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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Steering/Suspension Questions

Tomorrow I'm going to be picking up my '04 Maxx after being in the shop for a week. They replaced the gas tank, cruise control switch, driver's visor, and rack and pinion. We'll see if the clunk sound goes away. Maybe this will help some of the others here with the steering noise.

By the way I had a GM tech tell me a while back that the faulty steering columns were caused by too much grease on the electrical contacts. I don't know if that was true, but if that was it, GM sure went to a lot of expense on changing columns.

Has anyone changed their battery yet? When it gets under 20 it seems my battery is already struggling. Only had the car 15 months, but with 58K on it the battery is out of warranty and not covered under GMPP supposedly.
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Comments

  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    No, but mine is noisy too. Thanks to people like you Marvin, we will hear about it. Please keep us updated if you find out about a fix. :)
  • How do I know if the Traction Control button is on or off? I pressed the button but can't tell because it looks in the same position. There didn't seem to be any extra lights to say its on? Thanks for any help.
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    When you press the Traction Control Button, there is an orange-ish colored light that should light up on the dash, On the spedo side, between your mph and the gas gauge, towards the top. TCS is reset to "on" everytime you turn your car on. Hope this helps :-) PS This applies to the MAXX. Not sure if it is the same on the others.
  • Just checked, that was it. Thanks.
  • The steering clunk is gone! Just out of curiosity with the electric steering how is the rack lubricated? My receipt says Fluid 89020661. They installed a new rack & pinion. The receipt says Gear Kit 15216792. Merry Christmas!
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    Hello! I have an 05 Maxx LS with 32,000 miles on it. Build date Aug 04. I am noticing a slight pop/clunk when going slow and turning, almost always when I turn to the left, sometimes to the right, and when the car starts to roll from park to drive and I turn the wheel. I do not notice it when I am going faster than 5 or 10 mph. Does this sound like the steering issue that others have talked about? I have the car going in Wed to have the fuel sensor (if I remember right) being replaced as the fuel gauge goes from full to 3/4 of a tank in about 2 miles. Thanks for any advice on the steering! Merry Christmas!

    Larry :-)
  • Your steering's showing exactly the same problem my '04 Maxx is having. It may either be the tie rods or the entire steering rack and pinion - so claimed the dealer that will attempt to fix my Maxx later this week.
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    Thanks for the confirmation! I have it going in Wed. Going to have them check the steering noise, they are replacing the fuel sensor and when I press the button for the windshield wash (front window) I hear a clicking sound coming from teh rear wiper motor. Will keep you posted what I find out! Thanks again!
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    When you have the rear wiper system on Maxx, you still only have a single washer pump underhood. Depending on which direction the pump runs the fluid goes to front glass or rear.

    The rear wiper module has control over washer pump, likely has a few relays in it which are reason for the clicking. Does the clicking constantly occur or does it only happen once when you press and once when you release switch? Does the rear washer function work?
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    The clicking sound only happens when I push the button for the front washer fluid. Once I release the button the clicking goes away. Thanks for the info!

    Larry :-)
  • airmaxxairmaxx Posts: 9
    My 05 maxx has a vibration in the steering at about 60 to 70 mph. This vibration lasts about 30 seconds and then is gone for about the same amount of time. Tires are in good shape and have equal inflation. Anyone else experience this. Otherwise I love this car. One of the most unique cars I've ever owned.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,751
    Is vibration repeatable (i.e., it always occurs over a particular stretch of road)? Or does it just come and go?

    Do you notice any steering wheel pulsing or shaking while driving at low speeds?

    Former could be unbalanced wheels (turning corners would change relationship wheels have to each other and affect vibration).
    Latter could be dreaded steering columm problem that showed up in '04 Maxx/Malibu.
  • airmaxxairmaxx Posts: 9
    Thanks for the quick reply. No this does not happen at low speeds only at high ones. At low speeds the car is stable as a rock. Only at high speeds and only occasionally. It is possible that a tire is out of balance. I'm not sure if it is a steering problem or tire problem.
  • marvin4marvin4 Posts: 2
    I have a Malibu Maxx LT 2004. The steering rack is very noisy. The dealer said G.M. is trying to find a fix for it. Has anyone else had the same problem and has anyone heard when I can expect to get it fixed? I have e-mailed G.M. several times. They promise to respond but never do.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    what kind of noise...mine seems to be quiet as ever.....
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    We have an 05 MAXX, and both the dealer and Chevy say they are working on a fix. First they said 1st quarter 06, now they say 2nd quarter. My patientence is wearing thin!

    Larry :-)
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,751
    have noted the steering columm is making rubbing/grinding sounds again. Is going into the shop this saturday for a complete suspension inspection.

    Sigh... I really want to like this car, and am wondering if the '06/'07 will really be any better?
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    let us know how it goes kurt.

    pao: it is the same thing since day one: the front end feels like it is missing 4 bolts and is ready to fall off, especially when going over a driveway entrance or over small potholes. I had one strut replaced, but that was a waste; it did nothing. There is something in the suspension in these cars. I'm not sure what the remedy is, but I hope GM does find a fix. For me, it is an annoyance. I can only hope that all the parts are secure, and are doing their job properly.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,751
    sadly, every review I've seen of the maxx talks about its rattly front end. so the problem has been around for awhile.

    Meanwhile my steering has started popping again on slow turns from start. "New" rack fixed this for a short time but rack or tie rods may be going bad.

    What supplier made those parts???

