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Dan
Dan, Auto Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3490
Experience:  GM Mark of Excellence/ Service Guild Participant with 13 years experience, ASE Master Certified
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Something is loose in the front of my 2006 Malibu. I ...

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Something is loose in the front of my 2006 Malibu. I get a progesivly worse clunking that I can hear and feel in the steering. I have not yet been able to find anything loose. it moves/clunks when turning and slowing or accelarating. I have a 98 Lasabre that souned the same and it was a ball joint rivets loose. The Malibu is made different. Any idea''s?
#06-02-32-007C: Clunk/Knock/Rattle Noise from Front of Vehicle When Driving/Turning Over Bumps at Low Speeds (Diagnose Noise, Lubricate Inner/Outer Steering Shaft, Reposition I-Shaft, Add Foam to Radiator Surge Tank) - (Mar 20, 2008)

Subject:Clunk, Knock or Rattle Noise From Front of Vehicle While Driving or Turning Over Bumps at Low Speeds (Diagnose Noise - Lubricate Inner and Outer Steering Shaft, Reposition I-Shaft, Add Foam to Radiator Surge Tank Mounting Bracket and/or Replace Steering Gear, If Necessary)

Models:2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu/Maxx
2008 Chevrolet Malibu
2005-2007 Pontiac G6
2007-2008 Saturn Aura

 



This bulletin is being revised to add the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn AURA and include a different procedure to correct Condition # XXXXX Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 06-02-32-007B (Section 02 -- Steering).


Condition 1

Some customers may comment on a clunk noise heard and felt in the steering wheel while driving at slow speeds and turning. The clunk noise may appear to be directly in front of the driver. Hitting a bump while turning can produce the clunk noise. Sometimes the noise may be duplicated when the vehicle is sitting still and the steering wheel is turned 90 degrees in either direction before initially centering the steering wheel.

Cause 1

The clunk noise may be caused by the lack of lubrication between the inner and outer components of the intermediate shaft..

Correction 1

Lubricate the intermediate shaft with steering column shaft lubrication kit, P/N 26098237.

  1. From inside the vehicle, remove the instrument panel insulator panel - left side panel to gain access to the intermediate shaft.
  2. Remove the intermediate shaft to steering column attachment bolt.
  3. Remove the intermediate shaft from the steering column.
    Object Number:(NNN) NNN-NNNN Size: SH

  4. Extend the intermediate shaft all the way. Using the intermediate shaft grease kit, P/N 26098237, inject the grease into the gap between the inner shaft and the outer shaft as you are collapsing the shaft. This will draw the grease into the shaft.
  5. Cycle the shaft up and down several times to distribute the grease.

    Important: Remove original thread locker material from the bolt and apply Loctite® 242 (or equivalent) to the threads of the bolt and reinstall intermediate shaft bolt.

  6. Install the intermediate shaft to the column.

    Tighten

    For electronic power steering, tighten the bolt to 49 N·m (36 lb ft).
    For hydraulic power steering, tighten the bolt to 62 N·m (46 lb ft).

  7. Wipe off any excessive grease on the intermediate shaft to avoid damage from drips on the carpet.
  8. Install the instrument panel insulator panel - left side.
  9. Verify that the noise is no longer present.

Condition 2

Important: This condition ONLY applies to 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu/Maxx and 2005-2007 Pontiac G6.

Some customers may comment on a knocking or rattling type noise from the front of the vehicle when driven at low speeds and over bumps. The noise only occurs when the steering wheel is in the straight ahead position and sounds like the noise is in the left suspension of the vehicle or directly in front of the driver.

Correction 2

  1. Ensure the noise is not caused by Condition # XXXXX
  2. Determine the source of the noise. Install the chassis ears at the following locations:
    sway bar link - one side at a time
    upper strut mount - one side at a time
    steering gear near the pinion area
    base of the steering column housing
    radiator surge tank
  3. If the noise is coming from the upper strut mount or sway bar link, replace as necessary and retest.
  4. For 2004-2006 Chevrolet and Pontiac model year vehicles, the noise may be coming from the radiator surge tank area. (The 2007 model year vehicles use a different style radiator surge tank - refer to Step 9.)
  5. If the noise is coming from the radiator surge tank, release the two retaining tabs holding the radiator surge tank and reposition the tank away from the attaching bracket and isolate with closed cell foam.
  6. Cut three pieces of closed cell foam, P/N P46515 (or equivalent), into 25 mm (1 in) by 102 mm (4 in) pieces.
  7. Cut two pieces of closed cell foam into 25 mm (1 in) by 6 mm (¼ in) pieces.
    Object Number:(NNN) NNN-NNNN Size: SH

  8. Install the three pieces of foam to the attaching bracket starting at the top center inside the bracket and proceed down across the fuel lines, then at the inside of the bracket at the left and right positions of the center piece of foam. Finally, install the last two pieces of foam to the inside bracket at the left and right extended sides behind the retaining holes as shown above.
  9. Reposition the radiator surge tank back onto the bracket and seat the two retaining tabs on the tank.
  10. Drive the vehicle to verify that the noise is no longer present.

Parts Information

Order Adhesive Back Shim Stock from Kent Automotive at 1-888-YES-KENT or online at www.kent-automotive.com.

Part Number

Description

Material Allowance

P46515

Adhesive Back Shim Stock (25 mm x 30 ft roll) [15 mm (9/16 in) thickness]

$1.60 per vehicle ($1.78 in Canada)


Part Number

Description

26098237

Intermediate Shaft Grease Kit

Dan and 6 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Dan's Post: Going out to try this. I think you are probably right.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hit it with some majik stuff (WD-40) and it is almost gone. I will get the kit and finish it up right. Thanks!!
That's great to hear. Glad it was something simple and best of luck.