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Chevrolet Malibu Steering/Suspension

124

Comments

  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    No, poor design. They made changes when they kept coming back, they remanufacture the racks for service.
    I looked at mine with the passenger side boot off, no lube whatsoever where the shaft went through the bushing. The shaft would rock side to side.
    The rack is mechanical, only lube is at manufacture.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    It seems I may have misunderstood the problem. Some vehicles have the rack mounted in hard rubber bushings that are clamped to frame or firewall. After reviewing, it seems you are referring to bushings that are located at the output shafts.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    It seems that some of my trouble is related to EPS and dealer tells me that the play is normal. If so, then they should not be putting it in vehicles because I feel the drift is dangerous. Having to put a death grip on the wheel and constantly adjusting to keep the vehicle between the lines is a horrifying experience. If I stay in this vehicle much longer I probably will be pulled over and checked for DUI/DWI.
    I've complained of this issue at service three times so far.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    if Im not mistaken the EPS can be calibrated and in fact must be every time the column is replaced or work is done to it....I'll have to do the search for it to make sure......dont have any play in mine at all....but I seem to be one of the lucky ones that has never had a steering column problem....158K on my 04 Maxx LT
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Absolutely correct. After an alignment, it must be zero'ed and recalibrated according to another forum.
    Selling dealer aligned. Still had issue with it. I took to second dealer and they told me the first forgot to zero. Then I learned about the recalibration. Parts had come in at first dealer and I asked about the zeroing and recalibration. They assured me that had been done at the time of the alignment.
    So, did the selling dealer have it wrong, they did not do the electrical part?
    Or is it getting out of calibration for some reason. The second shop rechecked alignment at my request and it was OK.

    But I have concerns over the specs they used because they were for older models. Supposedly, starting with 08 there was supposed to be a major redesign.
    I would at least expect different springs with possibly different spring rates for the weight differences of the available engine and transmission combinations. And likely different alignment specs.
    Also the range of wheels and tires available would suggest that the contact patch could vary changing rolling resistance. And some tires are supposed to have decreased resistance resulting in better MPG. I would think that the wheels would all have the same off-set, but won't bet on that.
    But I certainly question why they have a different camber setting on the front, L/S to R/S. Normally that would be done if you plan to drive in circles such as on the track. I questioned the alignment man and his answer was that it was to improve handling on crowned roads, sloping down to the right. I think that you'd see that presents a problem when driving on flat or roads sloping to the left.
    Possibly this results in actions that are counter intuitive making handling feel poor. I have detected on several occasions when the front gets a jounce because of an equal bump across road or such as when applying brake firmly and quickly releasing, as the springs return to height it is like the front wants to hop to the left.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    Replaced steering column out of warranty about two years ago. GM reimbursed my $700 bill after the fact. Now, in single digit temperatures, the power steering failed, but came back after I restarted the engine. If it's like last time, I'll get total failure in a matter of days.

    Other than that (and it's a big that), I have no real complaints with the Maxx after 75K. The reimbursed column and a blend door fixed under warranty are about it.

    Wife's car is an 08 Kia Optima which has been completely trouble free for 3+ years, although with a lot less mileage.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    So more evidence that the steering is an issue.
    Did you have the feeling of play around straight ahead? That is turn the wheel a few degrees each direction without the vehicle responding?
    Wife's KIA Rhondo has been much the same, except one major complaint. It handles like in a wreck. And terrible torque steer. Turns out there are no camber or caster adjustments and vehicle is definitely out of alignment. I need to help her pursue getting it taken care of. I want a company engineer to authorize the fix for safety reasons and that they can't claim I had the vehicle chopped.
  • eileen7eileen7 Member Posts: 7
    I'm curious to hear more info about the reimbursement of the $700 out of warranty. Chevy refused to reimburse me for my $700 expense to replace the sterring column. How far out of warranty was your work done? What was your mileage please? What was your history with the dealer/service before this? Any other data that would be helpful to me in asking Chevy to reopen my case? Thanks much! I feel taken advantage of by Chevy -- "power steering light came on at about 45,000 miles, but steering still worked fine. At 56,000 miles, steering stopped working and I had to replace the steering column.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    the steering column has been a problematic issue with the 04-07 MY cars......beleive you see most of the issues in the 04-5 MYs....there was a highway safety administration engineering study done on the issue back in late 05 I beleive, however the overall % of the occurance was apparently within acceptable standards per the numbers produced and at the time, GM was handling the issues under warranty with replacement.

