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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Steering/Suspension Questions

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  • 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: 1,714
    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: 1,714
    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.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    hope they do since you started the case...mine has been very good to me..without any of the problems....almost 68K on it now
  • islandpeteislandpete Posts: 94
    Recently had a steering column replaced on my Maxx 02. Sensor had gone bad. Was just nosing around under the hood wondering if the new replacement could be seen and what it looked like. Looked underneath the car also. No doubt it was replaced, but I guess I was looking for something shiny and new that would indicate (hey I'm new) ;) Before closing the hood and my drop light something brown and rusty caught my eye. It was what looked like a knuckle joint assembly with a clevis pin and was located below the coolant overflow and Brake reservoir at the bottom of the firewall just as it dips under. It was covered with some scaly rust that you would think was many years old. It looked like it possibly went into a gear box. Don't know if this is part of the steering mechanism. Just very curious as to why this part is so rusty and if it is normal. Any one else notice this on their Maxxs or could enlighten me :surprise:
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yep Pete, I just looked at it for you. It looks well rusted as you state. I'm not a mechanic, but it looks like part of the steering assembly, as it enters the rack. e2helper can be more scientific than I.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    I think that thing is called the intermediate shaft and comes in as part of the steering column assembly although it is a separate piece. They don't replace it if column itself is replaced.
  • islandpeteislandpete Posts: 94
    Thanks e2helper and Maxx4me for the reply. A glaring question would be."Why should this assembly be covered with rust"? Especially if it is part of the steering mechanism. I am not a metalurgist so I could not tell you how long it would take for the rust to weaken the joint and cause a steering loss . I would hope never or a long long time ;)OK Maxx4me, you found the same condition as I did. It's probably safe to say all Maxx's are affected. Would be great if everyone on this board can check theirs and report back.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    I saw rust discoloration, but no flakes, on the steering rack's shaft connectors' flange and bolt just above the rack's rubber collar. The shaft just above the connector (the intermediate steering columm shaft) had less rust on its end.

    If I were driving in winter weather with salt on the roads, I suspect that fitting would look much worse.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    I was looking from the on-the-floor point of view on the drivers side in the inside of the car and noticed the steering shaft and the brake pedal? shaft had a coating of loose scaly rust on them. I initially thought of water leaks but that doesnt seem to be the case. I havent checked under the hood where you indicated yet. My car did come from the west coast of Canada (very damp there). I rubbed off the loose scale and gave it a light coating of wd-40. Kind of strange why these particular parts break out in rust, especially on the inside of the car.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    For the upcoming Maxxes, they offer NW7 and NW9 versions of traction control.
    NW7 is for all maxxes but SS, the SS gets NW9.

    Is there any difference between these Traction Control systems? Do both control traction by reducing engine power alone?
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    NW9 traction control also will apply brakes. In owner manual it is called "TCS" or Traction Control System

    The NW7 option on all non-SS vehicles is called "ETS" for Enhanced Traction System. In addition to reducing engine torque the system has ability to upshift transmission.

    Check out your owner's manual in section 4 for a little more description of each.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    Thanks, E2. Unfortunately I do not have SS manual, only LS (which uses the older NW7, I think).

    So, given a driving wheel on Glare Ice and the other driving wheel on firm pavement, is the following senario true;

    NW7 will reduce power/try to upshift trans until spinning wheel gains traction.

    NW9 will apply the brake on the spinning wheel and send power to the non spinning wheel.

    Is it likely that NW7 may very well fail to help, while NW9 will help?

    FYI, I have fond memories of the midwest winters with lots of lovely glare ice with water on top; makes traction miserable. As for RWD drive on that stuff, let's just say I discovered drifting long before it became a tuner passion.
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