CMF Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Suburbia of Chicago
Re: Steering/front suspension noises/clunks thread.
I wanted to share my experience regarding a grinding/rattle noise coming from the front end of my car when turning at parking lot speeds.
I had been driving the car with this noise for about two weeks but one weekend I went camping with the car, and the campground roads have lots of turns, and the speed limit is 15mph. So every time I turned, the noise kept occurring, it was embarrassing, because I was 400 miles away from home, with my family, and they were afraid that my car was not going to make it home because the grinding/rattle noise was pretty bad, very horrible sounding.
At first I thought it was my steering racking going bad, or the intermediate steering shaft (since this site showed me that those issues are persistent problems on these Malibus). So I take it to the dealer after I come back from camping to have it checked out. I leave it at the dealer overnight because I do not have any time to drop it off during the day, so they give me a rental from Enterprise.
They call the next day during my lunch and say they cannot replicate the noise. Well, needless to say, I was MAD. I stormed out of my office during lunch, drove to the dealership and kindly asked if I could drive with a technician.
With the technician in the passenger seat, all I had to do was drive the car for 10 FEET and turn the steering wheel, and all you could hear was GRINDING/RATTLING from the front end.
The technician said "your upper strut bearings and mounts are bad. Only one might be bad, but we'll replace both of them in case the other will go out soon too... but right now we are out of stock with those parts, we'll get them in at 7am tomorrow."
Granted, the technician was really nice and informative. I opened the hood and he pointed to the spot at the top of the struts where the parts have failed, so I felt a lot better that the problem will be fixed. I also noticed that the "mounts" were a little corroded.
But I just didn't understand why they said they drove 15 miles to try and replicate the problem, when I told them all they have to do was drive around in the parking lot and steer the wheel, and you'll hear the noise. I didn't like the fact that I had to leave work in the middle of the day.
After they replaced both upper strut mounts and bearings, there is no longer a noise coming from the front end when I turn the wheel at slow speeds.
2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ
3.6L DOHC V6
Black Granite Metallic - Brick & Ebony
Fairfax Plant, Kansas - Assembled 12/2007
Current miles 115k-116k