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fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
59,267 miles
Total Complaints:
49 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (20 reports)
  2. replace rack and pinion (9 reports)
  3. the rack and main steering gear and steering column replaced (9 reports)
  4. replaced the intermediate steering shaft (7 reports)
  5. lubricate the steering knuckle, bearing & steering column (2 reports)
  6. GM fixed power steering under warranty (1 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Malibu steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Nov 092009

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


I love my Malibu. Bought it with only 19K miles on it in 2007. The clunking noise when I turn the wheel is annoying. I do not see that it causes any problems in steering. I may try the suggestion of a good lube job underneath to see if that would help. It definitely sounds like it just need grease, like a squeaky door. I do not have a warranty, but wonder if anything was ever recalled with this issue since I am the 2nd owner.

- , Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #28

Aug 192009

Malibu LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles

I am on Rack and Steering replacement #2, and general steering assembly #3, that's right... the car only has 130k on it and steering has now gone completely FIVE TIMES! I get the car serviced by Chev, and the last time the shop guy had the balls to ask me IF I TURN LEFT MORE THAN I TURN RIGHT and maybe THAT'S THE PROBLEM!!!!! My extended warranty has now run out, and the Chev shop told me the last time I was in that they weren't willing to replace the parts again under warranty anyway, as if it was my fault somehow. Clearly this car's steering is a significant problem and it's time Chev acknowledged that (especially since we, the public, actually OWN them now, can you say give me my bail-out money back!).

- , Victoria, BC, Canada

problem #27

Jun 142008

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

After having this problem "fixed" 2 times in the past under warranty it came back like never before. The dealership said they were going to have to replace the whole steering under the car and the steering column would have to come out as well. They said they contacted GM about my car and it's history and that GM agreed to cover all but approx. $500 of the repair. Here I am at less than 62,000 miles and the noise is back again. I don't see why GM doesn't recall these cars. Maybe it's because they don't know how to fix it? Both dealerships that have worked on this problem tell me there is no danger....just noise.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #26

Aug 152007

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


I purchased this 12,000 mile car in early 2007. Soon after, I started hearing a noise that indicated to me something was loose under the front end. It didn't sound good but the car steered just fine. The dealership said they greased a shaft but the problem soon returned. On the second visit they said they replaced the shaft with a new design that would eliminate the problem.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #25

Apr 102009

Malibu LT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

There was a lot of noise in the front end until I lubricated the 3 areas of the steering column. Here is how I fixed my problem.

The .03" gap in the steering column located inside the vehicle under the steering wheel. I used regular oil like that used to lubricate bike chains. Removed the front left wheel to get to the other two areas. First, the large knuckle located about 6 inches from where the steering column comes through the wall. Use a lot of silicone grease and make sure it gets into the bearings. The third and last place is just under the large knuckle. About 4 inches and is the linkage for the steering column into the engine. Use a lot of the oil. I did this about 3 weeks ago and the noise is completely gone now. It took about a week for the noises to completely go away. The designers of the steering column could have done this car a lot of good if they paid more attention to this area. Good luck.

- , Browns Mills, NJ, USA

problem #24

Aug 012007

Malibu LT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

There has been a slight rattle coming from the left front since purchase, but it has gotten worse over the last 18 months. I just had the struts replaced a few weeks ago (they should not have been worn out) and this did nothing to stop the rattle, clanking, popping, etc... The bad thing my 2006 Buick has developed the same noise. A loyal GM man, but wondering what is going on here!!

- , Laurinburg, NC, USA

problem #23

Feb 012009

Malibu LS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,719 miles


steering making clucking sound and power steering warning comes on and off, mechanic told me it could be the racket pin contacted dealer to find out if any recalls for this they told me none

- , Elk Grove Village, IL, USA

problem #22

Sep 222008

Malibu Maxx 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Clunk when turning steering wheel. Intermediate shaft replaced under warranty at 34,000 miles and problem has come back at 60,000 miles. Local garage informed me it was a known defect with no real fix. A GM service bulletin said to grease the shaft where it goes through the firewall (from the inside of the car). Another tech said to disconnect the bolt from the joint so the shaft can be moved in and out to get the grease where it needs to be. This will likely need to be done every year or 2. I have learned there is a redesigned intermediate shaft with a nylon bushing where the grease goes in the old style (from a tech at the GM dealership). Am trying to get GM to put in the new style under good will. Other wise will learn how to do this myself and grease it as part of routine maintenance. All agree there is no safety issue, just an annoyance.

- , Caledonia, NY, USA

problem #21

Oct 012008

Malibu 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,598 miles

I have had my Malibu for 4 years and have had to have the rack and pinion changed twice! The dealer paid for it both times, they obviously know this is a malfunction with this car. I have purchased Chevy cars my entire time of being able to buy my own cars which has been about 11 years now and I have never have a car as horrible as this Malibu!

