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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
25 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,379 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 13 of 33)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #401

Mar 122012


  • miles


In the middle of driving, my power steering turned on and I could not turn the wheel. I was in the middle of an intersection, and a car crashed into my back bumper. I just recently got it fixed, and found it was an electrical issue that cost me 700. When speaking to the mechanic, the told me there is a good chance it will happen again if it gets jerked the wrong way.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #400

Mar 192012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 119,800 miles
Power steering warning light appears in dic and car loses electronic assisted steering for a period of 5-10 seconds. This problem occurs at several different speed intervals and is very dangerous.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #399

Feb 202012


  • 83,500 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the driver was traveling 55 mph when the power steering failed. The check engine warning light illuminated prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic and the manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 83,500.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #398

Jan 162012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles


As I was slowing down to make a left turn, my vehicle all of a sudden failed to allow any steering and was almost involved in a traffic accident. I was able to brake and avoid the accident, but as soon as I came to a complete stop, the vehicle turned off and would not turn on again. When it did turn on, I was able to steer again, so I parked my vehicle.

- Colton, CA, USA

problem #397

Mar 012011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the power steering would fail without warning. The contact stated that the vehicle would have to be turned off and restarted in order for the power steering to reset. The power steering warning light would then be illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the dealer advised that they were unable to determine a failure with the vehicle. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 155,069. Updated 08-07-12 the consumer stated the vehicle would become difficult to manage, especially when making turns, or simply moving forward. Updated 08/09/12

- San Antinio, TX, USA

problem #396

Mar 072012


  • 151,734 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the power steering failed and the vehicle became hard to steer. The contact was able to maintain control of the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 151,734.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #395

Jul 042011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Since last year 3 or 4 times I have the dci warning and message power steering, its hard to drive, stop the car turn off and turn on again and the power came back, the warning comes when I start driving.every day I drive worry because I dont know when it will happend again, specially when im driving in the highway over 50 miles an hour.thank you for recomend me what to do.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #394

Feb 242012


  • 134,985 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph and attempting a left turn, the power steering seized with the illumination on the power steering warning light. The vehicle was then turned off for a few minutes and once restarted the power steering resumed normal operation. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The dealer was contacted and stated to the contact that the steering column needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 134,985 and the current mileage was 135,011.

- Port Crain , NY, USA

problem #393

Feb 182012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
While pulling into a shopping mall the power steering stopped working and almost caused an accident. With a great deal of effort I did manage to get the car parked. However it could no longer operate safely so I had to have it towed.

- Woolwich, ME, USA

problem #392

Jan 052012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 89,500 miles
Loss of power steering at various speeds... steering comes & goes, loss of power assist. Should be a recall-very dangerous when not expected.

- Waterloo, NY, USA

problem #391

Mar 102010


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph when the power steering warning indicator illuminated and there was a complete loss of power steering. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was turned off. Upon restarting, the vehicle resumed as normal. The failure occurred three different times. Also intermittently, the four power windows and power door locks failed to operate when the control mechanism was engaged. On a separate occasion the the key would not release from the ignition switch until after several attempts. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

problem #390

Jan 172012


  • 63,800 miles
As we parked I put the car in reverse after letting someone out of passenger seat and a soon as I put the vehicle in reverse the steering gave out. If I was on the road another 5 minutes my fiance and I could be dead in the hospital etc... this complaint is everywhere on the internet why no recall. Someone is going to die because Chevy doesn't want to fix there mess up. If I shot at someone and killed them I would be in jail for a long time. But if there vehicle malfunctions and kills someone all they have to do is pay a lawsuit and there good. That isn't rite. I am going to push this issue until there is a recall. What do they have to reach a quota in deaths in order to put a recall out... this is unreal and the second time this part was replaced on the car. Before I bought it the dealer had told me they just put a brand new steering column in so do something about this before someone losses there life over it.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #389

Jan 092012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 1,200,000 miles
Loss of power steering.

- Fordland, MO, USA

problem #388

Dec 052011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 55 miles
My power steering has went out on my vehicle on its on with out warning I was driving when it happened. In the beginning I could power the car off and then turn it back on the check engine light would disappear. But now the light stays on. Its absolutely hard to make turns and I get stuck in parking lots and turns that are narrow I need space to turn like I am driving a 18 wheeler. I have had my car read and no codes appeared, even though the steering was locked and the service engine light was on.

- Youngsville, NC, USA

problem #387

Dec 092011


  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was driving approximately 10 mph when the power steering failed without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where they advised that power steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered to cover fifty percent of the cost of the part. The failure and the current mileages were approximately 64,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- South Park, PA, USA

problem #386

Dec 112011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
While driving, my power steering failed.

- Warrenville, IL, USA

problem #385

Dec 012011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 102,537 miles
Beginning my day, I started my vehicle, put the car in reverse, backed up, and put my car in drive. I went approx. 10 feet when my vehicle lost power steering and my car almost went off our steep driveway. There was an orange wrench that illuminated in the dash and power steering alert came on my information display on the radio. I turned the car off and restarted. All warning lights went out and the steering came back. Thankfully, I was home, and not hurt, but I am having fears of a much worse situation if this were to occur again.

- Boston, KY, USA

problem #384

Nov 282011


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving, the power of steering failed and the steering wheel seized. The power steering warning lamp was also illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 44,000.

- Royersford, PA, USA

problem #383

Nov 162011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 98,200 miles
Purchased vehicle for daughter on 8/17/2011 from asset recovery dealership Colorado. While she was driving on a major road (approx. 40 mph), a warning light on dash went on and the power steering went away (almost to the point of feeling like it was totally locked). She was in rh lane, put on flashers, turned off car and restarted car. Warning light went off and power steering was back. This happened two other times while pulling out of a parking space. It happened intermittently. Took the vehicle it to my mechanic who ran diagnostics and found the power steering assist relay to be faulty and replaced entire steering column at $580 (the relay cannot be replaced without replacing entire steering column). Since then I have found a number of websites ( were 100+ other 2004 Malibu owners have had the exact problem. There does not seem to be a recall on the 2004 Malibu for this particular problem but some have written there was a recall or bulletin for 2005+ Malibu for this problem. This a very serious safety (and scary) issue to loose your power steering assist out of no where and a very costly repair. I also read in some of the posted complaints that their repair did not last and the problem recurred. I purchased this car from a"recovery" type car dealership. I would like to get reimbursement from GM. This problem occurred with people at various mileage ranges some as low as 7,000 which would seem to me to indicate a defect. Although the steering column has been replaced, I'm concerned about this problem recurring. Thank you.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #382

Nov 212010


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel became stiff and difficult to maneuver. The wrench warning light illuminated on the instrument panel accompanied by a warning chime. The steering resumed normal function after shutting the engine off and restarting the vehicle. The failure also occurred while parked and caused the vehicle to stall. The failure recurred five times. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The approximate failure mileage was 73,000.

- North Canton, OH, USA

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