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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 31 of 33)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Jul 312004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


While driving at 30 mph steering wheel locked up and wouldn't turn in any direction. When this occurred a wrench icon illuminated on the dashboard. Consumer veered off the highway, turned the vehicle off, and restarted it. This unlocked the steering wheel. A service representative indicated that was a common problem with these vehicles, that resulted in accidents. Ea04018_cat

- Middletown, NY, USA

problem #42

Jul 072004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,162 miles
Issues that arose with my 2004 Malibu July 7, 2004. These issues are still worrisome to me even though the problem has been addressed by the fort wayne kelley Chevrolet service people. Ea04018_cat. I encountered several dangerous issues with the automobile. The first issue occurred at a stop sign. I was completely stopped at the stop sign when my steering wheel started to pulsate uncontrollably. Upon acceleration it seemed to subside until I tried to turn left and at that time I had no control over my steering. I was able to get into the correct lane finally and thankfully I was only 1 mile from my home. As I turned into my neighborhood the steering once again began to pulsate leaving me without steering power and I had to break upon someoneS yard in order not to hit a child playing in the street. This is a huge concern. I immediately called kelley Chevrolet. We were addressed courteously yet I was still very anxious about what had happened&especially considering my daughter had a Malibu just like ours. I have a granddaughter who rides in that car and I was very nervous about the fact that this may also happen to my daughter. Kelley did address the problem promptly and gave us information concerning document id# 1521111 2004 Chevrolet Malibu service information ( noisy steering column, lack of power steering assist, dtcs C0460 and C0545, steering wheel moves slightly by itself #04-02-35-009-May 24, 2004) my steering wheel was not just noisy, it was pulsating to the point I could hardly hold it. Also the issue of the steering wheel moves slightly by itself is also a huge understatement. My steering wheel could be moved by me, however, my wheels did not turn in the direction of my steering. This is something GM must address. KelleyS took care of the problem but I am extremely apprehensive about my car or ever getting another Chevrolet with electronic steering. Ea04018_cat

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #41

Jul 142004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
Electronic power steering failed and steering column was defective. There was a five second warning that the power steering failed. It was very difficult to turn the steering wheel. Ea04018_cat

- Coeur D'alene, ID, USA

problem #40

Jul 062004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While driving at any speed power steering failed. This caused the driver to have difficulty in steering, but was able to maintain control of the vehicle. It was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that the steering column needed to be replaced. Ea04018_cat

- Paducah, KY, USA

problem #39

Jul 052004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,700 miles
While driving my 2004 Chevy Malibu my steering wheel started to jerk back and forth, this would happen when turning right. At low speeds. I also had the ABS brake light come on intermittently, the dealership was able to verify the brake light problem due to a recall and the steering also was verified. This resulted in replacement of the "rack is what the dealer called it." I have noticed this is a problem on many 2004 Malibu. Chevrolet had bettter look into thisand take appropriate action before it results in death and major legal action. Ea04018_cat.

- Silverdale, WA, USA

problem #38

Jul 122004

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Electric power steering failed and the vehicle became very difficult to steer. Sport Chevrolet said they had heard of this defect before. They told my wife to turn the car and then turn the car on again. This solved the problem. This "fix" leaves something to be desired, especially if you are driving on the highway. Ea04018_cat.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #37

Jun 212004

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129 miles


Traveling down street at low speed when a sudden but light jolt from the engine is felt. Moments later slowing down for a traffic light total lose of electrical power. This does not happen all the time. Vehicle is in for repairs on this date. Ea04018_cat

- Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #36

Jun 222004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,509 miles
Driving the vehicle down the road at 45 mph. Everything was operating normally and all driving was normal. The steering wheel started moving violently to the right, pulling the wheel from my hand. While trying to slow the vehicle down to turn off the road, the steering was lost. I could not steer the vehicle. Approximately 15 seconds later; the car chimed, the check engine light came on, and on the computer display on the stereo the words "power steering" were displayed. At this time I was able to turn the vehicle off the road by using great force on the wheel. I did not get into an accident because the road was straight and had plenty off room and little traffic. The vehicle is new, purchased in Feb 2004 and has 10,500 miles on it. This is the first time this has happened. Ea04018_cat

- Alamogordo, NM, USA

problem #35

Jun 162004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,100 miles
While driving, the steering light flashed on the dashboard and the steering column was hard to steer. The consumer pulled over turned the vehicle off and restarted it. The steering light did not appear on the dashboard. The consumer drove the vehicle to the dealer for inspection and the mechanic informed the consumer that the diagnostic machine was not available. The mechanic recommended that the consumer call for an appointment to bring the vehicle in for testing. The consumer informed the mechanic that this problem occurred more than once. Pe04031_cat GM recommended that the consumer replace the steering column.

- Culpeper, VA, USA

problem #34

Jun 172004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,600 miles
While making a right turn, the steering wheel failed. A light for the steering wheel flashed on the dashboard and remained on. The consumer was able to maintain control of the vehicle and drove it to the dealer. The mechanic informed the consumer that the cause of the problem had not been determined. Pe04031_cat the steering column was replaced.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #33

Feb 022004


  • 5,000 miles


The consumer felt severe vibrations in the steering column. The vehicle could not be controlled normally by the steering column. The dealer examined the vehicle and replaced the steering column. The vehicle already had three steering columns replaced on the vehicle since February. The steering column recently locked up and caused the consumer to jump the curb and almost struck several pedestrians. There were no injuries involved but there was some damage done to the vehicles bumper. Pe04031_cat

