really awful
Crashes / Fires:
12 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,608 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 Maxx steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Owner Comments (Page 4 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #145

Apr 292013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 120,400 miles


The steering locks up between 2000 and 3500 rpms. The tool, steering and battery light keeps flashing when the power steering locks up or before the steering locks up. Chiming sounds go off and a clicking noise from the dash board. I heard many people are having the same issue. It should be a recall because it almost cause me to be in an accident many time. I had to stop driving me car due to the danger.

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #144

Mar 122013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 72,435 miles
While driving the vehicle the power steering failed completely as has been noted by thousands of other 2004 Chevy Malibu maxx owners. The steering becomes difficult is not impossible to operate or it locks up completely as was the case today and will not allow the steering to be turned. As a 30 year law enforcement veteran I recognize this as a very serious life safety issue. This vehicle needs to be recalled since GM is fully aware of the problem but does not want to step up and fix this issue that has caused accidents and injury to owners. The fault indicator comes on and a beeping occurs and the display in the center of the dash says "power steering".

- Loveland, OH, USA

problem #143

May 112013

Malibu Maxx

  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated while driving 30 mph the power steering failed. The contact stated that the power steering light illuminated for months prior to it failing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 86,000.

- Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #142

Mar 152013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The check engine and power steering lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the steering column would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact the vehicle was previously repaired under a manufacturer's recall for the steering. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 125,000.

- Crestwood, KY, USA

problem #141

Aug 132010

Malibu Maxx

  • 100,000 miles
Upon acceleration using the gas pedal, the car loses total control of its steering. All engine lights and failure lights go on.sometimes just making a simple turn at an intersection, the car loses complete steering capability. This has happened at various speeds, including on the highway at 50 mph accelerating over a slight incline or at 10 mph at an intersection while making a left or right turn. I noticed trouble with the steering when I first bought my car under warranty but it wasn't as severe. Just when backing out of a parking space the steering was tight, but the dealership could not find the problem. I have had the short rack steering gear, steering rack, intermediate shaft, and serpentine belt replaced but to no avail. On the website www.lemonlawclaims.com there have been at least 42 steering complaints of similar nature regarding the same year make for the Malibu. An NHTSA investigation was performed PE04-031 based on eight reports of alleged power steering failures. The preliminary evaluation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis based on the report I printed up in 2010, however I am not certain of the current status of this investigation. I'm sure there are a lot more failure reports that have been opened, though I cannot find a recall regarding this failure. As a side note, sometimes the car has trouble starting - it always has and the dealership could not determine the failure. When trying to start it up, hitting the gas pedal will cause the engine to kick over and not stall. There is always the smell of fuel. I am not sure if this is part of the failure. In addition when the steering fails or the steering wheel jerks upon acceleration, a clicking sound can be heard. The origin of this clicking in unknown. I really don't understand why there hasn't been a recall on this or better yet a class action lawsuit.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #140

Mar 012013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 188,100 miles
Power steering fault light on yellow wrench light intermittent. Steering shake.

- Westminster, MD, USA

problem #139

Mar 022013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


I started the car, put the car in drive and accelerated. When I went to turn the wheel, a light appeared on the dash (looks like a wrench) and on the radio display said power steering. I lost all power steering. This has now happened multiple times in the last month. I pulled out on to another road and while in the process of turning, I lost my power steering. I had to pull over into a parking lot, which was very difficult to do since I did not have power steering. Turned the car off and restarted the car. The light went away and my power steering came back. The car is very unsafe because the failure happens while driving. My husband called Chevy dealer and they stated that this car is not covered under the service recall notice!!

- Bolivar, OH, USA

problem #138

Feb 132013

Malibu Maxx

  • 86,000 miles
I was driving on the highway and an engine light came on and it said power steering across my radio. I thought that meant I need power steering fluid but after doing google searches, I find that means I lost my power steering control. Luckily, I was going straight and at a high speed so I didn't lose control based upon what I read. However, I have two little girls and will sue in a heartbeat if anything happens to them as a result of this issue. Especially, since this is a known issue since 2004. Why the heck haven't you forced Chevy to recall these vehicles. I don't care that in most cases steering is not affected and that it can be reset by turning the car off and on. I have read about so many incidents of near crashes and some injuries. This is ridiculous and needs to be fixed before someone dies.

