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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 1 of 3)

problem #49

Mar 082013

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,389 miles


Dear sirs, I own a Malibu built in the USA and bought in Mexico model 2004, now with 60,000 miles. Two years ago a noise came out from the steering wheel and the dealer in Tehuacan, Mexico had to change the steering column and the arrow(?) Now the same noise appeared and the dealer in Cancun, Mexico says that I have to pay again for a new steering column and arrow.

I understand that the warranty of the pieces and the car expired, what I don't understand is that such a fine vehicle fails on such important piece every 18,000 miles.

I already call the 800 number in Mexico and they told me they can't do anything. I'm requesting that General Motors pay for this reparation and to make a recall for these pieces. This is a lot of money (more than 40,000 pesos) and this would be the third steering column and arrow to be installed in a vehicle with only 60,000 miles traveled. I'm requesting a recall for I donĀ“t think it's worth it to pay over $3,600.00 dollars for a 2004 vehicle repair.

Update from May 19, 2014: I don't know the name of the parts in English but enclose parts codes they're requesting to change 20939833 (1), 15836873 (1), 15836874 (1), 22670300 (2), 25902150 (1), 15944090 (1), 20939832 (1). Although I haven't had any accident, I really don't feel safe anymore.

I tried to place a complaint at but didn't manage because I live in Mexico. Although is an american manufactured car.

- , Cancun, Q. ROO, mexico

problem #48

Jun 012013

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

The steering wheel clunks and clicks when I turn the steering wheel left or right whether the car is in motion or just sitting in park and turning the wheel. It's extremely annoying. I was told that it's the intermediate shaft and if I replaced it the issue will happen again over time.

- , Valois, NY, USA

problem #47

Apr 182014

Malibu LS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

The steering developed a creek that progressively got worse, was told that it was an intermeidate shaft and was not dangerous. Than, before we could get it repaired the rack broke while turning out of a driveway, leaving the car with no steering at all. They need a recall before someone gets hurt or worse.

- , Mayville, NY, USA

problem #46

Sep 102013

Malibu LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles


Every since I've bought this car 3 years ago I've had nothing but problems with the steering and had it fixed 3 times since I've had it. I'm tired of messing with it. Now it's roaring too. If this car doesn't get recalled I'll never buy another Chevy again, that will include GMC too.

We buy cars so they would last us a while. I know Toyota can last for over 300000 miles before anything goes out on it, I had one that did .If this problem doesn't get recalled to be fixed and If it causes me a wreak I'll sue cause you guys know of the problem and have known for some time. If the wreck kills me, I have 2 grown children who will sue for wrongful death caused by your neglect to not replace this electric steering. I didn't have to worry about the steering locking up on my Toyota, like mine has several times and has scared me to death, thought I was going to have a heart attack.

Some of us haven't the money to keep repairing every year or to replace for a better car .I bought this car thinking it would be as good as my Toyota, go figure, I was so wrong. It's cost me over the past 3 years $2200.00 in repairs on steering alone. Something has to be done ...

- , Dyersburg, TN, USA

problem #45

Nov 202004

Malibu LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

I got the 2004 Malibu bran new off the showroom floor and I have had the steering fixed 3 times, although under warranty at the time, I am now having the same issues with knocking and received a letter in the mail that it was no longer covered under warranty. I am the sole owner of this car and am looking to buy a new car but do not want to put anyone at risk. I have a friend who bought a used 07 model of the same car and have rode in it to see it is doing the same thing. Scary. I sure hope I am not in any danger but if somehting was to happen I have it all documented and there will be a lawsuit. The first issue I had was about a month after I bought it and everything just shut down and would not start again. Chevrolet paid for towing and to fix it but this happened 2 times after that. Steering is one of the most important parts of a car. It has discouraged me from buying Chevrolet again.

Update from Mar 3, 2013: I also have a complaint about the keyless entry system. I kept replacing batteries and they just quit working constantly. I took it to Chevrolet and paid 130 something dollars for a part and it worked for about 1 yr without issue but just quit again. I had batteries checked and it isn't that so although I paid for all the bells and whistles I am now unlocking the doors with my key, no trunk opener, no remote start, oh and by the way don't get me started on remote start faultiness. Just ridiculous.

