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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
25 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,050 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 12 of 35)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #463

May 092013


  • 69,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the power steering assist failed without warning. The vehicle was not taken or inspection. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 69,000.

- Buffalo , NY, USA

problem #462

Apr 272013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 82,600 miles
I purchased this vehicle in 2006 with 17,000 miles at the carmax superstore in naperville Illinois and have had several serious issues since. The leaking sunroof with the innumerable failed attempts at repair. The leak has never been resolved and I have resorted to covering the vehicle with a tarp during inclement weather. The constant clicking noise in the steering when moving the steering wheel back and forth and the severe stiffness in the steering wheel when curb side parking between parked vehicles. The intermittent ignition failure, the vehicle will not turn over unless you depress the accelerator slightly. There were countless futile attempts at repair for all these defects through out the years of warranty and extended warranty coverage. The failed attempts of correctly diagnosing and properly repairing these defects by the englewwood auto group in englewood New Jersey have left me unsatisfied and super frustrated. Today I am writing because the operators seat has now tilted to the right and is leaning against the center console. There was nothing of significance that occurred while driving that immediately alerted me of this problem, I was simply adjusting the seat when I noticed that the seat was rubbing against the center console. Upon inspecting underneath the seat I observed that the right rear corner does not rise when engaging the electric seat controls. The angle of the lean is so bad that it affects my posture and pains my lower back. I am also afraid that the seat will completely collapse while I am driving. When the seat is lowered all the way down it does level to its acceptable norm, but at 5 feet 4 inches tall I cannot operate safely that low to the floor. For a vehicle that is driven on average once a week it is plagued with some serious manufacturer defects that the dealerships' service department is unable or unwilling to repair.

- Teaneck, NJ, USA

problem #461

Apr 292013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
The car steering wheel locked up and unable to control where it was going to guide as coming around curve. Ended up in ditch and shaking like crazy! im so afraid that something is going to happen. I want another car!

- Hollis, OK, USA

problem #460

Apr 012008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles


Sometimes when I crank there is no power steering at all. If I park on a incline it seems to never have power steering. The wrench light stays on in the dashboard and power steering is written across the radio panel.

- Henagar, AL, USA

problem #459

Apr 032013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 98,700 miles
While on my way home, driving North on I-95 near Washington, DC, I experienced lots of electrical problems (noise and grabbing to the left in the steering column, repeated bulb and light unity failures) then suddenly, a total loss of power steering. I became so scared while needing both hands to manage in heavy traffic traveling at an average of 65mph that I immediately threw a lit cigarette out the window in a desperate effort to control the vehicle. The steering wheel is almost impossibly difficult to steer. I was unaware that it had blown behind my back onto the driver"S seat until it burnt me, my shirt and the seat. It is by the grace of god that I didn"T have a fatal accident. It is probably needless to say that I continue to experience back pain. A disaster is waiting to happen! the fact is that sometimes while driving the power steering will start working again as quickly as it went out. Consider that I could be turning the wheel as hard as I can and at that second the power returns to send me spinning. Keep in mind that this is occurring more frequently everyday. Sometimes it does stop when the car is turned off and sometimes it does not. With regard to the brakes they make a loud and grinding sound when I lift off of them.

- Fairchance, PA, USA

problem #458

Apr 182013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
One evening while driving on the expressway @ aprox 55mph the wrench light came on and three chimes the steering wheel locked causing loss of control resulting in a collision with the concrete wall causing suspension damage and body damage to a tune of over $3600! steering and stopping are more important than going! GM needs to be held accountable for this safety issue before someone is killed.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #457

Mar 262012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Last year, I was driving and my cars power steering activated. It turned off almost immediately. Since last summer is happens every day, usually when I am accelerating and switching gears. This has been very dangerous. I have almost gotten in several accidents because my steering wheel will jerk. This has happened while I'm in the middle of a left turn. Please try to get a recall on this. I know a couple of people will the same make, model and year as I have, and they have the same issue. I will not take this to get fixed and spend hundreds of dollars as other have. This clearly needs to be taken care of.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #456

Jan 302013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph, the power steering assist failed and the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was unable to be replicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 89,000 and the current mileage was 99,000.

- Melrose Park , IL, USA

problem #455

Mar 282013


  • 181,592 miles
When driving down the road my 2004 Chevrolet Malibu lt V6 dings and a yellow wrench comes up and on the radio it stays power steering and the steering wheel became very stiff and I could no longer control my vehicle I almost hit a car trying to pull over on the side of the road but thankfully I came to a red light put my hazards lights on and turned the car on and off.... this has happened to me multiple times and different occasions this is a very dangerous feature to deal with on this car it makes it unsafe and you don't know when its going to happen it would be a miracle if Chevrolet would recall such a dangerous feature seeing how this is a manufacturer defect.

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #454

Nov 162012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 70,125 miles
The power steering stopped working for no reason, I turned off the car and restarted which reset the power steering. It has happened a few times since then, now in the last week twice it will not reset and have to had to drive it home manually. I am taking it a dealer today, the dealer I bought it from said they fixed the steering rack but it obviously did not resolve the problem. GM has no recall on this even though they are aware of this very serious issue.

