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Chevrolet Malibu Steering/Suspension

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  • I have an '04 Malibu Maxx LT w/ 23K mi. that just had it's steering rack replaced under warranty (part #15858368 as mentioned by previous writers) which cured my problem - you could hear and feel a clunk at low speed turning or sitting still turning the wheel back and forth. An article suggests that this is a new type part to fix this http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/archive/index.php?t-35203.html
    Other than that I really like the car - versatile, comfortable and I avg 27mpg in rush hour driving and 32mpg on highway.
  • Yes, that was the part that was replaced on my '04 Maxx. It has helped reduce the turning "clunk", though the front end still rattles over some kinds of bumps.

    Interesting that 17" wheels (on many of the '07 Malibus) require a restricted turning radius gear. Given that the Maxx already has a big turning circle with 16" wheels, the fact a 17" wheeled Maxx or Malibu is worse is a big disincentive to update to newer maxx.
  • I have a 2006 Malibu LS with 45000 KM on it . I was wary of purchasing a GM product after a 3 year battle with a nightmare GM truck.
    My Malibu seems to be a fantastic vehicle without serious defects . Gas mileage is amazing ,steering is fine and no rattles as others have reported in earlier models.
    Cruise creeps going downhill , but this is an awareness issue that I can live with. Hope everyone works out there issues , I know GM can be horrible to deal with if you are having problems with one of their products.
  • I have had my 2005 Malibu in 3 separate times, and they can't resolve my problem. I have intermitent problems when accelerating (like to pass someone) and the steering wheel will actually feel like it is locking up on me (like power steering is going out). It is scary, and you have to take your foot off the accelerator to get the steering back. It doesn't do it all the time, so it will surprise you, and when steering is critical, that is a major safety concern. Anyone know anything about this type of problem?
  • mufasamufasa Posts: 1
    SAME EXACT PROBLEM:!!!!!

    Bought my 2006 Malibu LT on 11/13/06, then on 11/26/06, while making a r/t and accelerating to get into the furthest left lane, boom the steering wheel locked, only for 2-3 seconds., long enough to make my heart stop. I went right back to the dealer (closed) hence, called the next day and against the head service depts advice, I made an appt for the following Monday, 12/4/06, but only to have it happen again 5 days later and hit 2 parked cars..giving me $7,000.00 worth of damage ( PT Cruiser has a smashed tail light-$35.00 and the Toyota Camary-no damage). I am working w/my insurance co and the dealer couldn't find anything wrong...surprise surprise. If anyone can share a story, I could use the help. I don't know if I should keep the car????
  • deckdogdeckdog Posts: 10
    Hi All,
    I took my son's blazer to the dealer today for some work and talked to the service writer about the returning steering clunk in my 05 Malibu. I told her that I already have had the gear changed out a few months ago and she told me that GM has now switched manufacturers for the steering gear within the past month or so and that the new replacement part that was being put in would correct the problem once and for all. She says at this point in time they are not plentiful but could have one for me within a week. Has anybody else heard about this? Thanks.
    thedeckdog
  • I have had my 04 Malibu's power steering motor/column replaced in 2005. I have now had the dealer try to resolve the clunking noise by replacing the steering gears three times. The last time (within the last 1.5 months) my wife picked up the car and stated it felt like no power steering during one of the turns. I did not experience the same until the other day. I was making a right hand turn at about 15 mph when the power steering went out for a couple of seconds. No warning messages were displayed. I have seen them before. Multiple times before the "Power Steering" warning message has come on the Radio display during my problems with the clunking
  • szerfasszerfas Posts: 53
    Hi All,
    We are yet another Malibu (Maxx) owner with the steering clunk problem. Our has been serviced 3 times now, twice with replacing the steering gear. We have been told we have had th new design for the last 2 replacements. I would definitely suggest calling the Chevy 800 number and tell them about the problem. The more they hear I think the better. We already have a case going with them. With the last "newly" designed gear failing in 6 months I told them I have no question that the one they just installed this month will fail in another 6 months or less. Unfortunately we will be out of warranty in about 5 months. My concern is there does not seem like a real fix to this problem. I am not having a lifetime of replacing a steering gear with every oil change. :( Hopefully others have more luck then us. If they do not warranty this car for longer after the regular warranty finishes we will dump it.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    beleive the clunk is a bad engineering design and you will probably never completely get rid of it.....92K on my 04 Maxx....slight clunk..but not worried about it to be honest...no steering gear replacement at all..no electronic problems....just keep driving it...

