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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,752 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #5

Mar 072010


  • 53,618 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. When the contact drives the vehicle at any speed he noticed that the transmission will not shift smoothly. A loud noise could be heard coming from the transmission. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact had the transmissions computer updated and was informed that the left and right output shaft seals will also need to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were 53600.

- Medford , NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 152007


  • 34,000 miles
The power steering goes out intermittently on my 2004 Chevy Malibu. This tends to happen during summer months, particularly July-September when the weather is more humid than any other time of the year. I took the vehicle to a trusted auto mechanic who told me that when he connected the car to his diagnostic computer there was a reading stating that the power steering needed to be replaced. I have done nothing since that time which was around the summer of 2007.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Aug 182007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,350 miles
On Saturday, August 18, 2007 my wife and I were traveling at 60 mph along a windy, hilly stretch of road. At the top of the third hill, the transmission dropped to zero. After coasting down the hill, I was able to continue in first gear only. After stopping for 15 minutes, I was able to continue driving in low gears. However, if I tried to accelerate quickly (such as to merge with interstate traffic, or to make a legal U-turn) then the transmission failed again. On Sunday, August 19, I took the vehicle to a service station and had the transmission flushed and filled. My hope was to avoid any mechanical problems. However, this service did not resolve the problem. On Tuesday, August 21, I took the vehicle to my local Chevy dealer who told me the clutch was completely burned out. They asked me why I waited so long to have the transmission serviced. I pointed out to them that the owner's manual states that it is a "maintenance free" transmission that should never need servicing.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #2

May 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
Vehicle experienced steering and transmission problems. The steering went out, forcing the vehicle to the right side of the road and into an embankment. Consumer had the vehicle towed to a service center. Transmission will not engage into the interlock. If going into reverse and changing into drive it was difficult to control vehicle. Consumer must use about 45 lbs of pressure to get the gear shift to operate smoothly. Also, vehicle was having brake problems. Consumer was driving on an off ramp and applied the brakes down to the floor. Vehicle slowed down but did not stop completely. Consumer contacted the manufacturer and the dealership, who told the consumer that there was a brake recall, and that the brake problem was electrical. The brakes were electronically programmed controlled. Recall campaign; 04V190000. Summary: Some of these passenger vehicles have an electronic control unit (ECU) that may calculate a higher than actual vehicle speed because of an erratic rear-wheel speed sensor signal, and cause ABS activation where it is not needed or needed ABS activation to be extended during braking as the vehicle speed drops to about 3 mph. The trunk release button on the drivers door came apart. The shifter handle broke. The brake pedal went to the floor after being in traffic.

- Sebastian, FL, USA

problem #1

Mar 112004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 291 miles
Power steering has failed on 3 separate occasions. The first time, the dealer replaced the cam sensor in the transmission. The power steering failed again 5 days later. The car is still at the dealership, they are trying to figure out what is wrong. Pe04031_cat call notes: Backed car out of garage. Steering was difficult. Saw ┐power steering┐ on display. Turned car off and restarted, but no power steering. Drove car to dealership, who could not duplicate condition, but they did replace cam sensor. After about 4 days, driver was backing out of garage and same situation happened again. Shut off car and called dlr. Had a commitment so he drove car without power steering. After finishing commitment restarted car and power steering worked. Brought to dealer, who kept car for 4-5 days and replaced steering column assembly. As he was driving car out of dealership, felt car pulling to left, but needed car so he drove car and brought back after finishing commitment. Dealership kept car for 7 days, calibrated steering, but did not replace any parts. Driver just picked up car and things seemed ok. Cat 3/25/04 no crash or injuries per consumer call on 3/30/04 cat

- Vista, CA, USA

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