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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 21 of 33)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #245

Jun 242010


  • miles


Power steering frequently cuts out - has been happening since the car was new. Constant crunching sound when turning - most often when turning to the right. Steering replaced once under warranty - when questioned again later - vehicle was out of warranty (36,000 mi). Shortly after I purchased vehicle warrant offered was 100,000 miles.

- Pelham, NH, USA

problem #244

Dec 172009

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2004 Chevy Malibu with 80,000 plus miles. My power steering column motor shorted out and therefore my power steering has enabled my car to be driven; and the fuel gauge shows empty when I just filled it with gas. I did an on-line research and saw there were so many other consumers that have the exact same problem as I have and I contacted GM and they told me it was nothing they could do. It is sad when we purchase ¿made in America¿ products that the companies do not stand by their products. I feel there should be a total recall on all these cars before we end up with major accidents. Shame on GM to get the power steering fix is not cheap. GM knows of these problems and is extremely nonchalant about rectifying the situation. Toyota stepped up and recalled their cars to clear up the problems, whose going to make GM do the same?

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #243

May 012010


  • miles
I have a 2004 Chevy Malibu and randomly my check engine light and a power steering warning will come on. The power steering is usually okay and I can continue driving, but one day while I was in a turn lane it went out. It is very difficult to get off to the side of the road or turn when you do not have power steering. Took it to a dealership but because it is intermittent, it was not having that issue when I took it in and they said they couldn't find anything wrong. I'm worried my power steering will go out again and cause an accident.

- Golden Valley, MN, USA

problem #242

Jun 032010


  • 41,596 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving at speeds of 25 mph, the power steering locked up and it became very difficult to maintain control of the steering wheel. The contact shut off and restarted the engine and the vehicle resumed normal operation. Within a few traveled miles, the failure recurred. The contact stated the failure recurs intermittently and he had experienced the failure at least ten times. The manufacturer would not provide any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired or diagnosed. The failure mileage was 41,596 and the current mileage was 41,600.

- White Stone, VA, USA

problem #241

Jun 032010


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. While traveling at speeds of 30 mph, the contact heard a chiming in the vehicle and within seconds, the power steering failed and became increasingly difficult to steer. The vehicle was not diagnosed and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 54,000.

- Ohmaha, NE, USA

problem #240

May 012010


  • 23,455 miles
We have a 2004 Chevy Malibu lt. Shortly after we bought it, the power steering went out on two occasions. We took it to the dealer and the steering column was "supposedly" replaced under warranty. The vehicle to this day always veers to the left, even after an alignment. This past month the steering warning light has come on three times; and after paying $100 just for the diagnosis, I was told I would have to have the steering column replaced for $1000 ! it is more than obvious that this defect is instrinsic with the Malibu, as it is with the Chevy cobalt, and requires a recall. Read the internet ! I reported this defect to GM and received no response. This is the first time I am reporting it to the NHTSA. You must demand that GM recall this defect on the Malibu.

- O Fallon, MO, USA

problem #239

May 112010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles


My 2004 Chevy Malibu power steering is locking while driving and will not let wheel turn. I was driving and when I went to make a turn the car wheel locked and would not turn it was continuing straight I had to turn it with all my strength to avoid hitting a wall.I phoned Chevy corporate and they said it is not under recall but there was 2 investigations done on this in 2004 and currently 2005 - 2010 cobalts made by them have the same issue and there is a current recall under way right now for that model and it is the same issue I am having with my model car. They said they are not going to repair this issue because there is not a current recall on this model. This is a safety hazard that they are aware of and have been aware of and they are choosing not to be responsible for the malfunction in the power steering. They are choosing to ignore this safety defect. This has occurred the last three times I have used the car this week.

- Ringwood, NJ, USA

problem #238

May 152010


  • 33,220 miles
Power steering issues with 2004 Malibu lt. I had this problem with my first Malibu and my new Malibu is starting to show the same tell tale signs of power steering failure. It begins with a clicking noise while turning the steering wheel. At any time the power steering will completely go out. Turning of the motor and restarting the vehicle will temporarily solve the problem. My first Malibu was still under warranty and they had to replace the entire steering column twice. The Malibu I currently have is unfortunately not still under warranty but I feel this is an ongoing safety issue that needs to be addressed before there are serious injuries or deaths. There are many online sites of owners who have complained of this ongoing problem and it does not appear to be limited to the 2004 model but also newer models. GM needs to make this right with all the money we are spending trying to keep jobs in the usa.

