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AMEDEE
AMEDEE, CHEVY TECHNICIAN
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 21866
Experience:  ASE MASTER TECHNICIAN ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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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:
http://www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Malibu/2004/steering/power_steering_went_out_without_warning.shtml

Thaks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 2 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 2 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:
http://www.edmunds.com/car-maintenance/tsb.html?year=2004&make=&model=&styleId=100274114&engCode=6VNAG3.5&transCode=AUTOMATIC&mileage=100000&zip=30349&type=tsb

Found:
Vehicle: 2004 Chevrolet Malibu

Nature of Defect:
STEERING:HYDRAULIC POWER ASSIST:POWER STEERING FLUID
Bulletin Number:
08-02-32-005
Bulletin Date:
May 2008

Summary:
LOSS OF POWER STEERING ASSIST, POWER STEERING WARNING MESSAGE DISPLAYED IN DIC, IPC/RADIO DISPLAYS ERRATIC, DTC C0900, B1325 SET (REPLACE IGNITION COIL/MODULE ASSEMBLY AND ADD GROUND STRAP). VEHICLES WITH 3.5L ENGINE. ( NHTSA ITEM NUMBER - 10025672 )

Gave dealership the VIN and they said they don't see anything for that VIN that could help.
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 2 years ago.
Excellent!

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 2 years ago.
Amedee,

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 2 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.
AMEDEE, CHEVY TECHNICIAN
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 21866
Experience: ASE MASTER TECHNICIAN ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
AMEDEE and 10 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 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.

Thanks!
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the accept!

Please let me know if you have any further questions!

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