    Believe you will find that most who had the problem, had it documented throughout service history of the car....and not necessarily a one time event....some even had the column replaced multiple times....

    again, not sure what makes them go bad....some had stated the contacts in the column get dirty and grease gets on them, others are simply not calibrated (zero'd correctly).....dont know the total numbers....of how many since you only see the problems surface on here......and no idea how big the overall population of the problem really is......mine is an 04 LT...will be 6 years old next month...have 158K on it.....and never have had a problem with the column....only replaced tires (3 sets) battery (1), brakes (2 sets), wipers, oil changes (synthetic every 6K miles), a right front tire rod and right rear caliper.....still going strong and hope it will see 200K
  • eileen7eileen7 Member Posts: 7
    thanks much, pao, for the info/background. I am going to write to the CEO of Chevy and inform him of this problem and the non-resolution that I had. He can call in someone and get a list of all that has happened to the steering on this model, and I can't. If he looks at that list and reviews my case, and he feels that I am being treated fairly, I would like to buy another Malibu, as I love the car, except for the steering issue. I'll let you all know the outcome. I know, you're saying, "Good luck, Sweetie." Ah, it's worth a try.
  • gindelm7gindelm7 Member Posts: 5
    Today, March 2, 2010, I see GM recalling 1.3 million compact cars for steering problems. As described in the recall, the steering locks up, the car "chims", then "power steering" flashes on the radio. More than a dozen accidents are attributed to this recall. When this happens it is almost impossible to turn the wheel. This is exactly the same problem I experienced on the Malibu. Will GM recall the Malibu too? :mad:
  • chevsharonchevsharon Member Posts: 8
    I certainly hope that they include the Malibu in the recall - there is definitely a problem! I just had my steering column replaced a month ago for the exact problem. I'm not at all convinced that a new steering column will prevent it from happening again. Who can we contact about this??
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Did you mean "shimmy" instead of "chims"?
    I had it shimmy about a month ago, but did not notice message in daylight.

    Or did you mean "chime"?
  • anywho71anywho71 Member Posts: 2
    In light of the recall, I sent letters to my federal government representatives. Hopefully in light of recent pressures and the governments stake in GM, the malibu can be added to the list. NHTSA closed the complaint on this one, but it was closed before the units in the field had a chance to get enough time to experience it. I would think writing to representatives might be able to get the NHTSA to reconsider that action.
  • eileen7eileen7 Member Posts: 7
    Sharon, would you mind sharing a copy of your letter that you sent to your representatives in Washington, so that I (we) can duplicate it and not "reinvent the wheel" (pun intended!). Thanks much!
  • anywho71anywho71 Member Posts: 2
    Senator Schumer,
    Recently it was announced that GM was recalling 1.3 million cars that have a potentially dangerous steering defect where the power steering will without warning quit functioning. I am writing to inform you that the recall is in no way complete. The first vehicle to experience this problem to a large extent was the 2004 Chevy Malibu. This is a known problem with this car and needs to be fixed. The NHTSA opened and subsequently closed the investigation on this issue before many of the cars that were to experience this reached the necessary life. Since the repair for this is around $1000 dollars and it is clearly a design flaw, I would kindly urge you to look into the matter and see if GM can be persuaded to assist the many customers who have had to pay for their error. If you web search 2004 chevy malibu steering, you will find an unending supply of testimonials to support my claims. I will include one as reference http://www.lemonlawclaims.com/malibu_brake_and_steering_problem.htm
    Thank you for your assistance.

