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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Steering/Suspension Questions



  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    Well, like several of you, I have been dealing with the infamous clunk/rattle in the front end since last fall. After being delayed numerous times, and told they would notify when a fix was available, I went to the dealer last night. I took the TSB # in, and they looked it up, and I am going in tomorrow for them to confimr that is the problem. He showed me the TSB, and it shows that a gear is what is to be replaced. Is that what everyone else's fix is? He was gonna give me guff about being over the 36k, but I showed him my service ticket which the dealer had typed up in their system that they spoke with Chevy back in Dec, while under warranty and I have a Case # and Doc ID #, so he said no problem then. So, will see tomorrow what happens. I am disappointed that they never contacted me as they said they would.
  • Hi All,

    My Maxx '04 is in the shop again with steering column problems, rock and pinion problems and whistling noise in the accelerator.

    I am so tired of this car and the issues it has and I an seriously thinking of trading it in for a non-american brand. My car has 17000 miles and I've had it for two years now. Bought it brand new and the same week I bought it the steering colum went bad, then the electricity, then the radio was too hot.

    Shouldn't they re-call this car? :sick:
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    I took mine to the local dealer last week, and give them a 4th chance as the other dealer I tried wasn't any better. It looked like they cleaned house a bit, all new service writers that seemed much more friendly and communicative than the old ones. Now back on topic, they ordered a new steering gear for mine, but last I heard it's on back order and may take a while. Hopefully it'll be in before I move in two weeks, or I'll be without a car for a week while they fix it.
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    Thanks! I just wanted to see if we all get the same story :-)
  • mfh1mfh1 Posts: 15
    Mine is being installed as we speak. Took them about four business days to get it. Can't pick the car up till tomorrow morning (Wednesday). We let you all know if it makes any difference.

    My 2004 Maxx has 20K, FYI.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    once again, I've been screwed; my car just sat in the dealership for two days without being seen by their "super technician." I just went in and demanded my car be returned. What a waste of time
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    When I first took in in back in December, they had it for almost 10 days, before I got it back. I did have a loaner - an AVEO..... at the time the dealer said I can keep the loaner until my Maxx was fixed....good thing I didn't or I would still be driving the AVEO :-)
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Since this is not an authorized change then it is uncertain if there is anything else.

    There is not an actual calibration in ABS and PCM for Malibu configuration so system performance would be uncertain.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    sorry to hear about all your troubles...had a Maxx LT purchased in Mar 04, built in Feb 04....have 73K on the car now and no problems at steering column problems.....and no suspension problems at all....

    recalls are only going to be issued for safety and emissions issues...some may say the steering column is a safety issue...however NHTSA had GM do an engineering safety study..and NHTSA ruled it wasnt a safety issue
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    not sure how a steering gear will fix a rattle/clunk.....isnt it rack and pinion and an electronic colmun......scratching my head now...
  • mfh1mfh1 Posts: 15
    Just had the steering gear fix installed. Have not gone for a really long drive, but banging/crashing sound over certain kinds of bumps/washboard road seems suppressed and/or gone. Apparent road input into rack caused excessive play at pinion gear to make metal on metal sound and vibration. Permanent or will it loosen up over time? - as original problem developed 3000-5000 miles (as per TSB - absolutely correct). There is still noise from strut rebound and chattering, but that seems to be nature of suspension. Brake hard over rough roadway and ABS will easily activate due to wheel hop. Not enough dampening in design to eliminate/isolate harshness. Did elimination of electric steering system and change of suspension in Maxx SS end this problem anyone?

    There should probably be a recall for this. Design flaw needs to be fixed on all cars made.
  • Well, the steering column was replaced, again. Let's see what happens next.
  • Well, about 3000 miles on the "new fix" / recall for the steering clunk. It is back now. Not as bad, but it is there. So, I guess I will talk to the service manager next week when I go in for an oil change. I have no faith that GM will fix this. We have all been put off for some time - almost a year for me, with false promises. ERGH!
  • Sorry to hear it didn't help you but your feedback's appreciated!

    The same thing happened to me when my rack was replaced about 4 months ago...clunks went away for around 2-3K miles and then came back.

    Are you sure they used the "new" rack for your fixup?
  • They did what the recall said to do - replaced a gear in the steering. I am due for an oil change next week, so I will talk to service then, see what they say. I feel like it is a waste of time to get this fixed, since no one seems to be getting it fixed right.
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    My clunk is back too, has been back for a while but not as bad and it takes sharper bumps to set it off now. The part they ordered matches the part listed in the tsb. I think I'm just going to live with it, I figured the new steering gear as a last chance for them to fix it.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yep, pretty much the same story here. I pulled out of a retail store's parking lot at 20mph, and heard the noise upon traversing the concrete parking lot apron. The rattle is noticably improved, but not gone.
  • sgr5516sgr5516 Posts: 156
    My 2004 Malibu Maxx LS with only 30k miles was totalled in a head on accident in July. No one was injured thanks to Malibu design. While I had a lot of things fixed under warranty/TSB, I was quite happy with the car, so I bought another one.

