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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
25 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,277 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 14 of 33)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #383

Nov 162011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 98,200 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

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 (www.carcomplaints.com) 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

Malibu

  • 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

problem #381

Jun 042008

Malibu

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the power steering assist randomly disengaged without warning. 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 mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 124,000.

- Centennial , CO, USA

problem #380

Nov 142011

Malibu

  • 160,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph and suddenly the steering wheel locked with the illumination of the wrench symbol. The contact pulled onto the side of the road and turned the engine off. Upon restarting the vehicle, the warning symbol remained illuminated and the steering continued to malfunction. The contact resumed with caution. The failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact planned to notify the manufacturer of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Linden , TX, USA

problem #379

Oct 122011

Malibu

  • 70,502 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was driving 20 mph when the power steering light illuminated, and the power steering failed making it difficult to make a right turn. The steering wheel became hard to turn. The failure occurred on three previous occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who confirmed there was condensation in the wiring. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,502 and the current mileage was 71,000.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #378

Nov 242009

Malibu

  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving 30 mph, the steering system malfunctioned, making it difficult to steer the vehicle. The contact had the steering column replaced previously but the repair did not remedy the issue. The contact did not call the manufacturer or the dealer. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic where the mechanic advised that the steering column needed to be replaced again. The contact was concerned that the failure would result in a crash. The failure mileage was 102,000.

- Sugar Grove, PA, USA

problem #377

Oct 232011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,150 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving 60 mph the power steering failed and the check engine lamp illuminated. The contact was able to merge onto the side of the road. When he restarted the vehicle, the power steering began to function normally. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the power steering sensor was defective and as a result the steering column needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 49,150 and current mileage was 49,200. Updated 11/10/11 updated 11/16/11 updated 11/18/11

- Prospect, KY, USA

problem #376

Sep 272011

Malibu

  • 15,520 miles
This car is operated by the original retired female owner who drives it 3 times per week to perform local errands. At 13,265 miles the intermediate steering shaft was replaced to eliminate, unsuccessfully, a rattling from the front suspension. At 15,520 miles, the service engine soon and service power steering warnings appeared on the dashboard and dic respectively. Researching the internet showed clearly that failure of the electric power steering boost was imminent in thousands of cases. The next day, the local Chevrolet dealer replaced GM part #25933396, the steering column, and charged for shop supplies and 4 hours of labor. The total, $777.22, was solely the responsibility of the owner, with the dealer stating, "we've never heard of this problem. The car is seven years old, you know." The car is operating properly for now.

- Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #375

Oct 142011

Malibu

  • 50,129 miles
Making a right turn power steering chimes went off no power steering. It has happened multiple times. When it happens it is very difficult to steer the car.

- Cuba, NY, USA

problem #374

Oct 172011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Steering wheel locked up. Could not turn the wheel. Second time this happened in 3 months.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #373

Jul 052006

Malibu

  • 44,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Clunking in front end. Taken to dealer and rack and pinion replaced under warranty. Two years later, clunking is back. Taken to dealer and steering shaft replaced at my expense. One year ago, the clunking is back and I didn't take it in. Now the power steering is going out completely when I am driving. I have to pull over and shut the car off and restart and that takes care of problem. This is dangerous and GM needs to fix it.

- Bay City, MI, USA

problem #372

Sep 282011

Malibu

  • 9,296 miles
Power steering recall 04050 and replaced in 2005 with 9,296 miles under warranty and need it again at 26,000 miles today. Front bracket replaced in 2006 with 19,217 miles and needs it again at 26,000 miles today. Fuel leak twice once in 2006 at 19,102 miles and replaced tank in 2007 at 20959.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #371

Sep 042011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
Bought this veh. Brand new 2004. Had steering issues from the beginning. The vehicle had less than 65K on it. Always had vehicle serviced at the dealer or dealership I worked for. Had steering shaft replaced, had steering shaft bolt replaced, had rack and pinion replaced.. son drove the veh., making a left hand turn in the outer left turning lane left him with lots of room to turn, wheel locked up and he crashed ! veh. Is totaled, notified insurance company that too many issues with the steering and locking up situation..even gave them the web site to look for themselves. The way I see it is it is one less very dangerous veh. On the road. To bad GM doesn't handle this...one yard either direction and my son would have hit solid concrete poles or heavy reinforced intersection lighting and electrical box and I would be filing wrongful death suit. Why does it have to go to this extreme?