- Naugatuck, CT, USA

problem #137

Jan 072013

Malibu Maxx

  • 92,000 miles
Stopped and put vehicle in reverse. Check engine light came on and power steering stopped working. Returned to normal after turning vehicle off and restarting.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #136

Jun 062011

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I have been having power steering problems with my 2004 Chevy Malibu for several years. It feels like the steering goes completely out while driving on freeway or other roads and find this to be a safety issue. I originally had dealership check steering and was told it was fine and there was no recall, but I have read where several others are experiencing the same problem. In the last few months, the problem has gotten worse for my daughter, who now drives the car. The power steering light has been coming on and goes off when you park or restart the car. She recently lost all power steering and had difficulty steering the vehicle off the road. Today, we took the Malibu to the GM dealership where we purchased it, and ouch!...was told the repairs total $900 plus tax. Dealership will need to replace steering column as motor has gone bad and also need to replace the intermediate shaft that connects to the column since it is binding up. I don't know whether to get a second opinion and wonder if we can wait to have the shaft replaced" should I also contact GM to see if they will reimburse for parts"

- Garfield Hts, OH, USA

problem #135

Jan 022013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 135,474 miles


Driving down straight section of road. Power steering alarm comes on and steering wheel goes stiff. Slowed and stopped before next turn (would not have been able to negotiate turn). This has happened on an often enough basis (usually before being on the road) and using fix described in other often reported issues with this type of steering, stopped car, turned off, adjusted position of steering column and restarted. Steering returned to normal.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #134

Dec 022012

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 149,154 miles
Power steering went out while idling at drive thru window of fast food(first incident). 2 more after that while idling. The message center said power steering and chimed every incident. Is there a recall for this?

- Harrodsburg, KY, USA

problem #133

Nov 212012

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 117,654 miles
My pregnant wife was driving when the power steering just went out this is the second time and from reading multiple complaints and they do nothing to solve it.

- Jblm, WA, USA

problem #132

Oct 062012

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 67,399 miles
After backing out of a parking space, drove forward a few feet, turned right at a stop sign and proceeded forward when the car's warning chimes sounded, the "power steering" came up on the dic, the service vehicle light came on and all power steering was lost. It was late at night so I continued driving home which was about 2 miles away but it was very difficult to make turns. Have not tried to drive car due to difficulty and since it is Sunday was not able to get assistance from mechanics or dealer. Have been reading online and seems to be a common and dangerous problem. No recalls or notices received by dealer. This car was bought new and maintained.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #131

Aug 222012

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
The car became very hard to steer. Turning the steering wheel was difficult to turn. This has happened several time since August. This has almost cause two accidents.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #130

Aug 292012

Malibu Maxx

  • 86,200 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated that the power steering warning light illuminated as the steering became hard to turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who performed a diagnostic, which located the failure at the steering column. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure and current mileage was 86,200.

- Berwick , ME, USA

problem #129

Jun 012012

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The power steering warning light has been coming on for some time now, but 3 different times the power steering has failed when leaving from being parked. Turning off the car and restarting fixes it but for how long will that continue to work.

- Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #128

Feb 012010

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The power steering locks up for approximately 5 to 10 seconds. It occurs at slow speeds on surface streets, high speeds on the interstate, going forward and even when I'm in the midst of a turn. The check engine light will flash, the lights flash on and off and the notice bell rings "ding, ding, ding." When it finally stops the, if its summer the ac will stop functioning until I stop and restart the car. It is a very scary 5 to 10 seconds and I'm very fortunate to have not caused an accident as of yet. This has also compromised the ease of the power steering when it has not locked up. Parking is very difficult as the turning radius and not good and its just difficult to maneuver the cars steering.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #127

Jun 132012

Malibu Maxx

  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated that the driver was driving 40 mph when the steering wheel seized. The power steering light and check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel when the failure occurred. The driver stopped and shut off the vehicle. The steering wheel functioned as normal upon restart. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Sedalia, MO, USA

problem #126

Sep 012009

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Starting soon after purchase, several times since (approx 3-15 times a week depending on season). Power steering shuts off randomly. If done while turning, it will require extra force and concentration to keep on course. Most times issue cannot be reset for full duration of travel (15 min - 3hrs), this is done by shutting off vehicle, after stopping on side of road, and restarting. Usually occurs when warm, either from sunny day for first start or winter once heater is warm. Many close calls!

- Eagle, NE, USA

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