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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Problem Codes/TSBs

The TSB that a lot of us have been waiting for was released June 13, 2006 - "Knock, Clunk Rattle Noise from Front of Vehicle While Driving Over Bumps at Low Speeds (Diagnose and Replace Steering Gear, if Necessary)"

Partial summary:

2004 - 2006 Malibu/Maxx
2005 - 2006 G6

Noise may be generated during contact between the rack gear and pinion gear. The EPS motor holds the pinion gear from rotating and the suspension input drives the rack gear into the pinion gear.

New Part Number: 15858368 Steering Gear Assembly

Off course the part is on Nationwide back order...
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Comments

  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    well at least it's official. Now I can advise my dealer about it, and get in line for the replacement part.

    Fortunately I have Major Guard, which supposedly covers that part.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    hey, stop cutting in line....I'm next!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    well the interesting piece will be how will they deal with those of us out of warranty....for teh suspension rattle.....probably will have to live with it...as Im certainly not going to invest big $ into it at this point..I will wait to see if this honestly fixes the problem first before I inquiry.....71K and going strong
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    well here's some news pao. I went to my local Chevy dealer. The floor manager told me that there was a TSB on four things related to the cluncking noise. He went for a ride in my car, but I told him it would probably be a waste of time since it did not make the noise while going over his parking lot's speed bumps at slow speed. I told him that I certainly did not want him to go tearing apart my front end replacing the sway bars, rack, etc. I guess I won't get anything repaired unless they hear the noise themselves. He told me that he did a replacement recently, but did not know that there was a pending TSB, and ended up replacing the rack with OEM parts, which of course did not solve the problem. I described the rattling problem to perfection; he is very familiar with the problem, but yet would not do anything unless he hears it. Oh well. I've got my GMPP, so I'm not too concerned about getting it done today.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    well I have lived with a slight clunk this long...so till it falls apart I probably dont have a choice.....Im sure even with the TSB and late year fix, a dealer wouldnt touch mine now under warranty with over 70K on the car.....

    still very much love this car....will hold it for another two years....at that point if no major issues...will just keep it and look towards a new replacement....waiting for the HHR to come out with their turbo...or maybe even one of the sabaru legacy sport wagons.....but a long way off from that decision....
  • tcontastcontas Posts: 10
    If anyone is actually able to get past the dealer's standard "unable to duplicate" answer for this problem and does get the work done, could you please post the results here? I'll be very curious to see if the new steering gear assembly solves this problem. I do think we'll have to fight somewhat to get this fixed under warranty, as the knock/clunk doesn't happen consistently and the service tech. who takes it for a quick test drive may not notice it if he doesn't go over the right kind of road. I notice mine most if I go fairly slowly over a "washboard" type of road, or a road with a series of small, close-together bumps, or a dirt/gravel road with little holes or dips. I can live with it for now, but I only have 3,300 miles on my Maxx and it may loosen up some more. I rented an '04 Malibu last year and the knocking was very noticeable. I actually told the rental company that I thought the tie rod ends or ball joints were going to fall off under normal driving. Anyway, feedback from anyone getting this new fix would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    Good post. I agree totally. We all have the problem. While I'm not a mechanic, (I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night) I did described the problem during my last visit, but since it did not happen for the service manager, I was turned away. The manager only stated that there was no hazzard to my life or groceries. How reassuring!!
  • mdp35submdp35sub Posts: 4
    I have a 05 Classic with 35800 miles and recently started having a clunk sound when placing into drive and when AT shifted from 1 to 2 gear. Come to find out it was the left strut that was bad. Dealer repaired under warranty. I got at least three "unable to duplicate" from them before I nailed down the location of the problem.
  • sciguy85sciguy85 Posts: 45
    Had it "fixed" today. They only had the car 1 day and had the steering gear and my "flooded" headlight replacement. When I handed them the TSB number they said they'd check it out. Primary diagnosis was rack or steering gear. Ended up being the steering gear. Only had it back for a few miles but steering is tight and better than before. No clunk. Unlike the 2 previous times they "fixed" it and I left with it clunking merrily along. Today's fix was almost $600 (no charge to me) With all my other "no charge" fixes, I believe I counted almost $4500 in repairs in less than 2 years and over 30 days in the shop. Hope this is it.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    seems they might have gotten it this time.....bit of a clunk here..but I will live with it since mine is out of warranty....04 Maxx LT...72K on it....only one warranty repair needed....in the shop a total of 4 hours over two visits for two recalls and a replaced right turn signal socket..no other problems to report..and still going strong......
  • minn_maxxminn_maxx Posts: 51
    Had the TSB done today. Noticeable difference. Clunky rattle is basically gone. Woo hoo!

