I went out to start my 2006 malibu after work today and the power steering doesn’t work. Well, it does for about 2 minutes after starting the car and then stops working all together. I am mechanically inclined, but I am not sure if I can handle this one. After starting the car, without touching the steering wheel, the sterring wheel will twitch back and forth by itself about 1/2 inch both ways and then it will stop working. I need this car and do not have another one to use to go to work and back. I have driven may cars without power steering growing up and am prepared to do the same with this if it is possible without causing further damage until I can repair it? Would it be safe to do so and what could be causing this problem?
Google “2006 Malibu power steering” and read about all the other people having similar problems. Check with the dealer to see if they have a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) on the problem.
Thanks and I have already spent hours reading the similar woes of other Malibu owners. I guess the real question is; is it okay for me to drive without the power steering until I can get it fixed? I am a big guy and can handle it safely, but would it mess up any of the other steering components?
I haven’t done any research, but it sounds to me like the spool valve, that part that directs the pressurized hydraulic fluid to one side of the power piston or the other. If this is true, it could give spurreous inputs that could cause loss of control, and it could also provide an input that could oppose a steering effort. Murphy’s law says that’ll happen at an inopportune time.
If you remove the belt to your power steering pump you’ll eliminate the possibiliity of spurreous inputs, but I still would not consider this safe to drive.
…or…is this model one of the ones with electrically-assisted power steering?
I seem to recall that the 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder Malibus came with different PS systems, but I can’t remember which ones have a “conventional” hydraulic system, and which ones have an electrical system.
If this car has the electric version, I would suggest taking it to the dealership.
With any luck, there might be a TSB covering the problem. Even though the repairs would not be free, at least they may be able to resolve it more quickly than an indy garage that is not familiar with that type of system.
“Is it safe to drive without functional power steering?”
What, are you crazy? It’s not safe to drive this vehicle. The fact that you have to ask this question should give you the answer. If you have to ask, it’s not safe.
Have the car towed or carried to a mechanic.
DO NOT drive this vehicle. It’s not safe.
Just to reiterate, other Malibu owners have reported that the electric steering system is malfunctioning so badly that it jerks the steering wheel out of their hands…
Would I drive this? No way.