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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
81,600 miles
Total Complaints:
83 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (50 reports)
  2. new power steering column put in (22 reports)
  3. turn off the engine and restart again (8 reports)
  4. relace column ($1000) (3 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Malibu steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #83

Oct 012012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles


The power steering has gone out on several occasions. I have been lucky enough to have it go out in low-traffic areas, but it could potentially be life-threatening depending on the location of the vehicle when it decided to go out.

- Kayla T., Boone, IA, US

problem #82

Nov 172014

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 199,800 miles

Like many others, the power steering goes out from time to time. This started a couple of years ago, 2012 when it happened to my wife. Since I have taken over the car all seemed fine until this Fall, 2014 when the power steering goes out almost daily. You can still drive but much effort is required to turn sharply. The fix still seems to be, put the car in neutral, shut off, restart. I do this when there is no traffic in the area, otherwise I deal with it until I am in a safer place.

- John B., Traverse City, MI, US

problem #81

Dec 102012

Malibu LS 3.5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

This was a serious issue. The steering box would just cut out intermittently. This happened while dropping one of my children off at school one morning with tons of children around. When it cut out the car veered in one direction suddenly and without warning and it took all I had to apply the brakes and retain control of the wheel. Luckily no one was seriously injured or killed.

I had it replaced at the Chevy dealer and of course they told me it was out of warranty and not under recall despite the numerous complaints and accidents posted about this problem. So I had to pay for it out of my own pocket and they would not guarantee the parts. Which is an indicator that they not only knew of the problem but they had no faith that replacing the unit would solve the problem either.

Shame on GM.

- George C., Dunmore, PA, US

problem #80

Dec 012008

Malibu LT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


I have had the power steering go out in my car numerous times, both while driving and while backing the car out of the driveway. There seems to be a correlation with this happening more frequently during cold temperature....which sucks for those of us living in the Midwest who own a Malibu. I have found no solid fix for the car, however the last two times it has happened I found that pulling it into the garage and letting it warm up for an hour has solved the problem. In past times when the power steering has went out, jiggling the traction control button on and off has seem to trigger the power steering computer to reset or something, as you can hear the computer making an odd noise that sounds similar to a VCR player.

This problem has been recalled on various other Chevy Malibu years, can we give it up for the 2004, come on!?

- simon4kl, Rochester, MN, US

problem #79

Nov 072013

Malibu LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

I called the dealer to check if there was a recall, none, they said. Wrench indicator with power steering message and loss of steering at low speeds.

Pulled over, restarted vehicle and ok.

Happened 2x.

Dealer says if I don't bring in with problem, they can't diagnose.

- Zach G., suffern, NY, US

problem #78

Jul 012013

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

While driving my steering wheel locks up. A message appears on the DIC that says power steering. It's extremely terrifying considering I have young children in the car 95% of the time. I have almost crashed because of the issue and I can't afford to just buy another car. I will not sell my car because I'm afraid this issue will result in someone getting into an accident or even dying.

I read that I needed a new ignition coil pack with ground. I changed that part and it doesn't happen as often as it was but it still does happen

- Monica F., Valois, NY, US

problem #77

Mar 032011

Malibu LS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,904 miles


This problem was very nerve wracking. The light was going off and on. I was scared to drive the car when it would go on. The steering actually went out two times. It was extremely difficult to drive, let alone park the car. This was fixed and seemed to be working well until last month. The light came on a few times.

- wendala612, Flushing, NY, US

problem #76

Mar 122014

Malibu LS V6 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Having same problem with the steering on my Malibu as lots of others have complain about. It just goes and comes several times a day. Bells ring and read out says POWER STEERING. Chevrolet says $800.00. For $800.00 I'll get me a Ford Fusion.

- bobtail44, Deatsville, AL, US

problem #75

Mar 282013

Malibu LS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

This problem has been around for the life of this car which I bought from my mother's estate. She had the torque sensor replaced under warranty when the car was new. After I got it I repeatedly took it back to the dealer because of a clunk in the steering. They would grease it up (the pinion I assume) and the noise would go a way for a while. I finally gave up and lived with it.

After a while longer I started getting a "ding ding" power steering message on the radio display. It seemed to be related to damp chilly weather. It would come and go. A while later the power steering would suddenly dropout after the message. I took it into the dealer who quoted me about $1000 to fix the stupid sensor in the steering column. Since it only happened rarely I let it go for a while longer. Finally the power steering would dropout very frequently and I coughed up the money. Now that it is repaired I notice the clunk is gone. Could it be the faulty sensor was causing backlash by slamming the power assist on?

I did contact GM before the repair was made. They assigned a case number and said the car would be recalled but refused to say when. They told me to keep all my receipts.

- dec0, Westlake, OH, US

problem #74

Dec 092013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I purchased this vehicle for my college kid, for transportation, I also purchased a 2007 Cadi CTS for myself. All I can say is I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, buy another GM vehicle.

1. Chevy Malibu: my daughter was driving the Malibu and tie rods broke and she ran into a wall. thankfully for the big massive snow bank she wasn't injured. The power steering was going out on the vehicle at least every other day. Of course there was no warranty on it, but it looked nice. All black. Truly a piece of sh*t. I'm going to tell all my friends and family never, ever buy a GM product.

