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Hopping Malibu

When I hit a minor bump or pavement irregularity at highway speed, the rear of my Malibu has recently decided to “hop” sideways, especially around curves. Only 54K on the car.

Is it possible that you are using tire pressure that is too high?
The tires should be inflated to the pressure listed on the label on the driver’s door jamb, or perhaps 2 or 3 lbs higher pressure. If you are mistakenly using the “maximum pressure” listed on the sidewall of the tire, this will produce poor roadholding and can result in handling problems such as the one that you mentioned.

Another possibility is that your rear shocks/struts are worn out. While this not likely with only 54k on the odometer, it is possible.

It is also possible that the rear anti-sway bar has become detached or that one of its links is broken.

First, verify that your tire pressure is correct.
If it is, then you need to have a mechanic check the other items mentioned above.

Edited to reflect a correction from “real” shocks/struts to REAR shocks/struts.
I am sure that the OP has real shocks or struts, but the rear ones may be worn out.

And the car’s year is…???

And…it’s nine O’clock, do you know where your tire pressure is?

I’ll double check the pressure, but I’m pretty attentive to frequent checks.

Your idea about the real shocks/struts makes sense. I’ll have the rear-end checked out if the tire pressure is not the culprit.


34 psi. I’ll lower it to the recommended 30.

Is there an uneven wear pattern on the rear tires? You need to check the inside edge of the tread, too. Uneven tire wear can indicate a suspension problem.

I just replaced the tires, thinking that they might be part of the problem. The old tires wore out prematurely, although I didn’t notice an irregular wear pattern. Based on your earlier advice, I just went out and did a basic “push down on the car check,” and the car bounced quite a bit more than I expected. So you might be right on the mark about the shocks.

Thanks for your help!