    I now have a new 2006 Maxx LTZ. Have had it for 2 months. Have only driven 1500 miles around town (not currently working). This car rides much nicer than the old one. The "out the door" quality on the 06 is much better than the 04, but I do have a few problems.

    1) Rattle in rear roof when driving over bumpy roads.

    2) Broken rear window shades. Left side won't retract at all. Right side won't retract all the way.

    3) Flutter noise from defective windshield cowl.

    4) When telescoping steering wheel in/out, the gears are grinding. Release lever is not fully releasing mechanism.

    5) This week, EPS is starting to go. Wheel is very hard to turn when car is not moving (when parking). And you can hear a clicking when turning wheel left and right 90 degrees each way.

    Will be taking into dealer for first service soon. I am confident they will take care of all the problems.

    I have not heard any rattle clunking from steering gear. Never noticed this in my 04 either.
  • To bad about the problems. We have noticed only one since we bought our Maxx three weeks ago. It is:

    3) Flutter noise from defective windshield cowl.

    What else can you tell me about this problem. Is it in a TSB? Has Chevy confirmed/acknowleded the problem? What exactly is causing it (loose cowl?).

    Otherwise, we are extremely pleased with out car. Performance and fuel economy are both great. This is a real fine car that few seem to know about. We have only seen two others on the road since getting ours. Quieter than our Volvo and almost as fast (the Volvo is a turbo).

  • Well, I had the TSB for the clunk fixed last month, and after about 2500 miles it is back. Took it in last night and was told Chevy won't do anything about it. The only thing the dealer can do is take the steering shaft off and use a lube pack on it. But in a few thousand miles it will be back. NOT acceptable. What can I do? I contacted Chevy about this and am awaiting their response. I, like others have been very patient on this issue. I have had this problem and been put off for over 10 months now. ARRRGH!
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 236
    This isn't the only car GM has clunky steering columns on. So I'm gonna guess they'll never really fix it on Epsilon cars. Why would they fix it on a car that's only been out since 04, when W-bodies and GMT800s have had clunky steering columns since the late 90s.
  • from what I saw of the tsbs, the lube pack was an earlier fix. I have had that done to my columm several never lasts.

    as for me getting this fix, will be arguing with dealer on saturday, showing them earlier repair records and that the new part is ___not__ the same as what was replaced earlier. If it gets put in, sounds like it won't help very much. bummer :confuse:

    Incidently, Those folks buying Saturn Auras may have that same problem in 3-4000 miles or so, as that vehicle's mostly based on what is in the Maxx!
  • I had the latest tsb fix done this past summer. It was the one that I waited 9 months for! I hope the Service Advisor was wrong. I am awaiting to hear from Chevy.
  • the good news is the dealer finally did the TSB regarding replacing the steering gear... much of the rattle and steering pop in my hands is gone.

    when parking sometimes, I get an annoying "pop" felt through the FRAME (I feel it mostly under my left foot), as if a universal joint or something else in the driveline is shifting slightly.

    Anyone else have this?
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    Well, I can't find how to post in the problem section so I post here:

    Long story short, dealer did the latest "fix" in August on the steering clunk, 2500 miles later, problem back and worse than before. Been dealing with Chevy, first the rep got transferred, can't get ahold, no returned calls, etc. Finally get someone, sorry if the recall fix didnt work, thats all we can do. Oh, we can lubed it ever 2500 miles. Total BS! Car has not been right since day 1, I have been put off for close to 10 months now, still not right. So, what I get a lawyer, am out $ and time, will still have problem. The rep is calling the dealer to see what they can do. This is totally unacceptable! I asked if they had a warranty on the parts, I mean you replace something, problem comes back and they say, sorry thats all we will do. I guess this was my last GM product :(
  • Sorry to say I had a similar situation. Rack replaced under warranty in July '06. 7,000 miles later - replaced again (at 43k under "goodwill"). The first replacement rack was much worse at 7k miles than the original was at 36k. Totally fine now - but only have 500 miles on it since. Thinking of selling the vehicle before this one loosens up...
  • Am noticing slow return of clunks and pops in my rack as well.
    It's apparently a bad design that will never be fixable.

    Whether the hydraulic steering version will be any better is their guess, not mine.

    A pity, but Maxx will have to go bye bye by next year as I am not waiting for the columm and rack to go bad again.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    well, GM is going to go bankrupt replacing mine until 101,000 miles. I'd suggest they come up with a fix.
  • mybooomybooo Posts: 92
    Well, I finally got ahold of someone at Chevy...1st person transeferred, second one was "terminated" and on my third person. I have an appt tonight at the dealer (who is now getting rude with me) (I am overly nice, and have been, oh well). I am supposed to take it in and have the dealer "verify" that the noise is back. I am beginging to think that it is not worth my time to deal with this. Am I correct in what I have been told, that this is NOT a safety issue?
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    This is simply a design issue; where the rack and pinion meet, they rattle over time. My advice is for you to take the service manager to a gravel road and drive at 10mph. That seems to make the steering gear rattle significantly. As I and others have posted, the current TSB does not alleviate the problem entirely. I speculate that the problem may come back again. While I am disappointed in the front end, it still has not deminished my belief over two years that this is the most versatile car on the road, hands down.
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