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 9 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #45

Aug 312009

Malibu Maxx

  • 97,600 miles


Loss of power steering assist while driving. This has happened twice. The power steering assist goes away and "power steering" is displayed on the driver information center.

- Saint John, 00, USA

problem #44

Jun 112009

Malibu Maxx

  • 34 miles
Lost power steering every time engine goes over 2500 rpms and up. Steering wheel will lock up and then you have no control, to make turns or to merge onto the freeway. Due to this failure of steering I have had several close calls of being involved in a crash.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #43

Jul 262009

Malibu Maxx

  • 105,000 miles
While crossing intersection, power steering gave out. Created potential head on collision with on-coming traffic. Steering vehicle was very difficult.

- Oswego, IL, USA

problem #42

Jul 212009

Malibu Maxx

  • 78,673 miles


Power steering failure. This is the second occurrence of power steering column assembly failing. First one replaced under recall notification. Currently at dealership waiting for new unit to be installed.

- Zionsville, IN, USA

problem #41

Jul 182009

Malibu Maxx

  • 78,000 miles
While driving my car, the steering just froze up and made it difficult to handle. This incident nearly caused an accident on a heavily traveled road. This has happened twice in the course of four months and each time the car had to be taken to a shop and put on a diagnostic tester to find and clear default codes to make car drivable. This problem can happen at any time again and to repair it costs $600. Can you please help me?

- Mt.Vernon, MO, USA

problem #40

Jun 132009

Malibu Maxx

  • 112,000 miles
Pwr steering failed upon vehicle start-up. Turned off car and restarted and pwr steering worked ok. Was told by mechanic that there have been many problems with pwr steering failures on Malibu's and that it is a significant safety issue that has cause numerous accidents. I had to pay $600 to repair (replace steering column and box) since GM would not cover it. (this is the 2nd time the steering column was replaced---the 1st time was covered by warranty.)

- Point Venture, TX, USA

problem #39

Jun 222009

Malibu Maxx

  • 90,000 miles


I have a Chevy Malibu maxx. I was driving yesterday and the power steering completely broke without warning. It was extremely hard to turn the wheel at all. The power steering message came on the console. I stopped the car and waited a while and tried it again. Right when I started the car, I had power steering, but within 60 seconds, it locked up again and the light came on. Very dangerous situation. It is at a car place now to get fixed.

- Six Mile, SC, USA

problem #38

May 112009

Malibu Maxx

  • 53,000 miles
Steering unit went on 2004 Chevy Malibu max while driving 65 mph on thruway and GM refuses to do anything about it.

- Angola, NY, USA

problem #37

May 252009

Malibu Maxx

  • 60,000 miles
Turning left at a major intersection the power steering went dead. The orange service indicator came on, and power steering came on the center display. I was able to glide into a gas station parking lot. The service dept said the whole steering column would need to be replaced but I needed to have that done at a dealer. I had the car towed to the dealer who then found the car to be operational. There were error codes in the system but they are so far unable to recreate the problem. They will try again tomorrow but if they can't recreate it I am supposed to come pick up the car and drive it as normal. This is very serious as had it could have resulted in a bad accident had I not been going very slowly at the time.

- Elk River, MN, USA

problem #36

Mar 012009

Malibu Maxx

  • 124,000 miles
Driving in rush hour at 75mph, alarm chime came on, display says power steering, and orange light with a wrench. I lost power steering, and couldn't control my vehicle whatsoever. I ran into a ditch, crashed, and smashed the front end in. After doing research, this issue is common with many users of the same vehicle, but Chevy never released a recall. They refused any damage costs citing my high mileage as an excuse to not pay for it.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #35

Jan 032009

Malibu Maxx

  • 50,000 miles


We own an 04 Malibu maxx, at 50000 miles app the power steering went out. It stopped working on the highway.if you turn the car off and re start power steering returns. This is happening to more than people according to internet car forums, so why no recall?

