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Chevrolet Malibu Clunks and Noises



  • sarah36sarah36 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 879
    Anyone can do it yourself for free, just look under the dash and spray it.
  • montebumontebu Member 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 Member 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 Member 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..
  • chgotrooperchgotrooper Member Posts: 1
    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 Member Posts: 4,252
    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 [email protected]

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • frugalskatefrugalskate Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • qccarguy1qccarguy1 Member Posts: 1
    After reading through this forum it sounds like i have the same problem. Very minor clunk when pulling in/out of driveway or sitting idle and making very small left/right turns in the wheel. Dealership said it needed a new ISS and left outer tie rod. Ive had the tie rod replaced, and the clunk is still there. My main concern is safety. Although its annoying, I can deal with the clunk as long as its nothing thas going to cause a safety issue. Asking for a little insight.

    Thanks so much.
  • malibu4jimmalibu4jim Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2009 LT (only 40K miles). I had rattle noise in front end for several years, more noticeable at slower speeds and cold weather. Took it to Chevy dealer 3 months ago, and they replaced front sway bar links ($125 + $140 labor). Helped a little, but noise is back now (Dec - cold!). Took it to dealer today. Service Tech said this is a known issue. One hour later, FREE service receipt said: "inspect front suspension, found boots loose on front struts. Realign and reinstall strut boots. Note struts will get noisier when cold due to design."
  • memphis27memphis27 Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2015
    Hello, just thought I'd share my experiences with this car, which I love mostly because it is such an adorable piece of crap. I have a 2005 Malibu Maxx. I bought it back in 2012 from a used dealer with over 100k on it. The salesman even used the 'a lady wanted to come back and look at the car the next day and it was gone' line on me and I still bought this piece of junk. Here's the short list of things I've replaced in no particular order: tie rod, starter, radiator, struts, power steering pump, and alternator. Here's a list of peculiar behaviors, also in no particular order: if I gas it too hard (I have the V6, so I have to be careful to keep the awesome power under control), the front end literally bounces. It's very jarring and unusual, but also very funny and exhilarating as you bounce out into oncoming traffic. Next item, dinging. My car will ding at random intervals for no appreciable reason. There are two distinct dinging noises, too. One comes from under the dashboard instrumentation, the other emanates from the vicinity of the passenger floorboard. Sometimes, despite having an essentially brand new ignition system, the car sometimes will not start unless I step on the gas pedal. It will start to crank, then sputter. Once I give it the gas (and resultantly have to announce my married and thus unavailable status to all the newly intrigued men and women in the vicinity), it will rev really loudly and remain running with a pleasant gasoline-rich aroma pervading the cockpit. Also, for a short list of small things, the keyless remotes broke into small pieces for no reason, the plastic knob for the interior dimmer broke off suddenly, the pneumatic hissy-tubes on the hatch don't work, and the seat folding handle is gone. I have to use pliers to drop the back seat. All in all, this car sucks, but I got it cheap and I'm not afraid to transport a wet dog, mulch, or raw sewage in it if I need to. I don't worry about people dinging it in parking lots; one day a friend and I were saying goodbye in a parking lot when a guy opened his door into my car so hard it rocked on the springs. I laughed and laughed at the crease he put in the edge of the door on his Cadillac. I'm currently ignoring three unique recalls on this vehicle, as well. Despite it all, I love this car. The seat warmers work, even if the rear window wiper doesn't and it gets me to and from work. Also, there's the added bonus of not ever needing to lock it under any circumstances. It's not like anyone mistakes me for having either money or good taste, so there's little chance it will be broken into, especially since it's been broken into three times already.
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