Print this page


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
99,371 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. need a recall (5 reports)
  3. replace steering sensor (3 reports)
  4. get new car model (1 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Malibu steering problems

steering problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #17

Jul 062015

Malibu LS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,593 miles



- , Plaquemine, LA, USA

problem #16

Aug 062014

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 169,555 miles

Power steering went out while my wife was headed to work and she drove off the road into a ditch but, lucky our kids weren't in the car and she was not hurt , I think they need to try harder in finding parts for the car.

- , Jackson, GA, USA

problem #15

Jun 262014

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

My son was driving my 04 Chevy Malibu thru a curve when suddenly the power steering locked turning left. This made him go across the on-coming lane of traffic which luckily at this time there was no one traveling that direction. He ended up with all four tires in the ditch before the power steering unlocked. He regained control and tried to get the car back over to the other lane before someone hit him which caused him to crash into the guard rail. This totaled out the car. History of car. I have had it for over 8 years with no issues. This car is what I drove to work everyday. This was not my sons first time to drive this car. One week before the accident, We received the factory recall for the power steering and it stated that no replacement parts are available and we would be contacted when the part was available. A week after the accident, we received the second factory recall for a torque sensor and it also stated no parts available and would be contacted when the part was available. A month and a half after the accident, we received the third factory recall stating a cable from the shifter to the transmission could hang up and it also stated no replacement parts available and would be contacted when the part is available. So, I made a claim against GM about the power steering locking up and causing the accident. Since there is a injury in this accident, GM sent someone out to retrieve the data from the black box. GM called me and said that they denied my claim stating there was no evidence from the data showing any equipment malfunction. Well, the power steering started working after the accident. BUT, this is what caused the accident. That is why I am posting this. GM is not backing up their products like what is being told in the NEWS. There is several complaints on this same issue here and on other web sites.

This is not over, I have ownership of the car which sits on my property and I still have all of the factory recalls on it. Each factory recall states this can cause an accident and GM mailed them out anyway. This tells me that they knew about the defects and this one did cause a accident which they are not honoring it (Because the accident totaled out the car).

- , Somerville, AL, USA

problem #14

Mar 122012

Malibu LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


I can be driving down the road an all of the sudden my steering wheel lock up. I have had the power steering pump replaced and it didn't help any thing. I have to park with my wheels perfectly straight or they will stay locked. once I kill the car and restart, it does good for about 5 minutes. it hurts very bad when you are taking a turn and the wheel jerks so hard it pulls your wrist. this definitely needs to be recalled. it seems to get worse the lower your fuel gets. I have been to multiple mechanics and none can seem to tell me anything except a new power steering pump. I paid 4,200 for my car and have turned around and spent double fixing it. I love my car but I do not like all the problems that came with. The electric power steering pump should be recalled.

- , Booneville, MS, USA

problem #13

Feb 022009

Malibu LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

I have a 2004 chev Malibu, i m suffering from steering problem, the steering sticks any time when it wants especially when your turning, it happens several times now it is a very risk game! i went to the dealership, the cost to fix the problem is couple of thousand dollar which i don't have it! i was surprised to find that a lot of people have the same problem like mine, we need a recall to this type of car.

- , Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #12

Feb 142012

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

I have had this fix one time after fighting with GM and i pay half. i got the car used and this is BS. I was going to the store and was in a dead mans curve and the steering wheel locked in the middle of it. I have 2 kids and this is gonna kill someone they say when it goes to the shop that it needs oiled up or some bs like that. When i called gm they asked is the key in it aaaaaaaaaa yeah jacka$$ im driving it. i think everyone of these cars need to be crushed and the money that we payed for them payed back

- , Clay City, KY, USA

problem #11

Sep 282010

Malibu Maxx 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,226 miles


My wife Loretta owns a 2004 Malibu Maxx. On 9/28/2010, I was driving, we were just 2 miles from our home and was driving about 30 miles per hour at 9 p.m. at night. The car was running perfectly, all of a sudden, a little yellow car symbol with a mechanic's wrence in the symbol appeared on the left side of the dash; simultaneously the words "POWER STEERING" appeared on the radio message area. As both of these things happened the steering wheel slightly jerked left then right and literally locked up even though i was still traveling at 30 mph! The engine was still running perfetly also. I applied the brakes and tried my best to pull over to the side of the road. Trying to steer this car was the same effort as steering a car when the engine is turned off, it is frightening. I turned the car off and restarted the car but the symbol and "POWER STEERING " message still was there and the steering was still locked up. I had no choice but to drive home because it was night in Detroit. As I got to my street, I made a right turn and by the time I was half way through the turn, I was on the other side of the street! As I got to my home and tried to turn into my driveway, I had to muscle the steering wheel just to get the car into my driveway. I cannot imagine the horror a person goes through when this happens at high speed!

Donna, the lady that took my complaint at the Chevrolt division told me that GM is aware of this steering problem and she even told me that at high speed, a person can safely steer the car, but she said that at low speed the car is hard to steer! So GM knows all about this dangerous problem but in my case (high mileage) she said that GM will not fix my car! My dealer is very sympathetic to my problem, but can't replace my steering column until I pay them $618 because GM will not re-imburse them!

