Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Known Malibu 2005 Steering Issue

There are some older discussions of this issue, but no solutions I could find. The 2005 Chevy Malibu has a known problem with a thunking sound made in the area of the steering wheel when the car is turned in either direction. For years GM denied this problem but did issue a bulletin about it a couple of years ago. My dealer installed the replacement steering part, which fixed the problem for about a year. They tried other methods like greasing the steering, which again fixed it for some months. I do so little driving that I hate to get rid of this car, but I don’t want to be involved in an accident due to failed steering. Does anyone have any information on whether this problem is considered dangerous? Thanks for any help.

Where did you get the idea that the steering is going to fail or that this is a dangerous condition that would warrant replacing the car? If it’s the typical intermediate shaft noise, it’s nothing more than a nuisance, if that.

1 Like

I do not think it is an unusual idea to wonder whether a strange noise in an essential part of a car might be dangerous. I was simply asking if anyone had information on this issue, especially as to whether it might make the vehicle unsafe. I would be happy to learn that it is “nothing more than a nuisance,” but I would like to have actual information supporting that statement.

If you want actual info then it might be worthwhile to pay the fee a good front alignment shop would charge to verify your steering is not going to fail.


Thanks for the good idea. Now all I need is to find a good shop (the GM dealer tried one fix after another, another place recognized the problem as a known one and said they couldn’t do anything).

I don’t think that’s possible over the internet. Unless I can see/feel/duplicate the noise, I can’t offer anything other than speculation.

But your story states you had the grease redistributed in the steering intermediate shaft, then had the intermediate shaft (I assume) replaced, both of which corrected the problem for a period of time. All of which points to a noisy intermediate shaft, making a clunking or thumping noise when turning or driving over irregular roads. Once I come to this conclusion and explain to the customer that the steering wheel isn’t going to fall off or cause other problems, about half decide to live with the noise.

I’m with @asemaster on this one

It’s really not a big deal, and certainly not a reason to get rid of the car

Probably 1/2 of the older GM trucks in our fleet have noisey intermediate steering shafts, and they’ve been that way for years. The trucks are perfectly safe to drive, and you also get used to the noise

Thanks for the comforting words. It’s true, I have (mostly) gotten used to the noise. I guess I just wanted some people more knowledgeable than I (which is not difficult to be) to advise me that the noise can be ignored without being a negligent driver.