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Chevrolet Malibu Steering/Suspension

maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
kurt,et al: I guess if there is no replacement parts coming for the front end, then there is no point in me bringing in the car, eh? I can get the front end to rattle by running over manhole covers, one side at a time, or by turning into a driveway and hitting the concrete apron one tire at a time. Should I even bother having the service person test drive it at all, given the fact that no new designed parts are coming any time soon?
Also, I have only had my driver's side strut replaced for this condition. Obviously it did nothing. What other parts have people had replace which did nothing? I don't want to waste my time having my car rebuilt with parts that won't solve the problem. Thanks in advance.


  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    supposedly in second quarter there is to be a new rack to fix the problems the current racks are having.

    Elsewhere in this thread, or the Maxx thread, there was a referral to a service bulletin describing the problem.

    If it is any consolation, wrt Consumers U, 2004 Maxxes did __much__worse than average in suspension components problems. Brakes, body integrity, and Electrical were all worse than average. Right in line with what I have gone through with my Maxx. The '05 version, so far (which I do not own), is doing better.

    Todays thought: never, never, NEVER buy a first year car,
    Unless you enjoy pain. :sick:
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    Todays thought: never, never, NEVER buy a first year car,
    Unless you enjoy pain

    I bought a 04 Malibu, 17K right now, no real problems since the first bugs, transmission chain, all rotors warped.
    Left front corner light, 1 software update and now waiting for front sway bar bushings, noisy when turning corners. We like the car, just rotated the tires and brakes still look new.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    sounds like the first year car spirit has blessed your ride.
    I wasn't so lucky - the spirit probably doesn't like our smog :cry: .
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    mine must have been build mid week no problems abeit a burnt out CHMSL (aprox 63K)..which I replaced..and one left turn signal socket replaced under warranty...other than that......67K good miles...just replaced the brakes and had the rotors turned at 65K and they were the OEM pads and rotors....

    I too have the front suspension noises...but with it being a design or re-engineering effort..not much that can be done about it you live with the noise...and I honestly dont pay attention to it any more....

    still getting about 27-28 MPG city and highway combined....running mobil 1 sythn oil and changing about every 6500 miles or so...... still very happy with the Maxx......but again probably the silent majority here...
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    "still very happy with the Maxx......but again probably the silent majority here..."

    I'm sure this forum represents a tiny percentage of Malibu owners and I've found any type of online forum to attract the most dissatisfied people on whatever issue the forum is dealing with. Usually if people are happy, you dont hear from them.

    There seems to be very few issues with the new Malibu as compared to the previous version. If one is to browse the Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc. forums, you will see alot of problems as well. Such as the Nissan engine problem where some intake bolts loosen are are sucked into the engine, destroying it completely!

    I think the Malibu is a great car with a great mix of good old proven technology combined with some fantastic new technology hopefully representing an upswing in quality which is long overdue. It's really hard to believe that North American cars have taken so long to face the challenge of the competition.
  • 01taurussel01taurussel Posts: 43
    Hi guys, new to the board. I have interest in the new Malibus (2005 probably). However, after reading about them, I have some concerns:
    1.) The steering. I have read that the steering can give out and total loss of steering (and loss of control) happens. Is it similar to a car w/ normal power steering that fails, or is it more serious?
    I know the 2004 were recalled until a certain build date, but I have read about 05's on NHSTA's webpage, and failure. Educate me please on this one!
    2.) Engine on V6. I had a 97 Lumina w/ a leaky intake manifold gasket at 58k. It was replaced and pinged just terribly. I know they are very similar and GM had some problems with those gaskets leaking. Are they completely fixed?
    3.) Transmissions- How are they ? are they fairly trustworthy??
    4.) Any thing else - good and bad.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    According to CU the '05 is a lot more reliable than the '04, latter of which had fair number of first year build issues.

    However, the steering rack remains a weak spot in most new malibus, with a fix supposedly coming in second quarter of '06.

    My '04 transmission was built just before the time a whole bunch of "howling trannys" wer ebuilt, but so far mine has been ok. '05's have a revision to that trans.

    No problems with the '04 V6 so far.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 225
    1.) The power steering, mainly affected the 04s, but a couple with 05s are still having trouble with them. If the system goes out you just lose power steering, but can still steer the car, with much more effort, it is not steer-by-wire, but just uses an electric motor to "assist" the driver when turning.
    2.) While the 3.5L V6 is closely related to the 3.1/3.4 that had lots of intake manifold gasket problems, they are using a new gasket now that is supposed to fix the problem.
    3.) I wouldn't worry about the transmission, it's been around for since the early to mid 90s and should prove dependable.
  • 01taurussel01taurussel Posts: 43
    Just to clarify the answer - a "fix" is coming for all malibus in 2006 or new ones being built? What kind of fix are they supposed to be doing.

    I read on some webpage a women had her steering fail, and she couldn't control the car - something like it locked up or something?? heard anything about that?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    The fix for malibus with noisy or binding steering racks is supposed to be a redesigned steering rack. It has taken Chevy and/or supplier quite a while to get that done.

    The failing steering is probably due to the defective steering columm a number of '04 and '05 models got built with. There have been a few reported cases of the car steering itself, but usually it just dies and the driver has to rely on manual steering until the columm/steering system is repaired.

    In 2007, electric steering is going bye-bye on the Malibu Maxx and most of the Malibus, as they go to the hydraulic system used on the SS.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    In 2007, electric steering is going bye-bye on the Malibu Maxx and most of the Malibus, as they go to the hydraulic system used on the SS.

    Does that mean the rest of us with EPS get a life time warranty?
  • mfh1mfh1 Posts: 15
    i have a 2004 Maxx with a noisy front end since day one. Man hole covers, pavement creases, curb cuts, etc. Three steering colums and one strut later, no improvement. Two dealers know nothing about a fix (rack replacement) planned by GM. There is no such TSB. Where does this information come from?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    Info has been posted on this through this forum and the problems and solutions forums, including my issues and experiences (everything but tie rods replaced so far - only marginal improvement).

    The suspension on the Malibu is weak, unfortunately, as is the one on its Saab/Opel cousin.
  • mfh1mfh1 Posts: 15
    Kurtamaxxguy: I've seen the posts, but are you aware of any document from GM/Chevrolet, with a reference number, that states they know of the problem and are working on a fix? I've told my dealer about these posts but he claims to have no information from the manufacturer (as if I'm making it up). Chevy customer service knows nothing about it either. All they have access to are TSB's on the steering column defect.
  • concertkeyconcertkey Posts: 59
    Our 2004 Malibu has recently started "creaking" when the steering wheel is turned or the car starts to move with the steering wheel turned. It is intermittent, however. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    One person reported a hard to find broken spot weld under/inside the fender that caused a similar creak. It was either reported in this thread or the main Maxx thread.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    I had creaky steering, was worse when hot, outside air temp high. Dealer replaced sway bar bushings and lubed the new ones before installation. 18K miles.
  • mfh1mfh1 Posts: 15
    Concertkey: Was this broken weld on a structural, weight-bearing component that would give the feeling of something loose in suspension?
  • concertkeyconcertkey Posts: 59
    Interesting. I suspected bushings because my '92 Camry used to creak in the winter and the only fix was to replace the bushings. We'll find out in a couple of weeks.
  • I had front upper strut bushings replaced on my '04 Maxx under warrenty...creaking sensation/sound is now gone.
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