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SEveral things spring to mind Check power steering pump operation. check that the drive belt is in good condition and adjusted correctly. Check fluid level. Check filter in the oil resevoir is not blocked. Moving on Hard steering is a sign of faulty wheel alignment. Not enpugh caster adjustment. Tyre pressure has to be maintained. If you steering shaft has u-joints in it check that they have not failed or become rusted up. At best have a pressure test done on the pump.
The electronic steering on your Malibu has some known issues. The manufacturer has announced that they are voluntarilly extending the warranty for the power steering systems for 10 years and it is under warranty regardless of ownership (it does not matter if you are not the original owner). I recommend going to the dealer - it will most likely get fixed for free.
anything from a slipping belt to a pressure pipe leaking ,even dry steering joints ,try putting some engine oil on top of the mc pherson strut ,under the bonnet and where the 3 bolts are in the middle is a bearing underneath and if it has plastic cover on top lift this out and introduce a few squirts of engine oil ,not that fish oil spray and leave the oil to soak down and this will lubricate the bearing .Other than that i have no idea without my head under the bonnet iam afraid .
Hmm.. Low fluid in the power steering pump, broken belt driving the power steering pump, failed component causing loss of power steering fluid, failed power steering pump.
Check for a broken belt first, check the oil in the pump, look for leakage under the truck.
If the pump is low on fluid you want to put about half the amount in that you're going to need and then start the truck and turn the wheel slowly from stop to stop, each way- spend about ten seconds going from one stop to the other. This will allow any air in the system to be purged out in a controlled fashion, it can really spray if you get a big, compressed bubble of air in the system and release it quickly. Shut the truck off and top the steering pump up, check for leaks.
do you live in high salted areas? If so, My freestyle had the same problem. It's the joint in the steering column (you can see it from underneath the vehicle) Just keep it lubed. I had to replace mine because it had worn out. Expensive. Also, it could be the bearings on top of your front struts. Dirt gets into it and binds it up. Poor engineering designs.