    Sincerely,
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    The power steering in the Malibu is more an electronic assist vice the old power steering we were accustomed too.

    from what I can find....the voluntary recall is for the replacement of a motor in the power steering system....and the issue occurs in older vehicles generally pass warranty

    on the Malibu the NHTSA did open an investigation in the power steering failures in May 2004,transitioning it to an engineering analysis on July 04 and closing the investigation in May 05 based on GM ISSUED CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CAMPAIGN (CSC) 04050A IN DECEMBER 2004 TO ADDRESS THE ALLEGED DEFECT IN APPROXIMATELY 58,700 SUBJECT VEHICLES, ENCOMPASSING AT LEAST 97 PERCENT OF THE COMPLAINT AND WARRANTY CLAIMS POPULATION. VEHICLES OUTSIDE THE CSC 04050A POPULATION CONTAIN A NEWLY DESIGNED TORQUE AND POSITION SENSOR AND HAVE EXPERIENCED A RELATIVELY LOW COMPLAINT RATE. (this was cut and pasted from the NHTSA website).

    there were no further investigations for other MY mailbus other than the 04.....with that said....make your own conclusions.....Im not sure the malibus have the same power steering systems as the Cobalts being recalled....most repairs for the malibu are for steering column replacement due to these sensor failures, vice an actual motor failure...is my understanding.....once replaced they have to be calibrated as well.....just want to make sure we are comparing the same cause and effect....

    04 Malibu Maxx LT with 160K on it...and never a steering issue...... :)
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Lucky you.
    With old style power steering, hydraulic, you had few parts. You had a pump, a couple of hoses, and a hydraulicly assisted gear box or rack and pinion. And in all cases I'm aware of there was an isolator, often corded rubber, between the steering wheel and the gearbox to isolate vibration, noise, etc. from the cabin. It was fairly reliable. You did not have to do special adjustments or fine tuning if anything in the system was touched or an alignment was done.
    Compare that to this EPS system and don't forget the intermediate shaft is part of this steering system.
    The number of issues I've seen on my own vehicle, many of them stupid design mistakes, I'd say this is Chevy's Edsel.
  • peachy84peachy84 Member Posts: 2
    i have an 06 malibu ss... i havent noticed a prob with rattling in the steering colomn but i have noticed a squeeking from time to time while im driving. i honestly hate my car... i think its evil... i bought it brand new and ive had a lot of things go wrong with it... my driverside handle on the outside of my door broke off, the steering squeeks, i think i have an exhaust leak thats been there since i bought the car, and now my stereo is eating my cds lol... im told the band or something went bad so it wont push the cd out. fun fun...
  • ihatemymalibuihatemymalibu Member Posts: 1
    Just found out that I have to have the assist motor replaced on my 2005 Malibu at the cost of $760! The power steering comes and goes. When it first went out, I was in the middle of a turn onto a busy highway and barely avoided hitting someone head-on. Wasn't sure what was happening and THEN the chime went off & the alert showed up on the screen.(wished it had been BEFORE that happened!) When I notified GM last week, they told me I HAD to take it to a GM dealer to be diagnosed in order for them to consider any assistance on the bill. I did (@ the tune of $80) and now they tell me they will not offer ANY assistance at all! I called the NHTSA and filed a complaint. They said if enough people file complaints with them that GM will be forced to make a recall. So if you (or anyone you know of) have a Malibu with steering issues in the past that have already been paid for or are currently dealing with this situation, please file a complaint with NHTSA.
  • chevsharonchevsharon Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the infoon the 2005 Chev. Malibu steering power steering problem. I also experienced the same thing and it cost a LOT of money to repair. I will definitely notify the NHTSA right away. They definitely need a recall here!
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    I would keep after GM...did you work just with the dealer..or with GM customer service....this is a know problem with the 04-05 MY Malibus....many failed during the warranty period....if you do a search at the NHTSA website you will see they issue an engineering study directive on the issue, however there was no recall issue due to GM handling most if not all the cases under warranty...

