This bulletin is being updated to add models, model years and additional conditions. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 04-03-08-006A (Section 03 - Suspension).
This bulletin provides information on six different steering/front suspension noise conditions.
Some customers may comment on a rattle or knocking noise that is heard in the front of the vehicle while driving at low speeds (5-15 mph [8-24 km/h]). This condition may be more noticeable while making a slow turn or on a loose/rough surface.
This condition can be duplicated by the technician using the following procedure:
If the steering column is identified as the source of the rattle/knocking noise in the above test, replace the steering column.
Important: The noise in the steering column is generated from the metal to plastic gear backlash of the assist motor mechanism and will have a different sound than that from the steering gear. If the customer comments that they still hear a noise, it may be a different sound from either the I-shaft or the steering rack.
If the steering column is not identified as the source of the rattle/knocking in the above test, continue to diagnose the vehicle according to the diagnostics in SI.
Kit, Steering Column (Cobalt/ G5/ Pursuit)
Kit, Steering Column (HHR)
Kit, Steering Column (2003-2004 ION)
Kit, Steering Column (2005-2007 ION)
For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:
Column Assembly, Steering -- Replace
Use Published Labor Operation Time
Some customers may comment on a whine/hum noise from the steering column while making right hand turns at 5-15 mph (8-24 km/h). A slight whine/hum noise is considered to be normal for EPS so it will be helpful to compare to another like vehicle. If the vehicle exhibits excessive feedback/noise when compared to another vehicle, follow the correction procedure below.
Important: DO NOT replace the steering column.
Pull the 60 amp steering fuse (1) in the underhood fuse block. If this eliminates the whine/hum concern, contact the Technical Assistance Center for further information in order to repair the vehicle. If this does not eliminate the noise, continue to diagnose the vehicle according to the diagnostics in SI.
Some customers may comment on a clunk type noise coming from the front of the vehicle during a turning maneuver. This condition can also be felt through the steering wheel when the vehicle is stationary and the wheel is rotated from steering stop to steering stop. Typically, the clunk noise will be heard once for every 90° of steering wheel rotation in either direction. This clunk noise may also be noticed during low speed acceleration or deceleration, typically in light turns of the steering wheel.
The following are characteristics of this noise:
Note that you might also notice a slight scrub-type noise when turning the wheel back and forth. This type of noise is considered normal and repairs will not eliminate it.
This condition may be caused by inadequate lubrication of the steering intermediate shaft.
Important: DO NOT replace the steering gear or steering column assembly.
Replace the intermediate shaft.
Important: If the vehicle has already had a steering intermediate shaft replaced for a similar noise concern that the dealer duplicated, determine from the customer if the noise went away for a period of time and came back, or if the service shaft made no change. If the noise was gone for a period of time and came back, have the dealer replace the shaft again to verify we do not have a defective service shaft.
If this does not eliminate the noise, continue to diagnose the vehicle according to the diagnostics in SI.
Shaft, Intermediate Steering (Cobalt/G5/Pursuit)
Shaft, Intermediate Steering (ION)
Shaft, Intermediate Steering (HHR)
Shaft, Steering Intermediate -- Replace
Some customers may comment on a rattle/clunk type noise coming from the steering column when driving over bumps.
The following steps have been found to be very effective in removing this condition.
Rattles/clunks in this area of the engine compartment may be heard as coming from the steering column while driving.
Repair to Correct Rattle/Clunk Noise in Front of Vehicle
* This is a unique labor operation number for bulletin use only. It will not be published in the Labor Time Guide.
Some customers may comment on a clunk, thump or rattle noise coming from the front suspension while driving over rough road conditions or when braking.
This condition may be caused by the lower control arm rubber bushing (rear) coming out of its steel sleeve (1). This will cause the lower control arm to make hard contact (2) with the body structure. This condition may be more prevalent in regions that use road salt during the winter months.
If the rubber bushing has moved out of the steel sleeve, replace the lower control arm bushing. Do not replace the bushing if it is still centered in the steel sleeve.
If this does not eliminate the noise, continue to diagnose using chassis ears to identify the source of the noise.
Bushing, Front Lower Control Arm (Cobalt/G5/HHR/Pursuit)
Bushing, Front Lower Control Arm (ION)
Bushings ad/or Shaft, Front Control Arm Lower (Right) -- Replace
Bushings ad/or Shaft, Front Control Arm Lower (Left) -- Replace
Bushings ad/or Shaft, Front Control Arm Lower (Both) -- Replace
Some customers may comment on a squeak, rattle, pop, or clunk noise coming from the front of the vehicle during suspension movement.
This condition may be caused by the interface between the front stabilizer shaft, the front stabilizer shaft insulators (bushings) and the front stabilizer shaft mounting clamp.
Replace the front stabilizer shaft insulators (bushings), if necessary, using the following procedure.
Insulator, Front Stabilizer Shaft (2007 FE1 Suspension)
Insulator, Front Stabilizer Shaft (2007 FE2 Suspension)
Insulator, Front Stabilizer Shaft (2003-2007 FE3 Suspension)
Clamp, Front Stabilizer Shaft