    sorry for your issues......
  • rvothrvoth Posts: 147
    Ya, have to agree it's a badly designed electric steering system... it's just annoying that near the end of my warranty it starts to cluck....if continues to get worse then it will get the new updated column
  • szerfasszerfas Posts: 53
    rvoth, you might only need the steering gear replaced. That is what ours was the last time. The first time was the whole assembly, that was after the steering went out on us while driving. I have never let the steering gear go too long after the first time I had the steering go completely out, I am guessing with the gear it will just clunk worse and worse and at some point become hard to turn past a point. If you are like us and have had the steering system serviced several times under warranty you might want to call Chevy and see if they will cover it. Good luck.

    On to the next problem for us. Discovered a crack between muffler and exhast pipe where it looks like they corroded and cracked.
  • szerfasszerfas Posts: 53
    deckdog,
    I called and asked you exact question to the 800 number and there answer to me was since it has been serviced 3x times under warranty if it happens again close to when the warranty goes out they will take care of it. We are trying to use this car more then our other because I have on fear it will return in the next 5 to 6K miles. They said at the point we can discuss how long Chevy will cover it for. If thy do not come up with a good solution we will dump the car and GM will lose another long time customer. (I don't think they have many left at this point, and they don't really care either.) I would get yours fixed right away if for no better reason then to keep the paperwork and documentation of it getting serviced yet again. They seem to only pay attention after several time fixing it. Do call and log the issue with the 800 number also.
  • deckdogdeckdog Posts: 10
    Hi All,
    I've got about 6K left on my warranty so I took my Malibu back in to have the clunk fixed again. This time they replaced the intermediate shaft and the noise is gone. According to the service dept. since I had the steering gear replaced a few months ago I had gotten the most up to date part so they replaced the shaft. Hopefully now with both items replaced it will cure the clunking problem. If it returns I hope it happens within the next 6000 miles, then I'll have it done for the third time. Has anyone else had both parts replaced and has it returned? Thanks.
    thedeckdog
  • iantmiantm Posts: 1
    My wife and I have an 04 Malibu with the 4 cylinder engine. Has a stalling/surging issue that still hasn't been remedied after five repair attempts, and has had the steering gear and column replaced about 3 times so far for clunking, locking, and the occasional force feedback steering wheel - it fights you when trying to turn the wheel.

    Car has been nothing short of an insane nuisance. A firm call to GM netted us an extended warranty for free.
  • chevyronchevyron Posts: 2
    Take it to the dealer and have them check the Alternator. I had this same problem and it was found to be the alternator pushing out something like 16.2 amps and it should only put out 14 amps at high RPM's
  • chevyronchevyron Posts: 2
    I just had the shaft replaced as well. The dealer said this is a redesigned part that Chevy said will correct the clunking problem when turning or moving the steering wheel.

    This is an awesome car!!! You would have to pay $7,000 to $10,000 more on a Camry or Accord to get everything you get with the Malibu.

    Get with the GM or Chevy 800 number to get them to extend the warranty due to issues. I am.

    Oh yeah, and Chevy gives a free loaner if kept overnight for service, not Honda or Toyota.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    How many parts are there?

    I replaced the steering column a few months ago-- power steering intermittently then permanently failed =$800. I know there's a rack that fails-- the Maxx board stated $600.

    What's the intermediate shaft?

    Is there a separate pinion below the steering column?

    Are there 2,3 or 4 parts including the rack and steering column? How much do these other parts cost to replace?

