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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bought a 2009 Malibu (2.4 engine with electric power steering) a few weeks ago. Pulled into my driveway today and the power steering goes out and the traction control light comes on and service ESC message comes across the message center. Turn the car off and back on and the light goes out, power steering comes back for a second then the light trips again and it's out again as soon as I turn the wheel.

After looking it seems to be a problem that is not uncommon. Reading that the steering column may need to be replaced for the torque sensor.

I checked and my car is not on the recall list for this issue.

Has anyone done this job themselves?

I think in 3 weeks of owning this car I've had every known tough issue pop up... Headlight goes out and I have to spend an hour in 19 degree weather taking half the bumper off to change a bulb.

Then my wiper linkage breaks on the highway in a snow storm because of a plastic bushing... GM won't sell me the 30 cent replacment bushing and wanted to charge me 140 bucks... So I had to order it from Amazon and drive three days with no wipers...

All but one of the door locks stops working... The front passenger side door actually locked shut with no way to open the door so I had to pull the door card off from the inside and pop the lock... What a nightmare...

Ugh....if this is one of those issues where I need the 2000 dollar diagnostic tool instead of my scan tool to calibrate I'll drive it without power steering before I pay a dealer a dime to fix it. Sorry to vent, but this car is giving me a headache... Runs great otherwise!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just dropping by for an update on this. Over the past few weeks I've had my power steering turning on and off. It's definitely the sensor under the steering wheel, as the system works great until something is tripped that simply shuts everything down.

The wheel turn triggers the ESC to turn off. Sometimes mid parking lot. Sometime mid highway on ramp at 45 mph. Some days I can go without having any issues. Other days I can't get the steering to come on. Worst is when I am in mid turn and it triggers. If I wasn't 6'2" 225 lbs I don't know if the car would be drive able. The car is off limits to my 110 pound wife. Very frustrating and annoying to just buy a car and have it be so unsafe that we can barely use it.

Awful design. Wonder who thought it was a good idea to hang all usable steering on a sensor? Worst part about it is it is it does not act like a normal car when the power steering goes out. At speed, when a normal pump is out, you can barely feel it in the wheel and its only an issue at slow speeds. This system you have to fight the electric motor that is connected to the steering at all times. On the plus side, I usually skip my triceps workout at the gym, being that I get enough of it driving home...

Spoke with a friend that works at a GM body shop. Says he est. the job at about 700 bucks. My funds won't allow the fix from the garage at this point, so I am going to fight through it for now until I can either pull the wheel and change it myself, GM recalls my car, or I have to bite the bullet and pay the damn dealer to fix this crap. All this mess for a sensor. I've changed clock springs before, so if I do decide to break this down myself I'll try to take pictures and do a write up. I'm considering killing the system all together until I can figure out a solution so I don't have any of these mid turn "surprises".
 

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You should report this to GM and the NHTSA. You never know, GM might cover some of the replacement cost. There is a video on youtube that covers replacing the torque tube sensor but what if that is not the cause? Yes, a GM tech 2 scan tool is required to set up the front end once the part has been replaced. Keep any bills you acquire during this job so that GM may reimburse you in the future should they decide to cover this repair.
 

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Any updates with this? Same problem here. Mine works about half the time, and the rest of the time I have to fight the wheel. Mine interestingly was on and off last winter, then I didn't have a single issue with it all summer long. Now that the cold weather is back, the steering doesn't work again half the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No change, I haven't had the funds to get it fixed yet. I also believe the outside temp directly effects it. When it warms up it doesn't happen as often. It's been below zero here for a few days and it has triggered almost every time I've driven it. I think the cold shrinks the electrical connections a bit and forces the failure.

The worst part is, when it turns the power steering off, it also turns the traction control off, and as you can guess, there is usually snow and ice on the roads when it's cold, and I'd really like to use traction control!
 

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Sounds like we both have the exact same problem!
 

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First thing you need to do is to have the codes read by something that can read ABS codes. A simple OBDII reader will not be able to read what you need to see. Some Advance Auto Parts stores will check your car with ABS capable scanners. Remember no matter what goes wrong on a modern car you have to read the codes before doing anything else. The codes tell you where to start looking not what to fix.

What symptoms do you have with the Power Steering besides no PS? Does it turn easier in one direction Vs the other? Is it reduced PS or actually no PS?

