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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

It is my first time posting in this forum, out of nessesity, but have noticed you all are very helpful. I currently am driving a 2011 Malibu 1LT with approx. 154000 kms.

I have been noticing a few issues with my vehicle while driving (will attach photos/videos below) that I just cannot figure out.

1) I have noticed a lot of brake dust around all tires, but most was noticed on the front driver side of the vehicle. Along with this, I do NOT notice squealing in the brakes, but do feel my steering wheel vibrate when braking from 80 kph down. ( 60km/h to stop= no vibrations noticed.) This indicated to me an issue with rotors, but I'm not sure why I don't hear squealing even with the amount of brake dust found. (can clump them together).

2) I am aware of the infamous steering issues (clunking noises) and was hoping to see if that what I am experiencing. I hear clunking noises when I turn the wheel, both stationary and whilst moving at slow speeds. I notice it more towards the right hand side (front pass) whilst driving, and when outside the same section makes noise. I have went underneath the vehicle, and checked my CV Boots, both of which look fine and undamaged. I have noticed a slight pull/ car slowing down faster (not very much as car still moves when engaging drive and not pressing the accelerator, the car still goes forward), but it might just be myself overanalyzing. I noticed some sticky substance coating the tire and rim of the drivers side wheel (check photos) but looks like it may have come from outside as I do not see any grease/sticky substances around the CV Boot or joint.

3) While trying to spot leaks around the tire as mentioned above, I noticed some leaking around my transmission (I think? Right next to the oil draining plug to the left). There is no leak while being parked overnight, but there's still something oily on the part. Attached is a video in which you can notice some sweating/leaking in the vehicle. Along with this, I have noticed that the car does take longer to really accelerate (60-100 kph pulls are slower) and I notice the car pushing a little higher on rpms. (usually would see gears shifted around 2500-3000 rpm, where as now even under slower acceleration it'll be around 2800-3200 on shifting).
I uploaded the video to YouTube as it was too large for this post.
Chevy Malibu Trouble Shooting

I am worried as to what's going on as my mother also uses the vehicle and want to get everything sorted out prior to going to mechanic shop. I am a little versed in how cars work, but any advice/insight that is provided is very much appreciated.

Thank you all!

· Administrator
2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
21,132 Posts
1. If you are up to it, take off both front wheels after safely supporting the vehicle on jackstands. Place the wheels under the frame as insurance. Check the inner and outer pad thicknesses. If they're even and not wearing at an angle then you're probably good to just lightly sand both sides of the rotors by hand to remove any built-up friction material and try the brakes again.

If they still pulsate, or if the the pad inspection suggests that they're uneven, wearing crooked, or too thin, then replace the pads. Get a hardware kit at the same time, and use the proper kind of grease on the caliper slide pins.

2. Could be the little bearing at the very top of the struts, or some other part (spring, rubber, etc.) is binding when you turn the wheel. You'll need to do an audio inspection with a helper turning the steering wheel. Listen inside the wheel well and under the hood. Move the wheel slowly from lock to lock.

3. In the video, it looks like either the engine's rear main seal or the transmission's front seal leaking out between the two.
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