- Marion, IN, USA

problem #237

May 112010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 23,282 miles
2004 Malibu: Feb 2005 vehicle chimed; power steering displayed on driver information center, lost power steering while making a left turn. Dealer replaced steering column because I had a letter from GM saying that my vehicle may have been built with a steering column sensor that can wear unevenly and produce an erratic electrical signal. Dealer said that my VIN number was not part of the recall but I insisted that I had experienced the problem and didn't care if my number was on the list I wanted it replaced. May 2010: Three days in a row chime sounded and power steering displayed on driver information center; stopped vehicle and restarted it, reset itself. Took in to dealer and had a diagnostic test run ($100). Test indicates that I need the steering column replaced and a shaft kit (clunking) cost $990.65, not covered under warranty. Google search reveals that this steering column defect is not uncommon and should be recalled by the manufacturer! please read the numerous complaints on this blog

- O Fallon, MO, USA

problem #236

Sep 102006


  • miles
While I'm driving whether it's on a city street or a highway, my power steering will out of nowhere stop working. This is very dangerous, especially when you are going 55mph. Sometimes stopping the car and starting it back up fixes the problem, sometimes not.

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #235

May 102008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles


I was driving on the freeway when my 2004 Malibu started jerking to the left then a warning bell went off and the power steering warning came on. Then the car pulled left and the steering went out. I took it the a Chevy dealer they tried to charge me $1125 dollars to fix the problem because the warranty only covered the steering column under the hood and not inside of the passenger compartment. The problem has increased in frequency and getting worse.

- Euclid, OH, USA

problem #234

Dec 042008


  • 86,000 miles
Brought car in for maintenance of other sorts and mechanic noticed clicking in steering wheel. A clicking that had been present since I purchased the car and was told that it is normal in the Malibu by two dealerships and an outside mechanic (whom I no longer go to). The noise had gotten worse over time, but was reassured that it was no issue. My new mechanic determined that it was a failure of the rack and pinion system and continuing to drive with it would be dangerous. I had it replaced (12-4-2008). It has been slightly over a year now and the noise is back and progressively getting worse than before. It costs nearly $1000+ to repair and doesn't last a year?! it is a late model 2004 Malibu, meaning it is the 2005 Malibu made in 2004. I've read many reports/complaints on the internet about the same problem. This needs to be taken care of asap.

- Carnegie, PA, USA

problem #233

Jul 022009

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 60,900 miles
The 1st time it happened was about 11 months ago. I was driving on a busy avenue when I lost all steering control of my vehicle. No warnings just the inability to steer my vehicle at all. I figured it was a fluke and dismissed it for the moment. Until it started happened again. This time I ended up in a ditch on the side of the road, terrified! I bought 2004 Chevy Malibu new from the dealer so I brought it to them. After they ran a diagnostic test on the vehicle and didn't find anything I felt relief, assuming the dealer knows best and their was nothing wrong according to them. I continued driving the car when it happened again. This time I took it to an outside mechanic who did yet another diagnostic test and found the steering shaft was bad. It was replaced and again I assumed the problem was cured. Until yet another incident occurred. I had absolutely no steering control of the vehicle while turning left at an intersection and just barely avoided an accident. I brought the car back to the outside repair shop who explained that we should try changing the steering motor and see if that works. Try was not a satisfactory answer to me so I did a little research and found out that a alot of people shared similar stories. I called GM and asked for there assistance. They denied even being aware that anyone else had reported such a problem before me, but since their was not a recall and my warranty was up, they could not help me. I am terrified to drive this vehicle, so I am somewhat of a prisoner in my own home if I can not borrow another vehicle, and I can't even think of selling the vehicle since I feel it is such a danger. This is a serious problem that seems to be overlook by the NHTSA for the fact that no one has been killed as of yet. It that what it takes for a recall? to date their are over 650 complaints filed for this specific problem with this vehicle. When will it be addressed by GM as an ongoing problem. This vehicle should have made the recall list.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #232