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #32

Jan 112004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,465 miles
I was in the middle of an intersection making a left turn, and my check engine" light engaged, my center information console read "power steering", and my steering became very stiff. I managed to get the vehicle to my home (less than 1 mile away), and had the vehicle towed to bob bell Chevrolet (East point) location. The car was out of service until January 29, 2004, at which time I signed a repair order that states that the service department found "code 0545", and replaced the power steering column. This service as covered by my factory warranty, since the car was only 90 days old. On June 7, 2004, again while making a left turn in the middle of a very busy intersection (philadelphia road and rossville blvd in rosedale, md), my power steering failed in the same exact manner as the previous occurance. However, this was more serious because I nearly hit a Ford F-150 head on. I had the vehicle again towed to bob bell Chevrolet-eastpoint. They are now stating that the problem has been fixed again, but I am not picking the car up because I am too scared to drive it. I have filed a claim with the BBB, sent a certified letter to gmac (return receipt requested), and verbally filed a case with gmac customer relations (1-224-501-301). Pe04031_cat

- Rosedale, MD, USA

problem #31

Jun 032004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Power steering failure while vehicle in motion. Occurred approx. 10 times since purchase 6 months ago. Power steering usually resumes after vehicle turned off for a few minutes. No damage/injuries. Left vehicle at dealership May 26, 2004. After two days, service dept. Claimed they could not replicate, therefore they could not resolve. Told me to bring it back when it happens more frequently. At various speeds, power steering failed approx 5 times between 5/26 & 6/3. took vehicle back to dealership 6/7, where it remains. Service dept. Now says it's a "known issue" and placed an order for a new steering column. Pe04031_cat.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #30

Apr 082004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased my 2004 Malibu from frank parra Chevrolet in dallas, tx. I spoke with the service advisor there to inform them of the steering issue. When you turn either direction the car will continue in that direction unless you manually turn it to center your self. The advisor told me that it could be one of two things 1) the Contour of the road, 2) how the car was tied down on the deliver truck that has caused the alignment to be out of wack. If the second response is true then wait for 500 miles, if the steering doesn't change then they will perform a all wheel alignment on it. Well 500 miles came and went and there was no change in the steering. The advisor says the the head technician stated due to the steering being electrical that is how it will drive, it is perfectly normal. I didn't like that response so I spoke with the manager of the service department and he suggested that I test drive another vehicle to see if there was a difference. I did that and the newer vehicle drove totally different than mine but the advisor refused to do anything about it so a couple of weeks later the steering locked up while driving on the freeway at 65 miles per hour. I had absolutely no power to the steering. Fortunately I was on my way to another dearlership and they checked it out for me but once you turned the vehicle off and on again the power came back. Since then I have had the maintenance light come on for service. It has been checked out and serviced. The steering is still returning to center after directional turns. Pe04031_cat.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #29

Jun 062004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,750 miles
I have a 6 mos old 2004 Chevy Malibu ltv6 (10,000 miles). The electric steering is giving me some concerns. When I'm at a stop light the wheel wants to turn. Not far just more like a shake back and forth. If you let go you can see and hear it rattle. Probably moves 1/4 inch. Back and forth. Then if you really pay attention you can feel it when you are driving. Finally, the power steering cut off all together at high speeds. This all happened after the car sat in a parking lot for 8 days. Any idea's? pe04031_cat

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #28

Jun 042004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
I had noticed while driving that the words "power steering" had come across my display and an orange light with a wrench came up on the dash in the bottom left corner. When I first noticed this problem a few months ago, I took the car back to the dealer where I purchased the car. They told me the sensors were faulty, and they need to replace them. To my knowledge they replaced the sensors in the stirring column. I thought the problem was fixed. Today while I was sitting still in a drive through at a restaurant, the light came on again, and I saw "power steering" come across the display again. My car became extremely hard to turn and I drove it to the nearest Chevrolet dealership which was about 2 miles away from the restaurant. One of the workers at the dealership drove my car into the area where they repair them and the light went off, but came back on. I am still waiting to find out what caused this problem. I also have had a problem with my air conditioner button getting stuck in position. Pe04031_cat

- Greenfield, TN, USA

problem #27

May 292004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,833 miles
Stopped at a service station to refuel, when I restarted the auto and started to leave, the "service vehicle soon light" came on, a chime sounded, and the"driver information center displayed the following message"power steering" the steering wheel became very difficult to turn. I turned off the auto and restarted. Everything appeared normal but a few minutes later, the problem repeated. I was only 1 mile from home and was able to drive the car home but with great difficulty steering.the following day I started the car an let it run for 10 minutes but the problem did not repeat. I have not driven the car since 5/29/2004. On 06/01/2004 I drove the car to the dealer(distance:1-1/2 miles) jackson Chevrolet, South main St middletown, ct. 06457 the problem did not occur. I am presently waiting for the service dept. To call me.the reason I am sending you this complaint before I hear from the dealer, is: I have read 25 other complaints on your web site about 2004 Chevrolet Malibu electric assist power steering and it appears that neither the dealers or Chevrolet division of General Motors really knows why this is happening or has a 100% fix! there is no dought in my mind that this is a very serious safety issue and I hope you get Chevrolet division of General Motors to get this problem fixed fast or get these Malibu's off the road before someone gets into a serious accident or still worse, gets killed!! pe04031_cat

- Middletown, CT, USA

problem #26

May 112004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 20 miles
While driving the vehicle suddenly lost power steering which made it turning the steering wheel very difficult. The dealership replaced the power steering, but the problem still exist. Pe04031_cat

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #25

May 142004


  • 5,800 miles
While driving at any speed steering whee shook violently four times in four weeks. Dealer has examined the vehicle and will replace the steering column. Pe04031_cat

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #24

Apr 062004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29 miles
My power steering fails while driving. This happens many times. I have to stop the car and restart it to bring back the power steering. It will work for awhile, then fail again at a random time. Pe04031_cat

- Dexter, MI, USA

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