- , Burlington, KY, USA

problem #44

Nov 222011

Malibu LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

ATTENTION 2004 MALIBU OWNERS!!! you have a clunk when your turning your wheels right .......answer is your rack n pinion is going out and please have it replaced immediately. I was lucky my wife was backing out of our driveway and the part of the rack that connects to the steering column popped out of the assembly leading the car to have no steering at all. I had to push the POS CHEVROLET has ever produced into the front yard and had to have a neighbor pull it out and while two of us pushed on each wheel to get it into the street where I WAS ABLE TO DO THE REPAIR. The repair went fairly easy but had little room to do it. I have had multiple other issues i will place here and have an additional to go with this that i will explain next. The rack n pinion will run around $500.00 with the core, yes a core, (ARE THEY REALLY RE-USING THESE JUNK PARTS). I pray whoever gets mine i replaced are safe. I'm posting this because my 4 and 5 year old children at the time were in the car. I talked to several chevy dealers and it seemed they did not care that my family could have been hurt or even died because of this faulty part. I have been loyal to gm for about the last 15 years but after all the troubles i have had with past calvaliers and now this pile of metal and nuts and bolts i will be parting ways with all general motors products. Tomorrow i find out how much the final cost for this repair will be as the air bag light has been on since the repair and the horn has not worked, Tomorrow i will add the 2nd part to this complaint but will let you know it is the clock spring inside the steering column causing this. What ever IDIOT at gm came up with this type of steering should have his head rocked over and over for being so stupid. Who ever heard of a vehicle you do not half to put power steering fluid in. I hope this rant has helped those with the clunk, Please stay tuned more to come , also i have pics but unsure how to post them here as i am not that educated with computers.

- , Cedar Hill, MO, USA

problem #43

Nov 132008

Malibu LS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,525 miles


I bought my Chevelle Malibu 2004 in 2008 at Mega Automobile in Gatineau Quebec. CANADA. I did not notice the problem with the steering right away, so after a couple of weeks, I notice that the steering was making clunckie noise, then I brought it back to Mega and have it checked, the noise was gone a little bit, but after a while it came back, and it was worse, then I call Mega again and the service person told me that, all the Malibu does that and there is nothing we can do about it. When I drive this car, I am not comfortable at all, I'm always scares that something happens and sometimes the steering is hard to turn. I really don't feel safe in that car and yes they should be a recall on them, before a bad accident happens. I guess it would cost lots of money for GM to recall them, so I think that it would be less money to pay for GM, when someone gets killed in an accident and then, sue them. That is what I think of GM. I will never buy another GM. It's better for GM (money wise) to get sued if a bad accident happens instead of recalling all the Malibus that have that problem. I got screwed when I bought this car.

- , Orleans, Ontario, canada

problem #42

Jun 132012

Malibu 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,430 miles

PLEASE PLEASE if you are having the clunking noise from the front end when turning your car do not ignore it. Within 3 months of buying my 04 Malibu used in 2007 it needed a new steering gear and half shaft. It had 40,000 miles on it at that time. Recently the popping noise started again and it got to the point that the car was getting harder to turn. I thought it was the power steering assist, so I made an appointment with a Chevy dealer to check it out. Last week I was turning into a parking lot off a busy road when I heard a loud pop and then I had no I had no steering. My steering wheel turned all the way around and the tires never moved. Luckily I could leave it in the parking lot til I could get a tow truck to bring me to the dealer. It turned out the rack and pinion needed to be replaced. I had called Chevy at their 800# to complain and they offered to split the cost of the repairs with me 70/30 with me eating the 70% Chevy is aware of this issue but wont do a recall because of it. There is no reason steering components should need replacing every 40,000 miles. Lucky for me the road was quiet when I lost control of my car of there might have been a horrible accident. One more thing I had the appt with Chevy on the morning of the 14th of June and my steering died the evening of the 13th. If you have an issue take it to Chevy and make them pay for repairs. They are aware of problems but wont make take the responsibility for them unless we start yelling.

- , `Florissant, MO, USA

problem #41

Nov 252006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

So, When I purchased this car I felt the problem immediately, I went to the dealership and they checked it out and told me its common and that there wasnt a fix for it yet. They said I would be notified as soon as a fix became available....... never heard from them. And yes I have the paper work from when I made the complaint and they looked at my car. This is a pain, and I feel it is a Chevy problem and it should be recalled and repaired!

- , Westland, MI, USA

problem #40

Jan 222012

Malibu LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

i purchased my malibu used in 2007 .steering problems right was under warranty.then not too long about 1 year it happened again. now they want to fix it again! this car has been nothing but trouble!

- , Middleton, NH, USA

problem #39

Dec 022011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles


Horrible clunking noise from steering column when turning vehicle which is worsening. Googled & found known & common problem, however, no recall. Called local Chevrolet dealer and service advisor said they were aware of problem, but other than the noise, would probably we ok to drive. uhhhh, not hardly! getting increasing difficult to turn. Service advisor then immediately called me back and researched open technical bulletins on the vehicle, but said there was only gas cap s.b. outstanding & that i could bring it in for that and get fixed at no charge. Intend to call 800# & see if they will offer some type of assistance.