    steering column replacements were running 700-900 for replacement and a few on the board had mulitiple columns replaced.....Ive been fortunate...(knock on wood) not to have had the problem in my 04 Maxx with 165K on it....

    make sure when they replace the column that it is calibrated correctly as well....there was a customer service rep monitoring edmunds threads for a while....dont know is she still is or not....do a search for Maria at GM...and see if something comes up...I would try contacting her through here.....as this steering column issue is a documented problem
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    Hello Pao,
    Thank you for bring this to my attention. To "Chevsharon", please email me more information about your situation so I can look into this further. You can get my email by clicking on my name. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • darkndknightdarkndknight Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2007 Malibu with the electric assist steering. I keep getting a message on the radio display saying "Power Steering". Looking to find out if anyone else has seen this message and if there is a solution.
  • chevsharonchevsharon Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2005 Chev Malibu and the power steering failed while going down the highway. The message also appeared on my radio screen at the same time as the power steering failed. I had to replace the entire steering column. However, I have since found out that others have had this same problem and even after replacing the steering column it happens again - only to have to replace the column again. This is a major defect and I feel that GM needs to do a recall and correct the problem. At the advice of another owner with the same problem, I notified the NSTSA - you can email them - and if they get enough complaints they can force a recall. I highly recommend you do this.
  • darkndknightdarkndknight Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I will do that.
  • eileen7eileen7 Member Posts: 7
    Same thing happened with my 2004 malibu. Better start saving up your $700 for the dealer to replace your steering column, as I and others on this list have had to. GM refused to reimburse me, and they intimated that if I had a better relationship with the dealer, they might have reimbursed me. Since I refuse to pay dealer service rates when I can get the same or better service elsewhere MUCH more cheaply, I lose. (My husband has paid the same dealer (Medved in Castle Rock, CO) the high service charges for his truck's maintenance -- not a Chevy, but a Dodge -- but they have done a no better job on his car than the local service people (not the dealer) have done on mine. More than once, they did not put enough oil in his car and he had to return.) I love my car, but I feel I can no longer support GM for my next purchase.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    I have learned from experience to have warranty on a GM for as long as you plan to own it, sad but true.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    I guess Im the exception here...with 3 GM cars....and no major problems on any of them...04 Maxx LT with 165K on it now....06 Pontiac Solstice with 40K on it...and 09 Cadillac CTS with 25K on it.....

    minor issues on all...all handled very nicely by three dealers....most done on the Solstice....with a differential replacement....but it was a known weak point in the early MY Sols.....just as the steering column seems to be with the Malibus.....

    All other brands also have their problems...so it isnt specific to GM IMO....just pick a brand and go look at that thread on this forum.....you will always find issues regardless of make, model, or price......

    I also am very good with routine maintenance and scheduled maintenance on all the vehicles....regular oil and other fluid changes, belts, plugs and filters per OEM recommendations....alignments annually or as needed......as well as wash/wax regularly too..........this too reduces mechanical issues
  • chevsharonchevsharon Member Posts: 8
    You are very fortunate to not have had any problems. I must say though that I am VERY good about routine maintenance as well, including maintenance in all areas so that has not caused the problem.
    The problem is with the steering and GM needs to step up to the plate and recall and correct the problem.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    So you never heard of intake manifold coolant leaks on various model V6,s year after year with no fix on current production even, until recently.
    Dexcool rust so bad it would plug up the coolant passages on 1996- 1997 Blazers, they would then overheat.
    My 04 Malibu had the steering rack go bad 40 K , neighbor's 04 same thing.
    I really do wonder about your claims of no problems with a your 04, but every one else does.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    the only warranty issue with my 04 Maxx was a faulty bulb socket in the right front turn signal that the dealer replaced....I have no other issues that required dealer or service.....now with that said...

    I do have the infamous bad rear deck shades that will not stay closed.....it wasnt worth my time and effort to get those fixed since they are never used...and the fix was worth taking the overhead lining out IMO.