The torque sensor replacement isn't a hard repair if that is your problem (I sort of doubt it). My car had the recall done. From the time I drove into the shop until I drove out it took about 50 minutes and that was with some time BSing with the Service Adviser after he told me the car was done.

I have a pdf file with the diagnostic procedures for the electric power steering codes. They are all C codes so should be be readable with a scanner that can read ABS codes. The file is too large to attach on this forum so if you want it send me a PM. Some of the procedures call for the use of a Tech 2 but if you are good with a DVM reading voltages, continuity, resistance, etc you should be able to jury rig your self past the Tech 2 stuff. If you read the Action Taken section of the codes you may decide some of them don't apply to your situation and you can just cross them off the list with the idea you will look there last if you don't find the problem.

Bill
 

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Interested to hear any further updates? It's been a few weeks.

I'm having the exact same problem. POWER STEERING and SERVICE ESC notification on the dash, and luckily, like you, I'm a younger fit 190lbs guy so I can manage without power steering, but it's definitely a workout.

Local Chevy dealer wants $85 just to connect and read the error. Also assuming it'll be 700-1000 bucks to get it fixed. I want to know why my 4cyl 2009 Malibu wasn't part of the EPS recall, when I'm clearly having the same issue the recall was meant to address.

Funds are tight for me right now as I'm saving to pay for a wedding and honeymoon in June. If warmer weather will make the problem go away, maybe I should just muscle through this (literally!) until summer, and then try to get it fixed before next winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Interested to hear any further updates? It's been a few weeks.

I'm having the exact same problem. POWER STEERING and SERVICE ESC notification on the dash, and luckily, like you, I'm a younger fit 190lbs guy so I can manage without power steering, but it's definitely a workout.

Local Chevy dealer wants $85 just to connect and read the error. Also assuming it'll be 700-1000 bucks to get it fixed. I want to know why my 4cyl 2009 Malibu wasn't part of the EPS recall, when I'm clearly having the same issue the recall was meant to address.

Funds are tight for me right now as I'm saving to pay for a wedding and honeymoon in June. If warmer weather will make the problem go away, maybe I should just muscle through this (literally!) until summer, and then try to get it fixed before next winter.
No change for me. I stopped by the dealership to let them know what was going on with the car so they could log it. I told a lady at the service desk I wanted to report what was happening to GM, but I don't think she was to interested in what I had to say. She took my name and typed something in, but who knows. I'd like to find a place to report it online somewhere so we can all tell GM this is BS and needs to be recalled. I'm having a feeling that more than just the 3 or 4 people that are posting in this thread are having the same issue...

Light had been off for a few days, and this morning as I turned slowly into my parking lot at work, it tripped it again. I just muscled it into the parking spot and shut her down.

Bill, my above posts state the issue I am having, mostly on slow tight turns (But also happens whenever it wants to) my dash says Power Steering and turns off my traction controls and I lose ALL power to the steering and have to fight the wheel like I am turning a 1960's pick up truck with no power steering 90 degrees from a dead stop. It makes no difference in the steering if I am moving at 80 mph or sitting at a stop light. Turn the key off and back on and it works like normal. I'll deal with it in the spring when it's not 5 degrees out in the shop.

For the time being I just overhauled the brakes on my old Silverado and now the wife just drives my big hauling truck when she needs to go somewhere because she isn't driving this car the way it is.
 

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i posted on the gen 8 forum girlfriends 13 LS growls on a cold start, sounds like an old style hydraulic steering at full lock, shes on the recall but if it blows while driving an accident could occur, reported to the dealer + they just blew her off!!
 

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You guys need to report it to the NHTSA, I believe the complaints there get reviewed and if there are enough of the same complaints, thats what drives the car companies to issue TSB's and recalls.

Make sure you mention that your car is a 4 cylinder with electric power steering, and that it was NOT part of the recall, yet it's having the same symptoms as recalled cars.

Try this link, this is where I reported it.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml
 

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I just looked through there and read a bunch of the complaints on 09 malibus. This power steering problem is BY FAR the number one issue, and there are tons and tons of reports of failures. Seems like GM will have to extend the recall, it's ridiculous how many complaints there are for the exact same problem, loss of power steering assist.
 
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I definitely made sure to report it to the NHTSA and I told GM that I reported it. Hopefully in the next few months I do get a recall extended to my car and get that 550 bucks back.

Out of curiosity gr8shot, you are over 180k miles on your '09 malibu, is there any special maintenance you've done? Particularly once reaching around 100k miles? I'm about to hit 100k by like March, and was just wondering what types of maintenance I should start thinking about besides the standard oil changes.
 