    To service's credit, the replaced Lumbar support is working nicely.
  • mama_shymama_shy Posts: 2
    I just had the same problem.. hubby bought me an 05 malibu maxx 3 weeks ago, and it was running fine until i was doing 65/70 on the highway and it was shaking terribly.. hubby thought it may be an alignment problem, so i took it back to the dealers and they fixed the problem, it was the balance of the tires... they said the front balance was way off but the back ones were fine, now she runs smoothly..
  • marvin4marvin4 Posts: 2
    I went back to the dealer last week and he told me it would be in the second quarter of 2006 that GM would have a fix for the noisy steering rack problem.
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    I checked back in with my dealer last Friday, and he said he had just spoke with GM (I had emailed GM again, and they get with the dealer immedeatley) and he said late 2nd quarter. This is geeting old. I want the fix to be done right of course, but I went in in December, and was told 1st quarter, then 2nd now late 2nd. I hope they are not just stalling. I have always had GM vehicles, so I would hope that when the time comes I will still want to buy one.

    Larry :-)
  • billbbillb Posts: 14
    I'm glad your vibration problem went away though it is strange that it was running fine and then started "shaking terribly" at highway speeds. I posted a similar problem under "shaking" on the 'Problems and Solutions' board back on Feb. 22nd. The dealer said the shaking was caused by asphalt sealer causing the brake calipers to stick. They also said my rotors were fine though the steering wheel vibrated when I applied the brakes. I only had the 2 real bad incidents of "shaking terribly" as you said. There were some minor incidences as well.

    I had several more "shaking" or vibration issues over the next 6 weeks though they were less dramatic than the 2 that I posted earlier. I mostly assumed that it was bad roads. Then I had the problem again on Tuesday April 18th near the dealer. I called ahead and asked for someone from the service dept. to meet me outside and smell the burning smell. They agreed that it was the brakes.

    They road tested the car that evening and duplicated the problem. This is interesting because usually the problem would go away when I stopped the car for a while. They put the car on a lift when they came back and the left front wheel was locking up. They said that the brake hose was collapsed and replaced the hose. They road tested again and both wheels locked up. They ordered in and replaced the master cylinder saying that it was building pressure causing the pads to engage. They also bled the system.

    They resurfaced one rotor and on the short drive home this afternoon (4 days later)it did seem better though it is raining heavily. I am concerned about rotor wear now and did ask for new rotors vs resurfacing as a defect caused rotor wear, not my driving. The repair notes say that the rotors look blued and I imagine that they built up a lot of heat while this problem has been occurring over the last several months. I am concerned that I will have to replace rotors sooner rather than later now as they can only be resurfaced so much.

    Of course the dealer has never seen the problem before nor did GM have any info on it.
  • nu2maxxnu2maxx Posts: 4
    I took my 05 in for a clunk/thump noise, most noticeable when turning at low speed, especially when leaving from a stop. They attempted to tighten a pinch bolt on the rack and said they lubed it up to correct. As I was driving out of the dealership, it was worse than before. I went right back, and they agreed to order the rack assembly. I then got a call back from service mgr. saying it was on restriction, and they had to do something special to order it for replacement. They "jumped through some hoops with corp GM" to get it released, and I took it in for replacement. I got a call back a couple hours later and they told me that they didn't want to replace it because of this new assembly coming out "soon" and said they had a case open on my car, so that as soon as they come out I will be notified, and one will automatically get sent out. The alternative is to get a new one installed now (old style), and then replace it again when the new one comes out. They gave me a print out of the GM Tech bulletin that states June 2006 for date of shipment of updated assembly. It goes on to state if it is replaced with old style assembly the noise will come back in 3 to 5000 miles.

    On a side note, I also had the giggly headlight issue, and they were able to correct that, so if you have the same problem, it appears enough of us have complained and they are now correcting this. :)
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,751
    Thanks for info. That's exactly what is happening with my '04 Maxx. The "replaced" steering rack must have been an older model, for having put around 3K miles on the car since it was replaced, mine is now acting up just like before.

    Can you please post the TSB number of this notification so I can tell my dealer about this?
  • nu2maxxnu2maxx Posts: 4
    At the top of the page is a Document ID# 1819760. Subject is labeled:

    Subject: Knock, Clunk or Rattle Noise at Low Speeds with Suspension Input - keywords intermittent shaft steer steering #PIC3747B - (04/21/2006)

    Models: 2004-2006 Chevrolet Malibu/Maxx 2005-2006 Pontiac G6

    I'm not sure if that's the official TSB #, but that is the only number I find on here other than the old part assembly numbers. Hope this is what you were looking for.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    the bigger issue is will a dealership replace this assembly if the car is out of warranty.....a known problem but a fix for it two years later...uuuuummmmmmm
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    I have spoke with Chevy and the dealer for several months on this, and the assured me that it will be covered under warranty. I am out of warranty now. They said since I had a case started on this before warranty ended, that it won't be a problem. I am nervous though :-)
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    thanks nu2maxx. My steering started making a rubbing/groaning/clicking sound today (once). Nonetheless, my front end suffers from low speed rattles. Do you recommend that I take it in simply to have a case started?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,751
    Yes, I would do it. The suspension on the Malibu is a real weak spot, per CU, my and some other posters here experiences.
    My rack's been replaced with the old version and is rapidly deteriorating.

    thanks for temperature indicator info, E2! helps clears up some mysteries.

    BTW I drove an AUDI A3 3.2 Quattro today. It's basically a VW GTI R32 but 5 door, with Audi Quattro/Interior. No jiggles, no rattles on bumps; a rock solid car. Its electric steering felt fine. It actually weighs more than the Maxx, despite being smaller, thanks in part to an iron block V6 and Quattro Haldex drive. $40K - no bargin.
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