    Do I have a clunk in the front suspension going over a speed bump.....yes...but again...nothing I felt worthy of dealer time or my time.....it hasnt caused any long term suspension issues....never had an alignment problem, never had a single issue with the steering column

    and yes...on occasion the remote starter hangs for a moment and takes about 15-20 seconds to start...but again....not worth my effort to get it checked by the dealer

    the only items replaced were a leaking right rear brake caliper (147K) and a right front tire rod (140K).....other than those items....still running all the OEM major components

    again...if boils down to your expectations of the car....my Maxx has certainly met mine.....165K still running strong....paid off four years ago....still getting great mileage...25-31 MPG city/hwy

    sure some cars have had multiple failures of the column....is it systematic..probably, should GM step up to the plate on the early MY Malibus with this problem for 5/100 extension...yes.......is the suspension a problematic engineering design....probably....but I certainly wouldnt broad brush a brand based on it...I had a 95 Chrysler Lebaron that lost three transmissions between 45-60K....the first one I attributed to overheating...the next two...bad repairs by AAMCO... I wonder how many issues are caused by faulty warranty/repair work at the dealerships....

    case in point....the 06 Solstice had a faulty pinion seal design in the differential...there were numerous reports of faulty repairs...using the improper tools (required a specialty tool) and or failed to add LSD additive after it was drained....all contributed to continued leaks and continued damage to differentials.....

    with all that said...GM is still suffering from its past performance/perceptions, true or otherwise.....even you highlight a 13 year old past problem....it will take years for them to overcome these perceptions.....but I beleive they are making progress...just as Ford is doing.......bottomline..the consumer makes the ultimate choice....and if arent happen with GM....then choose another brand.....like a famous auto chairman once said....if you can find a better car, then buy it.....paraphrasing a bit.....

    I have owned Hondas, Datsuns/Nissans, and Toyotas but have been all American brands in a multicar family, for the last 20 years (with the exception of an 03 Kia) and dont regret it....
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    09 LT2 I4 A6
    I'm still at a loss as to what causes the terrible and erratic handling. Just before trip I had tires rotated and alignment checked again. Mechanic was at a loss as to my problems since it was dead on. But, good thing I checked behind the torque behind the tire rotater.
    Several times I've had the steering wheel do a hard bump to the right, but it was so instantaneous it totally defied any corrective action. I suspected something in the EPS but finding such a gremlin is impossible without changing every component including the wiring.
    But now I'm quite alarmed as it did it a few hundred miles up the road and it was not instantaneous. It lasted on the order of a full second. I nearly always drive with leather winter gloves because of the sensitivity of my hands to the poor contour and hardness of the wheel. And fortunate that it occured with both hands on the wheel. If it had been otherwise I probably would not have been able to hold it. The force was enough to jam my right shoulder causing it to be painful for a few hours.

    As I said, I have no idea what the problem in the EPS is, but it damn sure is a dangerous condition.
    If you start getting those very short bumps of the wheel and there is no other explanation than something in the EPS, please post, and be careful. It might be leading up to long duration bump.
    I had one short one again, about 200 miles farther down the road.
    I'm desparately hunting the vehicle I want which is a Lacrosse CXS with particular options. I checked with my insurance agent and the insurance on it is cheaper than a year old Malibu.
    Also in the handling, this time was a major thrust of the vehicle across the solid white line, about a foot before I recovered and about 3 feet from the point it started. This is very much like the other complaints of vehicle being thrown when contacting uneven pavement.
    Freeway had clockwise curve as did the lane I was in for route change. Both were on a downward incline at the point of merger. My lane had a bank but the others did not. Even though I had my own lane for some distance for merging, at the point the single lane ended the bank ended at a slice angle. When the right front contacted that angle change, that is when it threw me across the line, looking dead center at a tractor trailer. Thank God he was taking the inside of the curve and I recovered quickly or I would have been fodder from his rear wheels.
    Some time back I mentioned that it looked like the big rubber mounts from the subframe/cradle to the body were slightly distorted as if one side was ahead of the other. On trying to figure what might be going on I mentioned that to the alignment guy. He told me this vehicle has no caster adjustment per se. They loosen that cradle to body mounts and shift the entire assembly to change castor. Apparently GM thinks they make no mistakes on the Malibu. And because I seem to get a different response from the rear axle comparing right to left turn, I'm betting something is out of whack there, like possibly the axle not in line with body. This will not stop each wheel from being adjusted statically, but when it becomes dynamic, suspension links could be throwing all sorts of improper angles. Also, rear toe is set from the position of front wheels which might be altered too much by shifting cradle.
  • carguy999carguy999 Member Posts: 9
    Like many other Malibu owners, I have experienced a problem with a "popping" noise heard and felt in the steering wheel of my 2005 Malibu when turning due to a defect in the intermediate steering shaft. Two attempts by my dealer to fix the problem have worked for only a few thousand miles, and the noise recently started up again. This time, my dealer told me that GM has not been able (or, perhaps, willing) to devise a permanent fix – it’s due to corrosion caused by very poor design -- and, furthermore, that GM will not pay for any repairs once a vehicle is out of warranty.

