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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
25 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,242 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 18 of 33)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #305

Jan 142011


  • 4,600 miles


I have a 2004 Chevy Malibu (new body style). I have been have problems with the power steering. Last week I was driving and about to turn and the steering wheel locked up on me. I was in the middle of the road and had to turn the car off and restart it to unlocked it. Then today I started the car and the steering wheel would not move I have to turn it off and restart it to unlock it. This is a major safety concern and my dealer says their is nothing wrong with my car. I have as on today 45484 miles on this car and never been in a wreck. When I am driving straight on a road the power steering message displays on the dic. This is the same problem that the owners of the 2005 and later models are and have had.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #304

Jan 112011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
The power steering stopped working while I was driving on a highway at 60miles and hour. Has been intermittently lossing power steering since 1/11/11.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #303

Dec 182010


  • 124,500 miles
Twice in the last 3 weeks power steering failed while making a right turn at the bottom of a hill. Fortunately I had not yet pulled out into traffic or I would have been forced into oncoming traffic.

- Springvale, ME, USA

problem #302

Dec 302010


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 45 mph the power steering locked and the vehicle became difficult to control. After turning the vehicle off and then back on the steering reset itself. The contact was able to control the steering wheel and drive the vehicle home. The dealer nor manufacturer were notified. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Hustonville, KY, USA

problem #301

Nov 292010


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, she noticed that the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrumental panel followed by a loss of power steering. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed the contact that she needed to replace the power steering column. The power steering column was replaced. The failure mileage was approximately 46,000.

- Salem, IN, USA

problem #300

Dec 232010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Power steering failure. Warm startup, after rest stop on highway trip, vehicle lost power steering and the "power steering malfunction" light came on dash. Pulled over and checked fuses - all ok. Restarted, problem still there. Restarted again in an hour, problem went away.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #299

Apr 042005

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


2004 Chevy Malibu steering locks up turn car off and restart car and power steering comes back when it locks up it can happen at any time while driving or sitting still, had power steering motor and shaft replaced when car was under warranty feel this is a safety issue and Chevy must resolve. Have not had E response from Chevy.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #298

Dec 242010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 111,282 miles
12/24/2010 while driving a 2004 Chevy Malibu my engine light came on and then the steering wheel locked up while driving and it made a sudden jerking stop. This was the first time this happened but it scared both my daughter and I. then in addition to keep replacing my headlights and tail lights pretty much every other month they blow out and need to be replaced. For both incidents a local mechanic was consulted and he recommended that I contact a GM dealer ship to check for recalls. I did that and received information that there has not been a recall for the current situations but there has been many similar complaints with the same make and model car and was referred me to the nearest dealership to be checked.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #297

Dec 262010


  • 100,000 miles
I have a 2004 Chevy Malibu and the power steering light comes on and my steering system is inoperable and makes it very hard for me to steer in traffic. I have to turn my car off to reset it. This is very scary while driving and could be a hazard.

- Lithia Springs, GA, USA

problem #296

Dec 242010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 97,836 miles
I have a 2004 Malibu, 6-cylinder, with 97,000+ miles. Recently, the service vehicle light started coming on with a computer display indication of a power steering problem. They have since appeared especially in wet weather, with low rpms (about 600) and on making slow-speed right turns. My not-yet-year-old, 75-month battery also just gave out, but replacing it did not stop the fault indications. Turning off the car and restarting to reboot the system usually did, but the problem recurred. Two days ago, while driving on a highway, fault indications were not displayed and steering response was normal. However, on negotiating an S-shaped exit ramp, the power assist failed and the indicators came on. Steering became extremely difficult and I only managed to stay on the road at the expense of a wrenched shoulder. The 2004 Malibu has an electric power steering assist system (eps) - which was the subject of NHTSA action number EA4018. The door sticker on my car shows a manufacture date of 5/04. So, according to your report, the "newly designed torque and position sensor" in vehicles produced after 2/4/04, should have been installed. (I'll be emailing GM to confirm whether that's the case.) in any event, judging by the spate of complaints from other Malibu owners, it does not seem that the problem has been resolved¿or that GM has even cared to seriously look into it. Please see car complaints link for a sampling: I also take issue with your report that driver impact would be insubstantial as the car is relatively small and light. Based on my experience, there is a clear safely hazard. The Malibu obviously is not a car for 20-somethings. People who actually drive it would not have sufficient strength to steer without the power assist to avoid an accident. As alluded to at the end of your report, I firmly believe that circumstances now warrant further action.