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #34

Feb 242009

Malibu Maxx

  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. Shortly after starting the vehicle in the morning, the contact placed the gear into reverse. While driving 5 mph, she turned the steering wheel and it suddenly became locked. Immediately after, the power steering and check engine indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. Through online research, the contact found an investigation for the same issue (NHTSA action number EA04018 (steering:electric power assist system)). She has not yet taken the vehicle to the dealer, but believes that this investigation should have issued a recall. The current and failure mileages were 30,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #33

May 092005

Malibu Maxx

  • 24,000 miles
I have had an ongoing complaint about a clunking noise in the steering wheel of my 2004 Malibu maxx. Almost as soon as I got the vehicle I felt a faint vibration in the steering wheel and have taken it to Chevrolet on numerous occasions each time they claim they could not duplicate the problem. This knocking happens everytime I turn the steering wheel and it is getting louder and louder. Now that it is out of warranty GM is telling me to once again go and have it diagnosed, which cost about $90 and they do not guarantee to fix it at no cost. I talked to a csr and she does not admit or admit to knowing about this problem. I referred to campaign # 04050A 12/2004 posted on your website.

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #32

Nov 192008

Malibu Maxx

  • 122,000 miles
On my 2004 Chevy Malibu maxx, the power steering failed completely as I was driving yesterday. Last month, the steering was "stiff" turning to the right. My dealer lubricated something and the problem seemed to be resolved. This is the third time that the parts were lubricated, however the complete failure came yesterday. It is extremely dangerous. My wife was driving and could not steer the car since the power steering shut off. I did contact my dealer who informed me that there was a recall for the 2004 Chevy Malibu (recall #7126) for this same problem, but my VIN number was not one that was listed. According to my dealer, the entire steering column needs to be replaced, which was also the part replaced in the recall of the 2004 Chevy Malibu. My vehicle should definitely be added to the list of recalled vehicles since the power steering failure is an obvious design or part flaw that has already been recalled and replaced in similar models of the same production year. Please advise.

- Hancock, NY, USA

problem #31

Nov 052008

Malibu Maxx

  • 43,000 miles
The power steering malfunctions, the wheel does not turn. The message center reads power steering, this has happened once a week for the past 4 weeks. Took the car to the dealership but they could not find anything. The vehicle has approx. 40K miles. I googled this issue and seems this is a common issue with this vehicle and see that GM has not issued a fix. We already did the recall back in 2005 on the steering column.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #30

Mar 202006

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,557 miles
The contact's spouse owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. While driving at various speeds and making a turn, the contact heard a clunking noise coming from the steering column. The vehicle has been to the dealer three times and they replaced the steering column under warranty, the ps gear, and the intermediate steering shaft; however, the clunking noise still persists. The current mileage was 45,523 and failure mileage was 19,557. Updated 2/23/09 updated 02/27/09.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #29

Jun 152008

Malibu Maxx

  • 82,000 miles
When driving, the power steering will jerk side to side and several times has completely failed making the vehicle extremely difficult to steer. The failure caused me to lose control on the interstate slamming me against the door of the vehicle, thankfully I was able to regain control although it was nearly impossible to steer. The driver information console displayed "power steering." After doing some research I saw that there are hundreds if not thousands of people who have experienced the same failure. That is why I decided to file a complaint.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #28

Jul 012008

Malibu Maxx

  • 60,200 miles
I was traveling a straight section of I-75 going northbound that my power steering light came on. Since I bought the car in 2007, I noticed a knocking noise in the engine section and never thought nothing of it, just thought as being ok. So I took my Malibu to the dealership and they said that my 2004 Malibu maxx steering column must be replaced. So I called another dealership and was told that there were previous recalls concerning the power steering. I notified GM of the problem and they offered to pay half of the costs which was $430 of an $860 project. I think they should pay all because its still considered a new used car.

- Berea, KY, USA

problem #27

Jun 272008

Malibu Maxx

  • 52,000 miles
I own a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. While driving on the NJ garden state parkway, I heard an audible alarm and at the same time noticed a "power steering" read-out on the on the dic display. All this time I am feeling the tightness in the steering and realizing that I have lost the power steering on the vehicle. Since then I have found that this loss is intermittent - it comes and goes with no prediction of when or where. I have also noticed that prior to the actually loss of ps, it seems that the system is losing control, I.e. trying to synchronize/stabilize before it fails. I have reported this to GM, who in term have suggested that I take it to the dealer for evaluation. When the problem occurs, it can be very scary.

- Westfield, NJ, USA

problem #26

Mar 062008

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2004 Chevy Malibu maxx has major front end problem. Hard to steer, always pulling hard to the right, seems like power steering is not working at times, clunking noise when stationary and turning wheels and when moving going over bumps. At 33K miles have been told the rack and pinion needs to be replaced. Repairs haven't been done yet waiting on other estimates.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

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