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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
93,117 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. replacing the power assist (3 reports)
  3. replace steering rack (2 reports)
  4. tightened the ground wire connection (1 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Malibu steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #17

Oct 172013

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles





- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #16

Aug 072012

Malibu LT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

Power steering failed first time with wife while taking a left turn on a busy road, could hardly turn steering wheel, lucky to get out of traffic. This could of been a bad situation. By turning car off and restarting cleared the problem. This has happened quite frequently.

- , Brockton, MA, USA

problem #15

Jun 152011

Malibu LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

A few seconds after putting car in drive a light with a car & wrench came on & all of a sudden my power steering just locked up. Lucky I was just starting to pull out of parking spot & was not on road yet. I turned the car off & started it right back up & had power again. Then a few months later as I was going down the street it happened again & i was in traffic. I was lucky enough to get pulled over & shut the car off & restart it & was on my way again. I took the car to get checked & they told me it was a problem with the security system. yeah right, it was ok for another couple of months until i was on a very curvy road and with no damn warning it happened again at 40 mph. I thought for sure i was going to get killed along with anyone else that was around me. I really don't know how I made it. Someone is going to get killed because of GM's ignorance

- , Vienna, OH, USA

problem #14

Mar 182012

Malibu LT V6 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles


On may way to work, making a turn in an intersection and the freaking power steering goes out with out warning, with my wheels turned, fighting it trying to avoid hitting the center island. I pulled over, shut the car off and restarted it and then my steering came back but keeps fidgeting.

- , West Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #13

Apr 202012

Malibu Maxx 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,750 miles

This is something basic to the safe operation of the car. From the research I've done,it appears to have affected an awful lot of owners of this model. Apparently GM knew about the problem early on, and have decided to help out only a few based on some arcane logic of their own.

This car has had very light use. I can't understand why it failed at at all. Given that it has failed,I'm amazed that there has'nt been a recall. I guess they've thrown in the towel on repeat business, or customer loyalty.

I had planned to buy a 2013 Malibu, having seen one at the auto show, and liking the looks of it. I'd feel like an idiot if I were to do that now. I spent a lot of time talking to various GM customer service people in the hope of at least getting an answer from them on whether or not they would help financially with the repair. They'll listen to you forever sympathetically, and promise that Leo the District specialist will be in touch. Then it's the district manager who's going to call after he's done research on your situation. At this point, I just wanted an answer. I suppose this lack of any answer is an answer in itself. I feel that the people I have managed to speak with at GM have all the authority of a checkout clerk at Walmart.

- , Braintree, MA, USA

problem #12

Nov 142011

Malibu LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,993 miles

Texas highways are racing with 18 wheelers which make accidents tragic. I was on my way from work driving about 40mph when suddenly my steering wheel became stiff and i panicked because I've never experienced this while actually driving a car. I can't seem to understand why GM WOULD CONTINUE TO SELL THESE CARS KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE LIFE THREATENING DEFECTS. You see GREED will make a person care less about other peoples safety and the safety

- , Linden, TX, USA

problem #11

Oct 202010

Malibu LT 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles



- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #10

May 172011

Malibu 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

The Electric Assist Power Steering Unit went out intermittently. Then went out completely. I am going to try and look under the fuse panel under the hood to fix it. This is as dangerous as it gets ! Driving around a turn and the Power Steering goes out! There needs to be a recall on this problem right away ! Why would they put an E.P.A.S. Unit on it anyway, a Hydrolic unit so much more dependable.

- , Dayton, OH, USA

problem #9

Apr 062011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

2004 Chevrolet Malibu has the EPAS steering system and mine has gone out 3 times now. I had it replaced by a Chevrolet dealership less than 1 1/2 years ago and I have the same problem. After researching on the Internet, I found that this is a very common problem. I contacted GM customer support with the problem, but the could care less. They wanted me to take my vehicle back to the dealership .at my cost of coarse and then they might write a report.

This vehicle is very very dangerous and the steering problem with this vehicle will eventually kill someone or multiple people.

If you hear any noise coming from your steering column take it very seriously.

I've lost my ability to steer my vehicle twice while driving and it will scare the life out of you if it doesn't kill you.

- , Fort Washington, MD, USA

problem #8

Jan 312011

Malibu V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,330 miles

This car only had 4000 miles on it when I bought it (bought from a 95 yr old lady) and was cherry then all the sudden the power steering goes out on my way home from work and I could hardly turn the wheel. The GM dealership thought there was a recall but then informed me it was investigated but not recalled. What a hardship, $600 to replace the entire steering collum. This is something I feel GM should stand behind because several of their same mid sized cars have had the same issue. Of course it's a 2004 car even though it's hardly been used but really, less than 30,000 miles and this large of a repair. Why does everything have to be in a unit so it can't be repaired it always needs a whole new unit. Very frustrating!

