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2004 Malibu Maxx Power Stearing Problems

09-24-2005, 07:20 AM
We have owned the car for a little over a year. 5 months back we were driving down I-40 doing 60 miles an hour and we started feeling and hearing a noticable wobble in the front end. We took it in for service and they said they could not find a problem. The tires were fine as I had them checked by a tire dealer who did not even try to sell me new tires :lol: We still noticed a looseness in the front end but the wobble disapeared.

Last night I was turning into a gas station (turning to the right) and the stearing became tight(I thought the car stalled) the car started dinging and on the radio we got the message(power steering failure). I turned off the running vehicle and checked the fluid wich was at the correct level. I re-started the engine and the power steering was fine and no message on the radio,

I started to drive the car home and went about 5 miles and the same thing happened again. This time I also noticed light on in the dash that showed and engine with a wrench on it(fix engine I suppose?) I re started the car after shutting it down and all was well. I gott the car home without further problems. I will take the hehicle to the dealer Monday morning when the dealership is open.

I went to google to see if any issues existed as far as the Maxx PS, front end, steering column, etc. I am reading a mixed review on the issues. Is their problems and does my experience match other people problems?

This is actually my wifes vehicle and her little pet. I like a little bigger car but with the price of oil rising this may turn out to be the best thing we ever could have done. But now I am worried about the long term issues of keeping the car. Any input?


09-24-2005, 02:19 PM
Sounds like you may have a pulley problem. It could be premature alternator or something.

09-24-2005, 07:40 PM
Remember, the vehicle has electrically assisted power steering. There is no power steering pump underhood, no power steering fluid, belts/pulley etc.

Dealer can read fault code out of module. That was reason for the service vehicle soon indicator, Power Steering Message in DIC and the warning chime.

09-24-2005, 09:39 PM
2004 Malibus (sedans and Maxxes) built through approx. mid-Feb. 2004 (check the sticker on the driver door leading edge for date of manufacture) are known for electric power steering failures. They will have to replace the steering column. One of those "first year bugs", sorry to say. All should be fine after the replacement. Do get it in, ASAP, though.

09-25-2005, 08:39 PM
I wonder what the heck fluid level I was checking? :screwy: I saw a sealed square box on the right side of car (near dash under the hood) It showed right and left front and rear with a tiny tube coming out that I assumed was the brakes. Beside that square bozx was a resevoir on top of a long cylinder I assumed was not the brake fluid. LOL

It was built lat January of 04 and I got it a year ago August with some great rebates and incentives(wonder why? DUH :redface: )

I was reading this problem exists but that it was not a recalled item??? I like the car and want to keep it(My lwife loves it so I have to) Are the dealers straight up with this fault, or do they avoid trying to fix it? Some of the clowns I have read posts from on other sites seem confrontational and agitated. Talking Lemon Law and other crap, some people are never happy. I am not that way, I just want the car fixed. From my experience GM has always ben real good about fixing faults, are they still that way? Some times the www is a mixed blessing and you get to much information from people that just like to gripe and over react. On the other hand the flow of free information helps consumers address issues that sometimes are not taken care of by those that should take care of the problems.

Hope I did not ramble on to much..

09-26-2005, 06:22 AM
There was no recall because it only affected cars built early in the model year.

Yeah, I've read the same things on other boards, primarily Edmund's. You DO run the risk of screwing up the front suspension, and you may get a pull to one side with the steering, and the steering wheel might be off-center when you get it back. All fixable.

I don't think the dealers are avoiding this problem, now that it's well-documented.

I'm thankful my late April specimen didn't have this issue. But I got stuck with the bad fuel tank. You won't have that problem, that's an April - June '04 thing. And I have the transmission howl, which I'm trying to ignore (repair too apt to screw up other things). It's VERY annoying, though.

09-26-2005, 09:04 AM
I wonder what the heck fluid level I was checking?..... Beside that square bozx was a resevoir on top of a long cylinder I assumed was not the brake fluid. LOL

The coolant recovery bottle sits right next to the brake fluid reservoir so that is likely what you were looking at.

There is no trans fluid dip stick on that model and the engine oil one is on front of engine.

For 2006 "SS" - the only model with hydraulic power steering, the pump/reservoir is mounted on top of engine on the passenger side near the accessory drive belts.

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