The is a CHRONIC problem on the Malibu & Maxx of that period. The problem is usually in the universal joint assembly in the steering column where the original design never allowed for proper lubrication of the splines. GM has tried many methods to fix it, starting with a load of grease injected into the spline and later a series of redesigned steering column U-joints. The best advice from GM and owners is that the clunk isn't dangerous and that replacement of the U-joint will bring relief. But some owners keep reporting that the fixes don't work for long.
That's what my GM mechanic told me. He said that it's still safe to drive and even if I did change it, would probably happen again. I know this is a late response but maybe will help someone else. As always, get it checked to make sure something more serious isn't wrong!
Ha, not safe at all. Looks like my shaft broke as my car will NOT steer either dirction with my wheel just spinning with no stop either way. What if this broke while going down the interstate at 65 mph??? Idiot mechanics and their BS is what I say.
Yep, it's in the steering column, and it's not a safety concern. The Malibu uses a different kind of collapsing column (to prevent you from being impaled during a head-on collision). As stated before, the insert between the splines in the steering shaft becomes worn slightly and develops lash, causing the clunk you hear. GM first issued a service bulletin about this outlining a procedure to lubricate the shaft, which will make the noise go away, but it only lasts a month or two. You get a can of GM Superlube (available at the parts counter) and with the column unlocked, turn the wheel one way until it stops. Locate the area where the steering shaft goes through the firewall (you have to move the seat all the way back and get down in the footwell) and you can see where the splines are. Carefully spray down the splines with Superlube and then run the wheel the other way until it stops. Spray the splines again. You may have to repeat this a couple times. Now, dealers are instructed to replace the shaft, but as noted before it will eventually start clunking again. I just talked to the dealer yesterday about this...
Yeah... My steering wheel is just turning without the wheels turning also... But its supposed to be safe huh? Malibu 2004 Lt. E-steering....It had the airbag in the steering wheel replaced. I wonder about those splines being worn or sumpin.
I was told by my dealer that there is something in the steering column that makes that noise, ( I want to say some joint but cant remember exactly). He said it is not dangerous and the repair was around $200.00.
Could be a sign of a worn tie rod end, inner steering rack tie rod end or worn steering /suspension component, best to get it checked out, look at your tires do you see unusual tire wear, fro example one or both front tires worn unevenly? Many need a tie rod end replaced and an alignment.
there is a special service package on he 2005-2006 chrevy malibu. because of the elctrice steering wheel. so if you call the 1-800 # for chevrolet give them ur vin # ifit falls under their package they will replace it for dfree
Car has to be under 100,000 miles to be replaced for free. I alraedy went though this with the dealership I bought the car from. I brought up the safety issues, accidents and even 1 death from this issue to no avail. Service manager said its GMs problem and if they fixed every problem like this that they wouldn't be in business.
I have owned an 05 Malibu an 05 Max as well as an 96 Pontiac G6.. same problem with all 3. What most don't know is that the Malibu's and G6 sit o. The same frame with a lot of the same parts. I had my G6 fixed and a few months later the same popping noise came back. When I bought my BU Maxx I noticed a cpl of the same problems as my other Malibu and started doing g research and I four d it is a common accurance in both models and makes. Other than an annoying sound it has been no more than that. I live my BU even with the stupid lil issues