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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else had this happen? (the clunking sound/feel) What do I look for? It almost sounds like linkage that's loose, but I can't tell.

My car has 44k miles on it and the only other issues are the brakes vibrations when I am slowing at speed... That's something I have to deal with when I replace the pads and rotors, and I think, another issue all together.

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169 Posts
If it's a clunk when turning the wheel from one side to the other, then it's more than likely the intermediate steering shaft. It's not dangerous, just annoying as heck.

GM recently released a revised version of the shaft to keep this from happening after replacement.

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6 Posts
Had same problem

I have the same problem with my g6. Its like a clunk/thump when you turn the wheel. I've had mine repaired twice under warranty for it to only reappear a few months later. It started happening to me around 22k but im at 64k i dont thinks its anything major but it is annoying

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6 Posts
i dont know the cost but i believe the only way it may be covered under warranty once you bumper to bumper is up is if it reoccurs within 3,000 miles of it being repaired (my bumper to bumper has been up for about a year, so mine will just thump away :))

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4 Posts
The new painted intermediate steering shaft does not fix the problem. There are many reports of those starting to clunk as well. Most times the clunking is the i-shaft, but it can also come from the rack and pinion or the struts.

The other bigtime known problem on these cars is warped brake rotors, usually the driver's side rear. That's whats causing the vibrations when you slow down.

I have had my driver's side rear rotor turned and my i-shaft lubericated on my 2008, both before 25k miles. My steering is starting to squeak again (precursor to the clunk) after only 3k miles since lubing. Dealerships will usually try to lubricate it at least twice before they replace anything.

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5 Posts
I also have a clunk in the stearing at slow speeds, does the lubricating the I-shaft really work? and is this a major safety concern, I just recently purchased my 2006 G6 GT and noticed it about a month after I bought it, and after reading about it on this and other forums I am starting to think this could be a major safety issue and think that GM should have a recall if it is happening to this many cars.

also would like to know estimated cost to get this fixed ?

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25 Posts
Lubricating the “I” shaft only solves part of the problem and is really only a “band-aid” repair.
The main problem is the strut bearings. You will most likely find that your strut bearings are starting to seize, causing a clunking sound when steering slowly.
The cost of this work ranges – depends on where you get the work done. In my case, the cost was $400… But Gm gave me an estimate of $800 at first. When I mentioned a tow truck would be at the Dealership to remove the car, they covered 50% of the cost, matching a local muffler/suspension specialty repair shop
Yes this is a safety concern! I don’t understand why GM has not been made to make repairs to all the Epsilon platforms (G6, Aura, Malibu, 2011 Regal, 2010 LaCrosse). At the dealer I used to deal with, there are more G6 vehicles with steering/strut issues than the entire recall of defective Toyota Corolla vehicles across the North America.
GM & the USA Government are afraid of a recall of GM vehicles… It would seal the fate of GM once and for all. Just imagine what the North America economy would do if GM was completely eliminated…it would be completely catastrophic! Plus the US/Canadian Governments have lent GM a significant amount of money – both Governments want their money back regardless of safety concerns…. I can only speculate that all safety concerns are being snuffed out and the Transportation Safety Boards.

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2 Posts
clunking issues

Thought this might help clarify at least part of the situation
Here's hoping I don't get in trouble for this
unfortunately I couldn't post all the pictures that go with this.
I would gladly if somebody could help me out here:mad:

Bulletin No.: 06-02-32-007F
Date: August 24, 2009
Subject: Clunk, Knock or Rattle Noise From Front of Vehicle While Driving or Turning Over Bumps at Low Speeds (Diagnose Noise and Perform Outlined Repair)
2004-2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
2004-2008 Chevrolet Malibu Classic
2008-2010 Chevrolet Malibu
2005-2010 Pontiac G6
2007-2010 Saturn Aura
This bulletin is being revised to update the models years and revise the information for Correction 2. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 06-02-32-007E (Section 02 - Steering).
Condition 1
Some customers may comment on a clunk noise heard and felt in the steering wheel while driving at slow speeds and turning. The clunk noise may appear to be directly in front of the driver. Hitting a bump while turning can produce the clunk noise. Sometimes the noise may be duplicated when the vehicle is sitting still and the steering wheel is turned 90 degrees in either direction before initially centering the steering wheel.
Cause 1
The clunk noise may be caused by a slip/stick condition between the inner and outer components of the intermediate shaft.
Revised design intermediate shafts went into production in the 2009 model year and are the only design currently available through GMSPO since approximately September 2008. Since any model year vehicle could have had a second design shaft installed, it is critical to identify it before proceeding. The revised design intermediate shafts will NOT tolerate any type of lubricant per the following instructions. Adding lube to the second design shafts will cause a clunk noise in a very short period of time. Use the following pictures to identify which design of shaft you are servicing.
Electric Assist Power Steering

First Design - Bare Steel Tube (Lube OK)
Second Design - Black Painted (DO NOT Lube)
Hydraulic Assist Power Steering

First Design - Bare Steel Tube (Lube OK)
Second Design - Black Painted (DO NOT Lube)
In the unlikely event that the source of the noise is identified as a second design shaft with black painted tube, it must be replaced.
Correction 1 (Only for First Design - DO NOT USE FOR 2ND DESIGN)
Lubricate the intermediate shaft with steering column shaft lubrication kit, P/N 26098237.
1. From inside the vehicle, remove the instrument panel insulator panel - left side panel to gain access to the intermediate shaft.
2. Remove the intermediate shaft to steering column attachment bolt.
3. Remove the intermediate shaft from the steering column.