    I still like my Maxx better than any car I've had but throw in several more $600-$800 steering parts and I'll be a bit turned off.
  • slkeepslkeep Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Malibu. I purchased the vehicle about a year ago and it had 29,000 miles on it. About a month after I bought it I had to have the power steering gear replaced due to the clunking noise. 13,000 miles later (about 2 months ago) the noise was back and they once again replaced the power steering gear. 5,000 miles after the second replacement the noise was back, I took it in and they said they performed some bulletin on it (placed some foam around the radiator and greased some other things) and the noise is gone now; however, I am sure it will come back. I no longer have man. warranty but I did take out extended warranty, any suggestions for what this might be or what to do next?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    the design of the front suspension of the Malibu 04 and up is flawed....I have an 04 Maxx LT and have had the clunk almost since day one....just noticeable on mine..but not enough to be a pain.....there have been a few TSBs out dealing with the issue...however in most cases it simply lessen the problem or it came back over a matter of time....

    I havent done anything to mine...and have over 101K on the car now..without any problems with the suspension or steering....depending on the severity of your "Clunk" it simply may be something you have to live with in all honesty....again..doesnt seem to effect anything long term..at least not on mine....
  • I have a 2005 Malibu with 77,000 miles on it. It's had the thud/clunk/pop for a very long time. It started out just making slow left turns. Now it does it alot more and in both directions and going over bumps. It's annoying but the steering doesn't seem loose. I never had GM look at because my warranty ran out long before it became worse.

    My biggest complaint with the car is rattles. There's a lot of them. The sunroof, the headliner, the dashboard, etc etc etc...

    One thing I did find out is (one of the many) noises I thought was coming from the front suspension was in fact the coolant reservoir bottle banging against the firewall.

    Another annoying thing is wrong parts listed at the parts store. I bought new front rotors from AutoZone and they were the wrong ones. I need the other part they had listed for the model without rear discs (mine has 4 wheel disc brakes). Now I want to replace the shocks. AutoZone has a strut listed for the rear. PepBoys has both a strut and shock. It's a shock under there!!
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 874
    Seeing you are out of warranty try this.

    1. From inside the vehicle, spray GM Superlube, PIN 12346241 (in Canada, use PIN 10953474), into the gap between the inner shaft and outer shaft at the steering shaft for about two to three seconds.
    2. Start the vehicle and turn the steering wheel 180 degrees and spray into the gap between the inner
    shaft and the outer shaft again for about two to three seconds.
    3. Wipe off any excessive lubricant that may run down the outer shaft with a shop towel.
    4. Cycle the steering whee1 lock to lock for two complete cycles.
  • Hi - we have an 05 MAXX that we are thinking of trading in for an 07. Does the 07 MAXX's and the Malibu's have the same clunking problem? THANKS!
  • WOW! Thanks! That did the trick! I didn't have GM superlube but I had some 15 year old Duralube and that worked. The clunk while turning hasn't returned. If it does, I'll know what to do.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 874
    Glad it worked, got that information off the GM TSB their Techs use.
    I was thinking that good penetrating oil might work like PB Blaster.
    Mine was done under warranty so if it comes back I will know what to do.
    Thanks for letting us know how it worked.
  • I think you will find it to be the intermediate steering shaft, part # 22687711, shaft kit.

    I found out this morning this problem is occuring on the 2005 models only.

    Hope this helps,

    Rick
  • Just a follow up. Ever since my last post and spraying "Duralube" down the steering column from inside the car, the clunk has NOT returned!! Yeah!

    Now I can focus on the rattles in the headliner and everywhere else! Ugh...
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Think I posted this on Maxx board, but not here. Last week I got an offer from GM offering to pay for the steering column replacement (last winter, approximately $750) on my 05 Maxx.
  • How many miles are on your MAXX? I have almost 90K on my LT.
  • Got a letter from GM this week, they are extending the warranty on steering columns on the electric steering vehicles (Malibu, G6) to 7 years or...over 100,000kms (cant recall the exact figure).
  • I bought my daughter an '04 Malibu used and now have had the steering quit working two times. 53k miles.

    Any ideas on what is the best fix and/or if GM will own up to any part of the fix?

    What is the letter you got? Is there a # attached to it, or a phone #?

    Thanks!!
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