Electric power steering

I am considering buying a new Chevy Malibu. I understand that it has an electric (rather than hydraulic) power steering system. My previous experience with an electric power steering system was on a 2002 Toyota Prius. It died at 44,000 miles (just beyond warranty) and cost $4,00 to replace. Just how reliable are elctric power steering units?

They seem to be alright in the GM car that I owned. The car you want is a redesign so there isn’t any way to predict reliability so I would avoid it like the plague. The whole company is in trouble. You could help to save it, but I wouldn’t. I didn’t like my 03 Saturn Vue small SUV. The computer controls didn’t always work safely. Step on gas sometimes and get nothing. I had to shut it off in the middle of the road and restart it sometimes. You may have to get used to the power steering for 17,000 miles like I did. Until it was broken in, it felt like it was indexed and the center click was not in the center. It was OK but it was a nuisance.

Consider this, if 44,000 is really normal for Toyota, you can bet the GM version will not last that long so you should have a new one on it before the warranty runs out. :slight_smile:

LOL; if 44K was normal for a toyota, the average GM product would never even make it off the lot.

Or maybe Toyota is slipping.

Are the two systems even remotely similar? I have an '89 Subaru XT6 which has “electric power steering” in the sense that the conventional power steering pump is driven by an electric motor instead of a belt off the engine. From what I can find on the net about the Malibu, their system is completely different from my Subaru’s. Is the Prius system like my old Subaru or like the new Malibu, or is it yet a third different type? I don’t know, but I would not compare the two without knowing, and of course your Prius’s problem may have just been one bit of bad luck and not at all a common failure. I have not heard a lot of complaints about the electric power steering in the Prius, but I’d check Prius specific web sites to be sure.

Shut it off and restart it? It must be Windows-based.

New 08 Chevy Malibus with the 4 cylinder engine have the electric power steering. It’s good for improved gas mileage. The V6 has hydraulic power steering. Our 05 Malibu had no problem with the electric power steering in 30,000 miles but we did get a letter from Chevrolet advising us that they would repair it if it failed but I don’t recall how long that promise was good for. Given a choice, I would get electric power steering again. Chevrolet should have the system completely developed by now; will have learned from the failures.

I haven’t driven one yet, but the reviews I’ve read all say they lack feedback. Whether this is good or not is a personal preference.

I suspect that the new CAFE requirement will drive electric power steering on all but the performance oriented cars. Typical hydraulic systems draw power off the crank and use gas.

Electric power steering felt like hydraulic power steering to me and I am not without a sense of what a good steering vehicle is about having owned a variety of brands including several German cars; most of which steered to my liking. Like all car and bike reviews, you just can’t get to know the nature of something by reading about it. You must drive it yourself. Another example: Reading about good food vs the actual tasting of it.