4. Extend the intermediate shaft all the way. Using the intermediate shaft grease kit, P/N 26098237, inject the grease into the gap between the inner shaft and the outer shaft as you are collapsing the shaft. This will draw the grease into the shaft.
5. Cycle the shaft up and down several times to distribute the grease.
Remove original thread locker material from the bolt and apply Loctite(R) 242 (or equivalent) to the threads of the bolt and reinstall intermediate shaft bolt.
6. Install the intermediate shaft to the column.
- For electronic power steering, tighten the bolt to 49 Nm (36 lb ft).
- For hydraulic power steering, tighten the bolt to 62 Nm (46 lb ft).

7. Wipe off any excessive grease on the intermediate shaft to avoid damage from drips on the carpet.
8. Install the instrument panel insulator panel - left side.
9. Verify that the noise is no longer present.
Condition 2
There may be interference between the clamp and the steering gear input shaft. The clamp is beveled and if forced down on the input shaft too hard, it may cause a loose fit with the intermediate shaft to input shaft joint.
Correction 2
To correct this condition, perform the following steps:
1. Remove the intermediate shaft pinch bolt at the steering gear end.
2. Install a new bolt, GM P/N 26058124 (Chevrolet, Pontiac) or P/N 26046722 (Saturn), but do not tighten the bolt at this time.

3. Pry the clamp up using a pry bar to position the bolt into the upper part of the groove as shown above. This will position the clamp off the bevel.
4. While keeping the clamp in the upper position, tighten the bolt.
Tighten the bolt to 49 Nm (36 lb ft).
5. Verify that the clunk noise is no longer present.
Condition 3
This condition ONLY applies to 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu/Maxx and 2005-2007 Pontiac G6.
Some customers may comment on a knocking or rattling type noise from the front of the vehicle when driven at low speeds and over bumps. The noise only occurs when the steering wheel is in the straight ahead position and sounds like the noise is in the left suspension of the vehicle or directly in front of the driver.
Correction 3
1. Ensure the noise is not caused by Condition # 1.
2. Determine the source of the noise. Install the chassis ears at the following locations:
- sway bar link - one side at a time
- upper strut mount - one side at a time
- steering gear near the pinion area
- base of the steering column housing
- radiator surge tank

3. If the noise is coming from the upper strut mount or sway bar link, replace as necessary and retest.
4. For 2004-2006 Chevrolet and Pontiac model year vehicles, the noise may be coming from the radiator surge tank area. (The 2007 model year vehicles use a different style radiator surge tank - refer to Step 9.)
5. If the noise is coming from the radiator surge tank, release the two retaining tabs holding the radiator surge tank and reposition the tank away from the attaching bracket and isolate with closed cell foam.
6. Cut three pieces of closed cell foam, P/N P46515 (or equivalent), into 25 mm (1 in) by 102 mm (4 in) pieces.
7. Cut two pieces of closed cell foam into 25 mm (1 in) by 6 mm (1/4 in) pieces.

8. Install the three pieces of foam to the attaching bracket starting at the top center inside the bracket and proceed down across the fuel lines, then at the inside of the bracket at the left and right positions of the center piece of foam. Finally, install the last two pieces of foam to the inside bracket at the left and right extended sides behind the retaining holes as shown above.
9. Reposition the radiator surge tank back onto the bracket and seat the two retaining tabs on the tank.
10. Drive the vehicle to verify that the noise is no longer present.
Parts Information
Order Adhesive Back Shim Stock from Kent Automotive at 1-888-YES-KENT or online at www.kent-automotive.com.

Warranty Information

For vehicles repaired under warranty, use the table above.

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1 Posts
2008 Malibu LTZ same issue with fron end

I have a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu manufacture date 2/08. I am having the same issue. I checked my steering shaft and it is the unpainted version.

I have seen that some have had success with replacement of the shaft others have not. Should I press them for replacement of shaft or did lubrication fix the problem?

Can anyone provide updated information on what worked for your situation or what did not work for you.

I am trying to get all the information (ammunition) possible to take to the dealership so they can't say they don't know anything about the issue or can't find any problems. My warranty is almost up and I don't have time for the run around game.

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4 Posts
Had the same issue on my 2008 G6. Dealer lubed the intermediate shaft under warranty and the problem went away for a while. It recently came back (out of warranty - >64K miles). I re-tightened the bolt that joins the intermediate shaft to the steering column and the cluncking noise went away. Worth a try...
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