Chevrolet Malibu Clunks and Noises

yuryyury Member Posts: 146
Hi, All

I've been reading the about the steering column noise issue. I have some very slight knocking, but it's not quite as described in Tsb 06-02-32-007. It only happens during slow speed turns (as in in and out of the driveway). Driving straight is ok even in bumpy roads. The sound is like very slight tapping and I think I can also reproduce it when standing still and jiggling the steering wheel from side to side.
Overall, not a big deal at all, but I still have warranty and wonder if I should worry about it.


  • yuryyury Member Posts: 146
    in case anyone cares.

    I found anothe TSB on alldata that seem to be right on the money: TSB 06-02-32-005, "Snap/pop Type Noise During Steering Wheel Rotation(Replace Inner Tie Rod Boot)"

    Interestingly the tsb comes up as applicable to 05 LS, but within the TSB there's a list of models that only has Classic in it.

    Anyway, my dealer heard the noise and argeed to look into it. The car is going in tomorrow, will see what happens.
  • yuryyury Member Posts: 146
    so, got the car back from the dealer. they replaced the proverbial steering rack with the redesigned one. it steers nice and quiet now.
  • rvothrvoth Member Posts: 147
    Well,guess what my 05 LS malibu just started making the same knocking noise only at low speeds and while turning .

    Only 43245 km and the this ugly steering knocking noise has suddenly appeared.

    Time for another fun filled visit to my favorite dealer, soooon.
  • yuryyury Member Posts: 146
    time to get that redesigned steering rack...
  • malibujeffmalibujeff Member Posts: 4
    My GM Certified used '05 MAXX developed a "thunk" in the front end that could be felt in the steering wheel when turning, at about 21000 miles. Took it in and they replaced the entire front rack. Sounds like a common defect on the early ones. Hope wife's '06 isn't the same issue.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    its an engineering design issue with the electronic steering and the gearing.....the fix doesnt totally eliminate the clunk/thunk from what Ive see of those members who have had the fix applied....04 MAXX LT here....have had the thunk for quite some time.....but never took it in......never really annoyed me enough to be honest....and almost 97K on mine now and still going strong...
  • yuryyury Member Posts: 146
    mine works ok after the fix...nice and clean so far...
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    most seem to come back after a few thousand miles or so
  • yuryyury Member Posts: 146
    hm...not very encouraging...

    (i have a feeling all the little things will eventually annoy the hell out of me and i will and up dumping the car yet again. it's a shame really, only got in March)
  • tiger0810tiger0810 Member Posts: 3
    I developed the same noise early on in my car and actually have had it fixed twice in the year that I've had the car. I was eventually told that I can keep fixing it, paying for it after the warranty runs out, or, because it's not a safety threat I can just live with the noise. I've decided to live with it, and now it seems I've blocked it out. I'm sure I'll notice it again after this though.
  • yuryyury Member Posts: 146
    typically, how many miles did you use to go between a fix and the reappearance of the noice?
  • ryanxotteleryanxottele Member Posts: 2
    (05 Malibu LT) My car is at the dealer right now having this problem treated. I had taken it in before my factory warranty expired for the popping noise and they replaced the steering gear and greased the shaft and all was well for a while.. About 3,000 miles and the problem recurred. Now, I am out of factory warranty and my extended warranty company said they don't cover sounds.

    Thankfully, the dealer was very helpful. I told them I had it in there for the same thing before and the service consultant explained about the new shaft and what not. I then learned that the extended warranty wouldn't cover it. So, I reminded them that it had been treated for this problem before. They are going to replace the steering gear and the steering shaft under my factory warranty since it was worked on before. Love that 12 month / 12,000 mile guarantee!

    I get it back tomorrow morning and I am hoping that all is going to be normal with it.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    who is your extended warranty company.....not the GMPP plan I assume through GM
  • yuryyury Member Posts: 146
    Hi, All

    I noticed yesterday that there's a rattle when I accelerate seems to start at some point as rpm climb and stops somewhere before the max rpm is reached before shifting. Sounds like a metal type of rattle, not too loud - can't hear it with the radio on.

    Is it something known perhars?

  • ryanxotteleryanxottele Member Posts: 2
    No.. I had a warranty with Fidelity Warranty Services. After I got it, I was looking online about them and I realized that I was going to have problems. Fortunantly, the dealership I took it to really took care of me with the deal.

    I just got the car back today and the problem is totally gone. I can't believe how much better it is now. No popping at all!

