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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Steering/Suspension Questions

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  • the midshaft (universal joint) part was replaced in my fix, along with the rack gear. Maxx has been much less poppy and clunky since.
  • That's the most sensible idea that I've ever read about the steering messes on these cars; the overall design has the stressor(s) in the wrong place(s) versus where the [electric] power assist is provided. If you're right, then one would presumably just have to keep replacing/repositioning/relubing parts periodically, and very expensively: Intermediate Shaft replace, Steering Gear replace, I-Shaft reposition, relube Inner & Outer Steering Shaft, whatever.
  • It's probably been posted elsewhere hereabouts, but all folks with the Steering Nightmares should be aware of GM Technical Service Bulletin TSB 06-02-32-007B dated May 21, 2007 (which superseded TSB 06-02-32-007A) which has at least 4 things in it that the dealer could do depending upon what they supposedly find in Diagnosing the Steering Nightmares. I had Steering Gear replaced 9/2006, Intermediate Shaft replaced 10/2007, re-work on Shaft 11/2007. It's not cured yet.
  • The letter I got (dated only "December 2007") from GM is only about loss of ". . . power steering assist" due to, only, ". . . electrical input signals within the steering column assembly." It extends warranty to 7 years/70,000 miles for that ONLY. If anybody out there got a letter in December or any other time that talks about other parts or extending warranty on other parts, Please Post About It. Thanks!
  • I got the same letter and took my car in to get fixed thinking this would fix the popping nice but was told that it is the intermitite stering assist and they want to charge me. I have had the whole front end replaced under warranty but I guess not that part. GM will pay before this is done.
  • Dealer replaced my entire steering gear and column. After 6,000 miles, the whole thing started all over. The clunks and noises are all back and worse. And, now, my cruise control does not work. This is a 2004 Maxx. Worst car I've ever owned. I'll try to keep it going another year and get rid of it (3 years putting up with it).
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    First year blues have always been a hallmark of GM cars. One column replacement on my 05 Maxx which is being reimbursed. 06-07's are even better.

    Have had two first year Korean cars, an 01 Elantra and an 07 Optima. Both were/are virtually repair free. You can get the first year right.
  • I have a 2004 Maxx. We have experenced the failure for about a month. The steering failed sometimes. Our Maxx is out of warranty. I contacted GM via GM.com and they responded with a Customer Relationship Specialist. GM did pay for replacement of the steering column at no cost to me.
  • As E2 commented, the '04 Maxx, (save the SS version), has a traction control system that cuts power to reduce wheel spinning.

    Moving to Portland OR gave me a chance to test this out.

    What happened? If the Maxx gets on a hill of glare ice, and you do not have chains or studs (or see below), you will go absolutely nowhere. The traction control will either cut all power to the drive wheels (without braking anything), or (should you turn traction control off) the wheels will spin uselessly.
    The SS would have fared no better since the entire road was glare ice.

    So now my Maxx has chains (for really severe, emergency conditions), and will soon have a pair of Auto Socks (the latter are much easier to put on and far less likely to damage the Maxx), to deal with the continual rain-snow-rain-snow freeze-thaw winter conditions Portland Or. is throwing at us this year.

    BTW, most other cars I was with couldn't get up that icy hill. The only ones that did had AWD and traction tires, or chains.
  • Just got back from chevy dealer. Found out that the reason the steering was making noise, it needs a new rack and pinion, still under warranty, but why should it go out so fast? We have over 31,000 miles, and have had the car since sept. '06. We drive alot, use it for work, but still, is this early for the r&p to go out? Robin
  • gpuckgpuck Posts: 1
    Has anyone had to replace the Ball joint/control arm yet? My passenger side is bad and I am considering changing it myself. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    George
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,749
    I've had 3 Racks replaced on my former '04 Maxx, along with one steering columm, one intermediate coupling between rack and columm, and both front struts. The intermediate coupling seemed to be the weakest link as once that was replaced, most of the popping noise went away.

    Front Suspension issues have been with most of the Malibus and Pontiac G6's for some time. The fragility of that part of the car, and the potential expense (racks are $450 if not covered by warranty), made me decide to trade it before my Majorguard expired.
  • Wow!

    After browsing through all 172 posts I feel a little despondent. :( I bought an 07 MAXX last Dec 21 with 34K KM on it. It has 48K now. From day one it had a high pitched squealing sound whenever I did a left turn. I brought it in to do some other warranty work and mentioned the sound to the service tech. Got a call later today to say that the whole rack had to be replaced. No knocks, rattles, grinding or anything except the squealing. Apparently the thought that the electric steering would be fixed or replaced with hydraulic in the 07 's was just that, a thought.

    Very disappointing. This is the newest car I have had in 28 years. Thought I would have years of trouble free driving. Hopefully this will fix it permanently.
  • novatucnovatuc Posts: 3
    Hi everyone, been following this line ever since I bought my Maxx. Wish I'd found it before I bought my Maxx. I have an '06 with 40,000 kms and I have the front end clunk when driving slow and turning. I also have the power steering cut out when making parking type moves, which is exactly when you want the power steering to cut out. I have extended warranty to 80,000 kms so eventually I'll be going in for work. It just doesn't bother me that much yet. Other than that, love the car, lots of space, good power and great mileage for what it is.

