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Chevrolet Malibu Clunks and Noises



  • Quite surprised I needed this to pass inspection for my 2005 LS. I was told that the ball joint was loose and the whole arm needs to be replaced. Guess the honeymoon period is over. Anyone else had parts like this needed to be replaced at rather low miles, IMO?
  • I know I am posting this almost a year later because I never had to look for a blog on Malibu till now. My 2008 Malibu has started to make noise near front left tire like it was driving over a fallen nut from a tree. This dull clunk noise started to get to me at 41K miles. I took it in to a local shop and they replaced the ball bearing and it is still making the noise - now more frequently when making a left turn.. I will have to take it back in on Tuesday. Is anyone else having this issue with their Malibu.
  • i am actually having the same exact issue with the popping noise. I am going to take it to the stealership soon to fix this issue once and for all because i know they got the new parts the should "last".

    I dont know if anyone is experiencing this issue, but i keep having a buzzing noise when i take my car over 50 mph. its not constant, its more like a pulsing with about 1 sec pulses, and i feel it on the steering wheel and on the gas pedal the most. it gets obnoxiously loud and vibrates like nothing you have felt before, and feels like my steering is about to rip apart when i hit 80. I have read about this issue, and it has something to do with the power steering which of coarse is a hazard, but leave it up to those idiots at GM to not make a recall on it. any who, i will update once i take it to the dealership and see what they say.

    I also have a whoop - whoop - whoop noise coming from the read, but i think its cause one of my rims is bent so its a non issue.
  • we just bought a 2000 chevy malibu ls, sence i got it its been having some problems like.... when ever i back out the wheels dont wanna turn left, and sticks dose any one knows whats going on
  • john570john570 Posts: 2
    I have been reading about the clunking I have on my 2007 Malibu with only 10000 miles. I am 99% certain it is the intermediate shaft. If the way they used to fix it was with lubrication why couldn't one drill a hole through the outer tube and screw in a grease zerk and grease the shaft whenever it starts clunking. Could this be a fix or would it cause some other problem????

    John S.
  • you have a 2007 with only 10000 how did that happen.. Getting a little nervous we just purchased a 2007 ltz 6 cyl 3.5 with 64000 miles on it.. We drove it a lot before we decided to buy it. We did not notice any such noise.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    I would advise you to at least speak with a dealer. Please keep me updated.
    GM Customer Service
  • john570john570 Posts: 2
    Maybe your car had the replacement intermediate steering shaft installed???
  • seaurchinseaurchin Posts: 57
    Maybe this is somehow related, i have been looking at used Malibus CarFax reports and they have have their chassis lubricated. First of what is it, is it important, how much does it cost to do it