2. Another piece of sh*t is the Cadillac CTS 2007 PIECE OF SH*T as well. Very sharp looking car, but every other week a light was going off on it. Burns gas like crazy I won't buy this either. Rear wheel drive, got stuck in the snow at least 30 + times in the winter. Owner's manual tell you not to rock it out but to call a tow truck, I did a couple of times, but that sh*t is expensive. I brought that car without taking a mechanic with me, I'll know the next time. GM products suck, suck, suck. I was satisfied with Dodge and Chrysler products. I think I'm going Toyota Avalon, now that's a vehicle.

- cmaxie1, Eastpointe, MI, US

problem #73

Oct 052006

Malibu LS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles


While driving down the road the car would start jerking back and forth, almost as if the steering was in a spasm. Then when you turn or change lanes the power steering would just go out. My car was in the shop for 2 weeks. When I got it back the steering wheel was turned 90 degrees so that I could go straight. 2 years later I had the steering wheel turned during an alignment. The mechanic added that the fix was simple the dealer was just lazy.

- Aaron E., Lafayette, IN, US

problem #72

Dec 262013

Malibu LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

The power steering will randomly shut off at any time. Thankfully so far this has only happened at low speeds but I am terrified that it will happen on the highway or in a situation that will cause a crash. I also drive with my 2 small children with me and am VERY concerned for their safety as well!

- rachelmn, Cottage Grove, MN, US

problem #71

Oct 142013

Malibu LS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,846 miles

Noticed check engine light was on in instrument panel, "Power Steering" showing on display of audio console, turned wheel, noticed no decrease to power steering. Got out and looked for power steering fluid fill cap (didn't realize vehicle had "electronic" power steering). Got back in, and restarted, but both notifications still appeared, and again when turning wheel there was no noticeable decrease to the power steering. Was taking dogs to corner park three blocks away. As I was on my way the power steering did decrease significantly. Immediately pulled over, walked dogs the last block to the park, did their run, and had to call a friend to come and pick the dogs up, so I could easily wrestle with the steering to drive the two blocks back home. Researched problem online, and noticed the restarting solution appearing here.

Not sure why it didn't occur with the initial (although, short-term) restart, but after sitting for two days, a restart cleared it up.

- dale.wright1, Dayton, OH, US

problem #70

Sep 222013

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I had the column replaced under warranty at about 35000 miles. Steering has always been shaky, but warning light came on and power steering stopped working at about 130000 miles. Apparently this is a common, reoccurring problem. Why no recall? GM, face up to your responsibilities to loyal customers!

Update from Sep 26, 2013: It was the steering column. First replaced at 4000 miles and again at 113000. GM wouldn't cut me an slack because of car's age.

- Thomas O., Baton Rouge, LA, US

problem #69

Jun 282012

Malibu Maxx LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I have always had foreign cars that I loved and had NO PROBLEMS with; Volvo, Puegot, Volkswagen, Nissan - then I bought this Malibu Maxx crap - trying to be a good citizen and buy American - what a friggin' nightmare. Can you imagine driving and all of a sudden your steering locks up? Very scary and annoying. Especially since Chevrolet is ignoring the problem, don't have the decency for a recall, but their dealers have no problem making you pay for the faulty item TWICE. They should be sued. I can't sell this car to anyone else, because I don't want an unfortunate accident, or worse, a death on my conscience.

I will never buy American again.

- Lisa Marie F., Stone Mountain, GA, US

problem #68

Dec 012012

Malibu 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Power steering will go out if steering wheel is turned one way or the other for a few minutes (for example when waiting to turn). Seems to happens more often when it is cold. It fixes itself if you turn the car off and on. It can be extremely annoying!

- meganc, Des Moines, IA, US

problem #67

Jun 152013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

This car has been nothing but a nightmare! We have changed countless headlights and taillights due to them burning out constantly. And now the power steering went out. Drove fine, parked the car for about 10 minutes, got back in the car. Couldn't hardly steer it. I was driving my 10 year old nephew home. Good thing we were not out on the road! I will never by a Chevrolet again. Now I am driving my 94 Geo Prism all rusted and bolts hold the fender on. But she Steers really nice!!!! They want 1050.00 to fix my car. NUTS! I will wait until April and trade it.

- amlj1975, Sparta, WI, US

problem #66

Feb 042013

Malibu LX 4 cyl 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

My son was at college and driving the car in town when chime went off, power steering stopped, and warning light light came on. First time this has happened. Mileage on the car is 86,000. He called me at home and after talking to some mechanics, service managers, and looking up on the web, I realized this is a common problem for the 2004 malibu. Unfortunately, GM has not issued a recall, so I will be stuck with the repair costs! This is not right, especially since they have recalled later model malibus with the same electrical power steering issues.Talk about not standing behind their product. We had so liked the car that we were thinking about buying another later model malibu, but not now. Come on GM do the right thing!

- Thomas L., Farmington, MO, US

problem #65

Jun 122013

Malibu LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,557 miles

Power steering went off without any reason. Fortunately, I just got off the highway and was waiting for a red light. Turned off the engine and restarted the car. The problem went away. This was the first time it happened though since I bought the car in 2004.

- Chung L., Kanata, ON, canada

problem #64

Jun 032004

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

I went to 2 different dealers and explained the problem. They could not figure it out but, they wanted up to $1,500 to fix it even though they did not know what the problem was.

Hundreds of others had the same problem, but there was never a recall. Many, many others paid up to $1,500. Chevy never admitted it was a problem, but it SURE was.

- Don L., n charleston, SC, US

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