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #370

May 062011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
Driving on the highway I-81 and steering failed completely stop and locked while driving major defect needs serious attention GM really needs to recall or parts manufacturer. Chevy Malibu is a death trap a bad accident to happen.

- Carbondale, PA, USA

problem #369

Jul 012011

Malibu

  • 260,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 35 mph, the steering wheel became stiff and the steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. After restarting the vehicle, the power steering functioned normally. The failure recurred intermittently. The contact inspected the vehicle and replaced the electronic power steering motor. After the repair the failure continued. The vehicle was not further repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 260,000.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #368

Aug 262011

Malibu

  • 101,000 miles
The electric power steering will quit with little to no warning making the car extremely hard to steer safely. The problem only seems to happen when moving, I've never lost steering in say a parking lot, it has been on the road every time. Usually the light on the dash will light up and warn you and most times noting happens, other times you'll lose all power steering almost immediately. Twice I have lost steering first, then the light came on later. No rhyme or reason to when it happens, it can be when making a turn and I once a few weeks ago lost it 4 separate times while on a freeway not making turns. Turning the car off, then back on has fixed it almost every time though twice it took more than one try. The second time this happened I did run off the road as it was after a large turn and I was unable to get the wheel straightened up in time to not run both right side tires off the road, this was the first time I lost steering and did not get a warning light. When the steering is off it is much, much worse that a car without normal power steering. I have driven old cars that had no power steering and can handle those fine, I would say the effort required after loosing the electric steering is over twice what is needed for normal cars. I am a large man and it is quite a struggle for me, my wife cannot hardly move the wheel at all and certainly not safely. This appears to be a pretty widespread problem, see this link for a few examples. www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Malibu/2004/steering/power_steering_going_out_intermittently I feel this is a definite safety issue due to the times it happens, and the severe impact on drive-ability with little, to at time no warning at all. Thanks so much for your time!

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #367

Aug 212011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
The first time the power steering intermittently went out I was just parking. The Malibu has electronic steering so there is no warning when the steering is about to fail like with a normal power steering pump. I checked some connections and thought I had it fixed because it worked when I started the car again. A few weeks later I was in the city and the steering quit working again if I wouldn't have had a good hold on the steering wheel when I was turning I could have easily ran into someone or even worse hit a pedestrian! this problem is well documented in Malibu's of this age and a common problem. It is only a matter of time before this causes a death if it hasn't already!

- Pender, NE, USA

problem #366

Mar 102011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
My wife was driving to work when her check engine light came on and power steering flashed across her information screen. When she was attempting to make a left hand turn, the steering wheel locked up on her. Fortunately she was able to get the car pulled into a parking lot. We had to have the vehicle towed to a mechanic, who looked at it and said that the only thing he thought it could be was the rack and pinion. We had that replaced and everything was fine for a few days, and then the same thing happened again. It has been a constant annoyance, and you have to constantly restart the car to get the power steering to come back on. Just recently it was taken back to a mechanic who stated he had to replace fluid? I picked the car up from him on 9/19/2011 and today 9/20/11 with my 11 week old daughter in the car it happened again. From what I've read, this is a very common problem on these vehicles, and had I known that at the time I would not have purchased this vehicle. It is unsafe not only for the driver and passenger of the cars, but also anyone that just happens to be around when it happens!! I consider myself to be a strong person, and I have been driving on several occasions when this has happened, and I could barely get the car safely pulled to the side of the road. I cannot afford to spend $600 for a repair when it is a faulty part that the manufacturer should take responsibility for!!

- Bossier City, LA, USA

problem #365

Oct 012010

Malibu

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 25 mph, the electronic power steering failed and caused the steering wheel to seize. The check engine warning light was illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure recurred intermittently at different speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics where the technician stated that an electrical module had to be replaced. The contact was unaware of the exact part. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #364

Sep 012010

Malibu

  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was driving approximately 5 mph and attempting a turn when the steering wheel seized. The failure recurred on an intermittent basis and the steering service light would occasionally illuminate. The contact would shut the vehicle off after the failure and upon restart the vehicle would operate as normal. The vehicle was examined by an independent mechanic, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 105,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Hanover Park, IL, USA

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