Folks, there is no recall for steering problems on the 2004 Malibu; we must file a complaint with the NHTSA, call them at 1-888-327-4236 it takes about 20 minutes to file your report. Once enough of us report this deadly problem the engineers at the NHTSA might order GM to recall these vehicles! I worked at GM for 34 years in middle-management and a steering problem is a serious safety defect; it doesn't matter to the government how old your car is, a safety defect still must be repaired by GM; also, my dealership informed me that if I fix the car now at my own expense, if there is a recall later they (dealership) will have to refund my money because of the recall. Once you file a complaint with the NHTSA then fix your car, you can get a refund if there is a recall. The key thing here is to please file a complaint so that a recall can occur before more deaths occur. GM is being arrogant, they built this danger into the car that we purchased let's stop being stupid and file a report to force GM to fix their error.

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #10

Sep 072010

Malibu LX V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 163,089 miles

I have a 2004 malibu chevrolet and my power steering lock up on me. I am a single parent mother and thank god my son was not in the car with me but they are trying to charge me 700.00 to fix it. I took it to good year and they have said there have been alot of promblems with those cars. Please advise me on what to do or who to report this to. Is there any kids of recalls on these cars?

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #9

Feb 252010

Malibu LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

driving on the freeway and all of a sudden the power steering locked, scared the crap out of me! i had to drive straight for the rest of the way til i got to my destination. very very scary. we tried to have our mechanic put in the steering fluid last year, and he couldn't figure out where to put it and we didn't have a manual then. from all the posts i've read, this is a huge SAFETY issue for the 2004 Malibu, because lord knows if someone gets into a bad accident.... this is going to be another TOYOTA story line! please file reports please... they need to be recalled!

- , Torrance, CA, US

problem #8

May 152006

Malibu ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

The steering column kept locking up...couldn't figure out the problem. Drove 250 miles to my parents house, to have another dealership take a look and sure enough, the sensor at the base of the steering column had gone bad. They told me that the car could have killed me on my way home and that I was really lucky. So once they replaced the sensor, after taking out the entire steering's been good ever since.

- , Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #7

Jul 052009

Malibu Classic 2.2V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


Same thing happened to me the day before yesterday. My steering wheel got locked when I was making a right turn. I had to restart the engine to get it back. Not sure what to do...all 3 lives in my family get threatened by this problem because this is the only car we have now.

- , Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #6

Jul 122008

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

This problem has happened once before, but it didn't get as bad as this evening. We had just put our groceries in the trunk and I started the car and the Power Steering message showed up on my info screen on my radio. I thought, okay maybe if I turn the car off I'll be fine. Turned the car on and off a few times, but the power steering never kicked back in. We had to drive home which was a 10 minute drive, and when we got home I googled this problem, and voile, lists of complaints and reports of this problem. I will try to call a dealership or all of them to see if any of them have experience with the problem. I'll tell them that I'm aware of the investigation that took place. I just wish they could come come up with a solution. There's a few other problems that I will post. Mainly with the Repair Light always coming on for no reason and our remote keyless entry/start failing.

- , Marion, AR, USA

problem #5

Apr 172005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

The steering lockup caused the driver, a young woman, to lose control of the vehicle, which then went into a ditch and rolled over. The right front seat passenger was rendered quadriplegic by injuries related to roof crush. A lawsuit is pending against GM for the alleged defects that caused the injury, including steering and roof crush. The crash occurred near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I am working in the case as a consultant, and may be contacted at

Ben Kelley

- , Pacific Grove, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 092008

Malibu LS 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,847 miles

From day one I have been have problems with this car but this is the turning point. I have went through three complete sets of brakes and rotors, trouble with gas gauge and indicator and now the power steering these cars must be the worst model GM have ever made and this model of the Malibu is the most expensive of the Malibu to have repaired the parts ar extremely expensive please someone help me with this.

- , Sackville, Nova Scotia, Canada

problem #3

Jun 062008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The steering has never been 100% since I bought this 2004 mailbu max from the dealer with 5,000 miles on it. I paid close to $20,000 for it. The steering would get tight, lose automatic feature especially in cold weather, then recently, steering wheel would fly out of my hands while driving, lock up... very, very dangerous, had it towed to dealer, awaiting their estimate for repairs. I know this is a GM safety issue, with steering the highest complaint in all categories by all malibu owners. How to get GM to acknowledge their responsibility. Come on, a locking steering wheel.???... They should just be glad lawsuits didn't follow.....

- , Northampton, PA, US

problem #2

May 172007

(reported on)

Malibu 3.2 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

While driving to work with my pre-teen son, started to lose steering on my car. Stopped at the next available spot. Steering locked completely. Could not turn the wheel. Waited for 15 minutes with the ignition off. After I started the car again the steering was fine. Took it to the service station to get power steering fluid checked. Attendant could not find where to put the fluid. After the same problem occurred again I took it to the dealership. They acted as if they were expecting me to come it with steering problems with this model car.

- , Monroeville, AL, USA

problem #1

Aug 162006

(reported on)


  • 21,000 miles

while driving home with my wife and kids the steering wheel locked up causing the car to hit a cement guard rail, scratch up the right side of the car, blow out the two passenger tires, mangle the two rims, crack the tranys can and twist the control arm to the front right side tire. We could of gotten got killed or killed someone. Called dealer and they know nothing of streering problems (so they claim). I called GM and to no surprise they claim to never had herd of anything like this before as well. Thank god for the Internet. GM states that if they find the car to have a manufacture defect that they will be more then happy to fix the car and away we go. Not good enough! I want another car not the same car nor one like it. I almost got killed and all they could say is sorry, we will fix the car and till next time. If I make it the next time.

- , Hormigueros, PR, Puerto Rico

Not what you are looking for?