- Dix Hills, NY, USA

problem #295

Dec 232010


  • 98,540 miles


Driving in city traffic. Power steering warning light engaged suddenly. Power steering not effected. Car shut off. Restart and drives normally then light goes on again. I have found other complaints about the power steering suddenly going out, so I am adding my voice to those to request Chevy recall.

- Mankato, MN, USA

problem #294

Nov 132004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 300 miles
I have a 2004 Malibu ls, when I first purchased the car during the winter of 04 I had problems with the steering. It was under warranty, I took it back every winter for 4 years and the dealership always repaired the car. In 2010 my power steering light came on and I lost power trying to turn into a parking spot. The next time it occurred, I was driving 50 mph I went to change lanes the power steering light came on and I could not turn the wheel. I was pulling out from a parking spot the power steering light came on and I could not steer the car. This year the seat belt light stays on when my seat belt is on. It happens every day the light stays on. The dealer that I use to use went out of business and did not notify the customers. I found out when I went to have some work corrected that they did. This problem is scary because I never know when the power steering light is going to come on. That is very very scary. My check engine light comes on and they can never find anything wrong. I recently had my car inspected they would not pass it because of the check engine light.I had to drive the car for 300 miles and the light went off and they passed it for inspection. The original brakes were replaced 3 times in the first 2 years of having the car. I only have 45, 000 miles. Purchased 2 batteries from GM the 2nd one lasted less then 2 years and died. An authentic GM battery.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #293

Dec 092010


  • 139,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact stated that the vehicle lost powering steering making it difficult to turn. The dealer was not notified. The contact did not inform the manufacturer. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 139,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Dolphin, IL, USA

problem #292

Dec 012010


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was attempted to exit a parking space when the steering wheel locked abnormally. The power steering warning light illuminated following the failure. The contact turned the vehicle off for moments and when restarting, the steering returned to normal. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and diagnosed. The dealer located the failure at the steering computer and advised that it would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 115,000.

- National City , CA, USA

problem #291

Dec 062005


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that when driving at any speed, the steering wheel would become extremely stiff and the power steering warning light would illuminate on the dashboard. After the failure, the contact would stop and restart the vehicle to continue driving. The failure occurred intermittently and during some of the failures, the power steering light did not illuminate. The failure was never diagnosed and the vehicle was never repaired. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 109,000.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #290

Dec 022010


  • 67,000 miles
This in regards to NHTSA case # [xxx] 2004 Chevy Malibu. Power steering is cutting out intermittently with no warning. My daughter was driving to school and while making a turn on school grounds near buses and kids walking, the steering cut out. She almost hit a number of kids as the sudden unexpected loss of power steering caused her to lose control as the car jerked in the other direction and almost winding upon the sidewalk. This is a major safety concern and not only should GM take care of this at their expense, I am also worried that GM has not come up with a 100% proven fix for this problem. Someone is going to be killed if something isn't done right away. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dunmore, PA, USA

problem #289

Dec 012009


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 5 mph the contact stated that the steering wheel became stiff and she was unable to maneuver the vehicle. The engine light came on and there was also an alert that indicated a problem with the power steering. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or a mechanic to be repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 59,000.

- Middle River , MD, USA

problem #288

Nov 112010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 9,225 miles
2004 Malibu purchased 04/05/04 steering column failure 01/10/05 9,225 miles replaced again 06/16/05 13,430 miles 01/30/06 intermittent shaft needed replacement but no "good parts available" finally replaced 08/24/06 24,636 miles rack & pinion steering gear 04/17/07 31,846 miles replaced intermediate steering shaft 09/14/09 54,841 miles replaced rack & pinion steering gear. Car now has 3rd rack gear. On 11/11/10 at 68,209 miles we were told it needs replacement of rack & pinion steering gear. It has only been 14 months and 13,368 miles since last time replaced.

- Hopkinsville, KY, USA

problem #287

Oct 222010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at lower speeds, he heard a thumping noise while making a turn. The vehicle was inspected and repaired three times by a local dealer. The current failure was within the rack and pinion component; the vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was unknown. Updtated 2/17/11 updated 11/30/2011

- Hopkinsville, KY, USA

problem #286

Nov 182010


  • 135,000 miles
Traveling at 45 kph in heavy traffic, power steering warning light came on and power steering assist was lost making vehicle very, very difficult to steer. This is a safety issue and should result in a product recall. After vehicle was parked and ignition turned off and back on again, power steering resumed.

- Calgary, 00, USA

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