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my girlfriends 13 LS continues to growl on cold start, don't even have to move the wheel. not sure how the electric power steering is configured vs old style belt driven pump, it surely sounds like low fluid or when steering is at max lock, which is NOT recommended
 

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I definitely made sure to report it to the NHTSA and I told GM that I reported it. Hopefully in the next few months I do get a recall extended to my car and get that 550 bucks back.

Out of curiosity gr8shot, you are over 180k miles on your '09 malibu, is there any special maintenance you've done? Particularly once reaching around 100k miles? I'm about to hit 100k by like March, and was just wondering what types of maintenance I should start thinking about besides the standard oil changes.
I've had the transmission fluid changed, and thats about the only special maintenance I've done. When I hit 200k I'm probably going to change the coolant, flush the brake fluid, spark plugs and maybe coils. Not sure what else there is to do. Most everything else will let you know when it needs attention.
 

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Just paid $620 to fix my torque sensor because I was also getting the exact same issue as mentioned in this forum. My power steering went out and Service ESC message appeared. Mine, unfortunately, went out on a busy interstate in Chicago during rush hour and I had to complete my entire 2 hour trip without any power steering. I even attempted to restart my car because I found it would reset the Power Steering, but since it is extremely cold here this month, it would only stay on for 30 seconds or less.

I tried to Tweet GM (no direct response when I asked them directly why my particular 09 Malibu LTZ was not covered under the recall). I tried to call, I got someone in another country that didn't understand my concern.

GM -- WAKE UP! More '09 Malibus are having the torque sensor issue. It is VERY unsafe especially when it's cold outside and there is no way to expect it's outage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well wanted to update my thread here. Got a letter in the mail today for a "Special Extended Warranty!" On the power steering failure. Got excited and thought, it's about time.... Then kept reading the letter and it said, good for 10 years and 150,000 miles....

Well as of today I have 161k. Called to see if there was something they would do for me because I had reported the problem before. Guy on the phone said he didn't see anything of a report... Great!

Then he said something about a dash light gear indicator recall that the previous owner never had done (basically trying to say that I don't take care of my car or don't care about recalls) I said I didn't know anything about that, and this was the first letter I had from them, and my dash gear light indicator worked fine and if it didn't I'd just look down at the shifter. Kinda more worried about being able to steer my car.

Then I asked if there was anything in there about all the power locks failing because I wanted a refund for rewiring all the doors with different actuators that cost me a day off of work... And he had nothing to add.

Hopefully anybody else having this issue gets it fixed correctly. If anybody with a 2009 Malibu needs info on this letter I can get you the info. Get this fixed even if yours isn't having symptoms yet, take it in and tell them it has happens to you...this part is faulty and it will fail. (I know 3 other people now that have the issue)

As for me, Unfortunatly this will be the last modern Chevy in my garage/shop.

Oh well.... Good luck to everybody else.
 

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I got the power steering letter two days ago. Mine has been having problems for the last 50k miles, but now it has 195k miles, so I doubt I'll be able to get a dealer to fix it. I'm sure going to try though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Let me know if you do gr8shot, I'd like to see what they have to say.

I guess GM figures if you have more than 150k on your car, you don't need to steering it anymore?? I'd honestly like to hear a service manager explain that one. An if they say its because the part has more work, I'm going to ask why they recalled the same part on other models but not this one.

The way I see it, this is GM covering their own butts with this warranty hoping people won't bring their cars in and not having to do a full recall to save themselves the money.
 

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I have had this same issue since I bought the car used. Bought it from private party who never mentioned it. It first happened basically day after and he had me sign a waiver on any issues that buying as is essentially. Which don't blame him would probably do it too. Anyways Filed a report with NHTSA per this thread I believe and then in Sept I received letter as others have stated. Doesn't do me any good as I'm now over 150,000 miles. Bought the car with less than that. And going back to the title paperwork could probably prove it. Just wondering if anyone has had any luck on extending this?

Never took it to dealer to report it as it disappears when you turn the car off and never was in the area when it happened of a dealer. Finally had a chance to this morning took it in with the letter and they said they can't do anything unless GM extends the warranty so called the customer service # and they said no. Said I had reported it to NHTSA and they said they couldn't find anything. Was able to go back and pull up the complaint that I submitted on 2-6-15.
 
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