    Small draw-back is that it seems less willing to center itself after a turn. May get better with time.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    great! now how did you get the dealer to do the fix? Did they have to hear the noise before choosing to do the work?
  • minn_maxxminn_maxx Posts: 51
    The dealer has been trying to fix the "clunk" for the last 10-months. Replaced sway bar links twice, strut bearing, strut, steering column (EPS) and tie wrapped/tightened many small parts. Once the TSB was released, I faxed it to the dealer and they ordered the part.

    Drove over a rough road last night that used to rattle the suspension - night and day difference now. Feels like a different car.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    were you still on 3/36 warranty when you had the TSB fixed?
  • minn_maxxminn_maxx Posts: 51
    Yes, I was still under 36k miles. Went over 36k as I drove home from the dealer.
  • davidwlidavidwli Posts: 9
    Just to let you know; My GM dealer ordered the new steering gear without even test driving my car . He could see the service history ( Front strut replaced 2 months before at another GM dealer) and simply proceeded based on my complaint of rattling steering column. I can send you the TSB print out if you need it...davidwli@go.com
  • jhunterbobjhunterbob Posts: 17
    Interestingly enough, I had noticed the clunk, but did not mention anything to the shop.

    I took it in mainly for the brake problem with seemingly warped rotors. I also asked him to check a rough idle and that sometimes it seemed like the power steering would go out. It usually happened in parking lots at low speed, so I thought it might be idle related, or even causing the rough idle.

    The service guy called yesterday and said they were going to do a light turn on the brakes and had to replace the steering gear. I guess I'm getting luck in some ways that they are replacing it, as I definatley had the clunk, but just blew it off as this is not a lexus or infinity!

    Anyway, he called back today and said the steering gear is on "national backorder" and that I could not get the car back. He offered to get a rental for me (As I guess the old gear was torn off and not useable), but fortunatley I am travelling with my big car (2000 Chev Suburban) for a few days and said I didn't need one.

    I'll let you know how the backorder process goes, but I am very happy that the service advisor is basically fixing it right the first time!
  • islandpeteislandpete Posts: 94
    Just had my Maxx LT 2004 in for servicing for the pulsing brakes. Had it in last month and they told me it was in spec and safe to drive. Did not buy this so back in it went. Spoke to the Service Manager and he assured me they would take care of it. Turned the front rotors down because of "Excessive Lateral Runout". The same thing happened to the rears at 18oo mi. Fronts were 11000. Was going to mention the TSB for the clunk on the front suspension but it is not too bad right now. Did not want to tie the car up too long. It will definitely go before too long. A question David by the steering gear do you mean the steering column, because my Maxx recently had the column replaced because of hard or erratic steering and then a total loss of steering(locked).
  • davidwlidavidwli Posts: 9
    Hi island pete; I should have clarified my symptoms. My electric steering has been problem free other than the clunking ,rattling sound coming from the suspension/ steering rack area over rough pavement....dave
  • maddmaxxmaddmaxx Posts: 81
    Are there any TSB's out there for an intermittent pulsating brake?

    Also, my CD changer quit working the other morning but in the afternoon it started again. Any similar experiences?

    Thanks. Great to have this list to find people who understand these cars.
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