    In my case, I discovered that spraying lubricant into the gap between the inner and outer steering shafts under the dash eliminates the noise in my car completely. This procedure is described in TSB #06-02-32-007B, one of the several revisions to the original TSB issued for this problem. I don’t know how long the fix will last, but it only took me a few seconds to do, so I’m willing to repeat it as often as necessary rather than throw more money away by having the dealer do anything.

    And now today I received a letter from Chevrolet saying that the 2005 Malibu’s power steering assist may fail at any time without warning -- possibly, for example, when you’re in the middle of an emergency maneuver at high speed to avoid an obstacle on a freeway. They will pay for repairs to the steering column for up to 10 years and 100,000 miles after purchase, but – amazingly -- only if the failure has actually occurred! I guess they don’t care if you happen to have an accident when your car’s power steering suddenly fails.

    IMO, the way that GM is dealing with Malibu steering problems shows that customer satisfaction and the safety of its customers are simply not important to them. If this is the way they plan to operate in the future, I’m guessing that it won’t be too long before they’re bankrupt again.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    If you spray it every oil change you will never hear it again, as you know it is a very simple operation.
  • lw5lw5 Member Posts: 2
    DId you get an actual recall letter? I have a 2004 Malibu classsic that this happens to all the time - I called GM yesterday and was told that there is no recall in effect for my VIN number- Unbelievable isn;t it?
  • chevsharonchevsharon Member Posts: 8
    Yes, I got a letter from Chev. regarding the problem with the loss of power steering. I had already had mine replaced so they are now going to reimburse me for the cost. I had originally filed a complaint with the NHTSB and that seems to have started things off. Hope you can get yours resolved as well !
  • malexbumalexbu Member Posts: 169
    Believable: "classic 2004" is not 2005.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Nor is a 2009, but then why are there problems. The way this thing handles and don't handle, I have drawn the conclusion there are multiple issues. I just can not believe that a single thing could cause it to act this way. I do know that the EPS is definitely part of the issue since it has on several occasions done a momentary jerk to the right and on one occasion it lasted for about a full second. That time I was lucky I had both hands securely on the wheel wearing leather gloves. If at any time it decides to continue the thrust to the right I will probably be off the road.
    I also suspect tires as part of issue for multiple reasons. They also seem to lack lateral traction. It is easy to have them barking when making a turn from a stop and that with a 4 cylinder.
    I recently noticed what might be a mismatch of rear springs to shock. I would think these are variable rate springs. (think I'm using wrong description) With a light load on rear, no added weight, the springs might be a bit weak, but certainly the shocks are not providing enough dampening. Slight bumps you feel at the front make the rear bouncy.
    Other issues too.
  • malexbumalexbu Member Posts: 169
    Nor is a 2009, but then why are there problems.

