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Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Steering/Suspension Questions



  • My Malibu had around 80,000 Km. when the cable broke. I had just driven in to a parking space for a minute ,turned off the car, and when starting it up, nothing happened. Looking under the hood I noticed that the aircraft cable that is used was at a 90 degree angle to the shifter rod. I am glad the shifter failed then and not when I was in reverse gear. In that case after putting it in what I thought was drive , would still be in reverse gear. The car would shoot backwards possibly hitting another car, or worse still running down a pedestrian.
    The fact that GM pulled all the cables from their shelves and have no supply makes me think that they are trying to hide something. time will tell.">
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    So the car is undriveable I take it? Is GM doing anything on a loaner or rental with no cables available? If it's as bad as you say with them pulling all cable stock it sounds like this one should be free if beyond warranty . (I can see it as a safety issue and everyone getting a recall)
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    I never had trouble with my shifter cable, but then my Maxx just got past 47K before it was traded.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    same trouble with the shifter cable.....and mine just rolled over 142K this weekend.....
  • The last thing that should break on a car is the shifter cable,but from what I was told some of the faulty cables made it to the assembly line and where installed. And I got one of those. It"s now been almost 5 weeks and still waiting. And with GM on the brink of going bankrupt, my cable problem is not at the forefront of things for them to do. :sick:
  • Hi
    I just bought an 05 Chevy Malibu Maxx with 48,000 miles on it. The car did not come with an owner's manual so we are trying to figure out how the security system works.

    When the car is off and a passenger door is opened the entire car will lock. This is highly frustrating and no matter what setting the security system is at RKE or Passive. Also what do those two settings mean? Also does anyone know where we can get an owner's manual? The dealer said they could not get one.

    The other issue that we are noticing is a clunking in the steering when turning at low speeds. There is also a clunking in the passenger front when slowly going over bumps. Could this be related to the steering column issue that has plagued Malibu's? My husband is going to be driving long distances in the car so we'd like to get everything fixed asap. We have 100% dealer warranty on it for 12 months.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    On my wife's '06 the problem was fixed by installing the 22687711 kit .
    Ask your dealer to check into this.

    Some of the earlier cars had the whole steering rack replaced, but this sounds like the simpler problem that is fixed by the kit (or as someone else mentioned you can spray a lubricant on the joint yourself, but I don't know how long that will last compared to installing the kit )

    Sorry, but no idea on the security thing but if your warranty is truly 100% the dealer should be able to address this for free.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    yuo can also go to get access to a complete owners manual once you register the car on the have to have a yahoo id ...since its run by yahoo for GM....

    you should be able to set the locking through the menu options on the the center console..buttons should be on the left side of the radio face....

    clunking issues are not necessarily related to the steering column.....the kit may fix it..if its still under warranty....or a certified 04 Maxx LT here about to turn over 152K.....have had the clunk for over four years now....and no harm.....only thing replaced so far is a right front tire rod.....all other OEM parts still going strong...
  • I've had this problem under warranty on my '05 Malibu LS. They replaced and reprogrammed the fobs. Looking in my shop manual, it seems the problem is from the content theft deterrent (CTD) system. My car started doing this two years later off warranty and now I just lock the doors from the outside with the key or by pushing the lock stem buttons by hand on each door. The security option in the DIC needs to be set to RKE for this to work though.

  • I just spent $598 to replace the defective steering column in my '04 and GM refused to adjust the cost more than $200 because they replaced the original defective steering column a few years ago. The fact that they replaced a defective steering column with another defective steering column was of no concern to them. I recently had the battery replaced too. I am the original owner and the car has less than 56,000 miles on it.
  • After the dealings I had today with GM, I'd get it in writing. The dealership was great, but GM was insulting.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    not a hit..but just a comment that you are replying to posts that are 3 -4 years old on the forum....doubt the original poster is still around...

    unfortumately the steering column issue and the front suspension are weak areas on the MAXX....I have been fortunate not to have a steering column issue at all....with almost 155k On mine now.....original owner purchased in 2/04...
  • col2col2 Posts: 2
    I have replaced my 05 maxx's rack and pinion 2x since I bought itn used in 2007. Now it needs it again. I called GM and they told me because of the milage, they can't help me. It has 135000. on it. I called the chevy dealer in town and he hasn't gotten back to me yet. So what should I do?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    when you say you you mean under warranty or did you actually pay to have it replaced....would have to side with Chevy at this point with 135K on the car...despite a history of the many miles did it have on it when you bought it used???

    now are you replacing the steering column or another suspension part.....when you say you replaced the rack and pinion.....why were they replaced in the first place?

    I have an 04 Maxx with 157K on it....and have had no problems at all....I have a rattle in the front end when going over bumps and such, however it has had no long term effect on operation of the car....and it honestly doesnt bother me at this point.
  • col2col2 Posts: 2
    The first 2x replacing the rack and pinion were under warenty. It had 65000 miles on it. when I bought it. 2 replacements in 2 years now the same part in this year.!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    but did they replace the steering column or part of the suspension? the malibu doesnt have rack and pinion steering....its electric assist....and the column contacts sometimes get corroded thus forcing a change.....what is the issue with the rack and pinion...noise/ vibration, lost of steering?