    I have also been looking at used Mazda 3's and i did not see chassis lubrication on any report.
  • joe777joe777 Posts: 1
    As I drive in a staight line, I hear a clicking sound at low speeds. Sounds like atv tires on a porus concrete surface. Mechanic friend says he doesn't think its cv's. Didn't notice it until I got BF Goodrich tires. Check all front end steering and suspension for looseness, doesn't appear any problems. 100,00 miles. I have a 2004 with 120,00 miles, Goodyear tires and no clicking. Love my Malibu's
  • I have owned this car since 2006 (it had about 27,000 miles on it when I bought it). It now has about 79,000 miles on it and I have this re-occuring clunking problem when turning the steering wheel. The first time it was under manufaturer warranty still and it was fixed (they replaced the steering gear). It came back about 13 months later (right outside the 12 month warranty) and again said it was the steering gear and replaced it. I have gone through 5 steering gears already and I no longer have any king of warranty and the problem is back. Has anyone had luck with actual fixes or any suggestions? Is there any safety concern with this problem? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • bibo2bibo2 Posts: 9
    I am in almost the same situation you are.. Mine is the new 08 Malibu with the same issue. they replaced the steering gear last October and the clunk was gone.. And now the problem is back! just several days over a year, and I am out of the warranty too..
    Reading your post, I don't think I want to bring it in .. specially when I have to pay to fix something for only 12 months!!!
  • iron1iron1 Posts: 1
    I have also experienced the clunking noise on my 08 Malibu LTZ with 61K miles and have been noticing it for about 6 months and progressively getting worse. Dealer told me that me that the Intermediate Steering Shaft needed to be removed and replaced for for a total cost of $400 and since it's not part of the drive train, it's out of warranty. Since it won't hurt to drive it in the condition (except for the annoyance), I told them I'd think about. In the meantime, I did a little web research and learned that a little grease is all that's needed which of course the dealer didn't suggest as an option. So the next day, I went back to the dealer and asked about just getting the ISS greased. They didn't like it but did the work anyway for a cost of $60 of which $24 was for the grease. Must be really good stuff. Problem fixed. The mechanic disconnected the ISS from the u joint under the dash and then lubbed the shaft well while sliding it in and out of metal housing that goes through the firewall. All of these parts are visible from under the dash. Do this if you can or take to machanic and be specific that you want the ISS lubbed and not replaced. Cost is $60 vs. $400. Good luck. Iron1.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    Anyone can do it yourself for free, just look under the dash and spray it.
  • montebumontebu Posts: 10
    I use spray lithium grease in the gap near the bottom of the shaft. Takes about three minutes. Lasts about two to three months. Right or wrong, it works. It is such a miserable car to drive with the steering clunk!
  • hawk1988hawk1988 Posts: 1
    edited May 2012
    I have an '06 Malibu. I have had it a for almost two years, now with 77000 miles, without a problem. About a week ago I had new tires mounted on the front of my car. Since the first time I drove it afterwards the front left tire (or something around there) clicks like a playing card stuck into bicycle spokes, and gets faster with increased speed, but only when I hit 30 and stops at about 50. It seems like it gets louder when turning right.

    A friend/co-worker, with experience in mechanics helped me look at the wheel, in our work place parking lot. No lug nuts where loose, the wheel bearing seemed fine, and was unsure about the CV shaft without a real look in a shop.

    I seen someone else had a similar problem just after getting new tires, but he did not get a response. Has anyone else had this problem or now the issue? Is it a problem with the vehicle or the work done?
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    I have been looking at a 2011 Malibu LTZ w/V-6, loaded w/all goodies showing 12k miles, priced @18,990 which is a good place to start dickering..However having been exposed to "intermediate steering shafts" in 4 GM cars which are a pain and really surprised to see it is still being used after probably 10 yrs of a bad design which is annoying and can be expensive to fix..I shall forget about the Malibu!!!!!! Enough is enough...

    Let's go through the cars, 1998 Olds Intrigue-steering rack, ISS, and brake issues, GM bought the car after 26k miles, costing me only $800 to own..2nd car was a 1999 Olds Intrigue which I ran 75k miles, couple ISS problems, traded on a 2002 Olds Intrigue which I ran 120k miles, replaced the ISS once..Traded it on a 2006 Grand Prix GT showing 4k miles, ISS replaced 3 times, all free/no charge by dealer..Last shaft was done @30k miles and car is now @70k, no play, great tight steering..

    The dealers tend to use up old stock when replacing these shafts and this item has been re-engineered many times..I got the latest shaft design, and if if needs lubing my mechanic will take care of it..Small shop 2 ex-GM certified mechanics, experts at wheel balancing is how I found them..Also replaced the main engine/tranny mounts, both collapsed.

    Happy I found this site on Malibus, for I shall stay away from them...enough grief with petty problems..
  • I have a 2011 LT1--about 30K miles. When the car is moving it's quiet and smooth, but when stopped, there's this loud buzzing coming from under the dashboard. It goes away when I hit the gas. Any ideas what this could be? How to fix? Thanks!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    You should still be within your bumper to bumper warranty, although if you want for us to check for sure we can do that. Just email the last 8 digits of your VIN and your request to us at

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Hey all, I've got the "new" Malibu LS with 40,000 miles. It makes a clunking noise when going over a curb, accelerating, turning left but not every time. Big pain, I thought it might be the strut, but if its the steering column and I can lube it then that's a whole lot better. Even if I have to lube it every few months.
    I'm sure glad I found this forum, thanks all.
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