    Nor is a 1999 Pontiac Bonneville, with which I used to have lots of
    problems. Sure, all of them are different cars, but, heck, they are
    all problems not something else. Puzzled...
  • simplecarsimplecar Member Posts: 1
    I have to agree with you on the steering issue. I bought my 05 Malibu used in 05 with about 20k. I was impressed with the initial test drive and the car served me well the first 2years or 12k miles. Then I started having problems with the brakes and steering. I would be driving on the freeway and my steering wheel would completely lock up with that annoying chime noise (radio screen stating power steering). I had to play tug-a-war to safely pull the car over. After restarting the car the power steering worked fine. I've taken this car back to my chevy dealer about 12 times since then to correct the problem (note since 2007...This is 2010). and I keep having the same problem...death trap i tell you.. I just received a letter a few months ago (aug 2010) from GM re: a recall due to power steering issues.. This is only 1/4 of the problems I've had with my 05 Malibu..I'm not going to even get into the electrical problems. Good luck and please be safe.. GM should put an ORANGE WARNING label on these cars
  • ivy12ivy12 Member Posts: 2
    i bought a 2004 chevy malibu lt used and it was not disclosed there was an issue with the power steering or that this model had an experimental new prototype unit. approximately 3 months after buying the car the steering went out while driving and i almost hit another car on the highway. after turning off the car and restarting the power steering came back. this is now ocurring more often.. tried to find if recall had been issued for this, but no luck any help would be appreciated
  • chevsharonchevsharon Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2005 Chev Malibu and also had the power steering go out while driving down the highway. After compaining a lot to Chev. and also notifiying the NHTSB Chev. is now paying for the power steering to be fixed.
    It sounds like they will pay for repairs to all for power steering issues. So, contact them - it is worth it.
  • chevsharonchevsharon Member Posts: 8
    Also, in the issue of the power steering, I failed to mention that the entire steering column had to be replaced. As I said in my earlier post, Chev. has now reimbursed me for this.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    the steering column issues and the electronic assist power steering have been now weak points in the early year Malibu redesign...04-06....there was an engineering design review conducted by the NHTSA sometime around 05 I beleive looking into the issue...it went no further than the review based on GM handling all the issues under warranty...the issue now is the failures are still occuring outside the normal warranty period 3/36 or longer.....so what is GM doing now with the older model cars still on the road....it appears they are fixing them again.....but it is a push by the consumer in order to make it happen.....I noticed a recall mentioned.......is there one...or simply a TSB out for the issue?
    I have been fortunate with my 04 Maxx LT......177K and still working with all the OEM parts to include the steering...........
  • photo_boothphoto_booth Member Posts: 2
    I have an 04 Malibu that has the steering issue that's been discussed here.

    It started with the power steering warning in the radio screen. My dealer replaced the steering column at no charge but I ended up with issues after that. The cruise control and remote started won't work now and it is now doing the momentary hydroplaning in left hand curves.

    I complained and they replaced it again but no improvement, perhaps even worse. Now they said they are done with it and for a fee they will evaluate the problem which is obviously not the steering column. I don't know how they can evaluate it since they swear they can't feel the pull to the left at all.

    I hate this car! It rides like a wagon and I've put the best shocks,struts and tires available on it and now this. I think it's time for a trade in but I hate for someone else to get this thing. I feel like it is an accident waiting to happen and after reading the previous emails am sure it is dangerous.

    I did tons of research before I bought this car in 2008 and couldn't find any complaints against it except that it was noisy with the sun roof open. I wish that was all that was wrong with it.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    edited January 2011
    "I hate this car! It rides like a wagon and I've put the best shocks,struts and tires available on it and now this.
    I think these alterations were your biggest mistake. You'd have to show me lots of data to prove that. I had 09 and was available in 4 levels. There were at least 2 different wheel sizes, 3 different strut/shocks, & a couple of different springs depending upon what level you bought. Buying the upper, LTZ, likely got you the stiffer shocks, lower profile & bigger wheels, and the heavier springs.
    Buying aftermarket, a company may have several layers of shocks but will claim any one model will probably replace any of the 4 levels of Malibu available in 09. Also GM will hold a patent so you can only buy the exact OE from them. It would take a lot of trial and error to succeed at the desired change in handling/ride.