- , Marblehead, OH, USA

problem #38

Oct 062010

Malibu LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Clunking starting in steering and I have not fixed because it will not do anything to affect my driving but is definitely annoying - I think I got the lemon for a car.

Nothing but problems with the steering wheel- Lost power steering twice - had new drive shaft put in and now this clunking - Very frustrating - Don't think my next car will be a Chevy -

- , Toledo, OH, US

problem #37

Aug 062011

Malibu LT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,612 miles

Owned my car for 2 years and I have had an on going problem with my steering wheel column. Had it replaced 3 times in 6 months, finally it was fixed. Well yesterday I was parking and my steering went out and I ran into the car in front of me. I could have been hurt or - killed luckily I wasn't. I'm a college student that needs a car to travel and I can't afford this to keep happening and I certainly don't have another couple grand to get it fixed again. GM NEEDS TO FIX THIS PROBLEM before more than my car gets hurt.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #36

Mar 242011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

This is really annoying can someone please tell me they got this fixed and don't tell me it cost up the butt to fix it please....

- , Dubuque, IA, USA

problem #35

Sep 012009

Malibu Maxx V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

First I will say that I am not positive about the first date of repair. It was covered under an extended warranty we had and we paid the deductible of $100.00. The repair was done a little over a year ago and I think it was the joint in the steering column. The total cost if we did not have a warranty would have been $300, the dealer did the repair. It is happening again, a clunking in the steering column, usually when driving slow speeds and turning and when going over speed bumps or other bumps. I am still paying on this car as I bought it used from the dealer (obviously paid entirely too much for it). I am soooo ready to get rid of it and at this point never want to own another chevy again. I love everything about this car except for that (and the indicator bulbs blowing out all the time). I wish they would recall this and repair it properly. I have seen some people state that they have paid close to $1000 to repair this. I can't afford my monthly payment and a repair that steep!! Is this just a nuisance noise or is it a safety issue????

- , Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #34

May 042010

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,900 miles

Before this problem, there was a recall where the mfg replaced the shaft under a recall, so that makes two shafts that has been replaced and now there is another problem with the same steering which I will file the next complaint. The next complaint will cost me $1000.00 for the same steering problem.

- , Jacksonville, AR, US

problem #33

Oct 012008

Malibu Maxx V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Clunking in steering. I purchased this car as the first actual owner, it was a lease from a dealer. The dealer had all the records where every little maintenance thing was done like the owners manual recommended. I think it had around 50k on it when i purchased it, and has about 120k now. For some reason I didn't notice the clunking in the steering until i purchased it and got it home after a couple of days. It has made the same clunking basically since I got it. It is annoying, but I kind of got use to it. It has always driven and steered fine just has a clunking. I like everything about the car except this. It at least seems like they could make new parts that wouldn't do the same thing, but from what I can tell all the replacement parts will do the same thing after a while. I had an ex GM mechanic tell me that undoing the shaft and working it around to redistribute the grease is just about as good as putting a new intermediate shaft on.

- , Corinth, MS, USA

problem #32

Jul 012010

Malibu 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,400 miles

This steering clunk noise that sounds like it is coming from the lower dashboard unfortunately was in issue when the car was new. I did not have it repaired under warranty fearing my dashboard would be removed and replaced and never be the same again. Did not know this was a fairly chronic issue with the Malibu until a repair shop identified such for me and GM now confirms. Still GM will not offer a settlement fix for "their problem" which is now my problem.

- , Pleasanton, CA, USA

problem #31

Mar 312010

Malibu LT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Heres to start with: No horn, And its way too expensive to replace. Power steering goes out and loud clunking noise. Rear turn/brake lights are constantly blowing out. Passenger seat busted within the first year I had the car.

I took the car to an auto shop and they told me that it is very unusual for the rack and pinion to rust out. I like the car aside from the problems. Engine light constantly appearing due to sensors all over the f!!!!!!!g car.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank You......

- , Warren, MI, USA

problem #30

Jan 142009

Malibu LS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

I Just Want to Say I Love The Car...But Make It Last Now The motors Are Good And Retarded Crap Happens to Them now When i turn Either Way It Knocks Bad.My 2004 Malibu Only Has 56000 Miles On It Changed Rack And pinion Say Thing came back a month later....So Cheaply Done Down there The Knuckles In The engine Compartment are Rusted Crazy.Look Like There Rotting Away.I Hope It Causes An Accident This Way Chevy Can Make Me Rich....Fix My Car Damit

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

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