    Now the question. If I am not mistaken, the Maxx SS had hydraulic power steering. I wonder if the rack and power steering pump from the SS could be made to fit on the regular Maxx? For a little work, that would solve all the problems since I have never noticed any mention of a Maxx SS in this topic of the forum.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    Anything is possible if you want to throw enough money at it. I think it would cost quite a bit of $ and work to go from electric steering to hydraulic (pump and all the related plumbing) and you lose mpg when you do it. If my wife's '06 steering ever goes we'll stick with the original (been working great so far ....30K miles).
  • Well, I got the rack replaced last week and I can't say I notice any difference in the quality of the drive though. The only difference I can notice is that the squealing sound is gone. Made another appointment today. When driving on a straight stretch you can see that the steering wheel is not straight across. I heard an advert for this dealer and they advertise themselves as being recognized top Chev/Caddy dealer in Canada. Why couldn't they get it right the first time? I'm expecting to be past the 60,000 km meaning no more warranty, before the end of this year, so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed.

    On the plus side I do enjoy driving the car. Handles great, has plenty of power, quiet and comfortable. This is probably the nicest car I have had next to my 1980 Trans Am that I bought out of the showroom.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,749
    Aside from being hydraulically driven, The rack on the SS has limited travel, to keep those oversized wheels from grinding out the fender wells. As a result, the Maxx SS has a huge turning circle (over 43 feet).
  • maxxfannmaxxfann Posts: 1
    Hi Maxx owners.
    I live in Canada and am considering purchasing an 04 Maxx LS. I was just wondering if anyone has driven a Maxx in heavy snow and if so, how does it handle snowy driving conditions?
  • tas7107tas7107 Posts: 6
    Has anyone had this issue? Today while driving my '06 Maxx, I floored the accelerator to pass a car and the info center throws up a "Power Steering" message and the power steering was out. When I got off of the gas the message went away and the steering was normal. I am able to repeat this issue now. Any fixes, remedies, cost? Got 43k miles one Mr. Maxx now. Thanks
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    Never heard of that but remember the standard Maxx is electric steering (like an electric motor vs a hydraulic pump giving the assist). Possibly a loose connection when the motor twists under acceleration?, Dunno.
  • davidwlidavidwli Posts: 9
    Go to your GM dealer and tell them what happened as there is an extended warranty from GM on this specific matter; I know as I have the letter which GM mailed to all owners. I can fax you a copy if needed...Dave
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    Go to your GM dealer and tell them what happened as there is an extended warranty from GM on this specific matter; I know as I have the letter which GM mailed to all owners. I can fax you a copy if needed...Dave

    I don't recall ever receiving this letter on my wife's 2006. What was the wording? (was it about rack problems on previous years, and did it specifically say it was for all components of the steering, or just the rack?) Thanks.
  • tas7107tas7107 Posts: 6
    Thankx, I'll look in to it...
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030

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  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,749
    I no longer own a Maxx but to back up last entry , can add the windshield deicer did ok job helping clearing snow from windshield. However, you'll need to get snow off the cowl for proper ventilation. Rear defogger did ok at helping get ice off rear.

    In __snow__, the Maxx with Tripletreads was acceptable if not outstanding.
    On ice, the Maxx will go nowhere or skid its front, especially if you brake or accelerate.

    Blizzak series 60 tires may help (I've not used them).
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    Seems my wife's '06 Maxx is true to form with many others on the intermediate shaft steering clunk problem. We just had the 22687711 kit installed today at 32K (just a bit before our warranty expires).

    From what I've read the fix is not permanent and we can expect it to re-occur around 60K or so. I might just try the lube method once we're formally out of warranty.

    All in all the car has treated her great and it's been her best car to date, averaging over 30MPG since it's now warm weather.
  • smaxxsmaxx Posts: 9
    I have an 06 Maxx SS with 36,000 miles. I had the same steering clunk as everyone else. Dealer replaced steering shaft and front struts at 31,000 mi. The noise is gone for now, but I expect it to return again someday.
  • Took my 2006 Maxx in for first service since I bought it (used). Asked service mgr if there was a permanent fix for the clunk. He said he had an intermediate steering shaft that was a sealed unit. I said go ahead and install it (covered by warranty). I guess the old shaft had to be constantly lubricated, not so with the sealed unit. It's only been two days since the service so I can't say if it will last, but it makes sense that it would.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    By any chance did your paperwork mention the 22687711 kit ? (I'm hoping that kit is the sealed unit you were referring to). I just had this work done in the past few weeks
    (but others have mentioned the same kit for some time)

    Thanks if you can check.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,749
    The last replacement I had for the shaft, which I think was the newest type, got rid of the clunk (trouble free for 4000 miles, at which point I traded the car for an AWD'er to handle winters better).
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