    The power steering, EPS, is a different issue. I would encourage to prove it is related to current issues.
    Did they damage some wiring that effect the remote start and cruise control? Maybe a loose connector, blown fuse, etc.? Service engine or codes?
    "momentary hydroplaning in left hand curves" & "pull to the left" Would you elaborate on hydroplaning? Is the road perfectly flat when this occurs?
    As to the pull, you should easily duplicate this for service writer. Just take him for a ride on perfectly flat road and turn loose of the wheel. There can be several causes for this issue, alignment, tires, or they forgot to finish the column replacement by doing the calibration and zeroing of the EPS. This is something that needs to be done also after every alignment and after all that strut work.
    Hydroplaning is most often tracked to the tires you have on vehicle. Sometimes there are much better tires than OE, but you have to do your homework and research, especially what other owners of your car are experiencing with specific tires.
    It sounds like you need to try to bring the car back to OE specs, alignment, tire size, tire pressure, etc.
    If electronic components have been damaged, you might want to check if there are diodes at the harness connector for the cooling fans.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    When you googled no issues, hard to believe. First off 04 Z body first run, that is warning right there. That car will keep falling apart as you drive , don't ask how I know.
  • photo_boothphoto_booth Member Posts: 2
    The "hydroplaning" isn't really hydroplaning, it just feels like it. It momentarily, less than a second, feels like you cannot steer. The steering doesn't lock up or get stiff, it just feels like you're not controlling it.

    The pull to the left is immediately before that sensation. As Im driving at speeds higher than 40mph and go into a left hand bend in the road it feels like you've bumped a curb on the right of the car and are rebounded to the left, then the instantaneous loss of control. It does it on flat or highway inclines. Although we have serious hills where I live, I don't usually take those curves at speeds high enough to evaluate this. It has always recovered quickly but I'm fearful that it will happen at just the wrong instant and I'll end up in front of another vehicle.

    The dealer did an alignment and calibration after installing the new steering column. I also took it to a mechanic after to see if it was truly aligned. It needed an adjustment but it didn't change anything as far as the steering control. The car drives perfectly straight when you let the steering wheel go.

    I took the technician on a ride and he said he could feel it just going around street corners. That's crap because I can't feel it then. I told him exactly where to drive it on the highway to have it happen and he said it didn't. Passengers aren't able to feel it.

    As for the shocks, struts and tires; I did all that long before this steering issue came up. I was just really dissatisfied with the ride and hoping to improve it. I don't think these items have anything to do with this steering. they are just one more annoyance with this car.

    I bought the car certified used in Oct. 2008. My Mom liked the car so much she bought a 2007 in Jan of 09. I'm worried that her car will do the same thing.
    My car now has 68,000 miles on it.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    First, did you have this handling issue prior to all the part changes and particularly before the column change?
    You may have the two part on handling I experienced. Something in the EPS was definitely defective and very dangerous.
    The other part of it would through you from vehicle course suddenly. This was prevalent when crossing something longitudinal with vehicle travel. It could be as minor as the seam where two lanes merge or as a couple of others complained, where a slight elevation change took place. If you entered a construction zone where they were shifting lanes because of new paving, even at the reduced posted speed it was quite dangerous crossing those points. I had to slow an extra 15-20 MPH. One driver living in an area of bad roads came upon such with daily commutes because of road patching.
    And I also frequently experienced lane drift.
    All things that should have been fixed and uncertain how common issues are.
    No one was able to fix my issues and car is gone. GM turned it loose on someone else and they located me because somehow a receipt got left in vehicle and she tracked me. She has handling complaints and they did not let her know it was a repurchase and she found out it was lemon after months of trying to get title.
    If none of your problems showed up until after suspension changes, then it is easy to argue it is something you did. What proof do you have it existed prior?
    If something particular after the column change, then you might have some control. I'd definitely report to NHTSA and keep up with there progress, but don't hold breath while they work it. Even if you get rid of car before finalized, you may get money for interim attempts at repairing.
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