- , St.Marys, OH, USA

problem #7

Sep 152009

Malibu 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


I must be one of the few quite satisfied with our Malibu EXCEPT the intermittent failure of the power steering. It happens only when the vehicle is accelerating so I guess that's a warning: Don't accelerate. Have had the dealer do diagnostics but that is a waste of money and time since they can't do a fix without replacing everything. We were GM people but after this, no mas!

- , Willis, TX, USA

problem #6

Apr 052010

Malibu 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

I found out that this car has an electrical power steering system. When the power steering went out, I did a little troubleshooting. I found a ground wire, behind the main electrical box under the hood, was loose. I tightened the wire connection and the powersteering started to work again. I have not had anymore problems with this since. You may want to check this if you lose power steering again. The wire is behind and below the main electrical box located on the drivers side under the hood. The wire is bolted to the frame and is easy to find once you move the electrical box out of the way.

- , Milton, FL, US

problem #5

Apr 042007

Malibu ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

The steering goes out when it wants to.worried that it will be when im making a turn,thats the worst , hoping it never happens, got kids dont want this to happen.Hoping chevy finally admits that they have a problem with the steering,and they fix it before someone really gets hurt.Some of us cant afford a problem like this.

- , Ribera, NM, USA

problem #4

Feb 062010

Malibu LT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,400 miles

The power steering light had come on and reset many times before but would not stay on long enought for a visit to a dealership. Now on 02-06-10 I lost power steering while driving, a bit scarry and very dangerous to say the least. The steering column was replaced at 64,400 miles, the cost 555.48$. I knew about this problem when I bought the car but since a lot of these failures happend in low mileage cars I took a chance. I love the car, for the MPG and decent comfort for the money. But I am baffled at the indifference of GM regarding this problem, talking to the dealership is like they are all sworn to " omerta" they will say very little.They don't tell you if the replacement is of a different design as to cure it for good, no warranty.

- , Wentworth, NH, USA

problem #3

Feb 042010

Malibu LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

Why would this happen without warning? I am definitely not a big car buff or an auto mechanic myself. My wife is using my car right now because her alignment is getting fixed on her Lexus and now she called me at work and said that my steering wheel won't turn! She thankfully was pulling out of the garage and nothing was damaged but now she is missing her night school and work because of this. VERY FRUSTRATING!

- , Kyle, TX, USA

problem #2

Aug 292009

Malibu LT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

I own 2 2004 Malibu 1 with only 21,000 miles in which I the power steering assist was just replaced and it was not covered under warranty due to its 5 years old and the other has only 36,000 and just went out this morning. I can't believe this is not a safety issue seeing it went out on my wife when she was making a turn onto a main road and almost hit a UPS truck. I called GM and they told me basically it my problem. Well it will be their problem also seeing myself and anyone I know will be informed on how GM does not stand behind its product and could care less about its customers.

- , Warren, MI, USA

problem #1

Jul 302009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,520 miles

Error messages came up about the problem of power steering, but no code number that could've helped me figure out what I was going to be looking at as far as detail.

I made a drive from Ohio to Connecticut and back with NO problems. The morning after I got back, I started the car and a "power steering" error message appeared that went off after a few minutes. I didn't think much of it as I've had a constantly lit engine symbol on my dash for about a year (with no explanation given by any mechanic).

Two weeks later (on Thursday night), I'm driving along at about 11pm and about 15 miles from home and I'm about to make a turn into a small village. I slow down from 55 to 35 mph and go to make a turn (as there's a house about 75 yards in front of me and closing fast - I know, weird road design...).

The power steering COMPLETELY FAILS with no grinding noise, no bumping, no warning whatsoever! On the 2004, I understand that this is a "maintenance-free" setup as far as electric power assist. That would be great --- but if I get a warning to check something with the only solution being that I have to take it to a dealer and fork over $100+, I'll take the proactive maintenance option if given the chance!

I'm going to be out $500 for this GM-caused problem! That's money out of my pocket and food out of our mouths (as my 11-month old daughter will NEVER go hungry!).

Too many powered items in today's cars with too many consumer-maintainable things being taken away in the name of "convenience" (Getting Mo' money!)

GM needs to recall this model car with the sealed, maintenance-free, electric power-assisted steering "feature" before someone gets killed. I don't drive in an out of control fashion. I don't race. I don't do slaloms. I drive my car to get from point A to point B. I'm trying to find work right now and any available job is going to be about 40 miles away from where I live. I don't HAVE $500 to fix this problem. I know that there's not some evil GM boss just waiting for an accident to happen on these cars, just some unforeseen design flaws that we're all experiencing.

PLEASE - If there's someone from General Motors who is reading these posts, please address our concerns and volunteer a recall on this model and make of car so that we can go on with our lives and GM can become a stronger company as a result.

Please get in touch with me. I'll be waiting. Thanks. Eric

- , Salem, OH, USA

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