How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask AMEDEE Your Own Question
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 23936
Experience:  ASE certified tech ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
Type Your Chevy Question Here...
AMEDEE is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Chevrolet Malibu LT: 2004 Malibu: power steering has failed. friend

Customer Question

2004 Malibu: power steering has failed.

friend of mine...single mother...3 kids. Power steering failed - DANGEROUS!
This model is equipped with an electrical assisted motor instead of a pump. All research indicate this is a severe design flaw, but no recall and dealerships are either charging customers over and over for the same repairs or just turn them away.

These Malibus seem to have lots of electical problems (noise in steering column, repeated bulb and light unity failures, power steering failure.

Do you know which has solved the problem: replacing the entire steering column or the power steering motor ($400) or steering column ($700). Dealerships claim, there is no guarantee this will solve the problem.

This problem is extremely popular. Here is 1 site of many:

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 4 years ago.
Hello and Welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my best to assist you and your 100% satisfaction is my goal. I have been working on these vehicles for over 10 years so I am very familiar with this system and how they work. However, keep in mind, that I need some solid concrete facts/evidence/clues from you in order to give you a good answer about your vehicle. Please realize that all my answers are based solely on the info that you provide me with.

Do you know if there are any codes in the computer?

Do the words "power steering" illuminate on the dash when this happens?

Are you aware of the Technical Service Bulletins out about this condition?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Amedee,

- No codes in the computer.

- Yes. Check Engine light and the Power Steering light.

Rack and pinion was just replaced this morning due to leak, although noticeably better, it but did not solve the problem. The lady is still increasing bicep mass just to drive.

I have checked the bulletins here:

Vehicle: 2004 Chevrolet Malibu

Nature of Defect:
Bulletin Number:
Bulletin Date:
May 2008


Gave dealership the VIN and they said they don't see anything for that VIN that could help.
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 4 years ago.

YES.. there are a number of TSB's that correspond to this issue. There are several issues going on with the steering assist with these vehicles. MOst of the time, it is due to a bad steering column and power steering assist motor.

However, one of the TSB's talks about problem and it is caused by the steering column sensor as well as a possible steering column. In this TSB, it instructs the Technicians to inspect the steering column and sensor and replace them as needed.

IF the check engine light is on, there is a code in the computer. If there is a power steering light on, there is a code in the power steering module. This system uses a separate computer for this power steering system and will light the power steering light is there is a code generated or stored in the power steering module.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As soon as the check engine light came on, she immediately had it tested and NO codes came up. She called me to tell me as she and the tech was shocked.

How does she get the service team to do what you are referring when they are saying her VIN doesn't apply?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 4 years ago.
Ok.. then if there are no codes in the computer, then each individual component needs to be inspected separately. The steering column sensor, steering column, power steering motor and even the module. I would have this done when there is no power steering or when the problem is acting up. This way the service team will know what to go after.
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 23936
Experience: ASE certified tech ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
AMEDEE and 8 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok. Thanks. I hope this diag doesn't get too expensive. This is a singe mom with 3 kids. Maybe the feedback from the dealership could help with a less expensive shop.

Expert:  AMEDEE replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the accept!

Please let me know if you have any further questions!

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • I was having a terrible problem with the wheel bearings on my 98 Chevy Cavalier and I suspect that using this website saved me plenty of time and money. Todd L Rochester NY
< Previous | Next >
  • I was having a terrible problem with the wheel bearings on my 98 Chevy Cavalier and I suspect that using this website saved me plenty of time and money. Todd L Rochester NY
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland

Meet The Experts:

  • GM Tech (Cam)

    GM Tech (Cam)

    Chevy Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
< Last | Next >
  • GM Tech (Cam)'s Avatar

    GM Tech (Cam)

    Chevy Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
  • Tim's Auto Repair's Avatar

    Tim's Auto Repair


    Satisfied Customers:

    Have owned a repair shop for 25 yrs.
  • Gary's Avatar


    Chevy Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    15 years GM master tech
  • Dave Nova's Avatar

    Dave Nova

    Chevrolet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
  • John's Avatar


    Master A.S.E Automotive technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    A.S.E MasterTechnician A1-A8 w/L1,38 years experience General Motors Master Technician
  • Don 'Mo Lurch''s Avatar

    Don 'Mo Lurch'

    Auto Mech / Electronics

    Satisfied Customers:

    Chevrolet Cert., Heavy Line Mech, Race Shop Owner, Mobile Electronics.
  • Ron Z.'s Avatar

    Ron Z.

    - Chevy Tech -

    Satisfied Customers:

    18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Chevy Diagnostics