stores and retrieves diagnostic messages to help technicians diagnose and fix problems quickly and accurately.
  • The PCM alerts the driver by illuminating the "Service Engine Soon" light when it detects a deterioration in the performance of any of the monitored systems.
  • Unlike first-generation systems that signaled only system failures, OBD II alerts the driver to have the vehicle serviced before experiencing a possible breakdown or incurring more expensive repairs.
1997 Malibu Transmissions


Standard on both Malibu and Malibu LS, the Hydra-matic 4T40-E 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission is specifically designed for midsize front-wheel-drive vehicles.

  • The 4T40-E is engineered to maximize the efficient transfer of power from the engine to the drive wheels, leading to impressive fuel economy.
  • The 4T40-E was designed to meet competitive standards in mass efficiency (weight of unit compared to torque capacity), which makes an important contribution to fuel economy. Smooth shifting is credited to the fully integrated and synchronized Powertrain Control Module (PCM), which monitors engine operation and environmental factors, such as altitude and temperature, to create a seamless link between engine, transmission and vehicle.
  • When the PCM signals reach the 4T40-E, line pressure is changed, adjusting transmission operation.
  • The PCM also provides sophisticated diagnostic capabilities for more efficient service.

Chevrolet models equipped with automatic transmissions have an electronic cluster "PRNDL" indicator, giving the driver a precise indication of the gear selected. The PCM decodes gear selection information from the transmission and communicates this information to the car’s "smart" instrument cluster via a digital serial data link.

GM Powertrain engineers were careful to minimize noise, further enhancing the performance of the 4T40-E. A fully enclosed bellhousing controls noise resonance and specially balanced internal components reduce vibration.

The 4T40-E sets a high standard for owner convenience.

  • Dexron III automatic transmission fluid never needs replacement under normal operating conditions. This advanced fluid features an innovative additive package that resists oxidation, provides outstanding friction characteristics and is compatible with the wide range of materials used in today’s transmissions.
  • Because no normal maintenance is required, there is no transmission fluid dipstick.
  • Unique controlled-compression gaskets for all external seals prevent fluid leakage and enhanced long-term durability.

Designed with high-capacity in mind, the 4T40-E is designed and manufactured to handle a heavy workout. Its top rpm capacity is 6500, with a special reinforced torque converter.

When driving down steep hills or on slippery highways, drivers will appreciate the fact that the 4T40-E features engine braking in all forward gears. This is beyond federal safety regulations that require transmissions to have this feature only in one gear. Engine braking controls vehicle speed by limiting the power transmitted to the drive wheels, without using the vehicle’s brakes. It can be a big aid in controlling the vehicle under difficult driving conditions.

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Malibu VI Front wheel bearing hub assembly 1 e34e36
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Malibu: Motor Trend Car of the Year

OKLAHOMA CITY, November 20, 1996 -- MOTOR TREND magazine today announced that selection of the Chevrolet Malibu as the publication’s 1997 Car of the Year. This is the 45th time that the prestigious Golden Calipers trophy has been awarded for this honor. In choosing the Malibu, MOTOR TREND cited its impressive driveability, comfortable interior, overall quality, high fun-to-drive factor, and outsta...

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Photo gallery Chevrolet Malibu V/Classic

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Manuals Chevrolet Malibu V/Classic  |  Malibu Upload new manual

User's manuals (6) Add

Year Document Language Size Pages
2003 2003 chevrolet malibu owners.pdf English 15.9 MB 354
2002 2002 chevrolet malibu owners.pdf English 2.41 MB 341
2001 2001 chevrolet malibu owners.pdf English 2.53 MB 351
2000 2000 chevrolet malibu owners.pdf English 2.4 MB 326
1999 1999 chevrolet malibu owners manual.pdf English 2.5 MB 344
1997 1997 chevrolet malibu owners.pdf English 18.2 MB 354

Repair manuals (14) Add

Year Document Language Size Pages
2003 chevrolet malibu 2003.pdf English 13 MB 94
2002 chevrolet malibu 2002.pdf English 8.49 MB 72
2001 chevrolet malibu 2001.pdf English 9.9 MB 86
2000 chevrolet malibu 2000.pdf English 10.3 MB 86
1997 - 2005 cm 12027 50 ins.pdf English 150 KB 1
1997 - 2003 740 821 is window reg.pdf English 411 KB 15
1997 - 2003 fluid check.pdf English 437 KB 4
1997 - 2003 tail lamps.pdf English 907 KB 5
1997 - 2003 spark plugs.pdf English 699 KB 4
1997 - 2003 front brake pads.pdf English 1.04 MB 7
1997 - 2003 air filter.pdf English 685 KB 3
1997 - 2003 chevrolet malibu 1997 2003.pdf English 331 KB 8
1997 - 2001 ac controllers are repairable.pdf English 717 KB 4
1997 chevrolet malibu 1997.pdf English 15.2 MB 76

Data sheets and catalogues (15) Add

Year Document Language Size Pages
2004 04 chevrolet commercial classic.pdf English 177 KB 6
2003 03 chevrolet malibu.pdf English 121 KB 6
2002 chevrolet us malibu 2002.pdf English 2.16 MB 38
2001 2001 malibu.pdf English 27.5 MB 36
2000 2000malibu.pdf English 197 KB 11
2000 malibu 2000.PDF English 9.27 MB 6
1999 99malibu.pdf English 366 KB 18
1999 1999 malibu.pdf English 19.3 MB 29
1999 1999 chevrolet malibu.pdf English 9.1 MB 74
1998 98malibu.pdf English 560 KB 17
1998 1998 malibu.pdf English 16.4 MB 26
1998 1998 chevrolet malibu.pdf English 7.14 MB 50
1997 1997 malibu.pdf English 13.6 MB 24
1997 1997 chevy malibu.pdf English 2.53 MB 4
1998 1998 malibu mex.pdf Spanish 7.94 MB 12


Year from-to Engine code Fuel [ccm] Cylinders [kW] [Nm] No. of
1997 2000 LD9 gasoline 2 392 4 / In-Line 112 210 16
1997 1999 L82 gasoline 3 136 6 / Furcate 119 251 12
2000 2003 LG8 gasoline 3 136 6 / Furcate 127 258 12
2004 2005 L61 gasoline 2 198 4 / In-Line 107 210 16

Our vehicles Chevrolet Malibu V/Classic Add a vehicle

1999 Chevrolet Malibu V/Classic 2.4 (146 cui)

2 photos  |  8 videos  |  81 service books  |  111 discussions  |  9.16 l/100 km

Performance 112 kW (152 PS) at 6000 rpm. Torque 210 Nm (155 ft/lb) at 4400 rpm. Max speed 170 km/h. Acceleration 11.0 s ~ 0-100 km/h. Weight 1 384 kg. Fuel gasoline. 4-speed Automatic transmission. Engine 2 392 ccm (146 cui), 4-cylinder, In-Line, 16-valves, LD9.

CHEVROLET MALIBU - The Car You Knew America Could Build