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TSB # 09-03-10-009, steering wheel vibration issues

17965 Views 25 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  dennisk
Has anyone had this problem? 09 Malibu LTZ with V6. The TSB is specific to 18" wheels.

When driving, after turning, or making slight adjustments in the lane you are driving, when the wheel returns to center, you can feel a slight pulsation in the wheel; it will not return smoothly. While driving straight, you cannot feel a thing.

Service manager and tech know about it, they started by replacing the front tires; tech said as he balanced it he could still see the tire was slightly wobbly. TSB had a GM tech guy's actual phone number on it, so I'm wondering if this is a bug that affects a small amount of cars.

Anyone else had this issue?

So far, I've had a radio squeak problem, the bluetooth issue, a seat trim piece that kept popping off, and now this. If GM had that 60 day guarantee when i bought the car, who knows, I might have used it.
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No issue with mine, granted I have the ecotec. Seriously though, its kind of ridiculous that you would return your car for 4 minor issues. You may want to invest in a huffy because I hate to break it to you, but all cars have issues, and yours are pretty minute.
4 minor issues? a $30,000 car shouldn't have these 4 minor issues, not to mention i don't think the steering issue is minute. My 1996 Honda Civic doesn't have issues like this after 190000 miles. My 2008 Civic doesn't have issues like this. How about my 2000 Acura? No squeaking issues, steering is smooth. I didn't buy a nice car to be constantly annoyed by the radio or not have proper working components. Why is that ridiculous? I don't expect issues like this from a $30,000 car, or even a $10,000 car.

Driving down the road in a car with less than 1000 miles on it and the radio squeaking the entire time, does that sound good to you? Even with the radio on, I couldn't make the sound go away.

Bluetooth issue was minor, although dealer had no clue what to do and I had to find the TSB for them. Thats great, i'll take time off my job so I can help fix my car.

Seat trim piece was right by the airbag, which could affect the operation of the airbag if it deployed, that seems like an issue to me.

And this latest steering not being smooth, that is an issue. I do not know if there is a mechanical issue which may lead to a more serious problem later on. This is not right, a car should not react like this, and others seem to agree on this board who have had the issue.

Why would anyone spend this kind of money and have these problems and not return it? You know what? why do you go slightly misalign your radio so it sqeaks all the time while your driving. And while we're at it, why don't you go slightly bend your tie rod and see how you like it? That is not acceptable from a car. All cars may have issue, but not like this. BLUE-BU seems to be in the process of trying to get GM buy his car back, I wonder why?

This car has spent 9 total days in the past 7 months at the dealer. My Civic hasn't spent 9 days in the shop in 5 years.

GM's new tag line seems to be, "May the best car win". Right now, my 96 civic with 190000 miles without any sqeaks or steering issues seems to be the best car. Thank goodness I didn't trade it in, otherwise my wife would have to pay the under 25 surcharge for renting a car.

Oh, yea, by the way, GM won't cover the underage fee for rentals. We found that out when I couldn't take her to the dealer and she had to get a rental.

If you're going to make comments like you did, please keep them to yourself, I don't want to read them. This are issues that really bother me, and they aren't minor to me. I didn't spend $30,000 to have these issues to keep bothering me while I drive my car.

Now, anyone else have this issue and get it fixed so I can get my car fixed so it drives the way its supposed to drive?
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Is it the tires? There have been many who have had issues with the LS2's. The ones on my old G6 were horrible.
They put new tires on.
Unfortuneately, this car has a vibration sensitivity that GM has not figured out yet. Not all customers seem to complain about it so perhaps it really does just affect some cars. The only fix GM has at the moment for customers that complain is to replace the tires and road force balance them. In my opinion, this is just a bandaid fix. Others and myself have complained of this problem to GM for months. I believe it is a mechanical resonance in the drivetrain that gets excited by a number of different inputs. One is a tire out of balance or out of round. Other inputs are the transmission downshifting or the torque converter engaging and disengaging causing a shudder or bucking sensation. Also, just small bumps in the road can cause a bouncing sensation. Replacing out of round tires with round ones that are perfectly balanced can help a little but it doesn't fix the real problem. GM has not been able to fix my car after numerous attempts so I have had to begin arbitration to force a buyback.
The only thing GM has done is change your tires? Nothing else?
What is the radio squeak issue?
While driving, the slightest flex would make a high pitched squeak issue in the radio area. I would turn the volume up, and you could still hear it. It was actually pretty painful to hear. The first dealer was hesitant to pull the radio out, and I actually ended up at a body shop at another dealer that had to work on the car, and the body shop manager said that it was not acceptable for that to happen and he said he would take care of it, and he did. The radio bracket was slightly mis-aligned, and they adjusted it slightly and solved the problem. Thats a far way from the first dealer saying he would have to order a new radio and didn't think pulling it all apart was a good idea.
Maybe you should have bought a honda then. I lived with bad tie rods, rack and pinion and squeaky strut mounts on my Grand am for 8 years. Not to mention 3 water pump fails, tail light failure, 2 lower intake manifold gaskets,warped rotors, etc. So trust me, I've had it worse. This car is by far the best GM car I've ever owned. So I have every right to say get the sand out of you vajayjay! Since you seem stuck on Honda's left nut, go trade your car in.
You know what? I thought I would help out GM and America by buying an American car. So how am I stuck on Honda? All those problems, sure, I could see, but not in a car with only 5000 miles on it. I don't hold a Grand Am on the same level as a Malibu, for one the Malibu is more expensive, but I wouldn't expect your Grand Am had those problems after only 5000 miles. I don't care if you had it worse, but for a car that is supposed to have J.D. Power's best in initial quality award, I don't see it. You can say whatever you want, but I don't go and dog your posts.