Apr 192010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 68,676 miles
I was driving my 1 year old daughter to her dr appointment. I was making a right hand turn in my 2004 Chevrolet Malibu ls V6 with 68,000 mileson it when my chimes chimed the orange check engine light with the wrench came on and my display on the radio said power steering I then lost my power steering while I was making the turn I proceed to her dr appointment without power steering. I go inside to her appointment come back out and the engine light is not longer on and I have power steering. I took it to my local mechanic and he puts it on the diagnostic machine and he can't find any codes or any problems at all he also said that if the check engine light is not on then he could not find a problem which the engine light is not on currently. I came home and did some typing on the computer for 2004 Chevrolet Malibu steering problems and I have found several issues with this problem many people have spend lots of money and the dealer ship has claimed to fix this issue but it is still going on after it has been fixed. I feel this is a real problem that needs brought to someone's attention after all the Toyota issues we need someone on our side I called the GM headquarters and they basically blew me off. I also know this is the very first electronic power steering from GM and that the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu was the very first vehicle to receive this and we all know first year stuff always has issues. My daughter and I almost lost our lives today if it wasn't for the other person in the other lane who had to slam on the brakes we would have had a head on collision. It took all my might to steer this vehicle this issue needs to be addressed before someone looses their life. I'm terrified to drive this vehicle now because I don't want to take my daughter's life or someone else's this is a real problem even if only a hand full of people have this problem. Please don't let this get like the Toyota recalls listen to people who drive this vehicle and know this problem is real and is very scary.

- Philo, OH, USA

problem #231

Apr 072010


  • miles
I have a 04 Chevy Malibu and sometimes the power steering with go out while I am driving. Next time I use the car its fine. I see that there are many problems with power steering in Malibu and it can cause a wreck if its not taken care of. I bought the car a yr ago and it has happened a couple times through the year.

- Mission, SD, USA

problem #230

Oct 232005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 7,615 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the power steering failed continuously. When the power steering failed, the wheel would make a clicking sound when the contact made a turn. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the dealer greased the steering column; however, the problem persisted. The failure mileage was approximately 9,500. The current mileage was approximately 60,400. The first time, the stabilizer link bushing were replaced, the second time, the intermediate shaft was replaced and the third time, the steering column was replaced. The right front axle seal was leaking. Updated 05/24/10

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #229

Mar 272010


  • 36,000 miles
2004 Chevy Malibu, lost power steering again. Taking a left turn at busy intersection, very very hard to turn wheel with no power steering I'm 62 and don't have alot of strength in my arm. Nearly caused an accident. Had steering colume replaced Nov 04, had more problems, had torque sensor replaced July 06. Now it is happening again and when I call GM they said it is no longer their problem and I would need to call my dealership. I have gone that route & they charge $100 diagnostic fee and say that can not find the problem unless it is happening and would have to charge another $100. This is a major safety issue. At least Toyota took responsibility for their screw up it's more that you can say for GM. Check the internet and see how many complaints there are!

- Acushnet, MA, USA

problem #228

Dec 172009


  • 77,270 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that intermittently while driving at various speeds, the steering wheel would begin pulling to the left, causing increased difficulty in steering. The power steering warning light would illuminate intermittently a few moments before the failure would occur. He also stated that on occasion, the power steering would be inoperable upon starting the vehicle. The contact also stated that in order to reset the power steering, he would shut off the engine and restart it to reset the system. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and did not make any repairs to the vehicle. The manufacturer had not yet been contacted to report the failure. The failure mileage was 77,270 and the current mileage was 81,000.

- Campbellsville, KY, USA

problem #227

Mar 202010


  • 64,200 miles
Lost power steering in my late model year 2004 Malibu lt. No personal injury or damage. Turned car off and restarted - power steering restored. Took to dealer since local mechanic had no idea what the problem was. Dealer said he has had to replace many of these but no recalls had been issued. Recommended replacement of steering column ($641.59) and alignment ($59.95) along with other non-related issues. Multiple NHTSA action numbers and defect investigations were started in 2004. A more recent service bulletin number: 7126; NHTSA number: 10023644 was started on the 2005 models. This is a dangerous problem that GM should have some responsibility for correcting.

- Upland, IN, USA

problem #226

Mar 192009


  • miles
I own a 2004 Chevy Malibu when starting vehicle the service engine light engages and the console indicator chimes reading power steering. This occurs every time I start the car now. I have replaced the steering column 2 times since taking ownership of vehicle in February 2008. Both steering columns were genuine GM parts installed by a certified technician. Work performed in 5/08 and 10/08 totaling some $3000. Paid another dealer $51.56 to adjust and calibrate sensor. It was ok for the summer. Late fall 2009 began coming on intermediately again. Now it comes on each time you start the car and yesterday I actually lost power steering while driving the car. I had lost the power assist steering a total of 4 times now. This is very dangerous. Someone could get hurt here.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

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