    so you have basically put 70k miles on the car since you bought it........did you have an extended warranty plan on it for the first two times...since it was obviously out of the standard 3/36 period.....if not....personally beleive the dealership/chevy did good in replacing it twice.....I honestly would expect a dealership to replace anything for free on a car with 100K on it......
  • Vehicle does not have a typical rack-and-pinion, but it does have a similar sort of part. Vehicle is indeed electric-assist power-steering, not old-fashioned hydraulic power steering. There have been dozens of GM Technical Service Bulletins ["TSBs"] on troubles with, combining items, steering/suspension/alignment/wheels/tires (TSBs can be tracked via other portions of Edmunds, or via and you really must read them if you are going to continue to own the car). If you have had rack replaced WITH the latest Genuine GM part-number part, BY A Chevrolet dealer, and there are still steering troubles, then likely some other part[s] needs to be replaced. My advices: (A) Have all work on these sorts of things, including alignments, done by the service department at the best Chevy dealer in your region (even tho it will cost more); they will be familiar with this stuff, and will have the latest iteration Genuine GM parts, critically important. (B) If you get everything right including alignment, and 4 good matched tires, properly inflated, and no bent wheels, the car will steer properly. (C) If parts have been replaced and there are still problems, ask the dealer to adjust the sensors in the steering-column assembly (they input both the electric-assist-motor's electronics and the main GM LAN including the "main computer"). (D) Don't expect GM to offer any warranty coverage on this stuff. (E) If all you end up with after lots of work done is some clunking noises over bumps, consider yourself lucky.
  • 2006 MAX X, under hard acceleration i loose power steering. Any know the issue? :cry:
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    2006 MAX X, under hard acceleration i loose power steering. Any know the issue?

    Just possibly you have a loose connection to the electric steering motor that
    goes bad under engine torque rocking (assuming you don't have the hydraulic steering of the Maxx SS) Check all the cables if you do have electric steering.)
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Hand my power steering fail in single digit temperatures today. Turned car off, then back on and everything was fine. Had noticed some roughness at times for a week or so before.

    Already replaced the column with similar-- temporary failure which permanently failed-- about 2 years ago. It was out of warranty by a few thousand miles, but GM reimbursed me months later. Ran about $700 at that time.

    Other than that, I'm still very happy with the car which has just crossed 75K. Column failure and a blend door under warranty are the only problems. Other car is a Kia Optima, one year newer, with less mileage which has been 100% reliable for three plus years.
  • drejdrej Posts: 119
    On My 05 I got similar reactions, I had a Code flash on the Radio Display, "Pwr Steering" But no other Details, I got No CEL. 85 K miles and stil ok other wise
    Any ideas what to check, My Local dealer should be my la$t option. D~
  • There was a service bulletin issued on the '05 steering. I saw it posted somewhere in this forum. It extended the factory warrenty to 7 years from the date of production for this problem. It is supposed to cover 100% of the repair if that turns out to be the problem. You might want to look into it.
  • You can register at and view the owner's manual online.
  • madmaxx06madmaxx06 Posts: 3
    2 weeks ago the passenger sided wheel bearing and the drivers side control arm ball joint were replaced. The alignment was adjusted. Now this week the passenger side cv axle was replaced. Signs that the book has been leaking out grease for over a year. I am sure hoping this is all the repairs for my Maxx for a while.

    2006 Malibu Maxx LTZ
  • maxxlibertymaxxliberty Posts: 82
    edited August 2010
    After parts replaced noise went away - don't know for how long.

    Parts: Shaft, Steering Intermediate 25962603 & Shaft Kit 06526 - PC

    GM did a goodwill repair (no cost) at 70,000 + miles

    2004 Maxx LS
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    great on the goodwill repair by GM...did you have previous problems documented on the steering prior to this....guess I have been fortunate with my 04 Maxx LT, about to roll 167K and no major repairs yet....have replaced right rear brake caliper and right front inner and lower tire rods......but no other problems......
  • "...did you have previous problems documented on the steering prior to this...."


    Strange - you mentioned replacing right rear caliper - I had to replace it also. Another manufacturing/engineering defect? The piston in the caliper wouldn't totally release causing the rotor to score.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    my replacement was due to it leaking...would consider it a defect based on the age and mileage on the car....6 plus years and 160K.....

    the fact you had the steering issue documented probably muliple times....convinced GM to replace the column.....that is certainly a weak link in the early MY malibus......
  • There are two clunk points of interest.

    The first clunk point: A repair any one can do:

    I was advised regarding the clunk noise and a home band-aid regarding greesing. Look for the steering shaft. From the engine bay the steeing shaft is hard to see. Get a light in there and you will see a universal joint. A shaft coming from the steering wheel conected by a universal joint to a shaft that goes into the steering box. The shaft/joint will probably be very rusty in colour, meaning they are dry and need to be oiled and greesed. It took me a few minutes to get a can of penatrating oil in the availble space and square up the spray nozel. Once aimed properly spray the heck out of this joint with a penatrating oil. Move can away, start car and rotate the shaft by turning the steeing wheel to spray the back of the universal joint. Once done, squeeze your hand in there if you can and pack any kind of greese around this joint. If you can hoist the car up, you will have a better view and accesabilty of the shaft/joint. it did not get rid of my clunk, since the joint has been greesed, it is not so agreesive. The shaft and join get rusty along with a poor design.

    The second clunk issue: is in the steeing shaft. Disconnecting the steeing shaft from the universal joint. Technicians have been greesing the heck out of the steering shaft.

    I am not that confident. So i opted for greesing the universal joint. I noticed a little little clunk on my 2008 HHR. And It has the exact same set up. Exept not as rusty. did the same thing. Happy motoring!
  • Took my 2004 Maxx to dealers several times about "clunk". Until the last time the dealers apparently just lubed the joint, joint was super rusty. This last time a new shaft was installed - it is possibly a new design, no bare metal - it looks painted or powder coated black.

    Had it done about 5 months ago and so far steering is excellent, i.e., normal.

    Since I had a record of problems with steering there wasn't a charge for the new shaft.
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