I'm not going to lose money by trading in a car I only had for 7 months. We've had a Chevy Celebrity, and that car never had a problem. I loved that car, and I have to say, that was the best GM I owned.

The problems you mentioned, how are those tolerable problems? They're not, cars should not be having the problems I've had, and all I'm trying to do is find out what others have done to fix them. So thanks for your great input.
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After re-reading your post again, it sounds like your steering problem is something binding up in the steering rack and pinion or related components. That shouldn't have anything to to with the TSB you mentioned for defective tires. I would think that would be a straight forward repair by your dealership. It does sound like you've had more than the normal number of repairs. I know what you mean, you don't buy a new car just to spend time getting it fixed. Luckily, those problems don't sound like ones that would come back to bother you in the future. That steering problem should be looked at asap though.
I just got a call this morning, they put a new rack in, same problem. When the tire spins, they can visibly see the outer edge wobbling slightly, on the new tire they put in. The TSB ends at the tires, and I guess GM told them to go at it. They pulled the axle off, and the tech thought there were too many burrs on it, and they ordered a new one, like the current one was not manufactured properly.

I would still think that I would have felt it before though, and not suddenly at 5000 miles. We'll see. I hope it fixes it and takes care of the issue.
And it didn't help? Are the new tires out of round? I think you said the new ones the tech said were wobbly? If so get them replaced! I had a NEW set of Eagle LS2's that were crap. They need to get rid of the Eagle LS2's on there....
Well, they're convinced that from a different batch, its not likely 2 batches that far apart would have issues. They found an unusual high amount of burrs on the axle, so I'm hoping a new one will solve this issue.

What tire do you have it on it now?
The LS2's that I have on now aren't bad, the ones on my G6 were horrible.
And the LS2's themselves are known to have these issues alot. It's not a bad batch, but an trait of the tires. So it is very possible the "new" tires are bad too. I mean if the tech said he sees the tire wobble on the machine why in the world would they not replace it and go from there? Even if they replace your rack, if the tire wobbles on the machine your gonna feel it on your car....
The wobble was already on a new tire, so both tires wobbled. I told him they should swap the rears to the front and see if it does it, which would be logical, and I don't know if they tried that.... I would hope they did..
I had the steering rack replaced on my LTZ due to grinding issues and unusual steering response - everything seems fine now. It does seem to catch grooves in the road pretty easily but I've had a few cars like that. As for quality concerns; EVERY car I've owned has had issues. My new Acura CL had a few unsolvable squeaks and rattles, my GTI had a couple rattles and a quirky transmission, (I have also owned Mazdas, BMWs, Fords...). I would say the Malibu has the fewest annoyances of the many cars I have owned. I really think getting ANY new car is a bit of a gamble especially as the miles add up.
I know, but it just seems like this car has had more and quicker than any car I've had.

At least your steering rack solved your problems.

I tried to convince the dealer about the tires, but they put the rear on the front also and still the same issue, so... yea.
Well, service advisor called me and said new axles went in, feels much better, but still slightly "wobbles", so they're replacing the steering gear.

I had an Impala for a rental the other day, and I noticed it did the same thing my Malibu does. Perhaps it is a mechanical issue, because the Impala doesn't have LS-2's.

Oh well, I have my fingers crossed.
Well, dealer called and said car was fixed. Wife picked it up, and a day later I drove it, same problem.

They Road Force Balanced the tires. Service Advisor says he drove it afterwards and it was ok, and I do believe him, the tires could have been warmed up (seems to go away then) and at that time maybe the balance helped.

He was nice enough to follow up also, and said bring it back, but I don't want to give up the car again for another week, so I'm going to ride it out and see what happens with the next set of tires. If no wobble, then problem solved, and no more goodyears for me. If there is a problem, then I'll take it back in then.

What a pain.
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