    I asked and it was only going to be about $750 out of the warranty had I not previously had it in for the problem. That's not as bad as I thought it would be. Still a lot out of pocket though.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    glad it worked.....98K my my 04 Maxx LT....a slight clunk..but had it since I bought it...and really dont notice except under the right conditions..which isnt it keeps on rolling
  • sybsyb Member Posts: 10
    I have reading this forum since I bought my 94 malibu lt in feb 04...92700 miles with 3 trips to the dealer for this clunking problem, last fix at 67,000 plus has been over a year with no problems...other than this design problem,car has been a pleasure, will have no problem looking at the 08 or 09 version when it is time to replace as i usually keep car 5 to 6 years...
  • sybsyb Member Posts: 10
    Just realized that my post misstated the yr of my malibu lt it is a 2004 an not a 1994 sorry for the confusion... Just passing 94,000 miles with no issues although my mpg is slipping slightly will probably do the 100,000 maint at the 95,000 mark... curious if anyone can give me an idea of the pay-out for this service if anyone has already done so already and if it was done at a dealer vs an independent shop... All in all am very pleased with the car...
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    I did it at an independent mechanic...I had them replace plugs, wires..(I furnished the parts), a serpentine belt change, transmission drain and fill, and coolant change...and mine was right at $400 for the work...breakout was about $300 labor and the rest parts, and labor rate is $85 an hour..which was much less than dealer labor rates and parts costs.....did mine at just over 99k on the car

    price was $150-$200 less than dealer quotes.....
  • beedublubeedublu Member Posts: 236
    ...because it's not a safety threat I can just live with the noise.

    So this isn't related to the dreaded power steering failures that cause you to lose all power assist abruptly and with little warning?

    My '04 Maxx just started making a clunk in low speed left turns only 1000 miles out of warranty. Naturally.

    Since it's going to need tires ($400), brakes (probably another $400), battery, serpentine belt and now this...the thought of ditching it now while it's still worth something has crossed my mind.
  • sybsyb Member Posts: 10
    Pao, thanks for the update, curious about the parts supplied, did you go org replacement parts or did you upgrade the plugs,wires,and belts that you supplied??
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    belt came from NAPA...plugs and wires I ordered from a GM parts they were OEM...
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    I have had that slight clunk for two years now....I determined it wasnt worth the effort to get it most times it appears it comes back..or is simply lessen to some degree...about to roll over 100K in my Maxx....and no problems with it at are right on on pricing for tires and brakes...serpentine isnt needed unless you have cracking in the belt..which I did..was the only reason I replaced it at 95K......

    so honestly.....getting out of it now is a personal choice...or do you simply do scheduled maintenance and keep going....guess it depends in finances and if you have the new car itch.....
  • pgurganuspgurganus Member Posts: 12
    i am trying to get some advise on this situation,this car possibley has a blown head gasget,if that is the case it would have water comming out the tail pipe or water in the oil?correct?the car has no power and wont go over 20 to 30 mph.please help me
  • beedublubeedublu Member Posts: 236
    My front end clunking started getting rapidly worse over the past few weeks, so at my last oil change I asked the dealer to check it out. Response: "Oh, we'll take care of that on a one-time courtesy basis at no charge!" Without my even having to ask for courtesy out-of-warranty treatment (I'm at 38,000 miles). :)

    End result, I have a new steering rack. 'Hope it last longer than the 7,000 miles I've read about elsewhere here. Otherwise, Camry/Accord here I come! ;)
  • tiger0810tiger0810 Member Posts: 3
    No, it's not related to the dreaded power steering failures. It has to do with something in the joint of the front driver side tire. I haven't really noticed it lately, I guess because I've gotten used to it...either that or I play my music loud enough that I just can't hear it.

    I can't recall how many miles I drove it in between fixes but I could always look at my records to find out.
  • tired_old_davetired_old_dave Member Posts: 710
    For a couple of years, car ran hot, tranny pan wet with oil? dealer dismissed everything. At 35K miles pushed and got intake gasket and new water pump. Never went long on fluids. Yesterday at 41K miles paid a local tranny shop (a first - pay for tranny maintenance)to drop pan and change the fluid-no backflush-and asked about aluminum case porosity etc. The wetness of the tranny pan was within seconds diagnosed as the drivers side axle seal weeping.

    Even though we have an extended warranty-what good if the local highest volume dealer didn't fix it in two years. Tranny shop changed the fluid, the axle seal at the tranny and The Bushing. Car feels brand new and no front end noise. He said that the 4T40E tranny is even used behind the regal w/supecharger? and good for 100k miles. Asked about the 5/8 inch chain w/noise versus requesting the 3/4 inch chain be installed by the dealer and the response was the answer about the regal-didn't know about the small chain but said the chain has never been an issue.
    3.5 v6 with the 4 speed automatic-not exactly the 250k miles plus previa tranny-but then again it is only $1800 to replace at 100k or 150k miles.
  • mbethmbeth Member Posts: 1
    I had the same exact thing happen to me... Had the steering gear fixed and right after my warranty ran out the clunking noise reapared. What is this 12month/1 year you speak of because when I took it back to the dealer with in the year no one told me of this! is this some kind of extended warranty or is this a warranty on the part itself? Also do you know if this is a safety issue? The dealer told me it was about 1200,00 to fix the part but other places are saying they are crazy and that I should contact GM before I shell out the money to get it fixed AGAIN!
  • unclestickunclestick Member Posts: 7
    i just replaced int/gasket on 3.1(don't everyone?), now at times it will once-n- awhile just start reving ip to 2000(+) rpm, until i re-start car! i tourqed every thing to spec's, ....any clues people??? it didn't do this UNTIL i replaced gaskets. thanks for any ideas!!! rick sr ( st. chls,mo.)
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    I questioned a GM tech and this was his reply.


    Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks Dealer Installed – 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from date of installation (parts and labor). Subsequent replacements under this warranty will receive a new 12 month or 12,000 mile warranty from new date of installation. Part replaced under new vehicle warranty will be covered for balance of new vehicle warranty, but in no event less than 12 months/12,000 miles.
  • angelheartangelheart Member Posts: 1
    My car recently started making an odd noise. Before, it was just when I went over 60. Now it's doing it all the time. Sounds like a really loud humming noise. Feels like the floor of the car is vibrating under the driver seat. My friend said it sounded like a really noisy fan. Worried about cost on this one. Anyone know what might be causing it? Got an oil change a while ago, and it started about 2 weeks later. The oil is fine, the power steering is fine, the transmission drives well. What do you think it could be? :confuse:
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Wheel bearing , axle shaft joint, get it checked.
  • packer3packer3 Member Posts: 277
    Could be the CV joints.
  • naludabinaludabi Member Posts: 4
    I've also been reading a lot about the knocking sound when turning for my Chevy Malibu, I swear if it's not one thing it's another with this helpful page I've found is ing_steering_wheel.shtml
    It's not for the Malibu but I'm pretty sure it's the same thing. Good luck,it helped me :)
  • javon7065javon7065 Member Posts: 9
    Hi. Glad to have found this forum. I started hearing the clunk noise at around 25k miles. Got the car in Jan 2007 with 19k on it via a dealer. it was GM Certified Pre owned. Took it initially to my local guy for the noise and he referred me to TSB 06-02-32-007. it seemed to match exactly the symptoms I was having. I took it to another dealer and they fixed the issue via "lubed, repositioned and retightened I shaft" The issue went away. Now, 3k miles later, it is back. From what I am reading, it seems to come back after 3k miles. So, called that dealer back and they said it could be that again or something else. The guy told me that these cars have a lot of front end noise and that a lot of the issues, like tie rods or the steering column, or TSB 06-02-32-007 sound the same. great. so, I am wondering if this time it'll be the steering column issue and I'll get a replacement? does the new one solve the issue?
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Needs to be re lubed.
  • javon7065javon7065 Member Posts: 9
    so I guess i'll go to the dealer every three thousand miles and get an oil change and a front end lube? LOL

    I am taking it back to the dealer I got the car from on 7/7 to have them look at it.
  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    the front end clunk..whether the steering column or the front suspension is common on this platform, but my experience is it doesnt cause long term mechanical problems...I have an 04 Maxx LT....I have had a clunk of some sort since 30K.....I dont beleive there is a real solution to the problem despite numerous TSBs and fixs....its an engineering design issue.....mine is only noticeably in a sharp slow turn or going over a speed bump.....still have all original front end suspension and steering column.....and have over 128K on my Maxx now and still going strong...
  • javon7065javon7065 Member Posts: 9
    Pao, thanks for the reply. great to hear from someone who has so many miles on it. depending on what the dealer says this time, I may just let it rest. if it needs lube to quiet it and will need this every 3k, then this will be the last time it gets lubed. Bottom line for me is that I feared it was a safety issue. doesn't seem to be since there has been no recall and I have read that it is not in various forums.

    thanks for the info!
  • bav_fan07bav_fan07 Member Posts: 68
    We can't win with our 2004 Chevy Malibu LT. Its one of the worst cars ever built.

    We just got notified by our mechanic that BOTH hub bearing assemblies need to be changed. The car was making so much front end noise, it was unbearable and undriveable. ridiculous. Of course we get the nice clunking noise when the car turns. its like the steering colum or steering is just going to fail any second.

    I'm sorry, but GM is indeed a GENERAL MISTAKE.
  • javon7065javon7065 Member Posts: 9
    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?
  • 2008malibu2008malibu Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • madrussian190madrussian190 Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • tonatiu009tonatiu009 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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.
  • pandanotoriouspandanotorious Member Posts: 1
    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 Member Posts: 4,252
    I would advise you to at least speak with a dealer. Please keep me updated.
    GM Customer Service
  • john570john570 Member Posts: 2
    Maybe your car had the replacement intermediate steering shaft installed???
  • seaurchinseaurchin Member 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 Member 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
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