- Elysburg, RI, USA

problem #453

Sep 092010


  • 80,000 miles


I've had on several occasions had my power steering light come on as the vehicle locks up. It hasn't happened in a while however after getting my car aligned recently the auto tech said I should get my power steering looked at and I wanted to look into.the recall again.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #452

Mar 252013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Approx 1-3 prior to my power steering locking up, the power steering message appeared on my dashboard. I had tried to locate the power steering reservoir when the alarm first displayed only to learn being low on power steering fluid wasn't the situation that it I owned a 2004 Chevy Malibu ls that had electric power steering. By this time it was too late, I quickly learned that situation results in your steering wheel to become completely locked! as I was pulling out of my stall at a packed parking lot. I was unable to move the steering wheel, it had completely locked up, I believe my car was only slightly moving because I was parked at a slant. I then put the car in parked, turned off the engine, said a prayer and started the car again. This time the steering wheel worked completely fine. The next day as I was driving my car to my auto mechanic I felt my steering wheel become tight again after going over the railroad tracks, I pulled over right away since there was no traffic and I didn't want to learn the hard way my steering wheel gave out again. I then turn the car back off and on even tho it wasn't locked like the night before, just for peace of mind I guess and the wheel returned back to normal. After talking with my mechanic, info I learned on line I am taking my car to a Chevy dealership because apparently this is a problem they are familiar with and are the only auto mechanic shop that carriers a special tool to "fix" the situation. If it is even fixable, based on what I'm reading I'm better off saving my money fixing the issue that can't be fixed so I can use it to get a new car! losing control of the steering wheel to a moving vehicle at any given moment is insane. The fact that 2005 and on Chevy Malibu cars have been recalled for this very issue already should make a open shut case!.. please, why must we lose a life in order to save a dollar!?

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #451

Mar 212013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 0 miles
I was driving on the interstate and all of the sudden I lost power steering. The light on the dash came on and the information panel said "power steering" I was able to pull to the side to the road and turn off the car. Once I started it again I had power steering. I drive for a living and this scared me to death. I have never had anything like this happen before. There seems to be an abundant number of complaints for this problem. How many complaints does it take to have someone figure this out?!!!!

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #450

Jan 052009

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I was stopped at a red light when my electronic console stated "check power steering". as I pulled away from the traffic light to make my left turn, I quickly noticed that my vehicle had no power steering, as the vehicle was very difficult to steer. I pulled the vehicle into a parking lot and turned it off and removed the key from the ignition. After about a minute, I started the vehicle again, and the power steering was fine and working properly. Later that week, I had the power steering rack replaced at a local repair shop.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #449

Nov 082006


  • 26,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph when the steering wheel began to shake with a sudden loss of power steering assist. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was turned off. After restarting the ignition, the vehicle resumed normally. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer twice and each time the power steering module was replaced. In addition, a certified technician replaced the power steering module twice. The steering malfunction recurred and the vehicle had not been repaired for the most recent failure. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 26,000.

- Volin, SD, USA

problem #448

Mar 102013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Driving down the road when the radio panel started blinking with power steering. I then lost my power steering and my car began to shake this failure occurs without any warning and sometimes the power steering light will illuminate and it will show in the radio panel. As a woman, driving without power steering was extremely difficult. This is not the first time this happened to me it has happened several times and thankfully I was able to avoid an accident. I took the car to the dealer, and after running diagnostics, they told me that the 2004 Malibu's have electronic power steering, and that there is an issue with the power steering motor and that it overheats, causing loss of power steering. The car seat belts are froze and the hazard light button fell inside its hole and the headlight covers don't allow the lights to fully illuminate. This car should have been recalled because it poses life threatening issues. My research shows a high volume of complaints on this 2004 model but the 2005's and above were recalled, I also collected statements from factory workers who left their personal info on the internet and I found this : during my employment contract with delphi automotive (delphi saginaw steering system, 3900 E. holland ave., saginaw, Michigan 48601), I was instructed to conduct a screw "strip-out" study on the electric motor/controller assembly of the electric power steering (eps) system of the general motor's epsilon platform (my 2003.5 - 2006 Malibu). This study was conducted in may of 2004 at delphi's plant 1, assembly. The study included ten production motor and ten production controller assemblies that were assembled on the production equipment and process(ES). The controller is attached to motor by three M 5.0X 0.8 screws. The result of that study concluded that four of the ten motor/controller assemblies had at least one of the screws fully strip

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #447

Jan 082013


  • 156,852 miles
Driving down the road. Car power steering went out. Almost wrecked because I could not steer vehicle. Now the power steering goes in and out as it wishes. The steering wheel jerks to the left when it does decide to work. Sometimes turning the car on and off will make the power steering come back on.

- Grand Rivers, KY, USA

problem #446

Mar 082013


  • 90,000 miles
As I was turning a corner the power steering went out. This is the third incident in a week, each one as the vehicle was turning.

- Lambertville, MI, USA

problem #445

Mar 072013


  • 56,000 miles
Attempted to execute a turn into parking lot driveway and the steering would not respond. After passing driveway, attempted to turn in either direction and steering would not respond more than a few degrees (< 10) of direction. Traveled approximately another half mile attempting to turn around and return home before enough steering was restored to complete a turn around. Afterward, steering has been intermittent and difficult to impossible. This condition is a safety hazard and should be addressed by GM before someone is seriously hurt or killed, if they haven't been already.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #444

Feb 172013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Making left hand turn power steering failed, almost caused me to run up over curb, very hard to steer, happens fast light on dash steering gone! bought car used on 2/16/13 steering failed first time on 2/17/13 took back to dealer on 2/18/13 dealer said they replaced power steering seemed ok for about a week, then power steering failed again on 2/24/13 turning left low speed in my going back to dealer today 2/25/13.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

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