- , Bedford, OH, USA

problem #20

Sep 102008

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,200 miles

I can't believe this steering problem is not a recall. I feel lucky that my son had a cub scout meeting that night because my steering went out in a driveway. Had he not had a meeting that night I would have been driving at night to work on the highway and probably be dead right now. Because I would have run into a wall not being able to turn. How can Chevy not care about this safety issue. I will NEVER EVER buy a Chevy again!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Euclid, OH, USA

problem #19

Jul 282006

Malibu 2.2L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles


Clunking when turning and problem sign on today: power steering. Call GM, said no information about this car. Damn it.

- , Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #18

May 162006

Malibu LS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

I bought the car in 2006,The mechanic told me he had replaced the rack & pinion in it and I had it in for a creaking clunk sound.Everytime I would do a slow turn to the left or right it would make that sound,it was fixed under warranty.Now at 72,000 its back...I've read a lot of other complaints and it seems like gm should step up to the plate and fix our cars,before someone dies in them.....Thanks for letting me tell it ...........

- , Grant, MI., USA

problem #17

Jul 112007

Malibu LT 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles


- , Barnhart, MO, USA

problem #16

Apr 132008

(reported on)

Malibu STD 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,632 miles

GM,Stop building crap and expect the consumer to gulp it up, This problem i am having with the front suspension is going on and on. so many fixes replacements. I hope this is the last one.

- , Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

problem #15

Jul 102005

Malibu 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

well, fist of all, they had a recall on the steering column. They fixed it free of charge because of the recall. In about a month it had start clunking only when I turned left, so, therefore, I took it back to the dealership that can replace the steering column. They state that "that it was something that it was just going to do and don't worry about it". Now to me, that doesn't sound right. I bought my car brand new, plastic was still on the seats....come on now. I believe that there is something very wrong with the making of the 04's and they are not telling us, and that is dangerous. I think we should be eligible for a full refund for the purchase of the Malibu. We are paying for something that is supposed to be safe for our family, and with the clunk of the steering - that is not safe at all.

- , Brownsville, TN, US

problem #14

Jan 012008

Malibu 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles

To follow up with the other complaints I have filed, at this point (early 2008) I believe my steering clunk is fixed. The dealer first replaced the rack and pinion under warranted. 3,000 miles later, the clunk in the steering column was back. I took the car in again, but this time the calendar warranty had expired. But, my miles were still low (16,000), so the dealer covered the repair again under what they called "good will." This time they replaced the "intermediate steering shaft". The car drives well now. I'm just hoping the repair is permanent and the clunking doesn't return. All in all I like the size, efficiency, and drive characteristics of this usable, low-priced car. I think they just had several kinks to work out and I should have waited a year in the model run to purchase one. I am appreciative of my local dealer, who expressed concern and seems to want to help make sure my car drives and operates appropriately.

- , Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #13

May 112007

(reported on)

Malibu 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles

Over time the steering system got loose and developed a clunk feeling when making sharp turns, left or right. This was hightly annoying to me, a car guy. It did not bother my wife, who considers cars but mere appliances. (She likens a car to a dishwasher in that regard.) Anyhow... The front end also seemed loose when going over bumps. I am out of warranty in July, 2007, so I took the car to the dealer for a check. I submitted a list of the related TSB's from this website. The service department replaced the rack and pinion, and realigned the car. The problem is now solved, but for how long? After all the car only has 13,000 miles on it. Why would a rack and pinion wear out in 13,000 miles? Oh, well. At least it's driving well now. Word to the wise... if your problem has been addressed by a TSB from the manufacturer, make sure the service department knows you are educated in that regard. Thanks, AutoBeef.

- , Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #12

Feb 232005

Malibu Maxx V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

When your just starting out, or just in a slow tight turn, the power steering does not work right very hard to steer

- , Bradley, IL, US

problem #11

Feb 012005

Malibu LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

This car as far as the steering has been a total nightmare for me.First the steering locked up , had steering column replaced buy dealer twice, steering rack and tie rod ends replaced, stabilizer link was replaced and it still makes a bone cracking sound when you turn it to the left or right. Dealer told me that i would just to live with it because it was out of warranty and GM will not admit to the problem.

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #10

Jun 122007

(reported on)

Malibu 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

I had the steering system replaced in November 2006 at 37000 miles. After the repair the car continually clanked when you went over a bump (man-hole cover). Yesterday 6/12/2007 at 43,000 miles the car is back in the shop for an extreme clanking problem coming from the front end. The problem was diagnosed this time as the McPhereson struts and assemblys on both sides had worn out. The value of required service this time was about $400.00. Between the service in Nov 06 and June 07, the front end of a car that since Nov 07 had been driven about 6000 miles has cost the Warranty company over $1200.00 and my out of pocket has been about $300.00.

- , Colorado Springs, CO, USA

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